OAKLAND (CBS SF) – Could man’s best friend also be Oakland’s best mayoral candidate? Backers of a plan to elect a dog to the Oakland Mayor’s Office says he would be a “voice for the city’s oppressed residents.”
The geniuses who came up with the idea of running Einstein the dog for office – a group of Occupy Oakland veterans – say the idea is not just political tail-wagging, but a commentary on how difficult it is to hold any individual accountable for running the city. They plan to host an event Thursday at 10 a.m. on the steps of City Hall to lay out their platform, which includes an end to “Orwellian surveillance,” the formation of a Public Bank of Oakland, maximum wage limits and criminal penalties that are assigned based on a person’s wealth. They also want to shift the power away from City Hall itself.
“Without a fallible human in the Mayor’s Office, we must all play our parts in determining the route Oakland will take into the future,” reads a press release from Einstein’s press crew, claiming his election would create a paradigm shift at City Hall. “No longer will we ask what the City Government can do for us. Instead, we will see the way clear to changing the City ourselves, to expanding the power of residents of modest income, to shrinking the power of the rich by establishing a larger and more representative City Council.
The pup, which appears to be a shepherd mix, even has a “Einstein for Oakland” webpage.
“I like to run. A lot! I mean A LOT! So make no mistake, I can make it all the way to the finish line,” reads the tongue-in-cheek page.
His slogan: “He’s a very good dog. He’ll be a very good mayor.”
Recent polling suggests that the race is currently between Oakland’s political establishment. City councilmember Rebecca Kaplan appears to hold a commanding lead over incumbent Jean Quan. However, Oakland’s ranked-choice voting system makes polling difficult. During the last election political veteran Don Perata appeared to be a heavy favorite before 2nd and 3rd place votes gave Quan the election.
The math won’t work out in Einstein’s favor this November. Unlike fellow activist Zachary Runningwolf, who has run for Mayor of Berkeley, Einstein has no way to actually pawing his way onto the ballot. Dogs can’t actually hold public office in Oakland.