Can San Francisco's Puppet Mayor Survive Despite His Techie Friends?

Kevin Montgomery · 10/29/14 05:50PM

For much of Ed Lee's first term as Mayor of San Francisco, he enjoyed both the popular support of the public and the financial backing of tech tycoons. Last March, a stunning 65 percent of local voters approved of Lee's handling of the job. Then the Google Bus protests happened, the cost of living kept rising, and evictions hit crisis levels. Within 13 months, Lee's approval rating sunk by 20 points.

Airbnb Investors Finance Smear Campaign as Reward for Favorable Law

Kevin Montgomery · 10/15/14 12:45PM

When San Francisco began considering legalizing Airbnb, the flourishing startup was quick to ingrain itself in the political process. Airbnb's lobbyists secretly helped author favorable legislation, then created an astroturfing organization to strike down the sections they didn't like. And now that the legislation has passed, Airbnb's investors are rewarding their City Hall stooge with a smear campaign against his electoral opponent.

Nitasha Tiku · 10/07/14 08:45PM

Airbnb just got its very own law! San Francisco Board of Supervisors agreed to "legalize but rein in short-term residential rentals by passing the so-called 'Airbnb law.'" Hopefully that marks the end of "almost cult-like" Airbnb proselytizers who followed Supervisor Eric Mar around a farmer's market.

Airbnb Pats Itself On The Back For Hurricane Sandy Charity

Kevin Montgomery · 08/25/14 02:00PM

In recent months, Airbnb has come to resemble a political operator that happens to run a hotel network. As politicians and governments on both coasts turn the screws on the $10 billion startup, the startup continued its astroturfing campaign against San Francisco's so-called "home sharing" legislation and blanketed New York's subway system with ads. But their latest political promo is their most cynical yet.

Kevin Montgomery · 08/08/14 03:30PM

Airbnb just cleared an important hurdle towards becoming legal in San Francisco. The city's Planning Commission approved legislation that allows tenants to rent apartments for 90 days per year. Airbnb wanted more, but called the vote "an important step forward."

Airbnb is Astroturfing Against Legislation They Helped Write

Kevin Montgomery · 08/04/14 06:30PM

San Francisco's politicians have been working hard to make nice with Airbnb. They even let Airbnb's lobbyists make the city's "home sharing" regulations more liberal, allowing homeowners to host with Airbnb without obtaining an expensive bed and breakfast permit. But now that the proposed rules have been amended by the city's Planning Department, the company is staging protests against them.