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Ted Hayes might be the last guy you’d expect to be a Republican. That’s true, at least, unless you got a chance to speak with him.
Hayes is a big tower of a man who looks like he could have just as easily played in Bob Marley’s band as be Los Angeles’s pre-eminent homeless advocate, which he is. In 1993, Hayes founded Dome Village, a community to house homeless people and instill in them a “philosophy of self-governance, responsibility, productivity, volunteerism and respect for individuals,” thereby providing “avenues for homeless people to seek empowerment and make a break from the chronic cycle and psyche of homelessness.”
When you see a Rastafarian-looking homeless advocate, you usually don’t think Republican. Apparently, multi-millionaire retired attorney Milton Sidley never expected Ted Hayes to be a Republican, either. Sidley, you see, is the landlord for Dome Village, which currently pays Sidley $2,500 per month, plus property taxes, for the right to occupy the formerly blighted encampment site.
Unfortunately for the once-homeless who now live at Dome Village, the Los Angeles Times published an article earlier this month that mentioned Hayes’s political leanings. Perhaps Milton Sidley—a partisan Democrat who contributed $4,000 to the John Kerry campaign in 2004—noticed the article: all of a sudden, the landlord has announced that Dome Village’s rent will increase by over 630% when the lease comes up in late 2006. Each month, Dome Village will have to come up with $18,333 plus property taxes in order to stay afloat, or the residents will face homelessness once again.
According to a recent press release from Dome Village, when asked about the rent increase, Sidley replied, “This Democrat is tired of supporting Ted and his Dome Village.”
So much for the self-proclaimed compassion of Democrats!