The online home-vacation-stay service known as Airbnb has been making a lot of local news lately, thanks to a city regulatory crackdown that has threatened some bedroom renters with back-tax bills. To the rescue have come city councilman Chris Cate, ex-lobbyist for the San Diego Taxpayers Association, and his Republican colleague Lorie Zapf with various would-be reform measures to be considered by a council committee next month.
Into the mix has jumped Airbnb itself, which has tapped California Strategies, the Sacramento-based lobbying powerhouse run by ex–Pete Wilson aide Bob White, to look after its interests at city hall, according to a recent disclosure filing. Republican White’s mission: “Adoption of a policy that supports AirBnB’s continued operation in the City of San Diego.” Another client recently acquired by the lobbyist is the Hillcrest Business Association, which is seeking to “minimize loss of parking to Hillcrest businesses” due to a regional bicycle plan.
Meanwhile, former GOP city councilman Byron Wear, who has also become a lobbyist, is laboring on behalf of Blue Sky Capital, described on Wear’s disclosure statement as involved with “breath alcohol content machines operations.” The company is looking to get permits for installing the gizmos in the public right-of-way.