From the Morning Memo:

Opponents of Airbnb, the controversial online home rental service, will storm the state Capitol today, hoping to convince lawmakers that the website is promoting illegal hotels and contributing to the affordable housing “crisis” in New York City.

Some 200 tenants, elected officials, community groups, and housing advocates – members of the Share Better Coalition, which includes the Met Council on Housing and the small but powerful hotel workers union, HTC – will hold a rally and press conference this afternoon at the Million Dollar Staircase.

They’ll be joined by allies in the Assembly and Senate Democratic conferences, including Sens. Liz Krueger and Brad Hoylman and Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, among others.

The group members will then fan out for individual meetings with some 40 state lawmakers, hoping to convince them not to weaken existing state laws – such as the one that bans the conversion of permanent housing units into short-term transient properties (AKA “illegal hotels”).

Airbnb has repeatedly expressed its opposition to large-scale illegal hotels, and insists most of its hosts only share the home in which they live and use the money they earn to pay bills.

But Share Better members maintain the bulk of Airbnb hosts are, in fact, commercial operators, not down-on-their-luck residents merely looking to supplement their income.

The anti-Airbnb forces have a powerful ally in AG Eric Schneiderman, who has long been close to HTC, which is really driving this movement.

The AG released a report last year that found nearly three-quarters of all Airbnb rentals in NYC were illegal, violating zoning or other laws, from January 2010 to June 2014. And more than a third of the units were supplied by commercial operators.

(The AG first subpoenaed the information, which Airbnb fought before agreeing to release the data his office analyzed. The company moved to purge some 2,000 listings from its site because, an Airbnb official said at a NYC Council hearing recently, the hosts weren’t providing “a quality local experience” to guests).

And the coalition recently won a significant victory when a Manhattan Housing Court judge for the first time evicted a rent-stabilized apartment dweller who was effectively double-dipping by offering his place to tourists on Airbnb. The decision is expected to galvanize other NYC landlords to take action against “tenants” acting in a similar manner.

According to Share Better, Airbnb currently offers over 28,000 units in NYC for transient use. That’s a 5,800 percent growth since the operation first appeared in the Big Apple in 2009.

Though the Share Better coalition is coming to Albany at the height of the budget battle, this is not a budget issue and will likely be discussed – if it’s revisited at all – during negotiations over the NYC rent laws, which are expiring in June, and their attendant tax abatement programs like 421a.

So, today’s effort amounts to a pre-emptive strike.

Regulating Airbnb is mostly a NYC issue, and the company has said it wants to help craft “smart regulations” to crack down on illegal hotel operators.

In the meantime, lawmakers like Rosenthal are pressuring Airbnb to provide them with data backing up its claims about the benign nature of its listings.

A community activist and self-described “technologist” has used Airbnb data to demonstrate that the majority of its offerings are illegal, but the company has said that information is inaccurate and believes existing laws governing this issue are being misapplied.