Rally Called First Step In Recall Of Mayor Bob Filner
Friday, July 19, 2013
Photo by Claire Trageser / KPBS
About 100 people gathered in downtown San Diego's Civic Center Plaza for a rally they said was the first step in the process to recall Mayor Bob Filner.
Land use consultant Michael Pallamary is leading the effort. He said he was laying plans for a recall before allegations of sexual harassment were made against the mayor.
KFMB radio host Mike Slater kicked off the rally, saying America is the greatest country in the world and San Diego is America's finest city.
"Welcome to step one of our effort to recall Mayor Bob Filner," he said to cheers, along with some jeers from Filner supporters who were also in the crowd.
Slater said the mayor is "not lustful for women, but lustful for power," which means Filner will never resign his seat willingly. He said while the mayor deserves due process, that does not mean he should continue on as mayor of San Diego.
Filner "needs to repent," Slater said, and to work through how he treats women.
"That is a long process," Slater said. "During that process, Bob, you can not be our mayor."
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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.
"Yes he can! That's not true!" some in the crowd shouted in retort.
Pallamary was introduced by his 10-year-old granddaughter, who held an American flag at the start of the rally. He said he had wanted to recall Filner for months over what he called the mismanagement and dysfunction the mayor brought to San Diego.
The rally was not the beginning of the recall signature gathering, Pallamary said. Supporters must gather 103,010 signatures in 39 days to hold a recall vote. That 39-day countdown clock does not start until a notice to recall is filed with the City Clerk.
Elisa Brent, who introduced herself as a housewife, said she was collecting volunteers to gather recall signatures on the website recallbob.com.
Pallamary, a registered Republican, said he's hoping to use volunteers instead of an outside group to collect signatures. Money he does have to spend will be funded by small donations, he said.
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