Mayor Bob Filner's prepared video statement released Thursday, the same day three high-profile allies accused him of sexually harassing female employees.
Just a few months ago, the county Democratic Party was on top of the world. Now, many seem to be reluctantly standing by Mayor Bob Filner who publicly admitted to disrespecting and even at times intimidating women who work for him.
The chair of the San Diego County Democratic Party said Thursday night that Mayor Filner must be held accountable on his promise to change the culture of his office.
Francine Busby said she is disappointed in Filner and called his behavior unacceptable. But for now, the party is standing by the mayor.
“I hope to have a personal conversation with him to let him know that I will give him the time he needs to live up to his word, to keep his promises and I’m going to hold him accountable to that,” said Busby.
But at least one political analyst said the mayor has thrown the local Democratic Party into chaos. John Dadian believes Filner’s decision to release a statement via DVD, and not in person, shows a meltdown in Filner’s normally combative personality.
“The party is in chaos right now. They’re trying to shift and see what their priorities are,” said Dadian. “Keep in mind, let’s put this in perspective: first time in 20-years they get a Democrat in the mayor’s office, so election night they were overjoyed. And to see it going through their fingertips, they’re just dismayed.”
But Busby called that an overreaction.
“Saying that the Democratic Party is a mess is just way overstated. We have an elected official that has a serious issue to deal with and he’s dealing with it and we’re going to hold him accountable,” said Busby. Read Democratic Party Statement
Meanwhile, former mayoral candidate Nathan Fletcher weighed in on the story, but steered clear of directing any words toward Filner.
“My only thoughts are for the women’s lives who are affected by this and I guess the broader point, in that we live in a world that they’re afraid to come forward. And that’s where my heartfelt thought is, with those people who’ve been affected by it,” said Fletcher.
Dadian believes the mayor can change his ways and recover from all of this. As an example, he pointed to the case of President Bill Clinton.