Search outfit Google appears to be working out new ways to give Washington politicians lots of dosh.
Until now, Microsoft was a big spender on lobbying. Its drinks cabinet was packed with the finest tipples and, if a Senator was really lucky they might walk off with a shiny quarter to help with their campaign funds. It cost the Vole $7.3 million last year.
But this year Google topped Microsoft spending and paid out to lobby the federal government, paying $9.7 million in 2011, up from $5.2 million in all of 2010.
According to the US Senate Office of Public Records' lobbying database, Google paid increasing amounts of lobby money. In the first quarter Google's spent just $1.48 million, $2.06 million, $2.38 million and ended the year with $3.76 million. We guess that was an expensive Christmas card list.
A lot of the money was spent lobbying on matters such as the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) regulation of online advertising, Do Not Track Act, cyber-security, cloud computing and consumer privacy.
Consumer Watchdog barked that Google had abandoned its "Don't Be Evil" roots by buying into "Washington's corrupt "cash and carry" political system.
John M. Simpson, director of Consumer Watchdog's Privacy Project said in his bog that Google executives have no qualms about spending lots of money to get their way.
According to the Wall Street Journal, most of Google's lobbying cash was spent to fend off the antitrust and piracy concerns.