Lee Drutman

Senior Fellow, Political Reform Program

Lee Drutman is a senior fellow in the Political Reform program at New America. He is the author of The Business of America is Lobbying (Oxford University Press, 2015) and winner of the 2016 American Political Science Association's Robert A. Dahl Award, given for "scholarship of the highest quality on the subject of democracy." In addition, he writes regularly for Polyarchy, a Vox blog. An expert on lobbying, influence, and money in politics, he has also been quoted and/or cited in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Economist, Slate, Mother Jones, The Atlantic, Business Insider, National Review, Politico, and many other publications, and on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Planet Money, This American Life, Marketplace, Washington Journal, and The Colbert Report, among other programs.

Drutman also teaches in the Center for Advanced Governmental Studies at The Johns Hopkins University. Prior to coming to New America, Drutman was a senior fellow at the Sunlight Foundation and has worked in the U.S. Senate and at the Brookings Institution. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of California, Berkeley and a B.A. from Brown University.

All Work

A New Agenda for Political Reform

If we can’t reduce the pressure, then we have little choice but to arm our institutions to resist it. The first step is to—finally—make Cong


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Lobbying tapered off in 2014 amid congressional gridlock

"There’s a lot of value to continuing to show up and build relationships,” Drutman said. “Politics is not a vending machine. You don’t know

How did swaps regulation get into the CRomnibus? Ask this army of lobbyists

The banks made it easy for Congress, and then made a convincing case for it - over, and over, and over again. And the other side just didn't

Bring Back Corrpution!

In Corruption in America, Teachout recounts many of these struggles, making her book in part a greatest hits of court cases and laws dealing

Why we still need to worry about money in politics

The problem with our campaign finance system is not that elections cost too much money. The problem is that we have a campaign system domina

Why Congress is broken: tax extenders edition

Tax experts generally think some breaks that have been perpetually extended should be made permanent (the ones that make decent policy sense

Is it possible to spend too much money in politics? Sheldon Adelson is about to find out.

Good politics might be described as the art of cloaking your special interest in the general interest. But when you become the symbol of bi

Your boss lost an election, you lost a job — but Tom Manatos is here to save the day.

According to Lee Drutman of the New America Foundation, there’s no real evidence that shows a difference between Democratic and Republican r

Invest in Smarter Government

Here’s what I would do with my wave of the magic wand. I would triple the amount the Congress spends on staff (keeping it still at just unde

The 2014 campaign is a campaign about nothing

Is it that politicians have run out of ideas? No – as with so much else in modern politics, it’s deeply and directly related to the fact tha