Facebook hires former Bush aides as Washington lobbyists
Facebook just made two more friends in D.C.
It's hiring two aides of former President George W. Bush as lobbyists.
Joel Kaplan, previously deputy chief of staff in the Bush White House, is joining Facebook as vice president of U.S. public policy, a new position in which he will oversee the company’s public policy strategy and interact with federal and state policymakers.
Facebook now has four registered lobbyists, two Republicans and two Democrats, Tim Sparapani and Adam Conner. It spent $230,000 on lobbying in the first quarter.
"At Facebook, we're committed to explaining how our service works; the important actions we take to protect the more than 500 million people who use our service; and the value of innovation to our economy," company spokesman Andrew Noyes said in a written statement. "This work occurs daily in Washington, at the state level, and with policymakers around the world."
The two new hires come as Facebook finds itself embroiled in political debates on Capitol Hill over online privacy and child safety. Facebook has stepped up hiring in Washington, growing from a one-man operation in 2007 to a 12-member team.
-- Jessica Guynn
Photo: President Obama takes off his jacket as he attends a town hall meeting at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto with CEO Mark Zuckerberg in April. Credit: Jim Young / Reuters