Andrew Kaczynski notes that this story has been reported, but I don't think many (including myself) have heard of it, and he gives a good account of it.
The tale: Mitt Romney was arrested in 1981 for disorderly conduct after sailing a boat in violation of an officer's warning.
(Is this the "wild and crazy" Mitt that Ann alluded to last week?)
Apparently, a police officer approached Mitt and told him he couldn't sail his boat because the license had been painted over. Romney thought it was clearly visible, and after being threatened with a $50 fine, launched the vessel anyway.
"I was willing to pay the fine. But if he had said don't launch the boat and not mentioned the fine, I would not have done it," Romney said..
After Romney put the family put into the water, the office reappeared visibly angry and arrested Romney for disorderly conduct. Romney was handcuffed on the scene, taken to the local police station, and booked.
So how did it all end?
Several days later, Romney appeared in Natick District Court and threatened to sue the arresting office for a false arrest. The charges were dropped and sealed at Romney’s request.
Political effect of the story? I'm not sure. It was a boat and Romney didn't seem to care about paying a fine, so it might be spun as an example of his rich guy persona. If it was an ATV, that'd probably be better.
But it's a funny story and might humanize him a bit more.
After all, at some point or another, most of us have dealt with a government official who was heavy-handed and obsessed with even the most minor violations.