May 7, 2024 - Business

"The Wolves of K Street" and Washington's lobbying dynasties

"The Wolves of K Street" book cover, with a wolf head animated with dollar bills.

Image courtesy of Simon & Schuster

"The Wolves of K Street," out Tuesday, is a complete history of the unstoppable rise of Washington lobbying — in spite of scandal and the Donald Trump era.

Why it matters: The book by reporter-brothers Brody and Luke Mullins charts Democratic and Republican lobbying dynasties from the 1970s to the present day.

They write of the late Tommy Boggs, a pioneer of Democratic lobbying whose last name makes up the law firm Squire Patton Boggs.

  • In the 1980s, Charlie Black, Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, and Lee Atwater built "Washington's GOP house of lobbying," they write, per a review of the book in The Guardian.
  • The third dynasty: Tony Podesta, described in the book as an "avant-garde political fixer [who] used his experience as a brass-knuckled liberal activist to advance the interests of Wall Street and Silicon Valley," per The Guardian.

Zoom in: K Street reinvented itself after Trump won in 2016.

  • An excerpt published in Politico tells how Republican operative Jim Courtovich embodied that change when he got to work after Election Day positioning himself as a Trump insider.

The intrigue: "Courtovich, who did not respond to requests to comment for this piece, would face financial disruption, multiple lawsuits and even scrapes with local police," the Mullins write. "Yet still, like the Washington swamp itself, he always managed to survive."


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