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Interview | Jimmy McMillan

Jimmy McMillan, Rent Is Too Damn High party founderSuzanne Rozdeba Jimmy McMillan.

Jimmy McMillan, the founder of the Rent Is Too Damn High party, may have failed in his bid for governor but that’s done little to quash his ambition – or his opinions.

Mr. McMillan, who’s 64, still has a broad and ambitious plan for change through his party, which includes banning bike lanes, cutting taxes and, of course, lowering rents. And then there is his most grand  – and quixotic – plan of all: a run for the White House in 2012.

“We have bird-brained economic leaders,” he told The Local in an interview. “People need money to spend. And it boils down to one thing: the rent is too damn high.”

Mr. McMillan spoke with The Local about his lingering ambitions, his plans for the future – he’s planning to hold a news conference in Tompkins Square Park next week to officially kick off his presidential bid – and his deep ties to the East Village.


What’s the first thing you’ll do for the East Village as president?


We need new leadership. The first thing I would do is meet with the governor and direct Cuomo to reduce the property taxes. Property taxes in the East Village are crazy.
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Interview | Kristin M. Davis

Kristin M. DavisAndrew Reid Kristin M. Davis.

Kristin M. Davis, the former escort service madam who is running for governor, is a constant source of one-liners – many of which are scarcely fit for publication. She tries to take the sting out of a gay slur by using it to underline her support of same-sex marriage. And her supporters are treated to a range of brothel humor on her Facebook page. But at the same time, Ms. Davis, who is also the former vice president of a hedge fund, says that she and her four-prong platform — legalize marijuana, prostitution, gay marriage and casino gambling — are no joke.

During the Eliot Spitzer scandal, the authorities shut down her escort service. Ms. Davis, 35, then spent four months on Rikers Island reading fellow libertarians Ayn Rand and Ludwig von Mises before mounting her bid backed by 50 Cent and California pot growers to run the Empire State. The Anti-Prohibition Party candidate chatted with The Local about learning from her past, living in the East Village and why she’s the only real “pro-freedom” candidate.


What do you like about the East Village? Have you ever visited?


I actually used to live in the East Village, when I first moved to New York, off First Avenue above Karma. It’s one of my favorite areas. If you’re into food, you can get anything and everything in the East Village. I used to spend a lot of time at Karma. I’m very disappointed that Waikiki Wally’s is no longer around. My friend, Eric, owns Lit. I used to go to Dolphin Fitness, off Fourth Street. Veselka is my favorite place for goulash — I call it stroganoff, but whatever.
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Interview | Howie Hawkins

Howie HawkinsDeyva Arthur Howie Hawkins.

Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for governor, isn’t bothered by recent polls showing him trailing far behind Andrew Cuomo. His main goal is to help the Greens grab a share of the political spotlight now so that the party’s candidates can be considered viable contenders in future elections. “People can help make that happen and that’ll open up the debate in the elections,” Mr. Hawkins says.

In an interview with The Local, Mr. Hawkins, 57, a UPS truck unloader from Syracuse, discussed his belief that he understands the needs of the working class more than the major candidates. He objects to the recent subway fair hikes – he believes students should ride free – and he’s passionate on environmental issues and educational reform. He also described an unusual experience during an appearance on East Village Radio.
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Interview | Warren Redlich

Warren RedlichJoan Heffler Warren Redlich.

Warren Redlich is a Libertarian who hates the war on drugs, supports gay marriage, thinks college loans harm more than help students, and wants to cap bureaucrat pay and pensions.

Mr. Redlich, 44, is the Libertarian party candidate for governor and his longshot campaign received a moment in the spotlight after his participation in the gubernatorial debate on Monday at Hofstra University.

If nothing else, Mr. Redlich, a lawyer from Albany, does not lack for confidence: he believes Carl Paladino is going to take third place in the Nov. 2 election – after he comes in first and Andrew Cuomo places second. Mr. Redlich spoke with The Local East Village on Wednesday about why voters should choose him, what they should know about him, and his love of East Village Korean food.


What do you think of Carl Paladino?


Carl Paladino is done. He’ll come in third place, if he’s lucky. After the debate, Carl’s campaign manager said it looked like I hadn’t taken my Prozac. They weren’t satisfied offending blacks, gays, women, Jews – I’m Jewish – now they’ve offended mental health patients. I think they’re going to stop on Nov. 3, when he comes in third place in the election.
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