Satirical @NOTAnnKitchen Twitter account lampoons Austin ride-sharing fight

When it comes to the issue of fingerprint background checks, fees to the city and trade dress, the Austin City Council is often applauded by the cab companies and booed by an audience full of Uber and Lyft drivers.
  
A lot of that vitriol is being directed at Mobility Committee Chair Ann Kitchen. Fabian Sifuentes is behind the satirical twitter account @NOTAnnKitchen.

Sifuentes said he has created a character through his satirical tweets.

"I've kind of developed it to where it's just so over the top to where there are some grains of truth in there and when people get over the laugh and they think about it just a little bit and they realize 'wait a second,'" Sifuentes said.

"Well it's just another attempt by a corporation to avoid reasonable requirements around public safety and it's not accurate," Kitchen said.

Sifuentes said that's not true. He does drive for both Uber and Lyft but he said he is acting alone on Twitter.

"I wasn't put up to this by anyone.  She is a public figure, it's a parody account, it's protected by the Constitution, that's all I'm doing," Sifuentes said.

One of the tweets reads "TNC rides exceed cab rides, but that doesn't matter.  My masters gave me over $4k to not listen to the masses."

Sifuentes was referring to donations to Kitchen's campaign from Lone Star Cab. Kitchen calls the Tweet insulting and inaccurate. She admits she received Cab money but said it didn't influence her.

"Well if it was, we wouldn't have done what we did in the spring," she said.

Kitchen says that's when council put regulations on cab companies -- like protection for drivers.

"So we've already demonstrated that we are regulating as appropriate for the council, for public safety...all vehicles for hire," Kitchen said.

"It's a huge coincidence that she gets that campaign contribution and she's been the flag bearer of these new regulations ever since she's been in office," Sifuentes said.

Council member Kitchen reminds everyone it was the previous city council that got the ball rolling on TNC regulations.  She didn't start this.

I asked Kitchen if she's been surprised by the level of anger from the ride sharing community toward the council and toward herself.

In her view, it's really just one TNC that's responsible for that.

"I think it's obvious that Uber has been misinforming the public.  And I have been surprised at the level of anger at reasonable public safety requirements," she said.

"TNC's...city...somewhere in between, everyone's happy.  That's what I want to see," Sifuentes said.

A final ordinance is expected to be voted on later this month.
   
 

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