Opinion

"My first question is who is paying for all this?" Councilman Scott Sherman said. "I don't get why a mayor of the city of San Diego would need to be there. I think he was beating feet as quick as he could to get out of town because of all the negative news media."

 

U-T San Diego 

 

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner just returned from Paris but declined on Thursday to answer questions about the travel or who paid for it.

 

Filner briefly told reporters at a news conference that the trip was not a "junket," but a "business trip which is to get jobs to San Diego."

 

He deferred further questions until a news conference he said he would hold Friday. U-T Watchdog has submitted public records requests for documents related to the trip, including the cost of travel for Filner's city security detail.

 

A news release from the National Council of Resistance of Iran said Filner attended a group rally in Villepinte, France, near Paris.

 

"My first question is who is paying for all this?" Councilman Scott Sherman said. "I don't get why a mayor of the city of San Diego would need to be there. I think he was beating feet as quick as he could to get out of town because of all the negative news media."

 

Filner has previously accepted travel from groups that are part of the National Council of Resistance of Iran. He went to Paris in June 2011, as a member of Congress. He also took a similar trip in June of 2007, federal records show.

 

His 2011 trip cost $6,589 and was paid for by Colorado's Iranian American Community, a group tied to the Mujahideen-e Khalq or MEK, the militant - and largest - arm of the National Council of Resistance of Iran.

 

That trip included a first class flight and a stay at a Marriott. Legistorm, a nonpartisan Washington DC-based organization that compiles information about Congress, including Congressional travel, noted, "This trip included unusually expensive hotel charges."

 

The 2007 trip to France, also paid for by Colorado's Iranian American Community, cost $7,949. The plane ticket in that case was business class.

 

During the mayoral campaign last year, Filner was criticized for accepting 16 free trips as a congressman, totaling $40,000. U-T Watchdog determined his travel was at the median for the county's congressional delegation, that is, third highest out of five legislators.

 

He said at the time, "I plead guilty to doing my job as a congressman, informing myself about world issues, building relationships with world leaders and fighting for human rights."

 

Filner is not alone in accepting travel from the Iranian groups. Others who have gone include former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Rep. Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island.

 

In large part, the trips were part of a lobbying campaign to remove the MEK from the U.S. State Department's foreign terrorist organizations list. In a speech to the group, Filner compared their plight to the U.S. civil rights movement.

 

"This will happen," Filner said in a speech to the group in 2011. "This will happen. The laws, the facts, are on our side."

 

The de-listing effort succeeded last year.

New Articles

US Is Helping ‘Bloodthirsty Cult’ – the MEK – to Overthrow Iran’s Government

In pursuit of regime change in Iran, the Trump administration and prominent Republicans and Democrats alike are supporting the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK), which former top US official Larry Wilkerson says...

Was it an Iranian terror plot or a false flag operation?

Belgian police say an Iranian diplomat was involved in a plot to bomb a rally of the dissident Iranian group MEK, but Iran says MEK itself is to blame.

Stephen Harper knocked for speaking at 'Free Iran' rally hosted by 'cult' ex-terror group

Harper's own government considered Mojahedin-e Khalq or MEK a terrorist organization as recently as 2012

Giuliani, Gingrich Visit MeK Conference to Push for Iran Regime Change

Trump aides see once-banned terror group as replacing Iranian government

The Despicable Hawkish Embrace of the MEK

The Trump administration’s MEK fans participated in the group’s annual rally in Paris over the weekend:

Most viewed

Basque militant group ETA: 'We really are sorry'

The Basque militant group ETA on Friday offered an unprecedented apology for the pain caused during its more than four decades of armed campaign for independence from Spain and France...

M.E.K.: The Group John Bolton Wants to Rule Iran

As talks with North Korea approach, the new national security adviser, John Bolton, has long pushed for regime change in another country with nuclear ambitions: Iran. One of his chosen...

Rudy Went to Albania to Hang Out with A Iran Regime Change Cult

Mujahideen-e Khalq (MEK) is a notorious cult-like group of Iranian exiles which appears to have close to literally zero support inside Iran but has for years cultivated significant ties to...

Footprints of MKO terrorists, monarchists seen in recent unrests in SW Iran

The protests in the city of Kazeroun in Southwestern Iran ended and the situation came under control after Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO, also known as the MEK, PMOI and NCRI)...

April 1992 marks the MKO’s determination to conduct terror acts abroad

Experts and political representatives from Albania were in the European Parliament last week, asking Europe for help in preventing the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) from toxifying their country’s internal and foreign...