Twenty years ago, Bob Filner was campaigning door-to-door in the Otay and Nestor neighborhoods in southern San Diego. He was running in a tough primary for a new U.S. Congressional district, the only one in San Diego dominated by Democrats and minorities.
Filner entered the house of a Filipino family and asked them to name their most important issues. Filipino World War II veterans, they told him. They began talking about promises the U.S. government had made to pay their full military benefits, promises that weren’t kept. Filner knew nothing about it.
A couple of houses later, Filner met another Filipino family. Their most important issues? Benefits, said an elderly World War II veteran.
At the next Filipino house, the message was the same. The fourth time he met a Filipino family, Filner was ready.