Friday, July 28, 2006

"Kinkster": Withdraw. Endorse Chris Bell

Richard “Kinky” (Big Dick) Friedman seems to be acting to make certain that Richard Perry, will be a minority-elected Republican incumbent, who will be able to maintain his residence in the governor’s mansion in 2007. How will he do that? Well, he seems to be splitting the Democratic vote in his “is this guy joking?” campaign.

It’s almost as if he were secretly working for Perry’s re-election.

Incredibly, I just read a blog today that calls Democratic Party gubernatorial candidate Chris Bell a “spoiler” – pulling figures out of thin air “proving” that if Bell dropped out, Perry would lose.

I don’t think Texans are that stupid.

Friedman’s campaign has captured the imaginations of thousands of disaffected voters. His campaign resembles that of former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura. Indeed, Friedman’s campaign manager is Dean Barkley, who once worked for Ventura.

Democrats who are considering a vote for Friedman should remember a few things first.

In Texas, the winner of the governor’s race is the one who gets the most votes, not the one who gets the majority of votes. There is no runoff. If Texans are thinking of casting a protest vote or a vote of fancy, they should remember that.

Jesse Ventura, who ran like Friedman as an independent, maintained his independent status as governor – staying “above the fray”. As a result instead of making one side mad at him, he pissed off everyone. You have to wonder about the ability of a “Governor Friedman” to get anything done when he has to deal with a probable new Democratic majority in the Texas legislature. Friedman may want to “dewussify” Texas – bringing great mass appeal to the campaign, but that doesn’t cut the mustard in the house and senate. What we need is a legislature that will have a synergy with the governor, Governor Kinky will not have much support in the legislature.

Jesse Ventura did not run for a second term. He was succeeded by a Republican.

In heavily Democratic California, Californians voted Republican candidate Arnold “The Governator” Schwarzenegger into office in a special recall election. Schwarzenegger has star power like Friedman, but his governorship is on the skids and he has had to make himself look very Democratic lately. No one expects him to be re-elected. Friedman, like Schwarzenegger, like Ventura, has no staying power.

Friedman’s issues, like everything else in his campaign, are jokes. Where Chris Bell discusses serious issues, Friedman says he is serious in his plan to bribe 5 generals in the Mexican army to guard the Texas border with Mexico. He says he will establish 5 $1 million trust funds for the 5 generals, saying he will deduct $5000 from it for every Mexican citizen who crosses the border illegally. This is just the stuff of his campaign – a joke - but he says he is serious. Well, OK, if so, isn’t what he is planning to do a promotion of murder of Mexican nationals? A bullet in the back of an illegal immigrant crossing the border is the easiest solution in the preservation of a general’s trust fund. His plan is no longer quite the knee-slapper, is it?

Unlike his star-power colleagues, Ventura and Schwarzenegger, Friedman actually HAS a bachelor’s degree, a degree in psychology from UT. The man isn’t dumb. But he sure acts the part. That’s the trouble, really, when Friedman is working, he is acting. When Chris Bell is working, he’s working.

It is probably not in Richard “Kinky” Friedman’s nature to step down and endorse Chris Bell. But if he cares about Texas as much as he claims to, that is exactly what he needs to do. Chris Bell will be able to work with the new Democratic majority in the state legislature – a new progressive synergy will emerge. Kinky Friedman hasn’t a prayer of accomplishing that simple thing.

Do the right thing Kinky: drop out of the election and endorse Chris Bell for governor. Heck, maybe Chris and the Texas legislature will establish a “Texas Peace Corps” and put you in charge.

10 comments:

Van said...

Chris Bell has a respect for women that the Kinkster will never have. When Friedman opens his mouth and starts dropping the pearls of how he really feels about women, he'll have to barricade himself in the Capital building or the Governor's mansion if he wins. I know a few women who would probably neuter him if they could get to him once they heard him.
There also would go his credibility with teachers, where the majority are women. No, the Kinkster's too lazy to actually be a governor. But he'd be about as mature as the one we had before Perry.

Hal said...

I agree, Van. I later happened on a telling photo of "The Kinkster" autographing the hip of a blonde fan - had an ugly leer on his face. I don't trust a man who has no respect for women.

StopKinky said...

I agree.

Kinky's campaign has a distinct flavor of commercial (not political) self-promotion.

As reported by several news agencies, "entertainer and Texas gubernatorial candidate Kinky Friedman, complete with cigar, black cowboy hat and Southern drawl, is about to star in his own reality show.

'Go Kinky,' airing on Country Music Television, follows Friedman, an independent candidate, on the campaign trail in the Lone Star State.

'Every crazy redneck in Texas is for Kinky,' Friedman told FOXNews.com from his ranch in Medina, Texas."


Of course, as an added self-promotional bonus, Kinky's official campaign website doesn't fail to remind you that Mr. Friedman has a new book coming out.

If this commercialism did not affect Kinky's political views, I might be more forgiving of his relentless commercial self-promotion, but Kinky allows this attitude to affect his views on policy issues. For example, one prominent feature of Kinky's campaign has been Kinky's pledge to turn over Texas public school physical education programs to corporations and charge them whatever they will pay to "get their hooks into the athletes while they’re still young."

I might be able to look past the corporate influence over Kinky's campaign if he were otherwise worthy of support, but Kinky has doomed his campaign.

Kinky's statements on race have entrenched his campaign in an inescapable hole with minority voter groups in Texas.

The internal crosstabs at the latest SurveyUSA poll show that Kinky has the least support of all the candidates among Black voters. Kinky's support among likely Black voters is down to 6% and down even lower to 4% among those racial minorities who did not list their race. Kinky's paltry level of support is less than half the support among Black voters than even notoriously unpopular Governor Perry receives.

Why is Kinky's support so low among likely Black voters?

What could be diminishing Kinky's support in the Black community to less half the level of the widely disliked governor?

Could it be this video from Kinky's appearance last November on CNBC's "The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch" where Kinky explained his view that criminals should be punished by locking them in prison and making them "listen to a Negro talking to himself"?

Could that be why Kinky is so distrusted in the Black community?

Or perhaps Kinky is so unpopular among Black voters because Donny Deutsch asked if Kinky's statement was possibly a little racist, and Kinky replied that "Negro is a charming word."

Maybe that's why Kinky is widely unpopular among Black voters.

Likewise, the crosstabs at the SurveyUSA poll show that Kinky has the least support of all the candidates among Hispanic voters.

Why is Kinky's support so low among likely Hispanic voters?

Could it be the newspaper interviews where Kinky promises to take "a harder line on immigration" than any of the other candidates and where Kinky says the Tejano protesters marching in favor of immigration reform are "half playing hooky"?

Could it be the other newspaper interviews where Kinky says "Mexico is not a poor country" and "I will divide the border into five jurisdictions, assigning one Mexican general to each and providing a trust fund for that general"?

Maybe it's those interviews where Kinky says "all of these politicians are afraid of offending Hispanics ... I want the border off the evening news until we get something resolved."

Obviously, Kinky is not "afraid of offending Hispanics" – or Black voters, for that matter. Maybe that's why Kinky is the least popular candidate among minority voters in Texas.

There are a dozen other issues where I could use my own words to argue that Kinky is not worthy of support. Instead, however, I will use Kinky's own words to show that his positions on issues are either poorly thought out or inconsistent depending upon the whims of the audience he is addressing:

Kinky said "I have mixed feelings on parental notification" about abortions for girls under the age of 18 and "on the counseling requirement, I'm not sure, but I know the less I talk to social workers, the better. No issue with the public-funding restrictions, but I would want to investigate further."

Kinky said "I am not anti-death penalty."

Kinky said "let's do away with the death penalty."

Kinky said of Bush's Iraq War "I agree with most of his political positions overseas, his foreign policy."

Kinky said what Bush has "been doing in the Near East and in the Middle East, he’s handling that well, I think."

Kinky said my "voting record doesn't look strong, but my voting record is better than Dick Cheney's."

Kinky said "I am going to see non-denominational prayer and the Ten Commandments put back in the schools."

TheLongHaul said...

Gees, where should I begin? First of all, if you choose to support someone for governor, why not take the high road and write articles that favor your choice rather than try to discredit your opponent. We all know how easy it is to attack someone, but I instead challenge you to promote your choice. Second, if you do choose to discredit your opponent, don't spin the facts and use information out of context. We all know the only reason one would even choose to start attacking is they feel threatened. (i.e., the U.S.)

Let's begin on your first paragraph. You start off saying, "...Friedman seems to be acting to make certain that Richard Perry, will be a minority-elected Republican incumbent..." Well how can you say certain when this is the wackiest governor's race in a long time. We have 3 viable candidates running, 2 of which are independents. INDEPENDENTS DON'T get on the ballot in Texas, was the original belief soon turned upside down by tired Texans sick of the current Texas political scene. I hate to see you abandon your hope for your candidate with only a couple months to go. So for you to base your whole article on your certainty negates your entire premise. But let us amuse ourselves with the rest of your ranting.

"How will he do that? Well, he seems to be splitting the Democratic vote..." Splitting the Democratic vote huh? I prefer to look at it as Bell losing half of his supporters due to lack of inspiration. I like Chris Bell, and he is a good man. He has great ideas, good intentions, and presents himself well. He is a manager, not a leader.

The blog you read which I did not even check out because once again, it is assumed that Perry is going to win, and suggests one of the ways to change the outcome is for Bell to drop out. I already believe Perry is going to lose, but for those that think Perry's going to win, like yourself, he would lose if Bell dropped out. He'd lose if anyone dropped out, Bell, Kinky, or Strayhorn. That statement was only for those that already are "certain" that Perry is going to win, as I stand firmly committed to Kinky's success.

You then go on to suggest that Texans who vote for Kinky are merely, "...casting a protest vote or a vote of fancy..." I can assure you that you are absolutely correct on this one. This IS a protest vote. I'm not speaking for all Texans, but I am speaking as a Texan. I'm not afraid to show my face and contact information on my blog. This is because I believe in what I say, and I mean it. I do not mind who looks at my page and judges me. I firmly believe Democrats and Republicans have let Texans down. They have failed to pass effective education reform, have neglected the border problems, they execute more people than any other state, they have deregulated university tuition rates, they under pay teachers but vote for pay raises for themselves, have property tax issues, and have failed to realize the potentials in renewable resources. So what, I ask is wrong with protesting this?

Now on the "vote of fancy" part. See, maybe it's my optimism, but while you see fancy as an unfounded opinion, or a whim, I see it as elaborate in design, marked by great technical skill, and of superior grade, as quoted by The American Heritage Dictionary.

"You have to wonder about the ability of a “Governor Friedman” to get anything done when he has to deal with a probable new Democratic majority in the Texas legislature." And why should we wonder about his ability to deal with something that is probable at best? A Democratic majority would be wonderful no doubt. But let's get something straight here. Friedman and Ventura are not the same person nor are Texans Minnesotans. One thing to mention here is your shift from certainty to probable. So what you're saying is Perry and the Republicans WILL win the governorship, but Democrats MIGHT win the legislature. Hmmm.

You also claim, in this "probable" legislature of Democrats, Kinky will not have much support. So the Democratic representatives in the legislature whose constituents (the half that Bell lost, and Kinky gained from your first paragraph)voted for Kinky will be misrepresented by their elected representatives.

I actually believe Kinky will have enormous support in the legislature because he is a natural leader and motivator. He will put politics aside and get many things done.

You then mention something the founders of this country and former Texas governors did not believe in, "staying power." This is not a job or a career. The governorship and politics in general, is not meant to be a career. This site shows the history of Texas governors. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Governor_of_Texas) There are maybe a handful of two term governors, while there is an abundant majority of one term governors. Kinky has already stated publicly that he is only seeking one term.

I do take great offense to your next comment that misrepresents an interesting idea Kinky has suggested for border assistance. Your choice of words is obviously an attempt to spin this creative idea. Kinky's 5 Mexican Generals plan is not a bribe. It is helping the Mexican Government fund a border patrol, which it desperately needs to control IT'S problem of illegal immigration. The border is a difficult issue to address because there will always be illegal immigration. Due to wage differences and the mere proximity of a 3rd world country bordering a 1st world country, people will always seek a better opportunity for themselves and their families. What me must understand, is that legal immigration is not a bad thing, and in fact, it contributes to society and our economy. We need a guest worker program in conjunction with a physical force along the both sides of the border. While Kinky does use a great story to promote this idea of getting Mexico involved, it probably will not happen word for word. You also do make one good point. I can see where illegals could be shot, but if we had an easier way for these hard honest workers to work, there would be less illegal activity. I also don't think the U.S. would sit back for very long watching Mexican Generals sniper immigrants, nor do I see Mexican Revolutionaries puting up with that too much.

You then go on to say,"The man isn’t dumb. But he sure acts the part." Kinky, you stated, is not dumb but instead quite intelligent. I can also promise you the man is not acting, he's been the same for years with songs, books, and columns to prove it. If he was acting, wow, what a great actor. I believe humor is a funny way of being serious. And just because Kinky has a personality, doesn't mean he is not serious.

Then you bring out the big guns,"That’s the trouble, really, when Friedman is working, he is acting." Impressive. This is really the trouble you have with Kinky Friedman. Out of everything else this is what bothers you. Here's my rebuttal to that statement. No he's not.

Then you have the audacity to suggest, "...if he cares about Texas as much as he claims to, that is exactly what he needs to do" drop out. Why would any candidate polling in all recent polls in a strong 2nd/3rd, 1st in countless unofficial polls, and at the same time consistently rising in these polls, drop out of a winnable race. That my friend is not very plausible at all.

So in conclusion, get the facts straight next time you attempt to write an article trying to discredit someone. Like I mentioned earlier, anybody can throw out attacks, but I challenge you to promote your candidate rather than bash mine.

I bet you $10 dollars, if TX experiences a 40%+ voter turnout, Kinky will be the governor, and if he doesn't win he'll come in second place. Also if TX experiences a 40%+ voter turnout, and Kinky loses, he still wins. This is because Kinky Friedman is not running against Perry, Bell, or Strayhorn. He is running against apathy, and that is a winnable race.

I hope you allow this post, I worked hard on it.

Hal said...

Note to Democratic bloggers: If you want to receive a whole lot of heated commentary, post something negative about Kinky Friedman.

It has been 10 days since I posted this piece and the vitriole from Kinkster fanatics hasn't let up. The blog is moderated to keep bad language off of this site and to keep a "clear focus".

I allowed the publishing of the posting that precedes this one to let you in on some of what has been sent to me. It is unique in its lack of bad language, its poor grasp of reality, and in its stupendous length.

TexasTom said...

I was on the fence about Kinky for a while, but now I’m no longer considering Kinky as an option.

My problem with Kinky is basically this: we have the worst governor in Texas history, and we have three opponents to the governor who are dividing the anti-incumbent vote in a manner that virtually guarantees the governor's re-election, and so anyone disinterested in re-electing the governor must seriously consider the three alternatives.

You have Strayhorn. She's a Republican running without the benefit of Republican Party support (in Texans, over half of Republicans vote the straight party ticket so this is significant), but she is not as beholden to the far-right fundamentalist Christian elements of the party, nor as mean-spirited, nor as blatantly anti-consumer/pro-corporatist as Perry, and she’s raised a ton of money.

You have Bell. He's a Democrat and has the institutional support of the Democratic Party (including the fact that Texas Democrats also vote the straight party ticket about 50% of the time), but he’s neither terribly charismatic nor very well funded, but generally he’s reasonable on the issues and not as vile as Perry.

Then you have Kinky. He talks one way, but acts another (he makes pro gay marriage jokes but then doesn't bother to vote when the gay marriage amendment is on the Texas ballot; he says he's not anti-death penalty but then he testifies at Max Soffar's trial that he's against the death penalty and tells the anti-death penalty crowd he'll impose a moratorium on capital punishment; he says he voted for Gore in 2000 but his voting records confirm he didn't vote at all from 1994 to 2004; he tells an anti-Bush crowd that Bush isn't too smart and he's messed up but he tells a pro-Bush crowd that Bush is an honorable cowboy who did a good job in the Middle East and that's why Kinky voted for Bush in 2004). Ideologically, Kinky's plans run form the farthest right-wing nonsense (his anti-immigration blather about 5 Mexican generals) to bed-wetting liberal pablum (his plan to outlaw the declawing of cats) to almost every half-assed idea in between. Plus, one cannot escape the conclusion that while Kinky stands no chance of getting elected he is succeeding wildly at reviving his music and book sales with his campaign.

One of the three anti-incumbent candidates has got to go because the anti-incumbent vote is very strong but it cannot stand to be split three ways. Of the three candidates, Kinky is the one who is ideologically incoherent, Kinky is the one who is running as a self-promotional joke, and Kinky is the longest of the longshots because he lacks Bell's organized party support and Strayhorn's money. Kinky is funny, but Texas is in bad shape and the future for the version of Texas we will leave to our children isn’t a laughing matter. It’s time to cull the heard. Kinky, we love you, but you have to go. And please endorse either Bell or Strayhorn on your way out.

Hal said...

Nah, just Bell. I can't see Kinkster endorsing his fellow spoiler. There are a lot of his following who would never vote for a woman. So if he really wants to oust Rick Perry, he doesn't have a choice.

TheLongHaul said...

Hello Hal, and I appreciate you letting my comment slip through. I don't like to use bad language because usually it's in a hateful manner. I also apologize for fellow Kinky supporters letting their emotions overshadow their meaning, or lack their of. About the "poor grasp of reality," just because we differ in opinions, does not mean you are right and I am wrong, nor vise versa. It just means that we disagree on our political ideas, which is totally acceptable. About the length, I just touched on your article's points, and had no intentions of my article being so long. Once again, thanks for allowing my post, and I appreciate anyone who takes the time to participate in the political process. This country is seriously lacking in its civic duties.

Kinky is Awesome said...

This issue with Kinky comes from the misperception that Kinky is competing with Bell for liberal votes. Help get the word out that Bell can have all 10% of the Texas vote which is liberal. Kinky shares more mainstream values.

On my blog, for example, we've had some great discussion about whether Kinky is a "liberal." I think the debate rises from the fact that Kinky often jokes that he's in favor of gay marriage because gays should be as miserable as the rest of us, but you have to take those joking comments in light of the fact that Kinky didn't vote against the amendment to the Texas Constitution which banned gay marriage. Anyway, here's my thoughts:

Let's be careful about how we use that word "liberal" here in Texas. I think you'd do Kinky less harm among Texas voters if you called Kinky a pedophile than if you called him a liberal. As you already know, Texas is at least 60% Republican and if Kinky is going to win, he's going to have to do it with Republican votes (not by snipping off the pot-smoking fringe of the ess-than-40%-of-voters Democratic Party because even if Kinky gets 33% of the Democrats -- which is unlikely -- that'd only get him about 13% of the vote).

Here is why I believe it is quite inaccurate to call Kinky a "liberal."

Watch this video clip. It is hilarious, it is true, and it is politically incorrect as hell. Liberal politicians are too politically correct to admit the truth that "negro is a charming word." Whatever Kinky is, he's NOT a liberal.

Next, read up on Kinky's get-tough illegal alien plan and his 5 Mexican generals plan. Kinky's common sense border security plan is the straight up "minuteman" approach, not Perry's namby-pamby "let's set up cameras" approach. Make no mistake, Kinky is the only candidate brave enough to say we need armed military generals on our southern border. This is not a liberal plan.

Now consider Kinky's party affiliation. Kinky has run for office in the past as a Republican and he voted for Bush/Cheney in 2004.

Here is an excerpt from Kinky's interview with Ruminator magazine confirms that he supported Bush's Middle East foreign policy:

Question: So does this idea of the honorable cowboy have anything to do with why you threw your support behind President Bush in this last election? You did, didn’t you?
Kinky: Yes. I did in this last election, but I didn’t vote for him the first time.
Question: Who did you vote for in 2000?
Kinky: I voted for Gore then. I was conflicted. . .but I was not for Bush that time. Since then, though, we’ve become friends. And that’s what’s changed things.
Question: So it’s your friendship with him that’s changed your mind about having him as president more than his specific political positions?
Kinky: Well, actually, I agree with most of his political positions overseas, his foreign policy. On domestic issues, I’m more in line with the Democrats. I basically think he played a poor hand well after September 11. What he’s been doing in the Near East and in the Middle East, he’s handling that well, I think.

Now maybe you are like me and you were worried that Kinky showed liberal tendencies by voting for a tree-hugger like Al Gore. Well, rest assured that Kinky was mistaken when he said that. Kinky's public voting records confirm he didn't vote for Al Gore in 2000 because Kinky didn't waste his vote on any candidate from 1994 to 2004 when he voted for Bush/Cheney.

Maybe you think Kinky's a liberal because he's a Jew. Rest assured, Kinky's views on religion are well to the right of Perry's. Kinky wants to take time during the school day for prayers in schools, and he wants to post the Ten Commandments in public school classrooms.

Moreover, on another excellent edition of Scarborough Country, Kinky came out in favor of Joe Lieberman leaving the Democratic Party and Kinky acknowledged that liberals aren't pro-America:
SCARBOROUGH: Hey, Kinky, could the argument be that both parties are extreme, vote for the new independent?
FRIEDMAN: That could certainly be. I think the mood of the country is really, really independent. I mean, I think the winds of change are really blowing right now. And all the—the way I see Lieberman, he's very—he's pro-America, unashamedly, and he's pro-Israel. And these liberals are not.


Finally, Kinky has answered the question directly.

I've spent months fending off bed-wetting liberals who want to claim Kinky as one of their own. I have shown them that Kinky doesn't give a rat's a$$ about political correctness and that Kinky has run for office as a Republican and he's voted for Bush and he has immigration plans to satisfy the minutemen alongside school prayer plans to satisfy a Baptist minister, but still the liberals would not accept that Kinky is a dyed-in-the-wool conservative.

Even after I showed the liberals where Kinky said that the anti-war, anti-Lieberman wing of the Democratic Party is anti-American, those liberals still held fast to their misbelief that Kinky is a liberal.

Now, at last, we have an answer from Kinky Friedman himself:
"I'm not a liberal, believe me. I'm a compassionate redneck, far more conservative than I am liberal."

In summary, Kinky is NO LIBERAL! In fact, Kinky charts WELL TO THE RIGHT
of Perry on the issues that matter most to Texas voters.

Hal said...

If you read the post, really read it, you will notice that no where is it written that Kinky Friedman is a liberal. Nowhere. What I said is that his campaign has captured the imaginations of some disaffected voters. Some of these voters are those who lean toward the democratic party, and indeed will vote for democrats in the downballot.

Rick Perry is doing such incredible damage to Texas, that it is frustrating that those who oppose him cannot get it together to put him out of office. Mounting independent campaigns only give aid and comfort to Perry and his cronies. My call to Kinky was not a call to join ideologically with democrats, it was a call to endorse the one person in the race who cannot step aside as he is a major party candidate. Perry needs to go. Kinky needs to help out.

But now that you point it out, Awesome, maybe Kinky has already done what he can for Chris Bell. Having come out as a full-blown misogynistic, pro-Bush, pro-war redneck, this will undoubtedly do the trick and turn away democratic supporters from his camp.