La Jolla business owner leads effort to recall San Diego Mayor Bob Filner
By Ashley Mackin
Land surveyor Michael Pallamary of La Jolla is at the front of the charge to recall San Diego Mayor Bob Filner. A longtime Filner foe, Pallamary said he created a “Recall Bob Filner” Facebook page in May (before the sexual assault allegations were announced against the mayor) and on July 19 held a rally at City Hall to recruit volunteers.
Of the Facebook page, Pallamary said, “I put the page up just to see if there was interest (in recalling Filner) and to solicit comments.” Seeing plenty, he started asking people to post legitimate reasons for the recall, which he said he will incorporate into the legal statement he intends to file. Suggestions, and “likes,” came in gradually before the allegations were announced on July 11. Pallamary said there were approximately 300 likes on the Facebook page before the allegations, and as of July 22, there were more than 5,000 likes.
At the rally, Pallamary spoke about the recall effort along with KFMB radio host Mike Slater.
“This is not about party, it’s about principle,” Slater said. “It’s not about right and left, it’s about right and wrong.”
Though Slater noted that Filner is demanding due process in the sexual harassment allegations against him, he said, “This recall effort is due process.”
Pallamary’s 10-year-old granddaughter, Paige, also spoke at the rally and said she supports her granddad’s efforts. After her comments, Pallamary said, “People ask me why am I doing this, you’ve just seen the reason.”
Though the sexual harassment allegations were not the foundation of his recall efforts, Pallamary told La Jolla Light, “I’m tired of explaining to my 10-year- old granddaughter what sexual harassment is.”
The crux of his campaign are claims specified in the 300-word statement he prepared and will file to show his intention to start the recall. Some of the claims include: Filner used police officers overseas for his personal security team at taxpayer expense; Filner repeatedly ignored city council votes and moved in a direction contrary to its wishes; and Filner punished the city attorney by slashing the attorney’s budget.
The rally served as a way to recruit volunteers who, when the recall effort officially begins in the coming weeks, will collect signatures from registered voters across San Diego. Once the volunteers are assembled and all the communities have representation, the formal notice of a recall will be filed.
From there, volunteers will have 31 days to collect 101,000 signatures on a petition. Though it is not yet available, there will also be a digital petition found at RecallBob.com
Pallamary said his quandaries with Filner started more than 20 years ago. In 1991, Pallamary led the effort to recall San Diego City Councilmember Linda Bernhardt. At that time, Filner was on the city council, where Pallamary said he observed Filner and four other council members attempt to redistrict San Diego in a way that would “punish his enemies and reward his allies.”
Pallamary said that under Filner, the city council began to fall apart. “Because of Mr. Filner’s misconduct and his harsh, unreasonable personality, the city shut down the same way it’s shutting down now,” he said.
Given his success in recalling Bernhardt, and Filner’s history, Pallamary said he is confident he will succeed in this recall.
“I’ve been here before; I battled Mr. Filner 20 years ago. I prevailed in the court of public opinion (and) I prevailed in a court of law,” he said.
“We’re in the gutter; I don’t want to see San Diego go into the sewer pipes.”
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