Texas Liberal

All People Matter

The Case For Kinky Friedman For Governor Of Texas In 2010

File:Kinky friedman 2006.jpg

The 2010 race for Governor of Texas is, regretfully, already under way. Republican U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson is a primary candidate for 2010 against incumbent Governor Rick Perry. Neither of these two candidates of the far-right offer much hope for Texans looking for a change from years of misrule by George W. Bush, Tom Craddick and….Kay Bailey Hutchison and Rick Perry.  

The two announced Democratic candidates for 2010 are Tom Schieffer and Kinky Friedman.

(Oops! I left out former Railroad Commission candidate Mark Thompson as a primary candidate.)  

Mr. Schieffer was Ambassador to Australia and then Japan under George W. Bush. He has supported Mr. Bush in his campaigns. Despite this connection to Mr. Bush, Mr. Schieffer is running as a Democrat.    

I can’t say I’m enthused by Mr. Schieffer.

Kinky Friedman, a performer and author, sets me on edge just looking at him. Some sort of hip singing cowboy walking around with a cigar all the time. What the hell is that?  What does any of that have to do with my majority-minority home city of Houston?

I can hardly stand to look at that picture I’ve put at the top of this post.  

Here is Mr. Friedman’s campaign web home.

Mr. Friedman ran for Governor of Texas in 2006 as an Independent. I talked to him for a few minutes during that campaign and found him to be a jerk.

But you know…..I want Texas to have a Democratic governor. I’ve lived in Texas since 1998 and as far as I can recall I have yet to see a Democrat win a statewide race for any office. How long can this go on? 

At this point, I’m at least willing to give Mr. Friedman a hearing. The candidates our Democratic Party of Texas has offered have been a string of clunkers. 

One of the best political boggers in Texas is Ted McLaughlin of Amarillo who writes the blog Jobsanger. Ted is a good liberal and a loyal Texan. His views merit consideration. 

Ted supported Mr. Friedman in 2006 and is supporting him for 2010. I asked Ted to tell me why he backs Mr. Friedman.

Here is what he wrote— 

The other day I got an interesting question from a friend of mine. Neil,… (who) wanted to know “Why do you support Kinky Friedman for governor in 2010?” Let me see if I can collect my thoughts and coherently answer that question. First, Kinky’s talent and his belief in social justice are not new to me.

I first heard of Kinky Friedman in 1973, when he put out an album named Sold American. You don’t have to listen to very many cuts off the album to know this talented Texan is a fighter for civil rights and women’s rights. And he didn’t just do that in his music. When he ran for governor in 2006 as an independent, there were some young bloggers who, in their zeal to support their own candidate, accused Kinky of being a racist. They should be ashamed of themselves for that. Kinky was on the streets in Austin protesting for civil rights before these bloggers were even a gleam in their parents’ eyes.

I’m talking about the sixties, when it took some courage to stand up for civil rights anywhere in Texas. And in all those years since that time, Kinky has not really changed. He is still an independent thinker who wants to make the lives of ordinary Texans a little better. In his own words, Kinky says, “It’s time to end corporate handouts, get rid of the death penalty, get rid of the TAKS Test, and get rid of the Republican stranglehold on this state.”

I believe the recent Republican dominance of Texas politics has been disastrous for ordinary Texans. They have virtually sold our state to the corporate interests. While the corporations get handouts and corporate-friendly laws, the ordinary citizens get nothing but higher taxes, dirty air and water, and urban blight. It doesn’t matter whether Rick Perry is re-elected or is replaced by Kay Bailey Hutchison, the worship of corporate interests and abandonement of the citizens’ interests will continue. The only way to change things in Texas is to vote the Republicans out of power.

Now, some of you may think there is a Democrat running besides Kinky — Tom Schieffer. I would disagree. Tom Schieffer may call himself a Democrat, but he sure doesn’t act like one! Just look at his record in recent years. Schieffer comes from the corporate world, where he was a business associate of George Bush. In fact, he supported Bush when he ran for governor. Then he again publically supported Bush in both the 2000 and 2004 campaigns for president. He also served the Bush administration as an ambassador. I ask you — does this really sound like a Democrat?

Tom Schieffer is a DINO — a Democrat In Name Only. If elected, he would rule like a Republican. You would not be able to detect any difference between the current Republican corporatacracy and a Schieffer-led corporatacracy. It would just be more of the same, with Big Business getting the cake and everyone else scrambling for the crumbs.

Is Kinky perfect? No, but then I have never met the politician who was perfect. However, one big difference between Kinky and most politicians is his willingness to admit his mistakes and apologize for them. A few years ago, Kinky made some stupid and unkind remarks about Katrina victims in Houston. But when his supporters (and others) pointed out what a boneheaded statement it was, Kinky realized his error and apologized for his insensitivity.

Perfect or flawed, Kinky Friedman is the only choice for those who believe Texas is heading down the wrong path, and must change. All of the other candidates just offer more of the same (including Schieffer), but Kinky wants to restore the government to the benefit of ordinary Texans. Kinky says his heroes have always been Democrats — specifically Ann Richards and Barbara Jordan. Personally, if he wants to model his government service after these two Texas political giants, then he’s off to a good start.

Why do I support Kinky? Two reasons — I like him as a person, and I don’t see any alternative for those who want to change Texas for the better. Isn’t it time you climbed on board also?

June 3, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , ,

11 Comments »

  1. So is the argument “Kinky: Because I Can’t Come Up With Better” or “Kinky: At Least Every Time He Screws Up, He Says Sorry?”

    Might as well stick with the ’06 slogan. “Kinky: Why The Hell Not?” is just as honest, without being as direct.

    The “better than nothing — and hey, I’m desperate bit” at the beginning doesn’t really do much to flatter the guy. I don’t know that that’s very fair to him, but I have to admit — it is pretty funny. But the more heartfelt bit at the end from Ted kind of ruins it. I mean, giving Schieffer flak for being ambassador to Japan under W? Obama kept Schieffer on, didn’t he? So Schieffer has more experience as a Democrat by those few months than Kinky, who ran as a Republican in 1986 and has done nothing in the public sector since, does. (And he says he voted Bush in ’04, which is pretty strong “support” from a guy who hadn’t voted for a decade before that. And you’re giving Schieffer a hard time for what?) Which breaches the question: how does a guy that famous run for Justice of the Peace in Kerr County, for which if the voting population in ’86 was 25,000 I’ll eat my hat, and *lose*? Oh, well.

    I like him as a person too. Now, isn’t it time he actually act like the positions he’s running for are serious? We already saw that the “I’m sorry I keep switching back to comedian mode at regular intervals — I’ll pretend harder to be a politician” routine doesn’t get you votes. Folks want leaders who can fix problems, not apologize for them. He’s got plenty of time to prove himself, and I and many others will be looking, and if he succeeds at doing so and Democratic primary voters are with him, so am I. But endorsing him before he’s proved himself? Not for me, thanks. And I doubt I’m alone.

    Comment by George Nassar | June 4, 2009

  2. George–Thanks for the comment.

    We’ll have plenty of time to talk it all out in the near endless span between now and the primary.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | June 4, 2009

  3. I’m willing to consider Kinky, because I believe he actually has a chance to win. I think we all know that he is an entertainer, and not a racist, and the young bloggers so strongly against him might want to start thinking a but more like practical adults. Isn’t it obvious that Kinky would be a better governor for Democratic constituents than Perry or KBH? Unless Van de Putte is running, I for one am willing to give the Kinkster a go, cause really, why the he’ll not?

    Comment by Eli | June 5, 2009

  4. In a state a big and diverse as Texas, we believe the talent pool for the democratic primary for governor is wider and deeper than the candidates referenced here. We are not limiting our search to the professional political class only. We are open to leaders from the business, legal, non-profit communities and beyond.

    We need competence to fix Austin. We would like a candidate with a background and experience that meets the moment. We need an inspiring voice, a compelling message that reengages the people with their state government. Our candidate will draw on the people to change Texas together.

    For those who might consider jumping in the race, we are open to all credible candidacies and will declare our support when the field is complete and debates are aired.

    Join us and together we will change Texas,
    Change Candidate Wanted For Texas

    Comment by cy bish port street | June 11, 2009

  5. I am very willing to consider Kinky although except for the drug issue he ran a very conservative race last time. Bell was much better and would have been the best choice but the Democratic establishment wrongly thought early he had no chance.

    Comment by Gary D | July 23, 2009

  6. I’m keeping an open mind as we proceed. Like many on our side of the aisle, I’m hoping for a new candidate in the race I can be more entushed about. Thanks for all these good comments as we slog our way towards Election Day 2010.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | July 24, 2009

  7. Just so everybody knows, Kay Bailout Hutchison and Rick Perry are NOT the only candidates running for the Republican nomination. Debra Medina and Larry Kilgore are also in the running. Keep that in mind in case you have to vote for a Bush-loving Tom Schieffer. Both Medina and Kilgore oppose Bush/Obama policies which are one and the same, for anyone caring to admit the truth.

    Comment by Henry H | August 17, 2009

  8. Dear Fellow Texans,

    I’m not a political guru, or for that matter involved in
    any form of politics, I’m a native Texan since 1972. I was
    born in El Paso, and currently in Hamilton. I know one thing, if the people of Texas want Kinky in the burned out Governors Mansion, so be it! I for one, see little hope for Kinky.

    Mr. Friedman is fighting a very impossible battle for a position of power. The election of 2006 put Kinky as a ‘clown’ and destroyed his credibility as a political leader. I buy a 5 bottles of Crown Royal to Kinky if he is Governor and will serve as Railroad Commissioner or the
    Speaker of The House if Kinky makes it as Governor. I had
    high hopes he’d make it in 2006, but the media and Rick
    Perry made a fool of Kinky. Kinky needs to convince the
    rest of Texas to get the Republicans out of Austin. I was
    devastated, so I’m critical of this election. Like I said,
    if Kinky is elected, I’ll bring 5 bottles of Crown Royal
    personally to Kinky, if not, then my faith in government is
    all but FARTS, BURPS, and SPITS! (OR KINKY OWES ME 3 CASES
    of his Private Stock Salsa!) 🙂 I feel this is a political
    distraction to get Kay Bailey Elected… I don’t see the
    rest of Texas convinced Kinky would be the next Governor of
    Texas… “Not Prudent… Not Gonna Happen…” unless..
    PROVE ME WRONG TEXAS! 🙂

    Shalom,

    Michael D. Lucas
    76531

    Comment by Michael D. Lucas | August 18, 2009

  9. “Author: Henry H
    Comment:
    Just so everybody knows, Kay Bailout Hutchison and Rick Perry are NOT the only candidates running for the Republican nomination. Debra Medina and Larry Kilgore are also in the running. Keep that in mind in case you have to vote for a Bush-loving Tom Schieffer. Both Medina and Kilgore oppose Bush/Obama policies which are one and the same, for anyone caring to admit the truth.”

    Dear Henry H,
    Just for your information, Kay and Rick “ARE” big money,
    and big money, means power. Regardless of the people’s
    voice. Kinky isn’t rich, isn’t powerful enough and also
    isn’t convincing enough let alone Debra, and Larry to
    sway public opinion and over-ride the lobbyists. The lobby
    people run this regime. If the lobby want Kinky then Kinky
    has to cater to the lobby people. The truth is mainly big
    money wins, little people lose. I still stand by my BET,
    if Kinky is Elected, He gets 5 bottles of Crown Royal,
    and when he loses, I get 3 cases of his Private Stock
    Salsa! 🙂 HA HA 🙂 (: Henry H, I used to share the same
    faith in government, I lose a little faith every day, when
    I got a ticket for running a red light in Killeen, and the
    amount was $75 bucks! I have to pay big money, or I can’t
    drive no more, and go to jail.. That’s big money, Kinky is
    not big money, and can’t influence enough people to buy
    his Private Stock Salsa, or his Cigars, let alone getting
    down to business, convince Texans and convince me he is
    even serious as a heart attack to even get into office,
    and make change. He hacked off so many “big money” people,
    and after the 2006 elections, he’s just a political clown
    with a cigar, and a smooth voice. To even be with Willie
    Nelson and his drug possession charges, and questionable
    bio-diesel fuel, just won’t cut the mustard, or even get
    serious consideration from voters. He’s too funny, too
    comical and just isn’t organized or even mature enough to
    handle the pressure of being Governor, with so much at
    stake, and the economy, and the issues at hand, Kinky has
    to find some rich Jewish bankers, rich Jewish sugar mommas
    and rich Jewish families to over power the current big
    money at hand. As a supporter turned major critic, I will
    await my FREE 3 cases of Private Stock Salsa, when Kinky
    loses horribly like before. In other words, unless Kinky
    can convince rich people to vote for him, and he has to
    sell himself as a professional, mature, and capable man to
    run the State of Texas as a businessman, and be a Mason in
    good standing, or member of reputable groups and clubs to
    even get in the door, I doubt very highly, anybody will
    take Kinky seriously. Its like the little boy who cried
    wolf, till nobody believed him and the wolf came and ate
    the little boy. Kinky is the little boy nobody believes,
    and the wolf will be the critics that will have Kinky for
    breakfast, lunch and dinner, and possibly donate small cash
    for his rescue shelter and other ‘trinkets’ he has on his
    website. Other than that, it’s either Rick, Kay, or Debra,
    or Larry…. Kinky just can’t be serious enough to even
    get credible votes to move into the Governor’s Mansion.

    Seriously doubtful anyone but BIG MONEY will occupy power
    in Texas,

    Michael D. Lucas
    76531

    Comment by Michael D. Lucas | August 19, 2009

  10. I am proud to be a democrat. Hey, I voted for Gore when Texas’ own “son of a Bush” was running for president. Looking back now, I bet the majority of “W” supporters are not too proud of the fact that he was voted in as Texas’ governor and president of the USA for eight years. If they think that was a good decision, then they must be oblivious to the world as it is now. In my opinion, the main thing he did was to make the rest of the world think that Texans must be just like him–a bunch of unintelligent, oil-rich, sense-poor, indecisive, incoherant, good ole boy boneheads getting by on his family’s name and money. He’s right up there with Ross Perot in giving Texas(and Republicans for that matter) a black eye. Perry seems like an extension of Bush policy and leadership–who the heck would want four more years of that. He wasn’t even elected-just slipped in because of Bush. I think it is good that KBH is going against him, if for nothing else than spending tons of campaign dollars that would have to go back into the economy, and sending the message that “Hey, even Republicans think that “Slick Rick” needs to be kicked out. Wonder if “W” will endorse him or her?? A divided party has more of a chance to lose than a united one.

    -Everytime that I see a picture of Perry I cringe! Pretty boy politico wannabe crossed with a used car salesman. I would much rather see Friedman’s facade- that is an honest representation of the man. At least he is not hypocritically promoting himself as a sterotypical politician who is “PC” in public and just the opposite in private. If Texans would “man up and speak out” like they should, many would echo the beliefs of Democrats and even Kinky Friedman.

    I am a Christian woman, wife of twenty-two years, mother of three, middle class, college grad, and former elementary teacher who would still be teaching were it not for the idiotic policies and mandates of the Bush/Perry regime. I was involved in education for twenty years(1989-2009)and can tell you that “No Child Left Behind” was a good intention that put public education on the road to Hell in a hand basket. The idea of state mandated tests ie(TABS, TEAMS, TAAS, and TAKS) started out to supposedly help improve schools and education. Now schools and education only want to improve test scores and numbers–NOT teach ALL students to be successful in the real world. Is it right to teach children that their yearly(180)days success is based on the grade of one test? Teachers don’t teach this, but it is implied by the school system and government. This mindset inevitably creates an undue amount of pressure on kids as young as 8 years old to perform, when many do not even have the maturity to understand why one test can make them fail a grade.

    I am a 6th generation native Texan and think that Texas needs and deserves to have a governor who does NOT blend in to the political backdrop, double-talking status quo that Republicans and “Slick Rick” Perry have continued.
    I am definitely not a staunch conservative, nor am I a bleeding heart liberal. I am a moderate. The last time that I respected a Texas governor was when democrat Ann Richards held that office. She was an underdog, not a longtime career politician, spoke her mind honestly, stood up for what she believed in, represented Texas well, got things done and did not care if it “ruffled feathers”. Out of the present pool of candidates, Kinky Friedman resembles her the most.

    *Everytime that I see a picture of Perry I cringe! Pretty boy politico wannabe crossed with a used car salesman. I would much rather see Friedman’s facade- that is an honest representation of the man. At least he is not hypocritically promoting himself as a sterotypical politician who is “PC” in public and just the opposite in private. If Texans would ‘man up and speak out’ like they should, many would echo the beliefs of Democrats- even one like Kinky Friedman.

    Yeah, yeah I hear those of you saying only double-talking-lobby courting, greedy, power hungry, fatcat Republican b*****ds can get elected in Texas. I, for one, think differently. At least, Kinky seems like the antithesis of the aforementioned “Texas electable political standard”. Kinky can get elected. Stranger things have happened–like a young, inexperienced, African-American, Muslim?, Democratic junior senator from Illinois, with the middle name Hussein, raised by a single parent beating out an old, experienced politician, war hero, conservative, status quo, Bush-like, white man to become the 44th president of the USofA! (okay, I know he didn’t carry Texas) Is it that far-fetched to believe a semi-radical, colorful, Jewish, non-politician, musician/writer, cigar-smoking man could be out oily “Slick Rick”?? I definitely think Friedman would be more likely to listen to ALL Texans–not just the rich moral majority, special interest ones.

    So, if you really are sick of the Republican dictatorship of Texas I would think you would support a change to win back Texas, no matter if Daffy Duck(not Schieffer though) was the democratic candidate. Otherwise, vote Republican or not at all, and sit back and let things you don’t like happen, be depressed, moan and groan, be angry and complain, and get screwed for another four years. 😦
    Hate to say it, but that’s what I did–not now, not anymore.
    Time for a change,
    Terri Leech
    76567

    Comment by Terri Leech | September 6, 2009

  11. Dear Terri Leech,

    I for one, being a former christian due to ‘church
    politics’ and realized my mom ‘is’ Jewish, I went with
    Kinky hoping he’d make some real changes. Since Slick Rick
    split the votes so he can stay in by default, Slick Rick is
    doing this again! My offer stands, 5 bottles of Crown Royal
    Kinky won’t be Governor, and IF Texas gets tired of the
    Repub way of living, and IF IF IF Texas puts Kinky in the
    Governor’s Mansion, then I’ll buy 5 bottles of Crown Royal,
    and SERVE as Railroad Commissioner or Speaker of the House
    for however long Kinky or Texas NEEDS ME. IF I WIN, which
    by smug assurances I WILL WIN THIS BET, then Kinky Friedman
    will ship and or send me 3 cases of his Private Stock
    Salsa for FREE! Simple bet! I don’t ask for much except
    that Kinky shouldn’t be used as a political punching bag
    to make Slick Rick or Kay Bailout Hutchinson. Personally,
    Kinky should STICK to music, and what he does best, being
    a pain in the ass for those darn Republicans and keep
    Willie Nelson under the Texas Ranger’s radar, and out of
    the BIG HOUSE! 🙂 HA HA HA. I believe Kinky should just
    quit, lay it down, and walk out while he has some sort of
    comedian personality, and something to take care of, all
    those poor animals at his Utopia Ranch.

    UNLESS Kinky can UNITE everyone in Texas to vote for
    him, and move in the Governor’s mansion, then I’ll be the
    one purchasing 5 bottles of Crown Royal, and serve as
    Railroad Commissioner or Speaker of the House. 🙂

    Just want to be clear on this. 🙂

    Shalom,

    Michael D. Lucas
    76531

    Comment by Michael Lucas | September 9, 2009


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