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Google announced they'd hired Staten Island's former U.S. Rep. Susan Molinari as their vice president of public policy and government relations for the Americas, Politico reported Thursday. Politico's sources praised her as a "well-connected inside player" who understands the way Congress works. (We should hope so.) A Google rep said that her mission will be to "help lawmakers and regulators understand Google’s business — both the technology and its impact on the economy and our culture." But of course, news reports point out that her duties will likely have to do with the increase in government scrutiny Google faces lately. As The Washington Post reported last month, their lobbying budget tripled last quarter. As reporter Michael Liedtke wrote, that was prompted by "complaints alleging that Google is abusing its dominance of the lucrative Internet search market to stifle competition and muscle its way into other markets." Those complaints are causing the government to take a harder look at the company, and from the sounds of it, Molinari will give Google some good firepower.

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