The timing of the recent hit-and-run attack on Congressman Jim Bates is highly suspicious. The alleged sexual harassment of former staff members comes just too close to election time and does not square with the honesty and integrity that have characterized Jim Bates as a city councilman, county supervisor and congressional representative of the citizens of San Diego for the past 20 years.
No hint of scandal, no junketeering on public funds, no acceptance of political favors or impropriety of behavior has ever been associated with Bates' name.
Tough on staff, scornful of what he considers less than superhuman dedication to the task, and not one to overlook ordinary human error or weakness--yes--but he is no less demanding of himself in the standard of service he gives his constituents and his determination to do what is right rather than what is expedient.
Someone had to dig pretty low to find anything to charge against Jim Bates. Those who are tempted to believe that "where there is smoke there's fire" should think about who is holding the match.
EMILY A. DURBIN