The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

Gubernatorial candidate Friedman visits today

Gubernatorial candidate Kinky Friedman will be on campus today at 1 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Commons to talk about his position on political issues. Junior Whitney Patterson, the public relations director of Program Council, says students are going to be able to voice their opinions about what they think would improve Texas.

“Kinky might actually listen to those voices, which is why it’s important for students to attend,” said Patterson. “They can make a difference.”

Program Council is bringing Friedman to campus as part of their speakers series.

Richard S. “Kinky” Friedman certainly has an eclectic background compared to the other candidates running in the 2006 election for Texas governor. He was born in Chicago on Oct. 31, 1944 and raised in the West University neighborhood of Houston. His nickname, Kinky, came from his wild, curly hairstyle.

Friedman graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1966 with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Psychology while participating in the Plan II Honors program.

He first gained his fame in the 1970s when he formed the band called Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys. Friedman’s repertoire of songs mixed social commentary in the song “We Reserve the Right to Refuse Service to You” and maudlin ballads in “Western Union Wire” with harsh humor in “Get Your Biscuits in the Oven and Your Buns in the Bed.” His “Ride ’em Jewboy” was an extended tribute to the victims of the Holocaust.

Since April 2001, Friedman has written regular columns for Texas Monthly. His column has been suspended during his run for governor.

Friedman supports more investment in harnessing Texas’ alternative energy, such as wind and biodiesel, higher pay for teachers, and gay marriage.

He answered an Associated Press reporter’s question on gay marriage saying, “I support gay marriage. I believe they have a right to be as miserable as the rest of us.” Friedman is not married.

Friedman would overhaul the death penalty system if elected.

“I am not anti-death penalty, but I’m damn sure anti-the-wrong-guy-getting-executed,” said Friedman to the Dallas Morning News. Recently, he clarified his position: “The system is not perfect. Until it’s perfect, let’s do away with the death penalty.”

His official Web site includes his stance on abortion. Friedman says that he is not pro-life and not pro-choice, but he is pro-football.

Friedman is one of the two independent candidates in this election, the other being Carole Keeton Strayhorn. If successful, he will be the first independent candidate elected to the post since Sam Houston in 1859, as well as the first Jewish governor of Texas.

To run his campaign, Friedman brought in veterans of Jesse Ventura’s successful campaign for Minnesota governor, which is why Ventura and Friedman are purportedly such good friends.

Ventura also ran as in independent in the 1998 election for Minnesota governor and won. Poltical pundits were shocked because he beat out major-party candidates.

Ventura was supposed to be on campus Thursday with Friedman, but he had to fly back home to Minnesota due to personal issues that were not further discussed, according to Van Ann Bui, a member of Program Council.

Sophomore Shay Taylor said that she will definitely be at this event.

“I am not missing out on all this action for anything in the world. Just Kinky alone makes a great discussion. It will interesting to see what he has to say. I’ll be there, with or without Jesse.”

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