High ranking officer in the War on Women speaks

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San Diego Mayor Bob Filner issued a statement late Monday challenging a recall effort aimed at ousting him from office, after more than a dozen women claimed he had made unwanted sexual advances.

Filner had until midnight to offer a written response to recall organizers, who then are required to publish his statement in a newspaper. In a release issued through his lawyers, Filner did not address the accusations of sexual misconduct lodged against him by 14 women, including his former communications director, Irene McCormack Jackson.

Instead, he said, "Now is not the time to go backwards," and he repeated promises of better city services that he had stressed during his mayoral campaign.

Michael Pallamary, a leader of the recall effort, told the Associated Press, "Mayor Filner obviously believes his policy initiatives excuse his being a sexual predator." He added, "San Diegans want a mayor who doesn't grope and demean women."