By Bill Oakey – April 25, 2016
With early voting already underway for the May 7th election, some of you might still be asking, “Which way should I vote?” Well, in times past I might have suggested that you keep an eye out for good information in your mailboxes. Or, you might have been able to listen to some passionate statements from former Austin officials, and have confidence that you could believe them. But not this time…not even close!
Let’s Get One Thing Out of the Way First – We Should Vote “No,” As In “Against” Prop 1
We should support the position of our current mayor, Steve Adler, who came out against Prop 1 on Monday. Mr. Adler, who has consistently pushed for compromise in the contentious battle, stated that a vote against Prop 1 would be “the only effective way to bring the ride-hailing companies back to the negotiating table with the City Council.” The ordinance offered by Uber and Lyft in Prop One would block the City from mandating fingerprint-based background checks for at least two years. Adler called a vote for Prop One “a false choice.” Then he made this comment, “After the election is over, we’ll need to be at our most innovative, creative and collaborative … It’s going to be in (Uber and Lyft’s) interest at that point to sit down with us.”
Watch Out for Your Mailboxes, Your Radios and Your TV’s
The $2 million plus special-interest ad campaign in favor of Prop 1 marks the lowest level of deceit and outright falsehoods in any Austin political campaign that we’ve seen in decades. It is well beneath our dignity and our values as a community. That alone is reason enough to vote against the proposition. To heap a mountain of false claims upon the unsuspecting voters in the manner that has been done in this campaign is simply appalling. The oft-repeated drivel consists of bogus statements like, “If Prop 1 Fails, Taxpayers Pay.” Or, “Vote for Prop 1 – Uber and Lyft Keep Paying. Vote No – Taxpayers Pay.” The truth is that the ordinance adopted by the old City Council specified that administrative fees for Uber and Lyft would be spelled out in a separate ordinance. Then they left office without passing such an ordinance. So, if the ridesharing companies were to continue paying what they are currently paying, that amount would be zero.
What About the Issue of Public Safety?
It is not true, as Prop 1 supporters have claimed, that the ridesharing companies have been operating here “without incident.” Multiple sexual assaults have occurred, which has prompted the victims’ shelter organization, SafePlace, to come out in opposition to Prop 1.
How Can We Find Out What We Are Really Voting On?
Austin American-Statesman transportation writer, Ben Wear, really distinguished himself for informative, balanced, and accurate reporting in an article over the weekend entitled, “Q&A: What Austin Voters Need to Know About the Prop 1 Election.” If you are not a subscriber, it would be well worth your while to seek out this piece and read it carefully. You can also watch the video online to the recent KUT-Radio debate over the issue. Just do a Google search for “KUT Watch our debate.” The number of sparks seen flying back and forth is almost breathtaking.
Both the Statesman and Chronicle Have Endorsed Voting Against Prop 1
Both publications make compelling and convincing arguments. But to save space in this blog piece, I will only repeat 3 brief sentences from the Austin Chronicle, “First, defy the laws. Second, rewrite the laws. Finally, buy the elections.”
What Happens to Good People Who Don’t Tell the Truth? And Is There Anything We Can Do About It?
Besides voting against Prop 1, there is something else we can do. We may wonder how they can look themselves in the mirror. Or how they can sleep at night. But, it isn’t up to us to judge other people, especially some of our political friends who have been swept up in the Pro-Prop 1 campaign. Perhaps we can all join together in a great big circle and offer support to those folks who slipped up on one of the Ten Commandments. And as we join together, we can all sing along to this fine song.
Make a Donation to Our City, Our Safety, Our Choice!
Do it right now, using this link.
Further musical accompaniment for this blog posting (dancing is permitted):
- “Lies” – The Knickerbockers, 1965
- “It’s the Truth Ruth” – The Big Bopper, 1959
- “Liar, Liar” – The Castaways, 1965
- “Your Nose Is Gonna Grow” – Johnny Crawford, 1962
- “Mama Didn’t Lie” – Jan Bradley, 1962
- “Tossin’ and Turnin'” – Bobby Lewis, #1 song, 1961
- “You’re the Reason” – Bobby Edwards, 1961, or British Invasion version by Gerry & the Pacemakers, 1964
- “Another Sleepless Night” – Jimmy Clanton, 1960
- “I Never Go Around Mirrors” – Merle Haggard, 1976
- “Man In the Mirror” – Michael Jackson, at the Grammy Awards (remastered), 1988
- “It Isn’t Fair” – Sammy Kaye, featuring Don Cornell, 1950
- “Why Don’t You Believe Me?” – Patti Page, 1952
TV clips for your viewing pleasure:
- “To Tell the Truth” – Dr. Seuss appearance, 1959
- “Truth Or Consequences” – Daytime show debut, introducing Bob Barker, 1956
Remember your alleged purpose. You appear to stand against affordability here. I will vote Yes.
Uber and Lyft are not affordable. During their surge pricing Uber and Lyft are both more than twice the cost of taxis. Even not during surge pricing Uber and Lyft are comparable to taxi fares, UberBlack sedan service is always more than taxis.
I won’t vote for a more bloated bureaucracy filled with a bunch of incompetent paper shuffling bureaucrats. The cab companies should have been lobbying for less regulation instead of crying to the govt and paying off Kitchen. The costs will hit those who can least afford it – the drivers and the users – not Uber. The NO argument is based totally on FEAR. Be afraid, be very afraid. No worries – the govt will provide protection – just like the mob. I am unafraid to ride in a less regulated Uber. You can choose to take a cab if it makes you feel safer. As far as your claim that Uber costs more to use, that’s so ridiculous it deserves no reply.
Rod, POLITIFACT corrected Uber/Lyft’s LIES about “bloated bureaucracy” today:
Last comment to a person who chooses to remain in the shadows:
So what? I’m not naive about how government works. The government lies and this is a power play that will inevitably damage affordability in Austin. Affordability is what Bill Oakey and Austin Affordability allegedly argues for. It turns out Bill changed his mind and now opposes affordability. You must be Ann Kitchen. Go peddle your propaganda to someone more gullible. Thanks.