Group started by tech investors bolsters lobbying power

A group founded by a number of big names in the technology industry is bolstering its lobbying power in Washington. 

The Economic Innovation Group, which formally launched this year, brought on lobbying firm Steptoe & Johnson, according to disclosures filed last week. Former Rep. John Shadegg (R-Ariz.), who retired in 2011, will be lobbying for the tech-backed group.

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The group also brought on in-house lobbyist John Lettieri, a former legislative assistant for former Republican Sen. Chuck HagelCharles (Chuck) Timothy HagelAlmost 100 former officials, members of Congress urge Senate action on election security GOP Senate candidate said Republicans have 'dual loyalties' to Israel White House aide moves to lobbying firm MORE (Neb.), who went on to serve as secretary of Defense. 

Both will be focusing on economic and tax issues, according to disclosures. 

The Economic Innovation Group is supported by investors like Sean Parker, who co-founded Napster, and Ron Conway, who founded SV Angel. It aims to focus on the benefits of start-ups and private investment in public policy, billing itself as an advocacy and policy shop. 

In the past few months, it has released papers about how private capital could help with infrastructure funding and growth in distressed areas. 

Other early backers of the group are Rebecca Lynn, Joseph Sandberg, Dana Settle, Ted Ullyot — all technology investors. The group is led by a former economic adviser for President Obama, Steve Glickman and John Lettieri, a former Senate aide.

The group officially launched at the end of March, but registered its first lobbyist as far back as January. It paid $50,000 to the Washington Tax and Public Policy Group in the first quarter of the year, according to lobbying disclosures.