July 17, 2005: Headlines: Figures: COS - Malaysia: Writing - Malaysia: Humor: Election2006 - Friedman: Kilgore News Herald: Friedman serious about being governor

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Malaysia: Special Report: Author, Humorist and Malaysia RPCV Kinky Friedman: February 9, 2005: Index: PCOL Exclusive: RPCV Kinky Friedman (Malaysia) : July 17, 2005: Headlines: Figures: COS - Malaysia: Writing - Malaysia: Humor: Election2006 - Friedman: Kilgore News Herald: Friedman serious about being governor

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-141-157-23-45.balt.east.verizon.net - on Sunday, July 17, 2005 - 5:12 pm: Edit Post

Friedman serious about being governor

Friedman serious about being governor

It’s hard to take Friedman seriously as a candidate. This is, after all, the man whose band is called Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys. This is the man whose campaign slogan is “How hard can it be?” This is the candidate who recently hired as a campaign manager the same man who ran Jesse Ventura’s gubernatorial campaign in Minnesota. This is the candidate who makes every appearance in a black hat and long, black coat and who is seldom seen without a cigar. Author, Musician, and candidate for Governor of Texas, Kinky Friedman served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Malaysia in the 1960's.

Friedman serious about being governor

Friedman says all Texans independents

Consider Kinky Friedman. Author, musician and – if he can muster 40 percent of the vote – the next governor of the State of Texas.

It’s hard to take Friedman seriously as a candidate. This is, after all, the man whose band is called Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys. This is the man whose campaign slogan is “How hard can it be?” This is the candidate who recently hired as a campaign manager the same man who ran Jesse Ventura’s gubernatorial campaign in Minnesota. This is the candidate who makes every appearance in a black hat and long, black coat and who is seldom seen without a cigar.

But he is serious about his quest to become Texas governor.

Friedman said the major parties – Republican and Democrat – monopolize politics and, as a result, voter turnout in Texas is at an all time low. “A good voter turnout is only 29 percent,” said Friedman. “The voter turnout in Iraq is at 55 percent so what does that tell you.”

Describing the two major parties, Friedman said Texans “should have another choice besides paper or plastic.”

“With 40 percent of the vote as an independent, I will be the next governor of the State of Texas, but the 71 percent (those who don’t normally vote) will have to come out and cast their vote,” said Friedman. “When that happens there will be Bluebonnets in America.”

Friedman said there hasn’t been an independent elected to office in Texas in 146 years and that career politicians are counting on that to continue.

“When I have 50,000 signatures on a petition and my name on the ballot those politicians will not be very happy,” said Friedman. They forget, he said, that “every Texan is an independent.”

Texas’ laws governing independent candidates are clear and unlike those in any other state. Friedman can only get on the ballot if he submits petitions bearing the names of almost 50,000 registered voters. He can’t start collecting signatures until after next spring’s primary election. And none of the signers may have voted in the primary, which leaves him in the unusual position of urging voters not to participate in the party primaries.

“Everyone who is a registered voter and does not vote in either primary is a vote for Kinky,” said Friedman. “My campaign already has over 30,000 volunteers and is growing every day.”

Friedman said Texas is the only state that has this law requiring these signatures to get on the ballot. “I wonder why that is,” Friedman asks rhetorically.

Friedman said he is a “very strong proponent of education” and has three goals to help the education system.

“The first goal is to actually be a governor that cares about education. Get rid of the TAKS test; stop teaching the test and start teaching the child. And remember that money is not the only answer to fixing the education problems in Texas,” said Friedman. “ We have to understand the people and the problem and that is what I want to do.”

Friedman supports the notion of video gambling as a source of new revenue for education. He says ‘Slots for Tots’ would generate $2.5 billion a year for education under his plan.

He proposes auctioning Texas sports funding to the highest bidder -- Nike or Coca Cola or Adidas or some other corporation that would like the opportunity to “get their hooks into the athletes while they’re still young.”

“I want to transfer sports funding out of education,” said Friedman. “The State of Georgia has done it and it works fine. But is anyone in the current legislature looking at Georgia? No.”

He says states can get rid of the controversial TAKS (Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills) test. Utah, he says, eliminated their statewide test. “In Utah they have done away with the test, telling the federal government they don’t want their money and it works. Is Utah’s system being looked into? No,” said Friedman.

The final step would be to establish what he calls “a Texas Peace Corps for education” in which volunteers would help operate the schools.

Friedman proposes the creation of a “Trust for Texas Heroes” with a surcharge of 1 percent on every barrel of oil produced in Texas.

“This charge would only be 60 cents per barrel at the current rate.” said Friedman. “This money would be used only for salaries of teachers, police officers and fireman.”

“The current government was built by giants but is being run by midgets,” said Friedman. “The governor has 3,200 appointees in the education system and most of them have never set foot in a classroom” since they graduated. He has said all employees of the Texas education department should be teachers or former teachers.

Friedman argues there are too many “cronies” appointed in Texas politics. “I don’t have any cronies, I just want to see more young people getting involved in politics,” said Friedman.

Friedman’s not afraid of the controversial issues.

“I am going to see non-denominational prayer and the Ten Commandments put back in the schools.”

Friedman said the Ten Commandments might have to be called the ten rules or something similar but they need to be back in the schools. “They say this is part of my wussification campaign but, as my spiritual advisor Billy Jo Schafer says, “If you don’t love Jesus, go to hell.”

One of Friedman’s most unusual ideas addresses border security.

He proposes creating what he calls the Five Mexican Generals plan. As he lays it out, the border with Mexico would be divided into five pieces with a Mexican general responsible for each. A $1 million trust fund would be created for each general.

“When I talk about the five Mexican generals, people think I’m joking but I’m dead serious,” said Friedman. “I will divide the border into five jurisdictions, assigning one Mexican general to each and providing a trust fund for that general. Every time a person crosses illegally, we subtract $5,000 from the trust fund.”

Friedman said he is for immigration as long as it’s legal and each immigrant has the proper paperwork, such as a ‘green card,’ to be in the U.S.

“Mexico is not a poor country. After all, it’s an OPEC (Oil Producing and Exporting Country) country, but the Mexican government doesn’t take care of its people. I can’t screw things up any worse than they already are,” said Friedman.

Friedman, concerned about the effect of importing oil, says state vehicles should burn bio-diesel. “We should be using bio-diesel like Willie Nelson uses in his bus,” said Friedman. “It’s clean burning and economical and can be produced right here in the United States. The Saudis are playing the jukebox and we are dancing to the tune,” said Friedman.

“Another area is child poverty. We are the number two state in agriculture but Texas is also number two in hungry kids and that has to change.”

Friedman said education is the centerpiece of his campaign and he would like to show young people you can govern by common sense and spiritual leadership. “I like to live by the WWRWD principle” What Will Rogers Would Do,” said Friedman. “I would like to bring to the office the values I’ve learned from heroes of mine – Jesus, Ghandi and Martin Luther King Jr.”

Friedman said he is qualified to run for governor because of his lack of experience. “My family were teachers. I’m an author and musician,” said Friedman. “I’m for the little fella, not the Rockafella.”

“The only way to get traditional politicians off their asses is to get them to attack each other,” said Friedman. “I’m against empty suits and empty dresses running the Lone Star State.”

Friedman has fun with his religious background. He laughs that he once commented that, as a Jew he would lower the speed limit from 55 to 54.95. “Since I made that statement people have been sending in donations for the campaign in the amounts of $54.95 or $499.95,” said Friedman.

Friedman said neither Democrats not Republicans in government take him seriously. That, he says, is the beauty of a independent campaign.

“This is a grassroots campaign and I can take a stance on prayer in school or gay marriage, which they won’t do,” said Friedman. “This is a chance for people to triumph over politics. This is not about Rick Perry or Carole Strayhorn. It’s about changing politics itself and politics itself sucks.”

On the Net: www.KinkyFriedman.com.

When this story was posted in July 2005, this was on the front page of PCOL:

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Story Source: Kilgore News Herald

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Figures; COS - Malaysia; Writing - Malaysia; Humor; Election2006 - Friedman


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