Filner has been an ally to the left

August 6, 2013

AS SOMEONE who has had friendly relations with your San Diego branch, I am disappointed to read Chuck Stemke's call for Mayor Filner to resign ("Why is Filner still in office?").

Filner has delivered for the workers again and again. He has stood up to the super-rich and corporate interests that dominate San Diego politics--from real estate developer Doug Manchester to businessman Aaron Feldman.

Filner is known for his abusive personal behaviors, which are not limited to sexual harassment. But it is through his politics, not his personality, that he helps hundreds of thousands of exploited San Diegans.

For example, Filner has stood with taxi workers, who make less than minimum wage and work 12-hour days. (Two of whom have been murdered on the job in recent years.) In the Old Town dispute, then-congressman Filner participated in civil disobedience organized by the hotel workers' union and was arrested.

Stemke implies that to not call for Filner's resignation, is to allow him to "get away" with his harassing behavior. That is not the case. Filner has promised to rectify his future behavior, and will be prosecuted for his past behavior.

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The right wing, who hate Filner passionately, has seized on their opportunity, and it should disturb any socialist to be on the same side as them. But the Democratic cabal that has called for his ouster should be considered equally sickening bedfellows, stacked as it is with careerist politicians and would-be "power brokers." This is the entire political establishment of San Diego rising to strike down someone who stands to its left.

It would be sad to see International Socialist Organization align with those forces--I urge reconsideration of Stemke's position.
D. Bester, San Diego, Calif.

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