Posts Tagged ‘Bob Filner’
by Barry Jantz
This was published at FlashReport on Sunday.
Is the City of San Diego agreement with Bob Filner a good deal for taxpayers?
Maybe we can start by agreeing on something. It really chaps the common hide to think the city would enter into any settlement whatsoever with the soon-to-be former but already disgraced mayor. If it were up to a lot of people, the guy would be left penniless or behind bars.
Disclaimer: The author is not a medical professional and does not represent herself as a medical expert, merely an observer asking a question worth considering in light of recent events.
Increasingly disturbing accounts from women reporting sexual harassment by San Diego Mayor Bob Filner have left observers scratching their heads for a possible explanation. It seems inconceivable for an elected official who has been in the public eye for decades to think it’s acceptable to treat women like “sexual objects or stupid idiots” as former communications director Irene McCormack Jackson put it.
In the last three years there have been over 20 sex scandals at the state and local level. These used to be the death nail for politicians. But on both coasts two municipal politicians vow to stay the course. In the past, lower ranking officials like Congressman David Wu and Governors like Eliot Spitzer were crushed by numerous stories put out by the media and resigned just to end the barrage. What has changed?
Some Republicans have privately told me that they are sitting out the effort to recall Mayor Filner, saying it makes little difference to governing San Diego and that the GOP might be better off if Filner drags down Democrats. I wholeheartedly disagree. Exhibit A is the July 30 ordinance requiring a “prevailing wage” for city contracts for public works and maintenance efforts.
There is no doubt that Bob Filner is on his way out as Mayor. I predicted he might not make it, but this is fast. Today both the U-T and KPBS reported that prominent Democrats, including Donna Frye, are urging the mayor to resign over sexual harassment allegations. There is also the little matter of an FBI investigation into a pay-to-play scandal involving Sunroad Centrum’s project in Kearney Mesa.
Richard Rider provides a nice summary on Twitter:
Late last night Red State reported on the interesting dynamic between Scott Peters and the Filner scandals. The point is after weeks of silence, Peters responded to criticism by removing almost every reference to Bob Filner from his website. Yikes! I don’t know if that’s more embarrassing for Peters or Filner but the entire incident certainly reflects poorly on the freshman congressman.
The Red State article is a must read: Democrat scandal brewing in CA52 race
So is the NRCC’s series of press releases yesterday where they point out:
Wow. That didn’t take long.
Mayor Bob Filner’s Friday press conference should be studied in political science classes for years to come. It was excellent political theater and probably could have gone another 2 hours if his staff hadn’t cut it off. More important than the presser however is what happens next in each of these Mayoral melodramas he’s created. Let’s take each in turn.
Sunroad Controversy Deux
Most people know nothing about local politicians and just about everyone else knows one or two things about them. So if the one thing a politician is known for is charm, he or she is probably winning on Election Day.
I haven’t seen any research that tells me this but it’s a theory that makes sense to me. To find out what I’m talking about, chat up San Diego City Council President Todd Gloria. He packs a lot of charm into a 60-second conversation. Gloria, and successful politicians like him, have a genuine interest in people.
I should have known. First, let me say that I am in favor of all forms of legalizing marijuana, so of course, I am not opposed to medical marijuana. I followed the link on this tweet from Craig Gustafson to read about Bob Filner’s medical marijuana proposal:
The linked U-T story opens with this paragraph:
Mayor Bob Filner is proposing an ordinance to allow medical marijuana dispensaries to operate in commercial and industrial areas for a $5,000 annual permit fee and a 2 percent city tax on sales.
Survey USA released a poll today on the local opinion of Bob Filner…
They show he’s underwater on approval, and by 56-37% San Diegans call his behavior “inappropriate.”
By 55-30% margin, people say Filner’s behavior could “impact city business a lot.”
Also, in case you missed it, the UT Editorial Board released a piece discussing the dysfunction that has become City Hall under the leadership of Bob Filner.
Recall time, anyone?
Well, no. Not yet. Legally and politically, it’s premature to start the effort to remove the screwball we’ve elected mayor of San Diego.
That being said, 2014 seems a reasonable year to look forward to. IF Filner continues to alienate folks with his bizarre behavior and awesome arrogance without bounds, HE will be the one making the case for his own removal.
Will his hubris override his political acumen? Frankly, I’m not convinced. Yet. But I can hope.
Bob Filner appears a little unhinged, and frankly unprofessional in a video from local news station NBC 7. He hijacks a news conference by City Attorney Jan Goldsmith to make accusations of unprofessional conduct. His view of the role of the City Attorney appears entirely unbalanced. The City Attorney can’t be fired by the mayor, because he is elected directly by the public. Filner’s tactics are those of a bully or a Congressman, not used to the necessity of working with other members of the team. It seems irrational for the mayor to waste political capital on a personal and public fight with another official with whom he must work in the future. His ego is writing a check he may lack the political capital to afford.
San Diego Mayor Bob Filner has been keeping silent about his views on the 2 percent hotel tax. I previously argued that I thought the tax violated Proposition 26. City Attorney Jan Goldsmith pointed out that the city was taking a risk in the comments section on sdrostra. City Attorney Goldsmith cited his office’s legal opinion which finished with this conclusion:
Prop 26 defines every government imposition of a duty to pay funds to government as a tax unless one of seven enumerated exceptions applies. It is not clear whether the City’s traditional businessbased assessments can meet one of those exceptions. . . .
This morning’s UT had a scathing editorial which proclaimed: “That scream you heard just after 3 p.m. Monday was the San Diego City Council slitting its own throat.” The editorial noted the Council’s failure to override Filner’s veto was a “huge political victory in his (Filner’s) first tug-of-war with the council.” Read the entire editorial here: http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/feb/11/port-commission-filner-veto-gloria-council/
What the editorial doesn’t directly address is Council President Gloria’s failure of leadership. Despite being awarded the title of Council President by acclamation, Gloria was unable to secure even one override vote from his 3 other democratic colleagues. To date, his coalition of 5 has been the 4 Republicans; a coalition that one can only assume is built upon convenience for the Republicans, not any sense of loyalty that he should have secured from his democratic colleagues.
I find myself partially agreeing with Mayor Filner on the subject of San Diego’s hotel tax. He has stalled on signing the contract that would allow the hoteliers to start using the proceeds to promote tourism and the hotels of San Diego. In an earlier post, I noted that he wanted to use the revenue for “public safety,” but now he is just saying that he had said the tax is illegal. If the tax is illegal, it can’t be used for any activity, including public safety. Meanwhile, the UT article linked above notes that there are lawsuits proceeding against the hotel tax, claiming it violates Proposition 26, passed 2010, which requires a supermajority vote of the people to raise taxes. Here is what the state constitution says about taxes and votes, from Article XIII C, California Constitution:
. . . is not that great. I was happy he is stopping medical marijuana outlet harassment by the city, but is that really a burning issue? Beyond that Filner’s start in office has not made me optimistic.
- He cancelled new managed competition actions, claiming that more study is needed and that service levels have suffered. The Miramar landfill competition and street sweeping services were won by city workers, but at lower cost to the city; why is Filner complaining? There is no evidence of correlation between over paying for a service and better levels of service. Kudos to Kevin Faulconer for seeking to push ahead anyway.
Sounds like it if the new Council President Todd Gloria gets his way. The North County Times reports:
Neither new mayor nor council offer immediate reaction to $900 millon proposal
The new president of the San Diego City Council — rising Democratic star Todd Gloria — said he wants to put before city voters a proposed tax hike that would address a nearly $900 million backlog of infrastructure projects.
Gloria announced his idea during Monday’s inauguration speech for his second term. Hours later, his council colleagues unanimously elected him president — a key position at City Hall that allows him to set the panel’s agenda.
Today, Mayor Bob Filner and two new San Diego City Councilmembers — Mark Kersey and Scott Sherman — were sworn into office. In his op-ed in Sunday’s U-T San Diego, Council President Pro Tem Kevin Faulconer laid out areas the new mayor and City Council can focus on together to keep City Hall accountable and working for San Diegans. In case you missed it, you can read Faulconer’s open letter to Mayor Filner here: http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/dec/01/a-councilmans-message-to-mayor-elect-filner/
Matt Awbrey is Communications Director for Council President Pro Tem Kevin Faulconer.
Kelly Davis of CityBeat has performed a public service in detailing some areas where Bob Filner’s philosophy will have a negative impact on the city’s economy. Of course, Davis doesn’t take that view, but a review of potential “progressive” action items doesn’t bode well for the local economy.
- Development. Progressives complain about the city reorganization that saved some money and by moving the planning department to a division in the development department. The building industry is supposedly in favor of the move, because of the potential to steam line the permitting process. However, the move seems to draw the ire of progressives for lack of “transparency.” But faster permitting would seem to promote economic growth, so what is the real complaint here?
For The First Time, Absentee Voters Will Dominate San Diego City Mayoral Election
SAN DIEGO - In the past three San Diego mayoral elections, the majority of votes in the general election were cast on Election Day. However, a new analysis by the National University System Institute for Policy Research (NUSIPR) projects a historic change this year, as mailed ballots will, for the first time, comprise the majority of votes cast in the race. Using data from the Registrar of Voters office and GIS mapping software, NUSIPR evaluated a number of recent voter trends that will have an impact in Tuesday’s contest.
Video added at bottom of post
It was surreal… and televised. As we well know, Bob Filner is a Congressman and can do whatever he wants. Alas, the cruel hand of probability did not get the memo. Probability did not give The Entitled One that which he wanted. Unthinkable. Mayoral candidate Filner lost a coin toss.
The coin toss determined the order in which candidates would answer the first question and deliver their closing statements during the UCSD/CW6 debate yesterday. As a result, Filner was to answer the first question, and give first closing remarks. Filner was not having it. Instead of taking the stage for the televised debate, Filner embraced his inner diva and threw a hissy fit backstage. All the while on camera, mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio was at his podium, staring at an empty podium, #Eastwooding.
San Diegans voted for Comprehensive Pension Reform to fix the pension problem now. In fact, much of the City of San Diego’s financial turnaround over the past few years is attributable to local leaders taking the bull by the horns and not putting off difficult choices to future generations.
Today, Kevin Faulconer continued to speak out against a plan that would postpone the City’s full pension payments and run up its pension debt by $335 million. Faulconer appeared on the Rodger Hedgecock Show to reiterate that issuing so-called pension obligation bonds — an idea most recently floated by mayoral candidate Bob Filner — is unnecessary and a step in the wrong direction. A recent analysis released by the San Diego County Taxpayers Association revealed this risky maneuver would cost millions of dollars that could otherwise be invested in San Diego neighborhoods.
Last fall, given the amount of public and private property that Occupy Wall Street burned, destroyed and even defecated on, I began to wonder anew if there were any forms of vandalism to which the left objected. Alas, Lilygate provided a silver lining. Whatever the intent of the water fighting revelers, some of them destroyed a source of civic pride (the lily pond) within a larger source of civic pride (Balboa Park). The silver lining? It upset citizens of all political stripes. I found this strangely heartening. I gather that it even upset one of the founders the Congressional Progressive Caucus–a left wing Congressman running for Mayor.