Filner releases calendar; What’s missing?

by Joanne Faryon | KPBS/inewsource Investigations Desk

San Diego mayoral candidate Bob Filner has released what he says is his personal, campaign and congressional calendar for 2012 to the KPBS/inewsource Investigations Desk.

The congressman was challenged to release the document in a show of transparency. But the calendar is missing 91 out of 261 days, and does not contain any business conducted in Washington D.C.

The document Filner provided begins on Jan. 14, 2012, and ends Sept. 30, 2012. It is not in a traditional calendar format, but rather is a long list of luncheons, dedication ceremonies and opening receptions.

“My personal, campaign and Congressional calendars are all incorporated and managed by the Congressional staff, as allowed by law,” Filner wrote in an email to the Investigations Desk.

“I have released my calendar void of constituent and personal appointments to the media, as requested,” he wrote.

But the calendar does not list a single event or meeting in Washington or a congressional vote between January and September of this year.

The website, votesmart.org, which tracks congressional votes, reports Filner cast votes in the capital during that time period.

The showdown to release personal calendars came to head last week at a KPBS mayoral debate.

“Come clean Carl… release your personal emails, and your phone calls and your calendars,” Filner challenged City Councilman Carl DeMaio.

It was in response to a KPBS/inewsource investigation about whether DeMaio’s relationship with wealthy developer and newspaper owner Doug Manchester could ultimately influence decisions made at City Hall if DeMaio is elected mayor.

Filner is a congressman and isn’t legally required to release such information because members of Congress are exempt from the Freedom of Information Act.

DeMaio as a councilmember is subject to the Public Records Act, but calendars, especially personal ones, may not fall under the act. The law isn’t clear.

DeMaio posts his public calendar online. Several entries simply state “Hold for Carl.”

Neither calendar provides any insight into whom the candidates are meeting with.

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About Joanne Faryon:

Joanne Faryon is a freelance reporter and former inewsource and KPBS reporter.