NYC mayor de Blasio says no to Uber's call to debate

Ridehailing App, Sharing Economy Rapidly Becoming Political

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is rejecting Uber's call to have a live debate about their differences. The ride-hailing service invited de Blasio on Monday to participate in a live-streamed conversation about the company's future in New York. The de Blasio administration is trying to slow down Uber's rapid expansion in a style that the New York Daily Post called a " protectionist crusade." The newspaper says that de Blasio is, "doing the bidding of the spooked yellow cab industry."

De Blasio declined the invitation, saying he doesn't debate private corporations. He added that, in his words, "Uber is a multibillion-dollar corporation, and they're acting like one." His administration supports a proposal to cap Uber's growth for a year while its impact is studied. The City Council is expected to weigh the proposal this week. San Francisco-based Uber has rejected all attempts to slow its growth. It says de Blasio is trying to stifle free enterprise and innovation.

De Blasio is the latest prominent Democrat to criticize Uber in the US. In an economic speech last week, Hillary Clinton spoke out against the ridehailing app's classification of its contract workers and not actually hiring its drivers. The issue of the new "sharing" or "secondhand" economy is becoming a political one, with Republican Jeb Bush recently standing up for Uber. Daily Kos recently made that case that Republicans that this new economy somehow fits well with Republican ideas, even as it continues a trend of reducing the number of "good jobs" in the US.

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The AP contributed to this report.

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