Mike Madriaga 11:30 a.m., Aug. 19
- Community Blog
- I've Got Issues
Jan Goldsmith scrambling to change City Charter to make recalling Filner easier back in early May
This campaign to oust Filner has been going on long before the sex scandal emerged. The GOP was desperate to oust Filner from the minute he took office. Filner was the biggest obstacle to removing historic protections on Balboa Park. He was also the obstacle standing in the way of CCDC and their developer friends stealing the one billion dollars they had quietly socked away investing in real estate. Money that was frozen by the Department of Finance and only recently unfrozen. Money that is supposed to be transferred to the general fund for services that we desperately need, but that developers will quietly hoard for themselves if they can get Filner out.
So you can see, this was an emergency of epic proportions. How do you oust a sitting mayor after he has only been in office a few months?
First you have to address recall rules that would make recall difficult. Goldsmith and his developer team were scrambling to find ways they could change our recall rules in order to make the process to recall Filner much easier way back in early May. Yes, long before any sex scandal, before Sunroad, there was a serious effort to strategize how they could boot Filner with a recall.
VOSD, which receives large financial support from PDP frontman Irwin Jacobs, did an article on May 06, 2013 to discuss the issue of a Filner recall and legal obstacles.
According to them the problem is that the recall effort is a two-stage process: First, voting on whether the politician should be recalled. Then who should replace the politician.
The city’s Municipal Code has an interesting law in Chapter 2, Article 7, Section 27.2726 of the law, states, under the heading “Validity of Votes Cast,” “No vote cast for a candidate shall be counted unless the voter also voted on the recall question.”
Thus you would not be able to vote FOR a new candidate if you voted against recall. Thus, those people supporting Filner would have no right to cast a vote for a new mayor if Filner was in fact recalled. That detail would obviously give a great advantage to a GOP mayoral candidate.
A federal court struck down a similar statewide rule because it violated the right of citizens to vote. The was case, Partnoy v. Shelley and claimed the provision was unconstitutional because it was “a severe restriction on their Constitutional right to vote.”
Thus the San Diego law would likely also be challenged in court and would hinder quick efforts to recall Filner.
Obviously Goldsmith wants Filner out ASAP so developers can begin their work
A legal expert told VOSD:
"In this case, there’s an incentive for the council to act now: The city would be on the hook for the petitioner’s legal fees if it lost a challenge to the constitutionality of its laws.
Sutton said someone could challenge the provision even without a recall.
Jonathan Heller, communications director for City Attorney Jan Goldsmith, wouldn’t comment directly on the Partnoy decision and its possible impact on the city’s Municipal Code. He said the city attorney is in the process of reviewing the city charter and municipal code for possible amendments.
The city clerk’s office and the city attorney’s office are examining and updating the Municipal Code’s election guidelines for “internal consistency.” The city’s recall process is among the sections being reviewed, but there’s been no word on possible changes."
The Recall Timeframe
Additionally, interesting to note: The Mayor, by statute, can't be recalled before 6 months has passed in his/her term. Six months would equate to June 3, 2013.
So it's very interesting that Goldsmith was planning for a "June" recall before any scandal emerged.
Interesting that Donna Frye began threatening him with recall immediately after the deadline of 6 months.
It was a few weeks later they got news of the advantageous controversy about the June 21-26 Paris trip. And they held their press conference July 10th shortly after to demand resignation.
The Voice of San Diego published two articles on the City's recall process April 22 and May 6, which seems a bit odd and presumptuous on their part by author Zachary Warma the VOSD's "Events and Community Manager". Warma worked on Filner's mayoral primary campaign, and would have known Donna and others from that.
So there you have it. Why was Goldsmith so concerned about legal obstacles to recall back in early May? Obviously, getting Filner to step down would be far easier for the power-brokers waiting in the wings. So perhaps they had to cook up a scandal that would be so repulsive Republicans and Democrats alike would demand he resign rather than wait for a recall....perhaps a sex scandal.
Why did this call for resignation and recall come at exactly the minimum deadline to conduct a recall?
Why was VOSD so interested in publishing stories about recall a few months after a major election?