* StreetsBlog Chicago…
In case you missed it, last week Crain’s Chicago ran an excellent piece by columnist Greg Hinz on Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s plan to raise the tax on traffic-clogging solo and downtown ride-hail trips, while lowering the fee for more sustainable shared rides in the neighborhoods, and earmarking about $2 million of the revenue annually to fund transit. He did a great job of explaining why, despite Uber and Lyft’s self-serving claims that the initiative would hurt South and West side residents, “in fact, it targets Lincoln Park types, and it is intended to shore up CTA service that is far more important.”
However, this weekend Uber tweeted out an earlier Crain’s op-ed on Lightfoot’s proposal, written by some of its official allies in local chambers of commerce, which is full of misleading — or even downright false — statements about the plan. The piece was penned by Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce head Jaime Di Paulo, Illinois Chamber of Commerce chief Todd Maisch, and Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce senior vice president Michael Reever. All three organizations are listed as partners of Moving Illinois Forward, a lobbying group for Uber and Lyft. Let’s take a look at some of the claims from their op-ed.
Go read the rest. Good stuff. Lots of disinformation out there.
* From November 6…
A group of more than 30 South and West side ministers is complaining that Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s proposed ride-share tax increase will hurt low-income riders and drivers, but city officials dispute the claim.
“Ride-share has truly been a blessing,” said the Rev. Walter Turner of New Spiritual Light Missionary Baptist Church in the South Shore neighborhood, at a news conference on Tuesday. Turner said the proposed fee hike would have a “major impact” on people trying to get to doctor visits or buy groceries.
“Do not tax our people,” said Turner, who was among the group of ministers who signed a letter to Lightfoot complaining about the fees.
That’s a pretty darned bold statement to make. Let’s see if she can make that stick. If not… well, let’s just see what happens first. Whew.
“Is this the one where they’re paying off black ministers by $54 million? That one? Or is this a new one?” the mayor said.
“They offered up black ministers $54 million — a one-time deal — if they would convince the mayor to do away with any other kind of regulation. And as we walked these ministers through the realities of what’s actually at stake here, I think they realized that, frankly, they’d been hoodwinked.”
Pressed for proof, Lightfoot said, “I’ve had a number of ministers who’ve met with us and said, `Uber promised us $54 million if you [convince the mayor to] back off.’ … We’ll get those names to you.”
*** UPDATE *** Response…
If this was about $54 million in revenues for the city and not $54 million in payoffs to black ministers, she’s got some walking-back to do. Again.
This kinda reminds me of when Maryann Loncar said she witnessed then-Rep. Lou Lang being offered a $170 million bribe, but it was actually about new revenues for the state.