Obama’s Uber is using its app to troll local politicians again
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Obama’s Uber is using its app to troll local politicians again
David Plouffe, the Obama senior staffer who helped arrange the Solyndra and Tesla “cleantech” green cash kick-back scams is now working on disrupting even bigger things.
Following the Twitter, Google, Facebook and Linkedin trend, made famous on the 2016 season of the TV series: HOUSE OF CARDS, Uber is also using it’s Streisand Effectand Google tracking-links to rig elections. Uber is not properly disclosing the value of it’s campaign contributions-as-services, so, just like Twitter, Google, Facebook and Linkedin, Uber executives could face campaign finance fraud federal prison time, in a Trump Administration, too.
Uber is putting Florida’s senate president on blast
Florida residents who open the Uber app today won’t see the typical estimated time to summon a car, but rather a message that reads “tap to vote for Uber.” This leads to a second message: “Legislation currently blocked in the Florida Senate would allow all Floridians access to Uber.” Users are then urged to register their support (green checkmark) or opposition (red x) to that statement.
This brings up a third, more existential message. “It’s not hard to hold an up or down vote,” it reads. “There are only three days left in the 2016 session for the State Senate to vote on allowing all Floridians access to Uber. A bill that would do just that passed the House 108-10, but Senate President Gardiner is refusing to even let the Senate take a vote.” (Emphasis theirs.)
“It’s not hard to hold an up or down vote”
At issue is a bill, SB 1118, that would set minimum insurance requirements for ride-hailing companies and would prevent local governments from banning or regulating them. The bill is on the Florida Senate’s calendar, but with just days left in the session, the ride-hailing company is urging its users to assist in lobbying lawmakers to pass the bill.
The company also sent an email to Florida users accusing Senate President Andrew Gardiner, who is blocking the vote on the bill, of being a tool of the traditional taxi industry. “Because Senator Gardiner has taken tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the taxi industry and their allies, we honestly don’t know what to expect,” the company said in an email, according to Florida Politics. “But you can help make the Senate vote to secure access to Uber across Florida.”
Users are encouraged to tweet at the Florida Senate using the hashtag #dontfearthedebate, which is a phrase Gardiner himself used in a recent speech when he was recalling the best advice he had received. That’s right, Uber is using the Florida senator’s own words against him.
“Uber is using the Florida senator’s own words against him”
Uber regularly sends emails to users in policy hotspots urging support for its various causes. But it has only altered the look of its app for a political reason twice. Last summer, Uber added a “DE BLASIO” toggle to its usual list of ride types (uberX, uberSUV, etc.) in New York City, that when clicked caused all available cars to vanish from its map. This was widely seen as a non-too-subtle troll of Mayor Bill de Blasio, who had proposed a plan to temporarily freeze Uber’s growth in the city. Uber was saying that if the plan was allowed to go into effect, availability would be severely restricted. The troll worked. De Blasio abandoned the proposed freeze and Uber now enjoys free rein in the biggest city in the US.
As of midday Thursday, Uber’s tweet has been retweeted almost 600 times. Meanwhile, there have been more than 3,300 individual tweets at the @flsenate handle in support of Uber. A victory for Uber will mean we’ll likely see more of these types of in-app shenanigans from the ride-hail company. But whether this effort to mobilize Floridians will work depends more than just tweets — it will rely heavily on behind-the-scenes lobbying. Uber has seven Florida lobbyists working for it, while Lyft has three, according to state records. If the bill is passed, most of the credit will go to those 10 backroom dealers.
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