As this is being written before the San Diego City Council’s meeting today, I’m operating under the assumption that the deal negotiated with Mayor Bob Filner will be approved. It’s hard for me to see any other conclusion to this kabuki theater.
A political writer with the Los Angeles Times is saying via Twitter this morning that the deal will involve Filner not formally quitting until the end of August and that he’ll be making a televised speech following the council meeting.
The timing of Filner’s exit has to do with the potential dates for runoff elections.
Attorney Gloria Allred took to the airwaves yesterday to demand her pound of flesh, warning against any deal that didn’t help her share of any settlement with her client.
With the mayor dangling in the wind, her leverage is much greater.
The case against Bob Filner, private citizen, just isn’t quite so sexy. Then it might come down to arguing over just how much actual damage was done to her client. I would say it’s considerably less than whatever amount Allred couldn’t get the City of San Diego to settle for during last Monday’s negotiations.
The city will likely save money on the current deal, regardless of what the negotiated resignation will cost. Filner will be gone and ‘business as usual’ will return to San Diego.
Tasting Blood and Wanting More
But others aren’t so sure. And the public anger stimulated by a hyper-ventilating press can not be so easily contained. The virtual mob has tasted blood and they want more.
Today’s edition of the UT-San Diego can best be described as an homage to that sentiment, with a blood red headline superimposed over an evil-looking portrait of hizzoner, a front page editorial (that tiptoes back into reality after the jump to page A-3), a best of Steve Breen’s “I’m not making him look like an evil Jew” cartoons, and a column from the man (Logan Jenkins) who advocated the position that the mayor’s attorney should quit so he could face his children in the future:
In an ideal world, the council would vote down any financial quid pro quo today, and Filner, seeking the healing of atonement, would resign immediately from office and quickly reach a settlement with a forgiving McCormack Jackson.
And those are, believe it or not, the reasonable people in town.
Check out the first few sentences from the report posted by the GOP cheerleading squad at 10News:
San Diego taxpayers are fighting mad over a decision by the San Diego City Council Friday that could end up costing the city big, in exchange for Mayor Filner’s resignation.
“I don’t think that we should be responsible. Let him take it out of his money,” said San Diego taxpayer Hope Horton.
Taxpayer Victor Ashbaugh told 10News, “I think I’d have to file a police report on being robbed. We don’t want to as taxpayers pay for the recall and waste all that type of money but yet we don’t want to pay the mayor to leave either. Ask for anything like that, continue to drain the city of money on funds that should be spent elsewhere is just robbery.”
“I don’t think he deserves a pension or anything you know. If anything he deserves a boot out of here you know because he took advantage of everybody,” said taxpayer Pancho Castillo.
Over at the “San Diego Deserves Better” Facebook page, which traces its origins to the local GOP and was created even before last fall’s election, you can see the true anger inspired by the local mob mentality.
Starting out with “Simple Question” from the moderator…
“Friends, looking for some feedback. What if the deal about Mayor Filner’s resignation includes taxpayers covering some of his legal bills and/or exposure? Worth it to get rid of him? Let us know your thoughts in the comments”
…things take off:
Jim Sullivan – Get him some cement slippers and drop him in the bay!
Christina Lynn Horning-King – No freaking way!!!!!! He’ll be forced out regardless – I’m not paying for his ass grab addiction!
Diana Sickles McCauley – I have to agree with William Archer. He should be prosecuted & registered as a sex offender. Had it been an ordinary citizen (without City power) they would not hesitate. Allow attorney Allred to do what she does best!!
Elaine White - Not a dime! – Anyone council member who agrees to anything like that needs to be next on a recall petition.
Darlene Hansen – He is a criminal, he would be recalled, then we’d have to pay him nothing. City Council should not pay him off to leave.
Ronald G. Peete – Why don’t you actually put this man in jail where he belongs?? The things he has done is illegal plus lying to the people of San Diego!! If you want to stop the lies, theft, bribery and just plain corruption in San Diego PUT HIS BUTT IN PRISON FOR 30 OR 40 YEARS!!!
Frank James – If it included castration it would be a bargain!
Back to the UT-San Diego for a moment, there’s another editorial inside letting us know just how stupid the mayor was to call off the war on pot dispensaries, how the poor hoteliers have suffered under his scheme to make them be responsible for the quasi-legal tax/fee scheme, and how wrong it was to expect developers to actually have to pay for their burdens on the taxpayer.
And then there are these Tweets:
— Rob Stutzman (@RobStutzman) August 22, 2013
Just drove through Balboa Park. 1st time since change to Prado. Now can we still get undergrnd parking w/ park on top. Seems like good comp.
— Gil Cabrera (@GilCabrera) August 22, 2013
Mutually Assured Destruction
The Voice of Orange County (which is not affiliated with VOSD) has let fly with an article that former UT writer Rex Dalton has apparently been trying to get published for over a year now.
The premise of interest here is that Filner’s sexcapades weren’t aggressively targeted by the DeMaio campaign because of a not-so-nice story floating around about the then-City Councilman’s own issues involving self-gratification.
Dalton’s story was turned down locally after then-members including Ben Hueso and Tony Young of the City Council refused to confirm the accounts attributed to them.
This tale was apparently at the heart of a failed “journalistic enterprise” cited by the City’s ethics commission last year. Attempts by the San Diego Reader and others to gain access to the key documents from its investigation were denied.
I have to admit I also heard the story via the grapevine. And, while I personally was grossed out by it, didn’t think it was worth pursuing.
Slut Shaming Personified
Speaking of stories through the grapevine, I inadvertently translated tales I’d heard about a GOP consultant’s back door assistance to Carl DeMaio’s campaign into the assertion that John Dadian was affiliated with said effort in yesterday’s political obituary for Mayor Filner.
I got an email from Dadian demanding retraction, checked my notes and after determining he was correct, revised the story. Stuff happens when you crank out a long piece too quickly, so I fixed it and moved on.
The GOP consultant’s appearance in my story was tied to the horrific “coverage’ by 10News of a Filner press secretary’s Las Vegas bachelorette party. Dadian was used by the reporter to lend an air of credibility to the story.
The story was shopped town around by another GOP operative, who’d recognized the young woman in question in Vegas and coerced her into posing for a picture drinking from penis shaped straw.
In my book we call that a ‘dirty trick’.
Perhaps Dardian didn’t know the origin of the photo, or didn’t care.
But then he contributed an article for Voice of San Diego, defending his analysis and criticizing an article by Sara Libby critical of the 10Newsaccount, calling it “an emotional rant and rave that has no place in professional journalism.”
Talk about thick… Dismiss an argument by saying a woman is emotional? He must have acquired his common sense from the pages of the same playbook Bob Filner used.
As one commenter pointed out, Dardian who is arguably at least as public of a figure as the bachelorette in Las Vegas, regularly posts sexually explicit humor on his Facebook page.
Nathan Fletcher’s In
Expected by insiders to enjoy the backing of La Jolla billionaire and Qualcomm founder Irwin Jacobs, who recently gave big money to Hillary Clinton’s putative presidential bid, Fletcher has changed from Republican to Independent to Democrat in the space of about a year.
The filing allows Fletcher to begin fundraising for the race immediately, and may also mean that Jacobs will be able to revive his controversial plans to revamp Balboa Park’s traffic, parking, and road plans, as reported in here February.
This is an excerpt from today’s San Diego Free Press column.