A Madam, A Homophobe, And A Former Black Panther Walk Into A Debate...

The Times called it a "farce" in its headline. The AP referred to it as a reality TV. Welcome to New York's seven-candidate gubernatorial debate, featuring a former madam and several candidates that made Paladino look moderate.

The most news Paladino made was wandering offstage in search of a men's room and, afterwards, getting pissed off about a gay marriage question. Substance was scant. Instead, the breakout star was the "Rent Is 2 Damn High" party guy, with some entertaining asides about sex work from the madam involved in the Eliot Spitzer scandal, plus a former Black Panther, a Green Party candidate, and a Libertarian. Democratic nominee Andrew Cuomo spent most of the time trying not to crack up.


As The Times put it, the debate was organized in "a format that allowed even cursory discussion of issues like taxes and schools to be interrupted by random one-liners and sometimes inexplicable answers... The audience ignored a moderator's request to stay silent, unleashing rounds of raucous laughter and gleeful hisses at the wilder moments in the evening."

Jimmy McMillan, the black-gloved sole member of the Rent Is 2 Damn High Party, once told The Board Of Elections to suck his dick, in so many words. TV is all over him today, for obvious reasons. Too bad about the anti-Semitism.

Kristin Davis, whose platform is legalizing prostitution, gambling, and marijuana to increase state revenues, made plenty of jokes about her former profession, including, "The key difference between the M.T.A. and my former escort agency is I operated one set of books and I offered on-time and reliable service."

Here's the candidates answering a question about gay marriage, in which Paladino seemed confused that he would not get the chance to bloviate, and the Rent Is 2 Damn High guy said he would let you marry a shoe. The New Yorker remarked, "And one had the sense that he would."

Debate In NY Governor Race Verges On Farce [NYT]
Seven Angry Candidates [New Yorker]
Related: Meet Jimmy McMillan, Founder And CEO Of The Rent Is 2 Damn High Party [Gawker]
Mayoral Candidate Jimmy McMillan Has Some Choice Words for the Board of Elections [NYM]

Earlier: Paladino Actually Doesn't Mind Gays Gyrating, Sort Of


Erin Gloria Ryan

This debate would have made an incredible Christopher Guest film.