SAN DIEGO - Thousands of dollars have been donated over the past few days to a recall effort seeking to oust embattled San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, according to organizers.
The race to collect nearly 102,000 signatures to qualify the Filner recall petition for the ballot was streamlined this week with the launch of Recallbobfilner.com. The new website was created after a group of area political consultants joined the recall effort, which previously had been run by land use consultant Mike Pallamary, homemaker Elisa Brent and newspaper publisher Stampp Corbin.
The new site has three pages -- a home page, a page for donations and one for volunteer information.
Pallamary said thousands of dollars of donations have come in over the past few days, averaging around $150.
According to Pallmary, the biggest job has been to coordinate volunteers because support from the community has been "overwhelming."
The website gives the Navajo Road office address of April Boling, who agreed last week to serve as the campaign's treasurer. Boling has served for years as treasurer of campaigns by Republican candidates.
Public relations executive John Hoy, fundraiser Jean Freelove – who helped qualify a pension reform initiative for the June 2012 ballot – also joined the campaign, along with Rachel Laing, who will help with communications.
According to the City Clerk's Office, organizers have until Sept. 26 to submit the signatures, which will have to be validated.
Filner is accused of sexually harassing by 14 women to various degrees. Filner's alleged actions against women range from unwanted advances to groping and kissing. He has apologized for mistreating women and sought treatment at a behavioral treatment center, but has denied that his actions constitute sexual harassment.
The list of alleged victims includes two municipal employees, one of whom is being represented by famed Los Angeles attorney Gloria Allred and has sued Filner and the city. It also includes two women who said Filner made passes at them last year at a meeting of veterans who were raped in the military. And one of the complainants is a retired rear admiral.
All nine members of the City Council, both of California's senators and other local civic and business leaders have called for the mayor to step down immediately. He has refused.
In addition to sexual harassment, Filner has been accused of shaking down developers. According to U-T San Diego, a subpoena has been issued to Lee Burdick, Filner's chief of staff, to have her testify under oath and provide her notes about issues involving Sunroad Centrum Partners, a developer that paid $100,000 to the city -- allegedly at the behest of Filner -- before its project was approved. The incident is being investigated by the FBI.