Rep. Jackie Speier on Bob Filner: ‘Sickening’

Strong words this afternoon from Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, about her former House colleague and current San Diego Mayor Bob Filner:

Jackie Speier“The continuing accusations about Bob Filner’s conduct towards women are disturbing on every level. As a public official and former member of Congress, Filner’s pattern of behavior is a serious breach of the public trust. He has jeopardized the careers of those he targeted. In particular, his actions towards members of our military, and survivors of sexual assault, are sickening. He has admitted he was wrong and is seeking treatment, but he can never undo his abuses of power and status.

“I believe all members of Congress and staff should be required to take sexual harassment training. Not only to curb this type of behavior, but also to empower victims who feel they can’t step forward with the truth.”

CNN reported yesterday that Filner is now accused of abusing his status as former chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee to sexually harass victims of military sexual assault. Speier has been a leading voice in Congress for reforming how the military justice system handles sexual assaults.

Among other Bay Area women in Congress, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, last month blasted “reprehensible” behavior by Filner and by Anthony Weiner, another former congressman now waging a New York City mayoral campaign.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • RR Senile Columnist

    She’s sore Bob doesn’t like her type.

  • JohnW


    Right, because Bob the Feeler is such a hunk that no red-blooded woman could possibly resist his overtures.

  • BlueCollarVoter

    I recall reading Nancy Pelosi schemed to “save” Filner’s San Diego Congressional seat in the 2002 reapportionment. She had the people doing Congressional reapportionment in California draw up districts for Filner – and Howard Berman – that cut down on the number of Hispanic voters. This allowed Filner and Berman to hang on to their seats, had this not been done those seats likely would have gone to Hispanic candidates. I also find it hard to believe Pelsoi could not have known the creepy Filner was harrasing and making cheap passes at any female that moved on Capitol Hill – lobbyists, staffers, elevator operators – ranging from 18 year old girls to 60 year old ladies. I find it hard to believe Filner suddenly started this behavior as Mayor, it seems highly unlikely he was a choir boy in DC and then suddenly became Don Juan in San Diego. I think it likely – more likely than not – Pelosi new this was going on in DC but did nothing about it because he was a high profile member of the So-Cal California delegation, and because he was a member who supported keeping Pelosi in her leadership position. If I was a reporter – like Josh Richmond – I’d be asking Nancy Pelosi that Watergate question, “What did you know and when did you know it?
    One of the reasons I strongly supported taking reapportionment away from politicians is because you had this situation where terrible Congressman – like Filner or Pete Stark – kept getting re-elected year after year only because they had “safe” districts carved up for them via the crooked-fixed reapportionment process, and because these incumbents had millions of dollars of Washington DC raised money parked in campaign bank accounts. Now that voters – via a state commission – get to draw up the districts – the playing field has become more level, I think. Now you are seeing local candidates emerging to run for Congress, not candidates dumped on voters from the big shots in Washington DC.

  • JAFO

    @ 3 Of course, the irony of the “re-invention” of more local influence and control is that elected representatives will be far more concerned about what’s “good” for their provincial constituencies than for what might be good for the nation. Some will say that’s a welcome development, but inevitably elected representatives increasingly will be looking over their shoulders saying and doing almost anything to placate voters back home to reduce the possibility of a primary challenge. That resulting paranoia will certainly lead to even more polarization and paralysis in Washington, DC. Some will also welcome that outcome, but there is something to be said for compromise, by both sides, on any number of issues.

  • BlueCollarVoter

    #4 The last time I checked Congress’s approval rating was 6%, so I think all incumbent members of Congress – especially those who have been ineffective and camped out in seats for years – ought to be paranoid and looking over their shoulders. Voters are wondering where the jobs are, why so much inequality – some workers cleaning up, others getting almost nothing. Voters – increasingly – believe most politicians are crooks. Other public officials aren’t so hot either I should add, every time you pick up paper you read about these lifetime $200,000 a year pensions for the big shots. Ethics by politicians – and public officials -have never sunk lover, I don’t think. Recently ousted Congressman Pete Stark, for example, had his wife on the pay-roll of his campaign committee in a phony-baloney no-show, no-work job, he had his kids on SSI – even though he is worth 30 million dollars! Stark, as many recall, was one of the laziest Congressman ever, rarely in his office, missing in his district most of the time, yet Nancy Pelosi and her top staff people decided the lazy and corrupt Stark – at age 81 – was just perfect for the 15th district! Pelosi and her minions have this “Washington knows best mentality”, yet voters in San Diego got Bob Filner dumped on them, and voters in the 17th got Pete Stark dumped on them too. It’s no accident you’ve got these hotly contested Congressional primary contests happening in NorCal – Stark-Swallwell, and now Honda-Khanna. Many voters – accurately – believe they don’t know what-the-heck they are doing in Washington – it’s become a never-ending bad circus show going on in DC, with Nancy Pelosi being one of the ringmasters. I think it just terrific Congressional seats are now in “play” in California, things haven’t been going well, we need to kick out the weak and ineffective leadership – along with serial harassers like Filner- and get some people in these jobs who know what they heck they are doing. In particular, we need people that are honest, this corruption just has to go.

  • Elwood

    “Leader” Pelosi led the dimmiecrat party to its greatest defeat in 40 years.

    So naturally the dumbasses rewarded General Custer by making her minority “leader”.