“Dear Mayor Adler …”

Angry Uber and Lyft fans vent profane outrage on City Hall

“Please shut up and go away.” That was one of the milder insults tweeted in the direction of Mayor Adler’s mailbag (@MayorAdler) over the weekend, following the defeat of Proposition 1 and the decision of transportation network companies Uber and Lyft to immediately cease operations in Austin. “Suck my ass” was more common.

Mayor Steve Adler: Sorry, but we couldn't locate a photo of the mayor wearing "mom jeans." (Photo by Jana Birchum)

On his official website, the mayor’s office posted a selection of Twitter reactions (removed Friday night) by angry Prop 1 supporters, and his spokesman, Jason Stanford, described the 30 or so selected as roughly representative of the whole. “Idiot” from @JoeUscinski was one of the mildest epithets, which for some reason otherwise had a distinctly anal motif: “suck my ass” or “suck my azz” is a recurrent suggestion, perhaps reflecting either the scatological obsessions or the limited imaginations of the correspondents. Several of the handles (“$” from “@feelingmylook” or “Beeboopbeeboop” from "@randomobserver7") were clearly fake, but a few folks were willing to use (apparently) their own names. Kelsey O’Briant (@dixie_crystals), for example, told Adler, “@MayorAdler suck my ass. As a woman, I am trying to have fun and as a woman, I need my uber and lyft.”

At least one tweeter ("PWhit," @edwardwhitfiel2) was a bit more creative, providing an illustration of what he called “Mayor Adler’s favorite meal”: a shit sandwich (see illo below). More generally, the tweets denounce Adler in profane but not terribly colorful terms, blaming him for the TNCs' decision to leave town after their election defeat: “douchebag”; “Austin is another bastion of liberal bullsh**” [asterisks in original]; “You’re an idiot. And a fascist. Fuck you”; “damn Nazi.” A few threaten to evict Adler from office in the next election – although not a one acknowledges having voted in the May 7 election.

From the Mayor's Mailbag: "Mayor Adler's favorite meal"

Perhaps the most inventive, although not entirely relevant, insult: “Nice mom jeans Adolph Adler!” (The Mayor's office was originally selecting the tweets on its website, but the link is now dead.)

It didn’t stop there. On Thursday, spokesman Stanford provided local media with a printout of the mayor’s recent email. Asked if it was a representative sample, Stanford replied: “The tenor of the emails we've received has gotten like this since Sunday. Before the election, it wasn't like this at all.” (Uber and Lyft ceased operations Monday morning.)

Within the more expansive field of email, longer denunciations were possible. One Jason Carr, obviously a chivalrous sort, provided a miniature short story: “There is this girl in my bed named Brooke and she can’t go home because I don’t have a car and Uber is suspended. So unless one of you council fucks wants to come pick her up and take her home I would suggest allowing ride sharing in Austin again.” Carr offered a p.s., apparently from his room on 28th St., at the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity: “go suck off a taxi driver, cock suckers.” Alas, poor Brooke. If she's still there, she's in an undeniably dismal predicament.

The drumbeat goes on, through another 20 emails: “Fuck you and your fingerprinting whatever the hell bull shit.” “Blood is on your hands you fucking morons.” “You are a bunch of dirty fucking morons and don’t deserve the power that you wield.” “You greed fuckin cunts. Y’all are worthless.” “Y’all are fucking retarded assholes.” (That one purportedly from “Dee Znutts.”) “Hey you piece of shit money hungry hick redneck bastard. … You want to get the fuckin shit slapped out of you. Why the fuck is this even coming down to a vote when 90% of the people living in Austin are new here and not even registered to vote.” “You are all corrupt idiots and assholes and deserve the worst of whatever life brings your way. … Piss off, the evil lot of you.”

That's the predominant vein. Some are pseudonymous, others were sent in what appear to be the correspondents’ own names. A few say they are TNC drivers as well as riders, and some do make direct, specific complaints about losing either income or the convenience of driving or riding. To the extent they mention voting at all, it is to denounce anyone who might have voted against the Proposition. And they blame the mayor and City Council entirely for the decision of Uber and Lyft to make good on their threats to leave Austin if they didn't get their way by winning the election they demanded.

For his part, at the top of his selection of tweets, Mayor Adler posted: “After the May 7 election, Uber and Lyft chose to cease operations in Austin. They are welcome to continue operating in Austin, and the Mayor would invite them to the negotiating table regardless of what they ultimately chose to do.”

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Steve Adler, Proposition 1, Twitter, Election May 2016

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