taxi industry used every political maneuver in its arsenal to keep Uber and Lyft off the strip
The only way to keep a competitor out of "your" turf is — or ought to be — by providing superior service at lower price. Being able to use "political maneuvers" instead or even addition to that is a sign of bona fide corruption.
It does not matter, whether the politicians involved took bribes or were sincere — the government simply should not have the power to be a player. The war, that Uber, Lyft et al wage against taxis is simply the more visible of the fights, which private businesses wage every day. We can bemoan the undue influence of lobbyists all day long, but the underlying problem is that, given the number of licensing requirements and regulations, the corporations can not afford not to have a lobbyist on payroll. Instead of, or, at best, in addition to, pleasing us, the consumers, all businesses of appreciable size must be pleasing the government as well.
That's not free market capitalism, and it sucks...