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US: Airbnb beefs up lobbying presence in Washington

 |  October 13, 2016

Airbnb has hired a trio of Democratic lobbyists at the high-powered lobby firm Podesta Group, marking an increase in the company’s Washington lobbying presence at a time when “sharing economy” companies like Airbnb and Uber are drawing scrutiny from federal and local lawmakers.

The San Francisco-based online home rental site hired Podesta in September, according to a lobbying disclosure filing. The filing does not specify what the lobbyists are working on, beyond “issues related to the sharing economy.”

The lobbyists are Oscar Ramirez, a former top aide to Labor Secretary Hilda Solis; Paul Brathwaite, the former executive director for the Congressional Black Caucus who also served as a Labor Department senior staffer under President Bill Clinton, and Claudia James, a former policy adviser for Rep. James E. Clyburn, D-S.C.

“We’re always working to educate policymakers about Airbnb and how our platform expands the economic pie for ordinary people by helping them earn extra income that they use to pay the bills,” Airbnb spokesman Nick Papas said.

Podesta is the second lobby firm Airbnb has brought on this year. In January, the company hired former Minnesota congressman Vin Weber, a partner at the lobby and public affairs firm Mercury, to lobby on antitrust, e-commerce and economic development issues.

Full Content: Louisiana Politics & Government

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