Wait, When Did Corporate CEOs Become the New Heroes in American Politics?

Elections
Marc Holliday, chairman and CEO of SL Green Realty Corp, stands on the 54th floor of the 77-story One Vanderbilt office tower in midtown Manhattan, New York City, September 9, 2020. (Mike Segar/Reuters)

“American CEOs, forced into politics by cultural trends and staff demands in recent years, are hitting a new phase — actual lawmakers and rule-shapers,” Axios CEO Jim VandeHei wrote Saturday. Earlier this year at Axios, Felix Salmon wrote about “How CEOs became the 4th branch of government,” declaring, “CEOs must be considered a permanent political force, wielding awesome power. This week’s actions won’t be the last.”

There are a couple of problems with this generous analysis. First, the door seems to only swing one way.

When was the last time you saw American CEOs organize a public-pressure campaign to punish a state for …

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