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Wanna Know Why Obama Doesn't Stand For Anything? — Look At The People Surrounding Him: Ex-Top Obama Aides Now in the Business Of Undermining Unions

Photo by Lady Buffalo.
Photo by Lady Buffalo.
By Steven Rosenfeld
Another top Obama presidential campaign consultant has crossed over to the dark side, not merely becoming a lobbyist but signing on with a decidedly un-progressive cause: working for Uber and against organized taxi driver unions.

“We’re in a political campaign, and the candidate is Uber, and the opponent is an asshole named Taxi,” Travis Kalanick, Uber’s CEO, said at a tech conference in May. “Nobody likes him, he’s not a nice character, but he’s so woven into the political machinery and fabric that a lot of people owe him favors.”

Enter David Plouffe, Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign manager and then a senior White House advisor. On Tuesday, Plouffe signed a contract to work as a top political strategist for Uber, the ride-networking company that helps people make money by ferrying passengers. Uber is in a nasty fight with the unionized taxi industry, which is heavily regulated and more costly to operate. Uber was valued at $17 billion in June and has been assembling its own political army, the Daily Beast reported.

“I could not be more excited to join such a vibrant company and its people who will be at the absolute leading edge of tomorrow’s innovations and changing people’s lives and their cities for the better,” Plouffe said in an Uber blog post, announcing he will become senior vice president for policy and strategy. “It will be a privilege to jump in the foxhole with the team.” Plouffe is the fourth highest ranking ex-Obama campaign consultant to sign on with anti-labor clients, according to Buzzfeed.com, which noted that Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign manager, Jim Messina, left to work for England's Conservative Party, whose platform includes outlawing strikes.

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