Eva Knott 9:17 p.m., June 19
Like Uncle, Like Nephew. Bob Filner's nephew follows in his footsteps.
Matt Filner, Bob Filner's nephew, makes political waves in the Land of 10,000 Lakes
Mayor Bob Filner has been called a lot of names during his 30-plus years in politics.
"He’s abrasive, aggressive, impolitic, caustic, truculent, brash and, according to one memorable formulation, “the Grand Canyon of assholes," read a July 30 article in the Voice of San Diego.
But in the Filner family line, it appears as if "impolitic" politics is part of their DNA. That seems to be the case in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the hometown of Bob Filner's nephew, Matt Filner.
Matt Filner has made a name for himself as an outspoken political insider and former campaign manager. He is the former Political Director for Progressive Majority, a political action committee whose goal is to elect progressive candidates to office, and current political science professor at Metropolitan State University in Saint Paul.
Much like his Uncle Bob's advocacy for military veterans, Matt Filner's has a cause of his own: working to reduce sexual violence. Also like his uncle who ran for city councilmember in San Diego in the late 1980's, Matt Filner also made a bid for city council.
In 2009, Filner ran for councilmember for Ward Ten in Minneapolis but was defeated in the primary by democrat Meg Tuthill.
And now, with council elections fast approaching, the progressive is back on the attack.
In a December 10 editorial for the Southwest Journal, Filner slammed his former opponent for her support of using public funds to build a new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings and for failing to make good on campaign promises.
"In short, with the exception of her ill-conceived position on the Vikings stadium, Councilmember Tuthill has failed to live up to her campaign promises. Instead of devoting her time to improving the quality of life and broadening the economic opportunities for the people of Ward 10 and our city, Councilmember Tuthill has instead become a voice of big developers, the NFL, and people who want to diminish one of the great assets of our ward: a vibrant, youthful and dynamic Uptown. Councilmember Tuthill’s priorities are wrong for Uptown, wrong for the people of Ward 10 and wrong for Minneapolis as a whole."
The political hit-piece didn't go unnoticed.
"After Nov. 6, you'd think we would get a respite from negative political campaigns. Not so. Already, Matt Filner launched an attack against 10th Ward City Council Member Meg Tuthill in this newspaper. (Tuthill soundly defeated Filner at the 2009 DFL endorsing convention.) Filner's tools: deception and distortion," reads a December 17 editorial in the same paper. "So, why did Filner take such liberties with Tuthill's record? Sour grapes? Support for one of Tuthill's opponents? Who knows. In this case, however, Professor Filner gets an F for his tirade."