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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Obama Campaign Head David Plouffe Joins Uber

Posted By on Tue, Aug 19, 2014 at 3:59 PM

click to enlarge ubercampaign.jpg
Uber has gained a valuable ally as it prepares to battle two assembly bills that would impose new regulations on app-based chauffeur services — one of which will go before the Senate this week.

David Plouffe, a political strategist best known for orchestrating Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, will take the reigns as Uber's Senior Vice President of Policy and Strategy in September. Company CEO Travis Kalanick announced the new hire in a giddy blog post today, in which Plouffe pledged to provide affordable transportation alternatives, promote public safety, and fight the taxi cartel.

He's just the latest addition to Uber's ever-expanding political machine. The company has already hired a high-powered lobbying firm and legal team to help it surmount regulatory potholes. It's currently sending email blasts for the "California Loves Uber" campaign, which claims that Assembly Bill 2293 — a heavily amended proposal that would require the UberX drivers to carry $750,000 in liability insurance  — would "kill ridesharing in the Golden State."

According to legal newspaper The Recorder, Uber, SideCar, and various trade associations had already spent $100,000 trying to kill the bill between April and June. Uber's latest gambit was to publish the phone number of every state senate office in a mass email and send it to all Uber riders.

Perhaps Plouffe has a more deft strategy in the works.

Lyft, meanwhile, appears to be losing key players. Its COO Travis VanderZanden reportedly jumped ship today and took his entire team with him. 
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About The Author

Rachel Swan

Rachel Swan

Rachel Swan was a staff writer at SF Weekly from 2013 to 2015. In previous lives she was a music editor, IP hack, and tutor of Cal athletes.

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