Filner Unplugged

Aynd Rand Undesignated 7 Comments


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

This is the issue that probably worries the Mayor most because of possible legal risk. Mayor Filner claims his now former Deputy Chief of Staff Allen Jones brokered an agreement where the Mayor would drop his opposition in return for a payoff/donation by the developer. On Friday a recording was released with Sunroad employee Tom Story leaving a vm wanting to make sure the Council member knew the mayor is dropping his objection to the deal now that the checks have been paid.

Mayor Filner claimed at the press conference that the quid pro quo was made without his consent. However, when the story first broke Mayor Filner had the following exchange with Allison Ash of 10 News.

Allison Ash: “if they hadn’t have given the city 100K dollars we would be have been having a different conversation?”

Bob Filner: “Probably”

Allison Ash: “You would have held it up?”

Bob Filner: “Probably”

When the story originally went public he clearly knew about the deal for payment and admits he would have probably held it up without payment and then a week later claims he didn’t know about an agreement between his staffer and Sunroad. His staffer Allen Jones refutes the Mayor’s after the fact amnesia later on Friday afternoon to several news outlets.

Something that also undermines the mayor’s credibility in his statement about not knowing what was going on is his well-documented management style. The Mayor is legendary for micromanaging all issues going through his office. Don’t believe me? Here’s a quote in December, 2012 to the UT  from his longtime campaign consultant Bill Wachob.

“I think it’s fair to say he’ll be involved in everything every step of the way, big or small. And I say that to some extent unfortunately because, in the years I’ve been with him, it was not always the best style, but it most definitely is his style.”

Personally, I think one or two attorneys need to weigh in on the legality of his actions. At the very least these payments are a political shakedown that have no place in government. The City of San Diego already has processes in place for developers to put money/investment back into the communities. Rules and costs for things like development impact fees are laid out publicly for all to see before decisions on the merits of a project are determined. Asking for additional payments not included within the municipal code is a shakedown.

Bob Filner Contre Jan Goldsmith/Andrew Jones

Everyone knows Mayor Bob Filner threw a temper tantrum at a recent closed meeting that resulted in his using his security detail to throw out the number two, Andrew Jones, at the City Attorney’s office. The Mayor claims that Jones previously leaked closed session information and then was acting in a disruptive manner that required throwing him out. Jones denies this of course leading to a classic case of he said she said.

One problem with that: the meeting transcripts. They clearly show the Mayor walked in with an attitude as shown by the way he dressed down Todd Gloria for starting the meeting on time. The Mayor quickly pivots his anger to Jones and bullies him before making the police officers escort Jones out.

Again, I don’t know the constitutional and legal considerations of a government official using police to act as his muscle in political/personality disputes. These police officials are a security detail, not a praetorian guard who do the executives dirty work.

Also, not one person present has corroborated the Mayor’s version of the story. What do his closest supporters have to say: Marti Emerald, David Alvarez, Myrtle Cole?….crickets. No elected or lawyer appears to agree with the Mayor’s position that Mr. Jones violated rules of closed session by speaking to the press, not about a legal matter, but about the Mayor’s behavior in a previous closed session meeting.

I’m glad Todd Gloria, Kevin Faulconer, and Scott Sherman told people what happened at the most recent meeting. All deserve our respect for their honesty of character.

San Diego Municipal Priorities: Potholes, Pensions and Overthrowing the Oppressive Iranian Regime?

The Mayor snuck off for a five-day junket to Paris, France to participate in a rally against the Iranian government. He defended his decision to allow some group to pay for his political activism/vacation by claiming taxpayers didn’t pay for his costs there. He defended his visit by listing a number of other VIP’s who also attended including republicans like Rudy Guliani and Tom Ridge.

Problem one is the trip cost San Diegans thousands of dollars to protect Monsieur Filner from some kind of threat. At his presser, he chided a reporter to use common sense that security makes sense for him at a rally demonstrating against the Iranian government. Maybe I could understand needing security at a anti-government protest rally in downtown Teheran, but Paris? Cest ridicule Monsieur Filner!

Furthermore, no one was aware of the trip because of “security concerns.” By this logic we can never know where the Mayor is traveling to (eg: Carmel Valley?) for fear of assassination plots against him, possibly by an enemy foreign government.

Even worse, now the Chief of Police is saying he won’t release the full costs for the trip, but only ranges in 30 days because of security . I guess it’s a major security concern if we find out the city paid for an unknown number of officers’ meals at Chez McDonalds after the fact.

As stated, Mayor Filner also argued it was an important event as noted by the long list of fellow VIPs who attended. Unlike the mayor, everyone he listed are currently private citizens and no other listed guest is a current municipal politician. In short, THERE IS NO USEFUL REASON FOR THE MAYOR OF SAN DIEGO TO ACCEPT A TRIP TO PARIS FOR AN FOREIGN AFFAIRS RALLY! Maybe this is his way around rules for accepting gifts.

Au Revoir until the next mayoral induced mayhem.


Comments 7

  1. Has anyone brought up the fact that the Mayor’s speech in Paris was only 3 MINUTES long.

  2. Bastinda…for the other rally attendees, that must have the longest 3 minutes of their week.

  3. Surely Filner delivered a modern day Gettysburg Address — pithy and memorable.

    Or not.

    More likely, his talk was about 2 minutes too long.

    But at least his riveting though abbreviated talk freed up Filner and his betrothed up to go sightseeing and shopping in the City of Light. Perhaps the city police escorts at least carried the shopping bags.

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