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Uber and Lyft put up $60 million for ballot fight to avoid paying their drivers as employees

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On Thursday, Bloomberg News reported that ride-sharing giants Uber and Lyft are prepared to spend $60 million in support of a potential California ballot question in 2020 that would prevent their workers from being classified as employees.

The push comes as the California legislature advances AB 5, which would require any workers who perform functions that aren’t outside the course of their employer’s business to be classified as an employee — codifying a decision last year by the California Supreme Court.

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Uber and Lyft have kept their margins low by classifying their workers as self-employed contractors who just happen to use their app as a social network to find passengers. This means that they are not covered by a number of protections that employees receive, like the right to unionize or to receive overtime pay.

The two ride-sharing corporations have frequently used their financial muscle to force states and cities to adopt or not adopt laws favorable to them. In 2017, they aggressively backed a local proposition in Austin, Texas, to defeat a new ordinance requiring FBI background checks and traffic restrictions on ride-sharing drivers. After the proposition was defeated, they suspended business in the city entirely until the Texas legislature passed a law preempting Austin’s ordinance.

This massive expenditure to protect favorable anti-worker policies is not entirely unexpected — there is reason to believe that the ride-sharing companies are in fact massively unprofitable even with worker costs kept to the bare minimum, so a defeat on this issue could well threaten the viability of their business altogether.


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Internet blown away by Trump’s multi-tweet attack frenzy lashing out at Dems and GOP alike: ‘You are absolutely terrified’

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After spending the past two days mostly tweeting out videos that are complimentary to him, Donald Trump unleashed a flood of Twitter bile at Democrats, Republicans, a New York Times columnist and Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace late Sunday afternoon.

After attacking Wallace, the president also went after an aide to Vice President Mike Pence -- calling her a "Never Trumper" -- then again demanded to know who the whistleblower, whose report initiated the current impeachment hearings, is.

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‘Never Trumper’: President unleashes on Pence aide after she testifies about ‘inappropriate’ Ukraine pressure

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President Donald Trump on Sunday lashed out at an adviser to Vice President Mike Pence after she testified that the president put "inappropriate" pressure on Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden.

"Tell Jennifer Williams, whoever that is, to read BOTH transcripts of the presidential calls," Trump ranted on Twitter. "[S]ee the just released ststement from Ukraine. Then she should meet with the other Never Trumpers, who I don’t know & mostly never even heard of, & work out a better presidential attack!"

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Trump melts down on ‘nasty and obnoxious’ Chris Wallace over Fox host’s interview with Steve Scalise

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President Donald Trump blew a gasket on Sunday afternoon after seeing -- or possibly just hearing about -- a contentious interview conducted by Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace with Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA).

Taking to Twitter, Trump denounced the longtime Fox host as "nasty and obnoxious."

"@SteveScalise blew the nasty & obnoxious Chris Wallace (will never be his father, Mike!) away on Chris’s lowest rated (unless I’m on) morning show. This kind of dumb and unfair interview would never have happened in the @FoxNews past. Great job Steve!" Trump tweeted.

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