San Diego's Mayor Is Rewriting His Upcoming Speech to a Womens' Group

Bob Filner was going to accept an award for his work on sexual assault. In light of revelations about his harassment of staff, terms have changed.

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San Diego Mayor Bob Filner's speechwriter will need to start from scratch on his presentation before a women veterans' group in August. Originally, Filner was going to accept an award for his work on sexual assault in the military. In light of recent revelations about his harassment of female staff, the award has been rescinded—and the topic of his still-scheduled speech has been revamped.

10 News San Diego reports on the new talking points.

In a statement, the [group] said, "We do not tolerate sexual discrimination at any level within our society."

Still, the group did not disinvite the mayor from the August award gala, instead announcing that he will address the scandal in a speech.

"He is now the keynote speaker on these injustices," said the group.

Filner's office confirmed his attendance this week.

A political expert told the station that the speech could give Filner a chance to apologize for his behavior, which "could earn him some favor with voters." But, Professor Carl Luna then qualified, it's a "difficult situation" given that Filner's harassment "is the thing groups like this try to fight." Seems like a fair summary.

More details have emerged about other things Filner has said before a smaller audience. The Los Angeles Times reports on some of Filner's alleged harassment.

In a City Hall elevator, Filner told a female staffer that women employees would do better "if they worked without their panties on," attorney Marco Gonzalez said at a news conference outside City Hall.

Filner's behavior toward women is so egregious that women who work for him call him a "dirty old man" and coined the phrases "the Filner headlock" and "the Filner dance" to describe how he isolates women and then makes unwanted advances, Gonzalez said.

Multiple members of the San Diego City Council have called for Filner's resignation which he has, to this point, rejected. Whether or not Filner is still mayor by the time of the August conference is certainly open to speculation, but the groups should hope he is. "San Diego Citizen Bob Filner Apologizes For His Harassing Behavior" isn't a particularly compelling speech title.

Hat-tip to Politico. Top image courtesy of PattyMooney/Wikimedia Commons

This story originally appeared on The Atlantic Wire.

About the Author

  • Philip Bump is a former politics writer for The Atlantic Wire.