Inspiring, Kickass Drug Activist to Take on Chuck Schumer -- Meet Randy Credico

A New York Times blog from this morning alerted me to a promising development, and gave me new respect for fellow Santa Monican Larry David:

"Randy Credico, 54, a stand-up comedian and drug law activist who was director of the fund for the past 12 years, has decided to step down from [the William Moses Kunstler Fund for Racial Justice. He plans to devote himself full-time to his United States Senate campaign, in which he intends to challenge Senator Charles E. Schumer for the Democratic nomination next September."

Mr. Credico said his campaign manager is a former comedy writer for “Saturday Night Live,” and then he began pouring forth with phone numbers of celebrities and comedians he said were endorsing him. I called only one: Larry David, at his office in Los Angeles. Mr. David would not reveal any details about the season finale of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” on HBO, but he did offer his support of Mr. Credico’s candidacy – in his own inimitable, free-associative, hilarious style – and praised his passion for fighting harsh drug laws.

“It’d be pretty interesting, Credico in the Senate — kind of like tying a bunch of cans to a dog and setting him loose in a china shop,” he said. “I don’t envy Schumer. Randy’s really going to get under his skin.”

When told that Mr. Credico plans on running the race sober, Mr. David said, “Listen, I can’t tell the difference whether Randy’s drunk or sober.”

Then Mr. David said, in an unprintable way, that Mr. Credico had a lot of guts.

“He’ll say absolutely anything that’s on his mind,” he said.

Hmm, just like Larry David, I observed.

“No, I only do it on TV,” Mr. David shot back. “I’m only Larry David on TV. Credico’s Larry David in real life.”... 

“My campaign slogan is going to be, ‘Which candidate would you rather smoke a joint with? Credico or Schumer?’” he said, while racing around the penthouse apartment of a friend and directing a small staff of young adults with laptops on how to get out word of his candidacy. He wore his usual jeans and sport jacket and smoked cigarettes and chugged Coke — the soft drink — directly from the 2-liter bottle. He had on hand two boxes of Cuban cigars that he claimed were a gift from former Manhattan District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau.

Last year, Mr. Credico was arrested after interfering with police officers making a marijuana arrest on Gay Street.

Mr. Credico makes no pretense about his longtime battle with drugs and alcohol addiction. He said he has been free of drugs and alcohol for two months now and hopes to stay sober for the entire campaign.

Though sober, Mr. Credico does hope to appeal to the partying public.

It's worth going into that line about how Credico was arrested to understand him  -- the story behind it gives good insight into his real-world approach to activism, and puts on display a very direct theory of social change: Be the change. Tony Papa of the Drug Policy Alliance gives the fuller description in a June 2008 article:

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