Just in time for the November elections, Google has made a strategic move already familiar to fellow technology heavyweights seeking to wield influence inside the Beltway.
The Mountain View, Calif.-based search giant confirmed Monday that it filed the federal paperwork necessary to set up a political action committee, or PAC, an organization designed expressly to raise money for political candidates and causes.
The top priority for Google NetPAC, as the company has named it, will be swaying “critical decisions affecting Internet freedom, innovation, and competition,” said Alan Davidson, Google’s Washington policy counsel.
“It’s simply a part of our company’s steadily increasing involvement in national and global policy issues,” Davidson added in an e-mail interview.
The company began stepping up those efforts last year when it hired Davidson, formerly of the Center for Democracy and Technology advocacy group, to launch a Washington-based policy shop. Since then, it has added Jamie Brown, a former White House aide under President Bush, and continues to employ outside lobbying firms.
The San Francisco Chronicle first reported the creation of Google’s PAC on Saturday.