I can think of various reasons why people might favor policies that favor their industry. For instance: (1) Naked self-interest. (2) False consciousness: They wrongly come to believe that what's good for the industry is good for America ("What's good for GM..."). (3) True consciousness: They've learned how important their industry is from the experience of working in it. (4) Self-selection: They were more likely to join the industry in the first place because they sympathized with its interests. (5) Coincidence.
Have these reasons been systematically categorized? Do they have "official names"? (I just made up the names in the list above.) Are there scholarly papers discussing this? (Responsive comments only please.)
A second, somewhat related question: How do people feel about a group pushing a policy if that group would benefit from the policy economically? I can think of two possibilities: (1) Self-seeking bastards! (2) If you disagree with the policy: Self-seeking bastards! If you agree with the policy: Thank goodness someone has an incentive to stand up for the right policy!
Note: I don't really care how you, the readers of the Volokh Conspiracy, feel about such groups. I do care what social scientists have discovered about how people feel in general about them. Any scholarly papers discussing this perception issue?