Cruz Takes Iowa, Uber Takes On Austin City Council

This week in Texas politics with the managing editor of the Texas Tribune.

By Rhonda Fanning February 5, 2016 3:44 pm

It’s Friday, so that means it’s time revisit the week that was in Texas politics. Here to help is Ayan Mittra, managing editor of the Texas Tribune.

Monday was a great night for Texan Sen. Ted Cruz, after he won the Iowa caucus by beating out Donald Trump.

“We have another primary coming right up on Tuesday,” he says. “Trump has been well-ahead in the polls in New Hampshire… (but) they have a tradition of late-deciding voters.”

Mittra says Trump’s poll numbers may not reflect votes in the primaries.

“He has a lot of support, but does that support translate to the polls?” Mittra says. “These are people who maybe like what he has to say, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to go vote.”

Ride a wave of signatures, Uber presented a petition to Austin City Council on an ordinance recommended by the city for requiring fingerprint-based background checks for ride-hailing app companies. The company pulled out of Midland and Galveston citing “burdensome regulations.”

“The city officials are kind of in a tight spot,” Mittra says, “because they’re trying to normalize ordinances so they follow the same rules as taxi services.”

Uber has stayed in Houston, even though the city has passed ordinances similar to those proposed in Austin, but the company has put up more of a fight against regulations in Austin. The petitioning of city council is relatively new in the Capital city, which may indicate a future of politicking contentious ordinances.

“They thought they could normalize this thing and have kind of a one-size-fits all,” he says, “but they’re finding out very quickly that that’s not going to work.”

Listen to the full interview in the audio player above.