| SAN DIEGO
SAN DIEGO Aug 14 For San Diego Mayor Bob
Filner, who faces a torrent of sexual harassment allegations,
the message is that his alleged behavior is too boorish even for
Hooters restaurants, best known for their scantily clad
waitresses and the patrons who ogle them.
Four San Diego-area Hooters restaurants have posted signs
saying the 70-year-old Democrat and former congressman "will not
be served in this establishment. We believe women should be
treated with respect."
"It is localized to our four San Diego locations," Melissa
Fry, marketing director for Hootwinc LLC, the West Coast
headquarters for the Atlanta-based restaurant chain, said on
More than a dozen women have publicly accused Filner since
last month of groping and making other unwanted advances toward
them over the years, starting with a former press secretary who
filed a sexual harassment suit against the mayor and the city.
The signs are actually the creation of conservative radio
talk show host Glenn Beck, who began offering them last week as
an Internet download from his website.
Beck has cited the Filner scandal as one of several
high-profile cases of sexual misconduct by Democrats, including
former congressman and New York City mayoral candidate Anthony
Weiner, in contesting the assertion by some Democrats that the
Republican Party is waging a "war on women."
"I made the sign for the people of San Diego, all businesses
in San Diego," he told radio listeners.
A Hooters spokeswoman, Kelly Propst, said the four San Diego
outlets "took it upon themselves" to post the signs starting on
Monday. Customers starting noticing the signs and tweeting
pictures of them on Tuesday.
"Our Hooters girls in San Diego have spoken. Not a corporate
gig, but we support our girls," the company said in a message
posted via Twitter on Tuesday night.
The irony of the Filner snub was self-evident coming from a
restaurant chain that promotes a waitressing staff of "beautiful
Hooters girls" who dress in cleavage-revealing tops and short
Beck took a moment out of his radio show and webstream on
Wednesday to savor the spectacle, displaying a photo of two
Hooters servers in their skimpy outfits holding one of his
"At the top of the show, I told you California is creating a
new society without any common sense, but at the least the girls
of Hooters are standing up against the mayor of San Diego," he
said. "This is a sweet moment."
Neither the mayor's office nor his lawyers were immediately
available for comment.
Nearly every elected official of both parties in San Diego
has called on Filner to resign as mayor of California's
second-largest city, and a bipartisan campaign seeking his
ouster through a recall election has been launched.
Filner announced July 26 that he was taking a break from
office to undergo two weeks of intensive behavioral counseling
to deal with what he called a pattern of disrespectful and
"intimidating" treatment of women."
His lawyers have said that Filner was completing his
therapy on Saturday - about 10 days earlier than originally
planned - but would continue counseling on an out-patient basis
while remaining on personal leave for another week.
In his first public statement since taking leave, a rebuttal
filed on Monday in answer to the recall petition, Filner refused
again to step down and defended his accomplishments as mayor.
On Tuesday, his chief of staff acknowledged the mayor had
been weakened by the scandal but would press forward with an
agenda that members of City Council would hopefully support.
(Additional reporting and writing by Steve Gorman; Editing by
Cynthia Johnston, Gary Hill)