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Randolph A. "Randy" Credico (born July 5, 1954 in Pomona, California) is an American comedian, political candidate, activist and the former Director of the William Moses Kunstler Fund for Racial Justice.
Show business career
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Credico was once active on the comedy circuit, and at the age of 27 he made an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. During the appearance, he criticized U.S. foreign policy and compared Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick to Eva Braun; Credico was not invited back to the show, and some believe this is due to the Kirkpatrick impersonation. He was featured on the 1988 comedy album, "Strange Bedfellows: Comedy and Politics" along with Jimmy Tingle, Barry Crimmins, and Will Durst.
Credico spent four years in Tulia, Texas, bringing national attention to a racially charged mass drug arrest. The Kunstler Fund produced an award winning documentary on the subject entitled Tulia, Texas: Scenes from the drug war, written, directed and edited by Emily Kunstler and Sarah Kunstler. Credico is the subject of the film Sixty Spins Around the Sun, directed by comedian Laura Kightlinger.
At age 27, Credico began a seven-year campaign against New York state's Rockefeller drug laws, which he thought were too harsh, disproportionately affecting the poor and minorities. Small changes softening the stiffest penalties were passed in the state legislature, which Credico thought were insufficient. Credico is also alleged to have imitated political consultant Roger Stone's voice in a threatening phone call to the father of New York Governor Elliot Spitzer, which caused Stone to be fired as a consultant to the New York State Senate by then-majority leader Joe Bruno. Credico was able to clear his name by proving that he was in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on the day of the profane call to Mr. Spitzer.
2010 Senate candidacy
Credico resigned his position with the Kunstler Fund in order to run as a Democratic primary challenger against Senator Chuck Schumer in 2010. Credico submitted petitions along with Jimmy McMillan and other candidates in an effort to get onto the Democratic Party primary ballot. The party chairman claims that Credico only submitted a few pages' worth of petitions to the state, far short of the 15,000 necessary, a charge Credico denies. Credico threatened to throw his support to Republican candidate Carl Paladino in the gubernatorial race.
Credico's campaign was supported by several actors and comedians, including Seinfeld co-creator Larry David, Roseanne Barr, and "Professor" Irwin Corey. He obtained the endorsements of the Libertarian Party of New York and the nascent "Anti-Prohibition Party" of Kristin "Manhattan Madam" Davis for the same Senate seat, though those parties do not have permanent ballot access and were required to petition their way onto the ballot. Credico finished with 25,975 votes, in last place among four candidates; in most jurisdictions, Credico was only given one ballot line despite petitioning for two.
Credico sued the New York State Board of Elections under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment because of this unfair treatment regarding ballot access. On June 19, 2013, the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of New York ruled in favor of Credico. The New York State Board of Elections will not appeal this progressive decision.
- * Blakeslee, Nate (1992). Tulia: Race, Cocaine, and Corruption in a Small Texas Town. New York: Praeger. ISBN 0-275-94418-2.
- Blakeslee, Nate. "," pp. 164–165
- Finn, Robin. "Did You Hear the One About the Drug Laws?", New York Times, February 1, 2005, page B4.
- Gonnerman, Jennifer. "Seven Years on the Sidewalk", Village Voice, December 21, 2004, page 46.
- NY Times http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/07/01/fending-off-pot-smokers-on-gay-street/index.html?hp
- Zaino, Nick A., III. "Comedy Notes: Comics' Film Mixes Madness, Madcap", Boston Globe, July 4, 2003, page E2.
- Political activist Randy Credico seeks “honest politician”: May run for Schumer’s seat in NY
- Senator Chuck Schumer Running Scared Says Candidate Randy Credico