By Kim Hart - 01/12/10 09:01 PM EST
Google has hired the head of communications for Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) 2008 presidential campaign to lead its corporate communications .
Jill Hazelbaker will work from the search engine’s Mountain View, Calif., headquarters, the company said.
Hazelbaker most recently worked on New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's reelection campaign and has been called a Republican "Press Pro."
She received some negative attention from the press when she was accused of astroturfing in 2006.
While serving as press secretary for Tom Kean Jr.'s campaign for Senate in New Jersey, she was accused of using a pseudonym to post negative comments about incumbent Democrat Robert Menendez. The IP address used to post those comments was traced back to Kean's campaign office, and the New York Times reported at the time that the same IP address had also been used to send emails signed by Hazelbaker.
An IP address is like a telephone number and is usually specific to individual computers. Hazelbaker and Kean both denied her involvement with the alleged astro-turfing, and Hazelbaker called the accusations "nonsense." Kean was ultimately defeated.
Hazelbaker has plenty of ties in Washington-- good news for a company that increasingly finds itself under the watchful eye of lawmakers. A native of Oregon, Hazelbaker worked on Sen. Gordon Smith's 2002 reelection campaign. Gordon is now head of the National Association of Broadcasters.