‘You don’t get free things’ Filner unlikely to quit

‘You don’t get free things’ Filner unlikely to quit

Late morning on Monday, a rumor swept San Diego political and journalistic circles that Mayor Bob Filner was on the verge of resignation. Weekend reports that Filner’s security detail had been deposed at length about what they witnessed while at the accused sexual harasser’s side seemed to be one more nail in his coffin. The rumor was later shot down.

It got me to thinking about the other career-threatening scandal that Filner now faces: a federal probe of whether he traded approval of a San Diego project for a developer’s giving $100,000 to two of his pet causes. It’s not bribery, and it may not be extortion, but it’s plainly against settled law that a government permit cannot be dependent on circumstances unrelated to the permit.

In an interview, incredibly enough, Filner laid out his view of the permitting process as this: “You don’t get free things.”

Why give away your only bargaining chip?

la-me-ln-san-diego-mayor-bob-filner-is-no-bill-clinton-20130718It seems awfully likely that this is also his exact view of the calls for him to resign from all nine San Diego City Council members, Sens. Feinstein and Boxer, and many San Diegans: “You don’t get free things.”

Like Anthony Weiner, who lectures reporters for focusing on his perversions, Filner is plainly kind of delusional. But he has always been absolutely brazen and contemptuous of behavorial norms. So what if a “normal” politician would quit rather than take a city through an ugly, not-sure-to-succeed recall process. So what if a “normal” politician would have been embarrassed into instant retirement when a 10th sexual-harassment accuser came forward.

That’s not what Filner will do. He will extract every last concession he can from the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, state Attorney General Kamala Harris (handling the investigation for recused DA Bonnie Dumanis, who ran against Filner for mayor), City Attorney Jan Goldsmith and the Justice Department/FBI. And maybe then he will quit.

But Filner won’t leave quietly. “You don’t get free things.”

Another theory is plausible, as I wrote over the weekend.

“Filner is so off the chart weird and different that no one should assume he will think conventionally. … He doesn’t see anything wrong with hitting on rape victims. Why would anyone assume his motivations are conventional when he displays industrial-strength depravity and thinks it’s just another day at the office?”

But the more I think about Filner’s options and his personality, the more I’m confident we’ll see the “you don’t get free things” attitude from the mayor.

Ant that’s no matter what his lawyers say — he’s 70, and I see no evidence he’s deferred to anyone his entire political career.

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