Google Goes to Washington

With a rising company comes rising responsibility. For many companies, one of those responsibilities is being a good lobbyist, assuming there is a such a thing. Over the last several years, Google proves there is.

Just 10 years ago, Google was only around 200th in lobby spending. By 2012, they were in the top ten. Now, they’ve got a 55,000 sq. ft. capital office in Washington. That’s about the size of the whole White House. And their presence in D.C. has put government leaders as well as technological rivals on notice. Consumer rights issues are Google’s main concerns. One top Google lobbyist is Susan Molinari, a former Republican congresswoman out of New York. She explains why Google’s lobby services are needed: “Technology issues are a big ? and growing ? part of policy debates in Washington, and it is important for us to be part of that discussion…We aim to help policymakers understand Google?s business and the work we do to keep the Internet open and spur economic opportunity.”

So what do you think? Now, Google is second to Microsoft in donating to political committees. On one hand, it could be a good thing for Google to have this kind of power. Most of us use Google, and it sounds like they’re standing up for the right things. On the other hand, this could be dangerous. Politicians may be tempted with so much money, power and influence. Our elected officials may forget that it’s voters like you and me who get them in office, not corporations like Google and Microsoft. Or at least that’s the way it’s supposed to be. One of my European friends said only in the US is this normal. But should it be?

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