Google has hired Sen. Rob Portman’s (R-OH) chief of staff Friday to serve as its chief lobbyist in Washington, DC.
Google hired Portman’s chief of staff, Mark Isakowitz, to run its D.C. public policy office.
Isakowitz will take the top lobbying post at Google’s D.C. public policy office as Congress, the FTC, the DOJ, and state attorneys general have become increasingly critical of big tech.
Regulators, lawmakers, and politicians have chastised Google for its handling of privacy, its dominance in the search and digital advertising markets, as well as its political censorship of conservative and alternative voices on the Internet.
Google has recently brought in new hires to adjust its political operations, such as Karan Bhatia, who runs the government affairs division. Isakowitz will serve as a vice president of government affairs and public policy for the U.S. and Canada. He will report to Bhatia.
Axios reported that Portman has become a central figure in much of Congress’ tech debate and has served as a lobbyist, a House staffer, and a Senate chief of staff.
The search engine’s hiring of Isakowitz arises as Republicans have become increasingly critical of big tech’s dominance on the Internet and censorship practices. Bhatia served as a senior trade representative in former President George W. Bush’s administration.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), one of the Senate’s loudest critics of big tech, told Breitbart News in an interview in September that big tech has an “army of swamp creatures” fighting any calls for antitrust investigations and regulation of America’s largest technology companies.
“Google and Facebook have purchased enormous influence, their own sycophants; they purchased economists; they have funded think tanks. It’s unbelievable,” Hawley said. “I give them credit, they know how to play the swamp game. They have an army of swamp creatures who are out there singing the party line — the big tech line.”