Capitol Hill may like to needle Google over privacy and antirust controversies, but the Internet giant’s top lobbyist is hoping lawmakers will start listening to another message: jobs.
“There’s no one who doesn’t want to talk about creating jobs,” former GOP Rep. Susan Molinari, now Google's vice president of public policy and government relations, said in an interview on Tuesday.
On Monday, Google released its annual economic impact report, in which it claimed its search and advertising tools pump at least $80 billion of activity into the economy.
In Washington, where President Obama name-checked Google in last year’s State of the Union speech, the Web’s ability to spur economic growth is an easy message to sell, Molinari said.
Molinari, who represented New York's Staten Island in the House for three terms, joined Google in March as the company ramped up its already burgeoning lobbying effort. In the first quarter of 2012, Google spent more than $5 million on lobbying, compared to less than $1.5 million for the same period in 2011.
Still, lawmakers understand the danger of overstepping and creating regulations that stifle innovation, Molinari said.
“Lawmakers have a right and an obligation to look into things,” she said. “But at the end, we serve the same people. Our users are their constituents.”