Demand a Level Playing Field in the Short Term Rental Market
Cronyism is NOT the Same as Competition
Stamp out #AirbnC(ronyism)
National Harbor, MD – While traditional bed and breakfasts and other lodging entities fight to maintain high standards while navigating the regulated waters of the industry, home-sharing companies like Airbnb are doing everything in their power to circumvent the regulatory process for themselves, while the nation’s lodging industry plays by the rules.
“When it comes to leveling the playing field, there are two ways to go about it. You can either raise the cost of doing business so that everyone is regulated at the highest level or you can think smartly and reduce the regulatory burden on those for whom regulations have frustrated their ability to effectively compete. The smarter way is always the better way,” said Andrew Langer, president of Institute for Liberty.
Airbnb has memorized conservative talking points on individual rights and the power of the free market to improve lives and empower Americans, but they’re talking out of both sides of their mouth. In 2016 they negotiated behind closed doors with the country’s largest unions, targeting conservative politicians to tip the scales in key legislative races and donating millions to leading liberal Super PACs.
Langer continued, "We need to find ways to reduce the regulatory burden on much of the hotel and lodging industry--many of which are locally-owned businesses struggling to compete in a regulatory environment that simply doesn't encompass businesses like AirBnB. Rather than calling for more regulation of AirBnB, the Institute for Liberty believes that the "smarter" way of leveling the playing field is to reduce the regulatory burden on existing firms... and that calls for greater regulation are an anti-competitive tool that smacks of crony capitalism."
“Airbnb is forming an alliance with one of the nation’s biggest labor unions”
“Airbnb is in negotiations to cut a deal with one of the nation’s biggest unions…The agreement between the Services Employees International Union and the home rental start-up takes place amid a national campaign being waged by unions and their allies for a $15 minimum wage.” (Washington Post 4/18/2016)
“Airbnb funding attacks in NY Senate race”
“A political action committee funded by Airbnb has spent more than $550,000 on a pair of key state Senate races in the mid-to-lower Hudson Valley in the past 10 days.” (Press & Sun Bulletin, 10/26/16)
“Airbnb set to spend $10M on super PAC created to fund pre-Election Day ads” (New York Daily News 10/11/2016)
Airbnb claims to value freedom and individual liberty. It says it just wants to help the little guy make a few bucks. Their leadership is made up of former Obama officials who donate millions to Democrats to get their way and circumnavigate the traditional rules for bed and breakfast owners and the lodging community.
- Chris Lehane, Tom Steyer’s hired gun and Airbnb’s head of global policy and government affairs led a $70M campaign in the 2014 midterms attacking Republican candidates and has donated more than $16K to Clinton, Barbara Boxer, Harry Reid and others.
- Board Member Reid Hoffman donated $2.2M to Democratic PACs committees, lawmakers and candidates.
- Lawrence Tosi, CFO contributed more than $240K to Democratic committees and members of congress.
Airbnb’s top executives and political operatives are funding the big government, big labor agenda. It’s time to recognize their cronyism for what it is. It’s time to stamp out #AirbnC
Note: President Andrew Langer will moderate CPAC Panel on cronyism and federalism at 1:30 p.m. February 23, 2017.