Your Party Name is Too Damn Long: Election Board to Jimmy

Board shortens party name for McMillan

By Jennifer Millman
|  Tuesday, Oct 6, 2009  |  Updated 2:17 PM EDT
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Your Party Name is Too Damn Long: Election Board to Jimmy

NBC New York

Jimmy McMillan, from NBC New York's Video Voter Guide

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The Board of Elections wants Jimmy McMillan, who's running for mayor with the Rent Is Too Damn High Party, to remove the "damn" from his party's name -- but it's not for the reason you might think.

It's not because the word is vulgar or offensive. It's because it makes the party name too damn long.

A candidate's party name must be 15 characters or less, Board of Elections General Counsel Steven Richman told The New York Times. The word "damn" was in McMillan's party name when he first ran for mayor as the founder of the group in 2005, but now the Board wants it cut.

Richman told the Times he had "no idea" why the 17-character party name -- Rent Is Too Damn High – was permitted in 2005.

Eager to keep the "damn" in his affiliation, McMillan, 62, considered replacing the word "Too" with the number "2" to save the two characters that drove his party name over the length limit. He says he's furious about the ruling that the name needed to be cut.

"I was outraged. It made no sense," McMillan told the Times. "It feels like they're doing it for a religious or moral reason."

Watch Jimmy McMillan's campaign message on NBCNewYork.com.

The board gave McMillan a week to change his party's name, but he refused, Richman said. And it's not like he was the only candidate to be asked to make a change. Frances Villar of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, for example, shortened his party name to "Socialism and Lib" to acquiesce to the board's requests.

Since McMillan refused to change the party name on his own, the board did it for him -- by removing the word "damn," Richman told the Times.

Absentee ballots with the truncated name have already been printed so it doesn't appear McMillan can do much about his party's name change other than make his frustration known, which he may do at an upcoming Board of Elections meeting he plans to attend, reports the Times.

Regardless of what the Board decides, McMillan's got his true party name tattooed -- yes, tattooed -- on his right bicep and painted across his flashy Honda CRV. And he plans to use his ride in combination with his Hulk Hogan-esque style to attract attention to his cause.

"When you find your identity, you find what's comfortable," McMillan, who amassed 7,500 signatures to get on the mayoral ballot, told the Times. "I want people to know rent is too damn high."

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