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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Spends Thousands on Uber After Criticizing the 'Unregulated' Service

All for me and none for thee.

||||JONATHAN BACHMAN/REUTERS/NewscomJONATHAN BACHMAN/REUTERS/NewscomCongressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's social media solidarity with taxi drivers appeared to be undermined by a recent revelation about her own campaign's spending.

In March, a taxi cab driver in New York City unfortunately took his own life after falling on financial hardship. New York Times reporter Noam Scheiber tweeted a statement that blamed the driver's death on the existence of Uber and Lyft. Referencing the city government's allowance of the ride-sharing companies, the statement argued that "anti-regulation zealotry came at the expense of professional drivers." Ocasio-Cortez quoted that tweet and criticized the "unregulated expansion of Uber."

Despite the Twitter comment, campaign spending reports from the Federal Election Commission indicate that her words only go so far. Fox News found that the Ocasio-Cortez campaign not only spent thousands on Uber rides, but also on a local ride-sharing service called Juno, between the months of April and June. The campaign spent nearly $4,000 on 160 Uber rides and $2,500 on over 90 Juno rides. Spending reports from July and August are not yet available.

Ocasio-Cortez is certainly not the first politician to criticize "unregulated" ride-sharing companies in public while benefiting from their cheaper services. While running in the most recent Democratic presidential primary, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.) criticized Uber for being an ""unregulated" company with "serious problems." He was also one of the handful of presidential candidates whose campaign reported using Uber instead of taxis close to 100 percent of the time. Eventual Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee were the only two presidential candidates whose campaigns could boast spending more on taxis than on Uber.

Photo Credit: JONATHAN BACHMAN/REUTERS/Newscom

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  • GiveMeLibertyOrHandouts||

    You can't help but be impressed by this chick.

    Usually it takes decades to become a hardened "Im know I'm full of shit and you can prove it but I just don't care" politician. And this one has done it by the young age of 28. Hillary and Warren must be so proud.

  • Libertymike||

    She needs to be deported. Fast.

  • Agammamon||

    Deported back to NY? There's no wall (thanks Snake) so she'll just sneak back in.

  • Sonny Bono's Ghost||

    Thats what bridge-mines and Attack-helicopters are for. There A number 1 in my book.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    She's brags on her social media that she is a third generational New Yorker with a background in activism/education. She doesn't have much experience in front of the camera, but she's been in the middle of this stuff for a long time.

  • Derp-o-Matic 6000||

    Millennials, man. Entitlement is one of the few things they're good at

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    She appears to be the gift that will keep on giving.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Peal back a layer or two of rotten Socialists and they are unbearably smelly.

    The smart ones lie about NOT being socialists to get into office.

  • Sonny Bono's Ghost||

    Listen. Maxine Waters is getting up there in age. Its time for the younger generation of blithering-idiots to take the reins.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    What is "Fed Jobs guarantee"?

    Like is she advocating that everyone has a guaranteed job by the government?

  • NoVaNick||

    What is "Fed Jobs guarantee"?

    That everyone can be her and her fellow DemSocs' servants

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    She misspoke. Universal Basic Income does not require a job.

  • ||

    Yes, that is one of her campaign platforms.

  • Jerryskids||

    Yes. And like the call for "prep for automation", it's not really just about Uber, it's about social changes that aren't government approved and instigated. How can you trust individual choice to collectively shift socio-economic forces in non-disruptive ways when central planning by experts who know what's best for everyone is obviously so superior? Who decided we as a society wanted or needed Amazon or Uber or the internet or for that matter, Walmart, electricity, or the internal combustion engine? Nobody decided these things, everybody decided these things. That's no way to run a society or an economy, one where anybody can just come up with whatever they think is a better idea and if enough people agree that it's a better idea it gets adopted and pushes out whatever its inferior predecessor was. It's ridiculous to assume the average ignoramus knows what's better for himself when we have self-appointed experts to tell us what's better.

  • Hunthjof||

    That is a perfect description.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    THIS IS WHAT "PROGRESSIVES" ACTUALLY BELIEVE

  • sharmota4zeb||

    The problem is that the rent is too darn high, because real estate taxes eat up the productivity gains. It might be time to organize rotating rent strikes in a few buildings. Have one floor skip the rent each month. It takes 30 days to get a court date for an eviction. Evictions cost money. The landlord might back down if everyone on that floor finds the rent money the day before the court date. Then the next floor of tenants does it's part. Eventually, the property value goes down without any change in the physical building. This brings down the rent. I don't know. It's just an idea.

    If the rent was lower, we could work 4 days per week and still get by.

  • Restoras||

    So, violate the terms of the contract you signed...cause harm to the property owner...because politicians think wealth grows on trees? You rightly point out that taxes are too high but those taxes aren't levied by the property owner they are levied by the government. So how does your proposal get the attention of the group of people that are the problem, instead of damaging the property owner's profit?

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    ""because real estate taxes eat up the productivity gains.""

    A big social services infrastructure isn't cheap.

  • CE||

    The rent would be lower if the city council let developers build more buildings more cheaply.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    That's not a progressive thing to do.

    More union labor, higher wages, higher employee costs for NYS/NYC new leave laws, excessive taxes, permits and regulations. The city council isn't interested in building more cheaply. In their minds, it's not expensive enough.

  • The Last American Hero||

    Would not work. Property tax increases are generally capped, even if the assessed value goes up significantly. So the damage to the assessed value of the property would have to be much more significant - like 1/3 of the building never pays rent, period.

    Also, the gov't needs its cut. So try a tax strike and lets see how that works out for ya.

  • Agammamon||

    Reading that, I realize that these people should join the Amish. That's how *they* manage these things. A group of 'experts' gets together and examines a new tech, how its used, what disruptions it brings, and then decide how or if its used in the community.

  • The Last American Hero||

    By experts you mean old white men. How woke.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    Improvements do indeed bring about "creative destruction." As in buggy whips, and Sears. But it is the way standard of living actually improves for the better. Progressives would yield nothing less than Venezuela because they either don't know how free markets work or don't care It's about appealing to enough voters to get elected by telling them big momma cares and will take care of their problems.

  • ||

    Progressives [...] either don't know how free markets work or don't care

    That's the exact point of the article: they do know how the (relatively) free markets work, that's why they use Uber and the like. Progressives want socialism for everyone else, they think that they're entitled to the benefits of the (relatively) free market. Same thing with environmental activists: they think others shouldn't fly around because of all the CO2 emitted by airplanes' engines, but they thing that they're entitled to jet around the globe to their gatherings.

  • JoeB||

    Yep, it's like Leo DiCaprio says, "Those hot international tax-cheating models aren't going to f*** themselves!".

  • D-Pizzle||

    I always ask my leftist friends if it bothers them that the Catros are billionaires. Their answer: "a Little."

  • Mithrandir||

    Mandated bike machines to generate energy for those who can't find their own work.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    you joke, but that is an interesting concept for prisons... you want light and heat, make it yourself...

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Oh, I thought he meant providing the energy from the bikes directly to the unemployed people in the form of Electroconvulsive Therapy to cure their depression until they rediscover the motivation to get jobs. That's how some governments handle unemployment.

  • Ska||

    Black Mirror fan?

  • Mickey Rat||

    To generate the amount of energy consumed per capita in the US you apparently need over 600 people on bikes.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    Getting all mathy is showing your privilege.

  • The Last American Hero||

    If we didn't imprison people for chicken shit offenses, you might have the beginnings of an idea.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Ah, slavery, but with more steps.

  • GoatOnABoat||

    Capitalism at work!

  • Kivlor||

    Wait, aren't we supposed to view this kind of stuff as not really much of a criticism of her? I mean, if it was okay for Ayn Rand to take Social Security...

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Ayn Rand wasnt lying about how bad Social Security is and paid into it. She can get a return on investment and try to shut it down.

    Cortez is trying to destroy a company via unconstitutional government regulation (to effectively ban Uber) and force the serfs to use cabs, while using the more convenient Uber to travel.

    Same-same.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Cortez has the option to not patronize Uber and decides to patronize Uber anyway. There's no opt-out built into Social Security.

  • Sevo||

    Kivlor|8.28.18 @ 10:12AM|#
    "Wait, aren't we supposed to view this kind of stuff as not really much of a criticism of her? I mean, if it was okay for Ayn Rand to take Social Security..."

    You left off /sarc.

  • CE||

    Harry Browne never cashed his SS checks.

  • Juice||

    Should have donated them to charity or something. Instead he let the federal government keep the money.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I love investigative journalism. Since most media outlets dont use that skill much anymore, its fun to see crooked politicians get their shady actions exposed to the public they so want to con.

  • Libertymike||

    We need more Glenn Greenwald and more Tucker Carlson.

  • ||

    This spring the U.S. Education Department reported that in the 2015-2016 school year, "nearly 240 schools ... reported at least 1 incident involving a school-related shooting." The number is far higher than most other estimates.
    ...
    We were able to confirm just 11 reported incidents, either directly with schools or through media reports.

    Busted narratives are nice too.
  • croaker||

    Occasional-Cortex.

  • Anomalous||

    AKA Bolshevik Barbie.

  • Chem_Geek||

    She Guevara

  • ||

    Not that I'm looking to protect Ocasio-Cortez but is this the part where we pretend that all the other opponents to Uber and legislators in general drive their own private vehicles, use cabs, or take public transportation? I'm no investigative journalist, but I strongly suspect the Obamas, Clintons, Sanders, Romneys, Bushes, etc. were spending small mountains of money on private transportation/taxi services back before Uber was a thing.

  • Restoras||

    Those individuals probably did spend large amounts of money on private limousine services, but I'm guessing their campaign workers did not have access to that and had to use something else. And why not use the cheapest available to save valuable resources for their respective propaganda machines?

  • The Last American Hero||

    When was Bush, Romney, or for that matter the Clintons trying to shut down Uber?

    There used to be a time when people said things like "I only buy American cars" or "Look for the Union Label" and they actually followed up on it.

  • D-Pizzle||

    "I'm no investigative journalist, but I strongly suspect the Obamas, Clintons, Sanders, Romneys, Bushes, etc. were spending small mountains of money on private transportation/taxi services back before Uber was a thing."

    Mountains of other people's money, that is.

  • Mithrandir||

    Ocasio-Cortez is certainly not the first politician to criticize "unregulated" ride-sharing companies in public while benefiting from their cheaper services. While running in the most recent Democratic presidential primary, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.) criticized Uber for being an ""unregulated" company with "serious problems." He was also one of the handful of presidential candidates whose campaign reported using Uber instead of taxis close to 100 percent of the time. Eventual Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee were the only two presidential candidates whose campaigns could boast spending more on taxis than on Uber.

    Literally the last paragraph.

  • Mithrandir||

    Supposed to be a reply to mad.casual....

  • loveconstitution1789||

    On a non-Lefty run Reason, we would have edit buttons.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Including a 'delete' key for all of Hihn's sock puppets.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    I've never seen a photo of Hillary getting into or out of a cab. Not as first lady of Arkansas, nor since.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    Jennifer Flowers probably took cabs at Bill's expense.

  • Nardz||

    I saw her get thrown into a bus once

  • Nardz||

    *not bus, minivan

  • ||

    Literally the last paragraph.

    You misunderstood my point. I was a bit unclear but TrickyVic gets it (a bit) below. Private limousine services deprive cabbies of jobs just as much as an Uber does. One $5K limousine ride equates to a lot of cab rides. Moreover, one public bus ride is one less cab ride.

    It just seems a bit narrow to think that she or she and Bernie are the only two hypocrites and are only hypocritical when taking an Uber or that spending less on Uber than on Taxis somehow exempts you from the hypocrisy.

  • The Last American Hero||

    One ride is one ride, whether it's a $20 Uber or $5,000 limo, especially when you have the net worth of the Clintons, Romney's, Obamas, or Bush Family.

  • commentguy||

    I don't understand why it is hypocrisy, for the most part. These are primarily rides taken by campaign workers not by the candidates. And sometimes, there just aren't any taxis available. I have had several occasions (back before Uber was a thing) when I had a 40 minute wait because all the taxis in the (medium sized) town were occupied.

    I also disagree that a $5K limo is a serious competitor for a regular cab. The limo driver has to do one job a day to make a pretty sweet salary. Hence doesn't have to do very many journeys. Hence does not draw much share of the market away from a taxi driver.

  • IJustWorkHere||

    Uber drivers are contractors because Uber's strategy of flaunting, fighting, and dismantling regulations also expose it to a plethora of competitors starting with Lyft, but with an incredibly long tail of innovators, some of whom are addressing the low income of Uber drivers, as well as perceived weaknesses in Uber's culture and service. If taxis are vulnerable to disruption from Uber, Uber is 2x as vulnerable to the competitors behind it. Possibly a hard reality, but healthy for everyone.

  • netizen||

    Uber's management seem to be a bunch of shmucks but their drivers are contractors, not employees full stop. They choose their hours, choose their location. Quit at any time simply by not turning on the app. If that's not independence then we're defining contractors out of existence.

  • My Dog Bites Better Than Yours||

    ... but their drivers are contractors, not employees full stop. They choose their hours, choose their location. Quit at any time simply by not turning on the app.

    This is exactly the same as taxi drivers. The working model for a non-owner driver is to lease a taxi from an owner or company. What he does with it is his business - park it all day if you want. Back in the early-mid 1990's the rental gate and fare was about $120 for a 12-hour shift. Have a slow day and only took in $110? Well, you should have stayed home and played video games. Pay the Man!

    Uber drivers are probably more flexible since they much less investment. Taxi drivers need to be careful of what they wish for.

  • The Last American Hero||

    So by exactly the same, you mean totally different.

  • My Dog Bites Better Than Yours||

    So, how are Uber drivers and owner-operator taxi drivers different?

    No taxi driver in the US is classified as an employee. And, by "None", I mean exactly zero. Not one. All drivers are either private contractors or the owners of the taxi. I would like to see where there is even one true employee taxi driver anywhere if the US.

    And, yes, there were days (and nights) where I worked 14 hours and lost money working as a licensed taxi driver, leasing from a large company, in a city with strong regulations.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Socialist twat is massive hypocrite. In other news: water is wet and grass is green.

  • Longtobefree||

    Fake news, my friend. Grass is no longer green because of global climate warming change. It is brown.
    Who you gonna believe, Al Gore or your lying eyes?

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    Right. I'm not aware of any grass that hasn't been underwater for years. I'm sure we all drowned years before we were killed by Net Neutrality or that other thing that was the end of the world a couple months ago.

  • CE||

    Professional drivers? In yellow cabs? Every Uber driver I've had has been more professional than every taxi driver I've ever had.

  • CDRSchafer||

    If by "professional" you mean Uber drivers don't drive like maniacs and actually speak English, well yes.

  • yawbus||

    A socialist telling others how they should live but having a different standard for herself? I'm shocked, I tells ya! Shocked!

  • thorsmjollnir||

    Her tweet sounds like my schizophrenic mother's ramblings.

  • Agammamon||

    I don't get these people's fetish for 'employment'.

    I enjoyed being a contractor. Clear tasking, set deliverables, control of (most of) my own schedule. Being an employee (even doing the same work) is a bit dreary compared to that. And I didn't see any of the vaunted 'protections' that employment is supposed to provide. If the client/boss has no work, I still don't work, and I still don't get paid. Its just more difficult to juggle multiple jobs as an employee to ensure you get sufficient hours.

  • Longtobefree||

    Not to mention that as an employee (programmer) I usually got assigned 4 to 10 hours a week of unpaid overtime, but as a contractor who got paid for every hour, the estimates were spot on as to hours needed.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    It makes it easier for them to regulate and control both Uber and the drivers.

  • Number 2||

    Because you can't unionize contractors, that's why.

  • SMcBride||

    If Uber essentially has eleventy-seventy cars on the road, what's the point of artificially limiting taxis in NY with expensive medallions? It seems to me that regulators could ease up on taxis instead of bearing down on Uber.

  • Longtobefree||

    You ever hear of NY unions?

  • Bubba Jones||

    The complaint is that taxi drivers mortgaged their houses for medallions that are now worthless.

  • The Laissez-Ferret||

    They should go work for Uber. I hear they're hiring!

  • clarkcountycriminalcops||

    So they made a bad business decisions.

  • RPGuy16||

    They should be riding the bus with the rest of the proletariat.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Or walking. Eventually the bus will become a privilege, probably more through fiscal mismanagement than intent.

  • Len Bias||

    You guys are looking at this from a short term angle. The long term view is she needs to save money by riding Uber so she can then spend it more effectively elsewhere. Once she gets in power she can then strengthen existing institutions (like taxis) and crush emerging ones (like Uber). Just as she doesn't expect you to understand why taxis are superior to Uber, she doesn't expect you to understand why her taking Uber is necessary.

  • The Last American Hero||

    Ah, just like Comrade Gore and his huge carbon footprint, what with the houses, parade of SUV's, and the private jets.

  • Truthteller1||

    She has shit the bed over and over and mainstream media totally ignores the mess.

  • CDRSchafer||

    The only thing I'd trust this dingbat to do is to serve a watered down purple hooter.

  • Darth Soros||

    Crazy Eye Alex rides again! If you go to YouTube and search for "Ocasio-Cortez Crazy Eyes," it will take you to a hilarious video of her giving you the Crazy Eye with various funny captions. My favorite is "Have you accepted your Lord and Savior, the State?"

    Tony would probably see that and think, "I don't get it. What's the joke?"

  • Smokert5555||

    Let's call it as it really is:

    Uber drivers are legally working as independent contractors. Meaning they are not directly hired by the company. Meaning they are not employees, but agree to conduct company business under certain rules and regs.

    Since unemployment generally hovers around 5%, we can see we don't need a jobs guarantee. There are plenty of jobs out there. What we really need is worker education programs, to train workers to work more productive (and higher paying) jobs.

    I'd hope people realize any one of the suicides could have switched to driving for Uber/Lyft instead of sticking with a losing industry or going into complete despair. People don't seem to realize the jobs are not theirs for life. Many people throughout our history have lost their jobs due to progress as a nation. That happens when you try to ride a dying industry to the bitter end. Reeducation is the key to keeping any trouble to a minimum.

  • Fooseven||

    I bet the suicide was also credited as another example of gun violence

  • John C. Randolph||

    Uber should refuse to do business with anyone who wants them to go out of business.

    -jcr

  • Will Seth||

    OK...She's pretty, latino and a woman. The Democrats dream candidate. Too bad she's as dumb as a box of rocks.

  • HANSENWT||

    Minor issue, good speech writers, an earmike, and the media can help with that.

  • KhalilahThomure||

    I saw a wonderful performance created in Las Vegas where people acting like gods so people you need to watch it at any rate! It calls Jersey boys and you can buy tickets just here https://jerseyboysshowtickets.com/ and enjoy the performance.

  • Salero21||

    This woman is both Ignorant and Stupid.

  • ||

    This chick is something else.

    And people who vote for her are special.

  • HANSENWT||

    What? She is not what she seems?...nooooooooo!!!! say it isn't so!!!!!

  • tlapp||

    Don't worry when it is regulated and the costs increase due to the regulation she will be sure to blame the greedy private sector for gouging customers.

  • clarkcountycriminalcops||

    She thinks Uber drivers should be considered employees rather than independent contractors so that means she can't use Uber?

    I think all cars need to be safer and more fuel efficient, so I guess that means I can't ever drive a car now.

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