“Rent Is Too Damn High” Candidate’s Rent is Actually Quite Low

Oh look, a politician building a campaign on the premise that he understands his constituents’ plight is actually…very far removed from the issues that are important to his constituents.

There is nothing new under the sun.

Turns out that NY governor-hopeful Jimmy McMillan, famous for his viral “rent is TOO DAMN HIGH” YouTube clip, actually pays very little. Rent for McMillan’s Brooklyn one-bedroom is a mere $800/month, much lower than Northwest Washington, D.C.’s average of $1100/month.

In fact, for the last decade, McMillan has not paid his landlord any rent at all. The New York Times reports, “Mr. McMillan said in an interview on Tuesday that for at least the last decade, he had lived rent free. “We’re like family,” Mr. McMillan said of his landlords. “They don’t want me to pay any money at all. I am basically living there rent free.”

According to the Times:

Mr. McMillan said that he moved into his apartment, a one-bedroom on Nostrand Avenue in Flatbush, Brooklyn, in the early 1980s but soon fell behind on rent when he left his job in the Postal Service on disability. The landlady, Mr. McMillan said, admired his Vietnam War service and forgave the back rent and, eventually, the future rent, too. In exchange, he did maintenance work, and after she died in 2003, her heirs continued the tradition.

Building manager Viola Hampton told the New York Post, “The rents should go up but they haven’t. People don’t have that kind of money… Everybody here is like a family,” and said of her tenant’s platform, “He’s not necessarily talking about himself. He’s talking about the poor person.”

He’s not necessarily talking about himself, but McMillan rents a rent-stabilized apartment in the East Village for his son, for only $900/month, again predictably well below the area average.

This politician insists on occupying a rent-controlled apartment for his son, rather than let that space go to a person who truly needs it. Even sleazier is his refusal to contribute to the collective pot from which he believes “the poor” so richly deserve to take. Will he at least allow the public to see his apartment, or his son’s? Reports 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. That weapon happens to be banned by the state he wants to run. “My main object is to protect myself,” he said. “I will worry about the consequences later on.”

McMillan is riding high on this YouTube-fueled wave of popularity. Yet this is exactly the type of broad overpromising that corrupts politics and politicians alike. His words say “rent is too damn high.” But McMillan’s actions say: “I and my family will eat until we are full, but the rest of y’all should share the wealth.”

Do your little honestly, folks; it makes little sense to cheat the people who trust your word, all while promoting one of the worst economic policies of our time.