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Week in Review: Did You See Castro’s Caustic Tweet?

August 10, 2019

Why did a leftist congressman target 44 supporters of President Trump in a recent tweet?

Earlier this week, U.S. Representative Joaquin Castro—twin brother of Democratic presidential hopeful Julián Castro—tweeted the names of 44 San Antonio residents who donated the maximum amount to Trump’s reelection campaign. Above their names, he wrote, “Sad to see so many San Antonians as 2019 maximum donors to Donald Trump … Their contributions are fueling a campaign of hate that labels Hispanic immigrants as ‘invaders.’”

But what was the reason behind Castro’s decision to tweet the names of these donors? The purpose was to intimidate them and anyone considering a donation to Trump’s campaign, writes Goldwater Institute Senior Attorney Matt Miller in a new post for In Defense of Liberty. Miller, who is currently litigating two donor privacy cases for Goldwater (in New Mexico and Colorado), calls Castro’s tweet “dangerous and ill-conceived—and it was only made possible because campaign finance laws require the disclosure of the personal information of anyone who donates more than $200 to a presidential campaign.”

Tweeting their information opens these donors up to potential harassment and intimidation—and it’s a sobering reminder of how important it is to protect the privacy of all donors.

FAA Keeps Flight-Sharing from Taking Off

In a brand-new op-ed for the Washington Post, U.S. Senator Mike Lee and Goldwater Institute Director of National Litigation Jon Riches write that in the United States, Americans are being denied an air travel option that is common in Europe: flight-sharing. “Flight-sharing—when private, licensed pilots communicate with passengers to share flight expenses—has the potential to transform air travel in the United States by providing more travel options at lower prices to airports throughout the country,” they explain.

But the Federal Aviation Administration is standing in the way. Passed last October, the FAA Reauthorization Act required the FAA to issue public guidance on the rules surrounding flight-sharing. But six months after that guidance should have been issued, there is still no sign of it. “Congress has directed the FAA to act. And the agency has ignored Congress,” Sen. Lee and Riches write. “It is time for the FAA to do a job it should have done years ago so that the traveling public can enjoy the most efficient and cost-effective travel options available, including Internet-based flight-sharing.”

Hawaii Home-Sharing Crackdown Could Devastate Oahu Economy

The Big Island of Hawai‘i banned short-term rentals outside of designated “resort zones” earlier this year. Now, the neighboring island of Oahu is unfortunately following in the Big Island’s footsteps.

As of August 1, Honolulu home-sharers are no longer able to advertise short-term rentals of fewer than 30 days without incurring significant fines. And starting in October 2020, the city will allow 1,700 short-term rentals in designated areas, but homeowners will have to vie for a spot via a government lottery, and they’ll be required to live on the property in order to rent. Anyone else wishing to rent their home to short-term guests will be out of luck—and the consequences could be devastating to the island’s economy. The Oahu Alternative Lodging Association estimates Bill 89 will cause a loss of between 50,000 and 80,000 visitors per month.

A heavy-handed new law isn’t needed to deal with the nuisances that can arise from home-sharing, Goldwater Institute Executive Vice President Christina Sandefur writes on In Defense of Liberty. “Honolulu officials can protect property rights, embrace economic opportunity, and regulate effectively if they focus on eliminating noise, traffic, and pollution, regardless of whether those problems are caused by an overnight guest or the homeowner himself. But so long as the city enforces unenforceable bans, it can expect economic downturns, frustrated homeowners, and a litany of lawsuits.”

Read the full story here.



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