Joshua Micah Marshall, of Talking Points Memo, points out that Google has hired a DC lobbyist firm with a reputation for being good at courting Republicans, which makes sense, given that the GOP is the party in power.
But DCI, the lobbyists on Google's payroll, have a long history of using deceptive and slimy tactics to achieve the ends commissioned by their clients, who've used DCI's dirty tricks to fight Social Security, and DCI even hired the guy behind the notorious lying scumbag group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.
I think that I probably share more than 80 percent of Google's legislative goals -- goals like a neutral Internet, a lawful book-search service, limitation of liability for search-engines, cachers, etc -- but my biggest and most important legislative goal is an America where open democracy, and not lies, push-polls, and sleaze dominate the political process.
It may seem like fighting the bad guys without resorting to scumbag tactics is fighting with one hand tied behind our backs. But we have an advantage that the other side lacks: we want what's good for America, the Internet and the world. The other side wants to line its pockets and give power to its cronies. They need astroturf to make that look like a populist agenda.
We don't need to lie to make our agenda seem populist and unselfish.
DCI, if you're not familiar with them, is an interlocking group of companies which is the phony seed bed for most noxious astroturf organizing and general bamboozlement in contemporary politics.Link (Thanks, Bill!)
Update: An ex-lobbyist writes:
I think it's important to be clear that the issue is not with who DCI lobbies for (whether we agree with them or not) but rather the tactics they have used, and continue to. There's a good overview here.
Among other things, DCI invented "journo-lobbyists" in the form of "Tech Central Station." A site that purports to have news from sponsors who happen to be DCI clients, it's actually a front for DCI itself, which was disclosed only after being exposed by press in 2003: "The two organizations, Confessore explained, "share most of the same owners, some staff, and even the same suite of offices in downtown Washington, a block off K Street." It will be interesting to see what TCS thinks about Google these days... look, here's an article from yesterday on invasive privacy practices, which Google is getting dinged on, but the article is all about Amazon and Sony. This is classic shithead lobbyist strategy, to take the attack and distribute it to your client's competitors. You can imagine the long-term effects.
DCI's fingers extend very far into the world, in a way that make you sound paranoid if you actually start to look at fingerprints. A personal favorite is that one of the journalists directly on the DCI journo-lobbyist payroll, Michael J Totten is also the Politics Editor of Suicide Girls (not sure if he still is). That's how far DCI's payroll extends. Totten's political notes on Suicide Girls, for example, never specified that he receives paychecks from DCI.
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.