New Report Reveals How U.S. Senator Mike Lee Switched from Prominent Google Critic to Reliable Tech Ally
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 19, 2019
Contact: Bryan Dewan, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202.780.5750
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Campaign for Accountability (CfA), a nonprofit watchdog group, which runs the Google Transparency Project, published a new analysis, The Curious Transformation of Mike Lee, which documents how Google used its power and influence to turn U.S. Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) into a reliable Google ally after years of antagonizing the company.
Sen. Lee was a prominent critic of Google when he first entered the Senate in 2011. Two months after being sworn in, Sen. Lee wrote a strongly worded letter to then-Senate antitrust subcommittee chairman Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI) calling for antitrust oversight hearings on Google. In September 2011, Sen. Lee pointedly questioned then-Google Chairman Eric Schmidt about whether Google was abusing its prominent position in the marketplace.
Google subsequently initiated a lengthy, multifaceted campaign to appease Sen. Lee. The company built Google Fiber and Google Cloud infrastructure in his home state of Utah, contributed $7,500 to his 2016 reelection campaign, and wooed his conservative allies with jobs and donations.
Today, Sen. Lee is a reliable ally of big tech. Sen. Lee has questioned the needfor congressional antitrust investigations, complainedabout big fines imposed on Google, and defended the tech industryagainst Republican charges of liberal bias.
CfA Executive Director Daniel E. Stevens said, “Sen. Lee used to be a clear-eyed critic of Google, but now he routinely dismisses concerns about Google’s market dominance and privacy abuses. As Congress debates breaking up big tech and adopting new privacy legislation, the public should be able to trust that its elected officials are working for their benefit. Sen. Lee’s constituents, however, are left wondering whether he is more interested in playing defense for Google than protecting their privacy and economic freedom.”
Campaign for Accountability is a nonpartisan, nonprofit watchdog organization that uses research, litigation, and aggressive communications to expose misconduct and malfeasance in public life and hold those who act at the expense of the public good accountable for their actions.