Uber hires first DC lobbying firm

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The hire is Uber's latest step toward getting involved in national politics. The company became a member of the Internet Association, a lobbying group for Internet companies, last month. 

Uber, which allows people to hire private drivers using a mobile app, has waged battles across the country with local regulators. Many cities have transportation regulations that make it difficult and sometimes impossible for Uber to operate.

Taxi drivers have also urged regulators to crack down on Uber.

Federal agencies, however, have been more friendly to the transportation start-up. Last year, Julius Genachowski, then the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, said he was on Uber's side in its battle with local D.C. regulators. 

The Federal Trade Commission has also warned that local transportation regulations can stifle competition and hurt consumers. 

The Franklin Square lobbyists who will advocate for Uber are Matthew Tanielian, a former counsel for the Senate Judiciary Committee; Joshua Ackil, who served as a special assistant to former President Clinton and as an aide for then-Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.); Kara Campbell, who worked for Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.); Brian Peters, a former spokesman for then-Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.); and Ryan Triplette, who handled intellectual property issues for the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Franklin Square also lobbies for Apple, Google, Sprint, Cisco, Square, the Entertainment Software Association and other tech groups.