Reader Rant on Filner Circus: “It All Saddens Me”

by on July 15, 2013 · 8 comments

in Culture, Economy, Election, Politics, San Diego

By David Warmoth

In recent days, there have been subtle, and more than a few overt implications that those of us who have not yet jumped on the resignation bandwagon don’t have a high enough sense of morality or aren’t concerned about the serious issue of sexual harassment. I don’t believe this is true and it saddens me.

It saddens me that a freedom rider who has done so much for civil rights, worker’s rights and just generally, the improvement of the lives of average San Diegans has been brought to the position that he now finds himself. The irony though, is that for all the manufactured outrage and scandal from the UT, City Attorney, Council members, and supporters of other mayoral candidates seeking a re-do for their man/woman, it’s the Mayor’s own hubris and venality that has brought him here. He is a crotchety, old misogynist who will probably end his career in disgrace because he couldn’t keep it in check. I’m sad for this end but a self-inflicted wound is not the biggest tragedy.

What really saddens me is the end of what could have been. We now have a mayor who says no to a $40 million/multi-month plan to remove cars from Plaza de Panama and just goes ahead and does it for a few thousand dollars in a matter of weeks. He put a hate-filled demonization of the City’s workers on hold and, negotiating in good faith with them, managed to get the additional five year freeze the City’s voters said they wanted.

It’s my opinion that unless the Republicans do something totally idiotic (they are Republicans after all) or the Democrats display more discipline than I expect (we are Democrats after all), if Mayor Filner resigns/is recalled, our next Mayor is likely to be Republican. Even if I’m wrong, I don’t expect any of the likely Democratic alternatives likely to fight the City Council’s tendency to drop their pants for any developer, hotelier, or developer/hotelier who thinks he’s a publisher who comes in to rape the city’s assets.

Mayor Filner understands that minimum-wage, or near minimum-wage jobs in largely out-of-State owned hotels/Walmarts are a drain on taxpayer resources, not a plus. While he has started the process to attract industry with good paying jobs that do not require government assistance to make ends meet, he has simultaneously attempted to at least have developers leave a few dollars on the night stand for the City when the City Council happily acquiesces to another rape. I don’t see any alternatives likely to stand up for the citizens of the City against the “business as usual” attitude that is still prevalent downtown.

Mayor Filner’s offenses are probably too serious and we have gone too far down the “calls for resignation” road to give a true humanitarian another chance to become a decent human being. That saddens me. What really saddens me though, is that because of this, the red light in the front window is firmly switched to the ON position and all we can do is drop our pants and smile.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Frances O'Neill Zimmerman July 15, 2013 at 1:46 pm

A lot of disconcerting dropping-pants imagery here, but a wonderful essay nonetheless.

Right now, I don’t agree that all is lost. Estimable Ekard has been brought in. Filner is educable and can reform his awful habits, with help. This is clearly necessary and not negotiable. But We the People have elected this very flawed, very smart, very effective elected official to four years’ work. The Mayor can be replaced only by a recall (expensive and difficult) or by his voluntary resignation (not happening today or any other day, I hope.) Filner can get back to work and divide his time between doing good for San Diego, going to a shrink and fending off the slings and arrows.

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avatar Michael Russell July 15, 2013 at 2:46 pm

So, do you want a guy who wants to sleep with you, or a guy who wants to sleep with the business community?

Anonymous sexual allegations designed to eliminate strong politicians are nothing new. Sex used to be private, but now, after Clinton, it’s public. Whoever would replace Filner, the progressive community will not get a better mayor.

Without Filner, a strong leader (likely on testosterone replacement therapy), we will fail as a City, and the region will likely collapse as the inner city becomes an isolated threat to the rest of the county.

If the progressives disintegrate instead of uniting behind their mayor, then our opponents win. This is classic Machiavellian divide and conquer, make your enemies fight among themselves, and you need not fear them.

I like Donna Frye, but she has made a mistake representing women who would refuse to identify themselves in public. I understand her ethical stance, but unless we empower women to speak openly, to face those they fear, then we have not done justice, only slander.

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avatar Seth July 15, 2013 at 11:01 pm

Michael, I am sure you are a good guy, but I don’t like anything you said here. Could have made much of the same argument for the Catholic Church a while back. The choice is not between having a developer shill or a habitual sexual harasser (if that’s the case, which it appears to be). Dare to dream. We can do much better than either of those things, and we do a disservice to ourselves when we don’t try to.

And while everyone does in fact deserve due process, the demand to identify these women at this stage borders on slut-shaming, IMO. Filner didn’t exactly get out there and deny the claims that he knows Frye and others were making. He flat-out owned them in his speech and begged for forgiveness.

That’s not what progressives claim to stand for, nor should they.

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avatar oburnt out July 15, 2013 at 5:08 pm

If a 73 year old man does not know right from wrong the only thing a therapist can do is give a diagnosis; what San Diego can do is give him the boot- in the name of integrity; or has San Diego lost that too. What a mess, unfortunately not the first, and probably not the last.

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avatar Debbie July 15, 2013 at 9:12 pm

The abused woman and/or men needed to stand up and speak for themselves. Now they have the attorneys to file their lawsuits and with discovery …. things will be discovered and the rest will take its course (no more press conferences). There is Karma and it shows up when least expected. The biggest losers will be the San Diego taxpayers.

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avatar Seth July 15, 2013 at 10:48 pm

If even 50% of what is being alleged is true, he should step down immediately. This isn’t some personal time shenanigans or extra-marital affair being alleged, it is a Mayor using his position to habitually harass staffers and constituents on the job. All of us are far from perfect, but am I to believe that people here would have been OK with Jerry Sanders using his office to engage in such behavior?

Of course not. And if it is not OK for one, it is not OK for the other. It’s the acts that are unacceptable, not the political affiliation of the person doing them.

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avatar Debbie July 16, 2013 at 7:43 am

I wish Donna Frye yelled at Murphy or Peters like she did yesterday when they were belitting her and abusing their power and authority! Not minimizing the current allegations of the Mayor….just saying.

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avatar Frank Gormlie July 16, 2013 at 9:15 am

Yeah, never saw her that angry, and god knows there’s been enough to get angry about over the years.

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