1413 1
1413 1
[fa:p:a=72157594267830938,id=233541961,j=r,s=s,l=p]Kinky Friedman has a presence. the presence is a mixture of greatness and humility. with a cigar in hand at the austin daze office, he set us at ease.
KINKY FRIEDMAN NEEDS TO BE THE NEXT GOVERNOR OF THE GREAT STATE OF TEXAS. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME WE HAD A GOVERNOR THAT MADE US CRACK A SMILE WHILE WE DID SOMETHING GOOD FOR THE STATE? FOR THAT MATTER, WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME WE DID SOMETHING POSITIVE FOR THE COLLECTIVE CONSCIOUSNESS OF OUR FAIR STATE? WITH ALL OF THIS REDISTRICTING MESS GOING ON, IT HAS BEEN HARD TO TAKE PRIDE IN STATE GOVERNMENT. LOCAL GOVERNMENT NOW ADAZE IS THE ONLY HOPE WE HAVE. IF WE LOOK TOO FAR BEYOND THAt, WE WIND UP BEING EMBARRASSED BY THE DECISIONS OF AN EVIL ADMINISTRATION. I WON’T GO INTO THAT HERE, BUT YOU KNOW WHAT i MEAN.

the other daze, i was doing some research on kinky and i came across a contact email for richard pryor. Yes, the richard pryor. I wrote to him and asked what he thought about kinky friedman. He wrote back within hours and said “we love the Kinkster and believe in him and we love how he loves and cares for the animals!!!” This man has the support of richard pryor! i know that says something. add in willie and just about all of the music and film community and you have a portion of his support. even ann richards has been heard saying “ why not kinky!” i could not find any bad words about kinky and his run on the internet.
KINKY IS THE MAN FOR THE JOB AS GOVERNOR. WE ARE GOING TO DO WHAT WE CAN TO GET KINKY INTO OFFICE. I URGE YOU TO ALSO DO WHAT YOU CAN. VISIT KINKYFRIEDMAN.COM AND DON’T VOTE IN THE PRIMARIES SO YOU CAN SIGN THE PETITION TO GET HIM ON THE BALLOT.

Interview by Russ + Wendy
transcribed by Sandy + edited by Alan

AD: You’ve done so much in your lifetime. Why did you choose the governor’s race as your next accomplishment?

KF: Well, it’s something I think I could handle. I don’t think the job is too hard for me. As we say, how hard could it be? And I have achieved a lot of things, a lot of my own dreams. One of them is being the only man who has slept at the White House under two presidents, Bill Clinton and George W. So, I want to help other people achieve some of theirs, especially younger Texans. And besides, I need the closet space. I was also rejected by the priesthood. And I don’t have a job. Texas Monthly fired me because of journalistic integrity. So I need a job. It will be one less homeless person on the street if I’m elected.

AD: What do you think of the changes that have been happening to Austin?

KF: I agree with Joseph Heller, every change is for the worse. That’s pretty much what’s happened with Austin. Still a great place, as we are reminded by people who come from out of state. But not going in the right direction and I don’t think there’s anything we can do about it except possibly the wussification campaign will help. My anti-wussification campaign dealing with everything from prayer in school to saying Merry Christmas to smoking to any kind of political correctness. Start getting rid of that and get rid of Starbucks.

AD: You don’t want Starbucks? Local is better?

KF: That’s right. Especially if local is as cool as Texas is. That’s the reason God made Texas, to be free and independent. That’s why I’m running.

AD: What will you do differently as governor?

KF: Everything. Absolutely everything. I’m not joking when I say musicians could better run this state than politicians. Beauticians could better run this state than politicians. And right now all we have is a bunch of political cronies. That’s one reason education is so screwed up. There isn’t anybody with a teaching certificate that’s really determining what’s happening in Texas education. The criminal justice system is screwed up just the same. I am pioneering bio-diesel, Willie Nelson and I. Which is so easy to do, we were just talking about it this morning. You don’t need everybody to use it. You just need all trucks and buses in Texas to use it and anyone with a diesel engine to use it. And if we did that, we’re such an influential and important state. Plus, Saudi Arabia wouldn’t be playing the jukebox and we wouldn’t be dancing to the tune that they pick. Ten years from now, you know gas could be a dollar a drop by then.

AD: We could really pioneer the bio-fuel industry.

KF: We could definitely, like we did oil and gas. We are running out of dinosaur wine, folks, we are running out of dinosaur wine.

AD: We did a story on bio-fuel, bio-diesel a couple of issues ago and it just shocked me why it’s not more widespread right now.

KF: Oh, it’s incredible that people think it’s some kooky idea or something. If you’ve studied this, you know that Rudolf Diesel invented the diesel engine running on peanut oil. And right now, we’re putting billions of gallons of good renewable fuel

hat could be used in the landfills every day. Meanwhile, screwing up the environment. The farmers need work.

The whole situation could be win, win, win all around and Texas could lead the nation again in renewable fuels.

AD: It seems that the price of regular fuel is almost exactly the same as bio-fuel.

KF: What I’ve read is that it’s 80 cents cheaper per gallon. I guess that depends on how much bio-diesel you are using. But all these things from ethanol to methanol to whatever the hell, they should all be looked at. All renewable fuels. Because that’s the direction of the future and when I’m governor, that’s the way we’re going to go. Willie is determined. Willie’s a pretty quick study on this stuff. He’s totally sold on it. There are whole cities in Germany that run on bio-diesel. It’s not a question of whether it works or not. It smells like french fries.

AD: We have a friend that got us into that, who came by in his nice Mercedes and said “Check this out and pulled out his fuel cap” and he goes “smell that, it smells like popcorn, doesn’t it?” He goes “That’s what my car runs on.”

KF: It only makes sense. And in fact, common sense is all we are talking about.

AD: And I think I like the idea of what you said if we can get the truck industry to follow, then it would be more popular and would be cheaper for everybody. The lack of accessibility is probably the reason why it’s so expensive in some areas.

KF: It’s definitely the way to go. It’s going to be cheaper. And it’s going to make us energy independent. And I would like us to be politically independent, too, that would be nice. Because that’s the watchword in every single one of these areas. Whatever you talk about, imagine a governor with no political contacts except Bill Clinton and George W., that’s it, who are probably not going to be appointed anything. Who appoints friends and good people. Hey, I’m a Jew, trust me, I’ll hire good people. And I’ve already hired the campaign chairman, my Palestinian hairdresser, Farouk Shami, so Farouk and I are the ultimate peace ticket. See, if this was New Jersey, or if this was Vermont or something, that would be one thing. Texas can be so seminal in the country, in the world. So if Farouk Shami, a Palestinian, is Texas’ ambassador to Israel, with all of Farouk’s contacts in the Middle East, he could do more than the bureaucrat that’s going to wind up being ambassador, the real one. And likewise, if an independent is elected Governor of Texas, it won’t be like Jesse Ventura, which was kind of regarded as a fluke, you know. You would see the whole political landscape of America changing and you’ll see independents popping up everywhere.

AD: Texas is known as a red state and I’m wondering why you chose to run independent as opposed to Republican.

KF: Well, that’s an easy one. Two thirds of the people that are eligible to vote, don’t vote in Texas. In Minnesota, 75%, 70% voted. In Texas, nothing like that. But when you have choices of plastic or paper, like Perry or Sanchez, that’s your only choice, well, that turns off a lot of people. They believe that the men at the Alamo didn’t die to give them that wonderful choice of plastic or paper, that we ought to have a real person, not a political person running once in a while. So the elections are getting more and more expensive, they’re costing more, they cost a hundred million dollars last time and they’re going to cost more this time for the parties and fewer and fewer people are voting each time. So I think this is the perfect time to run as an independent because I don’t want the baggage from those parties. And I’ll tell you, when the Democrats have a good idea, like they want to name this highway after Willie Nelson, the Republicans shoot it down. When the Republicans have a good idea, the Democrats kill it. Because they only care first about their party and I care about Texas, that’s the difference.

AD: One of the screwed up things about being an independent here is getting on the ballot. We voted for Dennis Kucinich in the primary and then we weren’t allowed to sign a petition to get Nader on the ballot.

KF: That is a lot of insider games and rinky-dink politics. Why do they care whether a Ralph Nader or a Pat Buchanan or a Ross Perot or Dennis Kucinich has a voice? These people are probably not going to win, they’re not going to be President. Why not give them a chance, why not let an independent voice be on the ballot? Well, that’s the problem with democracy flourishing in strange places all over the world today. It’s not flourishing. It’s being stifled in Texas by the two political parties. And when Ralph Nader ran last time, they spent a lot of money to sabotage and torpedo his petition drive, having fraudulent signatures sent in, things like that. That’s not the Texas way. That’s why George Washington didn’t like political parties. I’m sure they do some good, but maybe they’ve outlived their usefulness here right now. Maybe it’s time to totally get rid of politics as usual and to knock that windmill down. And to make that Lone Star shine again.

AD: Tell me about the Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch.

KF: That’s a place very close to my heart. Utopiarescue.com is the website. It’s up near Medina. We’ve had it for six years. It’s a never kill sanctuary. And by the way, as Governor, I’ll make Texas a no kill state. It will be the second one, because Utah is the first one. That means we won’t kill any cats and dogs and stuff. We’ll still kill people probably, but we can get into that later. Utopia takes stray and abused animals of any kind and we try to adopt them. This past month we adopted nineteen dogs.

AD: Do you go into like San Antonio and pick up animals?

KF: We try to be the court of last resort. We try to get dogs who are at death’s door. We don’t want your poodle if your girlfriend doesn’t like it or if you’re moving to a condo or something like that. We take them right from the pound. Dogs that are going to die or abused animals. Everybody needs a second chance.

AD: How many dogs total do you have?

KF: The rescue ranch has 60 right now and I have five. But no cats any more. That’s very sad to me. Cats are wonderful. My three are all gone now. The secret reason for Utopia Rescue Ranch was that I needed someone to baby-sit my dog, Mr. Magoo. And I got cousin Nancy to do it. And then the little day care grew and pretty soon we had more than we could handle. And she lived in Utopia and she moved over to our ranch and now the place is beautiful. It’s like a happy orphanage. We encourage everybody to come up and visit.

AD: Can people go there and adopt dogs?

KF: Absolutely. We encourage that. Utopiarescue.com or the phone number is 830-589-7544. Call Cousin Nancy and set up a trip. We get lots of people through there and everybody that comes through has the same reaction, which is that many of them are deeply moved and say this is what I would like to do. But it’s so hard to do. If you don’t have a very special place that’s protected, all the wonderful neighbors will do you in. Because everybody loves the soup kitchen and the hospice and the halfway house, but not in their neighborhood. Not on their block. All of our good little Christians and Jews out there. I don’t know about Buddhists. Buddhism may take a kinder attitude toward animals. But like I say, I would probably be a Buddhist if it wasn’t for Richard Gere.

AD: I was reading about you and I saw that you were interested in legalizing gambling to offset or pay for good things like education and more teachers and stuff like that. How do you plan to do that?

KF: I’ve always said no teacher left behind. No librarian left behind. I think the teachers are getting screwed right now and the kids are also showing the results of that. I’m looking at legalizing casino gambling to pay for education. But I will say that if you just throw money or technology at a problem, it’s usually a mistake. You can’t ignore the human component. The human component is that the great teachers that we know, that we’ve all had, those people – where are they? Could we find them? Are they still alive? Are they teaching at an under resources school some place? Can we bring them to Austin? Can we bring Austin to them? Can we listen to them and learn from them? In other words, the teacher-child relationship, that’s the key. To sustain that and to build that back up. I say money can buy you a fine dog, but only love can make him wag his tail. A lot of this has to do with the fall of education from a great profession to a job, and it’s not even a good job. Like if you were a kid and you told your parents I want to be a fourth grade teacher, they might say to you, when are you going to get a real job? So the job doesn’t pay well, it’s getting harder and harder, political correctness is screwing it, the administrators, layers and layers of them are screwing it. And people in the government don’t know or care about education because their kids don’t go to public school anyway. So I would put it as the centerpiece on the table. I don’t know if you know this, but we’re 49th in funding public education. We are in a race with Mississippi for the bottom. And we’re winning. So as Dr. Phil would say, how’s that working for you? We are number one in executions, though.

AD: When you become Governor, you’re going to implement more DNA testing before executions?

KF: You know, Governor Ryan, in Illinois, who is a Republican, started some DNA tests and he found that four of his death row prisoners were innocent. Then he found that eight were. Then it was up to twelve and at that point, you couldn’t argue with it. This was DNA proven by all kinds of laboratories. They had twelve men in there that were innocent. And I like to say that 2000 years ago we killed an innocent man named Jesus Christ. And my question is, what have we learned in 2000 years? And I think the people have learned something. I just don’t think the governments have learned a thing at all. So yes, we would have an overview board. Someone like “Racehorse” Haynes would be great. Somebody who could really go in there. It’s costing the State a fortune not to have life without the possibility of parole. Just to have eject or inject. Costing us a fortune, all these appeals. And the central case I’m most familiar with is Max Soffar, who is a prisoner on death row for 23 years and has just been taken off of death row because it appears that Kinky Friedman and the Fifth Circuit are in agreement. Governor Perry and Chuck Rosenthal, the Harris County DA, do not agree with us, of course. They won’t admit a mistake was made 23 years ago. And if you look at this case of Max Soffar – you can find it on our web site, it’s called “Case Open” – read his case, you just won’t believe it. You just won’t believe that a man could spend 23 years on death row in Texas on no evidence whatsoever. The system can’t admit a mistake very easily, not very graciously, and how do you give a man 23 years back? Max was never a choir boy, but he was never a murderer. If there are any more like him on death row, we’ve got a real karma problem here that we need to look into.

AD: I like what you said earlier about musicians knowing how to take care of a city or GOVERN a city……

KF: ……A state! They can govern the state. We won’t get a lot done in the morning, probably. But I’m telling you, Ray Benson as Culture Minister. Ray knows as much about music, about movies, about getting films and stuff which now Texas is missing. Louisiana is getting a lot of them because they are a little sharper than we are. And why is that? And Steve Fromholz would be great for Parks and Wildlife. He knows the Big Bend area and all these areas better than the people who are probably now handling this and he’s probably a lot more sensitive about the environment. And then of course Willie will be head of the Texas Rangers. And Energy Advisor, so he’ll be multi-tasking. And Billy Joe Shaver, my spiritual advisor for the campaign. He will be the poet laureate of Texas.

AD: The great thing about Austin is that we consider it like an oasis. And there’s so many musicians here making that happen. We have the SIMS Foundation, we have the films, we have it all, so we would love to see you make the rest of Texas more like Austin.

KF: That’s why Fredericksburg and Dripping Springs will vote for Kinky this time. It’s the
“austinization” of Texas. So areas that you thought this is a redneck area, this will never go for Kinky, it will because people are so tired of career politicians and what they’ve brought us. We’re just looking for something that’s common sense, that’s refreshing. As I’ve said before, the professionals gave us the Titanic and it’s the amateurs that gave us the Ark.

AD: What would you recommend that the public do for you?

KF: The first thing people need to know is that these career politicians are not sending the elevator back down for the rest of us from the penthouse. They would cut the cables if they could. That’s why we need 50,000 signatures. I mean, I’ve never heard of anything that needed 50,000 signatures. To get on the ballot for the first time since Sam Houston in 1859, no one’s been able to do it. This time we’ll definitely do it, so there will be an independent, namely me, running. That petition drive will occur in March 06, a year from about now. And what we have to tell people is not to vote in the primaries. Save yourself for Kinky. Save your vote for Kinky. If you don’t do that, you’ll be ineligible to sign the petition to get me on the ballot. That’s the craziest thing. No one can figure out what could be the logic of telling people if you vote in the primaries, you can’t sign a petition.

AD: You can become Governor so you can change that.

KF: Yes, absolutely. It’s not the Texas way and God didn’t make Texas to be run by politics as usual. Texas is an inspiration to the children of the world. If we can just knock down that windmill of political correctness and politics as usual, it will make such an impression on the rest of America and the rest of the world and they’ll all take heart. Its just common sense to elect somebody who knows how to ride, shoot straight and tell the truth. People can log onto the website, kinkyfriedman.com, and they can volunteer or make a contribution to the campaign. The volunteers, I’m very happy to say, are pushing 9000 right now. And if you give us your email or a way to reach you, we will be in touch, because we have to get more than 50,000 signatures. I think the precise number is 45,539. Because they will do everything that they can to disallow any of those that they humanly can. We’re going to try to get three or four times that many, so they just can’t even mess with us. The hard part comes next, whether we can take it from that 150,000 to get on the ballot to the 2 million we will need to win the election. And that will really be a search for the soul of Texas. And personally, Jesse did it in Minnesota. Whatever you think of Arnold, he was an outsider, he wasn’t a politician. That’s what Ronnie Reagan said when he ran for governor, the other guy’s got experience, that’s why I’m running. We just need somebody with some human experience.

Click here for a Personal Video Message From Kinky AD: How do you feel about the issue of allowing felons to vote?

KF: I don’t know yet. Read my lips. I don’t know. I’ll look into that as we’ll look into everything. We really want to shine a light into the darkness, actually, at a lot of things. Some of these problems are big, just institutional problems that we have and a lot of it is linked together. I mean, the government screws up the education system, screws up the mail system, screws up every other system you can think of. Why wouldn’t they screw up the criminal justice system? Why wouldn’t there be serious mistakes made? I think that anything that diminishes a man’s vote is not good, such as redistricting. Taking a vote away is a serious thing. In Texas, we’ve been smothered by politics as usual. We’ve let these two parties really destroy the great spirit of a great state. I travel the state a lot as a musician first and then an author and I talk to a lot of people and I think I’m more in tune with real Texans than any politician. I think you can redefine the job of the governor and you can inspire young people. It started as a lark, yes, but it’s very quickly become something that could be fun, but could be real important as well

In this article

Join the Conversation

1 comment

  1. Russ

    Why do I support Kinky? This interview is the answer.