‘Rent Is Too Damn High’ candidate facing eviction

Chris Moody
August 5, 2011

Jimmy "The Rent Is Too Damn High" McMillan, the sideburns-meet-moustache, black glove-wearing, self-proclaimed karate master who ran for governor in New York last year, is facing eviction from his apartment.

The reason: The rent is too low, McMillan says.

The New York Post reported Friday that McMillan pays $872.96 per month for his rent-controlled apartment in Manhattan's East Village. Accordingly--in a common New York story that essentially supplied the tagline of McMillan's campaign--the property owners want him out so they can renovate and charge more for the space.

"I've been here since 1977, and they want more money!" McMillan told the Post. "It's about 'My Rent is Too Damn Low.'"

McMillan--most people just know him as the Rent Is Too Damn High Guy--made his unforgettable public mark in last year's gubernatorial debate in New York, when he stole the show from the leading candidates Democrat Anthony Cuomo and Republican Carl Paladino with passionate monologues about hungry children, high rent, and why he wears black gloves. Saturday Night Live responded with a near-perfect parody of his performance, and there's even a Jimmy McMillan action figure still on sale online.

McMillan's landlord claims that the former candidate does not use the apartment as his primary residence, citing another property in Brooklyn where McMillan resides. According to the Post, McMillan called the claim "baseless."

McMillan says he is suing his landlord for $70,000. The case is currently pending in New York Housing Court.

"It's a trick they all play. I'm not going to let them get away with it. You don't tell an American how to live," McMillan told the newspaper.