Volume 4 (2012)
Volume 3 (2011)
Volume 2 (2010)
Most Downloaded Articles
- Changing Tracks? The Prospect for California Pension Reform by Kogan, Vladimir and McCubbins, Mathew D
- Medicaid Expansion and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: Lessons and Hopes for Implementation of Healthcare Reform by Kieber-Emmons, Autumn/ Bodenheimer, Thomas and Grumbach, Kevin
- California: A Failed State or Too Big to Fail? by Korey, John L
- Give States a Way to Go Bankrupt: It's the Best Option for Avoiding a Massive Federal Bailout by Skeel, David A.
- In Pursuit of Equity in Property Tax Allocation: Discussing the Flawed Implementation of Proposition 13This article first appeared in the Virginia Tax Review in Spring 2011 by Gervais, Michael K. and Rayford, Dontae
Power to the People: Checking Special Interests in California
1University of Nevada, Reno
1California State University, Sacramento
1University of California, Davis
Citation Information: California Journal of Politics and Policy. Volume 4, Issue 1, Pages 1–23, ISSN (Online) 1944-4370, DOI: 10.1515/1944-4370.1198, February 2012
- Published Online:
There has long been concern about the role of interest groups in the policymaking process, especially the effect of group money in legislative elections/decision making and informal relationships between lobbyists and legislators. The result has been more than four decades of reform in California, beginning with the legislative ethics code in 1966. The current reform regime does almost all it can to regulate behavior through disclosure rules and limits on gifts and contributions. Interest groups play an important role in policymaking and increased constraints on their activities may be counterproductive. Future reforms should not focus on controlling legislator/lobbyist interactions, but empower the public to become more involved in the policy process as a counterweight to interest group pressure. We propose ways to improve the usability of available government information to make the public more active in policymaking and elections. Accountability and quality of policy will improve as both interest groups and interested citizens influence legislative decisions.