Commissioners Collect Campaign Cash From Taxi Lobbyists While Debating Uber






There is a cost in trying to hold back the future and lobbyists pay it.

Broward County Commissioners have collected thousands of dollars from the taxi and limousine firms and its lobbyists over the years, including while debating whether to allow competition from new ride sharing technologies like Uber.

No wonder commissioners are bending over backward to hamstring the ride sharing companies.  The new companies offer taxis and limousines their first real competition in, ah, history.

For Commissioners, it’s all about money just like most discussions at the Government Center.

Make no mistake about this: Lobbyists buy access to County Commissioners with these contributions.

The same coterie of lobbyists walk the halls of the Government Center every week because they buy their way in.

The rest of us? Make an appointment and wait.

Commissioners deny the Uber debate runs on money. They wrap themselves in the mantra of public safety.


It is about the money the county can milk from Uber drivers and its drivers in fees.

Most of all, it is about campaign contributions.

Take Commissioner Marty Kiar.

I pick on Kiar because he is unopposed in his race for property appraiser. The rest are just as bad or worse.

Kiar reported $64,737.96 in campaign contributions in his first financial report, which was filed at the beginning of the money.

Who held Kair’s first fund raiser? Becker & Poliakoff, the downtown Fort Lauderdale lobbying firm, which represents the anti-Uber forces.

Kiar raised at least $4,500 in cash from taxi and limousine interests while this debate was going on.

Or take Commissioner Dale Holness. He raised at least $6,800 from taxi and limousine interests while this debate was going on. Becker & Poliakoff also held a fund raiser for him.

Any vote by Kiar or Holness to regulate Uber, in my opinion, must be viewed in light of those contributions.

The other commissioners running in 2016 have not filed financial contribution reports yet. But all commissioners have raised beaucoup bucks from the taxi and limousine lobbyists over the years.

In addition to Becker & Poliakoff, the taxi and limousine folks also have plugged in lobbyists at the Tripp Scott firm and the father-and-son duo George and Seth Platt working for them. All are prolific campaign contributors and bundlers.

Uber is using two Tallahassee lobbyists, which may be a technical blunder when dealing with the campaign-cash hungry Broward commission.

Commissioners rarely come out of their cloistered existence to talk to real people about issues like this. So the real people are coming to them.

Thousands of Uber drivers and supporters hasve petitioned commissioners to shape any new regulations in a way that would allow ride sharing to exist.

Commissioners will once again debate this issue on Tuesday.

The petition states:


Dear [Recipient’s title] [Recipient’s name],

 I am writing to urge the County Commission to support changes to the ridesharing ordinance that reflect Uber’s innovative business model. The ridesharing ordinance as written threatens Uber’s ability to operate in Broward County. This means thousands of jobs are on the line, and access to safe rides that arrive in a matter of minutes is in jeopardy. 

Please ensure that the final ordinance enables the Uber I know and love to stay in Broward County. 

Thank you. 


As of the weekend, the petition was signed by the following signers (as of Sunday) by district:



*Kiar: 2059

*Bogen: 1402

*Ritter: 1797

*LaMarca: 2711

*Wexler: 2841

*Furr: 2659

*Ryan: 5156

*Sharief: 1721

*Holness: 1112


Will commissioners listen to the petitioners or a handful of lobbyists? You don’t need a crystal ball to predict that one.





11 Responses to “Commissioners Collect Campaign Cash From Taxi Lobbyists While Debating Uber”

  1. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    Money talks, BS walks. There is a big scam going on w/ Uber right now and the customers c/c info, as I mentioned before. People who use Uber make sure you obtain a secured c/c(easy to get) so your c/c can’t be compromised. As far as these county comm. taken Uber money, who wouldn’t. Considering Uber is worth over 40bill. Chicken shit change as to what they are payin these commissioners. As far as the back ground checks let the STate Att.Off do them. Less headaches for the County admin. off. Can you see me being an Uber driver. Hi, I’m Robert, nice to meet you. You drive the Grand Maquis w/ the Westie in the backseat….

  2. ritz says:

    Ritter has been opposed to UBER

    And she wants to be the queen of tourism?

    She is so out of touch it isn’t funny.

    Lets all make sure she never gets to be tourism queen. She could never fill the shoes of Nicki Grossman who is the true queen.

  3. M says:

    Almost everyone I know is using UBER and loving it. Yellow cab allowed itself to get so bad with disgusting cars and questionable ads on top that they put themselves right out of business. The commissioners had better look out for the thousands upon thousands of Uber users that will be very upset if their car service is gone due to dirty politics. The will of the people is going to matter here unless they want a whole crop of pro Uber politicians to win the next election.

  4. Knows for Sure says:

    Uber needs Ron Book. Just sayin’

  5. Knows for Sure says:

    Any County Commissioner who votes one way or another on this issue is ignoring ethics laws and basically accepting BRIBES from the cab companies. Gaddis has been bribing commissioners since 1960. IF YOU OR I TRIED TO BRIBE AN ELECTED OFFICIAL, WE’D BE CHARGED WITH BRIBERY. Commissioners lie when they say “campaign contributions do not influence them.”
    Only way to fix this broken system is CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM!

  6. art says:

    I wish someone would publish how much uber spent to buy out officials and brainwash the people around USA.

  7. Irina says:

    This is really funny. I do not know about Broward Commissioners but why author of this “smart” article doesn’t ask Senator Brandes about his take on Ube deal and please ask Pennsylvania state reps. how much they received. There is nothing wrong with asking TNC’s to have State approved commercial insurance. I will be surprised if commissioners don’t ask for that.

  8. Irina N. says:

    Dear Mr. Buddy Nevins!
    I do not know what is going on in Broward County with donations but please ask Senator Brandes and State Representative Geatz about their contributions which they received from TNC’s(transportation network Companies. How those 2 elected officials can make any decisions about transportation if they have NO idea about the way it works???
    If commissioners in Broward County made a decision that TNC drivers should have commercial insurance, this is absolutely right thing to do.If you are serving public,you must be registered with local authorities. What is wrong with that????

  9. FinAmi says:

    Surprise. No, but huber giving money specially o the Mayer of Dade county and some commish eras……
    It is time to stop the Huber & Others stifling jobs from the legal workers and drivers, the one that pay tax pass tests and insured. Huber have some low suites like hearting passangers, women violating. Like in Boston, San Fransisco, new ziland, and that why few countries got them out.
    Thanks to BROWARD Comissioners that are protecting us the residents of BROWARD County !!!!

  10. mario c says:

    UBER HAS BEEN BUYING POLITICIANS ALL OVER THE WORLD and sombedy blames the taxi industry. What a joke!!!!
    Uber working illegally buying politicans right and left…..and that let them work illegally all this time in broward and dade. Like that bovo commisioner in miami and the mayor behind the scenes that his son works for the law firm that works for uber. Talking about corruption folks…..bovo and miami mayor are on top of the list.

  11. Plain Language says:

    All this complaining is a waste of time unless you want to reform campaign finance rules. Pointless.