Austin Chronicle: How Much Money Is Too Much?

End the Blackmail

Whatever the outcome, Uber and Lyft’s money siege has likely altered the face of local politics beyond recognition. Should they lose, it’s not likely to stop the next monied bullyboys from believing they know better how to spend Austin voters into the ground. Indeed, it’s not even likely to stop Uber and Lyft. The next state legislative session is looming, and it’s certain to have occurred to somebody in San Fran­cisco headquarters (or the companies’ political consultants in D.C. and elsewhere) that state lawmakers are always ready to sacrifice “local control” to major business priorities, and that in general, state reps are cheaper to buy (OK, “lobby”) than are “grassroots” petition drives and elections.

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