Walter Mencken 2 p.m., May 28
Drone maker's Feinstein-announced fiancée says mayor touched her
Retired rear admiral and longtime companion and employee of CIA's Predator drone maker and national conservative GOP kingpin Linden Blue jumps into Filner fray
San Diego's already dizzying Filner follies just got even more interesting.
Among four local women bigwigs who stepped forward on the set of San Diego State University's KPBS yesterday to say they'd been molested by Democratic mayor Bob Filner was Ronne Froman, the longtime companion of Linden S. Blue, who with brother Neal runs General Atomics in La Jolla, which is one of the world's biggest drone makers and has close ties to the Central Intelligence Agency.
According to the KPBS report, Froman recalled of her encounter with Filner:
“He stopped me and he got very close to me. And he ran his finger up my cheek like this and he whispered to me, ‘Do you have a man in your life?’” Froman said. “I jumped back. I was very, very startled. And I said, ‘Yes, I have a man in my life.’
"And he said, 'who?' And I said, ‘Linden Blue.’ He says, ‘Oh, of the Blues Brothers?’ And he says, ‘Maybe we can get together some time and have lunch and he can support me for mayor.’
“I was really rattled, I got in the car with the two guys I was working with and I told them never to leave me alone in a room with Bob Filner again.”
Froman is unlike any Filner accuser to come before. A retired Navy rear admiral who later worked for GOP mayor Jerry Sanders, she styles herself as a no-nonsense political player and has been closely linked to the U.S. intelligence and military establishments.
"I often say: 'Put your big-girl panties on,’” Froman told U-T San Diego in an interview last year. "In other words, suck it up and don’t whine."
Froman was mixed up in the Sanders administration’s infamous Sunroad over height building scandal in 2007, as reported at the time by Don Bauder.
Sanders says he wants his chief operating officer, Ronne Froman, to lead an investigation into the Sunroad incident.
"That's like asking the fox to investigate the murder in the chicken coop," says Gerald Blank, attorney for the Community Airfields Association of San Diego.
"Ronne Froman is Jim Waring's boss," says Rick Beach, president of the association.
Waring, a former lawyer for trusts of the late Las Vegas gangster Morris (Moe) Dalitz, is Sanders's real estate czar. Waring made the decisions permitting Sunroad to go ahead with the building in defiance of Federal Aviation Administration and California Department of Transportation rules.
As reported here last fall, Froman’s pending marriage to Blue was revealed in November.
The official announcement didn't appear on local social pages, but was made by Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, a major beneficiary of Blue's political largesse, at a business insiders' banquet here, as reported over the weekend by Diane Bell of U-T San Diego, owned by GOP hotel and real estate magnate Doug Manchester.
After leaving the Navy in 2001, Froman became chief financial advisor in the troubled administration of San Diego public schools' chief Alan Bersin, now Assistant Secretary of International Affairs and the Chief Diplomatic Officer in the Obama administration's Homeland Security department.
She abruptly left Bersin in April 2003 to run the local Red Cross.
After two years there, Froman was appointed in 2005 to be the city of San Diego's chief operating officer by its newly elected Republican mayor Jerry Sanders. Two years later, in June, 2007, in the midst of an avalanche of criticism and crises, including the infamous Sunroad airport high-rise scandal, she left that job.
Next up for Froman was a gig as senior vice president of the energy group at General Atomics. As Don Bauder reported here in December 2007, she and Blue were by then already an item on La Jolla's high-dollar social circuit.
Blue, a purported member of Yale's Skull & Bones secret society who was forced down by Fidel Castro's air force in a light plane he happened to be flying over Cuba in the months before the Bay of Pigs, is a rock-ribbed member of the local GOP who backed fellow Republican Carl DeMaio for mayor.
Though his company derives a huge income in munitions fees from governments the world over - including billions of dollars paid by U.S. taxpayers - as a member of the board of the conservative Hudson Institute, Blue frequently criticizes big government and the U.S. welfare state.
A November 2011 commentary he wrote with Herbert London, President Emeritus of Hudson and Professor Emeritus of New York University, blasted president Barack Obama.
It is instructive that President Obama employs the European model of entitlement, regulation and income redistribution as his guide.
It may be one of the few examples in history when a blatantly failed system is employed as a model for success. As the U.S. borrows more than 40 percent of the federal budget this year, we are perilously close to emulating the worst of Europe
The protests in Greece, England and Egypt, to cite three examples, provide vivid testimonials of an entitlement mentality at odds with the essential need for productivity," Blue and London wrote.
For decades the entitlement psychology has relentlessly decoupled the biblical and basic understanding that in order to eat, one must be productive.
Many people, far too many people, believe the role of government is to care for them.
Capitalism can create wealth, but it also creates invidious comparisons (read: envy).
Socialism tries to mitigate this eventuality through utopian engineering that never works.
As Winston Churchill noted, 'The vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings and the vice of socialism is the equal sharing of misery."
The Predator, Reaper, and other locally made drones have drawn weekly protests from the local left, but have been hailed by GOP leaders as a boon to the regional economy.
More like this:
- Predator drone maker and pot foe throws down for San Diego GOP — Sept. 30, 2013
- Sheriff reportedly plotting mayor's ouster got funds from Lynch, Blue, hotel interests, report says — Aug. 6, 2013
- Feinstein, tops in Predator maker’s political cash, talks Filner recall — July 29, 2013
- Drone royalty — Nov. 19, 2012
- Ronne Froman Now Senior VP at General Atomics — Dec. 12, 2007