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Petitioners rally to oust San Diego Mayor Bob Filner (+video)

Organizers began collecting signatures Sunday to recall disgraced San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, accused by 16 women of inappropriate conduct. The city attorney is looking at other ways to bar Filner from City Hall as well.

Petition to oust San Diego mayor
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If disgraced Mayor Bob Filner has any political friends left in San Diego, they were nowhere in sight Sunday.

Instead, organizers kicked off a recall petition drive, opponents rallied at the finish line of a half-marathon, and “Freedom from Filner” marchers hit the streets of the Southern California city.

So far, 16 women (including three city employees) have accused the beleaguered Democratic mayor and former congressman of inappropriate conduct.

The latest was Peggy Shannon, a volunteer city worker who assists senior citizens. She said Thursday that Filner repeatedly asked her to rub his hands, requested dates, and made sexually suggestive comments so upsetting she went home and cried. She is a 67-year-old great-grandmother.

Recall organizers need to gather 101,597 signatures (15 percent of San Diego’s registered voters) for a ballot measure that could oust Filner from office. They have 39 days (with a possible extension of 30 days) to do so.

Assuming they’re successful, it would appear to be curtains for Filner, who apologized for his conduct before voluntarily going into what he called two weeks of “intensive therapy,” but has since resisted calls to resign while remaining out of sight.

A U-T San Diego poll out Sunday charts his dismal political position.

Eighty-one percent of those surveyed think he should resign, and 72 percent would sign a recall petition. In a less scientific online poll on the newspaper’s website, 93 percent said they would sign a recall petition if asked.

Just about every important politician in San Diego and California has urged Filner to resign. Most recently that was former San Diego Mayor Pete Wilson, a respected Republican who also served two terms each as US senator and governor.

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