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Filner Releases Calendar: What’s Missing?

Evening Edition

Above: Congressman Bob Filner and City Councilman Carl DeMaio squared off in a mayoral debate at KPBS on Oct. 1, 2012.

— San Diego mayoral candidate Bob Filner says he has released what he says is his personal, campaign and congressional calendar to the KPBS/I-Newsource Investigations Desk. The congressman was challenged to release the document in a show of transparency. But the calendar is missing 91 days out of 261, and does not contain any business conducted in Washington D.C.

Aired 10/9/12 on KPBS News.

San Diego mayoral candidate Bob Filner released his calendar to the KPBS/I-Newsource Investigations Desk. The calendar is missing several days, and all activity in Washington D.C.

The document Filner provided begins on January 14, 2012, and ends September 30, 2012. It’s a long list of luncheons, dedication ceremonies and opening receptions.

"My personal, campaign and Congressional calendars are all incorporated and managed by the Congressional staff, as allowed by law," Filner wrote in an email to KPBS.

"I have released my calendar void of constituent and personal appointments to the media, as requested," he wrote.

But the calendar does not list a single event or meeting in D.C. or a congressional vote between January and September of this year.

The website votesmart.org, which tracks congressional votes, reports Filner did cast votes in the capital during that time period.

The showdown to release personal calendars came to head last week at a KPBS mayoral debate.

“Come clean Carl... release your personal emails, and your phone calls and your calendars," Filner challenged City Councilman Carl DeMaio.

It was in response to a KPBS/I-Newsource investigation about whether DeMaio’s relationship with wealthy developer and newspaper owner Doug Manchester could ultimately influence decisions made at City Hall if DeMaio is elected mayor.

Special Feature Port Authority

In our series, Port Authority, the KPBS/I-Newsource Investigations Desk documents the long financial and political relationship between elected officials and newspaper owner Doug Manchester and his CEO John Lynch. Who stands to win and lose if a new stadium is built at the site of the terminal and why is John Lynch claiming to have the support of one of the San Diego mayoral candidates?

Filner is a congressman and isn’t legally required to release such information because members of Congress are exempt from the Freedom of Information Act.

DeMaio as a councilmember is subject to the Public Records Act, but calendars, especially personal ones, may not fall under the act. The law isn’t clear.

DeMaio posts his public calendar online. Several entries simply state “Hold for Carl.”

Neither calendar provides any insight into whom the candidates are meeting with.

Comments

Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | October 9, 2012 at 10:40 a.m. ― 1 year, 10 months ago

The question is not one of legal requirements and public records acts, it's based on policy.

In the debate and in other comments, DeMaio led viewers to believe he did not have contact with Manchester and Lynch other than what was on his "official" calendar, and when his private calendar surfaced it revealed he misled voters.

Just because a private calendar may not be legally required to be released does not mean it's not lying to say you haven't met with someone when you have.

If my personal calendar has 3 meeting with my boss on it and a co-worker asks if I met with my boss, saying 'no' is still a lie even though my calendar is private.

Of course I could say, It's none of your business," but I'm not running for political office and DeMaio knows he has to answer the question on camera so he lies about it.

Not only that, his personal calendar lists his meeting as being with "Papa Doug".

Sorry DeMaio, but you don't put meet with "Papa Doug" unless you have a pretty close relationship with the guy - using his first name only and a nickname on top of it indicates to me DeMaio has at least a somewhat established relationship with this man.

DeMaio knows Manchester and Lynch are toxic to moderates, undecideds, liberals, Democrats, even moderate Republicans (basically to everyone exept the extremist right who DeMaio already has the support of).

With DeMaio double-digits behind in the poles, he is trying everything he can to hide his close relationships with these toxic individuals.

My guess is DeMaio, Manchester, and Lynch have come to this back-room agreement:

(1) DeMaio will be for the Manchester-Lynch development plan at the port if he becomes mayor

(2) Being publicly tied to Manchester-Lynch and being in favor of the Manchester-Lynch portgate plan is not politically a good idea right now because DeMaio needs moderate voters

(3) With a couple *winks* and *nods* in a backroom somewhere Manchester and Lynch tell their puppet DeMaio to PUBLICLY oppose their plans and make it look like they are not close, while PRIVATELY there is agreement that if Mr. DeMaio is elected he will push through the Manchester-Lynch portgate plan.

It's a classic political "bait and switch" and I suspect it's exactly what the Manchester-Lynch-DeMaio crime bosses have up their sleeves.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | October 9, 2012 at 12:45 p.m. ― 1 year, 10 months ago

Makes me sick to look at Filner's calendar. But this is typical for career politicians.

When do they develop policy (or even vote) when their calendar is an endless parade of pandering, fundraising, and photo-ops?

That is where lobbyists come in. They develop policy and, with a quick handshake, the politician is off to another fundraising soiree.

What an empty suit. Go back to DC Filner...it is where you belong.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | October 9, 2012 at 1:24 p.m. ― 1 year, 10 months ago

CA Defender, do you think DeMaio is not a Washington insider?

DeMaio went to high school at Georegetown Prep School near Washington D.C.

DeMaio attended Georgetown University in Washington D.C. during which time he was a political intern in Washington

1994-1999 - DeMaio was Director of Planning, Congressional Institute -the brainchild of Newt Gingrich, DeMaio first tangled with Congress while working with prominent conservatives like Virginia Thomas.

1999 DeMaio served as budget and policy management advisor for G.W. Bush

1999-2004 DeMaio joins the Reason Foundation as Director of Government Redesign. The foundation's board is a who's who of conservative elites, received millions in funding from the Koch Brothers, Scaife Family and the Bradley Foundation and close ties to other major conservative organizations.

2000 – 2007 Founder and principal, Performance Institute, primarily training government employees on outsourcing - in other words getting paid indirectly from tax payers

2003 – 2007 Founder and principal, American Strategic Management Institute Inc., primarily training private contractors to take advantage of government outsourcing.

CA Defender, can you honestly say DeMaio is not a Washington insider?

Just because he isn't in Congress doesn't make him a Washington "outsider".

I'm not arguing your points about Filner - yes, Filner is a life-long politician with obvious ties to Washington, but to suggest Carl is not also a life-long politician with ties to Washington who has been groomed for this role by the political machine in DC and elsewhere since he was in high school/college is absurd!!

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | October 9, 2012 at 1:30 p.m. ― 1 year, 10 months ago

CA Defender:
"That is where lobbyists come in. They develop policy and, with a quick handshake, the politician is off to another fundraising soiree."

Again, you think Mr. DeMaio is a stranger to lobbying??

In October 2005 (prior to actually serving on city council) DeMaio was identified as a lobbyist with one of the most frequent access to the city council. So much so that he was requested by the City Attorney to register as a lobbyist.

In June 2008 DeMaio was fined by the Ethics Commission for improper solicitation of campaign funds.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | October 9, 2012 at 1:50 p.m. ― 1 year, 10 months ago

Duck, hold your quacker for a moment.

I did not say DeMaio isn't connected to DC or that he is a stranger to lobbying.

We're talking about Filner here.

But if we need to make comparisons, I'd pick a Georgetown grad who grew up in So Cal before a 20-year Congressman from Pennsylvania with enough dirty laundry to fill Qualcomm Stadium...I mean Heinz Field. I'm sure Filner is a Steelers fan.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | October 9, 2012 at 2:24 p.m. ― 1 year, 10 months ago

CA Defender,

Quack! Quack!

To be honest, I really don't care where either one of them grew up for the record though DeMaio was born in the Mid-west and went to high school in the D.C. area, so he couldn't have spent too much time in CA), my main concern is their policies.

While neither is perfect and neither do I agree with 100%, Filner seems much more concerned with the middle class and the less fortunate, whereas DeMaio seems mainly concerned with helping the rich political elites and developer friends.

I am particularly concerned with his connections to Mr. Manchester and Mr. Lynch.

Those two are out for power and forcing their agenda through onto the people of San Diego.

That's why they bought our two largest newspapers, and if their candidate gets into office Manchester and Lynch will control our media AND our city government.

Checks and balances will be eroded.

It would be a disaster.

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Avatar for user 'boingo'

boingo | October 9, 2012 at 4:35 p.m. ― 1 year, 10 months ago

Peking, You are spot on here. Demaio will sellout the citizens for further political ladder climbing. Only problem is , thanks to some very dedicated folks doing research , the evil trifecta has been exposed and the people will not support them, a boycott of the U T and the N C Times advertisers would be the next route. Well done and keep up the good work.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | October 9, 2012 at 5:24 p.m. ― 1 year, 10 months ago

Duck,

Short bio on DeMaio:

Parents moved from Iowa to Orange County when he was a toddler. Very poor family, father abusive and left when he was 15. Mother died from cancer two weeks later. Became a ward of the courts. Went to a Catholic military high school in Anaheim, then won a full scholarship to Georgetown. Just to set the record straight.

As you said, neither DeMaio or Filner are perfect and there are things I like and don't about both. DeMaio's connection to Manchester is a negative. Filner's connection to Washington special interests are too.

It would not be a disaster if either candidate won, I just think DeMaio is the better choice to get San Diego back on track financially. No matter if you are left or right, a fiscally sound San Diego is good for everyone, poor, rich, and middle.

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Avatar for user 'Willard'

Willard | October 9, 2012 at 5:35 p.m. ― 1 year, 10 months ago

Thank you Duck, I would guess most have no Idea about Carl's extreme right-wing ties,even far to the right of Mitt Romney!Budget and policy advisor to Bush?how'd that work out?Filner's connection to DC would be a good thing for SD and California! Keep on Quackin'!

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | October 10, 2012 at 11:11 a.m. ― 1 year, 10 months ago

"Filner's connection to DC would be a good thing for SD and California!" -Willard

===

So by engaging in corrupt Washington cronyism, that will benefit San Diego?

See, that's what is so funny about the extreme left. You'll compromise your values at the drop of a hat while continuing to preach the exact same values.

Thanks for the laugh, Willard!

If Filner wins, when do you think the bridge to nowhere project will begin?

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Avatar for user 'local'

local | October 10, 2012 at 1:29 p.m. ― 1 year, 10 months ago

I would like to see Bilbray's calendar.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | October 10, 2012 at 3:43 p.m. ― 1 year, 10 months ago

And Scott Peters' calendar.

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Avatar for user 'ExtremeLeftSnowboarder'

ExtremeLeftSnowboarder | October 10, 2012 at 4:59 p.m. ― 1 year, 10 months ago

It's a rarity for me to vote for a Republican (yep, I'm a progressive liberal). After watching the KBPS debate, not to mention some past interviews, I gotta say that there is NO way I will vote for Filner. DeMaio is obviously a much harder working individual and communicates far better.

Does Filner have some sort hyper disorder? He comes across with offensive behavior and some of the things he says and does don't even make sense. Filner's wild behavior, combined with that big "joker face" smile, really gives me the crepes!

As for DeMaio, he has definitely had his polarizing moments and I think he is way to rough on the unions. He's pissing off our police and firefighters, which is not good. But making deals with big developers will bring jobs and improve our city. Filner is just going to sit on his 'behind'.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | October 11, 2012 at 1:06 a.m. ― 1 year, 10 months ago

ExtremeRightwingSnowboarder, I find it hard to believe you are a liberal.

Your account is a ruse created to make the one odd post you just made.

You have no posting history showing you to be a liberal, and your reasoning to vote against someone because of their physical appearance is very unfortunate.

And you suggest making deals with big developers brings jobs?

These big developers want to close the port which provides good jobs and put up hotels to pay people minimum wage.

Tht is NOT good for our city, and the only ones who bennefit are the developers themselves.

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