Of the billions of searches conducted by Google, potentially its most important is playing out in offices above an Asian fusion restaurant: the quest for influence in the nation's capital.

The Mountain View, Calif., company's dominance of Internet search is built on its mastery of advanced mathematical algorithms. But like other fast-growing tech titans before it, Google is finding political calculus in Washington, D.C., harder to solve.

Since opening its office there last summer, Google's attempts to establish its presence has moved at dial-up speed — resulting in a slow and sometimes balky connection with lawmakers that has managed to irritate both Democrats and Republicans.

"I think they've been a little bit too innocent in how the game is played," said Robert Atkinson, president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a tech-focused think tank in D.C.

Google's effort to rally support for rules guaranteeing open Internet access — an abstract issue known as "net neutrality" — has been called largely ineffective by key Democratic supporters.

Get the full story at The Seattle Times