Last week, after the first accuser came forward with the story of the sexual harassment she endured from San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, the local Democratic Party’s central committee had a contentious meeting during which they deadlocked 24-24 on asking the mayor to resign.

However, now that the number of accusers has reached seven, the party is saying officially that Filner must step down:

On Thursday evening, the San Diego County Democratic Central Committee met to discuss the scandal and voted 34-to-6 in favor of a motion for Filner to step down.

“We respect the legal process that is now unfolding and believe that the Mayor and his accusers will have their fair hearing,” committee Chair Francine Busby said in a statement.

….On Thursday, four more women, including a retired admiral, stepped forward. The four are retired Rear Adm. Ronne Froman, businesswoman Patti Roscoe, San Diego State University dean Joyce Gattas, and Sharon Bernie- Cloward, the president of the Port of San Diego’s Tenants Association.

Froman said she was at Filner’s congressional office a couple of years ago for a meeting on a veterans program and when the meeting ended, “Bob stepped between me and the doorway and he stopped me, got very close to me and he ran his finger up my cheek like this and he whispered to me, `Do you have a man in your life?”‘ She said she did and jumped backward.

“I was really rattled,” Froman said.

Bernie-Cloward said that in 2010, Filner pulled her aside and asked why she didn’t accept a lunch invitation five years earlier. Then, last year while Filner was running for mayor, he encountered her again following an event in Mission Valley.

“He came up and gave me a hug, and he touched me — actually groped me – – on my backside, inappropriately,” Bernie-Cloward said. “As soon as he came in, he left, and I was left there startled and fearful. In fact, I had somebody walk me to my car that night.”

Roscoe, who said she knows Filner well, said he would try to kiss her and placed her in the so-called “Filner headlock.” She said he “slobbered down her chin.”

“I was so violated and I was so offended,” Roscoe said. “On other occasions, he’s gotten close to me and put his hands on inappropriate places on my body. It’s just such a terrible invasion.”

Gattas said she was subjected to inappropriate kissing, touching, hugging and sexual comments.

It now seems we have identified the benchmark for how scandalously a Democratic Party elite needs to act before the national media takes notice and its luminaries begin to remark publicly. For example, Representative Nancy Pelosi has changed her stance from “no comment” to: “If they’re clueless, get a clue…If they need therapy, do it in private.”

It’s nice that the local party now recognizes the scale of Filner’s “War on Women.” However, as I pointed out to my husband this morning: Just because Filner is asked to resign doesn’t mean he will do so. I think he plans to stay in office for as long as he is legally able to…all in the name of “due process.

As an independent-minded Democrat in San Diego, I am extremely angry that absolutely none of Filner’s behavior (which must have been known) was revealed by the women in my party or the media prior to November’s election. Now, the city is going to go through another mayoral crisis that could have been avoided.


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