I just crossed paths with a guy who is ready to throw San Diego Mayor Bob Filner out of office. No surprise there; San Diego is seething with folks fed up with Filner. When I asked what he would do about Filner, the man said he’d vote ‘yes’ on the recall. How about signing the recall petition? Well, he’s not going to go out of his way to do that.
Here’s the problem: If you want to officially register your disdain for Filner in a way that gets through to him, you basically have no other choice.
Let’s assess the situation. The number of women who have publicly accused Filner of sexual improprieties is nearing 20. The Feds are investigating Filner’s pay-to-play developer schemes. The San Diego City Council is looking into the fishy finances of his Paris trip. Filner cannot get along with his colleagues at City Hall (indeed, every Councilmember is now calling for his resignation).
All this has combusted to the point that public opinion has turned decidedly against Filner. He is so toxic that people associated with Filner are being dragged with him down the civic drain.
Things are so bad that Filner would be lucky to get more than a quarter of the electorate to support him in a recall election. Last I checked that’s well south of the 50% plus one Filner would need to stay in office.
This is my point. Filner may be many things but he is not an idiot. Because he knows he cannot survive a recall election and because being recalled from the Mayor’s office insures an ineffable ignominy that resignation does not, Filner will step down rather than face the electorate’s wrath.
He may resign when it is clear the recall campaign has enough steam to get the required number of signatures. He may resign when the City Clerk finds there are enough valid signatures to place the recall on the ballot. He may even wait to resign the day before voters go to the polls. But Filner will resign rather than be recalled.
Signing the recall petition is your only option because I believe Filner is never going to give you the satisfaction of voting against him.