San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, a Democrat from the Bill Clinton school of ethics, says he runs a tough office and expects the best out of his people. Allegations being made against him by at least two women indicate that he expects a lot more than their best work performance.
Donna Frye, a former San Diego Councilwoman made the allegations of sexual harassment public last week. She told of one woman who claimed that Filner made comments and unwelcomed advances towards her. A second woman, a campaign volunteer for Filner claims that he ‘grabbed and kissed her, jamming his tongue down her throat” and later “had his hand on the inside of her bra.’
Filner defended his actions by saying that he is a hugger of both and women. I’ve got news for you. I’m a hugger of both men and women and I’ve never hugged anyone like what has been described, other than my own wife and in private. There are forms of a soft friendly hug that are socially acceptable, but groping, tonguing and other behaviors are complete unacceptable. Many husbands, fathers and boyfriends would probably knock someone on the keester if they saw them hugging their wife, daughter or girlfriend like Filner has been accused of doing.
Although no formal charges have been filed against Filner, many are calling for his resignation. Others believe that he needs training on workplace behaviors. Even members of his own liberal party are disapproving of his actions.
Among those calling for Filner’s resignation are Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA) and Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA). Davis commented about Filner’s actions saying:
“The mayor’s lack of understanding of the debilitating effects of sexual harassment, intimidation, and bullying is an affront to all. His behavior, if not illegal, is reprehensible.”
Even Filner’s fiancée, Bronwyn Ingram, has abandoned him and broken off their relationship. She made it known that he has been aggressive and has been texting other women with very sexually and improper messages.
A SurveyUSA poll that came out last Friday indicated that 59% of San Diego residents believe that Filner should resign as Mayor. The poll also indicated that 74% of the residents believe that Filner should be recalled if he does not resign from office first.
So what do you do with a public official who appears to be a sexual pervert and guilty of sexual harassment? You make him the keynote speaker at a conference about sexual assault in the military.
Filner was to be honored with a lifetime of leadership award at the August conference of the National Women Veterans Association of America. The award was based upon Filner’s serving as the Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs during his time in the US House of Representative. Guess Filner has a different definition of veteran affairs than everyone else.
After the news erupted last week about Filner’s sexual harassment, the NWVAA released a statement saying:
“Due to the recent events of allegations of sexual harassment, admission of inappropriate behavior by the Mayor and his personal cry for help, National Women Veterans Association of America has removed the mayor from being honored at the benefit gala to support the Military Sexual Assault Community. He is now the keynote speaker on these injustices.”
They may think that Filner has admitted his wrong behavior and is crying out for help, but I don’t quite see it that way. He’s admitted that he hugged these women and that they may have taken it wrong, which to me is not admitting that he did anything wrong. So allowing him to speak at a conference on military sexual assault, while not fully admitting to his own sexual assault on the staffer he groped and the volunteer he tongued would be like having a practicing pedophile speak to a bunch of kids or a practicing rapist to a woman’s group.
As long as Filner is not fully repentant for his actions and admit his behavior is wrong, he has no business leading a city or speaking to others about sexual assault. Two hundred years ago, Filner would have been shot or hung for his actions. One hundred years ago, we would have been beaten, tarred and feathered and then run out of town. Today, he’s proud Democrat.