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The Kinky Friedman Interview

Kinky Friedman was at live music venue McGonigel's Mucky Duck in Houston on Tuesday night, February 23 performing some of his most popular hits to a crowded room of fans of various ages. He also addressed the audience between sets about his bid for agriculture commissioner of Texas with humor, irreverence and common sense. Afterwards, the famous musician and author shared a few minutes with the Top News Examiner to talk candidly and here's an excerpt.


Houston Examiner: Why did you decide to drop your bid for governor and aimed instead to run for Texas agriculture commissioner?


Kinky Friedman: Because I think [former Houston Mayor] Bill White and I would have divided the state’s Democratic Party. We would have split the electorate and it would have been divisive. It’s not good for the party. It’s not good for Texas. I think Bill got the right idea that the state government is not working for the people right now. That really needs to change.

HE: Is your thinking based on what happened in the '06 gubernatorial race with four candidates and where Gov. Perry won despite his low voting results?

KF: Not really, if I had run as a Democrat instead of as an Independent, I believe I would have won then. Bill later told me I took more votes away from the Republicans than the Democrats. Grandma [former State Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn] was the one who took more votes from the Democrats. That's what his polling showed.

HE: What do you make of Sarah Palin's impact in national or even Texas politics in 2010 or 2012?
KF: I don’t really think about her. Does she have potential for 2012? Sure, let her run for office, but she’s probably not a winning bet. She’s way too polarizing.


HE:
How about the controversy and perceived extremism of the Tea Party Movement and Perry’s support of the group?
KF: No, no. Rick’s just trying to jump in front of the parade. I think they [Tea Party] got a righteous anger about what’s going on and so does everybody else. So I think it’s going to be a tough year for Democrats as well as incumbents in both parties in November.

HE: As a fellow musician involved in politics, what do you think of Ted Nugent’s political philosophy?
KF: Well, we have very different styles. I don’t know, we’re different people, but I do like his music, and I agree that some of the stuff Ted says it’s right on target. 

 
HE: How do you see in the progress of health care reform?
KF: I think these guys in Washington are hypocrites. They basically have the best health care in the planet and they’re taking too long to work out health care for all of us. Isn’t that nice?

 
HE: What’s your judgment on President Obama’s performance so far?
KF: I don’t think he’s doing very well. He’s scattershotting a whole bunch of different ideas, maybe 20 different projects, and what Bill Clinton told me when I was running for governor here was: pick two or three things that are closest to your heart and hammer them away relentlessly and then get them done. And I voted for Obama so I’m a little knocked out by this. He hasn’t been able to accomplish as much because he’s trying to do too many things. But it’s only been a year and, I don’t know, he may pull it off, but so far he’s looking a little like Jimmy Carter to me. I hope he does pull it out. Let’s see.

HE: What are your goals if elected as agriculture commissioner?
KF: Willie [Nelson] and I are doing this about really growing our economy with the farmers' cooperation to develop alternative fuels along with biodiesel in every truck stop and gas station statewide, with Willie as spokesperson; animal rescue sanctuaries in every region in Texas, no-kill sanctuaries, spay and neuter facilities. I think it’s a disgrace that our society kills millions of stray animals every year. Also, to fight eminent domain, fight toll roads from the aggie position. Promote rural schools and rural education. To help save the traditional family farm while there are still some left.

HE: Do you consider this position as a spring board for reaching the governor’s office in a few years?
KF: Not interested because I’ll be too old by then, besides I think I can do mostly everything from the ag department that I can do from the governor’s office without the legislature bugging me.

Comments

  • sal macias 4 years ago

    aside from being a good musician he's also a good mystery writer. stick to what you know kinkster.he didn't take the gov's race serious and i doubt he taking this one serious either. it reminds me like when hunter s. thompson ran for sheriff in aspen during the sixties. shake them up kinky, make them think, make them question.but you know the voters wont take you serious when your talking like a mad man at the helm of an invisible ship.

  • Whatever 4 years ago

    Obama is nothing like Jimmy Carter. Like Jesse Ventura, Kinky seems like a nice guy to have over for a BBQ but not someone to take seriously in politics.

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