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The Business of America is LobbyingHow Corporations Became Politicized and Politics Became More Corporate$
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Lee Drutman

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780190215514

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190215514.001.0001

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The Growth of Corporate Lobbying

The Growth of Corporate Lobbying

(p.47) 3 The Growth of Corporate Lobbying
The Business of America is Lobbying

Lee Drutman

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the history of corporate lobbying. Prior to the 1970s, very few corporations had Washington offices. To the extent that corporations lobbied, they did so through trade associations. Studies from the 1950s and 1960s describe corporate lobbying as largely threadbare, reactive, and not particularly influential. In the mid-to-late 1960s, public opinion and public policy turned against industry, and a new regulatory climate imposed new costs on business. Feeling threatened, individual corporations devoted substantial attention to politics for the first time. By 1981, business had beaten back the existential threats that had mobilized them. But they didn’t retreat from politics. As lobbying became more competitive and more crowded, companies become more comprehensive and innovative in their lobbying strategies, increasingly approaching the pervasive position that they now inhabit.

Keywords:   Washington, business, lobbying, history

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