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GOOGLE cozies up to GOP – POLITICO.com

September 21, 2011

Google cozies up to GOP

By MIKE ZAPLER | 9/21/11 4:32 AM EDT Updated: 9/21/11 10:34 AM EDT

Google has long been known as Barack Obama’s BFF: The company and its employees made the Top 5 list of contributors to the president’s 2008 campaign. Its executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, endorsed Obama and donated $25,000 to his inauguration fund. And Obama tapped Schmidt as an unpaid adviser.

But that’s all so 2008.

In 2012, the search giant based in bright blue Silicon Valley has wrapped itself in red, hiring a string of Republicans and even hosting a GOP presidential debate Thursday night with Fox News.

Tech observers say Google is finally wising up politically: Playing clear favorites with one party or the other was bound to backfire in Washington.

But neither the company’s reputation as liberal corporate poster child, nor its more recent rightward tack seem to be paying off so far.

Schmidt will raise his right hand to testify under oath before the Senate antitrust subcommittee Wednesday and likely be grilled by Democrats and Republicans alike about whether the company is abusing its position as the world’s primary gateway to information on the Web.

The hearing is a rare instance of bipartisan harmony, orchestrated by a staunch Democrat and a tea party Republican who both have voiced concerns about whether Google is leveraging its dominance in search to trample competitors and steer people to its own products.

via Google cozies up to GOP – Mike Zapler – POLITICO.com.

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