For more than two years, Bob Filner has ducked out of public life.
He moved to Los Angeles and shied away from cameras and reporters following the scandals that knocked him out of the mayor’s office.
So I was surprised to get an email from the former mayor last week.
Filner, once chair of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, wanted to offer his perspective on veteran homelessness, a cause San Diego’s fallen behind in combating. We scheduled a call.
What followed was a conversation about Filner’s efforts to fight veteran homelessness, his belief that longtime city leaders sought to oust him and his claim that he could’ve successfully fought the slew of allegations against him in court if given the resources.
“I never sexually harassed anybody,” Filner said.
Support Independent Journalism Today
Someone has to explain Filner's logic to me. If he was framed, why didn't he fight the charges? Instead, he cut a deal and slunk out of town. Now he would have the public believe he didn't fondle, proposition, head lock or grope women both in his employ and elsewhere or, if he did, it wasn't sexual harassment.
I'm waiting for his original protagonist, liberal true believer and serious ex-public servant Donna Frye, to weigh in on this.
@Bit-watcher. You Biblical reference is affirming of the basic fact concerning the flawed nature of ALL humans. You should take heed of it.
I was very disappointed in this article, that was going to be about helping our needy brothers and sisters but no it did a bait and switch. Mayor Filner was doing something to help. Let's get back to the current Council plan to push the poor out of town and then gentrification. Our brothers and sisters are not homeless, San Diego is their home. They are house less and need our help. Somehow this article lost its focus. Please go down to 16th and Island Streets and help make San Diego a humane city . God bless Father Joe, the Alpha Project, and Mayor Filner. Many of the other commentators should heed John 8:7
@Bit watcher, for someone who is self-proclaimed disgusted with Mr. Filner and who thought this media outlet shouldn't have granted him an interview, you sure are obsessed with him and have found time over many days to comment here.
To all the folks below who believe that Filner's departure from office was an orchestrated scheme by Goldsmith or anyone else, you are in a fantasy land. I took three months out of my life to rid the city of a sick person. There is no way any of you can make such an absurd assertion. Filner and Filner alone is responsible for his own demise. He is a sick man and he has been for a very long time.
Do not give this man a vehicle to return in the public eye. He has blackened it already.
Mr. Filner. You must come to accept that you are in need of significant mental health treatment. Please focus your attention on yourself and do not involve yourself in the affairs of the public. You are not entitled to weigh in on the well being of others when you have ruined the lives of so many. Every time you get involved in the so-called "assistance" of others, you take advantage of these opportunities and the people in real need. No one is interested in your opinions and no one wants you to be involved in their affairs especially when you are the one in need. Get help.
We agree that Bob's fulsome behavior toward women in the mayor's office was completely inappropriate; but Bob is not wrong about the financial barrier that prevents many aggrieved citizens from having their day in court. Justice in San Diego is reserved for those that can pay for it, while the rest of us have to accept the arbitrary application of laws by City officials intent on perverting the process for their own gain.
It is interesting that whatever other claims might be pursued against the City, they do seem to approve ample financial settlements when sexual conduct is involved; whether the individual defendant is a cop or a politician.
An interview with the classic Rude Boy, and from his comments, it looks like Bobby is long off his meds and roaming free once again. Very creepy; doesn't it sound like he's stalking San Diego?
Ed Price: "Doesn't it sound like he's stalking San Diego?"
Not really. He moved out of the city and this is the first time he's been heard from in quite some time. He's commenting on things that are readily in the news and that many of us discuss, not sure how that amounts to "stalking"?
Salvatore: "Clinton, Cosby and Filner, all the same."
Clinton and Filner's behavior was inappropriate and immoral, but to suggest having a consensual extra-marital sexual encounter or putting someone in a headlock or making an unwanted sexual advance is the same as drugging and raping dozens of women is pretty extremist. I'm noticing a pattern with some of the commenters here - they seem to have a deep, passionate hatred of Mr Filner which seems to go beyond the perspective of his actions (most likely politically motivated) and into the territory of making him out to be a villain who committed the crime of the century. Sexual harassment is wrong, Mayor Filner was wrong, but let's be honest - what he did happens all the time in the private sector workplace. I've seen it. People get away with what he did all the time. I'm glad he was removed from office and I hope he is getting help, but on the flip side I don't understand the people who want to keep prosecuting him over and over and who disproportionately attack him by implying he's the same as an alleged serial rapist.
I am SO angry with Bob Filner I want to slap his face! We had a real chance to do something progressive in our town, after fighting for it FOREVER, and he blew it with his adolescent sexual meanderings. Of COURSE the power people were going to be after him, he actually wanted to CHANGE things! "I gave them the ammunition but they pulled the trigger. They aimed the gun and pulled the trigger. It wouldn’t have happened to someone else." Well, NO kidding! Filner was the first progressive EVER to be elected ever in San Diego. But he GAVE them the ammo! And it's not as if he's a neophyte to politics. One of the reasons I so strongly supported him was, over the 44 years I've been in San Diego, it was Filner's face I saw at rallies and demonstrations supporting what was, in my opinion, right. And the status quo people circled the wagons upon Filner's evacuation. Surprise! BIG dent in the process of change! COMPLETELY disappointing.
I agree with you, Kathy. It's disappointing anytime a public official does this, but in Mr Filner's case it's particularly troublesome to those of us who aren't pleased with the status quo in our corrupt city hall and county board of crooks. He had great ideas, and now he's set our city back immensely
First off, I'll admit I didn't bother reading what Mr. Filner had to say, just not interested. What I do wonder though is why in the world VOSD spent time gaining the perspective of a convicted, self admitted felon, and serial abuser of his elected status... who doesn't even live here anymore? Being manipulated by Bob Filner so he can see his name in print once again and feed his massive ego is a new low. Sigh.
@obboy13 So he's a worthless lump of flesh, no longer worthy of sharing the world with you?
I don't like him, going well back to before he was Mayor. I never once voted for him. But he is extremely skilled politician with lessons anyone can learn. You just have to be willing.
Don Wood, Yeah, it's the same with Bill Cosby. He was always a good looking guy with
lots of male sexual appeal, and tons of money. What woman could resist that? All
those women were really craving to get a piece of Bill. Now they are just bitter. Yes,
Don, it's a conspiracy against successful men. Where are men's rights? We're the
ones that are really being f#$%@d.
It takes integrity and courage to unravel and reveal who orchestrated the destruction of Mayor Filner, why, how, and who benefited from his destruction. Helluva beginning, Lisa Halverstadt. People do not like to believe they've been suckered in. We know that Goldsmith, in a moment of hubris, proudly spoke of how he brought in a psychologist and conducted a secret meeting of the power brokers when Bob Filner was elected. The point was to find a way to destroy Bob Filner. Smart people will give attention to the rest of the story.
@Bonnie Bekken --Who orchestrated the destruction of Bob Filner? I think old Bob did a pretty good job of that himself.
@Bonnie Bekken Wow Bonnie, an impressive display of denial.
Bit watcher, anyone who thinks politics is black and white is very naive. Mr Filner didn't help his own case with his inappropriate actions, but that doesn't mean the back room plots and corruption that he speaks of with Goldsmith et al weren't going on as well
@Bit-watcher I suppose the Democrats always fall for a lawyer; remember Clinton lecturing us on the subtle variations of the meaning of the word "is?"
Allegations aside, and I do not condone male rudeness, I have met Filner and was looking forward to working with him as mayor in achieving sustainable actions and policies. While I do not agree with his long past of obstructing PEX piping as I am Pro PEX and a plumber, I still like where he was going as mayor. So, I have had to put not one, but two things aside to support him and all things are separate in abilities to achieve things. To me, comparing Filner to Clinton is a complement to Filner, all falts aside. As a leader, both have qualities I respect. Let us be objective and not so judgmental, a good politician is just that. If you want clergy running a city or a country your crazy, if youy want a politician running a church, same goes. A guitarist should not be playing the drums.
As is often the case in politics, one side is rarely squeaky clean. I'd like to know if these accusations about bugging his office, forming a recall committee, and making up psychological evals before any of this stuff even happened are true. Goldsmith is dirty, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that
I don't defend Filner's sexual compulsion that he couldn't control, but he is spot-on when he says this :
"That all came to an end when Faulconer came in. As I say, back to normalcy. Their normal, their normalcy where there’s no debate, there’s no controversy. I mean, that’s what they like. I saw it as a crime against the citizens of San Diego the way they had been operating for decades. And I won on that platform so I think the people were with me."
I have been making the same point about giving the city(and county?) part ownership in the Chargers in exchange for handing over the land and contributing to the cost of building a new stadium. Although I have been arguing that if the NFL as a whole refused to allow it, that the policy could be challenged in court as anti-competitive. The restriction exists solely to allow the NFL teams more leverage in negotiations with cities. Filner had some other ideas that were downright kooky though, like moving the airport to El Centro and schlepping passengers there and back by then-need-to-be-built-out rail and trains.
Its sad that Mr. Filners long record of service has been forgotten because of his last year in office. Let us try to remember the good he had done and let the chips fall where they may where his lawsuits are concerned.
I hope one day Filner will apologize for his conduct...only then will the public forgive him . It is the only way he can re-create himself back into the advocate & public servant he once was.
I call BS on his comments regarding the temporary emergency homeless shelter. Barrio Logan never wanted the shelter sited here and we demanded its removal. Ever since it was placed here the amount of homeless people within this economically marginalized community has increased.
We asked for other communities, not just Barrio Logan, to share housing the homeless tent. We did our fair share while others did not. Why should a community burdened with enough hardships as it is have to deal with this while other communities do nothing?
@Desde la Logan Yes many Barrio Logan neighbors advocated against Homeless Tents. And the Poor and Homeless in general.
However, over the last 20 years, many journalist have confirmed that there IS a lower crime rate during the Winter Tent Operations, versus No Tent in Barrio Logan. VOSD please investigate the Crime Rate Increases.
Yes the nearby Elementary and Monarch schools had good relationships with the Alpha Project's running on the Downtown Tent near the MTS Station in Barrio Logan.
Since the Homeless Tents were taken down forever, Homelessness in downtown and Barrio Logan increased dramatically. So have the number of Homeless San Diegans who have died on public property.
The plan to end Veterans Homelessness including keeping up the Barrio Logan and Veterans tents, until the homeless problem was solved, and the Tents dismantled.
The May 2013 Emergency Shelter Crisis allow the Mayor to house the Homeless in Public buildings without the need for CEQA or Conditional Use Permit (CUP) Amendments.
On December 8, 2015 the City of San Jose used their Homeless Emergency Shelter Crisis to house their Homeless in City Libraries, and Community Centers. This declaration also allows Churches and Non-Profits to House the Homeless during Inclement Weather.
Leadership and Cash is required to end Veterans Homelessness.
$42 million Cash from the Successor Agency ROPS-10 is available. All that is needed is Leadership from Mayor Faulconer.
@Desde la Logan Agreed. Barrio Logan, East Village, and the Midway have done way more than their fair share. There are Mentally Ill San Diegans from all over. The Neil Good Day Center (NGDC) was suppose to be replicated in every City Council District. In June 2016 Mayor Faulconer is closing the NGDC Caltrans property at 17th and Imperial to allow the Downtown Partnership's Clean and Safe Program and the Police HOT team to replace the Homeless, creating even more of a mess downtown.
A great solution for Barrio Logan would be Leadership from Mayor Faulconer to open up the Old Library at 9th and E Street for Homeless San Diegans. Problem solved.
Tis a shame to give this man, who belongs in jail in my opinion, any public forum. And no, I didn't bother to read the article after I saw who it was about.
@Bit-watcher, suggesting news outlets should only report on things or people who are pleasant is just plain stupid. I mean no offense to you or Mr Gardner, but you both seem clueless as to what journalism is. It's not filtering topics out because people find them unpleasant.
@Bob Gardner: Your comment is absurd. like Filner or not, he was our mayor and involved in a huge news story that got national attention. To suggest an interview with him is not newsworthy is ridiculous. Even more so since you admit you didn't even read it
@Bob Gardner A truly unintelligent comment, why did you bother to hit the keys?
To anyone familiar with San Diego politics and able to read between the lines, it was very clear that the local political establishment was plotting to throw Filner out of office from the day he was elected. This was not the first time that a
democrat was trashed in this town, and not the first time a maverick republican was dethroned. Look at what Ed Miller and
local political operatives forced Roger Hedgecock out of office. They kept picking through his affairs until they found something they could use to go after him in court. The same thing happened to Bob Filner, who also rocked the boat. When they found his weak link, they lined disgruntled females up go denounce him for being overly familiar with them. The local media jumped onto the pile and the city attorney and the Lincoln Club fired all guns to destroy his administration, creating unnecessary collateral damage to other honest bureaucrats careers. Filner downfall stands as a clear warning to any democrat, or republican cocky enough to think they might be able to change the status quo for the better in San Diego.
@Don Wood Sorry Don, you are deeply insulting and misinformed when you claim that the women involved were somehow part of some political conspiracy, rather than people who had been taken advantage of inappropriately - whether legal or not. Even Filner admits he provided the ammunition.
Hopefully he will be eventually be compelled to confront his own responsibility, but this interview shows he hasn't learned a thing. Anyone who was acting like he was, would have been brought down by the power brokers. It's there job to pull the trigger when given ammunition. His proposition, and evidently yours, is that people can be gotten rid merely for political reasons. However, you must realize that if that there were really the case, Mike Aguirre would have been gone a lot faster.
No matter how devoted Filenr is to veterans, or the importance of the issues his supporters needed a champion for, he was a back bencher Congressman and deeply unsuited to be Mayor. Beware of any politician who is so self-centered and worse, thoughtless or mean about his impacts on others.
@Carolyn Chase @Geoff Page @Don Wood Sounds to me like you are dodging a direct question. You wrote: "I can personally vouch for enough of them." I asked you how many you were talking about. Simple questions. Now, instead of answering, you have judged me to be something that you have no way of knowing in these brief posts. Whenever I hear a person present generalities as fact, I always ask for specific information because generalities are too easy to offer.
As for the one victim and the one witness with integrity being enough for you, I would have to say that unless the actual incident rose to criminal behavior, it would not warrant driving a sitting mayor from office. Maybe that is enough for you but it would not be for me. And you haven't offered enough either.
@Carolyn Chase @Geoff Page @Don Wood I replied to this yesterday but it seems my post did not make it up here. What I had wrote was that I guess we can assume from your answer to the question about how many were "enough of them" amounts to one one victim and one witness.
Did the incident result in criminal indictment of Filner? Why don't you share with us which victim it was, this was all public anyway so you won't be revealing any private information. Then, we can judge for ourselves how you judged Filner, on the merits of the one case, and why you feel so free to make the remarks you have here.
@Geoff Page @Carolyn Chase @Don Wood I feel so free because that's what comments sections are for and as I recall, Filner copped a plea; however another case is proceeding in court - so perhaps you should consider the facts that he is gone and the court process will continue and perhaps you'll get more answers there. But I bet you've already made up your mind he got a bum rap; while others such as myself are simply glad he's gone for lots of reasons.
My comments were directed at you because you stated Mr. Wood was deeply insulting and misinformed, setting yourself up as someone who actually knew something of value.
I was not attempting to argue one way or the other about Filner's guilt or innocence, I just wanted to know what basis you had for your comment. I guess this exchange has proven that you had none.
@Geoff Page @Carolyn Chase @Don Wood I answered our questions as must as they deserve in this forum.! You just don't like the answers and wish to judge them and furthermore attempt to argue something in public that will be argued in court and already has been to a large degree settled. You may still want Filner to be Mayor - that's your right. But i don't need to expose anyone else to any additional stupid shaming from others. And no I am not running for any public office - your question of which mainly shows your utter contempt for those who do.
I am not arguing anything about what “will be argued in court,” if you paid attention. I already said I am not arguing about Filner’s guilt or innocence, you are the one attempting to deflect my question by veering off into that subject. I also did not say I still wanted Filner to be Mayor.
Now, instead of offering up concrete evidence of your claim that you know “enough of them” to make disparaging remarks in this post, you say you don’t want to expose the one person you profess to know to additional stupid shaming. All I have asked you to do is provide proof for your statements, which you refuse to do. Now you are making the leap of logic to assume I want to know who the person is so I can shame her. No, I want you to back up your own, to use a word from one of these posts “bloviating.”
My question, you say, shows my utter contempt for people who run for office. I said you sounded like a politician because you dodge questions repeatedly, divert to subjects I never raised, and then go on the attack and assume you know my character simply because I challenged you. You know nothing about me and, from what I know about you, you are not a psychologist and are therefore hardly qualified to make such a judgment of my character based on a few posts.
What you sound like to me, after all of these posts, is someone who
wants to be included in the group of people who can say they were against
Filner all along as if there is some cachet to be gained by that when you
probably had nothing to do with any of it.
All you have done is take a bite out of a dead carcass so you can join
the club. I hope it tastes great.