Google building state-level lobbying force, but has been in Florida for years

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This may not be new news to Florida, as Justin Sayfie has been lobbying for Google, Inc., since the second quarter of 2010. And certainly in Washington, Google has been a powerhouse for some time. But four years later, Google’s presence in state-level politics has stirred up rather quickly.

POLITICO reported this week on Google’s deployment of lobbyists into state capitols — in California, Oregon, Arizona, Texas, Kansas, Utah, Georgia, New York, Maryland, Massachusetts and pretty much anywhere else that its many interests have play.

Quoting Lee Drutman, senior fellow at the Sunlight Foundation, POLITICO writes: “Google is an example of a company that has, in very short order, come to value political engagement in a very expensive way. One of the things you see when a company becomes engaged in politics: They realize it’s not just federal politics, but state and local politics” that matter.

Among Google’s state-level legislative foci: paving the way for Google Fiber, which it intends to hardwire into population centers; Google Glass, which has raised plenty of privacy and other such concerns; its autonomous cars, which Florida is indeed a leader in promoting; and the offering of cloud computing services to K-12 educational institutions.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.