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Google, one of the Internet world’s largest players in Washington, spent $5.9 million lobbying on all issues during the first nine months of 2011, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks money in politics. The Chamber of Commerce spent $46 million, the most in town.

Even so, online businesses have been beefing up their representation in Washington, the center’s figures show.

Google’s $5.9 million paid for 112 lobbyists last year, more than double the $2.8 million it spent for 54 lobbyists in 2008. Facebook’s $910,000 for lobbying during the first three quarters of 2011 paid for 21 lobbyists, compared with two lobbyists and $351,000 it spent a year earlier.

High tech companies are also learning the value of big names. One Google lobbyist is former Missouri Rep. Richard Gephardt, a House Democratic leader and presidential candidate. Last year, Facebook hired Joe Lockhart, a press secretary for President Bill Clinton, as vice president of global communications.

Bill supporters lost one advantage because former Democratic Sen. Christopher Dodd, chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America, could not personally lobby senators. The Capitol Hill veteran retired from the Senate last year and is legally barred from lobbying his former colleagues for two years.



Senate’s Protect Intellectual Property Act:

House’s Stop Online Piracy Act: