"Thank you for not arresting me ... yet," mayoral candidate Grasshopper Alec Kaplan told the S.F. Board of Supervisors. He spoke from experience: The homeless cab driver had been arrested twice during the campaign — once for camping out in front of Ed Jew's house (he said he was "conducting his own investigation" of the embattled supervisor), and once for violating a restraining order against approaching Jew when Kaplan tried to speak at a board meeting.
Kaplan could be written off as unique, except that another mayoral candidate, Josh Wolf, has based his entire campaign on the fact that he spent a lot of time in jail for refusing to turn over video of a protest to the police. Without that arrest, what is he? Just a blogger. That's nothing. But the man who holds the record for most time spent by a blogger in prison? That's a candidate.
All of which raises the question: Just how many candidates for mayor of San Francisco have been arrested? Is it more than two? You bet: Nudist candidate George Davis has been arrested for — well, public nudity.
Could it be more than three? Well, Kenny the Clown (real name Kenneth Kahn), a qualified write-in candidate, complained to SF Weekly that he'd been arrested while juggling flaming torches in front of Hyde Pier. And self-proclaimed hopeful Malinka Moye surely holds some kind of candidate record: He's been arrested for drug possession, assault with a deadly weapon, and slaughtering a goat without a ... a ... um ... whatever it is you need to legally slaughter a goat. Oh, and then there's Dr. Ahimsa Sumchai. She was convicted of resisting an officer back in 2000.
But that has to be it, right? Maybe; maybe not. Lev Osherovich, Chicken John's campaign manager, played it coy when asked if the eccentric candidate has ever done time in the pokey. "I'm not sure, to be honest," he said. "His past is murky to me, but I think he'd be on that list."
Could we really be at seven so far? Could there be more? Probably. Robert McCullough (aka Captain Democracy) is another homeless candidate, so if he hasn't been arrested yet, with the way things are going it's just a matter of time. And, hey, H. Brown should be busted if he hasn't been already.
Despite all the mayoral candidates running amok, high-ranking SFPD officers say there is no special policy for investigating the criminal activities of potential mayors. "Oh, lord no. Absolutely not," said a high-ranking police officer, when he stopped laughing. "We treat everyone the same, and if we're called we come."
He declined to be quoted on the record because, well, if you were a high-ranking police officer asked why the mayoral candidates keep endangering the public, would you?
Not even in San Francisco.