Google Adds Republican Lobbyist

With a greater number of Republicans on Capitol Hill, Google is looking to add GOP members to its lobbying ranks.

Google earlier this month added Stewart Jeffries, House Judiciary Committee antitrust counsel for Republicans, and the company “hopes to add one more Republican to its federal relations staff,” which is headed by Pablo Chavez, Politico reported.

“No one in this town can survive without having a strong balance politically,” Ralph Hellmann, senior vice president of government relations for the Information Technology Industry Council, which represents Google among other tech companies. “The tech community knows they need people who can reach into the Republican House — and potentially a Republican majority in the Senate in the future.”

Google spent $1.24 million on lobbying in the fourth quarter, and $5.6 million overall in 2010 — a 28 percent increase over 2009, according to Bloomberg.

Among Google’s lobbying targets in the fourth quarter: Congress; President’s office; Federal Trade Commission; Commerce Department; National Telecommunications & Information Administration; National Institute of Standards & Technology; Federal Communications Commission; Library of Congress; Office of Management & Budget, U.S. Patent & Trademark Office; and U.S Trade Representative. The Justice Department, which is investigating Google’s acquisition of ITA (and has previously investigated Google over hiring practices and Google books), was not among the departments listed.

Google’s issues included: patent reform; online copyright laws; music licensing; privacy and data security; free speech; censorship; online competition; Internet security; tax laws; high-speed Internet access; and cloud computing.

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