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Effort To Recall Mayor Filner Officially Launches

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The effort to recall embattled San Diego Mayor Bob Filner officially kicked off today, as petitions were circulated at midnight and volunteers worked at three daytime civic events, capped by a Freedom From Filner rally attended by more than 300 supporters in front of City Hall.

Special Feature Read the Backstory

All of the accusations, statements and apologies from the key players in the developing story about allegations of sexual harassment in Mayor Bob Filner's office and calls from former mayoral supporters for his resignation.

Signature gatherers went to the America's Finest City Half Marathon at Balboa Park, as well as at an afternoon volunteer orientation and kickoff event at the Town & Country Hotel in Mission Valley.

The vocal crowd of supporters, many wearing blue T-shirts saying "Please Resign Mayor Filner,'' stood in front of the Civic Center and listened to grass-roots leaders calling for the mayor to ''resign or be recalled.''

"We are here today to have our voice heard,'' said anti-Filner rally spokeswoman Kathryn Vaughn, a San Diego attorney and workshop leader on sexual harassment in the workplace. "Our message is clear. We the people and the citizens of future generations want a leader who has honor, dignity and respect for all people. We stand united.''

Promising her group will be relentless, Vaughn said "We will work every hour of every day until you (Filner) step down.''

Referring to the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous "I have a dream speech,'' Los Angeles-based attorney Gloria Allred, representing Filner's former communications director, the first woman to come forward with sexual harassment allegations against him, said "I often have a dream of gender equality. I dream that our daughters and granddaughters, our mother and our sisters, will all be treated with dignity and respect.''

John Cox from Rancho Santa Fe told the crowd the Filner Recall also was about reforming the political system. "We should be electing our candidates in our neighborhoods, not through our campaign funders,'' Cox said.

Delores Chavez spoke of the courage of the women, 16 of whom have thus far come forward to accuse Filner of inappropriate sexual advances.

"The most important thing is their courage, their conviction to stand by their principles and not be overwhelmed by their fear of the consequences,'' Chavez said. "When many would have watered down their stance -- they held firm.''

The recall drive needs to turn in at least 102,000 valid signatures by Sept. 26 to qualify for the ballot.

Earlier today, Filner Recall organizer Michael Pallamary said there are exactly 39 days for the recall to qualify for the ballot. He said more than 800 San Diegans have signed up as volunteers to collect signatures or manage other aspects of the volunteer effort.

Discussing his motivation for organizing the Filner Recall drive, Pallamary said, ''I have a 10-year-old granddaughter who is waking up every day and hearing these lurid accusations and stories. We need to stop this. We need to take it off televisions and out of the newspapers. My granddaughter needs to be empowered, and to know that this kind of behavior is not acceptable.''

Recall spokeswoman Rachel Laing said she was not surprised that Filner was attempting to stay in office despite widespread efforts to either coax him to resign or oust him from power.

"Based on everything we know about him, he has no shame,'' Laing said.

"He seems to enjoy conflict and anything that gives him a sense of power. The fact he has this sociopathic tendency makes it obvious why he's not stepping down.''

Laing -- who worked for Filner's mayoral predecessor, Jerry Sanders -- said she supported and voted for Filner during his 2012 candidacy, something she now heartily regrets.

"If people knew what he was like, they never would have voted for him,'' Laing said. "I thought I voted for someone who stuck up for the little people, the voiceless and the powerless. Instead, it turned out he was using his power to prey on people. I, like a lot of people, feel betrayed by him.''

Filner has apologized for mistreating women but contends his actions don't rise to the level of sexual harassment. He is also accused of shaking down developers for donations and misusing his city-issued credit card.

More information is at the website www.RecallBobFilner.com. There is also a Facebook page at Facebook.com/RecallBob Filner.''

Comments

Avatar for user 'laplayaheritage'

laplayaheritage | August 18, 2013 at 1:27 p.m. ― 1 year, 4 months ago

WHAT: PRESS CONFERENCE “STANDING W/ MAYOR FILNER AND DUE PROCESS”

WHEN: MONDAY ~ AUGUST 19 @ 1200 NOON

WHERE: CIVIC CENTER PLAZA
Info: Enrique Morones @ 619 977-9467

WE WILL NOT BE SILENT

“We are defending the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, Due Process and innocent until found guilty BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT.”
Ken S Msemaji DOMESTIC WORKERS

“Those of us South of INTERSATE 8 voted for Mayor Filner and those North of INTERSTATE 8 want him out”
Kathleen Harmon FORMER FILNER VOLUNTEER

“Mayor Bob Filner like any other person deserves due process and the overwhelming demand for his resignation appears to have been initially motivated and orchestrated by the conservative elements in San Diego that fear the Mayor’s progressive agenda of including all people in the future direction of the city”
David Valladolid COMMUNITY ORGANIZER

“Bob has stood side by side with many of our displaced communities for decades, now we stand with him. Bob, like the alleged victims deserve due process and not a public execution and circus, We will not be silent”.
Enrique Morones , Native San Diegan & HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | August 18, 2013 at 4:23 p.m. ― 1 year, 4 months ago

THANK YOU
THANK YOU
THANK YOU
THANK YOU to the thousands of San Diegans who have already signed the petition and to the thousands more who will sign each day. Just a few seconds is all it takes to help get San Diego back to being "America's Finest City".

The official RECALL PETITION can be downloaded here:

www.recallbobfilner.com

Print, sign, get your friends and neighbors to sign, and mail it in!

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Avatar for user 'DonWood'

DonWood | August 18, 2013 at 5:33 p.m. ― 1 year, 4 months ago

"hearing these lurid accusations and stories". That's about all we've been hearing for the last month or so. Very few facts, but lots of undocumented accusations and wild stories attacking the mayor. Let's see what happens when all the facts come out.

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Avatar for user 'strata66'

strata66 | August 18, 2013 at 5:39 p.m. ― 1 year, 4 months ago

Haha, there were 200 people at the Civic Center "Kickoff" rally. They were lucky to get even 100 signatures from the "hordes" of concerned citizens at an important juncture in this recall. Haha, people don't care about it that much, which they shouldn't anyway. This is looking like one big fat recall failure on the first day. And this is to my absolute Glee, haha!!

3 more years kids!! Count on it!!

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Avatar for user 'MarineRoom'

MarineRoom | August 18, 2013 at 10:09 p.m. ― 1 year, 4 months ago

Strata66:
Always a cheerful read.

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Avatar for user 'ExtremeLeftSnowboarder'

ExtremeLeftSnowboarder | August 19, 2013 at 8:34 a.m. ― 1 year, 4 months ago

Speaking of due process for the mayor, I want to remind everyone that Bob Filner successfully evaded his deposition. Filner has lied and changed his story, not to mention his whereabouts, several times. He is acting like a rat! Is this the due process you all are looking for?

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Avatar for user 'MarineRoom'

MarineRoom | August 19, 2013 at 8:39 a.m. ― 1 year, 4 months ago

ExtremeRight:

Now now, no need for name-calling.

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Avatar for user 'MamaSchaf'

MamaSchaf | August 19, 2013 at 9:19 a.m. ― 1 year, 4 months ago

The unions have too much money invested in Filner to let him go down without a fight. His list of supporters has shrunk to organized labor and its allies. Today's event is assuredly a union demonstration of it's ability to gather a crowd and make noise more than their individual members true feelings about Filner. "It’s an awkward situation, but we have a lot invested in him. We believe in due process, so let it take its course." Tom Lemmon, San Diego County Building and Construction Trades Council
Due process can take place after Filner leaves office. Basically he's left office already, abandoning the city for the last 24 days and we still don't know when he'll be back.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | August 19, 2013 at 1:59 p.m. ― 1 year, 4 months ago

strata66,

You seem to enjoy laughing at all this. Is this funny to you? Do you think Filner's actions are to be shrugged off? Is the abuse of women just a game?

Absolutely disgusting.

All you do is energize myself and so many other San Diegans to get more signatures on the recall petition.

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Avatar for user 'strata66'

strata66 | August 19, 2013 at 7:31 p.m. ― 1 year, 4 months ago

Hey don't get your panties in a bunch here but yes I am thoroughly enjoying this hilarious kerfuffle! And yes Bob's actions should be shrugged off as he has apologized profusely, has taken treatment from a doctor and is probably by now aware that he cannot act like he did before. He did no crime here, wake up!! You need to forgive, teh "victim" will get some cash and a new job. It's all better now, relax.

Judging by your name, are you an attorney? Should an attorney be championing the absolute right to "Due Process" as you are in "the biz"? That's what is disgusting here, rigid ritualistic followers that bite the Papa Doug poison apple and run wild-eyes spinning to the nearest sign-up sheet. Bob did champion citizen rights, Bob does still and he is 10 times the person you are. Bob went to prison fighting for peoples rights, what have other posters done except to get in line with all of the other Papa Doug whipped up lemmings and chant in unison "get him out."

3 more years kids!!

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | August 19, 2013 at 7:53 p.m. ― 1 year, 4 months ago

Strata66,

So you think women shouldn't get their "panties in a bunch" over sexual harassment. That speaks volumes about you and the few remaining Filner supporters out there.

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Avatar for user 'strata66'

strata66 | August 19, 2013 at 8:39 p.m. ― 1 year, 4 months ago

Well maybe you should look at that justice lady statue, the blindfolded one with the scales. Lets put all the good things that Bob has done throughout his life on one side of her scale. Then lets put the Bob panties remark and a few sloppy kisses and a few gooses on the other side of her scale. Which way does it tip? Of course, to the side of all the good things Bob has done. But you myopic followers confuse the blindfolded lady, and do a pile-on on the few sloppy kisses side and tilt justice to your own side and the blindfolded lady declares you the winner because of your fake weight. I hope I made this stupid proof enough for a few of the posters here. This is not due process, which I demand.

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Avatar for user 'CarlosDangler'

CarlosDangler | August 19, 2013 at 9:46 p.m. ― 1 year, 4 months ago

Strata, had voters known they were voting for a slobbering lech with self-control issues, perhaps we would not be in this position.

I realize he has a body of work that you are proud of but he's now a failed leader. I am all for due process but that should be addressed in Bob's own time and away from the San Diego public after he steps down and puts himself out of our misery.

You as his friend can probably help the city of San Diego out by convincing him if you phrase it carefully and if you tell him... 'Bob, you can 'have due process time with 'the blindfolded lady' if you step down...' Just that thought of being alone with a blindfolded lady .... he'd 'salivate' profusely at the idea.

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Avatar for user 'MamaSchaf'

MamaSchaf | August 20, 2013 at 10:09 a.m. ― 1 year, 4 months ago

These now 17 ladies with their panties in a bunch, and the many others who are afraid to speak out, appear to be on the verge of effecting monumental political change in our city. I believe them and salute them.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | August 20, 2013 at 8:42 p.m. ― 1 year, 4 months ago

I was at Sprouts today and saw a HUGE group waiting to sign the recall petition out front. It was fantastic to see so many San Diegans engaging in direct democracy!

I am energized, full of spirit, and going out to collect more signatures tomorrow! I'm at 56 already from just walking my neighborhood for a couple hours!

Get your petition here: www.recallbobfilner.com

POWER TO THE PEOPLE!

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