The Making of Sausage

Mark Twain once remarked that there are two things you should never see being made, Politics and Sausage, because if you knew how they were produced, you might lose your taste for them. Despite this warning, the folks at the Sunlight Foundation have mapped out the networks of lobbyists for health and insurance interests who were once staffers on the Senate Finance Committee. What we see is a fragmented network infused with large amounts of cash. The issue network contains a large number of participants with variable degrees of mutual commitment to, or dependence upon, others in their environment. Those who emerge to positions of wider leadership are experts in using experts, mobilizing policy intermediaries for or against the various provisions of the legislation. By understanding who these leaders in the issue network are, we can better understand, and perhaps predict, the course of the legislative process. We’ll be sure to keep an eye on the Sunlight Foundation as they continue to map the Health Care Complex.



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