Today in Connected Consumer

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In the wake of the epic battle over SOPA and PIPA, companies in Silicon Valley have been ramping up their political and lobbying efforts in Washington. Last month, Google hired former Republican Rep. Susan Molinari to run its DC shop and to give the Democrat-affiliated technology company more traction within the GOP. Now comes word that Netflix is getting in the game. The company has filed paperwork to form a political action committee (PAC) to be called Flixpac, which will allow Netflix to contribute money directly to political campaigns. The company has hired lobbyists in Washington in the past to work on specific issues or bills, but this is the first time it has sought to get involved directly in campaigns. Facebook formed a PAC late last year. The growing traffic between Silicon Valley and Washington isn’t just going one way, however. Having put itself on the political map in the SOPA fight, the technology industry — and its cash — now finds itself being wooed aggressively by both political parties. Republicans in particular see an opportunity to capitalize on the Valley’s estrangement from Democratic-affiliated Hollywood and anti-regulatory instincts to win friends in what has been thought of as a Democratic stronghold. Moral of the story: Be careful what you wish for.

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