Morning Report: Mayor Loses Several Allies
Lorena Gonzalez and Toni Atkins join the resignation train, and what we learned this week.
So much for slow summer news weeks.
Bob Filner’s DVD apology Thursday once again put San Diego in the national spotlight for the wrong reasons (and just a week after we set off our fireworks without a hitch).
Scott Lewis explained why Filner’s video just didn’t sit right: “This 70-year-old man admits that, up until Wednesday, he did not fully respect the women who worked for and with him.”
The mayor’s accusers dug in their heels Friday, and said they’d provide “additional information” next week.
And then things got even worse for Filner. Lorena Gonzalez, who was instrumental to getting the mayor elected, joined the chorus of those calling on Filner to resign, the U-T reported. Gonzalez is the only person whose support would be more devastating to lose than Donna Frye’s, Lewis predicted earlier this week. Filner’s chief of staff, Vince Hall, announced he’s resigning. Toni Atkins also jumped on the resignation train. Then came Todd Gloria.
On Thursday, Councilman David Alvarez said the mayor could fix this and spare his career. By late Friday, Alvarez released a statement saying he received first hand information about something the mayor had done, reported it to HR and demanded Filner resign to his face.
The snowballing scandal could thwart all kinds of impending city business, Liam Dillon explains.
Countdown to Politifest
Our annual festival built around the future of San Diego and its public affairs carries some new meaning right now. Also, the 25 Idea Tournament finalists are up! They envision green fixes for graffiti blight, a gateway to the college admissions process for students and families, serving seniors and much more.
Feeding the Entrepreneurial Beast
As part of her quest on what could stifle San Diego’s innovation economy, Kelly Bennett identified money – the availability of venture capital, for example – as a big factor.
Indeed, a group of food entrepreneurs pleaded their case for startup funds this week, reports Clare Leschin-Hoar. They have ideas for everything from a world-class public market to a sustainable living institute. But what they don’t have – yet – is money to make the ideas happen.
What We Learned This Week
Filner Had His Worst Week: We still don’t know many more specifics about the allegations against the mayor than when they first surfaced Wednesday. But here’s a rundown of what we do know: The charge against Filner is being led by Filner’s former allies. One of those former allies is taking a different road than the other two. Another former Filner endorser says she rang an alarm two years ago. Some Democrats are tentatively sticking with the mayor. The media circus won’t die down anytime soon.
The Water Authority Might Have a Conflict on Its Hands: Christine Frahm is a lawyer at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, and a consultant to the San Diego County Authority. Wearing both hats might be a problem, since Brownstein has a major financial incentive to boost a controversial water project the Water Authority will be considering in coming months.
Sunroad Still Looms: It might be hard to believe after the past few days, but Filner still has the Sunroad debacle to contend with. Lawyer Cory Briggs filed suit over the deal this week. We laid out some of the most important legal considerations surrounding Sunroad going forward.
Quick News Hits
• One key San Diego leader actually did step down this week: Padres President Tom Garfinkel. John Gennaro dissects that move in this week’s Sports Report.
• VOSD and Keegan Kyle (who’s now at the Orange County Register) won second-place in the News or Feature Series category at the local Society of Professional Journalists awards for coverage of curfew sweeps.
• Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is leaving the Obama administration and taking over as head of the UC system. (Washington Post)
• The Miramar Air Show will go on, but without any military air demonstrations, thanks to sequestration cuts. (NBC7)
Quote of the Week
“We cannot sit idly by and watch your inexcusable behavior continue. What we would not accept for our enemies, we cannot condone of our friends.” – Attorney Marco Gonzalez, in a letter urging Mayor Bob Filner to resign.