When it needed a permit to park its garish bikes around San Diego, Lime Bike hired pricey local lobbyists.
  • When it needed a permit to park its garish bikes around San Diego, Lime Bike hired pricey local lobbyists.
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Following news earlier this month that Cox Communications has filed to lobby against the issue of so-called network neutrality, its cable competitor AT&T has joined the cause, disclosing in an April 19 statement that it will lobby the city council to oppose “Municipal broadband”

As debate mounted this past winter over the wisdom of allowing dockless rental bikes on San Diego city streets and sidewalks, LimeBike out of San Mateo forked over $11,000 to the lobbying outfit of Rath Miller to get the city to approve a right-of-way permit, according to the firm’s recent fourth quarter disclosure filing amendment.

Verizon and the United Medical Marijuana Coalition each came up with $10,000 to pay the influence peddlers, as did city paramedic provider American Medical Response Ambulance Services, seeking a “rate increase” per the filing. Chemical giant Monsanto paid $5000 to Rath Miller to “coordinate introductory meetings.” Rath Miller principal Phil Rath, who is chairman of the city’s Civic San Diego redevelopment board, has been at the center of controversy regarding an alleged potential conflict of interest stemming from his days as a lobbyist for Affirmed Housing, which has been seeking city contracts.

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Comments

swell May 2, 2018 @ 12:12 p.m.

It is necessary to allow lobbyists to educate officials regarding complex issues. Scientists have lobbied to promote climate action; Sierra Club lobbies to stop using killer whales for entertainment. Even a big corporation may have a reasonable argument over a contentious issue.

But the reality is that most of these corporations are primarily interested in profits and not public benefits. They want territory, they want waivers, they want taxpayer support and they don't care about anyone else. Their money buys crooked politicians and gets them reelected in perpetuity.

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louisrodolico May 2, 2018 @ 3:54 p.m.

In theory our elected representatives should be talking and listening to us. At the Pure Water Council hearing last month Councils staff was actively talking with lobbyists during the hearing, staff was shuttling back and forth informing Council members what the lobbyists wanted, at a time when Council was supposed to be listening to us. Many of the 40 of us that testified against the lobbyist position were not actually heard. City voted unanimously as the lobbyists wanted. It is bad enough that we have a very limited time to be heard. We should find a platform to speak out and stop lobbyists from stealing our voice.

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