Mark Zuckerberg appears to have learned the lessons of his Silicon Valley predecessors — he’s not waiting to get caught in Washington’s cross hairs before trying to find friends on Capitol Hill.
In a rare personal lobbying blitz, the 29-year-old Facebook CEO and billionaire is slated this week to meet with top Senate and House Republican and Democratic leaders and the chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.[...]
Zuckerberg’s visit also highlights his company’s ongoing shift from a thriving tech startup in Silicon Valley to a prominent corporation with vested interests in Washington. The company, which first registered to lobby in 2009, now spends millions of dollars on the D.C. influence game. During the first half of this year, Facebook spent more than $3.5 million on lobbying, with high-profile lobby shops like Elmendorf Ryan; Fierce, Isakowitz & Blalock; Patton Boggs; and Peck Madigan Jones on retainer[...]
Joel Kaplan, who leads Facebook’s Washington office, is expected to help sherpa Zuckerberg around Capitol Hill. Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, already a regular visitor to Washington, is also scheduled to fly in for inside-the-Beltway meetings in a few weeks.This is an indication of how important the government has become in the operations and decision making process of corporations. We no longer have free market corporations when it comes to the Fortune 500. They are quasi-free market corporations that influence and are influenced by the government. Steve Jobs was the last of the free market operators that would stand up to government and tell them to go to hell.