Google has registered a political action committee, made a new lobbying firm hire and is co-sponsoring its first political fundraiser says yesterday's SF Chron...
Google filed paperwork Thursday to register its political action committee, Google NetPAC, with the Federal Election Commission. The company intends to use the committee "to support candidates who promote an open and free Internet for our users," according to Alan Davidson, Google's Washington policy counsel.
In addition, Google bolstered its clout by hiring former Republican Sens. Dan Coats of Indiana and Connie Mack of Florida as outside lobbyists. The political veterans may go a long way in building Google's ties with Republicans, a group widely considered to be the opposition based on the overwhelming preference by Google employees to make campaign contributions to Democrats....
...Google's push in Washington also involves co-sponsoring its first political fundraiser. On Wednesday, the company, along with eBay Inc. and TechNet, a technology industry group, will hold an event for embattled Rep. Heather Wilson, R-N.M., at the Capitol Hill Club, a swanky Republican redoubt in Washington.
Naturally, most every large tech firm has their own PAC, but the Chron story notes some added, typical Google "iconoclasm" to theirs. For example, Google will give select employees "a voice in who to give money to and how much."
Coats and Mack work for law/lobbying firm King & Spalding. One would presume that Google's lead DC Republican Jamie Brown played a key role in making this pick. Coats and Brown teamed in helping Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito make it through his successful confirmation process.
BTW, Roll Call noted much of the above in a Thursday piece. But, it also referenced that Google had hired DC lobbying and public affairs firm The DCI Group. (Mostly) because of DCI's reported ties to an anti-Al Gore video that mocked global warming, many leading bloggers went on the attack. Yet, the relationship is not a new one and hasn't exactly been a secret....
Adding to (Google's) arsenal is the DCI Group, a firm with top-flight corporate clients.... DCI, Google officials say, will help it establish links to Republicans, as well as promote its book search project, an effort to make the full text of books searchable online, among publishers and authors.
(Google) also has shown more political savvy in hiring outside lobbying and consulting firms. Among them: ... DCI Group...
For those scoring at home, it has now been reported that Google has retained the following firms since the beginning of 2005. This doesn't necessarily mean that they are working with them now:
- Capitol Tax Partners
- Public Policy Partners
- DCI Group
- King & Spaulding
In contrast, Microsoft retained 21 different federal lobbying firms in 2005, alone.
Besides bolstering the government affairs effort through outside counsel, Google is also hiring internally. There are open positions for both state and Washington policy counsels. The Washington position's job description leads:
Google is seeking a Washington Policy Counsel to handle U.S. federal government relations and public policy issues in a dynamic and growing business environment. The Policy Counsel will work to advocate Google's public policy positions before policymakers in Washington in a way that reflects the goals and values of the company. Key issues will include those relating to privacy, content regulation, freedom of speech, advertising, Internet technology, intellectual property, telecommunications policy, and industry self-regulation and best practices. The Policy Counsel will be part of a closely coordinated global team, and will be expected to lead initiatives of central importance to Google's mission.
And, just because it's part of our jobs to read every new Google government affairs news story, following is a handy guide to notable media coverage for journalists and bloggers. We're not sure, but there may be a trend here...
Google will flex political muscles
San Francisco Chronicle
September 16, 2006
Google's Search for Political Influence
Los Angeles Times
May 22, 2006
(link is to Seattle Times reprint of story; the LAT piece is no longer free)
Google Joins the Lobbying Herd
New York Times
March 28, 2006
Google hires D.C. lobbyist with a friend in high places
San Francisco Chronicle
March 16, 2006
Google Searches for D.C. Presence
February 3, 2006
Google Goes Inside the Beltway
October 10. 2005