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Tags: Bob Filner

Bob Filner and the Bad Boys of American Politics



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The final Morning Jolt of the week features the shocking news that the NSA behaves as badly as we always feared; a review of Planes, the latest Pixar/Disney effort to separate parents from their money; and then this big lesson from our seemingly endless cavalcade of scandals:

Bob Filner’s Psychotic Behavior Needs to be a National Teachable Moment

Bob Filner and the rest of the bad boys of modern American politics are spectacular, vivid reminders of why the Founding Fathers distrusted the accumulation of too much political power, and sought to spread it around and install checks and balances.

Allahpundit at WarmerThanWarmAir.com points out what we’re learning as one accuser after another comes forward against Filner:

He wasn’t “coming on” to people, like a random person at a bar might do; he was using his status as mayor to pressure women, supposedly in great volume and sometimes with unwanted physical contact, who worked for him and with him into socializing with him. Given the freakish tenacity with which he’s clung to his office, it seems like the power stroke he got from all of this was at least as exciting as the prospect of sex. In which case, why wouldn’t he target a great-grandmother? Every woman he met was potentially at risk, I’d bet, but especially the ones who had official city business with his lordship, the mayor.

In short, Filner wants power, and his refusal to step down in the face of great embarrassment, abandonment of his allies, and public outcry and ridicule suggests a certain psychological addiction to power.

A lot of people want power. With power, you get all the other stuff you want. For Anthony Weiner, power brings young women who want to talk dirty to him on Twitter. For Eliot Spitzer, power brought him access to the Emperor VIP club and the really expensive prostitutes. For Jesse Jackson Jr., power brought a lot of money in campaign donations that he could spend on “$43,000 gold Rolex, cashmere capes, nearly $20,000 of Michael Jackson memorabilia” and a lifestyle significantly more luxurious than that of a standard-issue congressman.

My television viewing habits recently added Camelot, which early on features the villain King Lot, a classic brutal conqueror-ruler character. His motives are simple; He wants power, territory, sex, food, and the ability to enforce his will whenever he wishes, including the brutal murder of anyone who would defy him. That desire is not as rare as we might think in this world. Just look at Egypt; just look at Syria.

Thankfully, the United States does not suffer marauding warlords, raping and pillaging as they please. But we (and the rest of the Western world) do have our share of people who see political power as a path to achieving a certain status of fame, wealth, and so on, in which they can indulge themselves of anything they desire with no negative consequences. Look at Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the alleged ‘party king’ of Paris and Washington, holding orgies with prostitutes in luxury hotels. Look at Silvio Berlusconi. Look at John Edwards, convincing his wealthiest supporter to finance a secret effort to keep his pregnant mistress quiet and hidden from the media. Heck, look at John F. Kennedy and his use of 19-year-old interns while in the White House.

What’s more, these folks can pursue their own wealth and pleasures while convincing themselves and some segment of the public that they’ve dedicated their lives to public service.

If you’ve met some figures in public office who have earned your respect, and who show no signs of being a Nero or a Caligula, good. Not every politician is a selfish monster seeking to turn their public office into an entry key into a bacchanalia that would make the Eyes Wide Shut parties look tame. But a sufficient number of them are, and as a result of that, they shouldn’t be put up on pedestals, and they shouldn’t be greeted with messianic reverence.

They’re contractors, and both we and our elected officials would be better off if we all remembered that.

Tags: Bob Filner , Eliot Spitzer , Anthony Weiner , John Edwards , DSK , Silvio Berlusconi

Why Democratic Women Stick By Their Creeps



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From the Thursday edition of the Morning Jolt:

It is not necessarily the most important question before us, but it is one that persistent and widespread this week: Just what is Huma Abedin thinking?

The delightful Kemberlee Kaye asked why so many Democratic women are willing to overlook, accept, or forgive creepy and awful behavior from their elected officials:

“Public service has nothing to do with bedroom service. 98.4367% of men cheat. I do know a few good men who don’t. Leave Weiner alone,” Tamara Holder tweeted. Bogus statistic aside, why should anyone ignore the actions of a sexual predator*, particularly one currently seeking the mayorship of the largest city in the United States? And the young women he sought out? What about them?

See also Ted Kennedy, John F. Kennedy, Bob Filner, Elliot Spitzer, John Edwards and Al Gore.  Their legacies, at least in the minds of the collective left, do not include their abhorrent treatment of women. No, no, Democratic women wouldn’t dare criticize the way these power-drunk politicians treated their wives, mistresses, ladies of the evening, et al. At least not publicly.

*If you momentarily feel the instinct to dispute the notion that Weiner was a sexual predator, keep in mind he chatted online with a 17-year-old girl but assured the world that “nothing inappropriate took place.”

We should try to resist the temptation to believe that you and I are better, smarter, or more moral than other people because we’re conservatives. That’s just not true. You and I are better than everyone else because you read this newsletter.

Yes, you can find plenty of folks on the Right who fail to live up to their own ideals or general standards of acceptable behavior. But thankfully, for all of our flaws, you don’t see a lot of conservatives arguing, or, the idea that certain creepy behavior has to be accepted out of party loyalty. And that represents a key philosophical difference with the Left, at least in practice.

Whether you come from a more socially-conservative perspective or a more libertarian one, your philosophy gives you some strong arguments about why this sort of behavior is unacceptable.

If you’re socially conservative, your values are likely shaped by a Judeo-Christian teaching that every person is created by God and thus deserving of respect, etc. So besides the usual Biblical/Torah-based teachings – don’t commit adultery, etc. – sexually harassing your underlings, using an employee as a sexual plaything or using your wife as a human shield during an embarrassing press conference is to objectify them and pretty obviously not in line with God’s teachings.

If you’re libertarian, one of your core tenets is the value of the individual and the need to protect the rights of the individual – and sexual harassment undoubtedly represents an infringement upon the rights of an individual. You may have less of an issue with adultery between consenting adults or even with prostitution (freely-agreed contracts!) but ultimately whatever happens must be agreed upon by both/all parties. Cheating on one’s wife and humiliating her in a public scandal isn’t usually part of an agreed contract. (Someday we may have a political power couple in an open marriage, and it will be interesting to see what the public reaction will be.)

However, modern liberalism usually defines the world in terms of groups and group rights. The rights of the individual are much less important (see how often the Left criticizes our society as too individualistic or “go it alone”) and their vision of a wise redistribution of money, power, authority, rights, etc. often requires the correct person or group to be in charge. Having the Left’s preferred people in charge is, in fact, the preeminent value on the Left, and any other “rule” can be broken in its name – i.e., it’s okay to serve on corporate boards and make lots of money, as long as you donate to the party, etc. 

In short, the rights of a female employee of San Diego Mayor Bob Filner don’t amount to that much in the minds of a lot of San Diego Democrats, compared to the need to keep Filner in charge so he can enact their preferred policies. In fact, when forced to take a side, they side with the powerful man running the gravy train:

The local Democratic Party has known for a long time about sexual harassment allegations against Bob Filner, a former Democratic assemblywoman said in a Thursday interview.

“I blew the whistle on this two years ago to the Democratic Party leadership,” former Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña said.

Saldaña said that in summer 2011 six prominent women in local politics, business and education told her that Filner had physically or verbally harassed them. Saldaña had been exploring what turned out to be an unsuccessful bid for Congress and the conversations came in the context of the 2012 elections.

Saldaña said she contacted former party Chairman Jess Durfee with the allegations and Durfee was among a group of Democratic leaders who met with Filner to discuss them that summer. She said nothing happened.

“As disgraceful as Bob’s behavior has been, it’s been tolerated by our Democratic Party leadership,” she said.

Saldaña said Filner never personally harassed her and declined to say who alleged to have had run-ins with the mayor. She said former City Councilwoman Donna Frye, who is calling for Filner’s resignation over unspecified sexual harassment allegations, inspired her to talk.

Saldaña has a long history of conflict with Filner, most prominently over a failed border sewage treatment project about a decade ago. She also wound up endorsing him for mayor.

Party leaders, she said, made it clear that if people didn’t support Filner they wouldn’t receive their support again.

Most of us recoil from that as a soulless and ghoulish way of seeing people, as insignificant cogs whose well-being is easily sacrificed in the name of the “greater good.” But that’s why we’re on this side.

Discussing this on a conservative e-mail list, Emily Zanotti of NakedDC noted:

A lot of these Democratic men use their power and position to cow these women. Sanford was a schmuck, but his affair was consensual. Weiner (and Clinton and Spitzer) all had affairs with women who basically worshiped them. The latest girl revealed to be messaging  Weiner kept saying, ‘I can’t believe I’m talking to you!’ ‘wow, you’re so awesome,’ etc. Clinton banged an intern. Spitzer paid sex workers. 

It’s a combination of power-broking and power-worship that probably results from the ideology but takes on a really perverse sexual form.

While we’re on the subject… dear Mainstream Media: every disgraced politician wants the kind of soft-focus powder-puff coverage that People gave Weiner and Abedin in 2012 to help their redemption narrative. Don’t give it to them.

 

 

“I’m very happy in my present life,” Weiner, 47, tells PEOPLE in an exclusive interview. “The only next dramatic steps I’m planning on are Jordan’s first,” he says, referring to his 6-month-old son and remaining noncommital on whether he will run for office again.

In his first joint interview with wife Huma Abedin, who is deputy chief of staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the couple address how they survived Weiner’s lewd text and photo scandal that led to his resignation, as well as who has diaper duty.

Around the same time as that interview, Weiner was beginning his online relationship with his new 22-year-old object of affection.

Tags: Anthony Weiner , Eliot Spitzer , Bob Filner

A Long-Forgotten Foe’s True Character Is Revealed



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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-time favorite 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.

Sounds like Filner’s a Grade-A Jerk:

Earlier Thursday, 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.

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?

How about Nick Popaditch for mayor?

Tags: Bob Filner , Nick Popaditch

Nick Popaditch, Still Making the Case Against Bob Filner



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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.”

Tags: Bob Filner , Nick Popaditch

Democratic Congressman Launches San Diego Mayoral Bid



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Readers will recall that one of the races that broke my heart last fall was Nick Popaditch’s unsuccessful bid to unseat longtime California Democrat Bob Filner.

Now there’s a healthy chance that if Popaditch wants to run again, he may be running for an open seat:

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.

Tags: Bob Filner , Nick Popaditch

Filner Tries to Tie Popaditch Supporters to the Giffords Shooting



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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.

Perhaps the crowd that night let their passions run away with them. But it’s rather obnoxious for Filner to claim the mantle of victim and to compare his troubles to those of Gabrielle Giffords:

“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.”

Tags: Bob Filner , Nick Popaditch

A Democrat’s Desperation Move Out in California’s 51st District



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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.

Tags: Bob Filner , Nick Popaditch

How Badly Do I Want to See Nick Popaditch in Congress? (UPDATED)



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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.

Help him out now; he’s already done a lot for you.

UPDATE: This was posted over the weekend; I want the Monday crew to notice this excellent candidate.

Tags: Bob Filner , Nick Popaditch

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