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Jimmy McMillan is running for governor of New York under the banner of the Rent Is Too Damn High Party. He won't win the election, but he is entertaining.

Here's a link to his appearance at the New York gubernatorial debate on Oct. 18.

He has the panel and the other candidates laughing. The crowd is with him. Even Andrew Cuomo, the front-running Democrat, gets into the act, saying he agrees with Jimmy that "the rent is too damn high."

McMillan's Web site is all over the place: a speech over a blues/funk beat, an ad for his dentist, a recap of his Vietnam War service, a call to eliminate all taxes owed to the state, a promise of college tuition for eight years, a foot map, and, of course, a promise to slash rents.

He says paying for all this involves taking all the money from the Wall Street and auto industry bailouts (i.e. federal funds). So we are now in crazyland: all the federal bailout money will go to New York State. The plan hasn't been thought through.

But this is where we are in American politics today. Crazy candidates with crazy ideas appealing to a crazy constituency. This is why the Tea Party appeals to the right, and why McMillan will appeal to the left. People are  scared and concerned about their future. McMillan and teabaggers plug into this anxiety. Meantime, political leaders reward the failures of Wall Street and American industry and don't address the needs of the U.S. taxpayer.

McMillan doesn't have a chance. But if the New York election was close, he would take votes from Cuomo and give another nutcase, teabagger Republican Carl Paladino, a shot at the governor's mansion.

Paladino, besides doing everything he can to offend rational voters, is a real-estate developer. He's a reason why New York rents are at their current levels.

Guess what, Jimmy! If Paladino wins, you'll have to come up with another slogan, because the rent is going to be beyond too damn high.

Originally posted to brobrubel on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 09:49 AM PDT.

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