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A Vote For Uber Is A Vote For Trump

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This November, California voters will denounce Trump in a landslide. However, Proposition 22, the craftily-composed carveout preserving special rights for Uber and Lyft, threatens to undermine the blue wave by furthering Trump's agenda within the state. Here are just a few of the reasons why any sane voter should oppose Prop 22:

The poison pill

First off, let's start with the most extremist aspect of Prop 22: it will be unrepealable and unalterable. Prop 22 includes language specifying that the votes of 7/8ths of the membership of BOTH houses of the state legislature would be required to amend ANY section of the bill. The effect would be to make any future regulation of Uber and Lyft--for any reason whatsoever--simply impossible.

"It's a super, super, super majority. It's crazy," said Mary-Beth Moylan, an associate dean at the University of the Pacific's McGeorge Law School in Sacramento, California. "I've never seen this before." (Bloomberg)

The paranoia doesn't stop there. Language in the bill notes that it is certain to face legal challenges, and that "both the Governor and Attorney General" might "refuse to defend this act". To fight this likelihood the bill takes a further insane step:

a continuous appropriation is hereby made from the General Fund to the Controller, without regard to fiscal years, in an amount necessary to cover the costs of retaining independent counsel to faithfully and vigorously defend this act...

That's right: the State would be required to hire "independent counsel" to defend Prop 22 against any legal challenges, at the taxpayers' expense, as long as Prop 22 remains in effect.

Even if you support everything else about Prop 22, you should vote no, on account of this poison pill.

What's so Trumpian about this? Prop 22 furthers Trump's agenda of dismantling local regulatory power and subverting democratic oversight to the will of corporations. He has worked to corrupt the US government and weaken or pervert essential agencies like the EPA, the FDA, and the postal service by leaving appointments vacant or filling them with his own cronies. And of course he has also packed the courts, from the Supreme Court on down, with corrupt patsies to do his bidding.

Prop 22 is ten pages long, which is a lot more than 140 characters. But if Trump were to read it, he would no doubt be impressed: it's a monkeywrench thrown into the gears of the state, that sucks up taxpayer money in the defense of its own private interests. A lot like Trump himself!

But's that's not all--not only does Prop 22 free Uber and Lyft from any future regulation, it helps them get out of paying their fair share of taxes. Sound familiar?

(To be continued.)

(Article changed on October 22, 2020 at 17:53)

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Anthony Kalamar is an independent scholar and writer on environmental and technology issues.

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