As a rule, I tend to detest recall elections. They often are sought for frivolous reasons. I figure you should save a recall effort for the times it really matters.
The case of San Diego Mayor Bob Filner is one of those times.
My wish would be for Filner to quit, skulk back into private life and save the taxpayers the money it’s going to cost them to throw him out of office. That might not happen.
Filner — who stands accused by more than a dozen women of some pretty disgusting behavior — has vowed to stay on the job. He went into a two-week rehab period and came out, expecting the public to believe that two weeks is enough to persuade him that boorish and sickening behavior is bad.
Meanwhile, the recall effort has kicked off and signature-gatherers are out in force collecting enough names to put the recall election on the ballot.
I’m betting they’ll have no trouble crossing the threshold.
It really shouldn’t matter to anyone outside of that lovely city what happens to its mayor. I’m hoping, though, that Filner’s conduct will make an example of him and other politicians who might think they can get away with treating public employees in the manner that Filner has done — and which he has acknowledged doing.
If His Dishonor is going to hang on, then I wish nothing but the greatest success for those who want him gone.
It took her a while — arguably too long — to speak out, but the U.S. House of Representatives’ top Democrat has given her former congressional colleague the heave ho.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says San Diego Mayor Bob Filner should leave office. Now. He should spare the residents of California’s second-largest city the pain of a recall election. Hit the road, Your Dishonor.
Filner once served with Pelosi in the House as a Democratic member. He then became mayor. In recent weeks, more than a dozen women have come forward with harrowing tales of sexual harassment bordering on abuse from the 70-year-old mayor. No need to detail what he reportedly said and did to these women. Filner has admitted to some disgraceful behavior.
Filner spent two weeks in “intensive” rehabilitation, came out and now plans to continue his career at City Hall.
Meanwhile, recall petitions have been circulating throughout the city. My guess is that they’ll far more than the required number of signatures to put his recall election on the ballot.
Pelosi wants none of that. She’s right to call for Filner’s resignation. If the mayor possessed any honor, he would heed the message from Pelosi and others to get out and rehab himself as a private citizen.
I’ve decided the mayor of San Diego, Calif., who’s already a poster boy for a number of “causes” — such as boorish behavior, juvenile locker room conduct and mistreatment of women — has earned a special place in the Unmitigated Gall Hall of Shame.
His Dishonor, Bob Filner — through his lawyer — says the city needs to pay for his legal defense and his rehabilitation because it failed to provide him with adequate training on how to avoid committing acts of sexual harassment.
When I first heard about that, I thought it was a joke. I thought it might have been a Stephen Colbert gag line, or perhaps something from The Onion — the noted online satire publication. But oh no. It’s the real thing.
Filner, the former Democratic member of Congress and now mayor of the America’s eighth-largest city, says he wasn’t taught about sexual harassment. This grown man doesn’t know that it’s not right to grope female staff members, or tell them they would get along better in the work place if they didn’t wear undergarments, stroke their faces and other body parts in a fashion that women would feel threatened sexually?
Filner faces lawsuits from 10 women and the number may still grow. He needs to quit his job as mayor, but so far says he won’t do that. Instead, he’s entering a two-week rehab — as if a fortnight is enough time to rid him of the demons that cause him to commit such egregious acts against women.
This guy is one sick individual — who doesn’t deserve an ounce of sympathy. He instead deserves to be hounded out of public office.
Hit the road, Mr. Mayor.
A word of caution is due to Republicans here and across the country as they watch the struggles of three well-known Democratic politicians.
Let’s not gloat, folks.
Anthony Weiner wants to run for mayor of New York. Bob Filner already is mayor of San Diego, Calif. Eliot Spitzer, the former governor of New York, now wants to become NYC’s comptroller. All three of them have made headlines for (in order) sending text messages and videos of a certain functional body part to women; groping and speaking hideously to female staffers; consorting with prostitutes.
Some Republicans are relishing the troubles that have befallen these Democrats. One noted conservative columnist and Fox News TV commentator, Michelle Malkin, recently tweeted about how silent Rep. Nancy Pelosi and other Dems have been about Filner’s difficulty; I responded to her with a tweet that advised her to cool the “partisan perv” talk.
The record shows that Republicans have endured more than their share of sexually related difficulties. To wit:
House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s extramarital affair with a staffer while he was blasting President Clinton for his own marital misbehavior; U.S. Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana becoming involved with a call girl; U.S. Rep. Mark Foley’s email flirtations with underage congressional pages; U.S. Sen. John Ensign’s marital infidelity; U.S. Sen. Larry Craig’s arrest (and this is my favorite scandal) for making indecent sexual advances to others inside a men’s restroom at a Minnesota airport.
Let’s stipulate that all three men now caught in the sexual perversion vise — Weiner, Filner and Spitzer — deserve every bit of the scorn they’re getting.
Misbehavior by male politicians, though, hardly is a partisan endeavor. Pols from both parties in recent years have garnered their share of infamy.
Bob Filner is a slug.
Don’t take my word for it. The San Diego mayor has all but described himself that way.
He’s admitted to groping women, saying unbelievably crass things to them, accosting them, making their working lives miserable. He needs to resign his office. But he won’t.
Filner, the former Democratic congressman from southern California, instead says he’ll enter two weeks or rehabilitation to cure himself of the demons that drive him to do these horrible things.
The man doesn’t get it. He doesn’t understand that he no longer can represent his fine city.
Filner is just the latest pol to get himself into some serious political trouble. The other, of course, is Anthony Weiner, the former congressman who’s now running for mayor of New York. I’ve already declared my desire for Weiner to stay in the race and let voters cast him aside — which they should do.
Filner needs to take another course. He’s already in the office. He’s already betrayed the trust of everyone who’s supported him.
Filner needs to go to rehab as a private citizen, try to fix what ails him and perhaps try to reassemble what’s left of his life. And it’s going to take a lot longer than two weeks.