Recent Election Brought in Strong Democrats

    My friends Jim and Donna’s dollars helped Elizabeth Warren get elected to the U.S. Senate. Besides Mayor Filner, Warren will become the Democrats’ fiercest voice for liberal economic theory. “Wall Street CEOs — the same ones who direct our economy and destroyed millions of jobs — still strut around Congress, no shame, demanding favors and acting like we should thank them,” she said. Jean Seaver and Mercy Mandelbaum did much work to hold the Coronado Democratic Club together through the primary election, when a majority of club members wanted Lori Saldana as their representative in Congress, and into the general election, when we unanimously endorsed Scott Peters.  Mercy, when you saw me with the divot on my forehead and my cut lip at the Tanaka garden party, I said, “You might think I got these scrapping with the Romneyites.”  You replied, “I wouldn’t put it past you.”

    To turn out Bilbray, we needed a slugfest as much in the primary as in the general. It’s hard to unseat an incumbent Republican, particularly when the speaker of the House personally came to the wealthy enclave of Coronado to raise money for Bilbray.

    Something more you should know about the San Diego mayor-elect: When students are bullied into taking online courses or are temporarily blocked from the student wireless network and instructed to bring their computers in for security scans and attend copyright violation presentations, they should remember to quote Filner: “I’ve never been a passive person; I’ve always felt that, if you think something should be changed, it’s your responsibility to actively pursue that change.”  As an undergraduate, Filner worked on the student newspaper, the Cornell Daily Sun. He graduated from Cornell in 1963 with a degree in chemistry and earned his doctorate in history of science from that Ivy League school. Thereafter, he moved to San Diego.  He was a history professor at SDSU for two decades. His children attended public schools.

    I met him when he served on the Board of Education; I was PTA president at San Diego High School at the time. Filner served as chairman of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee in Congress from the election of 2006 until the election of 2010.  Bill Clinton endorsed him for mayor of San Diego.

    “You can’t fight City Hall.” But the In the summer of 1961, Filner spent two months in the Mississippi State Penitentiary as a result of his activities as a civil rights advocate. He was convicted of “disturbing the peace and inciting a riot.” Filner refused to post bond for his release and remained incarcerated. His case was eventually overturned by the Supreme Court of the United States, along with all the cases for other activists; the Supreme Court also overturned the laws for racial separation. 

    —Richard Thompson
    Alumnus ‘83

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