A hodgepodge of third-party candidates collided at a mayoral forum last night, debating their grand visions for the city–even if they have little chance of reaching Gracie Mansion.
Although seven hopefuls attended the curious Chelsea event–at one point, an elderly musical act known as the “Raging Grannies” harmonized about recycling–Democrat Bill de Blasio, Republican Joe Lhota and Adolfo Carrión, the Independence Party’s pick, were visibly absent.
The policy proposals, a medley of the ambitious and the quixotic, varied. Comedian Randy Credico thumped his chest for allegedly pushing the front-running Mr. de Blasio to the ideological left. Erick Salgado, a socially conservative minister, claimed he gave Mr. de Blasio the idea of creating a municipal identification card for undocumented immigrants. Hesham El-Meligy, the Libertarian candidate for comptroller, suggested forcing Mayor Michael Bloomberg to face a trial for “grand treason.” And Jimmy McMillan, the mustachioed perennial candidate, shouted once again about the rent “just being too damn high.”
“There are a lot of issues in the City of New York but if you take the right man like a father of the house–that’s me, Jimmy McMillan. I’m daddy. The City’s gonna be just fine,” Mr. McMillan declared. “Before you vote November 5th, think abut your grandchildren. Don’t walk in that polling booth like you been voting. Think about your grand kids. When you walk out that door, look back. If there’s none there, think about them being there.”
Beyond the bombastic Mr. McMillan, there were more dour candidates like Carl Person, an attorney now running as a Reform Party candidate, and Green Party contender Anthony Gronowicz. While his rivals harped about ending wars abroad or reigning in the excesses of Wall Street, Mr. Person proposed instead that politicians could not actually solve any of the challenges facing the city.
“Did you know that voters in New York City and every town and municipality have the right to enact laws themselves directly?” Mr. Person asked. “You’re complaining about civil rights for citizens. Why don’t you look at my website? I have a bill of rights for seniors. All we need is 30,000 signatures from the 6 million voters in New York and we could put it on the ballot!”
Yet it was Mr. Credico, a political comedian, who blurted out what many in the room may have been thinking that night.
“I don’t want to be that serious, folks,” he said. “I don’t want to the win this race. We’re all in denial. We’re not winning, you know that.”