Former lawmaker named Google's top Washington lobbyist

WASHINGTON Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:26pm EST

Susan Molinari, in her office before a television interview July 16, has been chosen as the Republican convention keynote speaker. Reuters/File

Susan Molinari, in her office before a television interview July 16, has been chosen as the Republican convention keynote speaker. Reuters/File

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former New York congresswoman Susan Molinari has signed on to be Google Inc's top lobbyist in Washington at a time when the search engine company faces growing regulatory challenges.

Molinari, once viewed as a rising star in the Republican Party, will be the vice president for public policy for North and South America, Google said in a statement on Thursday.

She replaces Alan Davidson, who began Google's lobbying operation several years ago. He stepped down in November.

Google has faced down one regulatory challenge after another in recent years, but has come through generally unscathed. It won antitrust permission to buy Motorola Mobility and ticketing software company ITA, among many recent acquisitions.

But it has also had setbacks, including a New York court's rejection of a digital books project, a failed bid for a joint venture with Yahoo! Inc in 2008 and a consent decree with the Federal Trade Commission last year following Google's botched rollout of its now defunct social network Buzz. The decree calls for monitoring that lasts 20 years.

Google could also be hurt by efforts to give consumers more privacy online. The White House asked Congress on Thursday to pass a "privacy bill of rights" that would give consumers much more control over the data being collected about them by Internet and other companies.

The FTC, which also investigates violations of antitrust law, is currently looking into complaints that Google's search results favor the company's other services, among other issues.

Google hired 12 lobbying firms this past summer in the wake of the FTC probe, after previously hiring six other lobbying firms.

Government filings show Google has lobbied on issues as disparate as copyright, taxes, cybersecurity, privacy and patent reform.

Molinari, a Republican, was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1990, but stepped down in 1997. She worked in television for a period and then became a lobbyist.

The appointment was first reported by Politico.

(Reporting By Diane Bartz; editing by Andre Grenon)

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Comments (1)
staff3 wrote:
That explains how Google and other huge patent infringers were able to get Congress to pass the patent bill -”pay for play”.

“patent reform”

“This is not a patent reform bill” Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) complained, despite other democrats praising the overhaul. “This is a big corporation patent giveaway that tramples on the right of small inventors.”

Senator Cantwell is right. Just because they call it “reform” doesn’t mean it is. The agents of banks, huge multinationals, and China are at it again trying to brain wash and bankrupt America.

They should have called the bill the America STOPS Inventing Act or ASIA, because that’s where it is sending all our jobs.

The patent bill is nothing less than another monumental federal giveaway for banks, huge multinationals, and China and an off shoring job killing nightmare for America. Even the leading patent expert in China has stated the bill will help them steal our inventions. Who are the supporters of this bill working for??

Patent reform is a fraud on America. This bill will not do what they claim it will. What it will do is help large multinational corporations and maintain their monopolies by robbing and killing their small entity and startup competitors (so it will do exactly what the large multinationals paid for) and with them the jobs they would have created. The bill will make it harder and more expensive for small firms to get and enforce their patents. Without patents we cant get funded. In this way large firms are able to play king of the hill and keep their small competitors from reaching their full potential as large firms have. Yet small entities create the lion’s share of new jobs. According to recent studies by the Kauffman Foundation and economists at the U.S. Census Bureau, “startups aren’t everything when it comes to job growth. They’re the only thing.” This bill is a wholesale slaughter of US jobs. Those wishing to help fight this bill should contact us as below.

Small entities and inventors have been given far too little voice on this bill when one considers that they rely far more heavily on the patent system than do large firms who can control their markets by their size alone. The smaller the firm, the more they rely on patents -especially startups and individual inventors. Congress tinkering with patent law while gagging inventors is like a surgeon operating before examining the patient.

Those wishing to help fight big business giveaways should contact us as below and join the fight as we are building a network of inventors and other stakeholders to lobby Congress to restore property rights for all patent owners -large and small.

Please see for a different/opposing view on patent reform.

Feb 24, 2012 8:40am EST  --  Report as abuse
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