Friday, September 22, 2006

Google, corporate interests, and politics

PAC to raise money for causes, candidates; lobbyists on board

Verne Kopytoff, John Wildermuth, Chronicle Staff Writers

Saturday, September 16, 2006: Under fire on Capitol Hill, Google Inc. has boosted its political muscle by creating its first political action committee while taking steps to reach out to Republicans.

The Mountain View search-engine company joins a sizable club of corporate titans that have established major political operations in Washington in hopes of influencing legislation and votes.

Sergey Brin is one of the founders of the Mountain View company.

"Google probably learned that to be successful, you have to make campaign contributions," said Bob Stern, president of the Center for Governmental Studies in Los Angeles and an expert on money in politics. "I'm sure they've been told time and time again by everyone in Washington that 'If you want to play, you play by our rules.' ''

Larry Page is co-founder of the Internet search-engine giant. Associated Press photo by Noah Berger

Google is also a member of the World Economic Forum
Industry Partners are select member companies of the World Economic Forum who strongly support the Forum's commitment to improve the state of the world. The Industry Partnership leverages the unparalleled convening power of the Forum in a unique way, bringing together select Members of the Forum through a series of integrated modules throughout the year. The Industry Partnership will facilitate strategic decision-making for its participants by providing privileged access to industry-specific and cross-industry insights.

Connie Mack, ex-Republican senator from Florida, is on board. Associated Press file photo, 2005, by Kevin Wolf

What does this mean to "We The People", who use the facilities that Google offers us? So far, their primary source of revenues is advertising, and we are offered free email, a free web log, free bookmarks, free too bar, and more...While storing all of this data in their huge banks of servers all over the world, we are part of the data that is brought up in their search engines, and become dependent on a premier service that can't help but to become involved with corporate government.

Should we be concerned?

Dan Coats is a former Indiana GOP senator who will lobby for Google. Associated Press file photo, 1996, by Tom Strattman

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