Planet Google

Googles Goes On the Offensive In Washington: $5 M. in Lobbying and a Republican Lead

They're serious about their D.C. presence.
molinari susan Googles Goes On the Offensive In Washington: $5 M. in Lobbying and a Republican Lead

Ms. Molinari (www.harrywalker.com)

Adopting the mantra “don’t be evil” has a way of inviting extra scrutiny, and and in recent months Google has faced questions about its Street View practices, privacy policy revamp, and even its CAPTCHAs. But the New York Times reports that rather than sit quietly, the company has launched a lobbying offensive, shelling out $5.03 million in the last three months alone. Then there’s the fact Google has a former GOP Congresswoman Susan Molinari commanding its troops in D.C.

If that seems like quite a lot of money, that’s because it is. It’s 240 percent more than the company spent over the same period last year. The number looks even bigger when you line it up next to what other tech companies spent: It’s more than Apple ($500,000) or Microsoft ($1.79 million) or even Verizon Wireless ($4.51 million).

But hiring Ms. Molinari, which happened back in February, is even more eye-catching, given that Google has long been associated with the other side of the aisle. During the 2010 election cycle, for example, the majority of employee political contributions went to Democrats. Chairman Eric Schmidt also has close ties to the Obama administration. But in a GOP-controlled House, those ties aren’t exactly an asset. Public Knowledge communications director Art Brodsky connected the dots for the Times: “Google has always been a quote ‘Democratic company,’ ” and, “by hiring a Republican insider, Google is trying to be more bipartisan, to appeal to both sides of the aisle.”

Unfortunately, none of that $5 million is likely to help with the company’s troubles in the EU.

 

Follow Kelly Faircloth on Twitter or via RSS. kfaircloth@observer.com