Bloomberg's Challenger: Upstart Anti-Shopping Rev

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 8, 2009 2:03 PM CDT
The Rev. Billy Tallen.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Even supporters of the Rev. Billy Tallen don’t think he’s got much of a shot at beating Michael Bloomberg in this year’s election. But like any crusader, the “theater refugee” will tell you it’s not about winning, reports Good. “The reason we said yes to a quixotic campaign against a $100 million candidate was to introduce new ideas into a political system that’s become conservative,” says Tallen, who founded the Church of Life After Shopping in the wake of 9/11 to rail against America's over-consuming ways.

Billy’s wife is fairly pragmatic about his campaign as the Green Party candidate. “Just putting up a fight is a success in itself,” she says. Though the party concedes “our chances of beating Bloomberg aren’t the greatest,” one look at a Rev. Billy event at least shows unbridled enthusiasm. “If enough people saw him in this crazy city,” one attendee says, “New Yorkers would just be like ‘Fuck it. Let’s vote for this guy. He’s brilliant.’”