Filner Swings, Misses and then Swings and Misses Again

Tony Manolatos Tony Manolatos 12 Comments


Politics & Media Mashup

Cross-posted at FlashReport

I’m not sure what’s worse: suggesting the Republican Party is racist or calling someone a criminal while offering no evidence to support the claim.

Congressman Bob Filner, running for mayor in San Diego, did both of those things in a span of a few days.

Adding fuel to the fire was local labor Lorena Gonzalez. More on her in a minute. First, Filner.

At a mayoral debate Thursday, Filner played the race card while refuting a point by City Councilman and mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio.

“They (the Republican Party) are a party that does not believe that the people of color in this nation deserve an equal chance, they do not believe that Mexico is worthy of respect as a nation,” Filner said, according to KPBS.

Monday on KOGO, host LaDona Harvey noted that Filner basically accused her and a whole bunch of other people of being racist without offering any proof.

Within the hour, Filner was doing the same thing — making serious and sweeping accusations without providing any proof to support his finger pointing.

Monday afternoon, Filner issued a news release calling DeMaio’s partner, Jonathan Hale, a criminal for reportedly helping to organize a squirt gun fight at Balboa Park that badly damaged the park’s historic lily pond.

“This is felony vandalism of the Crown Jewel of San Diego. Carl DeMaio’s partner reportedly helped to organize it. I call on Carl to condemn Jonathan Hale’s criminal actions,” Filner said, adding: “I think voters should be concerned about someone like this playing a significant role in the next mayoral administration.”

The local media spent a good chunk of Monday chasing the lily pond story. Everyone seemed to be weighing in. The Los Angeles Times picked up a statement from San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders.

All of this prompted me to tweet: “Not sure what’s sadder: What happened to the lily pond at Balboa Park, or watching everyone try to latch onto the story.”

It was nice to see writers and editors from San Diego CityBeat to U-T San Diego quickly note that connecting DeMaio’s partner to Squirt Gun Gate was a reach.

From the U-T: “Hale’s connection to the event appears tenuous at best. One of his former employees, Ken St. Pierre, was one of the organizers; a columnist at the San Diego Gay & Lesbian News (SDGLN) website, which Hale publishes, previewed the event.”

Several publications previewed the event and the SDGLN story is hardly a smoking gun.

DeMaio quickly fired back, making Filner look foolish.

“By condemning an innocent man today without any facts, Bob Filner has shown that he is absolutely unfit to lead this city,” DeMaio said, according to the U-T.

Gonzalez apparently didn’t like what she was seeing. She took to Twitter late last night to rip the media and DeMaio for allegedly suggesting labor stirred up coverage of Squirt Gun Gate. Gonzalez repeatedly referred to Hale as DeMaio’s lover — a nice touch coming from the far left — prompting CityBeat editor Dave Rolland to tweet:

“You’re really trying hard to make sure everyone knows that @carldemaio is gay, aren’t you?”

Gonzalez’s tweets have been erased but you can see Rolland’s herehere and here.

The mayoral election is in November. Between now and then I’m sure we will hear a lot from Filner on how DeMaio is not fit to be mayor. I hope the next time he goes there he has some proof.

Tony Manolatos is a communications strategist. You can follow him on Twitter or LinkedInYou can hear Tony talk politics and media with KOGO’s LaDona Harvey every Monday at 2:35 p.m. on AM 600 and FM 95.7.

Comments 12

  1. Today, Filner is on to this:

    “@BobFilnerMayor: For @carldemaio Latinos are a strategy. For @BobFilnerMayor Latinos are a base because of my longtime advocacy for the Latino community.”

    This whole campaign is going to be a Chicago-style attack machine. I intend to call it exactly as I see it until Carl wins by 20 points in November.

  2. As the article says, “Hale’s connection to the event appears tenuous at best.” This is just typical political gamesmanship from a candidate with no viable plans to improve our city looking for a way to try to pickup some votes. Filner’s half-witted financial vision for San Diego is to borrow billions more dollars and keep things humming along as usual. San Diego doesn’t need to implement DC borrowing tactics of passing debt down the road, we need sustainable solutions, which is exactly what DeMaio brings to the table.

  3. Why does the left constantly resort to name calling and accusations? There will be more of this to come, I’m sure.

  4. DeMaio should let surrogates do the rest of the commenting on this. It is an opportunistic distraction to get away from the real issues for Filner. The surrogates should go after Filner/Gonzalez by hammering over and over their “anti gay” comments. Drive that wedge home. Hillcrest, you know you cannot trust Filner. Gay union members, you think she represents your interests behind closed doors? Surrogates do your job.

    Let DeMaio drive the issues the voters care about.

  5. The majority of San Diego voters really have not a clue as to the term of “life partner.” Well guess what? Many now do. Since Hedgecock, it is sadly apparent that the voter could care less about a city councilperson or mayor. Need I repeat; the Cheetah boys, Donna Frye, Dick Murphy, and now even Sanders. Only political hacks think otherwise.

    However, on the Presential level we have the Mormon and the Catholic. On the presidential level, voters are tuning into the legalized Homosexual marriage(common law). Don’t trust me but by the Presidential election the term “Life Partner” will have evil connotations to anyone voting Obama out of office. Tom Shepard is simply above your paygrade. He is not James Carville, but he is still one of my heroes. Only a clot head will state he still thinks negative election rants are implosive. Filner is banging on negatives, and exposing the lifestyle of a councilman. Election night at the victory party, I’ll toast Tom and Filner…

  6. I don’t know if DeMaio’s partner was involved in this (other than promoting the event given his publication) but, hey it’s a free country.

    As to this shot on Bob Filner, the Republican Party is a minority party in California (ironic, isn’t it) for a reason — their ridiculous position on immigration; I know this, and if you take a moment to be honest, so do you. The issue of immigration is a story of families, not politics to we who are Latino. To others, it is one of politics and ignorance.

    This belief that I have regarding immigration is not entirely subjective, I’ve been there serving at the highest levels of state government when the Republican brain-trust, Stu Spencer and Jack Kemp where calling out the political idiocy of the pro-187 position in 1994; how prophetic those words where then, and now.

    Hear these words: Demographics are DESTINY in politics — its that simple.

    I have known Bob Filner professionally for nearly thirty years; don’t always agree with him, but I DO respect him. When I ran against him in 1987 for the SD City Council (Balboa Park was part of that District then), he was RIGHT on district elections; I was wrong. I was very young then and I now realize that Bob has the pulse of communities and neighborhoods that are disenfranchised; I did not back then have that same connection, but I do now. It’s called personal growth.

    Speaking of personal growth, and the need for it; DeMaio’s partner may, or may not be complicit in this debacle — I don’t know. A thorough, non-political investigation will inform that picture. However, what I do know is that for anybody to promote, advertise, or solicit attendance to an out of control “frat party” on sacred ground for native San Diegans like myself may not make him a felon, but it does make him a squirrel!

    And for his partner, Mom, Dad, whatever, your work is cut out for you.

  7. “As to this shot on Bob Filner, the Republican Party is a minority party in California (ironic, isn’t it) for a reason — their ridiculous position on immigration”

    There is a marked difference between criticizing immigration policy and saying the Republican Party “has done nothing for people of color and doesn’t respect Mexico as a country.”

    Simply put, Bob Filner is undisciplined, unhinged, and reckless with his words. He is deliberately practicing the politics of class warfare because he has no ideas. He may “have his finger on the pulse of ‘disenfranchised communities’,” but to deliberately incite them to focus on race, rather than policy, is indicative of his inability to lead all San Diegans as mayor.

    Applauding gutter politics because it works isn’t becoming…even if it works.

  8. Tweeted by us…

    GOP supports gay candidate, while “liberal” opponents shout his orientation, hoping it will help defeat him.

  9. Tom Shepard is AT THE VERY LEAST approving Filner’s scumbag remarks. More likely he is encouraging this lowlife strategy.

    Not that Filner’s NEEDS such guidance. Comrade Filner’s a self-made man.

    Shepard was NEVER a Republican except for registration and for the money. Does anyone still regret the departure of this smarmy politico??

  10. So, just a note to make a comparison – if the Reader or the UT or any magazine advertises (probably because they were paid) the Chargers vs. Raiders game and someone gets hurt (not so unusual at this yearly event), according to Filner’s logic, it’s the fault of the advertiser/promoters…..REALLY?

    And Bob C., Filner lives to keep anyone disenfranchised as much as he can, because he wants victims to vote for him. The politics of dividing people work on people who see color and other differences, it doesn’t work on people who are color/money/sexual preference/etc. etc. etc. BLIND.

    AS of present, WE ALL HAVE THE SAME OPPORTUNITIES in the USA. Some are smart enough to take advantage of them.

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