Kinky Friedman for Texas Governor 2006

Kinky Friedman for Texas Governor 2006

This week’s issue of The New Yorker has a great writeup on Kinky Friedman, the unorthodox comedian running for governor as an independent:

In front of a liberal crowd, Kinky throws in as many racist and sexist epithets as he can think of. If it’s a country crowd, he uses bigger words and makes fun of rednecks. Naturally, this is part of his political appeal: politicians are always careful to say nothing offensive, whereas Kinky is careful to always say something offensive; he provokes not to stop conversation but to start it. It’s a delicate balance, however. As Evan Smith, the editor of Texas Monthly, for which Kinky wrote a column for four years, put it, “If he’s too much like the Kinky we all know and love, he risks not being taken seriously; but if he’s too serious he risks just being another guy. People will say, ‘If I wanted an unfunny guy, I’d vote for one of the actual candidates.'”

Kinky has become the everyman’s candidate of choice, striking a chord of common agitation with the political establishment of Democrats and Republicans. As one supporter asked, “How’d it be if someone went up to the capitol and did what they said they would?” The candidate coolly replied, “It’d be a first.”

Not surprisingly, support is growing quickly among independent and disenfranchised voters, and his stable of endorsements continues to grow, with Penn Jillette and Willie Nelson apparently backing the candidate.

He’s even hired Dean Barkley, the campaign director who worked Jesse Ventura’s campaign for governor of Minnesota, and Bill Hillsman, an adman who also worked on Ventura’s campaign in 1998. Hillsman outlined the current strategy:

“We’re in the business of fomenting discontent. Even if we’ve got the greatest answers in the world, now’s the wrong time to be putting them out there, because no one’s really listening.”

That’s exactly the way to play politics as the unknown underdog and I salute their campaign for having gusto. I would hope the Texas Libertarian Party is smart enough to back Kinky and try and get him to run as a libertarian, but that may be wishful thinking on my part. Either way, Kinky appears to have the momentum needed to win next year, and I wish his campaign lots of luck.

And hey, why not donate a few bucks to the campaign?

posted by vforvandyke
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  • http://www.ballot-access.org Richard Winger

    Libertarians in Texas have been approaching Kinky asking if he would be interested in their nomination, but they tell me his campaign doesn’t respond to these feelers.

  • http://lptexas.org Wes Benedict

    When an article mentions “Libertarian” and “Texas” in the same piece, thanks to Google Alerts, I get a notice.

    Putting political philosophy aside, running for Governor as a Libertarian in Texas is quite simple. All you have to do is fill out a simple one page form in December and send it to me or our State Chair, Pat Dixon. Texas Law prohibits someone running as a Libertarian from running as an independent.

    It’s not up to the Libertarian Party of Texas whether or not Kinky seeks the Libertarian Party of Texas nomination for Governor, it’s up to Kinky Friedman. Of course others may seek the nomination as well.

    If more than one person seeks the Libertarian Party nomination for governor, then the June convention delegates select the winner. If Kinky decided to run as a Libertarian, all he’d have to do would be to bring about 100 supporters to the March Libertarian precinct and county conventions, and then on to the June state convention to secure his nomination.

    I do not think Kinky Friedman wants to run as a Libertarian. I think he wants to run as an independent. In any case, it’s up to Kinky Friedman, not the Libertarian Party of Texas.

    Incidentally, I did speak to Kinky Friedman in person a couple of weeks ago here in Austin. Seems like a nice guy and an effective rabblerouser.

    Wes Benedict
    Executive Director
    Libertarian Party of Texas
    Director@lptexas.org
    512-442-4910

  • disinter

    I am not sure that Kinky is a libertarian anyway… If you check out his website, the very little info that he does give regarding his positions appear pretty socialist (Dem/Rep) to me…

    http://www.kinkyfriedman.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=12&Itemid=28

  • Allan

    God Bless Kinky Friedman and may he win so Texas say hello/howdy to your next Govenor Kinky Friedman a man I think you can trust.

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  • Michael Christenson II

    Re: Mike Nelson

    Regardless (and I did read that stuff too and agree with you to an extent), having an Independent win a State Governor spot in TX would be huge! That would go a long way to helping shatter the two party strangle hold and lesser of two evils myth! Might even warm up the mood to let another third party in the running for a few spots; a party we all care for.

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