After a three hour meeting last night, the San Diego Democrat Party has decided they will not call for Mayor Bob Filner’s resignation. Filner has been accused of sexual harassment by former employees and constituents. The accusations were brought to light by well known Democrat politicos at a press conference last week with salacious details and threats of future lawsuits against the City by accusers.
The party’s central committee met for nearly three hours behind the closed doors of a Kearny Mesa union hall to discuss what position it should take on the embattled mayor.
Democrat Party Chairman Francine Busby said, “We feel somewhat betrayed that we have to deal with these allegations” party Busby told reporters afterward. “We all condemn it. It’s abhorrent and we stand with these women. If the mayor has done this and it is proven to be true, we will ask for his immediate resignation.”
(If the party feels “betrayed” I wonder how these women feel? We should ask Lori Saldana…)
The meeting was “very, very emotional” according to Busby. She explained that there were two lines of thinking on the issue. One group thought Democrats “cannot take allegations without any people (coming forward), without any proof and without any process.” The other “felt strongly we should ask the mayor to resign because of a betrayal of trust.”
There is a movement in the works to support Filner and keep him in office. Thirty people gathered outside City Hall for a rally. “We will not endorse a public execution,” said Enrique Morones, president and founder of San Diego-based Border Angels. “Bob Filner, you deserve due process — you have earned it more than most.”
Let’s be clear on this. Due process applies in a court of law, not as a standard for holding political office. Certainly, Filner will get his due process once the costly lawsuits against San Diego commence. But can Filner govern the city with this distraction and spectacle looming?
Fox News reported that there are some new “rules” for the Mayor, issued by San Diego’s chief operating officer: “avoid private sessions with women to prevent misunderstandings, appearances of impropriety and further allegations of sexual harassment. The request is in line with the City Council’s effort to create safety zones for any employee who may feel threatened by Filner.”
Filner has admitted to acting inappropriately and apologized.
Several Democrat politicians and figureheads have called for Filner to step down. Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzales, former head of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, has come forward against Filner. Gonzales was a visible supporter of Filner during the mayoral campaign last November.
Also joining in are Assemblywoman Toni Atkins, Reps. Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA) and Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA), City Council President Todd Gloria and Councilman David Alvarez, along with the Republicans on the city council. The San Diego chapter of NOW has called for Filner to step down along with a local women’s group Run Women Run.