They’re spending über cash to fight city regulation.
Uber and other ride-hail companies spent more than $1 million to lobby the de Blasio administration and the City Council between January and June, according to City Clerk records.
The six months of spending is 70 percent more than what Uber and Lyft devoted to lobbying in the city in all of 2017.
Most of this year’s lobbying is directed against a de Blasio-backed effort by Council members to regulate the growing “e-hail” industry.
On Aug. 8, the Council is expected to vote on bills that would stop licensing of new for-hire vehicles for a year and could increase wages for drivers, among other measures.
Uber spent $876,301 fighting the proposals the first six months of this year – the most of four ride-hail companies.
Along with working as its own lobbyist — which cost Uber $751,301 — the company hired three firms. They include the city’s most profitable firm, Kasirer LLC, a well-connected shop that made $60,000 off Uber from January to June, records show.
Speaker Corey Johnson recently tapped a former Kasirer VP and lobbyist as the Council’s go-to “fixer” and chief of staff.
Patrick B. Jenkins & Associates got $60,000 from Uber from January to June, records show.
In June, the company also hired consultant and lobbyist Amelia Adams, who previously worked for de Blasio’s re-election campaign and former Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.
The last time Uber faced a vehicle cap in the city, in 2015, the ride-hail company spent nearly $6.7 million lobbying local officials. Mayor de Blasio’s proposed regulations eventually failed.
This year Uber has sent riders emails attacking the Council plans, and the app has a pop-up warning of “higher prices and increased wait times” if the legislation passes.
Competitor Lyft spent $72,735 lobbying from January to June, records show, with $60,000 going to Yoswein New York. In January 2015, Lyft started paying ex-Taxi and Limousine Commission head David Yassky $4,000 every two months for lobbying work.
Curb, an app used by most of the city’s green and yellow taxis, paid Greenberg Traurig $64,039 between January and June. Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani practiced at the firm until joining President Trump’s legal team earlier this year.
De Blasio pal James Capalino also profits off the ride-hail industry. His firm made $394,000 lobbying for Uber and Lyft since 2014, records show.
“We will never stop working to ensure that all transportation options remain available for New Yorkers,” Lyft spokeswoman Campbell Matthews said.
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