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October 22, 2014

Twin Sons, Newt Gingrich & Dan Sullivan (New Sidewalk Ordinance–Public Testimony TONIGHT!)

by Linda Kellen Biegel


(Homeless Anchorage protestor John Martin and his faithful friend)

On the same day that the world is outraged by the pepper-spraying of peaceful UC Davis protestors, Newt Gingrich still manages to capture the attention of the media. Friday, his announcement of “extraordinarily radical proposals to fundamentally change the culture of poverty in America” which turn out to include a repeal of child labor laws. Then, as if trying to outdo himself, Newt decides to moralize at the country-wide Occupy Wall Street participants (the same ones who shout him down at his speeches) by telling them to “get a job, after you take a bath.”

Yes, this is the same Newt Gingrich who last year in front of the same type of Christian fundamentalist crowd claimed that his marital infidelities were “partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate.”

Yes, this is the same Newt who claims to be a “historian,” as reflected in his comments in the video: “Captain John Smith said in 1607 in the first English speaking permanent colony to the aristocrats who paid their way and didn’t want to work, ‘If you don’t work, you won’t eat.’”

Of course, there is much irony there. Captain Smith’a words were directed at members of the monied “gentlemen” class who had made the trip to the New World. They felt that blue-collar work was “beneath them.” Captain Smith, the blue-collar guy, was letting the aristocrats know that he wasn’t going to put up with their behavior anymore.

So it was a good example for the Occupy Wall Street folks after all, just not the way Gingrich intended.

His history facts are about as accurate as his comments regarding Occupy Wall Street. Much of the movement is comprised of hard-working middle/working class folks who have jobs, thank you very much. It is also comprised of hard-working recent college grads who have been looking for jobs without success. Statistically, reports of youth unemployment (under 25) are as high as 54%. According to one study, 85% of college graduates are moving back in with their parents due to lack of jobs and a mountain of crushing debt from college loans.

And of course, no one could be less hard-working than Newt himself…a reportedly lazy campaigner. Gingrich’s staff left him enmasse in June because the candidate and his wife decided that a two-week cruise in Greece and selling his books were more important than the hard work of a campaign. (Not to mention it was during this “vacation” that Gingrich’s $500,000.00 jewelry credit line at Tiffany’s was revealed.) Just last week, after telling the initial “historian” lie regarding the origin of money paid to him by mortgage lender Freddie Mac, it was revealed that Gingrich was hired to “build bridges to Capitol Hill Republicans and develop an argument on behalf of the company’s public-private structure that would resonate with conservatives seeking to dismantle it” and he was paid between $1.6 and $1.8 million to do so. Mr. Gingrich is the one who has been on the “public dole” most of his career as a politician. Here Gingrich demonstrates what has already been known…that he has cast his lots with the aristocratic 1% to the detriment of people who once made up the majority of his constituents.

While I never would have considered that former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and our own Mayor Dan Sullivan as being in any way related, Gingrich’s video reminded me of another one — an interview with the Mayor where he repeated the similar answer he gave at a press conference regarding a homeless protestor who wanted to meet with him:

“Sullivan said the man would have to “clean up and make himself presentable as a good self-worthy human being would do,” as well as filling out a form in the mayor’s office if he wants to have a legitimate meeting.”

The similar phrase was during a “View from City Hall” interview last summer conducted by KTVA’s Grace Jang: (Comments start at about 7:20)

Besides that similar issue of entitlement arrogance, our Mayor has also had his share of ethical problems, starting before the Mayor’s race was even a twinkle in his eye.

— As one of the owners of McGinley’s Pub, he was “Dan the boss” who kept pouring booze for a waitress after hours, then sent her out when she was over the limit at 4:00 am so she could cause a head-on collision.

Mayor Sullivan received $193,000.00 on behalf of a trust for his now departed father, former Mayor George Sullivan. This was always reported as “insurance” but as it turned out, there was no such policy.

— He hired Bernadette Wilson to contract as a “party planner” for about $6,000.00 of Muni pay…something that had never been before. There were also…allegedly…some extenuating circumstances that were cause for concern.

— Sullivan, who ran on a “public safety” platform, slashed police and fire to the bone — to the point of putting many in our city at risk and exacerbating the problems he vowed to fix. Luckily, FEMA saved the day with some money to add back those public safety employees who had been cut.

— He even squashed the firefighter’s ability to maintain the tradition of “filling the boot” for Muscular Dystrophy while on the clock.

— The Mayor inserted himself in this year’s supposedly non-partisan Municipal election (including appearing on a number of radio programs during working hours) in order to get a majority of supporters on the Assembly. He got the one he needed. Now, “Team Sully” does the bidding of Mayor Sullivan, the City of Anchorage be damned.

— While he’s recently attempting to change his education image, in reality Sullivan has levied unfair fees against the Anchorage School District, taking money out of the classroom to make his Municipal budget look better.

I would not presume to insinuate that Mayor Sullivan has risen (or sunk) to the level of Newt Gingrich, the only House Speaker ever penalized for ethics violations. However, like Gingrich, Sullivan is definitely trying to establish himself as a friend to all corporations and the 1%. It is rumored that many things Sullivan is doing now is to impress the National Republican Senatorial Committee so they’ll support him against Mark Begich in 2014. Of course, these are only rumors…

Sullivan’s above-mentioned comments regarding John Martin, the homeless protestor, upset those of us at Mudflats as well as quite a few other people, including a number within the religious community.

The Mayor’s anger and revulsion at that protestor led to an Ordinance attempting to ban folks from sitting and/or lying on the sidewalks in downtown Anchorage. The outcry was such that the Mayor requested that his own Ordinance be postponed. While some people showed up and gave some moving and extremely powerful testimony anyway, the Ordinance was postponed indefinitely.

Well, now it’s baaaaaack

Mayor Dan Sullivan’s proposed law to restrict sitting and lying down on sidewalks is back — and it’s very similar to the version that the Anchorage Assembly postponed indefinitely in July, with several Assembly members opposing it.

“We’ve just adjusted the hours a little bit,” Sullivan said during a press briefing last week.

The Mayor is like a dog with a bone, he wants this victory. I wonder why?

While the Mayor claims it will not affect the “Occupy Anchorage” folks in the park, it does basically force anyone who wants to stage a protest on the street to get a permit…something that costs money.

Public testimony is tonight:

Anchorage Assembly Meeting
Loussac Library
Assembly Chambers
3600 Denali, Room 108
Anchorage, Ak 99503

The testimony will be after 6:00 pm. C’MON DOWN!

If you can’t make it, PLEASE email your Assembly folks and let them know how you feel. Here is the email to hit them all: wwmas@muni.org and HERE IS THE PAGE for the individual emails. (Hint: Anyone living in Jennifer Johnston’s District (South Anchorage) should DEFINITELY let her know how you feel about this Ordinance.)

Comments

comments

Comments
19 Responses to “Twin Sons, Newt Gingrich & Dan Sullivan (New Sidewalk Ordinance–Public Testimony TONIGHT!)”
  1. Good to see you there, Blue…yes, it totally sucked to lose this fight. What I appreciated is that NOT ONE person who testified was in favor of the Ordinance. Also, in talking to some of the Assembly folks, I couldn’t find anyone who received ANY message from a constituent that wasn’t against this. The only conclusion one can come to is this was done specifically for the Mayor, not for the people who actually vote and pay their salaries with property taxes. Also, we are being watched by homeless activists and first amendment folks across the state and the country. Some of them expressed their dismay on Twitter overnight and this morning.

  2. blue_in_AK says:

    Sully and his henchmen strike again. Honeman just gained a few more votes, I would guess.

  3. Pinwheel says:

    Now I’m watching “Dan the Scam” reading from a teleprompter (laptop script) without conviction, but silk for the weave of obfuscation and prevarication.

    And I think I watched the City Council vote to support this horrible restriction of civil rights in my community. Yes, I take this vote personnaly. I hope there is legalese within the City’s proposal that can stop it. I support the ACLU.

    nem

  4. Pinwheel says:

    Why can’t ‘imminent domain” be utilized for abandoned facilities. (An enormous numbers of Sq.Ft within municipality) Those derelict and abandoned property, for which no one gets benefits, ie. real estate taxes, but expenses like fire protection, vandalism.

    There seem to me many alternatives worthy of serious condsideration, and I still hear nothing from the “Committee” about these ideas.

    nem

  5. Pinwheel says:

    Linda, Thanx for your great reports. I tuned in late to the Council meeting, but hearing some very compassionate statements for citizens of Anchorage. It will be curious to watch the vote. nem

  6. John says:

    The municipal budget committee investigates city inefficiency. Asks the library if there are ways to cut costs?

    What does not fit your mission statement? There are a few services that the library provides, i.e. voter registration and bus pass purchases that do not fit the mission of the Library. The Library provides facilities arrangements for many Municipal departments, e.g. commission meetings, for which the library does not charge. Some contractual services are paid from the library’s operating budget though a major part of the requirement for that service is an Assembly function not a library one, e.g. pest control (rodents are attracted to catered food that is left overnight after Assembly meetings).

  7. Polarbear says:

    A web cam pointed at the entrance to McGinley’s Pub will reveal an unual number of call girls mixing with the Republican “cool crowd.” This has been going on for a number of years, right there in the wide open. Apparently there is no courage left among our local journalists.

  8. marlys says:

    I can’t make this one, but I am a emailing *~~~

  9. blue_in_AK says:

    I don’t think I’ll be able to attend the assembly meeting, but here’s my e-mail: I will be unable to attend the assembly meeting tonight, but I wanted to register my opposition to the mayor’s renewed sidewalk law. The issue of John Martin aside, it seems obvious to me that this law and the proposed fee for protest permits is just a way to shut down the Occupy Anchorage movement and thus is an attempt to deny people their first amendment right to free speech and assembly and to petition their government for redress of grievances. It’s hardly “free” speech if you have to pay for it.

    Please do not pass this law. It’s not necessary and it’s unconstitutional.

  10. Dagian says:

    Sorry, I’m on a roll here.

    http://www.nccpr.org/reports/15Orphanage.pdf

    In 2010, the state of Nebraska suspended
    admissions to two programs run by Boys
    Town amid allegations of misuse and overuse of
    “restraints” and medication.

    I just figure if Sullivan is going to emulate Newt in one area, it’s likely he will do it in another. So it’s best to get ahead of his back-to-the-future stupidity.

  11. Dagian says:

    Gingrich, at least, was honest about his
    agenda: He wanted to take children away from
    their parents just because they are poor. The
    child savers claim no such intent, but their
    proposals amount to the same thing.

  12. Dagian says:

    Let’s not forget that All-heart Newt was also a proponent of those good old days orphanages, too.

    Newt Gingrich endorsed orphanages as a key component of their proposed Contract with America and the Personal Responsibility Act of 1995.

    http://ontheissues.org/2008/Newt_Gingrich_Welfare_+_Poverty.htm

    Newt Gingrich, the soon-to-be Republican Speaker of the House, was eager to flex his muscle. Minor controversy erupted over remarks he made about welfare reform and orphanages. Some Republicans had suggested that the nation could reduce welfare rolls by placing the children of welfare mothers in orphanages. The idea was to prohibit states from paying welfare benefits for two groups of children: Those whose paternity was not established and those born out of wedlock to women under 18. The savings, according to this proposal, would be used to establish and operate orphanages and group homes for unwed mothers.
    I thought this was a horrible idea. In a speech before the New York Women’s Agenda on Nov. 30, 1994, I criticized Gingrich.

    Gingrich swung back: “I’d ask her to go to Blockbuster and rent the Mickey Rooney movie about Boys Town [an orphanage]. I don’t understand liberals who live in enclaves of safety who say, ‘Oh, this would be a terrible thing.'”

    I wonder how long it will be before Dan Sullivan picks up on that idea, too?

  13. hedgewytch says:

    Even if he manages to pass this one, it is blatantly unconstitutional and will be thrown out by the courts if the legislature doesn’t kill this one too.

    Once again Sullivan, like his pal Parnell, is grandstanding on the backs our our rights and our public funds in order to promote his personal, political agenda.

  14. BigPete says:

    Food for thought

    Republicans not all that bad!
    ~not opposed to all big gubmint regulations
    ~willing to feed the ninety-nine per centers

    http://gawker.com/5861688/its-a-food-product-essentially-fox-news-starts-spinning-pepper-spray-cops

  15. Zyxomma says:

    Anchorage, you need a new mayor.

  16. GoI3ig says:

    Don’t forget today’s news. Sullivan fervently supports his lackey, Bill Sheffield, who should have been canned years ago for incompetence. The port is hundreds of millions over budget with no end in sight.

    Some of us were here during Sheffield’s impeachment hearings. He went from being an incompetent Governor, to incompetent railroad director, to an incompetent port director. As long as he keeps those political contributions flowing, he remains a favorite.

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