David Chiu in 2012.
Last month, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors passed a law that threw out the city’s longstanding ban against short-term rentals. The legislation finally legitimized Airbnb, the home-sharing start-up that became a mainstay of the “sharing economy” when it was created six years ago.
The 7-4 vote on the bill, signed into law last week, might have been the end of a long debate—but it wasn’t to be. The vote took place smack-dab in the middle of election season, and the acrimonious debate has spilled into one of California’s most hotly contested legislative contests.
Two SF supervisors, one on each side of the Airbnb vote, are striving toward statewide office. A committee supporting board president David Chiu, who pushed through the Airbnb bill, has been showered with money—about $750,000 in all—from two big Airbnb investors, LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman and Ron Conway.
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