“Rent Is Too Damn High” Party Founder Sues Board of Elections
The District of Columbia Board of Elections is too damn prudish! Or so says Rent Is Too Damn Party founder Jimmy McMillan, who filed a lawsuit yesterday in federal court against the board on the grounds that it wouldn't put his party's name on the ballot.
McMillan's New York-based party gained some Internet prominence years ago on the back of its colorful name, McMillan's frequent political runs, and his unique facial hair. In April, a group of reform-minded types running for seats on the District's Democratic State Committee named their slate after McMillan's party in a bid to get attention for their down-ballot races. But when the elections board refused to put "damn" on the ballot, the group replaced "damn" with "darn."
McMillan's lawsuit alleges that the elections board violated free speech provisions by refusing to put "damn" on the ballot, purportedly on the grounds that "damn" would offend the elderly. McMillan, who tells LL that he refuses to let "religious fanatics" in the District disenfranchise voters, thinks his compatriots in the District would have won more than the five seats they received if the original party name had been on the ballot. (There are 52 seats total.)
“We know we would have won more seats," McMillan says.
McMillan wants the court to make the elections board to accept "The Rent Is Too Damn High" as a party name, plus $130,000 in damages. A spokeswoman for the board declined to comment on the lawsuit.
Photo by Flickr user David Shankbone used under a Creative Commons license