Saturday, August 31, 2013

Putting Out Filner's Fire

He needed a bucket of cold water a long time ago.

"San Diego mayor accused of harassing women leaves the job quietly; Filner still faces lawsuit filed by a former staffer" by Elliot Spagat |  Associated Press, August 31, 2013

SAN DIEGO — Before the scandal, Bob Filner was true to his reputation as a workaholic. Followers adopted a Twitter hashtag — #filnereverywhere — to chronicle his nonstop pace riding a bicycle to school with children, crashing the podium at the city attorney’s news conference to denounce the speaker’s positions, and marching to protest violence against women. 

I think we know why he wanted to be around women. What a scum.

But the city’s first Democratic leader in 20 years turned into a virtual no-show after allegations surfaced last month that he sexually harassed women. The saga culminated in a defiant farewell speech to the City Council last week in which the onetime civil rights activist said he was the innocent victim of a ‘‘lynch mob.’’

He still doesn't get it!


The California attorney general’s office has launched a criminal investigation of Filner, and the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department has been interviewing his accusers and will deliver its findings to the attorney general’s office for possible prosecution.


Filner leaves office as questions linger about how someone who acknowledged mistreating women for many years — but denied sexually harassing them — could have survived for so long in politics.

Protected by Nancy Pelosi?

Only he and perhaps a small circle of advisers know how his behavior went undetected, and they weren’t talking.

Those who know Filner say he may have been more easily exposed as the leader of the nation’s eighth-largest city than as a congressman further from the spotlight.

What does that say about that cesspool called Washington, 'eh?

His behavior also may have deteriorated after being elected mayor....


‘‘There was a flood of community members who now felt welcome at City Hall, who felt welcome in the mayor’s office after years, if not decades, of being shut out,’’ said attorney Cory Briggs. 

Yeah, he wasn't such a bad guy at all!


"San Diego mayor defiant as he steps down; Says ‘lynch mob’ is to blame for his resignation" by Julie Watson |  Associated Press, August 24, 2013

SAN DIEGO — Mayor Bob Filner agreed Friday to resign next Friday, bowing to enormous pressure after lurid sexual harassment allegations brought by at least 17 women eroded his support after only nine months on the job.

Woah, that many!?!?

Filner was regretful and defiant during a City Council meeting as he explained ‘‘the toughest decision of my life.’’ He apologized to his accusers but insisted he was innocent of sexual harassment and said he was the victim of a ‘‘lynch mob.’’

What chutzpah!

‘‘The city should not have to go through this, and my own personal failures were responsible and I apologize to the city,’’ Filner said after the council voted 7-0 on a deal that ended a political stalemate after more than a dozen women publicly identified themselves as targets of unwanted advances, including touching, forcible kisses, and lurid comments.

‘‘To all the women that I’ve offended, I had no intention to be offensive, to violate any physical or emotional space,’’ he said. ‘‘I was trying to establish personal relationships but the combination of awkwardness and hubris led to behavior that I think many found offensive.’’

What I find offensive is your unrepentant sophistry.

Legal terms of the deal were being revealed as the council meeting continued into the late afternoon.

Filner, a Democrat, served 20 years in Congress before becoming mayor of the nation’s eighth-largest city. He had insisted he still could be an effective mayor and underwent two weeks of behavioral therapy before returning to work.

SeeHarassment: Political therapy in San Diego

But his support diminished as more women — one of them a great-grandmother and another a retired Navy admiral — came forward.

Some of Filner’s political allies and all nine members of the council called on him to quit.

On Friday, just before the council vote, the Democratic National Committee took the extraordinary step of passing a resolution demanding that Filner leave.

Dozens of people spoke for and against the mayor before the council convened behind closed doors to discuss terms negotiated by Filner and city attorney Jan Goldsmith.

‘‘Without the mayor’s resignation, our city will continue to be paralyzed by this scandal, progress will be arrested, and our focus will continue to be monopolized by this dark chapter in our history,’’ said Laura Fink, a political consultant who accused Filner of patting her buttocks in 2005 when she was deputy campaign manager to the then-congressman.

In other words, feely Filner has been operating a LONG TIME!

Rachel Laing, a spokeswoman for an effort to recall the mayor, said petition gatherers collected 20,000 signatures in five days to qualify for the ballot but that she would accept a deal for the mayor to resign.

‘‘Every day he’s in office is a day that the city remains in paralysis and that his victims suffer,’’ she told the council.

Still, many who came to the special meeting supported the 70-year-old mayor, hailing the liberal Democrat’s work on behalf of civil rights and struggling minority groups.

Have you "left-wingers" no shame?

‘‘When my children ask me, ‘Where were you when the public lynching of Mayor Filner took place?’ I will tell them I was not an accessory,’’ said Enrique Morones, of immigrant advocacy group Border Angels.

Filner’s biggest bargaining chip at the negotiating table was his refusal to resign.

The deal was negotiated between Filner, his lawyers, Goldsmith, and two City Council members.

It does not include attorney Gloria Allred, who represents Filner’s former communications director, Irene McCormack Jackson, in a lawsuit filed against Filner and the city.

Oh, my, Allred failed to prevent another rape! That woman must be feeling so violated right now.



"Mayor’s response to recall bid omits harassment accusations" by Julie Watson |  Associated Press, August 14, 2013

SAN DIEGO — Mayor Bob Filner of San Diego responded to a recall effort over sexual harassment allegations by pointing to progress he said the city has made during his term. 

I see the therapy isn't helping. 

How do you treat arrogance anyway?

Filner made no mention of the accusations in a written statement addressed to the city clerk’s office Monday to meet a deadline under the municipal code.

Instead, the city’s first Democratic mayor in two decades highlighted economic, environmental, and job-creating projects that he has launched since his election in November.

Yeah, so let's overlook making women you worked with uncomfortable. 

The recall effort could legally proceed even if Filner missed the deadline, but now his response will be included on the petitions expected to begin circulating next week.

Filner pointed out a five-year labor agreement for city employees.

He's counting on union support!

He said his administration is working on expansion plans for the city’s convention center that will generate thousands of local jobs and on a proposal to try to bring the 2024 summer Olympics to San Diego and neighboring Tijuana, Mexico.

That's how many years away, even if you want them disrupting your town.

More than a dozen women have accused the 70-year-old former congressman of making unwanted advances, such as inappropriate statements or groping. 

I didn't know it was that many.

There have been numerous calls for Filner to resign.

Several businesses — including four Hooters restaurant locations — have posted signs from a radio talk show campaign stating that the establishments will not serve the mayor because ‘‘we believe women should be treated with respect.’’

As long as they have big boobs and will run around in tight-fitting, skimpy clothing.



Don't get him hot!

"Petition targets San Diego Mayor Bob Filner" Associated Press, August 19, 2013

SAN DIEGO — The effort to recall San Diego’s embattled mayor kicked off in the nation’s eighth-largest city Sunday, one day before Bob Filner was set to return to work at City Hall after undergoing behavior therapy.

The petition drive to boot Filner from office amid sexual harassment allegations began Sunday, and organizers said some volunteers began gathering signatures right away.

‘‘This is a tremendous grass-roots undertaking — truly the people taking back their government from an abuser who has betrayed San Diegans, demeaned women, and who can no longer lead our city,’’ said Michael Pallamary, who filed the petition to recall the Democrat. ‘‘They’re ready to tell Filner, ‘It’s over, Bob. The people are going to show you the door.’ ’’ 

Someone has to!

The 70-year-old former US representative has resisted numerous calls to resign from the nine-member City Council, and state and federal elected officials, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who has said that Filner should step down and spare San Diego the pain and expense of a recall election.

More than a dozen women have publicly accused Filner of making inappropriate statements or advances. The latest came Thursday when a volunteer city worker who assists senior citizens said Filner repeatedly rubbed her hands, asked her on dates, and made sexually suggestive comments.

The recall effort must collect 101,597 signatures of registered San Diego voters by Sept. 26. If the petition has fewer than that, the recall campaign will have 30 more days to circulate a supplemental petition to gather the additional valid signatures. If enough signatures are validated by the city clerk, the petition will be presented to the City Council, which must schedule an election within 60 to 90 days from then.


"Besieged San Diego mayor is absent" Associated Press, August 20, 2013 

Yeah, poor, besieged Bob. Tells you jewspaper's sympathies lie with one of their own tribe.

SAN DIEGO — City Hall opened as usual Monday but Mayor Bob Filner was nowhere to be found, still out of public view as he tries to survive a recall effort prompted by a cascade of sexual harassment allegations that led the entire City Council and many leading fellow Democrats to call for him to resign....

More than a dozen women, including a university dean and a retired Navy rear admiral, have gone public with sexual harassment accusations against Filner, 70. Some contend he cornered, groped, and forcibly kissed them.

Do you find those women not credible?

The accusations have prompted an avalanche of calls for Filner to resign and a recall effort that started Sunday. Hooters restaurants in San Diego even posted signs saying he is not welcome.

And if Hooters is telling him to stay out.... sigh!


"San Diego mayor expected to resign; Deal reportedly reached after sex harassment suit" by Jennifer Medina and Timothy Williams |  New York Times, August 23, 2013

LOS ANGELES — The embattled San Diego mayor, Bob Filner, was expected to resign Friday as part of an agreement with other city officials, local officials close to the mediation effort said.

But he still hung on another frikkin' week?

The City Council was expected to meet Friday afternoon to approve the deal, which is said to include payment for at least part of Filner’s legal fees in the sexual harassment suit filed against him.


Officials, including two City Council members and the city attorney, had been part of a three-day mediation led by a retired federal judge and announced the news of the deal late Wednesday evening. Filner was seen taking boxes out of his office shortly after the announcement.

During the last several weeks, 18 women have come forward with allegations that Filner, 70, a Democrat, had behaved inappropriately, including groping them and forcibly kissing them.

17, 18, what's the difference?

A retired Navy rear admiral, a great-grandmother, a university dean, and Filner’s former communications director were among the women who filed the sexual harassment suit against him.

Filner wanted to f*** anything that moved, didn't he?

Jan Goldsmith, San Diego’s city attorney, announced late Wednesday that the tentative deal had been reached but declined to provide details until the agreement can be discussed by the City Council on Friday.

“The City Council has not heard of this proposal, and our process at City Hall as well as the mediation process requires that we maintain the confidentiality of the proposal until they have heard of it,” Goldsmith said.

Irene McCormack Jackson, Filner’s former communications director, was the first woman to come forward. Her lawyer, Gloria Allred, said that Filner had demanded that Jackson kiss him, said he wanted to see her naked, and asked her to work without wearing underwear.

Allred said that Filner had once placed his arm around Jackson’s neck and dragged her around while he whispered sexual comments into her ear.

Filner has acknowledged that he has behaved inappropriately at times, but has denied that he has sexually harassed women.

A 10-term US representative before he was elected mayor, Filner announced that he would undergo two weeks of behavior treatment therapy, but has thus far refused to resign.

The terror women in Washington D.C. must have felt when Filner walked into a room.


Related: Putting Out the California Fires

"Smoke from wildfire descends into Calif. cities; But workers gain ‘upper hand’ in Yosemite blaze" by Gosia Wozniacka |  Associated Press, August 31, 2013

FRESNO, Calif. — Nearly a third of the huge forest fire burning in and around Yosemite National Park was contained Friday and some small communities in the mountainous area were no longer under evacuation advisories, but smoke descending down into San Joaquin Valley cities was becoming a problem....

The 2-week-old blaze burning in the Sierra Nevada northeast of Fresno has scorched 315 square miles of brush, oak, and pine, making it the largest US wildfire this year and the fifth-largest wildfire in modern California records....

Winds had been blowing dense smoke plumes northeast into the Lake Tahoe area and Nevada but a shift Friday brought them west down to the San Joaquin Valley floor....

The impact is being felt as far north as Lake Tahoe, where thick smoke settled this week in the alpine basin that draws outdoor enthusiasts from around the world, affecting everything from hotel reservations to bicycle rentals.

The sky was clear Thursday, but tourists had yet to come back....

Some hotels and motels at South Lake Tahoe were experiencing as much as a 10 percent to 20 percent drop in business, with less of an impact at larger hotel-casino properties, said Carol Chaplin, executive director of the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority. But she said there were signs of improvement as the holiday weekend neared.

‘‘We’ve got blue skies. We’ve got the lake back. It’s the best it has been in a week,’’ she said.

The cost of fighting the fire reached $47 million, including firefighters from 41 states and the District of Columbia and significant aviation resources including helicopters, a DC-10 jumbo jet, and military aircraft equipped with the Modular Airborne FireFighting System. Aircraft have dropped 1.7 million gallons of retardant and 1.4 million gallons of water.