Sam Sullivan: Still Irony-Free


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OK, I’m only being charitable when I say he’s free of irony.

In truth, I think he’s a scheming, narcissistic megalomaniac with the same kind of worship of his own opinions as George w.Caesar.

Below is an email I received from an employee in Vancouver’s mayor’s office today. In it, we are told not to pester city employees with our rabid desire to give money to Sam Sullivan or help him get re-elected.

That I received this email is a testament to Sam’s use of civic resources to tell [presumably] anyone who’s ever emailed MayorAndCouncil@city.Vancouver.bc.ca that we should not use civic resources to help Sam’s campaign. I can’t stand him. I want him to get zero votes in November. I have no interest in supporting his campaign. Yet, I receive this spam…from a city official.

I call it irony, as I said, out of perhaps uncharacteristic graciousness towards our mayor. He has essentially used the City Clerk’s instruction as an excuse to campaign to anyone who has contacted him as mayor.

Essentially, this demonstrates Sullivan’s opportunism, disrespect for the proper role of civic resources, and willingness to cut whatever corner he can to get re-elected, including turning a City Clerk directive on its head.

Memo regarding political campaign inquiries

Over the past several weeks, our office has received many inquiries as to how to purchase memberships, financially contribute or become a volunteer to help support Mayor Sam Sullivan in this year’s civic election.

As noted in a recent memo from the City Clerk to all of Council, City resources are only to be used for matters directly related to civic business.

Therefore, should you wish to learn more about Mayor Sullivan’s election campaign or how to become involved, please direct your inquiries to his campaign via www.samsullivan.ca.

Thanks for your understanding and cooperation!

Anna Lucarino
Manager of Community Relations
Office of the Mayor
City of Vancouver
Tel: (604) 873-7661
Fax: (604) 873-7685

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Stephen Elliott-Buckley

Post-partisan eco-socialist. at Politics, Re-Spun
Stephen Elliott-Buckley is a husband, father, professor, speaker, consultant, former suburban Vancouver high school English and Social Studies teacher who changed careers because the BC Liberal Party has been working hard to ruin public education. He has various English and Political Science degrees and has been writing political, social and economic editorials since November 2002. Stephen is in Twitter, Miro and iTunes, and the email thing, and at his website, dgiVista.org.

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4 thoughts on “Sam Sullivan: Still Irony-Free”

  1. Hi Stephen,

    I read your comment and thought I’d correct one assumption. The email you mention was sent only to one list, and it is the list you can subscribe/unsubscribe at http://www.mayorsamsullivan.ca.

    So, one of your email addresses must have been subscribed to that list at some point. About six months ago I changed the settings to “double opt-in” so you would have to authorize the subscription (in case someone subscribed on your behalf).

    This list is separate to the city’s ‘mayorandcouncil@vancouver.ca’. If you email that list you will not be automatically (or manually) subscribed to the Mayor’s list.

    If you do not want to receive any more email announcements from the Mayor’s office, you can unsubscribe at the website.

    Kind regards,

    Mike Klassen
    (Website administrator, http://www.mayorsamsullivan.ca)

  2. Yes, another email address of mine is signed up to your list.

    The incorrectness of that assumption is not at all relevant. The email was sent from mayor@vancouver.ca. Do you get this irony?

    I find your offer of no longer wanting to receive emails from the mayor’s office interesting. That list is different from his campaign website emails, correct? I’d prefer to receive all emails from the mayor, which is why I sign up for them.

  3. and our exchange continued:

    Michael Klassen wrote:
    I understand what you’re saying, but the reason I understand for the message is the ruling from the clerk’s office and the potential for conflict. Now that this is been made clear to those contacting the office, it’s not an issue. The email mayor@vancouver.ca is the one the city set up for his newsletters. It was not harvested from emails sent to mayorandcouncil, which is what your blog post states.

    Thanks for your response. I thought I’d provide a little more info.

    MK

    then i replied:

    My piece explicitly [merely] presumed the email went to anyone who has emailed a list that may exist of people who have emailed mayorandcouncil. You have cleared that up, but the issue still remains bad, if not worse.

    The email mayor@vancouver.ca is for the mayor’s newsletters, not Sam Sullivan’s newsletters. I don’t think he realizes or cares about this distinction. I say this because email that comes from the premier’s office in Victoria or the prime minister never ask cash or even refer to supporting the provincial Liberal or federal Conservative party in any way. Gordon Campbell and Stephen Harper send emails from their party to party lists to avoid the kind of conflict of interest the city clerk was referring to. Just because he is the mayor does not make Sam Sullivan immune from this degree of discretion and respect for the civil bureaucracy in a functioning democracy.

    Now that you have cleared up my presumption, your explanation of the situation is actually worse than when it was simply unclear. The mayor has used a civic resource, mayor@vancouver.ca and Anna Lucarino’s working time, to send a campaigning email to–if not a civic email list–a private[!] email list used by Sam Sullivan to campaign for re-election. It would have been bad if it were civic resources emailing a civic email list for personal gain. But what you have just confirmed is that Sam Sullivan has used civic resources to send an email to a privately held campaign list for his personal gain, as he seeks re-election.

    I say he doesn’t realize this or doesn’t care about this distinction because I believe he is either unaware that there is a difference between the office of the mayor and the person of Sam Sullivan–not terribly likely–or more likely, he doesn’t mind bending the rule because it just doesn’t seem that important a distinction to him, or possibly he is aware of the difference but blatantly rejects it in a purely opportunistic way. I cannot know which it is, maybe something else entirely. This is why I compared him to “President” Bush who regularly embraces Executive Overdrive by disregarding the separation of powers by issuing signing statements to congressional legislation exempting the executive branch from abiding by the very laws he is signing, thereby asserting his office above any congressional oversight; he also has suspended habeas corpus and giving himself the right to indefinitely detain any American citizen with no warrant or evidence at any of the US secret or not so secret prisons in the world. These acts put the “president” above the US Constitution. They mayor is guilty of nothing so severe, but his actions similarly reject his duty to public acknowledge that he is accountable to his office and any civic resources are not for his personal use.

    If the mayor is aware of this distinction between himself and his office, it would be in his best interest to publicly demonstrate that. A public apology for the use of mayor@vancouver.ca and the Manager of Community Relations’ time for this squishy email would be appropriate.

    Stephen

  4. and our exchange continued:

    Michael Klassen wrote:
    I understand what you’re saying, but the reason I understand for the message is the ruling from the clerk’s office and the potential for conflict. Now that this is been made clear to those contacting the office, it’s not an issue. The email mayor@vancouver.ca is the one the city set up for his newsletters. It was not harvested from emails sent to mayorandcouncil, which is what your blog post states.

    Thanks for your response. I thought I’d provide a little more info.

    MK

    then i replied:

    My piece explicitly [merely] presumed the email went to anyone who has emailed a list that may exist of people who have emailed mayorandcouncil. You have cleared that up, but the issue still remains bad, if not worse.

    The email mayor@vancouver.ca is for the mayor’s newsletters, not Sam Sullivan’s newsletters. I don’t think he realizes or cares about this distinction. I say this because email that comes from the premier’s office in Victoria or the prime minister never ask cash or even refer to supporting the provincial Liberal or federal Conservative party in any way. Gordon Campbell and Stephen Harper send emails from their party to party lists to avoid the kind of conflict of interest the city clerk was referring to. Just because he is the mayor does not make Sam Sullivan immune from this degree of discretion and respect for the civil bureaucracy in a functioning democracy.

    Now that you have cleared up my presumption, your explanation of the situation is actually worse than when it was simply unclear. The mayor has used a civic resource, mayor@vancouver.ca and Anna Lucarino’s working time, to send a campaigning email to–if not a civic email list–a private[!] email list used by Sam Sullivan to campaign for re-election. It would have been bad if it were civic resources emailing a civic email list for personal gain. But what you have just confirmed is that Sam Sullivan has used civic resources to send an email to a privately held campaign list for his personal gain, as he seeks re-election.

    I say he doesn’t realize this or doesn’t care about this distinction because I believe he is either unaware that there is a difference between the office of the mayor and the person of Sam Sullivan–not terribly likely–or more likely, he doesn’t mind bending the rule because it just doesn’t seem that important a distinction to him, or possibly he is aware of the difference but blatantly rejects it in a purely opportunistic way. I cannot know which it is, maybe something else entirely. This is why I compared him to “President” Bush who regularly embraces Executive Overdrive by disregarding the separation of powers by issuing signing statements to congressional legislation exempting the executive branch from abiding by the very laws he is signing, thereby asserting his office above any congressional oversight; he also has suspended habeas corpus and giving himself the right to indefinitely detain any American citizen with no warrant or evidence at any of the US secret or not so secret prisons in the world. These acts put the “president” above the US Constitution. They mayor is guilty of nothing so severe, but his actions similarly reject his duty to public acknowledge that he is accountable to his office and any civic resources are not for his personal use.

    If the mayor is aware of this distinction between himself and his office, it would be in his best interest to publicly demonstrate that. A public apology for the use of mayor@vancouver.ca and the Manager of Community Relations’ time for this squishy email would be appropriate.

    Stephen

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