We've spent the past three weeks laying out why Bob Filner should resign as mayor of San Diego. We won't belabor it again here, other than to say that we have zero tolerance for what we believe to be his pathologically inappropriate behavior when it comes to interacting with women. Attorney Gloria Allred on Tuesday brought forth yet another accuser, this one a nurse who sought Filner's help on behalf of a female Marine veteran. The nurse said that during a private meeting, Filner pressured her to go out with him, and she felt as though he wouldn't help the Marine unless she did. She didn't.
Filner reportedly began two weeks of behavioral therapy on Monday. We don't believe his apparently deep-seated disorder can be cleared up in 14 days, and even if it could, the damage is done. San Diego's message to the world— particularly women and girls— must be that this sort of fundamental disrespect for an entire gender and disgusting abuse of power isn't acceptable in our city. One way or another, no matter how long it takes, Filner has to go.
If he doesn't resign, it'll have to be through a recall, and, so far, we don't have a ton of confidence in the folks leading the effort. At least there's only one recall campaign now, as LGBT Weekly publisher Stampp Corbin has decided to fold his campaign into a more serious one. We believe that Corbin's plan was to foil the other recall campaign, led by Michael Pallamary and Elisa Brent, but Pallamary's threat of legal action prompted Corbin to come aboard the legit effort.
Still, a recall will be difficult, and Pallamary so far seems like kind of a goofy leader. His decision to have his young grandchildren speak at a recent press conference was bizarre. Starting Aug. 18, he and his cohorts must get more than 105,000 petition signatures in 39 days. If too few of them are valid, they'll have another 30 days to get the required number. We can report that Pallamary and Brent have enlisted a pro team that includes fundraiser Jean Freelove, PR consultant John Hoy, communications consultant Rachel Laing, treasurer April Boling and lawyers Bell, McAndrews & Hiltachk—so, good.
But, ultimately, a Filner recall isn't the best option. Why? Because even if the City Council fixes the municipal law that governs recall elections so that it's constitutional—it's likely not at the moment— the outcome of the election could be disastrous. An unlimited number of people can become candidates, and the one who gets the most votes wins outright. Sure, that sounds fair, but someone could conceivably become mayor with, say, 10 percent of the vote. That wouldn't exactly be a mandate to lead.
A successful signature-gathering campaign could compel Filner to go voluntarily, to save himself the further indignity of being forcibly removed by the voters. And, a well-coordinated protest campaign would help raise awareness of the need for signatures and keep the pressure on Filner. If there's a language that Filner understands—the longtime crusader for civil rights that he is—it's the language of public protest. These demon strations should involve men and women, young and old, liberals and conservatives—all banding together to protest Filner's abominable behavior.
Bon voyage, Ace
This week, we're saying goodbye to another longtime CityBeat staffer. Adam Vieyra, who started in our small production department in late 2006 and became art director in early 2009, has accepted a job with another newspaper. As art director, Adam's been responsible most prominently for the publication's cover art each week—whether it's curating our occasional cover showcase of local artists, directing freelance illustrators or, most often, creating the art that conveys one of our stories. But he's also the guy who lays out all of the editorial pages in the paper and creatively designs our culture and music features every week, not to mention our many special issues. And, in 2011, he spearheaded our most recent redesign, which is an arduous process.
Art director is a difficult job, because it's responsible for the end product, and the person holding it is at the mercy of writers and editors who must hit deadlines throughout the week. Missed deadlines are a pretty regular occurrence at CityBeat, and Adam's been terribly forgiving throughout the years. While his position is technically in the production department, he's been a big part of our editorial team, often coming up with great story ideas. His easy-going personality has made him a popular, beloved character in what can be a stressful narrative. We'll miss him, and we wish him the best of luck.