The final Morning Jolt of the week reveals that one of the least-favorite Democrats from the past is indeed a bad guy:
You Stay Classy, San Diego Mayor!
One of my all-timefavorite Republican candidates is Nick Popaditch, a Purple Heart and Silver Star–winning Marine who lost an eye in the first battle for Fallujah, who ran for Congress in Southern California 2010 and 2012. In his 2010 race, he lost to longtime incumbent Bob Filner, who later went on to run for mayor of San Diego and win.
The guys you like don’t always turn out to be heroes — COUGHbobmcdonnellCOUGH — and the guys you don’t like don’t always turn out to be creeps. But sometimes they do, and it’s somewhat satisfying.
Filner released a statement on Thursday afternoon apologizing to city residents.
“As someone who has spent a lifetime fighting for equality for all people, I am embarrassed to admit that I have failed to fully respect the women who work for me and with me, and that at times I have intimidated them.
“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.
“Please know that I fully understand that only I am the one who can make these changes. If my behavior doesn’t change I cannot succeed in leading our city.
“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.”
Filner then said that residents have every right to be disappointed in him.
“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.
“Failed to fully respect the women who work for me.” Is that what they’re calling it now?
Does “give me an opportunity to prove I am capable of change” work for harassment in other workplaces?
Popaditch joined Mitt Romney and John McCain for a Memorial Day ceremony this weekend; his speech gives a sense of the relentless determination and spirit of this candidate:
California’s primary is June 5, but Popaditch faces no challenger in the GOP primary. Because of shifting district lines, Popaditch will be taking on incumbent Democratic representative Susan Davis, who was first elected in 2000.
If you haven’t heard me touting congressional candidate Nick Popaditch on this blog or in public remarks before . . . here’s a nine-minute video describing his life story so far, from his childhood in Indiana to service in the Marine Corps. From his wounds in combat in Iraq, to his rehabilitation and recovery, to his run for Congress. The footage from Iraq is breathtaking.
There still no word on whether Nick Popaditch wants to make another run for Congress in California’s 51st district, now that the nine-term Democratic incumbent, Bob Filner, has announced plans to run for mayor of San Diego.
However, those close to Popaditch are calling attention to these two new videos, detailing what they describe as “Filner smears against Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans.” They point out that Filner’s description of returning veterans wildly overstated their likelihood to be involved with homicides and suicides, a bit of demagoguery that really stuck in Popaditch’s craw.
This is a longer video about Popaditch, and his experiences with Filner’s negative ads, which were demonstrably false, and Filner’s arguments in the spring of this year that he was a victim comparable to Gabby Giffords.
The fact that Popaditch’s allies are still spreading his message and putting out videos like these suggests that perhaps Popaditch’s interest in political office has not waned.
UPDATE: The latest statement from Popaditch: “I haven’t decided yet, but this isn’t about running, this is about setting the record straight… I want to serve my country in whatever way I can and it may or may not be in politics, but I will serve when the call comes and the people demand better choices.”
Congressman Bob Filner has joined the 2012 race for San Diego mayor, seeking to run the city in which his political career began and becoming the first Democrat in a growing field of candidates.
Filner, 68, a former San Diego school board and City Council member, said he’s running because of his frustration with the inability of current and past city leaders to solve San Diego’s fiscal woes . . .
Filner is the fourth major candidate to enter the race following three Republicans: City Councilman Carl DeMaio, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, and state Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher. They’ll square off in a June 5, 2012, primary and, if no one wins more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two finishers would compete in a November runoff to determine the replacement for termed-out Mayor Jerry Sanders.
I hear Popaditch’s supporters are strongly urging him to make another bid in 2012.
One of my favorite candidates of this past cycle is Nick Popaditch; see more about him here, here, and here.
He’s been dragged, unwillingly, into the Arizona shooting controversy; the member of Congress he sought to defeat, California Democrat Bob Filner, has explicitly suggested that Tea Party rhetoric influenced the Tucson shooter, despite the lack of evidence: “I will tell you that in a society we are not isolated, none of us is isolated. Yes, that guy may have acted alone but he’s influenced, he’s empowered, he’s legitimized by those who are talking in this way.” Furthermore, Filner claimed that his life was threatened by Popaditch supporters.
There are videos of the incident in question. The one below depicts a rowdy crowd surrounding both candidates. From what we can see, there’s some bumping and light shoving, a lot of chanting of “Pop-a-ditch,” and someone calls Filner a “scumbag” and some fellow repeatedly yells, “Don’t tread on me, Bob!” It’s not a pretty scene, but Filner has supporters around him throughout the incident (again, as far as we can see), and moments after emerging from the crowd, the person with the camera asks Filner if he’s all right and he shrugs it off with a wave. An aide or supporter says, “No, he’s not all right, did you see that?” but Filner offers a reassuring pat to the supporter and smiles.
In this second video, you can see a big crowd of Popaditch supporters following Filner and his much smaller group of supporters into the building at the 3:11 point. Again, a lot of yelling, and clearly the crowd isn’t friendly, but no discernible physical confrontation beyond the bumping of respective candidates’ signs.
There’s no doubt that walking through a crowd of voters who yell that you’re scum is a thoroughly unpleasant experience. Perhaps Filner genuinely felt physically threatened. But we hear no threats on the tape. No one was arrested, and no charges were filed against anyone. What Filner experienced is probably on par with most visiting sports teams’ experiences in cities with tough crowds.
“I cannot help but believe that the violent context of the recent election is responsible for this tragedy,” said Filner, D-Chula Vista, in a statement. “Many of us were physically threatened by those who believed . . . we were ‘enemies,’ rather than sincere people with different opinions. Their incendiary talk — given legitimacy by equally incendiary talk shows — make violence an acceptable political tactic.”
In a telephone interview from Washington, Filner said in last year’s election he and Giffords had the “same types of opponents, Tea Party-types.” On election night, he said, a group of people “threatened me with assassination.”
The campaign is over, Congressman. Nick Popaditch tells me he doesn’t know if he’ll run for office again. Whether or not Filner ever really needed to go negative on Popaditch, there’s really no need to demonize the opposition three months after the votes are cast.
Finally, I wonder how Bob Filner feels about Obama’s statement last night, “If, as has been discussed in recent days, their deaths help usher in more civility in our public discourse, let’s remember that it is not because a simple lack of civility caused this tragedy — it did not – but rather because only a more civil and honest public discourse can help us face up to our challenges as a nation, in a way that would make them proud.”
UPDATE: A San Diego blogger writes in to contend Filner had a particular figure in mind when discussing the threat.
Except that in other media accounts, “Filner also told The San Diego Union-Tribune that a group of people threatened him with assassination on election night in November.”
When Nick Popaditch wins in California’s 51st district, late in the evening November 2 or early in the morning November 3, remember who was mentioning him as a promising candidate way back on March 12.
Why am I confidently predicting a win by a little-known underfunded Republican in a D+8 district against a nine-term incumbent? Because a confident incumbent’s campaign doesn’t do things like this:
Republican Congressional Candidate Nick Popaditch is responding to an ad Congressman Bob Filner is running about his voting record.
The ad Filner is running claims Popaditch has not voted for more than 11 years, but KUSI has documents showing that’s not the case.
Popaditch says he even rushed to vote after being released from the hospital due to injuries he received serving in Iraq, “I voted this year, in ‘08, ‘06 in ‘04. Even when I was discharged from the hospital due to my wounds in combat, I had to speed out to San Bernardino where I was stationed out at 29 Palms in San Bernardino County to cast my vote in ‘04 to make it there before the polls closed.”
My first question is, How, pray tell, does Filner think voters will react to that ad? “What? Nick Popaditch didn’t vote some years? Gee, I guess the guy left blinded by wounds from battle just doesn’t love this country enough.” But then it’s a lie that can be dispelled within ten minutes!
That screams desperation.
I’ve been lamenting the lack of polling in this district, but I hear from a source who’s a fan of Popaditch that some outside group did poll the district and found it neck and neck, with the incumbent well below 50. I’d love to see more specifics on that poll, but even without it, I’m predicting a Popaditch win.
I’m going to keep this high on the page all weekend, and maybe into Monday: Nick Popaditch.
Given a choice between Nick Popaditch in Congress and a Jets win in the Super Bowl . . . well, I think the Jets are built to have a lot of good years ahead. Let’s get Nick in Congress starting January.
I noted that the Imperial Valley Press cartoon about Iraq war veteran and GOP congressional candidate Nick Popaditch may have aimed to mock uninformed youth and missed the target terribly. (The paper has apologized.)
SUMMER TIME AND THE NEWS IS REALLY SLOW. That means us news types have to scramble around looking for story to fill up our pages and our air time.What better topic than a story about an editorial cartoon that supposedly discredited a veteran because of an eyepatch he wears.
Since eyepatches make people look sexy and mysterious, we’re not sure what all the shouting is about.
Nick Popaditch is not exactly a household name even though he’s running for Congress.
As a result he needs a little help calling attention to himself. How about an eyepatch? How about making an issue out of a tasteless cartoon about a man with an eyepatch?
Well, if getting his name known better was the goal, he has done that. He at least got into my conscienceness.* [sic] Before an I.V. press editorial cartoon supposedly poked fun at his eyepatch, my only recognition of him was a small billboard posted on Fifth Street in Holtville. “Who’s that? I asked as I drove by it several times. Well, at least I know he is a war veteran who had an eye injury. And if he capitalizes on all this noise that’s being made about the cartoon, we may even find out more about his stance on the issues.
I cannot believe that he actually wrote, “Since eyepatches make people look sexy and mysterious, we’re not sure what all the shouting is about.”
By the way, this crap column starts with a pretty tired and inaccurate cliché. Sure, traditionally the summer is a slow news period, but we’ve got near-record unemployment (particularly in California), the Gulf oil spill stretching on and the effort to fix it, numerous severe state budget crises, the New Black Panthers controversy, Dick Cheney’s heart operation, the fight in Afghanistan getting bloodier, the departure of U.S. combat troops from Iraq approaching, and the national debt increasing more in one day than it did in all of 2007. But this guy’s bored.
It gets worse:
From his website, or at least one of them touting his candidacy: “For the record, Nick spent 16 years in the Marine Corps, led men in and out of combat, achieved the rank of Gunnery Sergeant, lost most of his eyesight for his country, and was awarded the Silver Star.”
So, what’s he going to do for me and the people of Imperial Valley?
A Congressman is supposed to take care of his district. This was probably a pretty good trick to get his name out in front of the public without any cost involved.
We’ll see if he uses it to his advantage. His website only offers negatives and military rhetoric.Well, it’s still only July. We’ll see where he is in October. Considering the uproar his followers created, we have to wonder what his stand is on the Bill of Rights. Maybe he’ll give us some answers.
* You meant “consciousness,” you incoherent, callous, blithering moron.
One of the Republican House challengers in California who really stand out this year is Nick Popaditch; one of his fans urged me to write about him again. I have a feeling you’ll be hearing a lot about him quite soon.
The Purple Heart and Silver Star–winning Marine lost an eye in the first battle for Fallujah. A cartoon in one of the local papers, the Imperial Valley Press, depicts two teenagers looking at a campaign poster depicting his face and declaring it reminds them of “a James Bond super-villain? A bald pirate? Uncle Fester with an eyepatch?”
I think the cartoonist may have been aiming to mock the kids on skateboards; the lament, I suspect, is that “these kids these days” associate eye-patches with pirates or James Bond villains instead of heroic wounded veterans. Still, it probably would have been useful to put something about how Popaditch lost his eye in the cartoon; otherwise we don’t know if we’re supposed to laugh with the kids or laugh at them (or, more appropriately, want to rebuke them). I can’t believe any editor looked at it and didn’t realize that there’s really nothing in the cartoon indicating that the kids are being a pair of ignorant, classless jerks.