If any of the great corporations were to hire adventurers who make market of themselves in this way, to procure the passage of a general law with a view to the promotion of their private interests, the moral sense of every right-minded man would instinctively denounce the employer and employed as steeped in corruption, and the employment as infamous.
US Supreme Court Noah Hayes Swayne in the Supreme Court’s first discussion of the practice of lobbying. The Court refused to enforce an otherwise valid contact for lobbying services on the grounds that such activity was against the public interest. Trist v. Child, 88 US 441 (1874).
Cato was prominent in the campaign to thwart Pompey, but many other members of distinguished families set aside their habitual competition in the hope of cutting the great hero down to size… when they spoke of liberty and the Republic they understood both as the interests of their class. For them it was better that a problem not be dealt with than to permit a rival to gain the credit for solving it.
Augustus: First Emperer of Rome, Adrian Goldsworthy (2014)