Ignore East Coast dolts: San Diego mayor girding for long fight

filner.smilesThe East Coast media do such an amazingly superficial job of covering California politics that it’s no surprise they’re missing the boat on the Bob Filner scandal in San Diego. This is the same bunch that thought the 2003 recall of Gov. Gray Davis was flakey, not an organic outburst of anger over a poorly run state. It’s the same bunch that bought the 2006-07 fantasy that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger had discovered a “post-partisan” path to sublime governance. It’s the same bunch that buys the 2013 fantasy that Gov. Jerry Brown is a genius — never mind the high unemployment, the bad schools, the unaddressed budget nightmares, the prisons’ debacle, the bullet train fiasco, etc.

Washington Post “The Fix” blogger Sean Sullivan is sure that Filner is doomed:

“San Diego Mayor Bob Filner is not resigning. He’s made that very clear publicly.

“In reality though, the Congressman-turned-mayor, who faces sexual harassment allegations and calls for him to step down, almost certainly can’t survive for much longer

“’It’s difficult for me to see how Filner can actually govern the second-largest city in the largest state in such distracting and debilitating circumstances with no base of support, no spouse or significant other to attest to his good qualities, no real friends, and no loyalty from his own party members,’ said veteran California Democratic strategist Garry South.”

“Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.”

Filner is winning the framing game

Sullivan is a smug and uninformed dolt. Here’s an infinitely smarter take from SD Rostra blogger Greg Larkin, who quotes a City Hall insider who understands that Filner has had a good week, not a bad one:

“They’ve been able to trivialize and reduce down serious sexual harassment and sexual battery claims as a workplace issue that should be handled internally by the City’s HR department, despite the fact that some of the allegations are not from city employees.

“They’ve been able to turn the tables on the alleged victims, nearly daring them to come forward and reveal themselves to public scrutiny.

“They’ve been able to swat away calls for Filner to step down by claiming that ‘due process’ is first deserved, an amorphous term which they control and continue to define, because Filner is the one who will let you know whether he has received it or not.

They’ve been able to deflect arguments that an embattled Mayor can’t perform his job, by suggesting the Mayor’s role is mostly a management position, and then hiring an experienced, respected former county official to run city operations on an interim basis.”

I still believe Filner is unlikely to survive. Eventually, a woman will go public with her complaints, and if she is even faintly sympathetic, here comes a cable-TV circus. Filner will come across as a loathsome 70-year-old lecher, a gargoyle masquerading as a public servant.

But as Larkin points out, what’s happened so far reflects a mayor who is not stunned and reeling. He’s maneuvering to keep his job, and pretty capably.

It’s going to take a knockout to get Filner to quit. So far, his critics haven’t even knocked him down.




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  1. loufca
    loufca 18 July, 2013, 07:31

    The great disappointment here is that he has had this type of behavior for years and all of his “fellows” in congress just turned their heads and looked the other way. Does one really have to wonder why the congress has such low respect levels from voters? (congress does not deserve to be capitalized any more).

    Reply this comment
  2. jimmydeeoc
    jimmydeeoc 18 July, 2013, 08:46

    “I strongly resent that comparison!”

    s/ a gargoyle

    Reply this comment
  3. RedinSD
    RedinSD 18 July, 2013, 09:23

    An independent ad during the campaign specifically addressed this freaks history of bullying and sexual misconduct. The fire, police and teacher unions supported this guy and that was enough for many lemmings. Rule of thumb: if the unions are for it, vote against it.

    Reply this comment
  4. Steve Mehlman
    Steve Mehlman 18 July, 2013, 10:00

    If Red, Chris and the UT are for it, vote against it.

    Reply this comment
  5. jimmydeeoc
    jimmydeeoc 18 July, 2013, 10:28

    A thoughtful, considered, and well-reasoned position, as usual, Steve-o.

    Reply this comment
  6. Bill Gore
    Bill Gore 18 July, 2013, 13:46

    Filner is not stunned and reeling because he is a sociopath, a psycho with a heavily compartmentalized
    fragmented personality. Bill Clinton (who looks like a choirboy next to this character) was imagined by many to
    be able to juxtapose the image of a head of state with the sleazy slutty underbelly of his character by having a
    personality that was broken into separate little pieces, like shards of a shattered mirror. Ditto Lance Armstrong, for whom the gilded heroic winner and the dirty lying doper coexisted within the same man. I think Hizzoner plans to simply ride this out, while his dark side is furtively scouting the next conquest.

    Reply this comment
  7. Hondo
    Hondo 18 July, 2013, 17:55

    I still think its about the money. Clinton was a very charming person and Filner comes off a jerk by even his supporters. He basically admitted to his crimes by video, something his lawyer is still screaming at him about. In any hearing or lawsuit, he is toast. As are millions of San Diego tax dollars that will be paid out in a settlement. I believe the city council has to approve using city funds to hire lawyers to defend him. I don’t see that coming.
    No, Filner is gonna make life in the San Diego city govt a screaming circus till he gets his money.

    Reply this comment
  8. Steve Mehlman
    Steve Mehlman 22 July, 2013, 09:52

    jimmydeeoc throws around stuff like “union thugs” . He wouldn’t know a “thoughtful, considered, and well-reasoned position” if he tripped over it.

    Tell me, Jimbo, were you screaming as loud for Duke Cunningham’s scalp when he was caught accepting bribes from defense contractors? And Red, had you been around at the time, would you have been calling for heads to roll during Watergate and Iran/Contra?

    Let’s face it, to the “Dog and the puppies, the degree of wrongdoing is determined by ideology, not by facts.

    Reply this comment

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