Advocacy-in-the-Public-Interest_Page_01Advocacy in the Public Interest
Gary D. Bass

Essays on Excellence
Lessons from the Georgetown Nonprofit Management Executive Certificate Program

In truth, there are few smoke-filled rooms in Washington these days. But even as cities and states clamp down on smoking in public facilities, there still is an image of lobbying as an industry that involves billion dollar deals in dark corners and arm-twisting behind
closed doors.

The 1987 book Showdown at Gucci Gulch, by reporters Jeffrey H. Birnbaum and Alan S. Murray, chronicles the ups, downs, and ultimate victory of 1986 tax reform. In terms of offering insight into and conveying the drama of the Congress, the book tells an important story of lobbying. It describes how high-priced lobbyists, decked out in their fancy suits and shoes, lurk outside the Senate Finance Committee meeting room in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, waiting to pigeonhole senators on their pet issue in the tax bill. Dubbed Gucci Gulch, it is a formidable showing.

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