News & Politics

“Rent Is Too High” Guy, Jimmy McMillan, May Not Pay Rent…But So What?


The New York Times has uncovered an interesting fact about the black-gloved karate-master gubernatorial candidate who won us over with his pro gay-marriage message (he’d, in fact, marry a shoe) and lower rents for all during Monday’s cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs debate at Hofstra. Despite his constant mantra that “The rent is too damn high,” Jimmy McMillan, in fact, has “basically” lived rent free for the last decade at his home at 1996 Nostrand Avenue in Flatbush. D’oh!

Except, is it really? It doesn’t take paying rent to know that most rents in the city are off the charts. Just like you don’t have to actually be the victim of a crime to fight crime, or be a woman who’s had an abortion to have an opinion on abortion, views can exist without the circumstance existing for the view-holder. In fact, they usually do. Especially in politics.

Anyway, if McMillan doesn’t face this problem but wants to fix it for others, doesn’t that just make him a mensch (well, except for those accusations of anti-Semitism)? But beyond that, taking issue with whether or not he pays rent in the first place kinda means we’re actually taking him seriously…no?

McMillan does, by the way, reportedly pay $900 a month for a rent-stabilized place in the East Village for his unemployed adult son. Which, if we weren’t numbed to the real-estate realities of New York City, we would probably think was too damn high.

More worrisome than whether or not McMillan actually pays rent is the fact that he gave the Wall Street Journal an entirely different account, in which he paid $800 a month for his apartment. When asked about the truth by the Times he said again that he lived rent free…But then said, “Don’t look for anything I say about my living space to be true.”

Then again, perhaps this is the first truly honest politician we’ve ever “considered.” Also, the most…unique. Per the Times,

Mr. McMillan declined to show the apartment, saying he feared for his neighbors’ safety, and fielded questions from the driver’s seat of his parked graphite-colored Honda CR-V, which is also his mobile office. When he travels, he sleeps in it, too; in the back were a sleeping bag, a bottle of Scope Original Mint mouthwash and a pair of nunchucks he keeps in a seat-back pocket.

At the end of the day, since a McMillan win is as likely as New York rents actually decreasing, we’ll take what we can get from him in terms of entertainment. On that count, at least we’d call him as successful as Paladino porn.


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