Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton slammed the business model of Uber and other companies built on the sharing economy in an economic policy speech Monday. Federal Elections Commission data reviewed by The Daily Caller News Foundation, however, shows that Hillary’s main super PAC decisively favored Uber over conventional cabs by a 25:1 margin.
Uber, which has rapidly become one of the world’s most valuable transportation companies, uses a phone app to quickly (and relatively cheaply) match up drivers with passengers. Even though it directly competes with local taxi companies, Uber differs from them by classifying drivers as contractors rather than employees– an approach that helps them evade many taxi driver licensing laws. (RELATED: France Takes Uber Execs Into Custody)
The approach has made Uber a target of protests, lawsuits, and in some cases government action, and Hillary joined the chorus of critics Monday, though she avoided naming Uber directly.
“I’ll crack down on bosses who exploit employees by misclassifying them as contractors or even steal their wages,” Hillary said during her speech in New York City. She also expressed skepticism for the “gig economy” Uber represents, saying it creates opportunities but also “rais[es] hard questions about workplace protections and what a good job will look like in the future.” (RELATED: Hillary Slams ‘Criminal’ Banks In Econ Speech But Doesn’t Mention They’ve Given Her Millions)
Despite Clinton’s criticism, though, Clinton’s biggest fans have decisively voted with their pocketbooks in favor of Uber over competing services.
Ready for Hillary PAC, which later changed its name to Ready PAC, was created in 2013 to raise money and build up grassroots support for Clinton prior to her official declaration as a candidate. The group’s expenditures are public on the website of the Federal Election Commission, and show substantial Uber use by the PAC’s personnel.
In contrast to this routine use of Uber, Ready PAC almost never used local taxi services. In the same timespan, they show only two payments to the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission for a total of $137.78. There are no payments at all listed for any other taxi companies (though the PAC did rent cars on occasion). The total spending ratio is more than 25:1 in favor of Uber.
Neither Uber nor the Clinton campaign responded to TheDCNF’s requests for comment by time of publication.
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