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.