Fact Check: The Resignation Race - Voice of San Diego

Bob Filner

Fact Check: The Resignation Race

Statement: “I was proud to be the first elected official on the Democratic side to stand up and ask (Filner) to resign,” state Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez said during a Politifest panel on Aug. 3. Determination: True

Image: RATINGStatement: “I was proud to be the first elected official on the Democratic side to stand up and ask (Filner) to resign,” state Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez said during a Politifest panel on Aug. 3.

Determination: True

Analysis: All six panelists at Politifest’s “What Do We Do Now?” panel reiterated calls for Mayor Bob Filner to resign.

Lorena Gonzalez was one of them, and reminded the audience that she was the first Democratic elected official to do so.

There’s been an endless stream of politicians and citizens weighing in on Filner for the past several weeks, so we decided to take a look back.

On July 11, Gonzalez called on Filner to respond to then-anonymous allegations of sexual harassment made public by Donna Frye, attorney Cory Briggs and her brother, attorney Marco Gonzalez, but “stopped short of asking him to resign,” according to U-T San Diego.

Early July 12, Gonzalez tweeted:

Some saw the tweet as a half-measure because she included a caveat: “if he doesn’t get help & completely change his behavior.”

But later that morning she called the U-T around 11:40 a.m. to tell them she was asking Filner to resign, said Evan McLaughlin, Gonzalez’s chief of staff. The statement was published at 11:58 a.m.

• Dale Bankhead, deputy chief of staff for Assembly Majority Leader Toni Atkins, said Monday that Atkins first called on Filner to resign in a statement released a couple hours after Gonzalez’s.

Gonzalez and Atkins appeared together later that day, asking Filner to resign in a joint statement.

• City Council President Todd Gloria called for Filner’s resignation at 4:35 p.m. the same day, through a statement released by his deputy chief of staff.

• City Councilman David Alvarez, too, released a statement through staffers around 8 p.m. on July 12.

• Nathan Fletcher, who ran against Filner in the mayoral primary and has since switched to the Democratic Party, said he called Filner and asked him to resign on July 12, too. But he didn’t make that fact public until July 26.

As new accusers have come forward, more prominent Democrats continued to weigh in.

• The San Diego County Democratic Party, led by Chairwoman Francine Busby, first held a vote on whether to urge a resignation on July 18, but because the vote was split, decided not to weigh in. The group voted again after seven women had come forward accusing Filner of sexual harassment. The second vote was more definitive, and the party called on Filner to resign on July 25.

• Democratic Councilwoman Sherri Lightner addressed the allegations on July 12 but held off for two weeks before recommending a resignation on July 26.

• Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz urged a resignation on July 26.

• Sen. Dianne Feinstein called on Filner to resign July 28.

• Assembly Speaker John Pérez and Senate President Darrell Steinberg both urged resignation on Aug. 5.

The Quiet Few

Democratic Councilwomen Myrtle Cole and Marti Emerald are the final holdouts on the City Council — neither has asked Filner to resign.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi berated Filner for his alleged actions but stopped short of asking him to resign.

President Obama declined to comment.

We determined that Gonzalez’s claim that she was the first Democratic official to call for Filner’s resignation was true.

While Gonzalez’s initial comments on Twitter did not straightforwardly call for Filner to resign, she gave a direct statement asking for a resignation that was published at 11:58 a.m. on July 12, beating the next Democratic official by about two hours.

If you disagree with our determination or analysis, please express your thoughts in the comments section of this blog post. Explain your reasoning.

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