Google has long held close ties with politicians in Washington, D.C., and according to new data, nothing has changed. Watchdog group Campaign for Accountability has recently released new data detailing visits to the White House by various companies in the tech sector and other industries. According to the data, Google’s head of public policy Johanna Shelton has met with White House officials 128 times since President Obama took office in January of 2009.
In total, the report shows that Google lobbyists made more than 427 trips to the White House. 363 of those were by Google employees themselves, while 64 of the meetings involved employees of companies solely owned by Eric Schmidt. At least 169 Google executives attended the meetings with 182 different White House officials.
Interestingly, as you can see in this really cool interactive chart, Google executives have met with President Obama himself more than 20 times since he took office. Former United States Chief Technology Officer Todd Park accounted for the most meetings with Google executives, however.
Johanna Shelton’s 128 visits are nearly double that of the next most frequent visitor, Alissa Fox of health insurance conglomerate Blue Cross/Blue Shield, who is followed closely by Theresa Fariello of ExxonMobil. Microsoft’s Fred Humphries has visited the White House more than 50 times since the Obama administration took office, followed by multiple people from AT&T and Facebook.
Campaign for Accountability released this data as part of its Google Transparency Project. The nonpartisan group aims to show the effect that big corporations can have on politics in the Untied States. The chart below courtesy of Re/Code highlights Google’s massive amount of visits to the White House:
Google’s close ties with the White House have been reported on before. Last year, a report claimed that Google spent $16.8 million on lobbying in 2014 alone and had “almost weekly meetings at the White House.” Additionally, Google executive Megan Smith was named the Chief Technology Officer of the United States back in 2014, while former Googler Mikey Dickerson leads the White House’s digital services team.
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