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    It’s no secret that Mayor Bob Filner has his enemies on the right. They didn’t like him as a congressman. They tried to raise fear about what he would be like as mayor.

    And they sure don’t like him now.

    They’ve attacked him. Caricatured him.  They have stoked rumors of a recall effort.

    Scott Lewis on Politics LogoBut a recall is hard. It’s also a risky investment. Collecting more than a 100,000 signatures in only a few weeks would take millions of dollars – and all for a wildly uncertain outcome.

    You see, far from upsetting his base, Filner’s fights have invigorated it. There are many neighborhood activists thrilled with what he’s doing. They don’t care about hotel owners and developers being upset with the mayor. They dig it.

    And that’s what makes today’s news so powerful: A group of avid supporters of the mayor, progressives like him, have said they think he needs to leave the job immediately.


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    That includes former City Councilwoman Donna Frye, who served as the Filner’s director of open government before leaving a few months into the term.

    And it includes Marco Gonzalez, an environmental attorney who was thrilled at Filner’s election.

    That Frye and Gonzalez are so shaken that they are willing to call for such a dramatic political change with so many uncertain outcomes indicates they’ve heard an awful story. Or several awful stories.

    Yes, the mayor deserves the chance to face his accusers and yes, he’s unlikely to back away from a fight. But the news for the mayor lately has been awful. He admitted he needed to reflect on the way he behaves toward staff. And the long line of behavioral complaints is really quite stunning when you step back and count them all up.

    Until we hear the stories of the women who are complaining of sexual harassment, however, this a political story. We’ve got nothing else.

    U-T San Diego reporter Craig Gustafson tweeted that he couldn’t imagine the mayor resigning. An astute point: The man has spent decades fighting. He’s not going to relinquish his highest achievement easily.

    But it’s worth remembering that the mayor has no communications director at this moment. His micromanaging has left his office in shambles. Surviving this will take a motivated, inspired group of supporters and talented staff working at all hours to orchestrate a recovery.

    They’ll have to frame reality in a way that keeps more supporters from jumping ship. That seems unlikely. Not even the most sympathetic journalists can get basic information.

    And there is actually only one other person whose condemnation would be more devastating politically than Frye and Gonzalez’s.

    That would be Lorena Gonzalez, the new assemblywoman and Marco Gonzalez’s sister. As head of the San Diego Imperial Counties Labor Council, nobody was more instrumental in getting the mayor elected.

    On Thursday morning, Frye, Marco Gonzalez and attorney Cory Briggs will hold a press conference to talk about what led them to this point and hopefully shed light on what they have heard.

    If Lorena Gonzalez is there, even just in words, Filner’s thoughts will have to turn to how to exit gracefully.

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      This article relates to: Bob Filner, Government, News, Opinion, Share

      Written by Scott Lewis

      I'm Scott Lewis, the editor in chief of Voice of San Diego. Please contact me if you'd like at scott.lewis@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.325.0527 and follow me on Twitter (it's a blast!): @vosdscott.

      18 comments
      Allen Hemphill
      Allen Hemphill subscribermember

      I understand. Even though Filner admits his problems and with almost the entire Democratic Party elected officials and Filner's personal staff deserting Filner -- it must be the fault of the press and downtown interests. Is it a Full Moon?

      Fred Hornbeck
      Fred Hornbeck

      Yes, as omarr2323 said, do the hard work, Scott. Manchester, et al. will stoop to anything to undermine progress (as real people understand it). Filner's personal style works against him quite clearly. But I am hopeful that VoSD can go beyond the main-stream media and shallow appreciation of pop culture to help us select and support socially and economically constructive local leadership. We need that which you have promised.

      ommarr2323
      ommarr2323

      Without any credible evidence, no one has accused him directly of sexual harassment, but yet when you read and listen to the press in SD, he is already convicted, resign, resign in the echo chamber of news media.. Three democrats are asking him to resign, what about the hundreds of thousands that elected him, do we not deserve some respect, where is fairness and where is investigative reporting … it is so easy to be apathetic … our last hope is the press, do your job, check the facts and find the truth … After all the Meyer is not new to politics, his record goes back to 1975, serving as a staffer for U.S. Senator Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota in 1975, and a number of elected offices throughout his career and with 9 terms as a congressman, does that make you stop and ask… why now… who wants him gone… follow the money, see what he did to the powerful and the establishment in SD, for example the 30 million dollars that supports the hotel industry, he pushed hard to get them to give better wages to workers … I do not have to tell you more… the stories are available to all… just do your job as a hard working journalist and you will be rewarded… we the people that elected Filner want the press to protect us and our democracy.. do not participate and help bring Filner down… present the other side… every story has many sides.. Take the road less traveled … do the hard work.

      Martha Sullivan
      Martha Sullivan

      I have a LOT of respect for Donna. And I know that this is not the first time such allegations have been leveled against Bob. This sadly goes back a ways and a number of us actvist Dem women tried to.get our leaders to address it firmly with.Bob early in the mayoral campaign.

      Martha Sullivan
      Martha Sullivan subscribermember

      I have a LOT of respect for Donna. And I know that this is not the first time such allegations have been leveled against Bob. This sadly goes back a ways and a number of us actvist Dem women tried to.get our leaders to address it firmly with.Bob early in the mayoral campaign.

      john stump
      john stump

      Your headline Et tu Progressives made me think first of Mark Antony's eulogy on Brutus and his friends as honorable men http://youtu.be/7X9C55TkUP8 The honorable Progressives have found grievous fault with their friend and are now demanding he thow himself on his sword. Usually friends shun and banish the member and remove him from all support and benefits of the group. Lawyers seek resolution through the justice system. Democrats seek change through the ballot box. My experience is that those that rally a riot to burn the monster seldom have fewer flaws the object of their fears and angers. Lets measure any facts calmly. I admit I am a flawed individual and caution against Calumny. To avoid rash judgment, everyone should be careful to interpret insofar as possible his neighbor's thoughts, words, and deeds in a favorable way:Respect for the reputation of persons forbids every attitude and word likely to cause them unjust injury. He becomes guilty: - of rash judgment who, even tacitly, assumes as true, without sufficient foundation, the moral fault of a neighbor; - of detraction who, without objectively valid reason, discloses another's faults and failings to persons who did not know them; - of calumny who, by remarks contrary to the truth, harms the reputation of others and gives occasion for false judgments concerning them. (CC 2477-2478) http://youtu.be/7X9C55TkUP8

      john stump
      john stump subscriber

      Your headline Et tu Progressives made me think first of Mark Antony's eulogy on Brutus and his friends as honorable men http://youtu.be/7X9C55TkUP8 The honorable Progressives have found grievous fault with their friend and are now demanding he thow himself on his sword. Usually friends shun and banish the member and remove him from all support and benefits of the group. Lawyers seek resolution through the justice system. Democrats seek change through the ballot box. My experience is that those that rally a riot to burn the monster seldom have fewer flaws the object of their fears and angers. Lets measure any facts calmly. I admit I am a flawed individual and caution against Calumny. To avoid rash judgment, everyone should be careful to interpret insofar as possible his neighbor's thoughts, words, and deeds in a favorable way:Respect for the reputation of persons forbids every attitude and word likely to cause them unjust injury. He becomes guilty: - of rash judgment who, even tacitly, assumes as true, without sufficient foundation, the moral fault of a neighbor; - of detraction who, without objectively valid reason, discloses another's faults and failings to persons who did not know them; - of calumny who, by remarks contrary to the truth, harms the reputation of others and gives occasion for false judgments concerning them. (CC 2477-2478) http://youtu.be/7X9C55TkUP8

      Alex Sachs
      Alex Sachs

      Scott, I don't know that Bob will care what Lorena has to say, either. Nor what the current leadership of the Labor Council says. Bob keeps his own counsel and his fate is in his own hands.

      Alex Sachs
      Alex Sachs subscriber

      Scott, I don't know that Bob will care what Lorena has to say, either. Nor what the current leadership of the Labor Council says. Bob keeps his own counsel and his fate is in his own hands.

      Dale Peterson
      Dale Peterson

      Uncertain about what disclosures will be forthcoming. I am certain that of all the players on the San Diego political scene, I trust Donna Frye's ethical judgment more than any other political figure.

      Dale Peterson
      Dale Peterson subscribermember

      Uncertain about what disclosures will be forthcoming. I am certain that of all the players on the San Diego political scene, I trust Donna Frye's ethical judgment more than any other political figure.

      Allen Hemphill
      Allen Hemphill

      I understand. Even though Filner admits his problems and with almost the entire Democratic Party elected officials and Filner's personal staff deserting Filner -- it must be the fault of the press and downtown interests. Is it a Full Moon?

      Dale Peterson
      Dale Peterson

      Actually John, I supported Nathan Fletcher for Mayor, as documented in the VOSD. Once again, you have broadcast an assumption not based the truth. I did not support either candidate in the mayoral run-off. I did "flip" my voter registration to Decline to State. Peace.

      John Pilch
      John Pilch

      Wow. This is an interesting comment from someone who supported Bob Filner for Mayor last year and had a number of negative comments about Carl DeMaio, his party, and his position on issues, after flipping from the "R" party. Shameful.

      Dale Peterson
      Dale Peterson subscribermember

      Actually John, I supported Nathan Fletcher for Mayor, as documented in the VOSD. Once again, you have broadcast an assumption not based the truth. I did not support either candidate in the mayoral run-off. I did "flip" my voter registration to Decline to State. Peace.

      John Pilch
      John Pilch subscriber

      Wow. This is an interesting comment from someone who supported Bob Filner for Mayor last year and had a number of negative comments about Carl DeMaio, his party, and his position on issues, after flipping from the "R" party. Shameful.