Bob Filner’s Week of Lily Pond Lies

Ryan Purdy Ryan Purdy


In just one week, mayoral candidate Bob Filner reeled off so many outright lies and misstatements he is in jeopardy of giving our doddering Vice President Joe Biden some serious gaffe-envy.

It started at last week’s debate at the Institute of the Americas. Filner ignorantly called out Councilmember DeMaio for not having a diverse staff. Of course, out of a staff of seven, two are Hispanic and two are Asian-American. One of these individuals is his Chief of Staff.  As someone who has been perpetually running for office since 1979, Filner knows the importance of the Chief of Staff position. As his zany buddy Joe Biden would say, it is a “big effing deal.”

For those of you who are not race-obsessed race-baiters like Filner, you might be interested in the other three staff members as well.  One was born and raised in Italy, another served in the Navy. The third one is all-around good guy who rides a motorcycle. Enough with humanizing DeMaio’s staffers, back to Filner’s follies…

Then there was the crackpot criminal claim. Quick rehash: Filner accused DeMaio’s partner of “criminal actions” for helping organize the infamous water gun fight that destroyed Balboa Park’s lily pond.  Of course, that’s an outright lie. He organized no such thing. The event was listed on a website he owns, as it was on several others, including the San Diego Reader. An event listing does not even reach the orbit of event organization.  The U-T editorial page applied an appropriate ridicule of Filner’s “argument.” By Filner’s baffling logic, newspapers in the Aurora, Colo., area that carried the listings for the opening night of “The Dark Knight Rises” are responsible for the horrible carnage last month at a movie theater there.

Actually, my favorite part of the whole hub-bub was former Professor Filner’s barely literate press release.  It included two misspellings and clunky prepositional phrases that made it nearly incomprehensible.  I got the gist of it though: deMaio (sic) partner. Water fight. Criminal action. Lily Pond. Bad.

The best Filner falsehood of the week: Claiming four times, during Tuesday’s debate, that DeMaio was served a subpoena to appear at the Comprehensive Pension Reform initiative court hearing. Voice of San Diego’s Fact Check determined Filner’s statement is false: There’s no element of truth to the claim that DeMaio was subpoenaed, and Filner repeatedly used the inaccurate information to make an argument against his opponent. The claim is easily verifiable, too. We simply emailed the City Attorney’s Office to ask for a list of those subpoenaed. Filner’s campaign could have done the same, checked the court record or spoke with the city’s white-collar union, which filed the lawsuit. I have heard the expression “doubling down” on a lie, but quadrupling down is truly remarkable.

As if it had not already been a rough seven days for Filner, yesterday a group of 18 San Diego business leaders endorsed DeMaio. Most of these leaders had backed a different candidate during the primary, but are now supporting DeMaio. Nationally, Democrats openly fantasize about dumping Biden, Filner’s soulmate of blunder, from the Presidential ticket. It will not be long before local Democrats wistfully muse–in tones reserved for bad break-ups–about what could have been. If only their the mythical, thus unbeatable, local labor mayoral candidate hadn’t gotten away… whoever that may be. Sigh.