Political Science ETDs

Publication Date



This thesis is an investigation of interest group lobbying 1n the 1967 New Mexico State Legislature. Although the study principally describes interest group activity, a theoretical background of group study is its point of departure.

From a consideration of the group approach to politics, the research design of the investigation, which emphasizes personal 1nterv1ews, is developed. This design is then related to the geographical and political setting of the study, which includes social, political, and economic factors which affect lobbying. After this formal background, the thesis commences to describe New Mexico lobbies and their principal method of operation.

In this description, several general statements about New Mexico lobbyists are made. They play informative and socializing roles, and can be separated into multi-issue or one-issue lobbyists. They exhibit many of the personality characteristics of a professional salesman. Lobbyists work in three distinct time periods to influence legislators and affect legislation before the legislature adjourns. Toward these latter goals, particular time and effort is expended at the committee levels on most bills. Active lobbies, who emphasize direct contact methods, are found to be the more influential.

Legislators, who were interviewed, describe effective lobbyists and their method of operation. These legislators also relate their individual attitudes toward lobbyists. Two main trends are definable: a) party differences in New Mexico exist as Republicans clearly have more favorable attitudes toward lobbyists, and b) in correlating legislator charac­teristics with attitudes, experience and contact relate to more favorable legislator images of lobbyists.

The thesis also tests its generalizations through a study of three controversial New Mexico political issues. In substance, these issues confirm the roles lobbyists play in the New Mexico legislature. As a time-saver, research pro­vider, and errand boy to legislators, the lobbyist is considered invaluable by many legislators. As is demonstrated in this thesis, New Mexico state legislators, for the most part, appreciate the roles lobbyists play in the legislative process.

Degree Name

Political Science

Level of Degree


Department Name

Political Science

First Committee Member (Chair)

Phillip Neff

Second Committee Member


Third Committee Member

Helen Ingram



Document Type