Google casts wide net in think tank support

By Laurie Bennett

April 17, 2014 at 8:10am

Like the comprehensive search engine it aims to be, Google covers all political bases when it comes to think tank funding.

The company donates to centrist think tanks such as the Brookings Institution and the Aspen Institute, as well as politicized organizations on both the right and the left.

Eric Schmidt
Eric Schmidt

The interactive Muckety map above shows its broad range of support, from the conservative, anti-Obama Heritage Foundation to the liberal, pro-Obama Center for American Progress.

Google also sent money to several think tanks with ties to the Koch brothers, including the Cato Institute and Mercatus Center.

The modern influence game is not so much about aligning with one party or another, but in shaping ideas that affect business.

As the Washington Post noted last week, Google has also financed discussions on topics such as Internet search competition.

The Post analyzed Google’s voluntary disclosure of its spending and found that the company contributes to almost 140 think tanks, trade groups and advocacy organizations. It does not disclose amounts.

One of think tanks receiving support from Google is the New America Foundation, which is chaired by company CEO Eric Schmidt.

The foundation focuses on problems of the “21st Century information-age economy.” Other companies supporting New America include Citi, Netflix and Warburg Pincus.

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