- Publisher: Temple University Press
- Available in: Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle
- ISBN: 978-1592136742
- Published: March 28, 2008
“Choices and Changes” is the most comprehensive examination to date of the impact of interest groups on recent American electoral politics. Richly informed, theoretically and empirically, it is the first book to explain the emergence of aggressive interest-group electioneering tactics in the mid-1990s – including “soft money” contributions, issue ads, and “527s” (IRS-classified political organizations).Michael Franz argues that changing political and legal contexts have clearly influenced the behaviour of interest groups. To support his argument, he tracks in detail the evolution of campaign finance laws since the 1970s, examines all soft money contributions – nearly $1 billion in total – to parties by interest groups from 1991 to 2002, and analyzes political action committee (PAC) contributions to candidates and parties from 1983 to 2002. He also draws on his own interviews with campaign finance leaders. Based on this rigorous data analysis and a formidable knowledge of its subject, “Choices and Changes” substantially advances our understanding of the significance of interest groups in U.S. politics.
“An excellent book, theoretically rich and empirically sound. Choices and Changes is interesting, understandable, and informative. Franz’s overall analysis is the most thorough of any book that I have read in the interest group literature. His extensive data analysis fills a major gap in the literature.” Peter L. Francia, East Carolina University, author of The Future of Organized Labor in American Politics “Academics are the primary audience for this graph-rich book, but dedicated (and patient) journalists and Hill staffers may also pick up some useful data points.” Campaigns and Elections “While the volume represents a well-crafted, theoretically based piece of social science research of use to academic specialists interested in campaign finance, other readers concerned about the impact of money on American politics generally will find the material not overly technical, and very readable and informative…Perhaps Franz’ most original contribution to the literature is found in his analysis of how the changing regulatory environment affected a group’s choice of electioneering tactics.” Political Science Quarterly, Fall 2009