Politics

Kyrsten Sinema Reportedly Allied With Multilevel Marketing Industry and “Uber for Dog Walking” Against Pro-Union Bill

Kyrsten Sinema smiling while walking, carrying her phone and purse
Kyrsten Sinema, the main character of today’s most dystopian bit of Washington news. Mandel Ngan/Getty Images

Democrats, God bless them, are still out there on Capitol Hill trying to pass this darn infrastructure/social spending package. One of the main reasons they have not yet done so is because Democratic Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema reportedly objected to the tax increases on super wealthy Americans and corporations that President Joe Biden initially proposed as part of the spending bill.

Sinema hasn’t publicly explained why she is against these kinds of taxes, but has recently been raising a lot of money through business groups. On Friday, Politico wrote about one such group, noting that the senator has gotten at least $10,000 this year in donations from individuals and companies—including Amway and Herbalife—associated with a “multilevel marketing” organization called the Direct Selling Association.

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These kinds of enterprises have sometimes been scrutinized by legislators and regulators on the suspicion that they run “pyramid schemes,” a label they object to. But neither fraud accusations nor the Build Back Better bill’s taxes appear to be the reason the Direct Selling Association is interested in Sinema. She’s valuable to MLMs, Politico reports, because she’s the only Senate Democrat who has not co-sponsored or otherwise expressed support for the PRO Act, a labor-organizing reform bill that seeks to prohibit MLM sellers from being classified as independent contractors rather than employees. Politico describes her as “the chamber’s chief Democratic opponent to the bill.”

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The news site then notes that “gig” companies are also against the PRO Act, which leads to this tremendous sentence and concept:

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Rover, known as one of the Ubers of dog-walking, just recently enlisted its first K Street firm, Mercury Public Affairs, to lobby on labor classification and taxes.

Take note—Rover is only one of the Ubers of dog-walking, not the Uber of dog-walking. And to be clear, it has not sought Kyrsten Sinema’s support, that we know of, for the purpose of preserving its legal right not to provide benefits to the dog walkers whom it connects, using technology, with dogs.

­Someone should build an “app” that businesses seeking certain legislative outcomes could use to connect with legislators who are seeking money with which to fund their campaigns and/or lucrative post-term opportunities in the “government relations” sector. It could be called Bribr, am I right? Ha ha, no, just kidding, this is all extremely legal. In fact, you could argue there’s nothing more legal than the lobbying process, because it’s protected by the people who actually make the laws. Have a great weekend!­

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