In just six months in office, San Diego Mayor Bob Filner has been plagued with scandals to the point that even his ex-fiancee showed up at a news conference to call for him to take a hike.
He says, for now, he’s not going.
The former congressman who took over the top job in San Diego has released a video apologizing for his behavior after he was alleged to have harassed women sexually.
He admitted needing “help,” but said that would have to happen while he remains in the position of public trust.
“I fully expect to be accountable to the citizens of San Diego for all my actions. But as a citizen of this country, I also expect – and am entitled to – due process, and the opportunity to respond in a fair and impartial venue to specific allegations,” he explained.
There are a lot of people who disagree. Rep. Susan Davis, D-Calif., who served with Filner in Congress, is quoted in the U-T San Diego as saying the mayor should step down because of his “incomprehensible and unacceptable behavior.”
Over the weekend, the mayor’s former fiancée called for his resignation. Bronwyn Ingram told KPBS radio that she ended their relationship because he started to send sexually explicit messages to women via text – while he was there in front of her.
Filner, a former congressman, narrowly won his seat in November in a campaign that included a TV ad by his opponent featuring a woman claiming he had assaulted her in an airport.
The woman worked in the Dulles airport lost luggage department, and Filner was ultimately charged with assault. He pleaded no contest to a lesser charge of trespassing. According to the woman, when he attacked her over lost luggage, he said, “you can’t stop me.” She said his actions were “scary and hostile.”
In addition to the assault allegation by the airport employee, a 2003 U.S. Justice memo quotes Filner regarding another assault accusation.
This incident happened in an El Centro, Calif., immigration detention center, and some of the story sounds familiar. The accusation is that in a dispute about a deportation, he was asked to leave the immigration detention center. The officer there said that the congressman responded, “I am a congressman. I can do whatever I want.”
A U.S. House ethics committee did not take action, but noted that Filner “exhibited poor judgment” in the El Centro immigration detention center incident.
While Filner was suspected of misbehaving before his election, now sources are saying his latest actions smack of pay-to-play, punishment of enemies, and richly rewarding friends.
He reportedly has a record of keeping campaign donations close to home. Before his divorce, his then-wife was paid more than half a million dollars to “consult” on his campaigns, reports said, although she was not a registered consultant, and had no other clients.
This year in June, Filner used his tax-funded bodyguard to remove the No. 2 official from the city attorney’s office from a closed meeting. The Democratic city council president called the move “wrong.” Another councilmember, Scott Sherman said, “When Bob’s in a bad mood, he looks for someone to attack.”
The lawyer who was removed, Andrew Jones said, “This was shocking… I am the first African American to ever hold a position this high in the city attorney’s office. I had not said a word, he attacked me with no provocation.”
When asked if this was a particularly bad day for the mayor, Jones responded, “It’s one thing to have a bad day, it’s another…to use the power of the police department to remove me from that office…it is another thing to use the authority of the mayor’s office unlawfully and inappropriately. That’s not a bad day. That’s a violation of the law, and it goes far beyond the pale of (what) any decent human being would expect.”
Filner is also currently under a DOJ investigation dated July 6, for an alleged “pay to play” scheme. Reportedly he demanded $100,000 donation from Sunroad Enterprizes Development to reverse his veto of a council approved land use permit.
His response to these charges? “People who get things from the city understand that they have to give things back.”
He later returned the money, and some say this is the smoking gun in this investigation.
One San Diego reporter reflected on names he has heard attributed to Filner. He recalled that political enemies and allies describe him one who “stabs you in the front, stabs you in the back. He’s abrasive, aggressive, impolitic, caustic, truculent, brash and (according to one memorable formulation by a fellow democrat, Peter Navarro), the ‘Grand Canyon of A*******’.”
But why such behavior?
Trevor Loudon told WND that his website, Keywiki.org, has long known what motivates Mayor Filner. It points to Filner’s list of supporters and the things they have in common:
- JStreet: a leftist, Jewish organization that, according to its website, “was founded to change the dynamics of American politics and policy on Israel and the Middle East.” JStreet has several Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) members within its leadership (according to Keywiki.org) and is regarded by its opponents as one of the most dangerous and anti-Israel groups in the country.
- When he entered Congress in 1990, he soon became a founding member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, a grouping of far left congressmen organized by openly socialist independent Congressman Bernie Sanders and Democratic Socialists of America. Filner later donated his campaign office to DSA phone bankers, soliciting support for their events.
- Gray Panthers, the ultra-radical National Lawyers Guild, Welfare Warriors and labor unions, are all partners and friends of Bob Filner.
- In November 1999, Bob Filner attended DSA’s national convention, conveniently held in his home town of San Diego, where he had the honor of introducing his old comrade Bernie Sanders to the assembled socialists.
- In 2004 San Diego Democratic Socialists of America supported Filner’s successful congressional race.
- DSA supported Filner again in 2006.
- In 2008 Bob Filner attended a San Diego DSA function organized for City Council candidate Stephen Whitburn.
- On Oct. 26, 2009, Bob Filner spoke alongside fellow Congressional Progressive Caucus member Jared Polis, D-Colo., and the DSA-affiliated Jan Schakowsky at the JStreet 2009 Conference.
According to KeyWiki.org, none of this is surprising, as Bob Filner’s father, Joseph Filner, was once a leading member of the Communist Party USA.
Former supporters, like Alice Delatorre, are calling for Filner to go.
“As a congressman, Bob Filner was very approachable regarding listening to the many concerns that San Ysidro had regarding the border issues. Filner made it a point to visit San Ysidro during his tenure in Congress to hear first hand the many issues. As for his short tenure as mayor, I think he needs to turn in his resignation.”
Republican leaders in San Diego are solemn. Chairman of the San Diego Republican Party Tony Krvaric told WND that “this whole situation is such a tragedy, for women involved and for our beloved city.”