September 18, 2005
A question for Friedman supporters
I don't much care for Kinky Friedman as a candidate for Governor, but you really have to tip your cap to his ability to get favorable and prominent coverage in the newspapers. If only the Chron would give the Houston-based candidate that kind of ink.
Be that as it may, I've got a question. Suppose for a second that Kinky Friedman does indeed become our next Governor. How does he go about enacting his agenda? I have a hard time imagining that he'll find people in the House and Senate to carry bills for him. Nobody in either chamber will feel that they owe him anything - indeed, members of each party will surely feel that it's their guy who should be in the state house instead. The office doesn't have a whole lot of power to control what the Lege does, and as things currently stand he'll have a Lieutenant Governor who may very well want to replace him in 2010, and a House Speaker who quite clearly does his own thing. I don't see the 80th and 81st Leges being a whole lot of fun for a Governor Friedman.
Actually, the question of what would happen in the House is an interesting one. Tom Craddick exerts a lot of control, but we've seen that the rank and file is not too happy with him right now. A fair amount of that control comes from Rick Perry and the threats of primary challenges he's known to give to wayward Republicans. Especially if the Dems pick up a few seats here, knocking off a Craddick minion or two along the way, he may not be able to rule the roost like he has done so far. That would certainly ratchet up the entertainment factor, but again it's hard to see how that would help Friedman do what he wants to do.
Yes, to some extent this would be a problem for a Governor Bell or a Governor Sharp. The main difference is that either one would have legislators who'll introduce bills for them. If they get very lucky and wind up with a Democratic House, or at least a more accomodational Speaker, they'll be able to get some things done. But Kinky? You tell me, 'cause I don't see it.
Posted by Charles Kuffner on September 18, 2005 to Election 2006
What who cares...if the Kink is Gov. it is not what he has to pass.. it is what he can kill. SBC shit, anti gay bashing, budgets that screw those in need, he needs no sponsors, if elected he will rule the roost as they say because he has the ability to say what he wants when he wants.....they Leg can override his vetos but ask Perry how much he likes Rylander looking over his shoulder.
Kinky Friedman is not my candidate; but my guess is that the media honeymoon (and, as an independent, the media would probably be very favorable) would result in some leverage, at least long enough to squeak through the first legislative session.
Ultimately, though, Kinky would almost certainly be elected with a plurality - not a majority - and would have no mandate. I'm not even sure he has an agenda, which is a natural pre-requisite to having a mandate.
If you were to ask the Kinky campaign, I imagine the answer would somehow involve "bringing Texans together" and bi- (or multi-) partisanship and possibly invocations of the supposed era-of-good-feelings during the Bush-Bullock-Laney years.
You know, your basic standard issue nonsense.
That said, I'd really be surprised if any of our candidates were really capable of sweeping change. The Legislature is going to be closely divided, probably slightly-R but maybe... just maybe... just barely-D. The Texas Republican Party is devoid of leadership and the Texas Democratic Party is devoid of a coherent vision. Both parties will likely be beset by infighting, ego-centered politics and scandal in the next five years.
That's my assessment.
Jim said: "Both parties will likely be beset by infighting, ego-centered politics and scandal in the next five years."
Isn't that the norm for Texas politics? ;-)
Kinky hired one of Jesse Ventura's top people, didn't he? My guess is that things would be relatively the same here as they were in Minnesota under Ventura. IIRC, neither governor has very much power.
The one thing Kinky has that none of the other candidates really have is the ability to draw a crowd and TV coverage pretty much everywhere he goes. But it's going to be tricky for him to pressure the Lege without offending somebody.
"...indeed, members of each party will surely feel that it's their guy who should be in the state house instead. The office doesn't have a whole lot of power to control what the Lege does, and as things currently stand he'll have a Lieutenant Governor who may very well want to replace him in 2010, and a House Speaker who quite clearly does his own thing. I don't see the 80th and 81st Leges being a whole lot of fun for a Governor Friedman."
Isn't this what the current problem is? Too many personal and partisan agendas at work? None of which have anything to do with the "peoples' business." Time to get back to the peoples' business.
Lots of valid points to be made about his not being a "Democrat" or a "Republican" and working effectively with the legislature. But he's also a "neutral party" in what really has been a war for some years now. I think more and more Texans are looking for "neutral" ground and "peace talks." In their own lives as well as their politicians. There is a certain meanness about in this country. A partisan meanness. Most of us are tired of it. True, they can override his veto. They may also find themselves out of office next time at the polls. Reality is the people of Texas are beginning to at least warm to Kinky Friedman. Even if you don't like something particular about him, the rest of him you do. Something about his honesty perhaps?
He might surprise everyone and be the first governor in a long time who actually worked with the legislature instead of barked at it.
Would I prefer a Democrat? Yes. Find me one I can vote for and believe in. So far, there isn't one. Until you find one, I intend to sign the petition and vote for Kinky Friedman.
People ask me all the time, "Can Kinky win?" and I say "No and neither can Jessie Ventura" The same goes for dealing with the state legistature. In both cases people tended to forgett that we're talking about people who are near gueniuses. Besides, you need to vote Kinky so we can catch the vote thieves. Think about it.
The REAL Dos Centavos (Stace) has a comment at DosCentavos.net on the (I) guy.