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Talk about a mouthful.
On the quotation front, the last year brought out the best and worst in San Diego’s current politicians, ex-politicians, once-and-future politicians and oh-no-never-again politicians. Plenty of other people had pitchy things to say, including a not-so-silver-tongued newspaper publisher, a spokeswoman with a thing about bloggers and a school official who let his mouth run away with him.
And then, of course, there was the Man of a Thousand Faces. Recalcitrant, defiant and everything in between, ex-Mayor Bob Filner dominated the year until he removed himself from the scene.
Here’s a look back at a few of the quotes that made us think, chortle, groan and scratch our heads.
Oh, That Bob
Mayor Bob Filner was sorry. Sort of. Except when it was all the media’s fault …
• “My failure to respect women and the intimidating conduct I engaged in at times is inexcusable.” — Filner in a statement.
• “The city should not have been put through this. And my own personal failures were responsible.” — Filner, in his resignation speech.
• “Those of you in the media and in politics who fed this hysteria, I think, need to look at what you helped create. Because you have unleashed a monster. I think we’ll be paying for this affront to democracy for a long time.” — Filner, later in his resignation speech.
Après Filner, le Déluge
Filner’s defenders stood with him until the end, but the hits kept comiong from his critics …
• “Before I voted today, I just prayed, ‘Good Lord, don’t let me put another Filner in office.’” —Barrio Logan resident Ruth Walker on Election Day.
• “This prosecution is about consequence and accountability. No one is above the law.” — California Attorney General Kamala Harris in a statement about Filner’s guilty plea.
A Voice of Regret from an Ally-Turned-Foe
Former Councilwoman Donna Frye, an avenging force against Filner, faced fire herself after acknowledging that she’d misled the public about why she quit her job under Filner …
“Avoiding the press, coming up with the excuse, it caused a lot of turmoil and great deal of distress on me over those months. And I certainly take full responsibility for that.” — Donna Frye, on crafting a cover story for her exit from the mayor’s office.
Oh No He Didn’t
Oh yes he did …
• “I’ve got hundreds — hundreds! — of excess employees. Hundreds of excess employees.” “Where are they?” “Every damn where.” — Stanley Dobbs, the chief financial officer with the San Diego school district, in a VOSD Q-and-A. Dobbs later moved on.
• “The people who love architecture and love density and understand that the world is going to hell because of suburban development are a very large group of people at this point. And they don’t necessarily think they need to spend their time going out to fight the battles of their selfish neighbors that are just worried about their own property rights.” — Ted Smith, local architect, sounding off on the claim that community planning groups represent the wishes of a community.
• “I’ve got a lot of fucking money in the bank. It allows me to sleep at night. It allows me to do my job with a whole lot integrity and not worry about losing it.” — San Diego City Comptroller Ken Whitfield on how he was able to challenge credit-card expenses by Filner.
I’ve Had It With These Fuzzy-Slippered Journalists!
Um, an 800-pound blogger sitting in his parent’s basement would like a word …
“You can sit with your Apple laptop in your fuzzy slippers, you can be an 800-pound, disabled man that can’t get out of bed and be a journalist, because you can blog something. Does that give you the right, because you blog, in your fuzzy slippers out of your bedroom, and you don’t go out and you haven’t gotten that degree, should you be called a journalist?” — Jan Caldwell, the sheriff’s liaison to the media, on the right to be considered a journalist.
These things happen …
“You don’t go skunk hunting in a tuxedo. There’s nothing in the flier that’s wrong. This is politics.” — Political consultant Larry Remer, who created a mailer for City Council candidate Myrtle Cole that included a previously debunked line of attack about her rival’s supposed involvement with crack cocaine. She won.
U-T Publisher Steps in It Big-Time
Well, at least he was stabbing him in the front …
“We haven’t had a damn good thing done in this city in the last 10 years.” — U-T San Diego publisher Doug Manchester at a closed-door meeting of elite Republicans who wanted consensus on a mayoral candidate.
“Wait a second. That’s bullshit. That’s fucking bullshit.” — Former Mayor Jerry Sanders, who was standing beyind Manchester. Sanders served for many of those 10 years.
“You’ll get your chance to speak.” — Manchester’s reply. He later apologized. Repeatedly.