Rep Hill: Skink & JC not “a Relevant Source of Political Analysis”. Really? Uber Awesome!


I don’t have time to flesh this story out, but Rep Hill took some swipes at 4&20, and the quality of their political analyses during the absence of jhwygirl and Jay Stevens:

I know from others who work in the trenches of the Capitol that we really didn’t find 4&20 to be a relevant source of political analysis any longer. — Rep. Ellie Hill (D) HD94

I’m sure some of her disdain for us stems from our criticism of her legislation deregulating motor carrier laws to allow ridesharing companies like Uber to operate in Montana.

Well, after reading the Reuters news today that the California Labor Commission has determined that Uber drivers are employees, not contractors, it shines a light on the bill Rep Hill shepherded through the Montana Legislature granting Uber and other ridesharing companies the right to operate in the state.

June 17 (Reuters) – A San Francisco-based driver for smartphone-based ride-hailing service Uber is an employee, not a contractor, according to a ruling by the California Labor Commission.

The ruling, filed on Tuesday in state court in San Francisco, said Uber is “involved in every aspect of the operation.” It is the latest in a host of legal and regulatory challenges facing Uber in the United States and other countries.

Uber had argued its drivers are independent contractors, not employees, and that it is “nothing more than a neutral technology platform.”

If Uber drivers are employees, that opens Uber up to higher costs, including Social Security, workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance.

Rep Hill’s bill is entirely based on a false premise that Uber’s drivers are contractors, and not employees, and is written in a fashion that if in Montana drivers are likewise deemed to be employees then many unexpected things will happen — like a driver who is an employee for Uber must carry the liability insurance to protect his employer. Nice… for Uber.

Rep Hill’s Uber bill confuses the distinction between contractors and employees. To those of us who work as true independent contractors, it is apparent that her legislation neglected to anticipate the problems with Uber drivers being classified as employees, but also created a type of contractor (ridesharing driver) that could be exploited by a business model intended to enrich the corporation at the expense of the employee disguised as a contractor.

So, of course democrats like Hill don’t like political analyses by Skink and I when we criticize poorly thought out and badly written legislation — legislation that does a great disservice to the history of the democrat party as protector of unions and workers.

Let’s see democrats response if/when the classification of Uber’s drivers as “contractors” is challenged in Montana.


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14 Responses to Rep Hill: Skink & JC not “a Relevant Source of Political Analysis”. Really? Uber Awesome!

  1. Big Swede says:

    ” the California Labor Commission has determined that Uber drivers are employees, not contractors”

    I was wondering if the CLC has ever driven by a Home Depot and seen the Mexican “contractors”?

    • JC says:

      What’s your point? I know people who have been subcontractors for Home Depot (and Lowes). Seems that they met the legal requirements for contractor/subcontractor relationships. If homeowners are hiring contractors (Mexican or American), it is their responsibility to follow the law. What I know is that some homeowners and businesses love to hire “contractors” who may be ducking legal requirements in order to exploit cheaper rates.

      So your wonderment is more about the ethicality of home and business owners who are willing to circumvent the law and exploit people. How do you feel about that? Ever hire migrant laborers to work on your plantation? That’s on you, not them.

      • Big Swede says:

        Selective outrage/enforcement.

        I’d wager there’s more illegal under the table roofers in Billings than Uber drivers in the whole state.

    • Steve W says:

      Swede I wonder if you can ever focus on the subject at hand instead of attempting to spin it off into something substantially or completely unrelated yet somehow supporting racism, classism, or less freedom for everyone.

      Please comment on Uber because I’d like to know what your opinion is about Uber, the CA ruling, and Rep Hill’s bill. i don’t want to hear, yet again, about your fixation on undocumented casual day labor or other GOP talking points.

      Is that too much to ask? My guess is yes.

      JC, I agree with your conclusions regarding Rep. Hill’s bill and her motivation in putting herself between people.

      While I usually agree with Rep Hill’s voting record, i also agree that we the voters have to hold ALL of our Reps accountable on ALL of their votes. Apparently Ellie thinks she deserves a pass on the Uber issue. Sorry Ellie, it doesn’t work like that. And you of all people should know better.

      • Big Swede says:

        I dislike being mired down into details, I’m more concerned about motives and the bigger picture.

        This country was founded on two basic freedoms. Freedom to worship as you please and the freedom to pursue employment or careers to your liking. 16th Century England limited choices, you were what your father was or was permitted to join a guild.

        Our system of licenses and/or unions in a way is a giant step toward what our forefathers left. Uber breaks the barriers of asking someone’s permission.

      • JC says:

        Well, America was founded on more than the two basic freedoms you refer to (Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights… ‘member?).

        16th century England also propelled medieval notions of the corporation into the modern era, where it was eventually codified into U.S. law, with many a medieval underpinning. Of what use is it to complain about unions or trade associations when they were one way to protect workers from the predatory nature of corporations?

        One just has to look at the plantation/slavery example our “forefathers” set for the people, pitting the oligarchs against the commoners with many different constructions starting with the Senate and the House, voting rights, land ownership…

        Contracting law has always had at least two purposes: protect the contractor from predation by the corporation, businesses or individuals; and protect those who hire contractors from sub-standard work, liability, failure to perform, etc.

        The Uber example clearly pits contractors, unions, businesses and multinational corporations against each other. One would hope that legislators would either legislate to clarify the issues, or refrain from making a bad situation worse by legislating rules in one place and deregulating in another based on a flawed understanding of the basic roles of the parties involved.

        That you would agree with Rep. Hill’s Uber legislation is very telling. She would welcome that. But when us leftists agree with far right anarcho-syndicalists like yourself on other issues like the fed, debt, freedom & liberty, etc., we’re labelled extremists responsible for the failures of democrats to elect more of their own. Go figure…

        • Big Swede says:

          I’m looking at the plantation of urban America JC. Leftists want the downtrodden to remain on the “farm” with incentives for single parenting and multi dependent children. Do you ever step back and ponder that perspective? Have union entrenched schools really enhanced the the learning process in those areas and yet when successful alternatives are applied they’re vilified much like Uber.

          The fact that a private internet based Taxi service has created this flak is telling. The Progs know it’ll be successful based on where it’s established presently and they know this another chink in the armor of a guild type society.

        • Your mind seems a cacophony of stereotypes bouncing around like ping pong balls in a vacuum.

  2. JC says:

    The NY Times adds some more fodder to the story:

    Uber has faced legal action in the past over the status of its workers. Drivers have filed class-action lawsuits against the company, including in Federal District Court in San Francisco, saying they were misclassified as independent contractors.

    “Uber has been fighting very hard against any decisions like this coming out, and when a fact-finder sat down and looked at the situation, they determined that Uber is an employer,” said Shannon Liss-Riordan, a Boston-based employee and labor rights lawyer who is involved in the class-action lawsuits on behalf of drivers against Uber.

  3. steve kelly says:

    I’d wager there’s more than the Uber issue standing between Ms. Ellie Boldman-Hill Smith and banished 4 & 20 bloggers. It’s more like “dogs and cats” at multiple levels.

  4. Pardon me for pasting a long list here, but maybe you will fin it useful. These are called “Techniques of Argumentation Used in Propaganda,” and I think that Rep. Hill’s is “Dismissiveness.””

    Ad hominem sallies
    Bald assertions that are misstatements
    Bandwagon psychology
    Bizarre non-sequiturs
    Diminishment of importance of the important
    Diversions (e.g., not answering the question)
    Failure to provide minimal evidence
    Fake humility
    Fake open-mindedness
    False parallels
    False syllogisms
    Framing to exclude contrary outlooks
    Ignorance flaunted as admirable
    Inappropriate selectivity
    Internal contradiction
    Major premises hidden in passing
    Misleading asides
    Mixing apples and oranges
    Restriction of options
    Scare tactics
    Setting up straw men
    Sweeping generalizations
    Word inflation

    • Which reminds me: Now that the usual suspects are running 4&20 again, she’ll be happy as they’;ll be “Framing to exclude contrary outlooks.”

      In politics, that’s what makes something a “relevant source of political analysis”. That’s all political hacks ever do.

  5. so glad you put this up, JC. thank you.

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