Google's Aspen junkets for FTC commissioners just the start of its lobbying spreeIn 2007, Google spent $1.5 million lobbying Washington, D.C politicians and regulators. According to public filings, much of that cash went toward getting the Google-DoubleClick merger approved. Google says the rest went toward patent and copyright reform, online privacy, energy independence, getting funding for scientific research and education, increasing the H-1B visa quota and making the case for net neutrality. (Net neutrality is the belief that Google, not telephone companies, should dictate what's carried on broadband lines.) It's unclear whether the $1.5 million sum includes the money a Google-backed foundation spent hosting a 2007 Aspen Summit conference held at the St. Regis Resort in Colorado. FTC commissioner William E. Kovacic attended and he later voted to approve Google's merger. So did fellow commisioners Jon Leibowitz and Deborah Platt Majoras, who attended a similar conference in 2006.