A 'Google' approach to lobbying

By hiring Republican lobbyists, Google is playing the Beltway game but what what a real Google approach to DC look like, campaign reformer David Donnelly asks.

News that Google is hiring a slew of Republican lobbyists hit David Donnelly hard. The campaign director for the Public Campaign Action Fund writes on News.com that he thought the story was an early April Fool's joke. It's not. And Donnelley explains why Google has felt the need to put on the three-piece suit and asks: If Google were staying true to it unconventional origins, how would that company approach Washington?

What would a true Google approach to politics look like? It probably wouldn't wear a suit, charge $500 an hour or perpetuate an exclusive campaign finance system in which a few well-connected corporations, interest groups and wealthy donors win out while the rest of us get left behind.

It's time for some new, citizen-focused paradigms in politics, in how campaigns are run--like the Clean Elections bill moving through the California state legislature--and in how people relate to elected officials on important issues. It is already happening all around us with open-source approaches to politics like CivicSpace and Colorado-based ProgressNow, the political blogosphere with sites like DailyKos, and online fundraising. Why would Google place its bets on K Street rather than nurturing, pioneering and accelerating this innovation and change?