Chris Brodeur announced his candidacy for mayor on Jan. 24 at City Hall.
By Amanda Kludt
Perhaps hes too young at 37. And, maybe his long ponytail, creative facial hair and base insults of his opponents will turn off some voters. Then there is his history of arrests and public misconduct, his most recent arrest being two weeks ago. Yet no matter what the obstacles political, ideological or aesthetic Christopher X. Brodeur may have one of the most innovative, or at the least, interesting, platforms for mayor New York has ever seen.
Christopher X. Brodeur, Lower East Side resident and self-proclaimed smartest, funniest and best-looking candidate, announced his candidacy for mayor last week on the steps of City Hall. Sporting a sleek tie and pinstripe pants with sneakers, Brodeur exuberantly proclaimed his campaign platform while slandering Mayor Bloomberg and fellow mayoral candidate Fernando Ferrer.
Christopher X. Brodeur, or as his supporters refer to him, CXB, is a whirlwind of anger and arrogance, intelligence and wit. Through over a decade of political activism, Brodeur has pestered two administrations, written a book about what kind of mayor he would be, been arrested numerous times, run for mayor once unsuccessfully, and shown full dedication to his cause to revolutionize the way in which New York City is run. His unabashed criticisms of his opponents coupled with his high energy and unusual style make him as his supporter Frank Morano states, the most entertaining character running for mayor.
Originally from Massachusetts, Brodeur has lived and worked in New York for 15 years and says the other candidates dont understand the issues of most New Yorkers. Although he doesnt have a formal college education, Brodeur says he is more qualified than the other candidates because he is more in touch with the city. Having worked in various professions from carpentry to auto body repair to truck driving to journalism, he cites his life experience as his qualification. Brodeur is also a musician and just toured with the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players. Touching on his lack of political experience, Brodeur said, Youve hired enough guys with ties. Youve hired enough businessmen and lawyers with experience. Howd that work out New York?
What Brodeur lacks in conventional experience, he makes up for in new ideas. If the voters want a blue sidewalk, in a democracy, they should get a blue sidewalk, said Brodeur, discussing how all major issues should be put on a referendum ballot. His controversial innovations for New York City include free subways and death to the M.T.A., free public bathrooms and the outlawing of lies in the government. He also pledges to enact a residency law for police officers, and cut fiscal waste, including the salary of officials in the mayors office and the money spent on the mayoral inauguration. Brodeur insists that all of his ideas, including a skylight law, re-popularizing Murphy beds and putting more three-legged tables because they dont wobble in restaurants, are absolutely serious saying a lot of the problems in New York are quality of life issues.
Brodeurs explanations of his innovations always come laden with acerbic yet humorous critiques of his opponents and unapologetic self-promotion of his own qualities. He likes to imitate the voices of Bloomberg, Ferrer and the New Yorkers who he claims will blindly vote for them. He often derides the appearances of the candidates and the intelligence of their actions, calling them imbecilic, idiotic, moronic and corrupt. He thinks Mayor Bloomberg basically bought the last election and has since failed the city of New York. Meanwhile, Brodeur portrays himself as a dashing young Thomas Jefferson who is running for mayor because he is tired of complaining about the city, whereas the others do it because its the closest theyll ever get to becoming a rock star.
The candidate has had his fair share of actual confrontations with recent and past mayoral administrations. During the Giuliani administration he made frequent berating, often harassing, calls to the mayors press office. In 1997, he stood on the steps of City Hall with a bag over his head and announced his mayoral candidacy as John Doe. Giuliani had him arrested. Recently in the span of a few months he made over 1,300 phone calls to Mayor Bloombergs press office. Two weeks ago he was arrested at his Pitt St. residence after telling a mayoral spokesperson, You should thank the Lord that I didnt slice your throat, because I think if you lie to me I should slice your throat.
In 2001, Brodeur ran on the Green Party ticket but was kept out of many of the larger debates. This year he runs as a Democrat and hopes to court the Independence Party endorsement. He says he will go to every debate, even if he has to crash them. If I have to go to jail, I will go to jail, he said, citing Martin Luther King, Gandhi and Nelson Mandela, as his friends before him who went to jail unjustly.
Although Brodeur says he is not a fringe candidate, he thinks his chances of winning are slim. He often says, One hundred percent of the voters want me and I unite all New Yorkers, but also says the unbalanced media coverage will win the election for the more prominent candidates. I dont think New Yorkers are going to stand up to their government, he said. Brodeur added that this would be the last time he is running. As a final caution to voters, Brodeur said, If you dont want me for mayor, fine
but be careful what you wish for.