We examine contributions by the American Medical Association's political action committee (AMPAC) to candidates for seats in the U.S. House of Representatives during two electoral cycles (1989–1990 and 1991–1992). In contrast to earlier studies, we do not find any systematic evidence to support the conventional wisdom that AMPAC contributes to influence legislators' positions on roll call votes or that AMPAC's contribution decisions are influenced by legislators' voting positions. We do find that AMPAC contributes to promote access to decision makers and to help elect (or reelect) legislators who would be expected to be more generally sympathetic to the economic and practice concerns of AMA physicians. As points of comparison, we also examine contributions from the top five tobacco PACs and the National Rifle Association's (NRA) PAC and find that legislators' roll call voting positions are strongly related to contributions received from these organizations.

You do not currently have access to this content.