Two consumer groups have urged the White House not to move forward with the pending appointment of Google's Andrew McLaughlin to the position of Deputy Chief Technology Officer in the White House, saying it would violate the intent of President Obama's ethics rules meant to end the revolving door between lobbyists and the executive branch.
The group says that the choice of Andrew McLaughlin, Google's Director of Global Public Policy, for the position has been widely reported, it has yet to be announced by the White House.
The letter said that Google's growing influence in government and on the economy is not the primary reason the appointment should be withdrawn. "We do not object to Mr. McLaughlin's appointment because he is associated with Google per se," the letter said. "The problem is that he has been a lobbyist for the biggest digital marketing company in the world, and we believe no special-interest connected person should assume a position of vital importance to the country's future. It would be just as inappropriate for a lobbyist from Microsoft, Yahoo! or any similar technology company to be appointed Deputy Chief Technology Officer."
I have been interested in who would receive this appointment and was very disappointed that the Obama admininstration's announcements about the IT czar gave short shrift to energy.
Andrew McLaughlin may or may not be the right choice for this position, but I find it encouraging that the President nominated someone from the a company interested in the energy and environmental impacts of data centers. Google has positioned itself among the leaders in data center energy issues, and I'm able to hope that the administration's efforts in the area will go beyond the cabinet level all the way to the nation's CEO.
Our industry should remain interested in who fills this key role.