There are 14,000 lobbying groups in Washington

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Media Outlet: Marketplace

To see just how ubiquitous lobbying has become in Washington, I make an appointment for lunch with Lee Drutman. He's a senior fellow at the New America Foundation and the author of "The Business of America is Lobbying." He’s waiting for me at the buffet, and we're about to zero in on the food business: loading up our plates, then dissecting them to see which foods have lobbyists at the table. Drutman pulls out a laptop with a list of lobbyists, and I tell him what’s on my plate, starting with beef. “There’s 17 beef organizations here in Washington," Drutman says. "We’ve got the Center for Beef Excellence, U.S. Premium Beef, Beef Products Incorporated…”

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Lee Drutman is a senior fellow in the program on political reform at New America. He is the author of The Business of America is Lobbying (Oxford University Press, 2015).