About the Authors

About the Authors

Tim LaPira, Associate Professor, James Madison University

Tim earned his PhD in political science from Rutgers University in 2008. He has also worked as a legislative assistant to a member of Congress and as a researcher for the Center for Responsive Politics, where he was responsible for creating the Lobbying and Revolving Door databases on OpenSecrets.org. LaPira’s academic expertise is generally on American politics, and specifically on Congress, interest groups, lobbying, and the so-called revolving door between government and Washington’s “influence industry.” His writing includes work on how congressional staffers filter policy information from interest groups, how the revolving door distorts the representation of interests before government, how lobbyists self-organize in large-scale networks, and how government itself causes interest groups to go to Washington. The National Science Foundation, the Sunlight Foundation, and the American Political Science Association have generously supported his work. He teaches introductory American politics, Congress and legislative behavior, the Presidency and executive power, and behavioral decision making and public policy, as well as social science research methods.

Read more about Tim’s research at https://www.jmu.edu/polisci/people/faculty-lapira.shtml.

Herschel F. Thomas, Assistant Professor, University of Texas at Arlington

Herschel completed his Ph.D. in government from the University of Texas at Austin in 2015. His areas of specialization include public policy and American politics with an emphasis on agenda-setting, organized interests, and lobbying. His previous research has been published in Policy Studies Journal Cognitive Systems Research, Public AdministrationInterest Groups & Advocacy, and PS: Political Science and Politics. He teaches courses on American national government, interest groups and advocacy, research design and political analysis, and public policy analysis.

Read more about Herschel’s research at http://www.herschelfthomas.com.