GOP operative Katie Harbath

Internet giants Google and Facebook have gone right — right wing that is — hiring Republican operatives as lobbyists as both boost their Washington presence in an effort to influence legislation.

Google, long known for its left-leaning political persuasion, is suddenly dumping money into right-wing organizations like The Heritage Foundation, the American Enterprise Institute, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Republican Governors Association, The Republican Attorneys General Association and the Republican State Crossroads Committee.

Some companies hire lobbyists. Google hires entire lobbying firms — 18 of them in the last few months.  And last week, Google teamed with right-leaning Fox News to co-sponsor a presidential debate.

Facebook, which only recently entered the Washington influence game, filed paperwork this week to create “FB PAC” and hired Katie Harbath, a former digital strategist for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, as associate manager of policy in the company’s new Washington office.  Other GOP operatives have joined Facebook’s Washington operation.

Facebook is also building alliances with conservative organizations like the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

“Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy and we believe that Facebook can be a tremendous tool to fuel their growth and success,” says Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook Chief Operating Officer.

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