back to article Google has spaffed more cash on lobbying this year than Big Cable

Google has single-handedly outspent Big Cable in terms of lobbying dollars so far in 2014. The ad giant spent $9.3m compared to the $8.15m spent by the NCTA, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, according to the Open Secrets website, which keeps count. The NCTA represents Time Warner and Comcast and is run by …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The only thing more staggering...

    The only thing more staggering than the amount spent is the limitless ability of US politicians to slurp it up.

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: The only thing more staggering...

      Frank Herbert had the right idea, there were two major sins, both punishable by death, corruption by a member of the government and attempting to corrupt a member of the government...

      1. El Presidente

        Re: The only thing more staggering...

        Mark Thomas has it right, politicians ought to have name badges of the companies they are involved with sewn onto their jackets so when they stand up to speak we can see who they are speaking on behalf of.

        1. Hargrove

          Re: The only thing more staggering...

          Shame on you all! Did none of you listen to Harry Reid's impassioned (if somewhat strange) paean to lobbyists after Obama's first inaugural? He was heading into one of the privately-sponsored inaugural shindigs. A reporter stopped him and asked what had happened to all of the campaign rhetoric about changing the way business as normal is done in Washington.

          Reid did not actually use the words "Tut! tut!, my dear!" as he corrected her misunderstanding. But he made clear that lobbyists are great patriots. Without their self-less dedicated assistance and wisdom those who govern simply could not function.

          We in America are blessed, blessed I say, to have so many fine organizations willing to expend so many tens of millions of dollars to promote our common good. And, they do this with no expectation whatever of any return on their investment.

          Further, despite the obvious temptation so much cash floating around poses to our elected officials (all of whom come from impoverished working backgrounds, and had to walk to school barefooted. . . in three feet of snow. . . uphill. . . both ways) not one penny has ever gone to buy so much as a donut hole for any elected official.

          Shame on any reader who suspects otherwise.

      2. Psyx

        Re: The only thing more staggering...

        Hey remember: Google aren't evil, because their motto says so!

        *sips Koolaid*

    2. Fungus Bob

      Re: The only thing more staggering...

      "the limitless ability of US politicians to slurp it up"

      Not limited to the US. Politicians in every country on the planet received this important upgrade to the User Experience as their countries moved off the gold standard.

  2. James 51

    I can see some problems with this arrangement before I even start but what about having a body of professional civil servants who hear what lobbyists have to say, does some fact checking and then writes a summary/report/whatever of the meeting and their findings and that gets passed onto the politicians who make the decision? If the money is at least one or two steps removed, perhaps it would look less like big companies buying the laws they want and are treating politicians as non-executive board members.

    1. big_D Silver badge

      How about banning bribes altogether? Sorry, that should be lobbying budget and campaign contributions...

  3. Alan Brown Silver badge

    Hardly surprising

    Google is trying to undo _decades_ of lobbying on IP which has seen copyright laws taken to ridiculous extremes, as well as a US patent system which is manifestly unfit for purpose.

    There are good arguments for pulling back to the levels of Berne convention. The current situation has everybody beholden to companies which Google could actually buy with pocket change (I'm surprised they haven't gone down this path, like Sony did)

    On the telco side, there are also decades of damage to undo. The Divesture of Ma Bell has been folllowed by borg-like reassembly of the monopolies _without_ that pesky universal service requirement. Every step along the way has been accompanied by promises to regulators that service levels to customers would improve and every time those improvement programs have been dropped shortly after the regulators approved mergers and/or enhanced monopolies - without the regulators blinking, or raising serious questions next time the telcos came calling. (It's pretty clear the people concerned at state-level are bought and paid for by the telcos).

    The federal government's increasingly frantic attempts to stay on a war-footing(*) since the fall of the Berlin Wall have left them wrong-footed on dealing with internal matters which have the potential to seriously destabilise US society.

    (*) Once the feds step down from a continual state of war-readiness, they are required to divest power back to individual states, which runs contrary to the last 60-years of federal power grab. Federal agencies employ a _lot_ of people and they're all going to resist being made redundant, even if the end result is a marked improvement in the USA economy - what the feds seem to have forgotten (but China has not) is that "War sells, but peace expands markets"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Nice try

      But Google isn't lobbying to undo the excesses like the ever lengthening copyright terms. They're doing stuff like trying to change the rules around fair use to remove limitations for their book scanning project, which publishers and many authors have obvious issues with.

      You're apparently still believing the "do no evil" lie, but Google is a for-profit business responsible to its shareholders just like any other, and is lobbying in its own self-interest, not trying for common-sense reforms that have no effect on their business just to be nice as your wishful thinking would like to believe.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    On Google's side on this issue

    On the sorting algorithm of evil, I place Google way above the likes of Comcast and TWC.

    On the particular issue of net neutrality, Google probably also spent less than NCTA, considering it is but one of the many lobbying campaigns they must have, what with patent reform, privacy, self-driving cars regulations, etc. etc.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: On Google's side on this issue

      Anonymous Google defender in whataboutery post shocker! Footage at 10!

      1. Daggerchild Silver badge

        Re: On Google's side on this issue

        Fact-based argument is an ancient tradition, respected by all sides, especially in such serious and nationally important issues, as demonstrated by everyone involved thus far. This is not a place for malignant insinuation or maliciously constructed inferences.

        Therefore you are a poo-poo head and I win!

    2. theblackhand

      Re: On Google's side on this issue

      Google has quickly become the new big boy on the lobbying block.

      How long until Google is seen as an incumbent and is lobbying against the competition?

      1. brooxta

        Re: On Google's side on this issue

        When it comes to the internet Google _is_ the incumbent and pretty much everyone else is small fry.

  5. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Daggerchild Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Dont like it one bit

      Riddle me this. How does a sheep lead wolves away from a flock?

      Riddle me thus. How many of these sheep-seeking wolves are really wolf-leading sheep?

      Riddle me worse. What happens when a sheep declares a wolf, who the sheep know as really a sheep, is really a wolf being a sheep being a wolf? But what happens if the sheep declaring a sheep being a wolf is a wolf being a sheep being a wolf, is really a wolf being a sheep?

      Welcome to politics! :) If you aren't a wolf, on some level, then all the bleating is ultimately about who gets to eat you.

  6. John Lilburne

    As the late Mel Smith would have said ...

    ... "cut off their Goolies".

  7. Bladeforce

    This is the problem with American...

    ..companies. Is it any surprise China is kicking them back? You think China is communist try the west's comoanies. a subtle communist state at least China are open about it

    1. Dan Paul

      Re: This is the problem with American...@bladeforce

      Why do you people single out only American Companies? British Petroleum, BBC & BAE "lobby" foriegn politicians all the time as do many, many others.

      The very basis of industry/business is the better you are at something, the bigger you become, the bigger you are, the richer you become, the more wealth you accumulate, the more power and influence you gain.

      This is the way business works if you are successful. If you are NOT successful then you just fail, die and blow away in the wind.

      All I ever hear from you commentards is alot of whining about how "unfair" US based companies are. Create something BETTER instead of whining all the time. The only methodology you have is to hamstring the better companies when providing a better product or service would be far more beneficial to EVERYONE.

      1. Psyx

        Re: This is the problem with American...@bladeforce

        I did create something better, but Google-sponsored IP reforms made it public domain.

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