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Facebook hires its first Sacramento lobbyist

June 21, 2010 |  3:25 pm

Facebook Inc., the fast-growing social-networking Internet company, has added a new friend in Sacramento: the company’s first lobbyist to troll the corridors of the Capitol.

William Gonzalez registered as the Palo Alto company’s first state-level lobbyist last week. He has been hired to lobby the Legislature and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on privacy and technology issues, state records show. His contract runs through September.

“It's our home state so we're interested in what goes on there,” Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes said in an e-mail. Asked what specifically Gonzalez has been hired to lobby, Noyes said only that, “Facebook is interested in a range of policy topics in California, the nation's capital, and elsewhere.”

The Internet company, which counts more than 500 million users, began hiring lobbyists in Washington last year. The company has also already been entwined in Sacramento politicking.

The company’s former chief privacy officer, Chris Kelly, ran for the Democratic attorney general nomination this year but lost the June primary election to San Francisco Dist. Atty. Kamala Harris. Harris accused Kelly in TV ads of "designing the Facebook privacy policy condemned across the country."

-- Shane Goldmacher in Sacramento