SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A man who was arrested after interrupting Mayor Ed Lee on Monday as he filed papers at City Hall to run for mayor in November has been identified as Charles Kalish, a 72-year-old with ties to former Supervisor Chris Daly.

Kalish was arrested by sheriff’s deputies at the Department of Elections Monday morning after repeatedly asking Lee whether he would step down as mayor after breaking a pledge he made earlier this year not to run to keep the seat.

Kalish was booked into county jail on suspicion of obstructing public business and resisting arrest, sheriff’s spokeswoman Eileen Hirst said.

Hirst said Kalish would likely be issued a citation and released as soon as all the paperwork was finished at the jail.

Lee was named interim mayor in January after former Mayor Gavin Newsom was elected lieutenant governor, and had repeatedly said he planned to return to his old job as city administrator rather than try to stay on as mayor.

But in recent weeks, Lee began to say he was considering joining the race, and made it official Monday at the Department of Elections.

While he was at the counter receiving the various filing papers, Kalish repeatedly asked Lee the question about stepping down.

After a couple of minutes, several deputies stepped in and arrested Kalish, carrying him away down the hallway as he screamed loudly.

On Kalish’s Facebook page, he is listed as a co-creator of the event “Ed Lee’s a Liar!” along with Chris Daly, a former supervisor who was on the board when it tentatively selected Lee as interim mayor in January.

Daly was the lone member of the board to vote against Lee’s appointment. He was termed out of office days later, and the new board gave Lee final approval to become mayor.

Daly posted several comments on the wall of the “Ed Lee’s a Liar” Facebook page.

“Ed Lee is a liar, and that needs to be said out loud,” he wrote early Monday morning.

Daly said in a phone interview Monday afternoon that he had seen a video of the arrest online.

“I hope Kalish is ok,” Daly said. “I didn’t realize that, under Ed Lee, it is now illegal to speak truth to power.”

Lee acknowledged in announcing his candidacy that there may be some bristling among other The candidates already in the mayor’s race include former supervisors Bevan Dufty and Michela Alioto-Pier, and Board President David Chiu and Supervisor John Avalos, all of whom voted for Lee as interim mayor.

“I do owe them an explanation, and have been doing that,” he said.

After the scuffle involving Kalish, he said, “I know people will have strong opinions about this.”

He added that he will take input from everyone in the city and work to rebuild trust from people let down by his reversal.

Lee will make his first appearance at a mayoral candidates’ forum Monday night at the Castro Theatre in an event hosted by the Castro/Eureka Valley and Duboce Triangle neighborhood associations.

There could be fireworks at the event, at least according to Daly’s last post on the “Ed Lee’s a Liar” Facebook page late Monday morning.

“Couldn’t make City Hall this morning? How about Castro Theatre this evening?” he wrote.

The forum is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the theatre located at 429 Castro St.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (7)
  1. Ed says:

    Sorry but we all know what Daly is being a liar is a minor thing with him

  2. RK says:

    First of all Lee, shave off that ridiculous mustache if you want me to take you seriously. Secondly, an arrest should not have been warranted Im guessing a simple escort outside could have sufficed. Thirdly, Kalish wasn’t exactly lying. Lee said he would not run and now he is running. I won’t be voting for Lee.

  3. Victor says:

    Personally, I would not follow this entire “Ed Lee election campaign” coverage from the news media until November 2 (election day) since it may get heated and violent as “Jersey Shore.” Instead, I would be watching the “X-Factor” which premieres in the U.S. on September 21.

  4. donovan says:

    If you say you aren’t going to run, don’t run. If he’s going to lie about something like this, he may well lie to the constituents about other things.

    I’d vote against him for the lie alone. A person has to keep his words.

  5. Zack Debarco says:

    I watched the thing on TV and I didn’t see anything but free speech in action.
    I ain’t no liberal either!! I would recommend the guy sue the SFPD, something else that I usually don’t recommend.

  6. Eric says:

    Ever hear of flip flops, not not the slippers but the tactics the that politicians pull. change their minds to benefit their political motives. So what if Ed Lee runs. Stop crying like the other candidates. Show up at the poles and vote. To me it just sounds like the other mayoral candidates are scared of losing to Lee.

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