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In Possibly Strategic Move, Filner Supporter Starts Recall Campaign

LGBT activist Stampp Corbin has begun the process of recalling Mayor Bob Filner.

One of San Diego Mayor Bob Filner’s most ardent supporters has taken the first steps to recall him, possibly foreclosing other efforts to kick out the embattled mayor.

Local LGBT activist Stampp Corbin has taken initial steps to start circulating petitions to recall the mayor, citing the sexual harassment accusations leveled against Filner in recent weeks.

Corbin, owner and publisher of San Diego-based LGBT Weekly, published a classified ad in U-T San Diego on Friday announcing his intention to do so.

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But by starting a recall process, Corbin might be making a strategic move to prevent other groups from doing the same.

City recall rules don’t clarify whether more than one recall campaign can run concurrently once another process has started. And if a recall process fails, opponents would have to wait another six months before trying again, according to city rules.

Corbin wouldn’t say whether his move was a cynical effort to support the mayor. But he said that he hasn’t decided whether Filner should be recalled.

“I don’t have a perspective,” Corbin said. “What my perspective is that everyone’s talking about this, let’s start the process.”

Getting a recall on the ballot is a significantly difficult task even for someone highly motivated. To get a recall on the ballot, Corbin would need to collect at least 101,596 valid signatures in 39 days. Corbin said he wouldn’t rely on paid signature gatherers and simply plans to allow residents interested in gathering signatures to pick up petitions at the LGBT Weekly’s Banker’s Hill office.

Corbin’s publication was one of the most faithful backers of Filner’s mayoral bid, specifically in its reporting on Filner’s opponent Carl DeMaio, who is openly gay. LGBT Weekly purported to reveal private details of DeMaio’s relationship with rival gay media publisher Johnathan Hale and pushed a theory that Hale was involved in the Balboa Park lily pond vandalism despite there being no evidence.

Most recently, LGBT Weekly columnist Nicole Murray Ramirez attended the Pride events with Filner and cast doubt on the reasons Filner’s ex-fiancee left him earlier this month.

“Of all the mayors I’ve known, it is Bob Filner who I am the closest with and who I have had the longest friendship with – almost 40 years,” Murray Ramirez wrote this week. “Yes, Bob Filner indeed made his own bed in this controversy and has no one to blame. But it seems to me that other interests are trying to burn down the bedroom and house as quickly as possible. Let Bob decide his future and make his own decisions on his own time. I believe he will not let our great city down.”

Liam Dillon contributed to this report.

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