Who Thought Up This Scheme?
Now, take a guess what person or what kind of person would come up with such an idea, who would it be? Maybe it would involve someone who owns a lot of taxi cabs. Or maybe a politician with an unsavory reputation could be involved. Or maybe someone who gets involved on the coercion—er, the advice—of his lawyer.
If you guessed that all three could be involved, then you win! It’s no big surprise to discover that the idea for this bill came from taxi magnate Mr. Jerry “Greedypants" Schaeffer, who owns several D.C. cab companies such as District Cab and Consolidated Cab. After all, if he is such a big-shot cab owner, why shouldn’t he stick it to the little-shot cab guys?
He paid a lobbyist and former city councilman named John Ray to write the bill, and then Ray, who works as a lawyer (uh-huh), somehow enlisted one of his clients, councilman Harry Thomas, to introduce the bill to D.C. City Council. Guess who else bought into the idea of the bill: None other than the Original Crack-Smoking Mayor, Mr. Marion Barry, who also sits on City Council. (What’s wrong with the voters in D.C.?)
This is not the first time a politician tried to get a medallion bill passed—D.C. Councilman Jim Graham tried it but withdrew the bill when his chief of staff was filmed accepting a bribe from—big surprise here—a taxi magnate!