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Google's states of play


But the Internet giant quietly has planted its political roots in places far beyond the Beltway — in state legislatures and city councils that have become hotbeds for tech policy fights.

The company has hired an army of lobbyists from coast to coast as it seeks to protect its self-driving cars, computer-mounted glasses and other emerging technologies from new rules and restrictions, according to an analysis of state records. It's an aggressive offensive meant to counter local regulators, who increasingly cast a skeptical eye on Silicon Valley and its ambitious visions for the future.

Google this year has retained a quartet of lobbyists in Maryland to remove any roadblocks facing its fleet of driver-free Priuses.

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