Uber Used Political Entrepreneurship to Fight Government Regulations

(p. A15) Mayor Bill de Blasio’s summertime battle with Uber exposed vulnerabilities in his political operation and has given rise to resentment among many of the allies he will need to advance his agenda at City Hall.
. . .
Aides to the mayor said they weren’t prepared for the force of Uber’s campaign-style attack of television ads, which began to air on July 14, the day after they met with Uber officials to negotiate.
Uber also ran a sophisticated digital strategy, with more than 40,000 people emailing the mayor and almost 20,000 sending him twitter messages.
City Hall repeatedly stumbled when it tried to fight back.
Aides managed to send emails to thousands of Uber users, saying they were only trying to slow the car service’s expansion–while studying the issue–but were flooded by many people incorrectly accusing them of trying to totally ban the service.
. . .
After Uber staged several large rallies, the mayor’s office aggressively tried to find supporters. But a rally on City Hall steps had fewer than 200 people, and many other officials didn’t want to enter the fray.
Many of the city’s influential black leaders were already backing Uber and had appeared at a July 14 news conference. Aides to the mayor were furious. “It was the African-American ministers that turned this fight,” said Kathy Wylde, president and CEO of the Partnership for New York City, a pro-business group.

For the full story, see:
JOSH DAWSEY. “War With Uber Hurt de Blasio With Allies; Aides to the mayor say they weren’t prepared for the force of Uber’s campaign-style attack of TV ads.” The Wall Street Journal (Fri., July 31, 2015): A15.
(Note: ellipses added.)
(Note: the online version of the story has the date July 30, 2015.)

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