By Doug Porter
The national media will no longer be covering San Diego’s local politics after today.
Bob Filner, the 70 year old ex-Congressman who’s been described in recent months as a masher, sexual predator and grabby bully will no longer be ‘terrorizing’ the city as of 5pm this afternoon.
Mostly the attitude expressed in the media is “Don’t let the door hit you on the ass on your way out”.
So now we can get back to business as usual. If only it was that simple.
Make no mistake about it; Bob Filner’s actions fueled the fires leading up to his resignation.
Now that he’s gone one could hope the real issues facing the future of this city would be top-of-mind. But I’m afraid that isn’t going to happen.
I worry the ‘taint’ of Bob Filner will be applied to every good idea that came out of City Hall during his nine month tenure. And there were some, contrary to what UT-San Diego would have you believe.
While Filner will be gone; the political gamesmanship that put him in office will remain. #FilnerFatigue and disgust with the electoral process only makes it easier for an ‘anointed’ candidate to walk into the job.
A lot of people worked very hard to get that man elected, and it serves no good purpose to just walk away. As one pro-Filner person put it in an email to me this morning:
I have worked long hours for more than a decade– organizing and cultivating the values that allowed us to run a Mayoral campaign where the living standards of working families became the central concern of an election that we won– something that didn’t happen anywhere else in the country.
We did not just elect a Mayor that was different than DeMaio or DINO risk shifters like Fletcher– we elected a Mayor that is of an entirely different populist pro-working family cast. It took years and years to construct a path that allowed us to get to the point where we could elect Mayor Filner.
Nobody ever said politics was easy
Meet the New Boss…
City Council president Todd Gloria moved yesterday to impose his stamp on the eleventh floor offices for the next few months while he serves as interim Mayor. Human Resource staffers, under his and City Attorney Jan Goldsmith’s control told staffers that their positions were being re-evaluated. They are after all, political appointees, and the man who hired them is no longer in office.
Gone will be chief of staff Lee Burdick and press aide Lena Lewis. Returning will be Filner’s original accuser Irene McCormack, serving as director of communications. Chief Operating Officer Walt Eckard told a reporter from Voice of San Diego that he’d be staying on just long enough to help with the transition.
…Same as the Old Boss?
Unless Lori Saldaña’s campaign gains some serious traction quickly, this fall’s special election looks to be an all male affair.
Former Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher gained some steam yesterday, picking up endorsements from two city employee unions, and it’s probable he’ll also get backing from the Police Officer’s Association.
Police and Firefighters backed Fletcher in last year’s primary campaign, and their endorsement is seen as a reflection of fears about the prospect of a DeMaio administration by city employees.
This endorsement also speaks to the central conflict within the union movement today; bread and butter issues versus the larger political picture. Speaking about the pending POA endorsement, one unionist told me (off the record, of course), “They’d endorse Satan if he buttered their bread.”
There are a lot of folks who think Fletcher is a sure thing to be next Mayor. But it ain’t over ‘till it’s over, as a certain baseball legend used to say.
Keeping Us Guessing
Former City Councilman Carl DeMaio certainly sounds like he’s running, what with the press conference, white paper and frequent TV appearances. Or perhaps he’s trying to drown out the nagging storyline concerning his appearances in the royal loo.
In any case, the former city councilman has scheduled a press conference for 11am Tuesday where we’ll learn his decision. DeMaio also feigned interest in the City’s top job back in 2005 and surprised political observers by saying announcing he WASN’T running.
The rest of the political field will most likely hold off with their announcements until after Carl decides. Councilman/interim Mayor/potential candidate Todd Gloria was working the floor like he meant it at today’s labor council breakfast.
City Attorney Jan Goldsmith (not running for Mayor) and Councilmember Kevin Faulconer (maybe running) both attended a Wednesday celebration organized by recall leaders and volunteers at an Irish bar in Kearny Mesa.
I suppose there will be no stopping the tales making the rounds about the conspiracy to push Bob Filner out of office. The fact is he’s gone. And I generally don’t see much good in looking backwards.
Proving or not proving these theories will not change anything…
File this KUSI interview with Jan Goldsmith under “Where did I leave my tin foil hat?”
Now, Look Forward
Enough with the looking backwards…
How can we participate in this election when we don’t even know who the candidates are? I’m so glad you asked…
Technologist/entrepreneur Benjamin Katz, who tweets under the handle @MeanestBossEver, has a lot of ideas and opinions. I often disagree with him. I’ve gained a lot of experience counting to ten before hitting reply on Twitter after reading his missives.
But you have to give credit where it’s due for a good idea, and he’s got one with the SDMayor2013 wiki.
This is a place where San Diegans can collaboratively work on questions we need to be asking those who aspire to the Mayor’s job in the upcoming special election.
It’s also got a handy-dandy list of contact info for all the currently declared mayoral candidates.
On This Day: 1682 – William Penn sailed from England and later established the colony of Pennsylvania. 1965 – Thurgood Marshall was confirmed by the Senate, becoming the first black justice to sit on the Supreme Court. 1993 – Billy Joel became the first musical guest on CBS-TV’s “The Late Show with David Letterman” when the show debuted.
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