Looks like Google's been watching Fox News — its new Google NetPAC, launched last month, made contributions to three Republicans congressional candidates, according to the San Jose Mercury News. The Merc's Frank Davies reports $1,000 contributions to each of Reps. Heather Wilson of New Mexico, Deborah Pryce of Ohio, and James Sensenbrenner, head of the House Judiciary Committee and sometime gavel-wielding control freak. At least two of the candidates, Wilson and Sensenbrenner, have porfolios that implicate the use and regulation of the Internet.
Three of Google's new lobbyists were drawn from Republican rankss: Jamie Brown, former legislative liaison in the Bush administration, and former GOP senators Connie Mack and Dan Coats (Davies does not mention what proportion of Google's lobbying staff that comprises). According to Davies, in the past Google executives have donated "overwhelmingly to Democrats and liberal groups" (he also notes that Google employees skew Democratic). Google lobbyist Alan Davidson says PAC donations are intended for the building of "long-term relationships with policy-makers" supported "across party lines." To that end, Google also donated $1,000 each to two Democrats candidates, Rep. Anna Eshoo* of Palo Alto (where Google HQ is located) and Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan. More here.