Mayor Filner: DO NOT RESIGN

By Frank Gormlie

For the last twenty-four hour news cycle, San Diegans have watched stunned as three Democrats have stepped forward and publicly called for Mayor Bob Filner to resign. Donna Frye, Cory Briggs and Marco Gonzalez all sent letters to Filner – and the media – in the last couple of days calling on the Mayor – who has been in office all of seven months – to step down.

Briggs and Gonzalez are both attorneys involved in litigation against the City of San Diego. Donna Frye, of course, is the former City Councilmember and the ‘woman who should have been mayor’. Frye actually won a three-way race a few years ago for mayor in her write-in campaign, but was not sworn in due to the ballots being questionable.

Frye and Gonzalez alleged sexual harassment charges in their letters – although no details were given – whereas Briggs cited other issues, mainly around the latest Sunroad controversy.

The three are holding a press conference, today, Thursday, at 10 a.m. to outline more details it is assumed. The San Diego Free Press will have a reporter present who, hopefully, will be writing up a report later this morning.

In the meantime, thoughtful Democrats and progressives have had their worst nightmare materialize. Their darling – the most liberal mayor of San Diego in history – is on the ropes. Will he resign? Can he weather this crisis?

At this point – we urge Mayor Filner NOT TO RESIGN.

We want to see substance in the charges; we want details, if not names, then descriptions of the incidents – if the first Democratic Party mayor elected to the City’s highest office in 20 years is going to resign.

We do believe that Mayor Bob has to step forward himself and tell us why he shouldn’t resign.

We also have many questions – not just for the mayor – but for his accusers.

Cory Briggs has filed a number of lawsuits against the City of recent day, around the Convention Center, around the tourist tax, and most recently, he sued in efforts to have his group, Free PB (Pacific Beach) be allowed to hold an event that was similar in nature to the infamous Over-the-Line tournament held on Fiesta Island annually. He lost, and Mayor Filner came out publicly in support of OTL. Briggs does tout himself as an open-government kind of guy – but his latest suit seemed very trivial in light of the other serious problems facing the region.

Briggs is not a top Democratic Party activist and has never held office – and quiet frankly, does not speak for us. Who selected him as our advocate?

Likewise with Gonzalez, he has made a name for himself lately going after the one-time fireworks shows that communities hold on July 4th. He sued La Jolla, downtown, and has declared that other fireworks – such as the one in Ocean Beach held a week ago, are “illegal”. Gonzalez touts himself as an environmentalist, and wields his lawsuits as weapons – and making money as he goes.

Yet, Gonzalez ignores the fireworks displays of SeaWorld while going after the “little guys”. SeaWorld shoots off fireworks nightly during the summer months and weekly during the rest of the year. These explosions do much more harm to the environment, the marine life, and the neighboring communities than the once-a-year displays – but because SeaWorld has been granted a permit – Gonzalez is okay with the marine park’s fireworks.

But Gonzalez too, is involved in litigation with the City – and now says he represents some of the women who are allegging harassment by Filner. Again, who elected Gonzalez as chief government watcher? Not us. He certainly does not represent us.

Donna Frye, on the other hand, has progressive cred; while on the city council, she was a strong advocate for open government and transparency – even to the point of boycotting certain council meetings because the meetings violated her sense of governance.

So Frye’s allegations are much more serious and as she is the nominal head of the party – hers is the most damaging charges. Yet even her charges are so vague that for her to demand that Filner resign without providing more details is very premature. Hopefully, she will clear these up at today’s presser.

We have some questions for the trio (Frye, Gonzalez, Briggs): Did you all – especially you, Donna – try any kind of intervention with Filner? Did you sit down with him and other independent progressives and liberals and have a ‘come-to-Jesus moment’ with him? If not, why are you going public? Also, why haven’t you included other progressives in your plans?

The liberal and progressive movement in San Diego struggled long and hard through the lengthy primary and then general election season to get our man elected. It was a long battle – and now the Accusing Three want it all just to evaporate.

What is your gameplan? Your endgame? Have you thought this all through thoroughly? If Filner resigns, there will be a Special Election held in 90 days – 3 months. Have you three decided that Donna will run again. If so, that is such a terribly risky endeavor – to chase out the current Democratic mayor only to stage a campaign for another one in a few months.

The U-T started off today, predictably, with inch high headlines “Backers Call on Filner to Resign.” Logan Jenkins, the loyal Manchester columnist puppydog, ran his front page column, “Filner needs to remind us why he should be mayor”, suggesting that Filner get a dog, as he doesn’t have any human friends. Plus, the U-T is giving Briggs and Gonzalez a lot of play time – normally they wouldn’t get the time of day from the daily fishwrap.

Carl DeMaio and Kevin Faulconer and Papa Manchester are running around in glee. They cannot believe this moment has been handed to them. DeMaio already is plotting his comeback. Faulconer is sharpening his knives.

What do Frye and Gonzalez and Briggs know? Perhaps, they have caught wind that the Feds are about to indict Filner, and they want to guarantee that the mayor’s seat remains in the Democratic fold. So, are they positioning themselves – especially Frye – for the Special Election – knowing that Filner will be forced out?

Do they also know who votes in these Special Elections? Angry white men vote – and they won’t be voting for Democrats.

Also, pretty-boy Nathan Fletcher is standing in the wings, waiting for the call to run as a Democrat. Todd Gloria, the Democratic president of the city council, is maybe thinking about changing his mind and running for mayor – and not take on Susan Davis’ Congressional seat, as she is resigning next year.

Right now, we need more details, and they had better be substantial, substantial enough for this mayor to resign. Also, right now, we need Mayor Bob to come up to the microphone, make his apologies, pledge his changes, promise to correct his behavior, and stand by open government.

If Filner is being charged with such serious allegations, then let’s hear his defense. He’s at least entitled to an arraignment, a preliminary hearing and perhaps trial and a conviction by his constituents before he is punished.

We also are wondering – what is going on with Filner’s staff? Why has it been so slim? Where is Vince Hall – his chief? Why has Filner not gathered around him a type of ‘kitchen cabinet’ to advise him on the roads and pitfalls of City Hall?

Meanwhile, the bright side of the City’s new sunshine has been clouded over – mirroring the weather for today. Gray, cloudy, and gloomy.

A lawyer and grassroots activist, I was finally convinced by Patty Jones to start the OB Rag, a blog of citizen journalists, after she got tired of listening to my rants about the news. Way back during the Dinosaurs in 1970, I founded the original Ocean Beach People’s Rag - OB’s famous underground newspaper -, and then later during the early Eighties, published The Whole Damn Pie Shop, a progressive alternative to the Reader.


  1. avatarLaura E. says

    I would like to know why these allegations never came out all the times Filner ran for Congress. Why now? I would not be at all surprised if there’s a money trail leading straight to the Republicans bigshots.

    This is why Democrats constantly fail when they hold office. They turn on each other, instead of on their actual opponents. Filner’s biggest mistake was not kowtowing to the people with the big pockets, but unless we get actual facts and not just allegations, I support him fully.

    • avatar says

      “I would like to know why these allegations never came out all the times Filner ran for Congress. ”

      Ask Lori Saldana. She told Jess Durfee all about it (or she’s lying).

      “I would not be at all surprised if there’s a money trail leading straight to the Republicans bigshots”

      Oh, no you don’t. Democrats OWN these messes otherwise why would Obama’s DOJ be investigating the Sunroad pay-for-play deal and Gonzalez, Frye, and Saldana be making these allegations?

  2. avatarAnna Daniels says

    I am trying to follow Norma Damashek’s example of being “mindful.” I think there is a great deal of smoke right now. What I have learned from a summer of “scandals” on a national level is that citizens are too often primed to make quick judgments on the basis of scant and often erroneous information. I need to hear much more, and I will be attentive to who is speaking, what is being said.

    • avatarJudy Swink says

      Thank you, Anna, for your level-headed comments. I think Frank was too quick off the mark and should have waited for more information, most of his questions have been answered in later reporting. As for why this issue hasn’t been brought to the fore during previous Filner campaigns, there are too few people who will step up to the plate, as it were; we’re fortunate to have people like Donna, Marco & Cory (all of whom I’ve known for some time) who will stand up once their efforts to get through to Filner that his behavior is unacceptable. To summarize, they did meet with Filner about this and they wrote to him but received no response, and came to believe that a major intervention like we now have seen would be the only way to get his attention – sort of like the proverbial “2×4 upside the head” sometimes necessary to get the attention of one who has closed his mind to reality.

  3. avatarPfaff says

    Everyone has made mistakes in their lifetime.

    Go to Wikipedia and enter Bob Filner.

    You will learn about Bob’s social conscience when he was an undergraduate student at Cornell University. Bob left his studies and rode a bus from New York to Mississippi in 1964 to participate in the the freedom movement as it related to the Voting Rights Act.

    PhD. Cornell University
    Professor, San Diego State University
    San Diego School Board
    San Diego District Councilman
    Ten (10) consecutive terms as a member of the House of Representatives.
    San Diego Mayor

    Bob, stay where you are and do not cave in to these people.

    • avatarncdem says

      What is the difference between “social conscience” and “conscience”? Do you dislike the term “conscience”?

  4. avatarbob dorn says

    If Bob Filner stays in office and resists we might see the poop trail leading back to the ambitious Democrats, patriotic hacks and moneyed mafiosi who’ve formed a cabal against him. That would be the best thing that could happen. We’d be able to see, once and for all, the irrelevance of the Republican Party in California and the emergence in San Diego of a corrupt Democratic Party which turned its back on its most powerful politician.
    When all hell breaks loose the truth will out.

    • avatarLaura E. says

      Exactly. These so-called Democrats like Todd Gloria are consistently working with Republicans. They think they’ll benefit the most if Filner is toppled, but once a Republican mayor is back in power, the Democrats will lose any advantage they might have had.

      • avatarbob dorn says

        You got it, Laura E. We’re probably going to see a lot of major newspaper and cable coverage in the next few days. San Diego is heading for total embarrassment as this shabby cabal unfolds and the local Democrats are revealed to be scrooge’s stooges.

        • avatarLaura E. says

          Well, we certainly won’t see the coverage in our local paper. Hopefully the LA Times will do some investigating.

    • avatar says

      You have hit the nail on the head, Bob Dorn. The operative words here are “the emergence in San Diego of a corrupt Democratic Party which turned its back on its most powerful politician.”

      Francine Busby, the window-dressing head of the San Diego County Democratic organization, was paid off with that pleasant post after ineffectively running THREE TIMES AND LOSING THREE TIMES against Brian Bilbray for Duke Cunningham’s old Congressional seat.

      Earlier this spring Busby orchestrated the annual big Democratic Party Roosevelt Dinner featuring and feting big-money-bundlers and friends of Obama like Christine
      Forester. NO WHERE on the program was the name of San Diego’s first-in-a-generation Democratic Mayor Bob Filner. When I confronted Busby about this lapse, she doubletalked but was unrelenting: nada par Filner.

      But get this: after former GOP/Independent Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher had his well-publicized political conversion to registered Democrat (after having gone to work for the sort-of-Dem Jacobs family Qualcomm maquiladora) Democratic Party Chair Francine Busby offered Fletcher a hero’s welcome and standing O at the Democratic Party gala.

      Ludicrously, Francine Busby has dared to lecture the Mayor today.

  5. avatarjudi says

    I think I respect Donna Frye more than any other politician I have ever voted for in my many years of voting. I am nauseated to think that she has called for Filner’s resignation. I hope that she has a lot of evidence to back up her claims; I would hate to see this backfire on her. I agree with you, Frank. Filner should not resign . Yet.

    • avatar says

      Not a scintilla of evidence and not one accuser against Mayor Bob Filner was produced today at a strange and defamatory news conference run by one-time Democratic mayoral candidate Donna Frye and two lawyers, Cory Briggs and Marco Gonzalez. You may want to rethink those firm allegiances, Judi.

  6. avatarBill Luther says

    I am dismayed with one paragraph. It’s the one about having a “come to Jesus moment”‘ with our Mayor “first”. (quotations added). That seems to imply the the San Diego Free Press would have preferred to have the Mayor simply stop doing the “harassment” (if it is even true) and should the behavior cease to continue then the “allegations” need not be made and the Mayor could continue on without any repercussions from previous behavior. It seems to me the desire to have a strong mayor in office who has been a successful advocate of causes and policies that the San Diego Free Press also endorses is more important to the San Diego Free Press than women who might have been victimized by the mayor. That is more dismaying then the allegations against the Mayor himself.

    • avatar says

      Bill Luther – good point, however, your point assumes the allegations are true. I was making a more general point, that even with Donna’s 2nd and 3rd hand accounts of sexual harassment that she now says she said, perhaps there should have been intervention to see if there were issues that needed to be dealt with. Without details, it’s all speculation.

      • avatarKatherine Lopez says

        I think also the comment meant to suggest that addressing these concerns privately rather than the way they are doing now would have been more seemly, and perhaps in the end better for the women involved. Because I really don’t see how this is at all to do with the women who are making these allegations, they seem to me to be more of a vehicle for Frye’s possible candidacy. What I’m seeing here is a cabal, a group of co-conspirators plotting to overthrow the current Mayor; they have appointed themselves the guardians of the moral universe, and now purport to tell us what is best for the people San Diego. Well, how about asking the people of San Diego what we think is best? Because I’m thinking that if the election were held today, Bob Filner would be re-elected, and probably with a wider margin of victory than before. We have seen stunning work, incredible progress on issues that were stubbornly defying resolution, probably because previous Mayors were in bed with all the people creating the problems. Look, I’m not minimizing whatever happened, mainly because I don’t know the details to know whether to be horrified or shrug my shoulders or somewhere in between, but I’m saying, whatever his character flaws, Bob is doing a hell of a job and I am in no hurry for him to go anywhere. He’s apologized, there’s nothing on paper from these accusers, seems to me the way to get out of this is to move on.

  7. avatarCindy says

    How often does an effective civil rights advocate, environmental advocate get slammed with something like this? predictable. His girlfriend leaves him so are we supposed to be surprised that she is upset with him right now? There’s some objective data for you. Are the energy moguls capable of this chess game? yea right, a few thousand times over. Do we really expect him to talk if there is an investigation going on? Nothing about this surprises me except our gullibility for a good story. Consider that most people who are favorable towards Donna Fry are also favorable towards Filner. Is it possible for Donna Fry to be played? ….hmmmm. If some of your biggest enemies are the most powerful energy entities and political manipulators in the world, there is the case to be made that finally we have someone in office that is not afraid to get things done. Consider he is a powerful advocate for civil rights. Can you imagine these women telling him allegedly to “knock it off” and he wouldn’t? So just how hard did they try before yet again bringing our City government to a halt over some slimy drama? Ten terms in Congress, a civil rights anchor, and the first democrat in that office in a long time? That is plenty of reason to wait and see. Couldn’t you guys really TRY to take care of this offline before putting it on the front page? That is the part I’m really sick of.

    • avatarMoniG says

      “Can you imagine these women telling him allegedly to “knock it off” and he wouldn’t? So just how hard did they try before yet again bringing our City government to a halt over some slimy drama?”

      WOW…very surprising comment from a Democrat. Aren’t you guys supposed to be “the champions of women”??? By your comment, you seem to be the type of person to tell a women that has been raped that she should have said “NO” and that she shouldn’t be wearing such provocative outfits. Since, assuming it is HER fault.

      You sicken me Cindy.

    • avatarhipster says

      donna was visibly concerned and choked up. ive never seen her do anything that wasnt heartfelt, whether i agreed with her stance or not.

      • avatarKatherine Lopez says

        Is that the standard now? How emotional Donna Frye gets is how we decide whether our mayor resigns or gets to keep his job?

        Thanks, I think I’d rather stick with elections.

  8. avatarPfaff says

    Bob Dorn, Judi and Frank,

    Judi, I agree with you about Donna Frye. Bob, I agree with everything you have said.

    None of us are perfect and everyone has made mistakes.

    I do not think Bob Filner is a quitter. Quitters never win and winners never quit.

    Bob, keep strong being strong!

  9. avatarjohn says

    Remember Julian Assage had similar allegations, and Hedgecock lasted a short stint back in the 80’s. This seems to be a planned political move by the old guard of SD. …..timing is everything. Plus I am sure the NSA files on Filner were combed through by those folks. Lets hear what Filner has to say.

  10. avatarAnna Daniels says

    That was one gut-wrenching press conference, particularly Donna Frye’s comments. (She was asked if she intended to run for mayor if Filner were to resign. She responded immediately and tersely “No.”) Towards the end, Cory Briggs said that their letters were “made public, but not by us initially.” Who made those letters public?
    Mayor Filner–what do you have to say?

    • avatar says

      Not to mention that we just heard Marco Gonzalez openly solicit business publicly before the cameras – wonder what the California Bar Association would say about that.

      • avatarAnna Daniels says

        I think it was Cory Briggs who exhorted the press(?) citizens (?) not to adopt a position of “neutrality” on the revelations. I am not neutral on the issue of the deep personal and work place damages caused by sexual harassment. I am not neutral about the mayor I elected. I am waiting, which shouldn’t be confused with the word neutral, for Filner to respond.

      • avatarJudy Swink says

        Frank – I did not hear him “openly solicit business publicly” – I heard him state that he has clients already and will represent them in whatever action(s) they may or may not choose to take.

        As for your comments about Marco Gonzalez and the Sea World fireworks, the settlement to his lawsuit resulted in the Regional Water Quality Control Board placing requirements on Sea World to have people cleaning up the residues from the fireworks both on Fiesta Island and in the water. There may be more but it was awhile back and I’m not completely versed in the story.

        While I sometimes disagree with the suits filed by Marco & Cory, I believe that each is as committed to “honest government” as Donna is, they simply pursue that end in ways that not everyone agrees with.

  11. avatarjudi says

    Agonizing to watch, wasn’t it Anna? I am not defending Filner, because I do not know just what the threesome are actually talking about, but I have had the experience of having a teacher lose his credential because 3 girls said that he molested them, only to have one of them recant her testimony 4 years later. (After she did so did the others.) Meanwhile, he served time in prison; was branded a sex offender and ever after he was proven innocent never got his life back in order.

    Maybe “Filner knows why they were there today” but I don’t. So far it is only heresay, but I sure hope that Filner responds soon.

    • avatarMoniG says

      Judi, these accusers are not little highschool girls. Wake up and smell the coffee.

  12. avatarEric Busboom says

    From this article:

    “Yet, Gonzalez ignores the fireworks displays of SeaWorld while going after the “little guys”. ”

    From a UT Article:

    “SeaWorld has stopped the shows since Sunday to avoid a lawsuit from San Diego Coastkeeper … ‘There are pollutants being discharged and the law says you need a permit,’ said Marco Gonzalez, an attorney for Coastkeeper. ”

    And it isn’t just this UT article — Coastkeeper ‘suing shamu’ was a major news item for weeks. Your research for this article is a bit lacking.

    • avatar says

      Eric – thank you, you have proved my point. SeaWorld did go and get a permit and then it continued its nightly bombardment – with Gonzalez’ approval. Any one who has listened to the explosions that occur every evening around 10pm and you live close by, knows what I am talking about. Gonzalez did go after the little guys and has continued to ignore the travesties of Seaworld ever since.

      • avatarEric Busboom says

        Then your article should have noted that Gonzalez first threatened Seaworld with a lawsuit, instead of asserting that he left them entirely alone. He didn’t — he use the threat of a lawsuit to get water quality monitoring. Gonzalez and Coastkeeper fought Seaworld and won.

        “The San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board issued SeaWorld a special permit in December, allowing the park to continue the seasonal fireworks show so long as park officials monitor potential pollutants falling into Mission Bay and surrounding waterways. ”

        That’s what an environmental lawyer does — he works to protect the environment, and if the structure for that is requiring water quality monitoring, then this is the correct outcome.

        If you’ve got complaints about noise, or something else, then you need to pursue your own lawsuit. You could even hire Gonzales for the suit. As an environmental lawyer, working for a water quality non-profit, Gonzales did exactly what he should have done. You were not his client.

        Instead, it sounds like you are attacking Gonzales’ environmental because he issued a call for Filner’s resignation. That is completely unrelated to his role as an environmental lawyer, and you should not be misrepresenting his work because you don’t like his opposition to Filner’s penchant for harassment.

        I do live nearby, I hear the fireworks, and I was working with Coastkeeper at the time of the legal action.

        • avatar says

          Eric – okay, you work with Marco and Coastkeeper and you are defending them, fine. Do you think the permit that SeaWorld now has, thanks to your work, is adequate? Do you think the fireworks are harmless to their own sea mammals and other creatures? And of course you believe everything SeaWorld says. I don’t – you want to know why? Because I sat in community meetings during their presentations and they intentionally misrepresented what effects their splash down rides would produce.

          I question his standing to be our protector of the community standards.

          I didn’t know Marco handled sex harassment cases.

        • avatarJEC says

          Eric – Seaworld lost? What? They built a 165 roller coaster and continue to do nightly fireworks while discharging marine mammal waste into the west bay. Are you saying it would have been worse? And I understood that Marco split from Surfrider because Surfrider didn’t want to be a litigation machine but Marco needed to make a living. Lawyers think litigation; the rest of us should think of Lawyers as the last resort not the starting point.

  13. avatarJEC says

    I just watched the press conference with Donna Frye, Marco Gonzalez and Cory Briggs. Briggs referenced “information in the public domain” but declined to say specifics. Is this old news resurfaced? For me Briggs and Gonzalez are plantiff attorneys who stand to gain financially – their motives are questionable. Donna on the other hand, in spite of the company she keeps, is sincere. But they all declined to provide details. We, the people, are left to taking their word for it. Given the edgy political climate creating by the attacks on Filner from the day he took office, asking to just “trust us” is asking a lot. Filner’s well known as rude, gruff, insensitive. He was elected for his policies not his personality. Still, Donna was almost to tears and I have no doubt she is convinced. But for me, if this dates from his Congress days, then money is changing hands and Donna’s been used. Yes women and men have a right to fair treatment. We all also have a responsibility to defend that right – to speak up. There are agencies at every level waiting to listen to your complaint – but NBC news, checking with the City Attorney and the State found no complaints filed against Filner. That leaves the Feds. Sexual harassment complaints against seated Congressman are almost common, unfortunately. If valid, why were these issues not vetted before now? I’ll wait for more detail.

  14. avatar says

    I’m 100% with Frank Gormlie. I expect the Mayor to continue to serve and to answer his accusers, in a timely manner, assuming they ever materialize.

    I listened to that press conference: I wonder why Donna Frye, Marco Gonzalez and Cory Briggs didn’t just find a tree for their lynching. Not a single accuser? Not a single specific allegation of specific wrong-doing? These ambitious people are not serving their community.

    And if the Mayor has been hassling women, he should knock it off and apologize profoundly, because it’s wrong and leads to heartache for everyone involved.

    • avatarCatherine says

      “if the Mayor has been hassling women, he should knock it off and apologize . . .”

      Seriously? How very old school. If he has been sexually harassing his staff, he should not be the mayor of San Diego.

      I don’t know that he has, but Frye’s participation gives the allegations serious credibility. We’ll see as this unfolds. If he knows it to be true, then I think it’s best for everyone, himself included, to just gracefully step aside. If it’s true, I don’t want to spend the next weeks and months hearing all the disgusting details of who and want and how often. He’s a fighter though so hard to imagine that happening.

      • avatar says

        I AM old-school, Catherine. I like to be confronted with my accusers before being strung up.

        “Gracefully step aside?” Bob Filner was elected to Mayor of San Diego and he has more than three years remaining on his term. So far his accomplishments have been notable and the attacks against him have been non-stop from Day One. If he has erred, he has the capacity to change, as he indicted today in his apology. I think it’s good beginning.
        He is a fighter, as you say, and I hope for the sake of the city he will prevail.

          • avatarCatherine says

            I took his apology as a tacit admission of sexual harassment of female employees. I’m not sure how to read it any other way when he said he has been disrespectful towards and intimidated female staff, that he’s taking sexual harassment training and that he’s glad we live in a time when this kind of wrong behavior is called out.

            This isn’t a sex scandal about an affair between consenting adults. I’m disheartened and not happy for the GOP to have this gift on a silver platter and I was eager to see what an unapologetic Democratic mayor could do, but it’s just not enough to say, I’m sorry. I’ll stop harassing my female employees now. I’m stunned so many progressives are willing to give him a pass on this.

  15. avatarVirginia Valentine says

    Are you trying to make a name for yourself? They have evidence, but want to do the right thing first. Why would Frye, Briggs and Gonzales step up with thus accusation? I heard of these kind allegations, but like Frye I wanted to give him the benefit of doubt. I also wanted to try a democratic major. Boy am I sorry for many reason. It is men like you who can’t understand the trauma women go through with this kind of harassment and exposture. Frye, Briggs, Gonzales get it, so asking for Filner to resign first, before everything becomes public information was a sensitive, compassionate thing for them to do. Your way is insensitive and uncaring. I am suspiciou of you now. How many women have you sexually harassed?

  16. avatarthoughtfulbear says

    The whole thing just has an outright Republican stench to it – those who never wanted him to get in, and are now trying their damnest to get him out. With about the lowest common denominator possible.

    This is the conduct of the mob – only the pitchforks and torches were lacking. Bunch of circling VULTURES – all the more dangerous as they think they smell blood in the water…

    Glory hallelujah (sic), there are agendas everywhere – and yet, in the midst of it all, there’s Donna Frye. Like many people, I do have a great respect for her (she was, herself, robbed of the mayoralty once). I very much hope that she isn’t being used in this, however unwittingly…

    Bottom line: FILNER IS OUR MAYOR – PERIOD!!

    • avatar says

      “The whole thing just has an outright Republican stench to it – those who never wanted him to get in, and are now trying their damnest to get him out. ”

      Of course! Lori Saldana, Marco Gonzalez, and Donna Frye all re-registered to the Republican Party last week. I should have seen it coming!

  17. avatarLa Playa Heritage says

    Back in 2010, we recommended that Sunroad’s Substantial Conformance Review (SCR) for Kearny Mesa be denied for ongoing violations of the Municipal Code, New Century Master Plan, Community Plan, and associated EIR and CEQA documents.

  18. avatarA Shur says

    Gonzalez & Briggs both make their living from their developer clients. It’s no secret that in the short time that Filner has been Mayor he has upset the cart of San Diego’s downtown establishment, including its developer & hotelier core. The only surprise here is Donna Frye, whom I have the most respect for!!!!

    I hope that Mayor Filner answers this soon, before a certain less-then-news daily gets fatter on the offal!!!!!

    • avatarMoniG says

      “The only surprise here is Donna Frye, whom I have the most respect for!!!!”

      And that should tell you something.

      Stop the denial. You people are like battered wives that believe they are abused only because they deserve it.

      Please people.

      • avatarA Shur says

        Sorry MoniG! No “denial”…. but something both of the attorneys should have offered AND expected, due process!!!! While I worked the streets for Donna, for a long time, and there are few in San Diego that I respect more… I would not let Donna cast my vote for me especially without having all of the information. And I don’t mean the “information” (excuse the expression) that’s available in our daily rag or corporate TV news.

  19. avatarCory Briggs says

    Frank: You make some fair points, but people need to let things play out. The good questions (yours and those of the commenters) will be answered in due time. (The stupid points aren’t worth the effort.)

    1) I am not a democrat. You could have easily called me to find this out.

    2) FreePB.Org is not my group–it is a client–and it succeeded in getting what it wanted: namely, a commitment by the city to treat everyone equally when it comes to obtaining special event permits. Vindicating that principle hardly seems trivial to me, but I understand that different people might view it differently given the subject matter of the events.

    3) If our allegations are wrong, why is Mayor Filner now apologizing and promising to seek help?

    • avatar says

      “If our allegations are wrong, why is Mayor Filner now apologizing and promising to seek help?”

      The Counselor makes a compelling closing argument.

      • avatarbob dorn says

        Ahhh, Mr. Brady you confuse the microphones and cameras for a trial. You and others are calling for a major change in San Diego’s history to be undone because certain politicians have come forward and said horrible things they can’t describe which they say they’ve heard from other people who have not themselves come forward.

        If you and people who think like you were to convict the Mayor on these grounds that conviction would be reversed on appeal.

        • avatar says

          “Ahhh, Mr. Brady you confuse the microphones and cameras for a trial. ”

          I just know what I saw and heard—the Mayor of San Diego admitting to conduct unbecoming towards women. If this were an Admiral, y’all would be calling for his dismissal and incarceration. If this were the CEO of of an oil company, y’all would be encouraging every woman you could find to sign on as a co-plaintiff in a class-action suit. If this were a tea party speaker, y’all would be calling for him to be publicly lynched .

          I believe Briggs, Frye, Busby, Marco and Lorena Gonzalez, Atkins, and Alvarez are trying to save the local Democratic Party from a very sick man, by asking him to resign before the accusers DO start filing lawsuits.

          …or they are all pathological liars with a personal axe to grind with Filner.

          It is fun to watch so-called progressives cheer on a misogynist though.

  20. avatar says

    Attorney Cory Briggs, what allegations? I didn’t hear a single one. What accusers? No one. Reading your third point, I am shocked by your coldness: until now, I have never known a lawyer who did what you did today.

    At midday KPBS Radio discussed the strange fact-free, accuser-free morning press conference you ran with Marco Gonzalez and Donna Frye, calling for Mayor Filner to resign immediately. KPBS news chief Tom Karlo said they’d broken this “story” of the presser — KPBS reporter Amitha Sharma worked along with former U-T reporter Laurie Hearn from i-newssource.

    Karlo was asked by KPBS moderator Alison St. John if those two female reporters had been sexually harassed in their work covering Mayor Filner. Karlo said categorically no, that no reporters from KPBS had ever had any such experience with the Mayor.

    Later this afternoon Mayor Filner did indeed apologize for transgressions and rocky human relations in his office. He resolved to seek counseling for mistreatment of male and female colleagues — to whom he will also speak personally — and he expressed deep regret for letting San Diegans down.

    I am astonished you ask why he may be doing this, as if Filner’s apology justifies your broad attack. I believe Filner is apologizing because he is stung by your unsubstantiated public description of his poor behavior — and because he is human, because he knows he may have made mistakes and because he wants to do better as a person and as a leader.

    • avatar says

      Apologies. It was KPBS senior editor Mark Sauer, not Tom Karlo, on the midday show today.
      Also, I want draw attention to Cory Briggs’ incredibly callous suggestion at the beginning of his comment above, that “…people need to let things play out.”
      Really, is that what we should do, after you drop a bomb on the Mayor and the City, with Donna Frye by your side as well as the environmental lawyer and brother of a new Latina Assemblywoman? The more I review what’s transpired, the more shocked and disgusted I feel.

  21. avatarPfaff says

    Cory Briggs,

    You should go to Wikipedia and enter “Bob Filner” without the quotes. Read about someone with a social conscience, who left his undergraduate studies at Cornell University and rode a bus to Mississippi. Rather than post bail, Bob spent two months in jail.

    That Manchester Mess, AKA the U-T, has been on Mayor Filner’s back even before the primaries began. The more the MM insults our mayor, the more U-Tsubscriptions are cancelled.

    We have been receiving the U-T on our doorstep every day for the past six weeks, including Sundays. We wonder why Lynch and Manchester have been put in such a position.

    Everyone respects Donna Frye. Based on Mayor’s Filner’s recorded statement this afternoon, he has apologized to everyone in his office, females and males. He indicated he will be undergoing professional help and admitted he had and has a problem. No one is perfect, including Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and William Jefferson Clinton.

    Everyone loves an underdog. Although I do not consider Mayor Filner to be an underdog, two relatively unknown maverick attorneys (Sea World & your client, have emerged as an embarrassment to the legal profession.

    I only hope you “gentlemen” have not made a clumsy attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of a real lady, Donna Frye. You should reread the solid counsel you were blessed to receive from Ms. Frances O’Neill Zimmerman.

    Eventually, the truth will be revealed to everyone. A money trail will be discovered and we all know what happened to that cast of characters in 1972-1973 re Watergate.

    Perhaps you should read the definitive Johnson & Johnson Tylenol public relations analysis and campaign of 1982. If you and Marco Gonzalez are comfortable playing the understudy roles of some lead actors, eventually your actions will receive the yank of the on stage hook.

  22. avatarChristine says

    Ok 10 News just came out w/ a story about how the Repubs have had a Private Investigator following Filner for years looking for sexual misconduct. Of course nothing emerged organically pre-election so enter the honeypots.

    I wanna know who hired these girls and when they were hired. We have a right to vet the credibility of the accusers. yes filner “admitted” to misconduct but that does not mean he was not baited into it. Bet u that PI caught it on camera. Sounds suspect?

  23. avatarChristine says

    Thanks frank!!! keep it up!!!

    we have to support Filner! if he steps down gloria becomes mayor for 3 months and we can say goodbye to balboa Park FORever!!!

  24. avatarsandiegogramma says

    I voted earlier tonight in a poll that asked the question should Bob Filner be replaced? I said “no” for most of the reasons in the excellent discussion in this forum. I, of course, was in the minority. More than 70% thought he should resign. I think, too, that Donna Frye’s presence made all the difference in many people’s minds. The news briefing this morning was a waste of time for all concerned. Let’s see how this drama unfolds in the days to come. I am thinking stay strong, Bob! Speak the truth, seek the help, if needed, and get on with running the finest (?) city in the country.

  25. avatarHector says

    Wow Frank, seems like you have a man crush on Despicable Mayor, and disappointed that he did not make an advance on you!

    Move on, you are not his type!

    Thug mayor will not resign, the coward did not have the stones to face the media, nice DVD you d-b!

    Perhaps we can solicit funds from FEMA for a special election, because Filner has been a disaster.

    • avatarbob dorn says

      Hector, two lawyers and a politician say in a press conference that they have it on good authority that the mayor did something they can’t describe to people they can’t name and you get all macho on us. What did Filner do? How do you know it?

  26. avatarCindyLou says

    Wait, didn’t he come out and admit sexually harassing AND intimidating women who worked for him? According to Democracy Now, he did. Not okay. As a White heterosexual male who holds a position of power/office, he should resign, or set an example that a privileged man can do this to women and not have to suffer serious consequences.

    • avatar says

      There will be a lot of white male heterosexual men (Republican and Democrat alike) who will be furious if all it takes for an elected official to lose their office due to rumor, innuendo and hearsay.

      I think he’s entitled to at least a small measure of the benefit of the doubt.

      And I didn’t vote for him and wouldn’t if I could have. But he WON THE ELECTION.

      What’s really going on here

  27. avatarPfaff says


    If you are angry or upset, why take your frustation out on Frank? I have never met Frank. He is simply expressing his opinion. If you read the entire body of blogs, over 95% have agreed with Frank’s assessment.

    Hector, if I may make a simple recommendation to you, why not give Mayor Filner the benefit of the doubt? He has admitted that he has made mistakes and is seeking professional help to correct a deficiency of his personality.

    Have you ever made a mistake or a series of mistakes? Of course you have, I know I have, and everyone has, including those either reading or contributing to these blogs.

    Please read the Wikipedia article about (San Diego Mayor) Bob Filner.

    That is the major difference from most of us in comparison to Bob. Bob has been an achiever from the time he left his studies at Cornell University to ride a bus from New York to Mississippi to help a minority escape racial discrimination from a bunch of mostly uneducated thugs. I know you do not fall into this category because you have visited an intellectual website where everyone is free to express their ideas, including both of us.

    Now please continue reading that Wikipedia article and see the reason why Bob left his work at San Diego State in the honorable profession of teaching to become an elected San Diego School Board member. From there, he was elected to the office of San Diego District Council Member, and then ten, yes I said 10, consecutive terms as a Congressman in the U.S. House of Representatives.

    Nothing Mayor Filner has done has effected his outstanding body of work attempting to turn this city around from many years of mismanagement and neglect. Give Mayor Filner a chance. Will you remember the famous men who had to fall to rise again? I think you will agree that there have been many men and women throughout our history who have made up their their minds and turned everything around.

    Give Bob an opportunity to dust himself off and I assure you we all will congratulate him for a job well done.

  28. avatarKatherine Lopez says

    “My sources have told me you can’t be the mayor of San Diego and walk around City Hall slapping woman on the butt calling them sweetie saying ‘get me some coffee’ and that’s not a hypothetical situation I just pulled out, that’s an actual real event that I’ve been told about,” Roach said.

    Seriously? Seriously?? This is what people want him to resign over? Yes, that’s old school and totally not acceptable, but for godssakes, at least he wasn’t grabbing random women’s breasts on the street or schtupping the nanny like the Guv.

    • avatarCatherine says

      old school and not acceptable, but better to grope employees than strangers on the street? I’m amazed that so many people, including women, are basically saying it’s all okay because he’s admitted he has a problem and who hasn’t made mistakes? Seriously???

      • avatarbob dorn says

        Come on, Catherine, we’ve seen U.S. Senators and California governors grabbing and funk-talking and getting away with it because they were GOP. They shouldn’t have, but they did. Now… you want to get rid of a mayor because two lawyers and a politician say in a press conference that they have it on good authority that the mayor did something they can’t describe to people they can’t name.
        Keep your eye on acts and facts, please.

        • avatarCatherine says

          You left out the part where the mayor admitted his “wrong” behavior, including intimidating and disrespecting female staff. If it was untrue, I would say he should fight, but it’s quite clearly not untrue based on the mayor’s own statement yesterday.

          I don’t need a detailed accounting of his dirty laundry as much as I’m sure the GOP operatives would love us all to spend time poring over every butt grab and unwelcome comment. I don’t condone anyone getting away with the sexual harassment of their staff even a progressive mayor I had high hopes for. I am keeping an eye on acts and facts. Yesterday, three prominent Filner supporters called on him to resign and he responded with a video statement that he knows he’s behaved wrongly and needs help. Those are facts.

          Meanwhile, too many progressives have blinders on, convincing themselves it’s far more likely that GOP operatives planted a couple of temptresses in his office to lure him into something, which, of course he succumbed to because he’s a man, after all (a rather insulting and not particularly progressive commentary on men, I should note) and then somehow duped Donna Frye into calling for his resignation at precisely the moment that Republicans wanted this to happen.

      • avatarA Shur says

        What’s okay???? All that’s available is rumor and Filner’s admission that he did something wrong. Are we “judging” because of what we know or what we think?

  29. avatarKatherine Lopez says

    Woman sobbing on Donna’s shoulder: “He … he … he slapped my butt … and then he asked me to get him coffee!”

    Donna, Briggs, Gonzalez: “What horror, horror! It’s a wonder you survived! We must take drastic action to stop this menace to the citizens of San Diego!”

    Goldsmith, Gloria: “Let’s cut off his benefits package, and nail it to the City Seal!”


    • avatarCatherine says

      Are you suggesting that women should put up with being slapped on the butt by their boss? Because it sounds like you’re saying it’s no big deal. Who are you rolling on the floor laughing your ass of about, exactly?

      • avatarKatherine Lopez says

        I’m not suggesting, I am stating that if this is the worst thing that ever happens to you in your life, then you have a very lot to be grateful for. I’m not suggesting, I am stating that if someone did this to you and they say they understand they were wrong and expressed their apologies and willingness to do whatever is necessary to change, then I’d try to do the right thing for everyone involved. I’m not suggesting, I am stating that there are a lot of long standing serious problems in San Diego that our Mayor is dealing with, and our standard of living is decidedly higher and better since he came into office six months ago. I’m not suggesting, I am stating that there isn’t anyone else in this city who could do a better job as mayor. I am not suggesting, I am stating that, short of any more dramatic and substantive charges which can be proven, I support Bob Filner as Mayor of this city.

        • avatarCatherine says

          It’s unfortunate that you would show your support for the mayor by mocking the sexual harassment of women in the workplace as something not all that serious and “not the worst thing” that could happen to a person.

          The message to victims of sexual harassment that they should “do the right thing for everyone involved,” if their abuser has apologized and promised to do better sounds familiar, but I was under the impression that we had evolved as a society. I was under the impression that progressives supported this evolution in which we collectively decided that you ought to be able to go to work without being harassed and intimidated by people with considerably more power than you. I guess not. I mean, he said sorry and all.

          • avatarAnna Daniels says

            Hostile work environments in general and sexual harassment in in the work place specifically are rightfully serious issues. Because they are such serious issues, there is a legal framework to resolve them. It requires a tremendous amount of courage for women to mount a legal challenge against harassment charges. And of course there is no guarantee that justice will prevail.
            But if we believe in justice, that is the path required. At this point, sans formal complaints or legal challenge, the public is left solely with assurances, delivered by an increasing number of proxies, that an unspecified number of women have been harassed and a vague admission of wrongdoing by the mayor.
            I personally find these proxies trustworthy. And that complicates things even more. Women’s sphere has historically been defined and represented by proxy. That is the essential characteristic of patriarchal systems. Something is terribly wrong, beyond Filner’s behavior, if women still need trustworthy proxy/protectors- even if those protectors aren’t the traditional fathers and brothers of the past. I don’t want to be in the position of being called upon to make judgements by reliance on proxies.
            A great deal is at stake here- the lives and reputations of human beings known and unknown and the future of our city.
            I take exception with a recent comment by Todd Gloria: “Gloria said, “The business of the city has to continue if we’re marred [sic] in investigations and internal soul searching, we’re not going to get the city’s work done. We have to get back to the people’s business and this does not do that.”
            I actually think that investigations are called for as well as a great deal of internal soul searching. Getting back to the “people’s business” must not be code for a return to business as usual.

  30. avatarPatt_t says

    So now after seeing the video statement made by Mr. Filner yesterday, and seeing the press conference, and attending five of the mayoral debates, and reading Mr. Filners’ impressive resume, I have to say all in all it’s a matter of integrity.

    None of these behaviors, alleged or real is acceptable in a civil servant. While the ability to do ones duty is not precluded by keeping your pants zipped, ultimately it does speak to character and again, I say, integrity or lack thereof.

  31. avatar says

    I live in North County and supported Carl but as a matter of principle I cannot believe so many (of his “friends”) will sell him out without at least presenting some first-hand accounts of his “offenses”.

    What was it about the mayoral role that made him “snap” and turn into this vile monster? Obviously it’s an executive position vs. just being a member of a deliberative body but for heavens sake, WHAT SPECIFICALLY was he actually DOING to piss everybody off?

  32. avatarCatherine says

    And we wonder why victims don’t want to come forward when such juvenile and asinine coments await them.

  33. avatarPfaff says


    Catherine and a very few others are driven nuts when they read about what “horrible” things some men will do. This gentleman, and I mean gentleman, has made some unfortunate mistakes and has reached out to the people asking for forgiveness and has indicated he is seeking professional help.

    Yet the same people condone actions such as our former strongman governor displayed after he replaced the intelligent governor with an unexciting first name, who got booted out by the people for brownouts engineered by Enron and their ilk.

    Catherine, let this evolve into a timely conclusion and do not rush to judgment. If these “victims” choose to come forward, some my consider them to be heroes. Funny how not a peep was heard when Mayor Bob Filner was running in the primary and general election.

    Our society no longer holds lynchings until someone has been proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Do you remember the famous men who had to fall to rise again?

    Please give Bob an opportunity to dust himself off and work out this situation. I feel certain he will be given the benefit of the doubt by most everyone, as is now the case, so he will have the opportunity to start all over again.

  34. avatarCatherine says

    Pfaff, I’ve never condoned actions of sexual harassment by the governator or anyone else. I’m not calling for Filner’s resignation if he disputes these allegations and believes they are trumped up. He is certainly entitled to due process. Either way, progressives lose because he was a rare bird willing to really fight for progressive policies and I have always appreciated that about him. But, if he has in fact sexually harassed women who work for him then that is intolerable and no apology or promise to do better will suffice. No. You don’t get the opportunity to start over again. This isn’t 1975. He can’t attribute it to a lack of understanding that it’s not okay or cultural norms. Sexual harassment in the workplace is quite simply an unacceptable abuse of power. And it’s criminal. If he wants to fight, then I’m all for his right to do that and not resign. I think it will be an ugly and unproductive time in our city, but we’ve been going through that phase for years. What else is new. But I’m astonished that so many seem to treat these allegations, if true, as an insignificant or personal problem that we should give him time to correct like, say, addiction or an affair or something.

    • avatarKatherine Lopez says

      Astonished at what? I think most people, if they possess some intelligence, have the ability to put things in perspective. The allegations I’ve read and heard so far do not exceed what the Guvernator did, though Bob hasn’t yet been accused of schtupping the housekeeper or inserting cigars into interns or hiring high-priced prostitutes to get his freak on, guess he’s got some catching up to do, lol.

      I personally look at the bigger picture. You want obscenity and horror, try how this city has been overtaken by money interests, special interests, wheelers and dealers on every level of the City Council and government, our own city council trying to sell off Balboa Park to the developers, and Lilygate, just to name two issues associated with the boy glorious who would be interim Mayor (think on that one), then look at how our Mayor has in six months cleared off so many of the longstanding issues this City has been mired in (that’s “mired,” Toad Gloria), and then look at the bright prospects of this city in the coming years as problem after problem is resolved, and then look at how all of the citizens of San Diego are benefitting, and will benefit, from Mayor Filner’s leadership. It would be one thing if Bob hadn’t apologized, said he needed help and pledged to work on his issues, but even then I don’t see the pressing need for his resignation. The fact is, based on innuendos and unwritten and unproven allegations, it doesn’t make sense for him to resign. Unless you really do want to live in a city governed by lynch mob mentality.

  35. avatarMoniG says

    I can’t wait for the NSA to bring up the texts and phone calls that Filner has made for the past few years. Now that we know the NSA has all our info…it should be a piece of cake to do. Trust me when I tell you that if they were to do that, they would pull up such disgusting evidence, it would make your jaws drop.

    All of you defending this pig are just as sick!!!!!

  36. avatarPfaff says


    When you have a moment, read the previous 68 blogs.

    I think you should know that no one else on this intellectual website will be answering your blog. Additionally, it is the precise practice of punctuation that when the use of an exclamation point is warranted, one will suffice.

  37. avatarEmmanuel Ochoco says

    To Whom it May Concern:

    Not condoning anything he has done if allegations are proven to be true, he should apologize and resign. Unfortunately, for the city of San Diego, it has been led by a seemingly endless procession of self-serving pseudo leaders. The city deserves much better. If he hasn’t dug himself in too deep in this predicament, he could very well be a savior to this city. I believe he truly wants what’s best for the city and it’s people. He has already shown his moxie and acumen, unfortunately we may never see his leadership qualities.

  38. avatarPfaff says


    I agree with everything you have said about sexual harassment. Mayor Filner has apologized and is seeking professional help.

    Please go to Wikipedia and without the quotes, enter “Bob Filner.” This man has done so much for our society, especially when he abandoned his undergraduate studies at Cornell University and rode a bus from New York to Mississippi attempting to help the disadvantaged and minorities re the Voting Rights Act of 1964.

    After Mayor Filner was jailed for simply arriving on a bus, he could have posted bail. Instead, he spent two months in jail until those “southern boys” got tired of feeding him.

    Note his teaching career at San Diego State, the reason he left, his service to the City of San Diego School Board, San Diego City Councilman, and ten (10) consecutive terms in the U.S. House of Representatives.

    I think you would agree that Briggs and Gonzales, by indicating that “our clients this and “our clients that” have strong reasons for becoming involved. Everyone has the greatest respect for Donna Frye. Let’s see why Donna became involved in this matter.
    If Donna Frye was not involved, no one would have attended either of those news conferences.

    Que sera, sera, the future’s not ours to see. Let’s give this matter some time before any of us arrive at a conclusion.

  39. avatarKatherine Lopez says

    Most of us women, if we have lived more than a few years on this planet, have had to deal with mashers, including in our workplace. I find it fortunate that we as a society have recognized that it isn’t right to be sexually imposed upon, and that we have forced our legal system to punish those who do so. I find it unfortunate that women still don’t get that it is their duty to come forward if something happens to them that they are morally bound to report. Morally bound to report because every time they don’t, that not only empowers the transgressor but exposes other women to the same conduct or worse. Supporting these women by enabling them, hiding their names, their accounts withheld from rigorous scrutiny, in fact drags women back to the bad old days of being treated as delicate flowers whose virginal reputations must be protected. If Donna Frye really wanted to help, she would have demanded that they come forward, after all according to her there are legions of women with the same stories, no reason to fear being the only victim pressing charges. This really appalling and disgusting game of toppling by innuendo has to stop. Either file charges and let’s see who wins in court, or stop with the screeching pressers. There’s work that needs to be done in this city, our elected representatives need to stop with the lynch mob and go back to their real jobs.