Google has hired the DC-lobbying fixer firm Podesta Mattoon. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Google is working there with Joshua Hastert, the son of Speaker Dennis Hastert. Joshua “provides clients with a broad range of policy expertise – from the defense and high-tech sectors to small business, copyright, and entertainment issues,” says his bio on the Podesta site. Google has now joined some of the most powerful media/communications conglomerates and trade associations in the country who also use Podesta Mattoon to advance their narrow special interests. They include Bell South, Clear Channel, GE, the National Association of Broadcasters, Newspaper Association of America, and the United States Telecom Association. Podesta Mattoon also represents the Washington Post Co, among many others.

Google’s use of Podesta Mattoon and its conglomerate clientele suggests that the search and advertising firm will likely end up siding with the interests of the country’s biggest companies. Expect deals behind the scenes, including on network neutrality. By hiring the son of the Speaker, Google has also sent a signal it’s happy to play along with the K Street Project plan and give work to well-placed GOP loyalists. But since Podesta Mattoon also combines the strong Democratic party linkages of its founder Anthony Podesta, Google’s search for one of Washington’s “well-connected” helps their lobbying agenda on both sides of the aisle.

Author: jeff

Jeff Chester is executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy. A former journalist and filmmaker, Jeff's book on U.S. electronic media politics, entitled "Digital Destiny: New Media and the Future of Democracy" was published by The New Press in January 2007. He is now working on a new book about interactive advertising and the public interest.

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