Do you remember San Diego Mayor Bob Filner? He became known as “filthy Filner” back in 2013 after more than a dozen women came forward claiming he had sexually harassed them. Filner denied it at the time but later resigned from his position. But before Filner was the Mayor of San Diego he served as a Democratic congressman from 1993 until 2012. Today, Rep. Diana DeGette said on MSNBC that, Rep. Filner tried to kiss her in an elevator during his tenure in Congress.
“Some years ago I was in an elevator and then-congressman Bob Filner tried to pin me to the door of the elevator and kiss me and I pushed him away,” Rep. DeGette said. She noted that he later resigned as Mayor after sexual harassment allegations. She went on to say, “I was his colleague. He couldn’t take action against me and believe you me I never got in an elevator with him again.”
The interview with Rep. DeGette began with her saying, “I think that many members of Congress, certainly professional women have been harassed over the years and I’m certainly no different.” She added, “What strikes me in this conversation is that a lot of my colleagues and others have said this is going on but they seem somehow so reluctant to say who did it. I don’t really understand that cause it seems to me, particularly if those people are still in Congress or whatever the profession is then they’re still getting away with it.”
— Rep. Diana DeGette (@RepDianaDeGette) November 20, 2017
This is not the first time Filner has been accused of sexually harassing women during his tenure in Congress. In 2013, his former deputy campaign manager, Laura Fink, accused Filner of telling her to turn around and then patting her rear in front of a group of people at a fundraising dinner. Fink later asked for an apology and says Filner mumbled one to her a few days later but also claimed she just didn’t understand.
In 2013, Ed wrote a post titled, “When Did National Democrats Know That Filner Was Sexually Harassing Women?” A former Assemblywoman, Lori Saldaña, says she told party leaders about Filner two years before the accusations against him in 2013. “As disgraceful as Bob’s behavior has been, it’s been tolerated by our Democratic Party leadership,” Saldaña said. Did Democrats know about him even before that? Obviously, Rep. DeGette did.
Eventually, Filner’s behavior caught up with him. In October 2013, after 19 accusers came forward against him, Filner pleaded guilty to one felony and two misdemeanors as part of a plea deal. One of the misdemeanors was for kissing a woman without her consent. He was sentenced in December 2013 to 90 days home confinement and three years of probation. He also agreed he would never hold public office again.
Asked today why her colleagues in Congress aren’t naming names, Rep. DeGette said, “I don’t know but this is the problem that we’ve had all along, is that when these advances happen they are brushed under the rug.” She added, “If there are people who are sexual predators in Congress right now, we need to know who they are.”