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Miami Beach mayor, Airbnb launch dueling campaigns



Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine and Airbnb have launched dueling campaigns ahead of a Miami City Commission vote Thursday to enforce laws against short-term rentals in the city.

The home-sharing platform rolled out a television commercial Wednesday in the Miami market criticizing Levine and Miami counterpart Tomas Regalado for being "against middle class Miami families" by opposing short-term rentals in their cities. Regalado wants commissioners to vote Thursday to endorse the "vigorous" enforcement of a zoning opinion that says rentals for periods shorter than a month are illegal in residential neighborhoods.

On Thursday, Levine, whose city has aggressively fought Airbnb, responded.

As commissioners began their meeting before a chambers packed with Airbnb supporters, Levine personally paid to fly a banner plane knocking Airbnb. The mayor, who is mulling a run for governor, also floated a boat off Dinner key with a billboard accusing the company of being cozy with "Tallahassee,"a reference to state lawmakers.

“Airbnb’s model does not work for our community, or for many others across the country," Levin said in a statement issued by his political consultant, Christian Ulvert. "Sadly, they have chosen agitation and confrontation to express their views, attacking the virtues of local control and self-determination."

Airbnb says its service is good for tourism, and helps support middle class families who use the platform to rent out their homes to visitors.