January 19, 2005

COULD HOLD THE DEMOCRAT UNDER 35% (via Bryan Francoeur):

Gov. Kinky -- the next leader of Texas? (Reuters, 1/19/05)

Kinky Friedman, the best-selling author, country singer and friend of the stray dog, next week will officially toss his ten-gallon hat into the ring for the 2006 Texas governor's race, his campaign said Tuesday.

Friedman will announce his bid to run as an independent on February 3 near the Alamo from a hotel where former U.S. President Teddy Roosevelt founded the Rough Riders.

Friedman, frontman for the group "The Texas Jewboys," is known for songs such as "Get Your Biscuits in the Oven and Your Buns in the Bed" and writing books including "Kill Two Birds and Get Stoned."

The humorist however, is deadly serious about his campaign to unseat current Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican who succeeded President Bush.

"I have achieved a lot of my dreams in life and I want to see that young Texans achieve some of theirs,' Friedman said in a telephone interview. He added, "I want to be governor because I need the closet space."

Friedman said the main priorities in his campaign will be reforming the Texas education system, adding safeguards in the judicial process where Texas ranks as the nation's leader in capital punishment and establishing a peace corps for the state.

Plus, he wants "to fight the wussification of Texas."

His program is wussification though.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 19, 2005 11:51 AM

Carole Strayhorn has been acting way stranger than Kinky over the past three years, and the Democrats may be off the wall enough to try and tap Dan Rather (or heck, Bill Burkett) to be their nominee next year, so I don't know if Friedman can even count on winning the weirdo vote in 2006.

Posted by: John at January 19, 2005 12:22 PM

Our black-robed masters in Washington would prefer to re-abolish capital punishment, full stop. They are pursuing an incremental strategy toward that end, inventing new "constitutionally mandated safeguards" at the rate of three or four a year. Death penalty advocates (like pornography advocates, abortion advocates, et al.) then claim the constitutional high ground and most states just go along, because how can you fight it?

The Texas state courts and the Fifth Circuit account for a high proportion of death-penalty reversals because they routinely read the Supreme Court's divinations from the constitutional chicken entrails as narrowly as possible. They do so because forcing Texas to comply with what John Paul Stevens thinks is "best practice" would turn Texas into California, i.e., 11 executions in 30 years. Which would be distinctly contrary to the repeatedly and loudly expressed will of the Texas legislature and voters, and might in fact provoke lynchings of judges.

But of course, Huntsville is just the New Auschwitz for poor black folk, and lots of other countries have abolished the death penalty, so who cares what those snaggle-toothed inbred racists down in Texas think? Wussify away!

Posted by: Random Lawyer at January 19, 2005 12:52 PM

I saw Kinky's band at the Doral hotel in Florida sometime back in the 70s. His guitar player was playing an excellent electric guitar made from a toilet seat. It was really cool...

Posted by: M. Murcek at January 19, 2005 2:03 PM

Who can they mention Kinky wihout mentioning some of his other great songs from the '70s— "They Ain't Makin' Jews Like Jesus Any More", "Ol' Ben Lucas", "The Ballad of Charles Whitman", and "Homo Erectus". The latter probably the only song ever written using the term "australopithecine" in a proper context, of sorts.

Kinky's problem is that he's spent way too much time in Manhattan (the island, not the one in Montana).

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at January 19, 2005 2:16 PM

And don't forget the immortal "A****** From El Paso"; but after hearing that song, I don't think Kinky will get many votes in West Texas.

I once saw Kinky live in the Lone Star Cafe on Lower Manhattan; we decided he looked a little too much like Billy Martin.

Posted by: Von Goom at January 19, 2005 2:26 PM

I don't think I would ever vote for him, but I sure love his music.

Posted by: Governor Breck at January 19, 2005 2:39 PM

First they planned to run Jerry Springer for governor of Ohio . . . and now this. "Kinky for Governor!"

Posted by: Mike Morley at January 19, 2005 2:51 PM

Next up... Mary Carey moves to TX

Posted by: Chris B at January 19, 2005 3:06 PM

I think Jerry Springer is still looking at a run in 2006.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at January 19, 2005 3:24 PM

Al Franken used to be considering a run against Norm Coleman in 2008, but I think the polls all showed him in the low single digits, so there hasn't been much talk about that for a while...

Posted by: Timothy at January 19, 2005 6:24 PM