Some Questions Rise on What is Behind the Crisis at San Diego City Hall

August 16, 2013 (San Diego)—A blogger at the San Diego Reader going by the handle “Historymatters” has raised some interesting connections regarding the charges coming against San Diego Mayor Bob Filner.

Here is the blog entry at the San Diego Reader.

The author’s first contention is that all 13 women went to KPBS which has deep connections to the Port of San Diego and Irwin Jacobs. Jacobs was behind a plan that would have radically change Balboa Park, and this plan was deep sixed by the Mayor, (and a judge).

Well, the first problem with this is that not all 13 went to KPBS. Two, military veterans, with no connections to the Port or KPBS went to CNN, one went to FOX Five San Diego, and the last one to our Channel ten.

The second is that now three women have gone straight to Civil Rights lawyer Gloria Aldred.

The third is that according to the Voice of San Diego Bob Nelson, Chairman of the Board, is a friend and confidant of the mayor.

In the crowd listening was Port Commissioner Bob Nelson. He had helped Filner raise money during his campaign for mayor.

Filner had called Nelson earlier in the week, asking for advice about whether he could survive a recall. Nelson said he could not.

But the day after Politifest, Nelson typed out a letter to Filner, asking him to resign.

So now that we have eliminated that part, who are the rest of the women? Irene McCorkmack Jackson was indeed Vice President of Public Policy for the Port of San Diego for nine years. This is part of her statement to the press dated July 22, 2013. At no point was there any hiding of the fact that she was an employee of the Port. Nor did she deny that her previous career in Journalism placed her at the Union Tribune.

During the Press Conference with Michelle Tyler, Gloria Alldred was asked about more civil charges, even perhaps a lawsuit, class action.

During that Press Conference Gloria Aldred told the press, “that she was not retained for that purpose.” In fact, after they were done with the Press Conference at the downtown Westin Hotel, they were on the way to talk with the detectives at the Sherriff’s department.

The two women who came to CNN were Eldonna Fernandez, and Army Vet Gerri Tindley, who also lack any connection to the port of San Diego.

Emily Gilbert came out to Fox Five San Diego. Again there is no tie to the powerful in the City of San Diego. She is a Marylin Monroe impersonator, and again not connected to either the Port, the power structure, or KPBS.

Then there is Renee Estill-Sombright, a thirty plus year veteran of the City of San Diego and a single mother. She did not come forwards fearing losing her job.

In fact, here is a good list courtesy of The Atlantic and media outlet that received the complaint.

Why is this happening? And I do not mean the women coming forwards? Bob Filner is a hero of the Freedom Ride Summer. He is a man admired and respected for his actions as a true progressive. We have a problem when heroes show faults. In this case, these are massive fault lines.

Could there be ulterior motives? This is never a bad question to ask, and I have asked it myself, from multiple sources. At one point I asked a supporter of the Mayor, if she believed “the downtown mafia” was behind it, and that was very early in the scandal. I got a very emphatic no to that question.

What we know is that Donna Frye and now Dwayne Crenshaw, are on the record that they are not running for office. Both are progressive leaders, and Frye is the woman who should have been mayor. Crenshaw is a leader in the communities south of Interstate Eight, the Fourth District. He will not run, however he is willing to help with the recall effort.

This is a common motive in the political world, to remove a powerful politician opening the way for others. And indeed Paul Broadway at the San Diego Free Press posses a good question, one I have heard a few times, even the media ask:

I do not know what our Mayor did to earn the wrath of the rich and powerful, but it is clearly apparent he did something. The reason that I state this observation, is that most of the early allegations that have come to light occurred prior to his election.

If the Mayor committed all of these acts, why didn’t these allegations become part of the political dialog of the election? I am sure that Carl DeMaio would have loved this information.

One of the problems is that some of these allegations did indeed occur well before the elections for Congress. See Laura Fink. Others happened while he was already Mayor of San Diego. For this we have Irene McCormack Jackson and Renee Estill-Sombright.

Moreover Lori Saldaña approached Jeff Durfee, then chair of the Democratic Party. He asked for women to come forwards, but even after he had one come out, he chose to continue to ignore it.

moreover, these women, and Fink has said this repeatedly, expected far more push back than they have received. We are asking why the women did not come before? Doing that we are also questioning whether what they said happened or not. And at this point the question is pretty much academic. The Mayor cannot effectively lead.

Moreover, his apology to the people of San Diego pretty much admitted that he had an issue. Him going to therapy is also pretty much an admission.

It is a test for supporters of somebody who is held in such a high regard, when it is revealed that they are not, or have clay feet. We should, and indeed we do, always ask for motives, but given that at least four of the women did not go to KPBS and one did not go to any media outlet, am afraid we have to keep an open mind and perhaps it is the Mayor who really needs help.

Finally I must note that on Monday one of the Mayor’s supporters was accusing the media, in particular the Union Tribune, of using tactics similar to those used in Nazi Germany against Jews, of note, Filner is Jewish. If this is truly the extent of the Mayor’s support, I would say he is in real trouble.

For now we all need to wait for this issue to solve itself one way…or the other.

Categories: analysis, City Hall Politics, editorial, filner

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