As the number of women accusing San Diego Mayor Bob Filner of sexual harassment piles even higher, so does the number of residents calling for him to resign.
A recall effort, which kicked off on Sunday, has gathered 11,000 signatures so far, according to Stampp Corbin, a co-chair of the campaign to force the disgraced Democrat to step down.
If this pace keeps up, the effort would obtain the 101,000 signatures (that's 15% of registered voters) it needs in 39 days. There’s also the ability to file for an extra 30-day extension.
“Things are going swimmingly,” Corbin told MSNBC. “As I predicted, when I first started the campaign, was that this would be a grassroots effort that would let the people of San Diego speak…If the city wanted the mayor to be gone, he would be.”
The recall effort comes as at least 16 women have accused the mayor of inappropriate behavior, most recently a great-grandmother who works at the Senior Citizens Service Desk in San Diego City Hall. Last week, she said Filner kissed her on the lips, asked her to feel his hands, requested she go out with him on the weekends and even pondered aloud whether she thought he “could go eight hours straight.”
The Democratic National Committee will vote this week on a resolution calling on Filner to resign, authored by Donna Brazile, DNC vice chair of voter registration and participation, and DNC member Christine Pelosi.
The group's national chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, has already called on the 70-year-old leader to call it quits, calling his alleged misconduct “reprehensible and indefensible.”
“I firmly believe no employee should face a hostile environment or harassment at their place of employment. There is no place for this type of conduct in the workplace and certainly not in our city halls and public offices,” she said.
This week, Team Filner has been involved in mediation talks with attorneys and city leaders, which could potentially result in his resignation. High profile attorney Gloria Allred –who represents one of the plaintiffs -- said Judge Lawrence Irving, a former district court judge, is acting as the mediator.
“He asked us not to comment except to say mediation is ongoing,” said Allred in a statement.
Filner has admitted he has a problem, but has refused to resign. He did enroll himself in a two-week “intensive therapy” program on July 29, but said he was able to finish it early on Aug. 10 and would continue with continued outpatient treatment.
Corbin said even though there may be a resolution as a result of the mediation, the recall effort would continue to go full steam.
“We’re going full bore and will continue to go full bore as if it won’t be resolved,” he said.
If there are enough signatures, a special election would be held. A simple majority is required to oust the mayor. Residents would also have to vote for the candidate of their choice – the one with the most votes would then be mayor.
Meanwhile, some Filner supporters have gathered in front of San Diego City Hall this week, holding signs reading “Due process for Mayor Filner” and “Vets for Bob.”
Rallies are being organized by the group, “San Diegans for Mayor Filner” on Facebook. The group has fewer than 400 “likes.”