When confronted with a moral dilemma recently, California State Senator Ben Hueso did what many politicians fail to do. Hueso followed his principles, even though doing so risked putting himself at odds with the law. Techdirt reported early this morning that, after a busy Thursday that included voting in favor of a bill intended to hobble the increasingly popular ridesharing industry in California and afterwards enjoying a few drinks with colleagues, Hueso needed a way to get home. After weighing his options, the noble senator did not succumb to the temptations of prudence, convenience or public safety.
Instead, he valiantly got behind the wheel of his own car. No matter that he was promptly pulled over and arrested when California Highway Patrol witnessed Hueso’s vehicle travelling in the wrong direction down a one-way street. What matters is that Hueso did not pull up the ridesharing app of a service such as Lyft or Uber on his smartphone in order to request that a car pick him up at his exact location and then drive him home in exchange for a relatively inexpensive fee.
To have done so could have compromised the integrity of his vote on Appropriations Bill 612, or AB612, which, in part, extends and codifies restrictions on drivers who work for so-called ridesharing services. Supporters of the bill argue that it makes passengers safer. Those opposed suggest that such measures are proposed at the behest of the lobbied interests of taxi unions and insurance companies and, as Sidecar CEO Sunil Paul believes, are "a burdensome approach” that would ”literally spell the end of the rideshare industry."
It is unknown whether Hueso attempted to hail a cab prior to driving.