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Mayor Sullivan Seeks to Illegalize His Own Embarrassment

By Jeanne Devon

And the King shall answer and say to them, Truly I say to you, Inasmuch as you have done it to one of the least of these my brothers, you have done it to me.
Matthew 25:40

If that old Biblical saying holds true, it’s safe to say that Mayor Dan Sullivan would have created a law just for Jesus that would have banned him from protesting Jerusalem’s treatment of the poor and downtrodden. And it would have arrested Jesus, those downtrodden in the image above, or anyone else who dared to sit on the sidewalk.

Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan is irritated that a man named John Martin has decided to sit outside City Hall to protest the City’s treatment of the homeless, particularly the way in which the Mayor has dealt with the various illegal homeless camps in the city and the destruction of the personal property of those who live there.

Peeved by his inability to stop a homeless man’s sit-down protest downtown, Mayor Dan Sullivan wants a law that would punish anyone who sat or reclined on a downtown sidewalk.

The proposal is up for public hearing before the Anchorage Assembly on Tuesday.

The idea of a new law came up, said city attorney Dennis Wheeler, because the administration wanted to remove John Martin.

That’s right. The thin skin of the Mayor cannot bear one homeless man’s peaceful protest without seeking to create a new law for all of us.

Dan Sullivan has a long history of antagonism and throwing his weight around with the homeless, and panhandlers. And don’t be confused about the Mayor’s feelings. He’s no compassionate conservative who’s just stuck between his compassion and his commitment to the city, making the tough choices and doing his best. His definition of “panhandling” even extended to the Anchorage Fire Department whose annual “Fill the Boot” campaign traditionally collects thousands of dollars for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. He wanted it stopped, but the Anchorage Assembly voted to override his veto, and kids in need once again got some much-needed help from the AFD and the generous people of Anchorage, with no help from Dan Sullivan.

Last year, when a homeless man crawled into a mall dumpster on a cold Alaska night to keep warm between layers of cardboard, he was inadvertently crushed to death when an unsuspecting mall worker compacted the trash. The Mayor’s statement on this tragedy?

“It’s not something that has an instant cure, unfortunately. There’s always going to be people that choose a certain lifestyle that results in tragic deaths like this.”

“Choose a certain lifestyle?” Yes, the pearls of wisdom from the Mayor’s mouth fall at our feet. If you don’t want to have a tragic death “like this” then don’t choose to be homeless. How many Americans are one catastrophic illness, or one job loss, or one foreclosure away from being homeless? The mayor is here to say that you need to choose not to lose your job, or allow your child to get ill. Don’t choose to become mentally incapacitated. If you’re a returning veteran, don’t choose to have PTSD. Don’t choose to be poor. Don’t choose to be desperate.

If that man had chosen to sleep in a comfortable bed in his comfortable house, why then, this tragedy would never have happened. Instead, he chose the dumpster, and well… what do you expect? Let that be a lesson to you kids – next Career Day, don’t pursue the homeless option.

Make no mistake about it, there is a homeless problem in Anchorage, but the mayor’s solution is becoming more draconian, and less compassionate by the day. Now he seeks to curb (pardon the pun) the rights of those who want to protest his decisions.

Anchorage has been in existence since the 1940s and never until this moment did there seem to be the need for a law telling free people they were not allowed to peacefully sit on the sidewalk. Hey Republicans and Libertarians – How’s that for big government telling you what you can do? Can we expect the Alaska Tea Party Patriots to get their knickers in a twist when King Dan presumes to legislate and regulate where they may and may not sit? We’ll see.

My guess is that since people sitting on sidewalks hasn’t come up in the last six decades, that sitting on sidewalks isn’t really the issue at all. The issue is that Dan Sullivan wants to make it illegal for John Martin or anyone else to embarrass him. And if he has to get all “big government” to do it, then so be it. Creating and enforcing a new law, and making municipal government bigger, is a small price to pay. And he doesn’t have to pay it, we do. A free society, and the first amendment, and the ability of the citizenry to peacefully protest their government will just have to be collateral damage.

Well, before criticizing the Mayor becomes illegal, and they fine me or take me away in cuffs, let me say it. Dan Sullivan is a jackass, and any red-blooded Alaskan with an ounce of fair play and compassion, and a dislike of tyrannical slimebaggery must pledge to support and work hard for his opponent in the upcoming mayoral election. And that doesn’t mean just Anchorage residents either. Sullivan has big dreams for statewide politics, and it’s in the best interest of all Alaskans to nip those dreams in the bud by generously supporting whoever runs against Sullivan. Legitimate political differences aside, neither party wants to elect anyone for whom self-interest, hypocrisy and the protection of an enormous and delicate ego trumps public interest.

Comments

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Comments
65 Responses to “Mayor Sullivan Seeks to Illegalize His Own Embarrassment”
  1. Actual Moderate says:

    This is the guy camped out in front of our fair city’s City Hall: http://ak.findacase.com/research/wfrmDocViewer.aspx/xq/fac.19980401_0095.AK.htm/qx Yep, the guy had sex with his fifteen year old foster daughter, multiple times. What a peach!

    Sullivan is right on with this one. At least he’s TRYING to do SOMETHING about the homeless issue. Personally I’m sick of having our trails and parks trashed, I’m tired of having to dodge inebriates on the way home, and seeing people camped out on blankets downtown (it’s not just our favorite little foster dad doing that – take a drive by the bus station one of these nights) is really too much. It makes the city look like trash and I’m not OK with that. Time to lay down the law or we’ll end up like Bellingham – a way station for homeless people looking for an easy time of it.

    Just because you don’t agree with Sully on everything doesn’t mean he’s wrong about this.

  2. ibwilliamsi says:

    Well, he can go ahead and try to pass that law, but he will find that it will be wiped out. They’ve tried more than once to pass that and similar laws in Portland Oregon and they just get slapped down. Good lord, does Mayor Sullivan live in a vacuum? Do Mayors not google? It would be so easy to see where the law stands on this. If he’s not violating state law with this, he will be violating a federal law with it.

    That being said, Portland’s law was primarily aimed at “aggressive panhandlers” which is a mild name for getting mugged on a busy street in broad daylight. Portland set aside homeless camps with running water for a while. I honestly don’t know if they are still in operation.

  3. GoI3ig says:

    Silver spoon Danny is just a spoiled brat. Talk about abuse of office. Enacting a law to go after one guy. That’s pathetic.

  4. spiritwheel says:

    How are these recliners and sitters going to pay for these fines? Just another law that clogs up courts and has no significant meaning. Proactive must be a word this man confuses with a type of birth control and obviously his fathers semen was strained through a sock.

  5. benlomond2 says:

    pardon me for being a bit naive… maybe even misinformed…. but wouldn’t Jesus have been considered “Homeless” ??? Would Danny-Boy have jailed Jesus ?

    • leenie17 says:

      Not only was he homeless, but his skin was dark (not the Nordic look preferred by the fake Xtians), he had long hair, wore sandals, supported paying taxes, was 33 but unmarried and hung around with twelve men, associated with prostitutes, criminals and other unsavory characters, had no regular job and….Gasp!…had no birth certificate!!!

      Off to the pokey with him!!!

      • merrycricket says:

        Obviously, he’d NEVER be allowed to run for president here.

      • beth says:

        OK – someone had to do it… beth.

        Kris Kristofferson’s “Jesus Was a Capricorn”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofzCZiQ9vjA

        Jesus was a Capricorn, he ate organic foods.
        He believed in love and peace and never wore no shoes.
        Long hair, beard and sandals and a funky bunch of friends.
        Reckon they’d just nail him up if He come down again.

        ‘Cos everybody’s got to have somebody to look down on.
        Who they can feel better than at anytime they please.
        Someone doin’ somethin’ dirty, decent folks can frown on.
        If you can’t find nobody else, then help yourself to me.

        Get back, John!

        Egg Head’s cousin Red Neck’s cussin’ hippies for their hair.
        Others laugh at straights who laugh at freaks who laugh at squares.
        Some folks hate the whites who hate the blacks who hate the clan.
        Most of us hate anything that we don’t understand.

        ‘Cos everybody’s got to have somebody to look down on.
        Who they can feel better than at anytime they please.
        Someone doin’ somethin’ dirty, decent folks can frown on.
        If you can’t find nobody else, then help yourself to me.

        Help yourself, brother.
        Help yourself, Gentlemen.
        Help yourself Reverend.

    • North of the Range says:

      You know, with that $193,000 “insurance” payment that he got from the city, he could just buy Mr. Martin a house. Problem solved.

    • Barbara Honeman says:

      Yep, HIS hair was long and he wore sandals! HE would never have been allowed near the Mayor’s office!

  6. merrycricket says:

    I used to work in social services and homeless shelters in particular. Homelessness is an issue near and dear to my heart. I remember reading about the homeless man who was killed in the bailer. I also remember crying when I first read about it and your mayor’s response to it. Mayor Sullivan is one of rhe least compassionate persons I have read about to date. If I lived up there, I think I would campout with that homeless man and put up a sign stating I support the constitutional right of homeless people.to peacefully demonstrate. It’s not fair that a jack ass like Sullivan gets to keep his job running rough shod over the rights of people who have no voice and someone like me can’t even get a job providing assistance to those people. What ia wrong with the world?

  7. John says:

    We need to read the entire ordinance. It goes on to prohibit panhandling anywhere anytime in the downtown improvement district. I guess the city’s attorneys aren’t busy enough so they are giving them new lawsuits to lose.

  8. slipstream says:

    C’mon, folks, it will take more than one law to save our good mayor from embarrassment.

    This one is a good start. But if we all work together, we can come up with at least a dozen!

    1. No sitting, reclining, demonstrating or protesting on the sidewalk in front of Danno’s office.

    2. No discussion, photos, or innuendo about the mayor’s “party planner” being on the payroll for, um, er . . . party planning purposes.

    3. No traffic stops for apparently inebriated barmaids driving home from Danno’s after hours party at the bar.

    Who wants to add a fourth?

  9. Lacy Lady says:

    I have never heard of arresting a person for sitting on the sidewalk in any other city.
    While visiting my grandson in Miami, while he was attending Miami Univer., we walked down the sidewalks of a shopping area where I saw sooooo many homeless sitting on the sidewalks. One man was selling art pieces he had made from palm tree leaves—–Grandson gave a $10 bill which he got from his Nana.—-I also saw some of these homeless people look for food that was left by customers, on outdoor tables.
    It makes a person feel more thankful for everything we have– Not punish those who are in need.

  10. Leota2 says:

    Sullivan is a small, small man.

  11. Blooper says:

    Well said, AKM. I was really hoping to see you write about our MINO’s (Mayor in name only) latest shenanigans. I never thought I could dislike anyone in Alaska more than SWSNBN, but mayor Sullivan is looking to overtake her pretty darn soon in my book.

    • Blooper says:

      Edit: I meant to say: “I was really hoping to see you write about our MINO’s (Mayor in name only) latest shenanigans, and you delivered.

  12. Buffalogal says:

    I think a good old fashioned sit-in ( sit on ? ) is in order. Anchorage shop owners, restauranteurs, chamber of commerce members, etc. should all sit gather and sit on that very curb for an hour or so before the public hearing on Tuesday.

    ” Inasmuch as you have done it to one of the least of these my brothers, you have done it to me” is one of the bible teachings that I live my life by. That , the Golden Rule and the idea that we are supposed to be the good stewards of the planet, seems to me to be the perfect combination. The problem is that people like Sullivan, Palin, Rick Perry, et al make it so darn difficult ! ( but i guess the trick is that we’re supposed to do it anyway, even for them )

  13. Bob Benner says:

    I think Mayor Sullivan’s only real crime is that he is not a Democrat. People putting junk out or laying down across the sidewalk for a 24 hour nap on downtown sidewalks where there is heavy foot traffic that walkers have to step over or around IS a safety hazard and should be illegal. Union firefighters who want the citizens to fork up the cash for their bennies and retirement accounts should be fighting fires not out raising cash for private charities on the taxpayers dime… I think Dan is doing just fine but it is important to keep throwing mud on him so that whoever the Democrats choose to run against him will stand a better chance of winning…

    • Actual Moderate says:

      I think you are completely right. I don’t agree with him on everything, not by a long shot, but he’s made some good decisions too, and I think this is one of them, as is cleaning out the homeless camps.

    • Crosslay says:

      What an absolute douche bag thing to say. What does a firefighter raising money for kids with Muscular
      Dystrophy have to do with earning their benefits and retirement? I mean really…what an absolute asshole thing to say. Do you think they sit there and keep collecting money when a fire or ems call comes in? Are you stupid? But, it’s ok for your wonderful unethical mayor to raise money for his dads heartwalk while using municipal resources? Yes, it should be ok for him to do that…as should it for firefighters to do what they do…because many out there need help and we are a helping city. Regardless of party affiliation. Pull your head out of your backside grinch.

  14. Wallflower says:

    But you could have a “stand in” at City Hall, yes?

  15. Wallflower says:

    I’ll say what I said on Facebook–Mayor Sullivan is not being visionary enough here. Ban sitting on the sidewalks? Nonsense! Ban walkin’ on ’em! If you can’t get to that patch of sidewalk in front of City Hall, you sure can’t sit down in front of it!

  16. Juneaudream says:

    There ought to be..an assortment of ..printed T-shirts..with comments such as “Here’s Sitten atcha Dan”..or ..”ButtCurb anyone..anyone?”..sorry they are not great but..taking a break in the berry season. Really folks..come up with some winning comments..and hand ink them on the inside of old T-shirts..iffn ya need to.

  17. Hard to see how the proposed ordinance could be constitutional. Even harder to see how the Municipal Attorney can sign off on it.

  18. Indigo Dancer says:

    Mayor Dan Sullivan should be washing the feet of the homeless. Where is his servant’s

    May Mayor Dan Sullivan be Ultimately Judged not by what he does, but by the good he could have done but didn’t do. He, like Sarah “Thank Goodness She Quit” Palin, have had much to accomplish but have squandered their opportunities.

  19. Penny Arcade says:

    Danny Boy is no chip off the old block. His father was a good mayor and a good ‘ol boy, but this time, the apple fell a long way from the tree. It’s hard to beieve they were related.

    • tallimat says:

      agreed!
      Yes, George was a “good ‘ol boy”… But Bartender Dan is no chip off the old block…

      I’m so glad I don’t live in Anchorage anymore. I must admit the place is great, but the mayor totally sucks.

      Makes me want to stay away. Not go there when thinking about stocking up for winter.
      There are other Alaskan cities, that allows one to purchase bulk staple foods, ya know…

  20. Millie says:

    He is a sorry soul that is for sure! People in Alaska are getting pretty sick and tired of the Republicans in office as they are in the lower 48 and slowly people ‘other’ than Republican are being elected. It can occur in Alaska too!!!

  21. Sane in Redding says:

    It would serve the Jackass right if the people of Anchorage had him recalled instead of allowing him to try for another term in office. How about it Anchorage?

  22. leenie17 says:

    More and more often I see, on the news or in the newspaper, stories of people who have become homeless because of the economic meltdown. A loss of employment or an unexpected emergency has wiped them out and they are forced to live in shelters, with family or friends, or in vehicles. These are people who would be happy to work hard IF they could find jobs.

    It seems particularly cruel to pass laws designed specifically to hurt the homeless when circumstances beyond their control are putting more and more families out of their homes. Perhaps Mayor Sullivan should look into heart transplants, because it seems clear that he is lacking one.

    Please, please, all of you intelligent, compassionate residents of Anchorage…organize and get to the polls to vote this inhumane monster out of office.

  23. Renee99503 says:

    The notable absence of Mayor Sullivan at numerous local events speaks volumes.
    I volunteered yesterday at the Homeless Connect event that ran all day at the Egan Center. Again, Sullivan sent someone else in his stead to speak to the volunteers and organizers at the opening. This was an event focused on solutions, yet he was nowhere to be seen. He has also been absent from Parnell’s Choose Respect marches about domestic violence as well. He sickens me.

  24. Thomas says:

    Get used to it, because he’s going to be reelected. 🙁

    • AKMuckraker says:

      Only if everyone thinks so. 🙂

      • dahlia97 says:

        Yes, it’s amazing how the world runs on ‘perception.’

        • Thomas says:

          It’s not about perception, but about the absence of a candidate who can beat him. Simply hating on the incumbent doesn’t cut it.

          • Blooper says:

            Well, I think it is a bit early to already be writing off our next mayoral race due to the supposed lack of an opponent. Give it time, we (as in anyone opposing mayor Sullivan) will have an opponent for him.

            Have a nice day. 🙂

    • Mo says:

      You’re saying there’s no end to smug Anchorage Republicans frightened of anyone and anything different from their self-righteous god-bothering selves?

      That would be pitiful.

  25. auni says:

    Sullivan is a JERK! “Choosen a life style” is hardly accurate. I have a family member who is mentally ill. She would be homeless if I didn’t take care of her, and would likely die on the street. I have tears in my eyes right now thinking of all of the mentally ill people who make up a good portion of the street people. Too upset to say more right now—-

  26. John says:

    Why is he embarrased? Doesn’t he believe his policies are good? If so, then someone complaining shouldn’t be that big a deal. He needs to grow a thicker skin. Unless of course he realizes he is being an ****. In which case, maybe he should change his policies.

  27. PollyinAK says:

    Plain and simple. Dan Sullivan is not a good person. – I thoroughly appreciate this article. I have a fondness for homeless people.- From personal experience. – My son and a friend’s daughter were homeless, in their twenties, it wasn’t their choice per what Dan thinks. Both of these young people are highly intelligent, straight A student types with superior manners and social skills, but sometimes the neurotransmitters interfere with thought processes. They are not homeless anymore, but it took compassion and community helpers. – Also, I have met people at Safe Harbor Inn – families with children who were forced into homelessness from job loss and not being able to pay for rent, but with help they have gotten back on their feet, with jobs and housing. – He isn’t a person to have in any kind of elected office of governance. His grasp on reality is lacking. His truths are not mine. (I’m being nice.)

  28. Su says:

    WHAT. A. JACKASS. I have nothing articulate to add, but I think you covered it nicely. How can we make his remaining time in office as miserable as possible?

  29. Zyxomma says:

    Yes, King Dan is a jackass. A dangerous one. Support a mayoral candidate who will support Anchorage, and all its residents, no matter where or how they “choose” to live.

      • doomcow says:

        Do we have a mayoral candidate to lend support to? I haven’t seen anyone step forward after Dick Traini got demoted. The election is next April, so whoever it is better get a move on!

        • Barbara Honeman says:

          Well Doomcow, there has been at least ONE-and probably others- who HAVE “stepped forward”. If they are nonpartisian and not “hard right” or “hard left”, seems nobody wants to support the. It is a shame but it costs MONEY and time from folks who care to run. Why would anyone take all the “crazy talk”, give their life and put their family through all the “party” stuff without any support? You want somebody who is not “in bed” with the establishment, then go find them. Shouldn’t have to look to far! My choice would be Shannyn Moore. She is probably to smart to do it! Barbara Honeman

  30. Ron says:

    So much for the tough, independent spirit of Alaska! A law against sitting on the sidewalk? That Sullivan is one fragile critter.

  31. dee says:

    Allen West, Herman Cain, Dan Sullivan, One “L” Bachmann,The Grizzled Momma…. what a bunch!!

  32. jimzmum says:

    So, sitting on the sidewalk watching a parade would be asking to be arrested? Way to go!

    • InJuneau says:

      Apparently there will be some exceptions…:

      “Under the proposed law, the ban on sitting or reclining would not apply in several circumstances, including if the person was having a medical emergency; attending a permitted parade, rally, demonstration or other event; or grown weary waiting for a bus in a passenger loading area.”

      http://www.adn.com/2011/07/19/1975453/homeless-mans-protest-irritates.html

    • Wallflower says:

      Well, he’d have to ban parades, of course.

      • Dagian says:

        No, no, he would have to ban PROTEST parades held in his ‘honour’! I bet he would be thrilled if there were a parade singing his praises.

        Jerk.

    • john aronno says:

      There are exemptions for people “participating in or attending a parade, festival, performance, race, rally, demonstration, meeting, or similar event conducted on the public sidewalk pursuant to a right-of-way special activity permit….”

      So, under the language of the ordinance, to petition your government, you need to apply for a permit 30 days prior. This would have to include the petitioner’s name, phone number, address (which might prove difficult in Mr. Martin’s case), the route he wished to proceed in, any organizations he was associated with and their contact info, maps of any areas that would need to be block off, oh and a $65 fee.

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