Fact Check: The Resignation Race

Fact Check: The Resignation Race

Photo by Sam Hodgson

Gov. Jerry Brown signed Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez's bill this week requiring employers to provide sick leave.

Image: RATINGStatement: “I was proud to be the first elected official on the Democratic side to stand up and ask (Filner) to resign,” state Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez said during a Politifest panel on Aug. 3.

Determination: True

Analysis: All six panelists at Politifest’s “What Do We Do Now?” panel reiterated calls for Mayor Bob Filner to resign.

Lorena Gonzalez was one of them, and reminded the audience that she was the first Democratic elected official to do so.

There’s been an endless stream of politicians and citizens weighing in on Filner for the past several weeks, so we decided to take a look back.

On July 11, Gonzalez called on Filner to respond to then-anonymous allegations of sexual harassment made public by Donna Frye, attorney Cory Briggs and her brother, attorney Marco Gonzalez, but “stopped short of asking him to resign,” according to U-T San Diego.

Early July 12, Gonzalez tweeted:

Some saw the tweet as a half-measure because she included a caveat: “if he doesn’t get help & completely change his behavior.”

But later that morning she called the U-T around 11:40 a.m. to tell them she was asking Filner to resign, said Evan McLaughlin, Gonzalez’s chief of staff. The statement was published at 11:58 a.m.

• Dale Bankhead, deputy chief of staff for Assembly Majority Leader Toni Atkins, said Monday that Atkins first called on Filner to resign in a statement released a couple hours after Gonzalez’s.

Gonzalez and Atkins appeared together later that day, asking Filner to resign in a joint statement.

• City Council President Todd Gloria called for Filner’s resignation at 4:35 p.m. the same day, through a statement released by his deputy chief of staff.

• City Councilman David Alvarez, too, released a statement through staffers around 8 p.m. on July 12.

• Nathan Fletcher, who ran against Filner in the mayoral primary and has since switched to the Democratic Party, said he called Filner and asked him to resign on July 12, too. But he didn’t make that fact public until July 26.

As new accusers have come forward, more prominent Democrats continued to weigh in.

• The San Diego County Democratic Party, led by Chairwoman Francine Busby, first held a vote on whether to urge a resignation on July 18, but because the vote was split, decided not to weigh in. The group voted again after seven women had come forward accusing Filner of sexual harassment. The second vote was more definitive, and the party called on Filner to resign on July 25.

• Democratic Councilwoman Sherri Lightner addressed the allegations on July 12 but held off for two weeks before recommending a resignation on July 26.

• Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz urged a resignation on July 26.

• Sen. Dianne Feinstein called on Filner to resign July 28.

• Assembly Speaker John Pérez and Senate President Darrell Steinberg both urged resignation on Aug. 5.

The Quiet Few

Democratic Councilwomen Myrtle Cole and Marti Emerald are the final holdouts on the City Council — neither has asked Filner to resign.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi berated Filner for his alleged actions but stopped short of asking him to resign.

President Obama declined to comment.

We determined that Gonzalez’s claim that she was the first Democratic official to call for Filner’s resignation was true.

While Gonzalez’s initial comments on Twitter did not straightforwardly call for Filner to resign, she gave a direct statement asking for a resignation that was published at 11:58 a.m. on July 12, beating the next Democratic official by about two hours.

If you disagree with our determination or analysis, please express your thoughts in the comments section of this blog post. Explain your reasoning.

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Alex Corey

Alex Corey

Alex Corey is a reporting intern at Voice of San Diego. You can contact him directly at alex.corey@voiceofsandiego.org.

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10 comments
Kristen Aliotti
Kristen Aliotti

Wow! What a lot of effort put into Who did what when. With all the detailed times, down to the minute. Only problem is, it doesn't matter. Best part is your reporting that Lorena CALLED THE U-T to report she was asking for Filner's resignation! This is what we want a State Assemblywoman to focus on? Congratulations, Lorena. You are keeping your face in the news. That's seems to be about it so far.

Kristen Aliotti
Kristen Aliotti subscriber

Wow! What a lot of effort put into Who did what when. With all the detailed times, down to the minute. Only problem is, it doesn't matter. Best part is your reporting that Lorena CALLED THE U-T to report she was asking for Filner's resignation! This is what we want a State Assemblywoman to focus on? Congratulations, Lorena. You are keeping your face in the news. That's seems to be about it so far.

Kristen Aliotti
Kristen Aliotti

Uh, she kind of had an inside track on all this, her brother being one of the infamous Trio of Three calling press conferences focusing on anonymous charges. That was not a last minute effortplanned I would have to think....(and besides, who cares? how about doing something substantive in Sacramento, to improve the lives of your constituents?) Talk about silence on the part of Dems: where were Dems when Gonzalez turned herself into a carpetbagger, moved to the South Bay, and ran for the Assembly office vacated by her buddy Ben Hueso? I don't think she was exactly the best or an exemplary candidate. (Did Dems just think she had the fundraising covered, so why find someone better?) Reminder to self/selves, Dems: let's start developing more, and better candidates for the future, all over the County, people who will really represent the District, and let's hold their feet to the fire when it comes to running for office and representing us.

Kristen Aliotti
Kristen Aliotti subscriber

Uh, she kind of had an inside track on all this, her brother being one of the infamous Trio of Three calling press conferences focusing on anonymous charges. That was not a last minute effortplanned I would have to think....(and besides, who cares? how about doing something substantive in Sacramento, to improve the lives of your constituents?) Talk about silence on the part of Dems: where were Dems when Gonzalez turned herself into a carpetbagger, moved to the South Bay, and ran for the Assembly office vacated by her buddy Ben Hueso? I don't think she was exactly the best or an exemplary candidate. (Did Dems just think she had the fundraising covered, so why find someone better?) Reminder to self/selves, Dems: let's start developing more, and better candidates for the future, all over the County, people who will really represent the District, and let's hold their feet to the fire when it comes to running for office and representing us.

David Hall
David Hall subscriber

Stay classy, Lorena Gonzalez.

Mark Giffin
Mark Giffin

What a hypocrite. As head of the Labor union she helped get this man elected. She either knew of his propensities and chose to ignore them or ...failed Vetting him properly. Either way it she was negligent. Lorena, just like the democrat leaders in this county, perpetuated a fraud on the voters. The means justifies the end on their progressive agenda. Now she wants to spin it like she is a hero? What a joke. What she should be doing apologizing to the people of San Diego for helping perpetuate a fraud and being an accomplice to the damage caused to the city.

Mark Giffin
Mark Giffin subscribermember

What a hypocrite. As head of the Labor union she helped get this man elected. She either knew of his propensities and chose to ignore them or ...failed Vetting him properly. Either way it she was negligent. Lorena, just like the democrat leaders in this county, perpetuated a fraud on the voters. The means justifies the end on their progressive agenda. Now she wants to spin it like she is a hero? What a joke. What she should be doing apologizing to the people of San Diego for helping perpetuate a fraud and being an accomplice to the damage caused to the city.

Bill Bradshaw
Bill Bradshaw

It may be true, but it's kind of a pathetic thing to brag about. Gonzalez certainly wasn't among the first people to call for Filner's departure. Donna Frye, a former Democratic elected official was the first, followed quickly by several others who don't happen to be current Democrat office holders. It's apparent to this non-Democrat that the powers that be in the party must have held many conversations to decide which way the public wind was blowing before announcing, almost simultaneously, they wanted the mayor to leave. If Gonzalez wants something to really brag about, she can point to the unity of the five Democrat council members, at least two of which she helped elect, voting to saddle the taxpayers with a "prevailing wage" provision in city construction contracts, thus guaranteeing fewer projects because of increased costs.. THAT is an accomplishment she can really be proud of........Uh, yeah.

Bill Bradshaw
Bill Bradshaw subscribermember

It may be true, but it's kind of a pathetic thing to brag about. Gonzalez certainly wasn't among the first people to call for Filner's departure. Donna Frye, a former Democratic elected official was the first, followed quickly by several others who don't happen to be current Democrat office holders. It's apparent to this non-Democrat that the powers that be in the party must have held many conversations to decide which way the public wind was blowing before announcing, almost simultaneously, they wanted the mayor to leave. If Gonzalez wants something to really brag about, she can point to the unity of the five Democrat council members, at least two of which she helped elect, voting to saddle the taxpayers with a "prevailing wage" provision in city construction contracts, thus guaranteeing fewer projects because of increased costs.. THAT is an accomplishment she can really be proud of........Uh, yeah.