Will Filner Finish His Term?

B-Daddy B-Daddy 8 Comments


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.

It is clear that Filner is dealing from a weak hand; so he throws a tantrum.  But his tantrum is exactly the response of a someone who feels powerless; this makes him look weak.  His strategy on the hotel tax is also incoherent.  He claims that it is illegal, but then makes a demand for a bigger cut before he will sign off on a contract to use the proceeds to fund a tourism campaign.  If the tax is illegal, then the city is not going to get its cut for public safety.  And if the tax is legal, then using the money for public safety will make it illegal.  I don’t see Filner’s play in this, unless he is just grandstanding.  Ultimately, the public judges the mayor on results.  Starting vendettas is not typically the way to achieve positive results.

Maybe he just has anger management issues.  I’m thinking its only 50/50 that he finishes out his term.

Here is the video…


Comments 8

  1. I think it should be noted the mayor who cares about ‘neighborhoods’ has bullied both the Carmel Valley and Rancho Bernardo Planning Boards. Look out planning boards, Filner is after you!!! By the way, 50/50 is generous, 2 months in and he’s attacking everyone except unions…give him enough rope….

  2. I wonder what the tone of this post would have been if the City Attorney holding a press conference to criticize his client was named Aguirre and the client was named Sanders.

    Putting politics aside, I would like to ask one of the attorneys who reads Rostra to opine whether it is ethical for an attorney, without consulting his client, to hold a press conference questioning the legality of said client’s actions. Just asking.

  3. Hypocrisy, the ONGOING issue for our ELECTED SD City Attorney is whether the job is to advise the city, or to advise the city’s politicians. It seems to me he can do both. But if the politicians act without first seeking counsel, the City Attorney still has an obligation to advise the city.

    This issue has been argued for decades — even generations. It is NOT a settled matter.

    Of course, Filner would play the lawyer card, claiming he knows best. But other attorneys (I believe Goldsmith is one) have concluded differently than Filner. Suffice it to say the disagreement is still in play.

  4. While some may argue that he has additional duties, the Charter is very clear that the City Attorney is to provide legal counsel to the Mayor and City Council. Publicly questioning the legality of the Mayor’s actions is unethical and opens the City to potential legal exposure.

    Again, I will ask what your take would have been if the attorney’s name was Aguirre and the Mayor’s name was Sanders. Actually, I don’t need to ask since this isn’t a hypothetical and I don’t remember you ever supporting City Attorney Aguirre when he accused Mayor Sanders of violating the law.

  5. Post

    I didn’t care much for Aguirre, but I didn’t criticize him merely for mouthing off, as he was prone to do. I was happy with the fact that he tried to get some of the pension shenanigans corrected. The only thing I criticized him for was launching some of his lawsuits without the backing of the city council.

  6. B-Daddy,

    Fair enough, but if you believe, as others have opined here, that the City Attorney is the attorney for the City and not the Mayor and Council, why would he need the Council’s backing to file a lawsuit?

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