Rumors were flying the past few days about a dramatic new disclosure coming from another victim of sexual harassment by San Diego Bob Filner (Democrat).
The tales were wrong… but only in the fact they didn’t fully convey the scale of disgusting behavior offered up by our city’s chief executive.
During a press conference with women’s rights attorney Gloria Allred, a nurse said Filner touched her and pressured her to go on a date after she met with him to request help for a wounded Marine.
I am trying to imagine what Filner could to that would be lower than this:
The meeting took place on June 11 in Filner’s office, Allred said. [Michelle] Tyler and the former Marine, Katherine Ragazzino, were following up a meeting they had had with Filner when he was still a congressman, Allred said. They wanted the mayor to help resolve a status dispute Ragazzino was having with the Veterans Administration, Allred said.
A Veterans Administration representative was at the meeting. Filner encouraged the representative to resolve the issue and then asked everyone but Tyler to leave his office, Allred said.
When the two were alone, Filner said, “Wow, you’re really magnificent,” and began rubbing Tyler’s arm, according to Allred. “Relax. You are incredible. I will help your vet, but I want you to go out to dinner with me and spend time with me.”
Tyler said she was shocked by Filner’s behavior. She tried several times to steer the conversation back to getting help for Ragazzino, but Filner continued to ask her out and said he would like to kiss her.
However, the most startling statement was made by the wounded Marine, Ragazzino: “I don’t appreciate being used as a bargaining chip to fulfill (Filner’s) sexual desires.”
The San Diego community is home to many military families, so the lines to all our local talk shows are burning up with outrage. And with about 77% of the city wanting Filner to resign, you would think a recall effort might be a done deal if Filner fails to go voluntarily…especially if “tea party” types get involved.
That isn’t quite the case.
Dean Riehm, one of our savviest San Diego bloggers, is skeptical of the call for a recall. Filner serving is just desserts for the voters’ failure to do due diligence:
We’ve been calling it our salute to the low information voter. To wit, has anyone who has been paying attention to this guy over the years really not thought he was a massively flaming [dolt] of the highest order and thus not fit to serve as the mayor of our fine city? At age 70, he did not suddenly turn into this acerbic, arrogant, bullying perv… he’s been this way for years and aside from the specific allegations of unwanted sexual advances, this has been common knowledge as to the man’s character and behavior….
The recall effort is going to be lengthy and costly and to our knowledge, the city charter is vague on the specifics leaving the un-codified recalling mechanism up to the City Council to figure out. To our thinking, this is a recipe for a bureaucratic and legal disaster.
… Call it tough love or taking the medicine or us just having a little temper tantrum over here in the corner but we want this one to sting.
And having recently been involved in several petition-based campaigns that failed, I find it hard not to disagree.
In a San Diego Union Tribune compendium of “Letters to the Editor” on this subject, Art Bell of Mission Valley concurs with Riehm (while cleverly likening Filner to Caligula): [I]t would be better for San Diego if the voters were to pay more attention to electing stable mayors rather than just creating the position of strong mayor. The signs were all there that Filner was an incipient tyrant and narcissist.
San Diegan Bruce Skovmand says, “[H]e’s just a dirty old man and he can stop this whenever he wants.”
Sadly, San Diegans cannot stop Filner’s term whenever they want. He is going to be the gift that keeps giving from our “low information voters”.