I first caught wind of this story by way of Jim Geraghty and the Morning Jolt, and on the surface it doesn’t look all that unusual. But it gets better. The Democrat Mayor of San Diego, (and former member of Congress) Bob Filner found himself in some seriously hot water this week. Some people, including his own long time allies, began coming forward and claiming that he’s been acting “inappropriately” with some women. Make that… “numerous” women.
Three high-profile San Diegans described sexual harassment allegations involving “numerous” female employees of Mayor Bob Filner who were subjected to “unfortunate and reprehensible circumstances” but refused to reveal victim identities or details of the alleged behavior.
On Thursday at 10 a.m., former San Diego City Councilwoman Donna Frye and lawyers Cory Briggs and Marco Gonzalez stood together and explained why they recently demanded that Filner resign…
“There is no doubt in my mind that what I am telling you and standing here talking about today. There is no doubt in my mind that these allegations are true,” Frye said.
As I hinted at above, this probably doesn’t sound like all that newsworthy of an item. A prominent Democrat is found to be unable to control himself around women, gets caught, a scandal ensues, blah, blah blah. Right? So he resigns in disgrace and we all move on with our lives. But wait! Not so fast.
San Diego Mayor Bob Filner released a statement on Thursday afternoon apologizing to city residents, hours after he was accused of sexually harassing numerous female employees.
“I begin today by apologizing to you. I have diminished the office to which you elected me. I have reached into my heart and soul and realize I must and will change my behavior,” he said in the DVD.
Yes, yes, we get it. You’re very sorry. And….?
“I am also humbled to admit that I need help. I have begun to work with professionals to make changes in my behavior and approach. In addition, my staff and I will participate in sexual harassment training provided by the city.
Seeking professional help. Check. Now, about that resignation…?
“In the next few days, I will be reaching out to those who now work to those who now work in the Mayor’s Office or have previously worked for me – both men and women – to personally apologize for my behavior.”
“I only ask that you give me an opportunity to prove I am capable of change, so that the vision I have for our city’s future can be realized,” he said.
Wait a minute. What? You’re not leaving?
I get that we’re now living in the age of apologies, second chances and forgiveness. That’s been obvious for a little while now, but there’s something missing from the equation here. When a certain GOP Governor (because this happens in both parties) spent a bit too much time hiking the Appalachian Trail, he had the good sense to step off the stage for a while before asking for another turn at bat. Client Number Nine headed out for better than half a decade and a couple of failed TV shows before deciding that he’d like to be Comptroller of the Big Apple. Even Anthony Weiner had enough sense to go to ground for a while.
Not for nothing here, Bob, (can we call you Bob?) but aren’t you skipping a couple of steps? You come out and confess to the deeds, ask for forgiveness, and move on to your next day at the office all in the same speech? Are the people of San Diego actually going to let you get away with this?