American voters are preparing for mid term elections in November. One of the most interesting campaigns being fought is the race for Governor of Texas. Independent candidate Kinky Friedman is running a brilliant online campaign. From out of nowhere, this colourful country and western singer, cigar in hand has defied all of the odds and exceeded all requirements necessary to get on the ballot.
Texas electoral law requires a candidate to obtain 45,000 signatures from Texas voters in order to qualify for the race. Kinky Friedman’s supporters obtained almost 200,000 signatures.
Recent polls show him within 12% of the leading candidate. While his campaign is slim on cash, endorsements have been given by Willie Nelson and other personalities. Kinky is out to win! In the 2002 election for Governor, only 29% of voters cast a ballot.
MSNBC said, "Friedman told a few dozen supporters and reporters huddled for a brief, sidewalk announcement that his real opponent was not Gov. Rick Perry, but voter apathy. Only 29 percent of Texas' voting age population cast ballots in the 2002 gubernatorial general election."If we can get the 29 percent who voted last time up to 39 percent, it'll all be over, and there will be a whole new spirit blowing through Texas,"
he said. "There will be a smile on everybody's face and a chill up the spine of every politician."
For election junkies, Kinky is absolutely refreshing. While I don't agree with a number of his platform planks, I find his use of the internet, blogs and other online tools extremely interesting!
Kinky proposes several options that, if implemented, would bring new money into the education budget and improve the state of education in Texas:
- Legalizing casino gambling ("Slots for Tots") to bring in billions per year,
- Closing corporate loopholes so that the 10,000 Texas businesses that are not
currently paying taxes will be charged
- Increasing teacher salaries—currently $6,000 below the national average,
- Establishing a Trust for Texas Heroes program to increase the salaries of
teachers, cops, and firefighters through a 1 percent tax on oil and gas
produced in Texas
- Outsourcing sports funding to sports companies/retailers, and
- Stopping the practice of "teaching to the test."
- Reinstitute funds for health care for children slashed recently
Kinky's election website is very colourful and you should take some time and give it a tour.Kinky Friedman For Governor in 2006
With Kinky now starting to edge the Democrats into 3rd place, the campaign is starting to heat up. The Democrats are particularly nervous. A Democratic representative has just today come out spitting anger over Friedman's comments on Katrina evacuees in Houston. Watch this campaign.Lonestar Times