Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Jimmy McMillan: One man's Mission for Social Justice
By Melissa Bell | October 19, 2010
Jimmy McMillian aka The "Rent Is Too Damn High" Guy takes center stage in N.Y. governor's race
Jimmy McMillian, a Republican candidate in the New York governor's race, speaks during a debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y. (Jessica Rinaldi/Reuters)In what may be the only debate in the New York gubernatorial race, issues and politics took backseat to a black-gloved, mustached man running on a simple platform: The rent in New York is too damn high.
Jimmy McMillian outshone frontrunners Andrew Cuomo and Carl Paladino with his declarative message and impressive facial hair: "The people I'm here to represent can't afford their rent.... Someone's stomach just growled. Did you hear it?"
There were complaints that allowing fringe candidates such as McMillian and "Manhattan Madam" Kristin Davis might turn the show into an unwieldy circus. At one point, Davis said she was the only one on stage who probably could handle the New York congress, because "Politicians are the biggest whores in this state." However, the Washington Post's Lois Romano said, "the evening's tight format prevented any free-wheeling exchanges."
With what little time he had, McMillian made a mark on the proceedings. He is a karate expert, so he won't speak poorly of his fellow candidates. He doesn't want your campaign donations; he just wants you to sign a petition to lower the rent. And he's okay with gay marriage: "If you want to marry a shoe, I'll marry you."
Rent Is 2 Damned High
If this seems to be a lot of hype, you can see a little more depth of character on Jimmy's Youtube channel rentisto.