November 17, 2005

New York Politics Is Too Damn Crazy

In a political season in which Mayor Michael Bloomberg was re-elected by a landslide margin, perhaps the biggest surprise in New York's municipal election was the strong showing by the Rent Is Too Damn High Party, a new political party that managed to finish third of all parties in the elections despite campaigning on only one issue. They even finished ahead of the Liberal Party, which as Ben recently pointed out is neither liberal nor a party.

But is that really their only agenda? Jen Chung of Gothamist uncovered some writings of RITDHP mayoral candidate James McMillan and found some troubling stuff. Namely, that McMillan believes there is some sort of Jewish real estate conspiracy to run gentiles out of the city. "If you're not Jewish, you'll be run out of New York," McMillan warns, which certainly sounds like quite a reversal of several millenia of Jewish history up to this point.

Now it's normally a proclivity of third parties in New York to argue for the abolition of rent control; a few years ago the Libertarian candidate for mayor was none other than Kenny "The Real" Kramer, who had that as the central platform of his campaign. The RITDHP seems to be arguing for the reverse, namely universal rent control. Except for Jews, that is.

The RITDHP is reminscent of the Grass Roots Party, a single-issue party in Minnesota that campaigned in favor of marijuana legalization and for a time in the early '90s was the state's third-largest political party. The GRP apparently no longer exists, as presumably its members all got "distracted" from politics and wandered off. After they qualified for state election funding in 1992, the Star Tribune once ran a great editorial cartoon suggesting that the party would spend 90% of the new funds on "munchies." And no, Minnesota's third-party governor a few years later, Jesse Ventura, was not a member of Grass Roots.

Posted by Stephen Silver at November 17, 2005 08:07 PM
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