Google Lobbying Spend Hits New High

google-money-bagsGoogle is spending more money on lobbying than ever before, as legal woes continue to plague the search giant.

By September 30, Google had already spent $5.9 million on lobbying. For all of 2010, Google spent $5.6 million on lobbying. This quarter alone saw Google drop $2.4 million on their lobbying efforts, almost double from the same quarter last year.

As the Federal Trade Commission continues their investigation and the Department of Justice reviews the Motorola and Admeld deals, Google’s PAC has also hired former Democratic House leader and now lobbyist Richard Gephardt. The Google Inc. Political Action Committee has raised just over $500,000 this election cycle from individual donors contributing over $200 each, most of whom are Google employees or their family.

Facebook announced this September that they were also forming a PAC to funnel employees’ political contributions to federal candidates. Though they are also actively lobbying, Facebook’s budget doesn’t come close to Google’s; they are expected to spend just over a million dollars in total this year.

While battling the government on the one hand, Google recently became one of a handful of trusted Identity Providers, receiving certification from the U.S. government under the NSTIC program. Senator Al Franken made waves a few weeks ago; as the person providing unbiased oversight in Google’s antitrust senate hearing, it was puzzling that he filmed a commercial shilling Google’s Get Your Business Online program.

What do you think of Google’s relationship with the U.S. government? Are things too cozy between the largest tech company in the country and the feds, or is it moving along as you would expect? Let us know in the comments.