Tony Perry, LA times, July 14 2013: … The statement came just minutes after Filner’s chief of staff, Vince Hall, announced his resignation. “As a lifelong activist for women’s rights and equality, I feel I must resign effective today,” he said in a tweet. Except for the emailed statement, Filner stayed silent and out of sight Friday — out of character for the veteran politician, a former 10-term …
(Massoud and Maryam Rajavi theMojahedin Khalq cult leaders)
San Diego politicians, journalists abuzz over Mayor Filner’s troubles
It’s unclear if the 70-year-old Democrat will be able to weather calls for his resignation amid allegations of sexual harassment.
SAN DIEGO — With three words not normally heard from politicians — “I need help” — Mayor Bob Filner is seeking to survive the sex scandal that is the talk of City Hall in this place that calls itself America’s Finest City.
The political and journalistic classes were abuzz Friday over whether the 70-year-old Democrat can weather calls for his resignation amid allegations of sexual harassment.
Three of his friends and longtime supporters went public Thursday with allegations from female staff members that his behavior has been “reprehensible.” Hours later, the usually combative Filner released a video, containing an admission that he has failed “to fully respect the women who work for me” and has at times “intimidated them.”
Public radio station KPBS reported that the sexual harassment of female staff members consisted of groping, kissing and lewd comments.
Late Friday, Filner sent a statement to reporters saying he sticks by his admission that he has treated women poorly and even intimidated them. But he said a “fair and independent investigation” will clear him of sexual harassment charges.
The statement came just minutes after Filner’s chief of staff, Vince Hall, announced his resignation. “As a lifelong activist for women’s rights and equality, I feel I must resign effective today,” he said in a tweet.
Except for the emailed statement, Filner stayed silent and out of sight Friday — out of character for the veteran politician, a former 10-term congressman.
It was unclear whether his contrition and promises to seek therapy, take sexual harassment classes and apologize to individual victims would save him.
“Our fair city is generally tolerant and forgetful of political scandals,” said Steve Erie, professor of political science at UC San Diego. “When the sun is out and it’s time to head to the beach, our attention span can be measured in nanoseconds.”
If the Filner scandal is the talk of the political-journalistic community, it is appears to be less so among the populace.
“Filner is the first mayor who has gone against the power structure, the Republicans, developers,” said John Diehl, a former court clerk. “He’s a disturber of the status quo. It’s a classic power struggle.”
Thomas Hunter, a retired home remodeler, said the lack of specifics may be keeping the public from reacting. “I don’t know if he’s done anything wrong,” said Hunter, who found Filner’s apology “appropriate.”
The attorneys and a former councilwoman who urged the mayor to resign indicated Friday that his apology is insufficient and that he should still step down. The trio promised more details next week.
Political experts said Filner’s ability to survive might rest on whether the details are shocking and whether other women come forward with allegations.
“Nothing that has been made public rises anywhere near the point where an elected official should consider resigning,” said San Diego political consultant Chris Crotty, who is unaligned with the mayor, “especially since he acknowledged his behavior and said he is seeking help.”
Others note that Filner lacks two things that have helped other politicians survive sex scandals: a supportive spouse and a group of close friends who step forward to offer support. Filner’s fiancee announced this week that their relationship is over.
“In his statement of contrition, the mayor acknowledged he has a problem and promised to seek help,” said George Mitrovich, president and founder of the City Club of San Diego. “The people of San Diego must hold him to that pledge because if he can’t solve his personal problems, there’s no chance he can solve San Diego’s.”
Mark Larson, talk-show host on KCBQ, said that the apparent lack of public outcry may be traceable to a certain weariness with political scandals, both nationally and in San Diego.
“Thanks to our 24-hour news cycle, there’s almost a feeling of `been there done-that, and when does “The Real Housewives” show come on?'” said Larson, a conservative who says he is willing to withhold judgment on Filner until more is known.
At first, only Republican officeholders called for Filner’s resignation.
That shifted Friday when newly elected Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, Assembly Majority Leader Toni Atkins and Council President Todd Gloria called on him to quit. “An apology is not enough,” Gloria said.
In media circles, the highly conservative editorial page of the U-T San Diego — at dagger points with Filner since his election — said Friday that nothing known so far justifies resignation and that even a foe like Filner deserves due process.
But San Diego CityBeat, a liberal weekly that endorsed Filner, said in an editorial that he should resign immediately.
Since taking office in December, Filner has been at odds with City Atty. Jan Goldsmith. He has opposed Goldsmith’s advice on city issues, sought to cut his budget, belittled him personally and called the police to throw Goldsmith’s top aide out of a closed session of the council.
Goldsmith’s press representative did not return calls Friday. Instead, his office issued a statement saying that the office “has not received any specific information” indicating that a mayoral staff member is thinking of filing a claim or a lawsuit seeking damages over Filner’s alleged harassment.
If such information is forthcoming, “we will take steps to defend the city’s interests and meet its obligations to our employees,” the statement said, “including the mayor.”
Bob Filner mum on his paid trip to Mojahedin Khaq terror group rally in Paris
U-T San Diego, June 29 2013: … Filner has previously accepted travel from groups that are part of the National Council of Resistance of Iran. He went to Paris in June 2011, as a member of Congress. He also took a similar trip in June of 2007, federal records show. His 2011 trip cost $6,589 and was paid for by Colorado’s Iranian American Community, a group tied to the Mujahideen-e Khalq …
Mayor is mum on trip to Paris
Filner says only that the trip was to get San Diego jobs
San Diego Mayor Bob Filner just returned from Paris but declined on Thursday to answer questions about the travel or who paid for it.
Filner briefly told reporters at a news conference that the trip was not a “junket,” but a “business trip which is to get jobs to San Diego.”
He deferred further questions until a news conference he said he would hold Friday. U-T Watchdog has submitted public records requests for documents related to the trip, including the cost of travel for Filner’s city security detail.
A news release from the National Council of Resistance of Iran said Filner attended a group rally in Villepinte, France, near Paris.
“My first question is who is paying for all this?” Councilman Scott Sherman said. “I don’t get why a mayor of the city of San Diego would need to be there. I think he was beating feet as quick as he could to get out of town because of all the negative news media.”
Filner left town late last week amid several controversies, including his use of a bodyguard to remove a City Attorney’s Office representative from a council meeting last week.
Filner was also facing questions over a donation to the city from developer Sunroad Centrum Partners. Filner vetoed the builder’s request to modify a Kearny Mesa development plan and then later dropped his objection after the company gave $100,000 to the city for a veterans plaza and a bicycling event — pet projects of Filner.
Filner has previously accepted travel from groups that are part of the National Council of Resistance of Iran. He went to Paris in June 2011, as a member of Congress. He also took a similar trip in June of 2007, federal records show.
His 2011 trip cost $6,589 and was paid for by Colorado’s Iranian American Community, a group tied to the Mujahideen-e Khalq or MEK, the militant — and largest — arm of the National Council of Resistance of Iran.
That trip included a first class flight and a stay at a Marriott. Legistorm, a nonpartisan Washington DC-based organization that compiles information about Congress, including Congressional travel, noted, “This trip included unusually expensive hotel charges.”
The 2007 trip to France, also paid for by Colorado’s Iranian American Community, cost $7,949. The plane ticket in that case was business class.
During the mayoral campaign last year, Filner was criticized for accepting 16 free trips as a congressman, totaling $40,000. U-T Watchdog determined his travel was at the median for the county’s congressional delegation, that is, third highest out of five legislators.
He said at the time, “I plead guilty to doing my job as a congressman, informing myself about world issues, building relationships with world leaders and fighting for human rights.”
Filner is not alone in accepting travel from the Iranian groups. Others who have gone include former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Rep. Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island.
In large part, the trips were part of a lobbying campaign to remove the MEK from the U.S. State Department’s foreign terrorist organizations list. In a speech to the group, Filner compared their plight to the U.S. civil rights movement.
“This will happen,” Filner said in a speech to the group in 2011. “This will happen. The laws, the facts, are on our side.”
The de-listing effort succeeded last year.
Investigate the MEK and its critics – abuses at Camp Liberty cannot continue (aka; Mojahedin Khalq, MKO, Rajavi cult)
Investigate the MEK and its critics – abuses at Camp Liberty cannot continue (aka; Mojahedin Khalq, MKO, Rajavi cult) . … The only person preventing the residents in Camp Liberty from leaving and taking refuge in a safe place is the leader of the MEK, Massoud Rajavi. He is therefore the only person who can […]
Press TV, February 18, 2013 … The congressional team led by Dana Rohrabacher, a California Republican, met the MKO terrorists in Paris on Sunday and expressed strong support for the group. The US congress members called for the immediate transfer of the MKO terrorists to Camp Ashraf in Iraq’s Diyala Province. The American legislators […]
Kourosh Ighani, Iranian.com, February 28 2013 … The issue with the MEK is not a philosophical one. It is simple. What these Islamist Marxian terrorists have done throughout their existence can be summed up in one word: treason. From licking the backside of Soviet Russia, to bending over for their “Imam” Khomeini, to doing “Brother […]
(Maryam Rajavi directly ordered the massacre of Kurdish people)