Welcome to Pay Dirt—exclusive reporting and research from The Daily Beast’s Lachlan Markay on corruption, campaign finance, and influence-peddling in the nation’s capital. For Beast Inside members only.
The San Francisco-based startup AutoReturn is like Uber for car-towing. It dispatches tow trucks in cities around the country and provides logistics and management software that the company promises will reduce tow times and errors, save cities money, and provide better services to vehicle owners.
And much like Uber, AutoReturn is largely dependent on the goodwill of municipal policymakers who generally control city bureaucracies that handle towing contracts. That need for civic affection likely made the Community Leaders of America (CLA) a particularly appealing political investment.