Friday, August 04, 2006

Kinky's Stand On The Issues

There seems to be a lot of arguments going on, about just where Kinky Friedman stands on the issues. He has been called a "joke" and a "flip-flopper", and some writer's try to make it seem that Kinky doesn't even know where he stands on the issues. Well, I can't stop people from sliming Kinky and distorting his beliefs, but maybe I can clear up just where Kinky does stand on some of the issues. These are his official positions, taken from his website.

capital punishment

I have heard people say he's been on both sides of this issue and needs to make up his mind. Well, his mind is made up and here's what he believes: "Kinky is not anti-death-penalty, but he IS 'anti-the-wrong-guy-getting-executed.' Texas needs to take a serious look at the way it implements capital punishment - no one in this state wants the blood of innocent people on their hands." Maybe it's because I agree with him, but this doesn't seem too hard to understand. Society has a right to defend itself, but not with a flawed system. We need to do something about the facts that the rich get more justice than the poor, and whites get more than non-whites.


This one is pretty straightforward. "Kinky believes in a woman's right to choose." No mincing words there. Kinky is pro-choice.

gun control

If you're anti-gun, you won't like Kinky's position on this issue. Kinky believes in the Constitution. "The second amendment is every bit as important as the others. Texans have the right to keep and bear arms, as well as to hunt."

trans-texas corridor

We've discussed this one before, Kinky is very much opposed to the TTC. Here is what his website says, "Kinky is opposed to the Trans-Texas Corridor since it relies on toll road construction. He feels like the TTC is a land grab of the ugliest kind, with land being taken from hardworking ranchers and farmers in little towns and villages all over Texas. The people who will ultimately own that land are the same people who own the governor."

gay marriage

This one shouldn't surprise anyone, since Kinky has always supported the freedom of each person to live his life as he wants. His website says, "Kinky supports gay marriage and equal rights for homosexuals. He believes that the Constitution protects everyone."

school prayer

The website says, "Kinky favors optional, non-denominational prayer in school. He believes there's nothing wrong with children believing in something even if it's a rock or tree." Sounds pretty reasonable to me. Even as a non-believer, I can support this stance.

Those are Kinky's views. I agree with them. If you do also, perhaps you should consider voting for Kinky.


  1. Thanks! This post is helpful.

    You seem very well informed about Kinky's positions on issues and you seem well connected to his campaign. Your post has answered some of my questions about Kinky's views.

    Can you clear up some of the alternative information about these issues?

    capital punishment

    Is it true that Kinky testifed under oath at the Max Soffar trial that he IS against the death penalty and did he say "let's do away with the death penalty"?


    If the question is a simple "do you believe in a woman's right to choose," don't Perry, Strayhorn, and Bell also agree that abortion should remain legal?

    Is it true that the Dallas Morning News asked all the candidates about their views on abortion and Kinky didn't support repeal of either the law that makes Texas doctors tell women there is a link between abortions and cancer when doctors agree there is no such link or the law that requires parental consent with no exception for the woman's health or incest-rape?

    gun control

    Don't Perry, Strayhorn, and Bell also agree that Texans have the right to keep and bear arms, as well as to hunt?

    trans-texas corridor

    Don't Strayhorn and Bell also opposed to the TTC?

    gay marriage

    Is it true that Bell also supports gay marriage but Kinky didn't vote when this issue was on the Texas ballot whereas Bell did vote against the ban?

    school prayer

    Is it true that Kinky also supports posting the Ten Commandments in all public school classrooms?

  2. I don't know about the other issues, but Kinky definitely said "let's do away with the death penalty."

    Several anti-death penalty blogs have Kinky's testimony from February 28, 2006 at the Soffar trial as reported by Dale Lezonc for the Houston Chronicle:

    "I didn't know what to expect, meeting someone in prison," he said. "What I found was really a strange thing. I found an innocent man."

    He said Soffar has a "high form" of innocence — "a kindness" similar to what soldiers experience after combat.

    On cross-examination by prosecutor Lyn McClellan, Friedman acknowledged he and Soffar have met twice, in prison visiting rooms where they were separated by a partition.

    His testimony failed to impress family members of those who died in the July 13, 1980, robbery.

    Shot in the head and killed were Arden Alane Felsher, 17, Stephen Allen Sims, 25, and Tommy Lee Temple, 17. A fourth victim, Gregory George Garner, also was shot in the head and lost an eye but survived and testified in this trial.

    "It's impossible to develop a friendship behind Plexiglas while a man is on death row," Felsher's sister, Jackie Bryant, said outside the courtroom. "I'm appalled by (Friedman's) actions."

    Defense attorneys said they called Friedman to testify because of his friendship with Soffar. In numerous publications, Friedman has maintained that Soffar, 50, isinnocent. He mentions Soffar's case in his 2005 novel, Ten Little New Yorkers.

    Jurors' views of Friedman's political aspirations could influence the verdict, said jury consultant Nona Dodson. If they think he is a viable candidate, they will take his testimony seriously, she said, but if they don't think he is a serious contender, they'll discount what he says.

    "Defense attorneys would not call Friedman if they did not trust the jury to listen to him," Dodson said.

    Outside the courtroom after he testified, Friedman, holding a cigar, said he sympathizes with the victims and their families. He said he became convinced of Soffar's innocence, however, after reviewing records about his case for the magazine article.

    "They've got the wrong guy," he said. "That's what I know. That's what I believe."

    Against the death penalty

    Though he told an Internet interviewer last year that he did not oppose the death penalty, Friedman said Tuesday that he has changed his position andwill campaign against capital punishment.

    "The (criminal justice) system is not perfect," he said. "Until it's perfect, let's do away with the death penalty."

    The quote where Kinky says he's "not anti-death penalty" must be from some out-of-date source.

    I seriously doubt the part about Kinky being in favor of posting the Ten Commandments in public school classrooms. The Jews, Catholics, and Protestants all have different versions of the Ten Commandments with different commandments and as some raised as a Jew I'm sure Kinky would know this and would also know that it would bring a flood of lawsuits against the public schools if they posted one faith's version of the Ten Commandments and not another faith's version.

  3. The quote from the Soffar trial does not go against the quote from his website. The fact that Kinky is not against the death penalty, does not mean he is in favor of it regardless of how our justice system functions. It would be best to get rid of the death penalty, until we can build more fairness into the system. That is all he is saying. I agree.

  4. MJ -

    It is true that Bell and Granny Fournames have some of the same beliefs, but the thrust of my post was Kinky's beliefs.

  5. Thanks, Jobsanger.

    I agree that that the statements "let's do away with the death penalty" and "I'm not anti-death penalty" are not inconsistent. Yet I could see where some people who were not as interested in working to reconscile the two statements might see some conflict. I wish Kinky's website would explain Kinky's position as well as you do.

    What are Kinky's positions on these 7 issues which are most important to me and which will probably determine who I will vote for:

    1. raising the minimum wage,

    2. stepping up enforcement of environmental regulations at Texas refineries,

    3. expanding stem cell research,

    4. opposing abortion laws that lack an exception for threats to the woman's health or life,

    5. fighting against caps on damages juries can award to compensate Texans who have been injured by corporate negligence,

    6. rejecting efforts to privitize social security, and

    7. ending Bush's Middle East wars.

    As always, your help and wisdom are much appreciated.

  6. I have been on the fence for a while now, but I’m finally no longer considering Kinky as an option.

    My problem with Kinky is basically this: we have the worst governor in 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, but not as Christofascist, mean-spirited, or 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, but he’s neither terrible charismatic nor very well funded, but generally he’s reasonable on the issues and not as mean-spirited 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 from 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 non-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 Texas we are leaving 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.

  7. Really? You support school prayer? Oy, fucking veh.

  8. The key word is "optional". I don't believe in teacher led prayer, but I don't care if any child wants to pray -- as long as others are not forced to participate.


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