Taxi Lobbying Provokes Investigation

A major metro cab company might be in hot water over allegations of illegal lobbying tactics.

Secretary of State Mike Coffman has reportedly agreed to launch an investigation into Colorado Cab Company, LLC, which does business in Denver as Yellow Cab.

The company is alleged to have paid its drivers to call state lawmakers in an effort to encourage no votes against a taxi deregulation bill that was proposed last session. In March, Colorado Citizens for Ethics in Government (CCEG), a non-partisan watchdog group, filed a letter with Coffman requesting an immediate investigation into the company.

According to CCEG, the group sent the letter after talking to Yellow Cab drivers about the allegations.

The legislation in question, House Bill 1114, would have required the state’s Public Utilities Commission to issue an unlimited number of permits to cab companies who follow certain regulations, making it easier for new businesses to enter the market.

Currently, three companies dominate the industry and regulatory caps limit the number of taxis a company can operate.

The bill was later gutted in a committee hearing, and changed to control the weekly rates cab companies charge their drivers, rather than dealing with permits.

Other coverage by Colorado Confidential:

Taxi Bill Provokes Big Lobby Money
Privatization Deja Vu

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About the Author

Erin Rosa

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature.

Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state.

Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters.

She can be reached at erosa@coloradoindependent.com.

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