Google not evil enough for Washington DC?

Google’s Search for Political Influence

Since opening its Washington office last summer, Google’s attempts to establish its presence has moved at dial-up speed — resulting in a slow and sometimes balky connection with lawmakers that has irritated both Democrats and Republicans.

“I think they’ve been a little bit too innocent in how the game is played,” said Robert Atkinson, president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a tech-focused Washington think tank.

Google’s efforts to rally support for rules guaranteeing open Internet access — an abstract issue known as Net neutrality — has been called largely ineffective by key Democratic supporters. Heavily lopsided political contributions to Democrats from Google employees have annoyed the GOP majority. And in what veteran lobbyists called a high-profile tactical mistake, a Google executive called before a House panel this year tried to engage subcommittee members critical of the firm in a debate.

“Politics is much more of an art than a science,” said Rick White, former head of TechNet, an industry lobbying group. “Art is probably too nice a word for it. It’s a right-brain thing. These guys really come out of a left-brain kind of world. A lot of them who are very well-meaning, very effective, smart people, still have a hard time intuitively understanding how Washington, D.C., works.”

Apparently Mr. Google went to Washington expecting honest and intelligent debate based upon facts and principles. That’ll learn em.

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