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Kinky Friedman Explores Run for Governor as Democrat


by: Matt Glazer

Tue Apr 14, 2009 at 09:23 AM CDT


Kinky Friedman is officially exploring another run for Governor.  This time he is embracing the party he has routinely voted against and blocked from the Governors mansion in 2006.

That's right, Kinky Friedman is exploring a run for Texas Governor as a Democrat.

Elise Hu has the full announcement but Kinky's math looks like basic.

Here's the way I see it: Democrats + Independents = Victory

Problem is, Kinky's Democratic support is soft if not virtually non-existent. After his 2006 "campaign", Democrats throughout Texas justifiably look at this as another marketing stunt.

As recently as February, Friedman admitted he didn't take the 2006 campaign seriously.

I'm toning down the one-liners a bit. If I run, it's going to be a serious run,' Friedman told The Associated Press on Tuesday, peppering the interview with one-liners.

Interesting to say back in February, but he briefly explained to Christy Hope back in March why he would run as a Democrat and not a Republican.

He's running as a Democrat because, "I can't afford to be a Republican."

"There's a lot of young people and no one I've met wants to grow up and be Rick Perry."

In one month, Kinky embraced the campaign as a joke meme that laced his 2006 campaign.  Rather than explaining why he is a Democrat and embraces the party of the people, he made a joke. Rather than talk about the problems facing Texas or his proposed solutions he went for the funny.  Friedman is right about one thing, "these are not humorous times for a lot of us".

Perhaps that is why his announcement is laced with statements to simply ignore his affect on the 2006 campaign.  We are asked to ignore he ever threw our party aside in 2006.

I was serious when I ran for governor in 2006 and I'm serious now. I am a humorist, but I know these are not humorous times for a lot of us. Part of the reason is the pathetic lack of leadership at the state level. The last governor, I believe, who was truly on the side of the people of Texas, was Ann Richards. She was a very funny lady - she was also a great governor. I'll take my cues from Ann Richards

[...]

But I do not wish to fight yesterday's campaign again. Today, I have taken the first step toward running for Governor in 2010 by forming "Texans for Kinky," a committee to help with research and raising the funds necessary to launch a successful campaign. Now is the time to win...

I don't speak for the staff on this.  I don't know where they are on this race, but I will say Kinky Friedman's hostility to his critics is scary and shocking.

Friedman talked to Aman Bethja at the Fort Worth Star Telegram and finally discussed race in response to research and reporting here and here were Kinky used racial slurs.  

Friedman said he would only run again if he could raise $3 - $5 million for the Democratic primary.

Whether that's possible, he said, will depend on if the Democratic grassroots can move past the attacks some lobbed at Friedman in 2006, much of which focused on decades-old comedy routines in which he used racial slurs.

"I think it was standard sleaze...There never was a black community against me. It was some bloggers who felt that I was doing too well. That's all. And they had to reach back 27, 29 years..and the question is does any of that stuff stick or it doesn't. I don't think it does."

In fact, Friedman think he had a bigger problem in the last election than the charges that he was a racist.

Friedman at no point apologized for those statements. In fact his only response was to criticize Burnt Orange Report and liberals for attacking him.

If Kinky wants to run, let him. If he wants to shun the party or use Republican jargon, let him.  Hopefully 2006 was a stunt.  Hopefully 2006 was a one time act. Perhaps he will take this race seriously and respect voters. Hopefully he will raise and spend money to help the party and down ballot candidates and not just himself.

The reality is, actions speak louder than words and the way he acted in 2006 doesn't make it easy to trust him, his campaign, or his motives.  Before he starts running, maybe he should start apologizing.

Until then, we will join Kinky in one singular belief.

So I say to Democrats who may not yet take me seriously, I'll stick with you just as far as you want to go. If we stick together we'll go very far indeed. All the way to the Governor's Mansion!

We don't take you seriously.  And we will pay attention to you and your race. But once you burn the activist who elected Barack Obama or the Democrats who volunteered hundreds of hours to help get us within two seats of the House or pick up a State Senate seat for the first time in year, once you burn them, the bridge is gone. You weren't there to turn Dallas blue or make Harris 85% blue.  You never helped the Travis County efforts and you have been hidden since 2006 except to promote yourself.

This party is bigger than anyone of us and this state needs a leader not a self promoter. Prove us wrong.  Be everything you so elegantly wrote, but don't be surprised if we remain skeptical and don't blame us for your choices. All we want is a better Texas.

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Kinky Once More? (0.00 / 0)
Having worn out his stay in the Republican party, making Perry re-electable, Kinky now needs another rostrum to stay in public view and sustain his income. Is this any surprise? Has he ever been out for anything except the $$$?
(I'm ducking and covering now.)

The problem with Kinky, ironically (0.00 / 0)
Is the problem with Texas Democrats in general: outside of Austin nobody knows who he is or cares.

? (0.00 / 0)
Dallas county has is 100% blue and Harris is 85% blue at the judicial and municipal level.  Bexar is 70 - 75% blue and hasn't ever run a large scale coordinated.

The Valley is entirely Democratic and so is El Paso.

North East Texas has great Democrats like Stephen Frost and Chuck Hopson.

Waco is represented in Washington by Chet Edwards and the entire country (which Texas is still a part of) is represented by Barack Obama.

Democrats win outside Austin.  All you have to do is actually look at the Texas legislature or follow an election cycle in any county to know how naive your comment is.


[ Parent ]
Texas is a state (1.00 / 1)
I know you're all wrapped up in teabagging fever, but you missed the point, genius.

[ Parent ]
Well done (5.00 / 1)
Great post, Matt.

Laura  


pretty pitiful politics. (0.00 / 0)
Kinky must be quite self absorbed to consider running again.   Fool me one shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.
or as Mr. Bush said.....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

Dylan matured nicely, Kinky not so much.  



A Democratic Ron Paul (0.00 / 0)
Kinky running in '10 will be the equivalent of what Ron Paul was in '08 for Republicans.  A small core base of very loyal enthusiasts and independents who will make some noise, but not get very far in the primary process.

Kinky running could help keep Democrats voting in the Democratic primary in fear of Kinky hijacking the nomination.  This may help prevent some of the softer D's from sitting out the primary race or voting in the Republican primary for strategic reasons, such as believing Perry will be easier to defeat than KBH.

I have serious doubts that Kinky will be able to generate the same level of enthusiasm that he got in '06.

James Van Sickle
Darwood Technology, LLC
http://www.darwood.us">http://www.darwood.us
http://www.facebook.com/DarwoodTechnology


calmate (0.00 / 0)
i'm inclined to wait and see.

this community has embraced or at least entertained the prospect of what could be classified as soft democrats (at best) for a variety of offices.

i don't know that much about kinky or his past, but our party is the hottest ticket in town and a spirited primary would be very beneficial.

as i see it, we can win MANY races next cycle (at all levels) if we can get dems wound up.

a competitive gov primary would be very healthy.  furthermore, i'm not seeing anyone pop up just yet that could compete with kinky in the primary if he gets in the $3-4m range.

we are being at least semi-supportive of bush friends and supporters.  i don't really see anything that makes kinky less qualified to run as a dem than those folks.

Please refer to KT's signature.


Kinky could be just want the Dem Party needs in some rural areas... (2.50 / 2)

I'm open to listening to Kinky's strategy and asking questions.  It's clear he's going to let whoever has the momentum win the primary and not step on other's toes or take the low road...and he'll support the Dem winner of the primary 100%.  Sounds like a good thing for the Dem party...

Looking back, Kinky's platform was mostly aligned with Democrats in 06'.  From what I recall:

- Say no to lobbyists and special money interests groups, say yes to the people of TX
- Big raises for teachers
- CHIPS (Children's Health Care Insurance)
- Renewable Energy
- No border wall, but protect the border
- NO to death penalty
- Big animal rights activist
- Support gay/lesbian rights
- Anti toll-roads
- Initiative and referendum
- Same day voter registration
- Public financing of campaigns
- Had lots of musicians like Kelly Willis, Dixie Chicks, Willie Nelson supporting him
- No dirty politics

Kinky can attract a crowd in the rural areas of TX...we all saw that during his 06' campagain.  If Bell had Kinky's ability to attract Texans, combined with his policy expertise, Bell might have been Governor.

And Kinky took votes away from Perry, as did Carole, which helped Bell have a shot at beating Perry.  So he did help in the 06' race to bring Perry's votes down to 39%.

My take:  Let Kinky help the Democratic party...he'll attract a ton of folks, including many Indy's and he'll probably ease out toward the end of the campaign.  His fans will likey support the Dem.  

In theory, it sounds like a good idea...I can't see how it can hurt.  What do y'all think??

Does anyone see trouble in this equation for Dems?  
Possibly that he'll split someone's primary vote(s)??  That's the only potential issue, but I don't see us having a lot of Dems running for Gov anyway...and the more, typically the better for a primary.  Again, help me see where he can hurt.  I'm very open to hearing any points.

I'm not supporting him for Gov., but I do support him as a great author and humorist that can attract a lot of independents to the Dem party.

If interested, he's speaking on Sunday, April 19th, 11:30am in Austin, at the Public Affairs Forum, 4700 Grover Ave., at First UU.  (behind the School for the blind).  It's a free event.  This is NOT a campaign event...he's there as an author and humorist and will mostly be discussing his books and sharing his humor.

Best,
David


I wish Kinky would go away (0.00 / 0)
Thanks to him we're stuck with Rick Perry.  Texas cannot afford any more right wing goons for governors.  

You are using fuzzy math (0.00 / 0)
Kinky didn't cost Bell in 2006, it was Grandma. Half of the Kinky folks would have just stayed home. Bell lost by 9%, Kinky got 12%. Bell would have had to have gotten 75% of the people who showed up and voted for Kinky in November 2006 to vote for him. That would not have happened. Grandma's 18%  would have moved significantly towards Bell. Bell definitely could have gotten 50%+ of her 18% (or more because a portion of her voters would have drifted back to Perry)

[ Parent ]
Bell cost Bell (0.00 / 0)
Bell cost Bell the election. An aloof, arrogant, rich, very white boy couldn't get the Democratic base to the polls. Maybe an uppity UT grad wasn't the answer in '06.
80% of rural white voters vote Republican. Kinky just might be the answer to break their stranglehold. Otherwise its '94, '98, '02, '06 all over again. Think outside the box.  

[ Parent ]
and Kinky cost Kinky (3.00 / 1)
a self centered, self promoting, self destructive (albeit excellent mystery novel writer) that has a penchant for racist jokes didn't get much traction in Texas.  Who'da thunk it?

You don't want to repeat 2006 - neither do I.

As a random aside - what is your deal?  Why are you always a self absorbed know-it-all that's insulting and kind of offensive?  Maybe you and Kinky do have a lot in common.


[ Parent ]
No sugarcoat, sorry (0.00 / 0)
I'm not going to sugarcoat what I know from firsthand experience. You can twist perception, reality won't budge.
How 'bout lets say Cris had no personality. He inspired neither voters nor donors. Lets get someone Dems will get exited about. Lets break the Republican monopoly on rural white voters. Kinky can do it!!

[ Parent ]
Y'know I was thinking outside the box yesterday (0.00 / 0)
I came up with another name no one has used yet.

Fmr. Rep. Jim Turner.

Anyone I got an idea as to what the former Rep is doing?


[ Parent ]
Rep. Turner (0.00 / 0)
Jim Turner is working as a lobbyist in DC.

As I recall, he retired with approximately $1 million in the bank.

He was my Congressman.  He and his wife Ginny and his kids are some of the nicest folks you'll ever meet.

If he hadn't started lobbying...he would be a tremendous candidate for several offices.  Hopefully after the next redistricting he'll take the pay cut and come back to the ballot.

Please refer to KT's signature.


[ Parent ]
Democrats blew an opportunity Bluefish... (0.00 / 0)
...the set up made it ripe for the picking in 2006 but Democrats decided to outsmart themselves with support for Friedman and Strayhorn.  It wasn't until the debate when people got to see all four on the same stage that it became very apparent, even to many Kinky supporters, that Bell was the best candidate.  Sadly, by then, it was too late. Attacking Bell personally is really a little pathetic.

[ Parent ]
But (0.00 / 0)
Dallas County voted for Bell. Some of us knew better.

Governor

VOTE FOR  1
   (WITH 744 OF 744 PRECINCTS COUNTED)

Rick Perry (REP) .  .  .  .  .   .  .    143,132    35.23  
Chris Bell (DEM) .  .  .  .  .   .  .     161,886    39.84



[ Parent ]
The Return of Strayhorn (0.00 / 0)
Let's hope that grandma decides not to run for Governor again if that Austin Mayoral race doesn't work out for her.

James Van Sickle
Darwood Technology, LLC
http://www.darwood.us">http://www.darwood.us
http://www.facebook.com/DarwoodTechnology


[ Parent ]
Running for office is good for book sales (0.00 / 0)
Kinky raked in last time, why shouldn't he use our state's future to line his pockets one more time?

Lining Pockets? (0.00 / 0)
Perry and his thieving, psuedo,bible-thumping buds are the ones lining their pockets.

[ Parent ]
Sorry, Bluefish (0.00 / 0)
but you're version of "reality" is about as data-driven as the teabaggers'. Kinky might be the answer to our disconnect with rural voters? Right. Send Ronnie Reeferseed, Carl Hickerson, and Gibby Haynes out there with him. Now we're talkin'....

[ Parent ]
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