Lobbyists are often considered an evil that needs to be extinguished, but truly, everyone has a lobbyist they call their own. Properly regulated, lobbyists are not as evil as we think. Well, lobbyists that are not constantly climbing in and out of bed with government are not too bad.
Google Inc. tends to be one of those companies that have lobbyists on the government preferred lists, perhaps the surveillance aspect keeps them on their A-list. Despite a 2012 Inquisitr report that gave a more rosy picture of the Google lobby, recent reports suggest an entirely different picture.
Google, maker of the Google search engine and the Android operating system, is getting a little too BFF with the White House.
Yes. The company that lives by the motto “Don’t Be Evil” has expanded its co-op and bromance with the U.S. government. Reports have suggested that Google has visited the Obama White House more times than Monica Lewinsky visited the Clinton White House.
According to the Wall Street Journal, a representative of Google has visited the White House once a week, every week, since President Obama was elected in 2009. It has been calculated that it amounts to over 230 times from 2009 until now. That beats rivals like Microsoft and Comcast, who have visited President Obama a whopping 20 times since 2009.
That is not where the connection seems to stop, though. Google employees were the second largest 2012 contributors to President Obama’s reelection campaign. Also, a Google VP, Megan Smith, landed the U.S. Chief Technology Officer position in 2014.
Seemingly, as a result of all the hobnobbing with the Obama administration, an anti-trust suit was dropped by the FTC. Considering the crushing blow Microsoft took with the Microsoft Office debacle, and it would appear that the more time and money you spend and bribe the U.S. government with, the more likely you can get out of trouble. Of course, the potential trade-off is allowing the government to track your customers, but then again, they have been more open and honest than the government about that.
Lobbying is a big budget item for Google. As Forbes has reported, they have 100 individual lobbyists at 20 firms. Their lobbying budget increased from 2010–2014, and is now at $16.8 million. That is double their rival Microsoft, and more than triple their rival Apple.
Suffice it to say, Google and the Obama administration are strange bedfellows. Whether his administration or another’s, one hopes the smartphone and search engine giant does not catch some sort of infection, with all the time Google spends in bed with the U.S. government.
[Image via Creative Commons]