/// Google Loses Longtime Lobbyist

November 8, 2011  |  All Things Digital

Looks like Google’s in the market for a new influence peddler. Alan Davidson, who’s long served as director of public policy and government affairs for the company, is moving on. “It’s been a remarkable experience – and a very exciting and intense time — but I’m ready for a new challenge,” Davidson said in an e-mail to colleagues obtained by The National Journal . “After six and half years, I’ve decided it’s the right moment for me to leave my current role at the company. Starting later this month, I will be taking a sabbatical to explore other opportunities.” Davidson’s departure is a bit of a surprise and a real blow to Google. He was the company’s first full-time lobbyist in Washington and the guy who established its presence in the Beltway. He’s leaving at a time when Google is mired in all sorts of regulatory issues and facing increased scrutiny of its operarations. So the company is understandably scrambling to replace him. Sources say it’s hoping to replace Davidson with a former member of Congress in an effort to further bolster its Capital clout. Sounds like exactly the sort of lobbyist company chairman Eric Schmidt described in this October interview with The Washington Post . “The conclusion that we came to [as far back as when I was at Sun Microsystems] is that there are two kinds of lobbying,” Schmidt said. “And this, I think, is grossly unfair but kind of true. There’s the kind of lobbying where you pay an ex-senator to get the current senator to write a sentence into a bill, and there’s no confusion as to what this is about. You are representing your corporate interest. It’s specific to your company. In Washington, for example, you can pay an ex-person $50,000 to arrange a meeting to get that process, to get those five sentences written in this bill, and so forth and so on.”

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Google Loses Longtime Lobbyist

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