Rent Is Too Damn High Party
|Headquarters||Flatbush, Brooklyn, New York City|
|Slogan||"The rent is too damn high."|
The Rent Is Too Damn High Party is a single issue political party, primarily active in the state of New York, that has nominated candidates for mayor of New York City in 2005 and 2009, and for governor and senator in 2010. Jimmy McMillan was the mayoral candidate both times as well as a candidate for governor. In 2005, he received more than 4,000 votes, and more than 40,000 in 2010. The party has three registered members in the state. McMillan himself is registered as a Republican (previously a Democrat) for the purposes of running in that party's primary elections.
In 2014, the party expanded beyond New York by endorsing a slate of candidates in the District of Columbia's Democratic primary elections. The party's founder, Jimmy McMillan, put the party's trademarks up for sale on December 1, 2015, with intent to retire from politics.
One of the taglines for the party is "breakfast, lunch, and dinner", indicating that the party seeks to end hunger and poverty in New York City. The party, prior to McMillan's breakthrough debate performance, sought to win "without a single vote from upstate New York," and the party website included a picture of New York with a giant "X" marked over upstate. McMillan surmises that reducing rent would "create 3 to 6 million jobs", freeing up capital to give businesses a chance to hire people. This would, in turn, increase tax revenue. The party is in favor of writing off all taxes owed to the state, cutting property taxes for homeowners, consolidating the rent boards in New York, seizing unoccupied apartment buildings, reforming the state court system, and providing tax credits for commuters and free college tuition. The party opposes any cuts in spending related to education and elderly care.
McMillan was not opposed to same-sex marriage in the 2010 gubernatorial debate, replying to a non-rent-related question on the matter by saying: "if you want to marry a shoe, I'll marry you." McMillan has specifically voiced opposition to sex reassignment performed without the consent of the intersex individual, stating on his website: "They are normal human beings [...] just born different."
On the topic of religion and family, McMillan's website states "we need more reliance on the moral laws brought by religion and not limit out [sic] goodwill to our neighbors and co-workers to what the law demands alone." One of the party's platforms involves "restoring family values", specifically desiring to ensure that one parent can remain at home to watch children.
McMillan uses humor to promote the party's message, especially utilizing what the Christian Science Monitor has described as "theatrics", including "a booming voice, fast-paced patter ... and copious facial hair", as well as frequent jokes. Although the party adopts a jocular and tongue-in-cheek image, the party has focused primarily on serious welfare issues and avoided outright satire, precluding it from being considered a frivolous political party.
For the 2009 mayoral campaign, the word "damn" was removed from the official ballot on account of the party's 17-letter name, two more than legally permissible under state board of elections guidelines. McMillan objected to the change, stating that he purposely used the profane word "damn" for its shock value. In 2009, Salim Ejaz ran for the party for the position of City Comptroller, without an endorsement from McMillan.
The word "damn" was restored to the party's ballot line in 2010 by shortening "too" to "2". McMillan ran for governor on the line, while Joseph Huff ran for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Kirsten Gillibrand.
Under the numeric moniker, the party also ran McMillan in the 2013 mayoral elections and submitted petitions for the 2014 gubernatorial election (with McMillan and Christialle Felix on the ticket). McMillan finished sixth in the mayoral election and was thrown off the ballot in the gubernatorial election due to his petitions being photocopies. He again submitted petitions for the 2018 gubernatorial election with Felix as his running mate, which were challenged; he was removed from the ballot and unsuccessfully sued to get back onto the ballot.
In the District of Columbia
Former District of Columbia shadow representative John Capozzi and a group of incumbents used the name Rent Is Too Darn High for their slate while running for the District of Columbia Democratic State Committee in 2014. McMillan endorsed the group. On the ballot, the slate used the word darn rather than damn because District rules prohibit expletives on the ballot.
McMillan sued the District of Columbia Board of Elections in federal court, saying the ban on expletives violated his right to free speech. In December 2014, Judge Beryl A. Howell of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed the suit, determining that McMillan lacked standing because he was not a candidate or registered voter in the District of Columbia, and determining that the matter was moot in any case because the slate had disbanded and "demonstrated no intent to use the plaintiff's party's name in a future election."
- New York City mayoral election, 2005
- New York City mayoral election, 2009
- United States Senate special election in New York, 2010
- New York gubernatorial election, 2010
- McMillan 09 archived on January 13, 2009 from the original
- Statement and return report for certification: General Election 2005 - 11/08/2005 Crossover - All Parties and Independent Bodies - for Mayor Archived 2009-11-22 at the Wayback Machine Board of elections in the City of New York
- "New York - Election Results 2010". The New York Times. 2011-02-08. Retrieved 2011-02-18.
- "Jimmy McMillan Is Not A Registered Member of The Rent Is Too Damn High Party |". The New York Observer. Archived from the original on 2010-10-23. Retrieved 2010-10-21.
- Freedlander, David (2010-10-19). Rent Is Too Damn High Statewide Registration: Three. New York Observer. Retrieved 2010-10-19.
- Vielkind, Jimmy (2011-02-23). McMillan: I will save you, GOP!. Capital Confidential. Retrieved 2011-02-23.
- Edelman, Adam (2015-12-09). "Rent Is Too Damn High Party founder Jimmy McMillan retires from politics". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2015-12-10.
- "Jimmy McMillan Has But One Message, People... Updated x 2". NY Daily News. Retrieved 2010-10-21.
- McMillan, Jimmy. The Official Rent Is Too Damn High Platform Archived 2011-07-18 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 2010-12-01.
- "Transgender". Jimmymcmillan.org. Archived from the original on 2011-02-16. Retrieved 2011-02-18.
- Meet Jimmy McMillan, Founder and ‘CEO’ of the Rent Is 2 Damn High Party Gawker, October 19, 2010
- Mark W. Watson says (2010-10-19). ""Rent is 2 Damn High" Party Candidate Steals NY Governors' Debate (Video)". Yes, But, However!. Retrieved 2011-02-18.
- Riese’s Team Pick: Jimmy McMillan for The Rent is Too Damn High Party Autostraddle, October 20, 2010
- "The Anti-Defamation Page". Jimmymcmillan.org. Archived from the original on 2011-03-13. Retrieved 2011-02-18.
- "'The rent is too damn high' steals show at New York governor debate". CSMonitor.com. 2010-10-19. Retrieved 2015-12-24.
- Ong, Bao (2009-10-06). "A Candidate's One-Word Battle With the Elections Board". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-10-21.
- "Salim Ejaz, Rent is Too Damn High Party for City Controller". NY Daily News. 2009-10-29. Retrieved 2010-10-21.
- Amira, Dan. "Rent Is Too (Damn) High Party Has Falling Out With Its Own Candidate". Daily Intel. Retrieved 2010-10-21. Cite journal requires
- Sommer, Will (March 31, 2014). ""Rent Is Too Darn High" Slate Looks to Upset Democratic State Committee Regulars". Washington City Paper.
- Sommer, Will (June 13, 2014). ""Rent Is Too Damn High" Party Founder Sues Board of Elections". Washington City Paper. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014.
- McMillan v. District of Columbia Board of Elections, 75 F. Supp. 3d 348 (D.D.C. 2014).]