Loose Lips

Phil Mendelson Asks LivingSocial to Lay Off the Booze and Guns

It's the time of the summer recess when a D.C. Council chairman's heart turns to more light-hearted pursuits. For Phil Mendelson, that means bugging LivingSocial.

In a letter to LivingSocial CEO Tim O'Shaughnessy, Mendelson asks the daily deals company to join its Chicago-based competitor Groupon and drop deals that involve both alcohol and guns. (Washington City Paper also sells daily deals.)

"Offering consumers a product that seemingly glorifies the opportunity to shoot a firearm and consume alcohol is, in my view, too flippant with the responsibility that is associated with gun use," Mendelson writes.

LivingSocial spokeswoman Sara Parker tells LL the company isn't currently offering any guns and alcohol deals. "We have not yet heard directly from Councilman Chairman Phil Mendelson, but welcome a dialog with him at any time," Parker writes in an email.

The last time this came up, the company said it only allows participants to drink after shooting, not before or during. That's apparently not enough for Mendelson, whose press release not so subtly points out that LivingSocial will receive a $32.5 million tax break from the District starting in 2015.

Letting people shoot guns and then drink is like selling beer in a gas station, according to the chairman. "It is simply not in the public interest to associate the two," Mendelson writes.

Read the letter below:

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • What?


    Or at least read the fine print before wasting time writing a stupid letter. The least you could have done is spoke to them about it first. Maybe then they could have told you they dont do what you are writing a letter asking them not to. And what the hell does beer and a gas station have to do with anything? SHUT UP YOU BIG DUMMY!

  • Asuka

    I'm glad that Phil has solved the city's problems so that he now has the free time to dictate to a private, legal business what it should and should not be doing.

    This council is a joke. There needs to be term limits on councilmembers.

  • Jim Ed

    I can't tell if this is shameless pandering to the ward 3 Subaru and NPR set or if Phil really is the living embodiment of every obnoxious right wing stereotype about urban east coast liberals.

    This type of ivory tower professorial finger wagging against a complete non-issue is only going to encourage congressional Republicans and their ilk to drape themselves in 2nd amendment outrage and further fuck with our fair city. Awesome job, Phil

  • Gangsta!

    Lets go after Living social but lets forget, crackheads, corner liqueur stores and gang violence in the district. Phil Mendelson is a joke.

  • Becie

    What a moron! There's nothing illegal with alcohol, and what about the Second Amendment. This guy needs a remedial course in American Government or Social Studies! How do these knuckleheads get elected???

  • John Smith

    I think he should worry about crime, low education, and city debt before he worries about somebody else's business.

  • Jane

    LivingSocial is apparently paying its few remaining employees to be its attack dogs.

  • Ward2guy

    Phil Mendelson is a joke. He has only one re-election because he ran against a candidate who was more foolish than him: Mike Brown, a white guy pretending to be the african-american mike brown.

  • Ward2guy

    Mendelson isn't worried about crime. He lives in a nice part of DC. Would someone please run against this clown.

  • tntdc

    Worst part of story is DC's giving $32.5M to a dying company.

  • Tom

    If Phil wants to do something productive, he can take money-losing Living Social off the DC government dole. The taxpayers should not be providing aid and incentives to a private company.

  • John

    Could everyone, including Phil and the thread commenters just....shut...up? The market is doing a fine job of both eliminating _all_ of their deals, well before they will ever collect those tax breaks.

  • RealDC

    LOL- Mendelson is a JOKE on every level. WTF is wrong with the elected folks in DC? He is trying to legislate on "coupons"......

    It is time to vote these out-of-touch officials OUT of office!!....Our current elected "monkeys" are the worst.... all of them.

  • sticktoyourguns

    phil mendelson lives in ward 4 and because bowser hasn't done anything to prevent crime your response that phil lives in a safe part of town is incorrect....just ask his neighbors who get robbed

  • sticktoyourguns

    I think he had a right to make this request to not promote guns...hell the city gave living social a tax break, they only hire residents of VA & MD..they don't think about hiring DC residents nor minority residents....go to their offices and if you are not white you won't see one person out of the hundreds in their offices of minority. so I say yes make some demands of their asses.

  • Jeff Canady

    Asuka, there was a term limit for councilmembers voters apporoved. Phil Mendelson led the Council to overturn the voters will!!!!!!!

  • Asuka


    Term limits would fix so much of this city's dysfunction. Everything stems from the professional political class. If they were limited to two terms, there'd be very little time for them to develop the necessary relationships that result in their corruption. Who would invest in someone when that person is essentially a lame duck at birth? If the campaign finance reformer were sincere and not just attempting to solidify union power (they want to limit corporate, but not union, contributions), they'd push for a ballot measure limiting terms. It would pass easily.

  • MJ

    Ah...The People's Business.

  • SEis4ME

    Term limits would be as effective as putting a new pair of panties on an old woman.

    In the political scene, longevity is the name of the game because it helps establish relationships with those u most needs. Simply having an Elissa Silverman every two terms accomplishes little..

  • MissingSomthin

    I must be missing something. I have no idea why a simple letter would incite so much vitrol. Phil did not go to their office, try to pass a bill or anything like that? He just sent a letter saying don't give an incentive to have people drink and shoot at the same time. Living Social said, ok we dont do that. Not a biggie folks. Lets move on.

  • Typical DC BS

    Another Dumocrat whining about a nonexistent problem. Ho Hum.

  • Asuka


    You clearly are. A council member is fairly powerful person. When one of them sends your business a letter telling you to do something, there is a not-so-subtle message being deliver by an elected official to an employer, not unlike a mobster walking into the corner store and telling the proprietor that they can help keep their store safe. Is Phil allowed to do this sort of thing? Sure. Should he? Absolutely not. But he does a lot of things he shouldn't - this is not a man of integrity, after all.

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