Mike Madriaga 11:30 a.m., Aug. 19
- Community Blog
- I've Got Issues
Filner's accusers and their interesting connection to KPBS and the Port Commission
We have 13 victims people! This is an outrage! No one can stay in office after 13 women have accused them of sexual misconduct. There is no need to investigate these claims on their own merit because the sheer volume is enough to suggest they are legitimate and to make this man step down.
What do you know? During the time I wrote this a 14th women came forward, although anonymously.
We have a montage of 13 faces now to fill the news cycle--even some young ones. We have a lawsuit filed so you can't say no one filed a lawsuit. The San Diego City Council is even suing Filner because his conduct is so egregious he clearly does not deserve to be defended.
And yesterday we received fresh allegations from survivors of military sexual assault who sought Filner's help during which time he allegedly used the opportunity to take advantage of them. Did we mention the term "sexual assault"? Notice we used the term in the headline with Filner's name. Case closed. He's a monster. Both Democrats and Republicans in San Diego want him gone. No due process necessary. He MUST be awful. He must be stopped.
The people crying conspiracy and coup and demanding "due process" are simply in denial. We have more than enough evidence to show he is unfit to be mayor.
Really? Has the public really looked beneath the headlines and examined the actual facts? Because despite the "13th" or "14th" victim coming forward, there is still nothing of substance to this case....nothing.
What is of substance here are the connections to KPBS and the Port Authority and their ties to billionaire Irwin Jacobs.
How odd is it that each woman went straight to KPBS? -- a news outlet funded by billionaire Irwin Jacobs -- the same billionaire who Filner flustered with his common sense solution to the Balboa Park Plaza De Panama problem -- A solution that cost taxpayers a mere 500k as opposed to his solution that would cost tens of millions and would destroy the National Landmark status of the Cabrillo bridge opening the park to all kinds of future corporate exploitation. (If you are listening Jacobs and you care about your legacy it would benefit you to stop the PDP campaign and to stop the Filner lynching. San Diegan's will have far more respect for you if you help us save our park from developers and the parking mafia rather than handing it to them, but I digress).
It is worth noting that Jacobs KPBS donation is in the sum of $1 million, and is also a multi-year gift to fund "local journalism and news collaboration with NPR" per Wikipedia. So it is Jacobs who is funding this narrative on the mayor -- a narrative that is being parroted by the national MSM with no critical examination of the claims or the evidence.
There is also an interesting connection to the Port of San Diego who also plays an important role in the future development of Balboa Park. It's important to understand who the Port is and what powers they have in understanding why their involvement in this is so suspect and important.
The Port of San Diego was created in 1962 by the state Legislature to manage San Diego Bay and surrounding waterfront land. Thus, they control the development of the waterfront in San Diego-- projects like the Manchester Navy Broadway complex--as in Doug Manchester, owner of the U-T.
The Port oversees cargo terminals, cruise ship terminals, and 20 public parks, and they handle the leases of hundreds of tenant and sub tenant businesses around San Diego Bay.
In short, they are powerful and they are very interested in making sure they have a mayor who works for them.
So how are these victims associated with the Port and KPBS?
First we had Irene McCormack Jackson Filner's Communications Director who did not bother to sign her complaint by the way. This was the only complaint "filed", but it's an "unverified" claim.
Irene was Vice President of External Relations for the San Diego Unified Port District and worked for the Port Authority for 9 years. McCormack also spent 25 years as a journalist, working as a newsroom manager, reporter and assistant metro editor for The San Diego Union-Tribune.
Irene McCormack Jackson came out on KPBS with her curious claim.
McCormack claimed Filner told her she "should take (her) panties off and work without them.”
But according to notes from Filner Chief of Staff Lee Burdick from a June 20 meeting, released under threat of a lawsuit by City Attorney Jan Goldsmith, Filner did not say that at all.
So the only claim filed but not signed has already been called into question by the evidence.
Did Irene have an ulterior motive in making this claim based on her close ties to the Port and if her credibility is so rock solid why did attorney Cory Briggs accuse her of not telling the truth at a Port Authority hearing in 2011?
Then Laura Fink, Morgan Rose, Sharon Bernie-Cloward, Patti Roscoe, Veronica "Ronne" Froman, Joyce Gattas, Lisa Curtin, also all came forward to KPBS.
Does the sheriff's hotline go straight to KPBS?
Gattas is particularly interesting with her close ties to KPBS and the Port Authority.
Interestingly, Gattas serves on the Balboa Park Conservancy (the same conservancy that voted for the pro-development Plaza de Panama Jacob's plan), as well as the KPBS Advisory Board; and the San Diego Port Authority Marketing and Public Relations Advisory Committee.
Her important role at KPBS could suggest she was instrumental in funneling all the victims to KPBS and coaching them on what to say.
SDSU receives a lot of funding from billionaire Irwin Jacobs, thus the Dean of the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts (the same college that handles KPBS) would certainly have a lot invested in making him happy.
Veronica Froman also shares connections to the Port Authority and to Jacobs. Froman became Jerry Sander's chief operating officer in 2005, but left the job in June, 2007, in the midst of the Sunroad scandal.
Froman was also senior vice president of General Atomics and was then dating Republican mega-donor Linden Blue, Vice Chairman of General Atomics.
Another important "connection" here is a non-profit called "CONNECT". CONNECT was founded in 1985 by Irwin Jacobs. The President is Camille Sobrian, former COO.
"CONNECT offers almost 30 programs in the areas of research institution support, access to capital, entrepreneur learning, business creation and development, public policy and networking, awards & recognition" per their Wikipedia description.
Linden Blue, Vice Chairman of GA and Chairman of Spectrum Aeronautica was the recipient of a CONNECT award from this Jacob's funded institution.
Then there is Sharon Bernie-Cloward, president of the San Diego Port Tenants Association. Obviously she has a big interest in ensuring that the Port Authority gets what it wants since she handles their leases. Here is Sharon Bernie-Cloward in the same publication as Patti Roscoe also active in the SDSU hospitality and tourism management program. (SDSU is key here).
As a side note: It's also hard to imagine these women do not know one another.
Then we have Patti Roscoe. Patti Roscoe is a prominent businesswoman in San Diego's tourism and hospitality industry. She also has a very strong connection to SDSU and their hospitality and tourism management program. Of course the Port Authority is a paramount player in San Diego's Tourism industry.
She runs the company Patti Roscoe & Associates, Inc, a private company categorized under Convention and Meeting Facilities and Services.
On October 4, 2012 Roscoe is Chairing Mayor Jerry Sanders' Farewell party for the 33 Rotary Club.
So these women making allegations against Mayor Filner all appear to be very well connected to the power-brokers that have been running this city for decades and seeking to oust him from office. They certainly seem to run in the same circles of power and influence.
Each one of these allegations must be reviewed on it's own merits. To suggest that the sheer number of women coming forward is enough to waive due process is non-nonsensical and undemocratic.
There is something more going on here and it is our responsibility to examine the facts in this case including potential motivations of accusers.