Google’s long and cozy relationship with Obama administration

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Unless you’re a Democrat or some other kind of Commie, you probably use Duckduckgo or Start Page for your searches. Whatever, no one on the right should bother with Google. The company has a long history of involvement with the Democrats and the Obama White House in particular.

Hillary Clinton recently poached her new campaign Technical Maestro from the company. Stephanie Hannon, formerly Google’s top dog on product management for ‘civic engagement,’ will direct Hillary’s digital sector campaigning.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The Australian Daily Mail reports

When President Barack Obama dined with a dozen technology business leaders in California four years ago, it was Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt who sat at the head of the table.

Google executives and employees donated more than $1.6 million to Obama’s two White House campaigns, and the online search giant parachuted top talent into both.

Employees of the Silicon Valley behemoth have been in the White House more than 230 times since Obama took office – approximately once per week. At least 190 of those meetings were with senior officials. More than 60 featured Google lobbyist Johanna Shelton.

Overall, according to The Wall Street Journal, Google spent $16.8 million on lobbying last year. That’s four times the amount spent by Apple, whose market capitalization is twice as big.

When Google was under investigation for breaches of the fair Trading Act (manipulating search results) Google co-founder Larry Page met directly with FTC officials in late 2012 to discuss a settlement. About the same time, White House visitor logs show, Google chairman Eric Schmidt met with Obama senior adviser Pete Rouse. The government closed its investigation two months after Obama won re-election.

Eric Schmidt accepted a post on the President’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology. He continues to evangelize about both his company and the president’s agenda, including ‘net neutrality’ regulations that have big Internet service providers up in arms. He was by then already a donor to Obama’s White House bids, contributing the maximum amount allowed by law both times.

Google itself was accused publicly of favoring Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign in a more visible way. Customized search results would appear when users typed ‘Obama’ into a search window, but entering ‘Romney’ yielded no such help.

This week the president’s new initiative linking global warming with public health includes a specific buy-in from Google. The company, the White House says, will ‘donate ten million hours of high-performance computing’ and help scientists to create ‘early warning capabilities’ for climate change-related disasters and related risks for diseases.

Some of that work could conceivably be performed by former White House staff who have joined Google, just as the president counts several former Google executives among his advisers.

It will be interesting to see what rabbits Google can pull out of the hat for Hillary and the Democrats in the 2016 election.



Categories: American Politics

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