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Yelp Inc. Registers For Lobbying and Forms PAC

An online business review website has decided it needs to have a voice in Washington, D.C. and has started to lobby and operate a federal PAC for political contributions.

Yelp Inc., which operates an “online business guide” and a business review site, registered Yelp Inc. PAC on 1/2. The PAC is based in San Francisco and the treasurer is Joel Edelman.

Yelp Inc., a public company, offers local business recommendations, social networking, discounts and mobile applications.

Yelp Inc. filed a lobbying registration on 12/23, effective as of 11/4. Their lobbyist is Laurent Crenshaw, former legislative director to Rep. Darrell Issa, R-CA. Issa is the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

The specific lobbying issues include H.R. 3309, the Innovation Act Patent Reform, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, Federal Anti-Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation Legislation, and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

In both 2012 and 2013, Yelp Inc. gave $10,000 to the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC), and $10,000 to the Democratic Attorneys General Assn.

Yelp Inc. CEO Jeremy Stoppelman is a regular Democratic donor. In 2011, he gave $30,800 to the Democratic National Committee and $5,000 to Obama for America. In 2012, other contributions have gone to Democratic state party committees in Colorado, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia.

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