Only You Can Help Us, Trumpy-Wan Kenobi

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 09:  Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (2nd L) arrives at a meeting with U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, April 9, 2018 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Zuckerberg is scheduled to testify before a few Congressional committees this week on the mass usersÕ data Facebook has shared with political operatives.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
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Very revealing move here by Facebook. Many companies try to have some balance in Republicans and Democrats in who runs their DC offices – which is to say, they’re lobbying operation. Top person from one party, second at the other. That’s by no means always the case. It depends on the company. But Facebook is moving toward having two Republicans running its DC lobbying operation – Joel Kaplan and Kevin Martin.

From the Times

The executive shifts put two Republican men in charge of Facebook’s Washington offices. Mr. Martin will report to Joel Kaplan, vice president of global public policy. Mr. Martin and Mr. Kaplan worked together in the George W. Bush White House and on Mr. Bush’s 2000 presidential campaign.

Facebook hired Ms. [Erin] Egan in 2011; she is a frequent headliner at tech policy events in Washington. Before joining Facebook, she spent 15 years as a partner at the law firm Covington & Burling as co-chairwoman of the global privacy and security group.

This is not altogether surprising. Facebook sees reputational and potentially regulatory threats on every front. They can’t afford to be seen as a “blue state” company in DC. They need to ingratiate themselves with the Trump administration.

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