Make no mistake. Lee Burdick’s new book is going to make San Diego’s political class light its hair on fire.
Burdick, the ex-chief of staff to disgraced former Mayor Bob Filner, has written a detailed behind-the-scenes account of Filner’s nine months in office in which no one comes out particularly well. Voice of San Diego received an advance copy of the book, which is due out Feb. 8.
Filner, of course, is the chief villain. The book is filled with moment after jaw-dropping moment of this villainy from the abominable way he treated his staff, to the abhorrent and criminal way he treated women to the extreme delusions of grandeur and self-aggrandizement. Burdick’s tale is worse than your wildest imagination of how Filner behaved – which is hard to believe.
One of the many anecdotes that made me audibly gasp: The weekend before Filner was scheduled to return to the city from his two-week sexual harassment rehab trip, the mayor and key staff members met in a downtown condo to discuss their plans. That time overlapped with the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, and Filner’s civil rights history gave him an idea for what he might say, Burdick writes:
Filner threw out the idea that he characterize his time away as “going to the mountaintop.” I almost groaned my objection that conflating his situation with King’s vision of a better future was morally untenable.
Besides Filner, Burdick doesn’t spare anyone, particularly City Attorney Jan Goldsmith, whom she excoriates for his behavior in trying to thwart Filner’s policy goals and then force him out of office. Sheriff Bill Gore and high-profile attorney Gloria Allred, among others, also come under lots of criticism:
The most painful irony: Filner needed to be removed from office for his despicable offenses against women and his complete lack of professionalism appropriate to his role as mayor, but Filner’s most voracious opponents—the city attorney, certain councilmembers, Gloria Allred, the sheriff and others—with all of their righteous intentions to “protect” women from Filner, were trampling over innocent bystanders to bring him down.
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It doesn't have a catchy rhyme, but don't buy books from ex chief of staff lawyers who acted as lieutenant monsters. Just don't. BTW, Lee Burdick says that "I almost groaned my objection that conflating his situation with King’s vision of a better future was morally untenable." Is that similar to all the many other times that she saw Filner act reprehensibly and "almost" objected?