Posts Tagged ‘hotels’

Progressive politicos helped hotel industry as it schemed to strangle AirBnB

At the New York Times, Katie Benner investigates documents from the hotel industry’s intensive efforts to use government regulation to derail competition from AirBnB, which focused especially on cultivating “alliances with politicians, affordable housing groups and neighborhood associations” as well as hotel unions:

The association also sought help from politicians in Washington. In its documents, the group said it had worked with Senators Brian Schatz of Hawaii, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Dianne Feinstein of California. The three Democrats sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission in July “raising concerns about the short-term rental industry,” one of the hotel association documents said.

More: Eric Boehm, Reason.

“Miami may target Airbnb hosts who spoke at City Hall”

“Dozens of Miami property owners who rent their homes and duplexes to visitors through home-sharing platform Airbnb spent all day at City Hall on Thursday pleading with city officials to buck a legal opinion declaring their business an illegal nuisance. Instead, Miami commissioners reaffirmed that position in a 3-2 vote, threatened to sue Airbnb for promoting clandestine activity, and then told the hosts who placed their names and addresses on the record that they had outed themselves to code compliance.” [Miami Herald, Eric Boehm/Reason]

Free speech roundup

  • Good news for Donald Trump! Sticking with speech-protective opinion rule, New York judge dismisses libel suit by PR consultant against him based on his derogatory tweets [ABA Journal]
  • “Jawboning” at FCC, under which media companies bend to commissioners’ wishes on content and hiring rather than risk their disapproval, should be recognized as danger to both First Amendment and rule of law [Brent Skorup and Christopher Koopman, Regulation via Cato Institute Tumblr summary]
  • The family of Ahmed Mohamed, of schoolboy clock fame, may have to pay $200,000 or more to targets of frivolous libel suits [Popehat]
  • Harsh epithets, calls for investigation and accusations of whitewashing, rhetorical comparisons to infamous persons could all lead to media liability if D.C. Court of Appeals reasoning in Michael Mann case isn’t overturned [Ilya Shapiro and Thomas Berry, Cato, earlier]
  • NYC, San Francisco criminalize listing property on AirBnB except on authorized conditions. A question of commercial speech [Glenn Lammi, WLF]
  • Can Colorado regulate groups that run ads with the message “call your lawmaker to support this bill”? [Ilya Shapiro and Thomas Berry]

“Points For Honesty: Pool Contractors Want to be Licensed so They Can Charge Higher Prices”

Sometimes the cartel-like effects of occupational and professional licensure are concealed by a sparkling reflective surface of consumer welfare talk. But sometimes, as in the case of remarks by the executive director of the Northeast Spa and Pool Association to a trade publication about a New Jersey proposal, you can spot them floating right there on the surface: “Frankly, we’re looking for a more professional industry — and you can raise the rates you’re charging because you’re … a (properly) licensed pool builder or service professional.” [Eric Boehm, Reason]

Related: “Hotel CEO openly celebrates higher prices after anti-Airbnb law passes” in New York City [Elizabeth Dwoskin, Washington Post] More: “Hotel Workers’ Union Gave $100K to Management’s Fight Against Airbnb” [Eric Boehm]

Labor roundup

  • Want or need to contract out of the rules set by Seattle’s new worker-scheduling ordinance? You’ll have to unionize. Cute, no? [Bruce M. Cross et al., Perkins Coie] Also in Seattle: ostensible safety initiative aims to force hotels to unionize, would require blacklisting of guests even absent legal complaint [Carla Murray, CrossCut]
  • “NLRB GC now wants to legalize intermittent and partial strikes” [Michael VanDervort]
  • Boston city hall to private firms: nice little outfit you got there, shame if it didn’t unionize [Steve Malanga, earlier here, here on alleged extortion scheme]
  • Less a university and more a shop floor: NLRB ruling on teaching/research assistants did more harm than good [Jon Hyman, earlier here, here]
  • NLRB makes it as quick and easy as it can for workers to join a union. But should they wish instead to leave… [Diana Furchtgott-Roth]
  • “Will NLRB’s New ‘Joint Employer’ Standard Discourage Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives?” [Seth Borden]

July 20 roundup

  • Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), and Brian Schatz (D-Haw.) call for federal investigation into AirBnB effects on housing market [Kevin Boyd, Rare] “Santa Monica convicts its first Airbnb host under tough home-sharing laws” [Los Angeles Times]
  • “Florida man claims he invented iPhone in 1992, sues Apple for $10 billion” [Don Reisinger, Fortune, auto-plays]
  • More on why Philadelphia soda tax is a bad idea [Baylen Linnekin, earlier here and here] Reining in FDA, legal home distilling, school lunch waste: 9 food issues for the next President [same]
  • Judge Alsup: once having launched infringement claim, mass copyright filer can’t escape counterclaim so easily by dropping it [opinion in Malibu Media v. John Doe (“motion seems more like a gimmick designed to allow it an easy exit if discovery reveals its claims are meritless”) via Techdirt]
  • IKEA dresser recall shows CPSC acting aggressively. Did it act wisely? [Abby Wisse Schachter, Wall Street Journal]
  • Don’t use “implied contract” to escape the implications of freedom of association re: cake-baking [David Henderson]

“Cities Rushing To Restrict Airbnb Are About To Discover They’re Violating Key Internet Law”

Some localities intent on regulating room sharing don’t seem fully aware that “federal law — specifically CDA 230 — prevents any laws that look to hold internet platforms liable for the actions of their users.” While that law does not prevent cities from aiming regulations at their own residents, it means they might not have the authority to assign liability to platforms such as AirBnB for residents’ failure to comply. [Mike Masnick, TechDirt; G.S. Hans, CDT]

Wage and hour roundup

  • Los Angeles hotel workers catching on to real intent of city ordinance carving out sub-minimum wage at unionized employers [Scott Shackford, Reason, earlier] “Why Sports Authority is throwing in the towel and closing all of its stores” [Kevin Smith, San Gabriel Valley Tribune/Pasadena Star-News]
  • “France might pass a law that makes it illegal to send after-hours work emails” [Washington Post]
  • Boiled at slightly lower temperature: DoL considering knocking down salary threshold a bit, $47,000 rather than $50,440, for its awful upcoming overtime mandate [Jon Hyman; video from Partnership to Protect Workplace Opportunity, group critical of regs; earlier here, etc.]
  • “Eleventh Circuit Reins in NLRB’s Mischaracterization of Independent Contractors as ‘Employees'” [John Park, Washington Legal Foundation]
  • “Relax Everyone: NELP’s New Report Says The Minimum Wage Doesn’t Cost Jobs” [Tim Worstall] “The Economic Denialism of a $15 Minimum Wage” [John McGinnis; Chris Edwards/Cato] David Henderson scrutinizes work by left-wing Berkeley economist Michael Reich backing $15 minimum [EconLog]
  • Idea of abolishing the tip system, pushed by some labor activists and eyed as a fallback by businesses tied up in wage law knots, meets with huge resistance from restaurant staff in U.S. [NPR]
  • “Hillary Clinton Just Turned the Democratic Party Into the Party of the $15 an Hour Minimum Wage” [Peter Suderman]

March 9 roundup

  • Jury tells Marriott to pay $55 million after stalker takes nude video of TV personality from adjoining hotel room [Business Insider]
  • R.I.P. John Sullivan, long-time advocate for lawsuit reform in California [Sacramento Bee]
  • Colleges, speed cameras, and surveillance on buses in my latest Maryland policy roundup; paid leave, publicly financed conference centers and criminalizing drinking hosts in the one before that;
  • AAJ, the trial lawyers lobby, “panned companies’ method of fighting class actions as unfair after member accused it of using the same strategy” [John O’Brien, Chamber-backed Legal NewsLine]
  • In the 1920s, battling chain stores was part of the mission of the Ku Klux Klan [Atlas Obscura]
  • Class-action lawyer Goodson, “husband of Supreme Court justice, recommended 2 firms that got state auditor contract” [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette]
  • “Indian court issues summons to Hindu monkey god Hanuman” Again? [Lowering the Bar]