Mr Google Goes to Washington

Dennis Faas's picture

Google has hired more lobbyists to its staff in an effort to create a strong presence in Washington.

"We're seeking to do public policy advocacy in a Googley way," said Andrew McLaughlin, Google's director of public policy and government affairs. "We want our users to be part of the effort." (Source:

The sudden focus on lobbying strength is a vast change from two years ago. At that time, Google only had one staff lobbyist in Washington, Alan B. Davidson, who now heads Google's Washington office. But when Google co-founder Sergey Brin found it difficult to get meetings with members of Congress last year, Google decided that it was time for a change. The company has hired eleven more lobbyists since then and doesn't seem to be stopping the hiring spree anytime soon. (Source:

Google's strong lobbying presence shows that the company does not want to make the same mistake that Microsoft did years ago. Microsoft's distaste for the federal government led the company to have almost no presence in Washington. As a result, it came as a shock when the government passed unfavorable antitrust laws.

Determined not to end up in a similar situation, Google is concentrating on making valuable connections. The company is planning to initiate Google 101, a series of workshops that teach congressional aides how to use Google's search engine better.

Google has also stepped up its game monetarily. The company's political action committee has raised $57,220 since it was established last year. Google executives expect next year's political donations to rise.

When it comes to the future, Davidson is confident that there's a lot more to come. "I expect we will grow in all dimensions," he said. "We're not finished yet." (Source:

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