The Bob Filner Fiasco - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

From Anchor Tony McEwing

The Bob Filner Fiasco

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Why won't San Diego Mayor Bob Filner just go away? It's not a rhetorical question. And the answer, in part, is because he doesn't have to and he is well aware that trying to get him out of office is going to be a lot harder than you might think. Currently, there is a recall effort going on to oust Filner but, if past history is any indication, it won't succeed. What!!!??? How could that be? More on that in a bit.

Meanwhile, a sixteenth woman, a great-grandmother no less, has now come forward accusing Filner of sexual advances. The mayor is facing at least one sexual harassment lawsuit as well as federal, state and local investigations. Democrats and Republicans alike have called on him to resign and he stubbornly refuses to do so. His apparent arrogance is what spawned the recall drive.

But what Filner knows that you may not know is that recall supporters are facing an uphill battle. According to San Diego law, they have to collect and submit signatures from 15 percent of the city's registered voters. These people can't just be legal residents, they have to be registered voters. As if this weren't difficult enough, the signatures have to be gathered within 39 days of the start of the recall campaign.

That means those behind the recall have to collect 101,597 verifiable signatures by September 26th. That is a monumental task. This has been tried six times before in San Diego's history without success. Every single mayoral recall effort in the past has failed to gather the signatures necessary to trigger a citywide vote. Just raising the money necessary for the signature drive is really tough. Some experts estimate it could cost  well over half a million dollars.

As if all of that weren't challenging enough, earlier this week, one of the recall campaign's key leaders resigned in a huff because she couldn't get along with her co-leader. And even if enough signatures are collected, those names have to be verified. That could take up to a month. And the clerk would then have up to three months to schedule the recall election.

So assuming all the stars come into alignment and, against all odds, the recall petition drive succeeds, San Diegans still wouldn't get to vote on Filner's future until late this year or early 2014.  And who knows how many more women might come forward between now and then.

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