Francine Busby, Chair of that San Diego Democrat Party, told the New York Times that the party was giving Mayor Filner the “benefit of doubt” because they were so excited to have someone in office pushing a progressive agenda.
“Democrats aren’t going to give him a pass, but may be willing to give him the benefit of the doubt because we’ve waited so long, nearly 20 years, for a mayor who could put forward a progressive agenda,” she said.
“But this doesn’t erase what he’s done,” she said. “I don’t know if it’s enough at this point.”
(Translation: Close your eyes and think of San Diego)
Let’s recap. What did the San Diego Democrat Party know before the women started revealing themselves?
Former Democrat Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña, informed the party TWO YEARS AGO, about Filner’s problems with the ladies. She relayed that “six prominent women in local politics, business and education told her that Filner had physically or verbally harassed them.”
Nothing was done. Saldaña was strong armed into endorsing Filner for Mayor last year.
A letter was circulated last year to the media, prior to the Mayoral election, with the same kinds of allegations against Filner.
Filner’s ex- fiance, Bronwyn Ingram, broke off their engagement. Ingram was a big supporter of Filner’s mayoral bid and went on to work in the Filner administration. She released a statement saying “Bob’s behavior continued to become more aggressive, standard decorum seemed to disappear. Bob recently began texting other women sexually explicit messages and setting up dates while in my presence and within my line of vision.”
A press conference, led by respected and prominent Democrats did not move the SD Democrat party to call on Filner to resign either. Former Councilwoman and San Diego political icon Donna Frye led the press conference. Frye was a visible and respected supporter of Filner during the 2012 campaign, she is a very popular political figure. Marco Gonzalez was one of the lawyers speaking at the press conference. Gonzalez’ sister, Lorena Gonzalez, is now an Assemblywoman but was the head of the San Diego and Imperial County Labor Union. She called for Filner to resign even BEFORE the press conference revealed the disgusting specifics of the allegations against Filner.
San Diego NOW called on Filner to resign.
So before and during the initial press conference, a list of prominent Democrats raised serious (and similar) red flags about Filner, but the Democrat party was divided on calling for Filner to step down at first. On the second round, they did vote to call for Filner to resign.
There was a literal war on women taking place in San Diego, allegations supported by credible party operatives that involved physical restraint and physical violation of San Diego women and yet, Busby has the nerve to say that this was all “overlooked” because the SD Dems were excited to have progressive agenda.
And by the way two Democrats on the City Council HAVE NOT called for Filner to resign, Marty Emerald and Mytle Cole are still holding out.
I thought empowering women was part of the Democrat progressive agenda?