Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Bell Goes 3 for 3 in Post-Debate Polls

Just as early voting begins, the new SurveyUSA poll is coming out, and it confirms the two other post-debate polls: Chris Bell is the only candidate to emerge from the pack of challengers to have any chance of beating Perry.

36% - Rick Perry
26% - Chris Bell
19% - Carole Strayhorn
16% - Richard Friedman

Chris Bell is also the only candidate with consistent upward momentum (Strayhorn and Perry wobble up and down and Kinky has a consistent downward trajectory).

To recap, here are the other two post-debate polls:

Wall Street Journal (an internet based poll which uses a methodology that may oversample younger, pro-technology, well-educated voters, but which weighted to match the race, age, economic profile, and party affiliation splits corresponding with the splits from the latest exit polls from comparable elections in Texas):

37.5% - Rick Perry
26.2% - Chris Bell
13.2% - Richard Friedman
13.0% - Carole Strayhorn

Texans for Insurance Reform (a land-line telephone based poll which uses a methodology that may undersample younger, pro-technology, economically disadvantaged voters, and which is weighted to match the polling population to the assumption that 40% of the voters will be Republicans, 30% will be Democrats, and 30% will be independents - this poll is conducted by an independent polling firm and financed by Strayhorn supporters):

34.4% - Rick Perry
18.7% - Chris Bell
18.5% - Carole Strayhorn
_8.6% - Richard Friedman

What do these three different polls with three different methodologies tell us?

Perry is inescapably trapped near mid-30%, and he is vulnerable, and this fact is apparent no matter how you collect the data.

Bell is the lone break-away challenger and has strong momentum as confirmed by all three polls and this status is also born out regardless of the data collection method.

Strayhorn seems destined for a third place finish, and Friedman is flushing out as every election anlaysit has predicted since day one.

The question which will determine the outcome of the election is this: As it becomes increasingly inescapable that only Bell has any hope of beating Perry, will the supporters of Strayhorn and Friedman spite-vote or will they flock to Bell and effect a change in their government.

Specifically, do the anti-TTC people (whose blog is underwritten by Strayhorn) seek to elect Bell as the only challenger who can stop the TTC or will they go down with the Strayhorn ship and acquiesce to Perry's TTC?

Likewise, do the Friedman supporters who seek to "make a statement" want that statement to be "we punk’d the vote in Texas" or "we put an end to one-party rule in Texas."

Nothing less important than your future and the future of our state depends on the answers to these questions.

Kinky Endorses Republican Slate

Most of you already know that Kinky voted for Bush/Cheney '04 and this was the only time he has voted in the in last 14 years (although he lied about voting for Richards in '94, lied about voting for Gore in '00, and lied about voting against discriminatory marital rights in '05).

Kinky has now voted for only the second time in at least 14 years and, again, he voted for the Republican slate. Immediately after voting, Kinky told the media of his support for Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison and Republican Lamar Smith: "Friedman said he cast ballots for Congressman Lamar Smith and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, whom he said he met Sunday at a Dallas airport. 'She (Hutchison) is not without charm,' he said. 'We have a lot of friends in common.'"

Please tell your Democratic friends that Kinky is just a Republican in a black hat and cigar costume.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Kinky Lies about Supporting Bush

When Kinky appears before Democratic crowds, he falsely plays down his support for Bush.

First, there is no question that Kinky voted for Bush/Cheney in 2004 (some Kinkaholics on "Satan's internet" still dispute this fact):

"The voting record doesn't look strong, but my voting record is better than Dick Cheney's," he said, referring to reports in 2000 that Cheney skipped 14 of 16 votes in Dallas County - including the presidential primary in which he could have voted for his future running mate, George W. Bush.

According to Kerr County voting records, Friedman voted in the 2004 presidential general election but not in any other contest since 1994.

"I was for Bush in 2004," he said.


Further, it remains clear that Kinky's support for Bush and his war was unabated less than a year ago:

Question: So does this idea of the honorable cowboy have anything to do with why you threw your support behind President Bush in this last election? You did, didn’t you?
Friedman: Yes. I did in this last election, but I didn’t vote for him the first time.
Question: Who did you vote for in 2000?
Friedman: I voted for Gore then. I was conflicted. . .but I was not for Bush that time. Since then, though, we’ve become friends. And that’s what’s changed things.
Question: So it’s your friendship with him that’s changed your mind about having him as president more than his specific political positions?
Friedman: Well, actually, I agree with most of his political positions overseas, his foreign policy. On domestic issues, I’m more in line with the Democrats. I basically think he played a poor hand well after September 11. What he’s been doing in the Near East and in the Middle East, he’s handling that well, I think.


Interestingly, these two interviews with Kinky demonstrate an obvious lie about Kinky's voting record. Clearly, it cannot be true that Kinky "voted for Gore" in 2000 if "Friedman voted in the 2004 presidential general election but not in any other contest since 1994."

Some Kinkaholics say that Kinky was merely mistaken, and his false statement about voting for Gore is simply an innocent mistake. Yet even that weak justification for Kinky's lie does not hold up.

In the April 2001 edition of Texas Monthly, less than six months after Kinky supposedly "voted for Gore," Kinky wrote "now, I have hope once again in our political system, thanks to the election of George W. Bush as president." Kinky's statement of hope in American politics due to the Bush's presidency comes in the brief window of time after the highly controversial Supreme Court interference in the Florida recount and before 9/11. I cannot believe anyone who voted for Gore would have said "now, I have hope once again in our political system, thanks to the election of George W. Bush as president" just a few short months after the Supreme Court prematurely ended the Florida recount.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Texas Governor Election Quiz

Test your knowledge of the Texas gubernatorial candidates.

1. Who said "I think Rick Perry is an inspiring leader; he inspired me to run for Governor"?

A. James "Rick" Perry
B. Chris Bell
C. Richard "Kinky" Friedman
D. Carole Keeton Strayhorn

2. Who said "I'm not a liberal, believe me; I'm a compassionate redneck, far more conservative than I am liberal"?

A. James "Rick" Perry
B. Chris Bell
C. Richard "Kinky" Friedman
D. Carole Keeton Strayhorn

3. Who said "I'm not a supporter of using embryonic stem cell research; frankly, I think it's a very narrow, at best, area"?

A. James "Rick" Perry
B. Chris Bell
C. Richard "Kinky" Friedman
D. Carole Keeton Strayhorn

4. Who said "Stem-cell research isn't just a good idea; it's a moral calling"?

A. James "Rick" Perry
B. Chris Bell
C. Richard "Kinky" Friedman
D. Carole Keeton Strayhorn

5. Who said "After nine legislative sessions full of name-calling, our school funding is in crisis, property taxes are up and judges are having to do our governor's job"?

A. James "Rick" Perry
B. Chris Bell
C. Richard "Kinky" Friedman
D. Carole Keeton Strayhorn

6. Who said "As Jesus once said to the Mexicans, don’t do a thing till I get back"?

A. James "Rick" Perry
B. Chris Bell
C. Richard "Kinky" Friedman
D. Carole Keeton Strayhorn

7. Who said "A lot of the issues that are driving this debate as far as I'm concerned come down to questions of morals and values: How are we going to take care of the less fortunate, the more vulnerable individuals in our society"?

A. James "Rick" Perry
B. Chris Bell
C. Richard "Kinky" Friedman
D. Carole Keeton Strayhorn

8. Who said "Why don't you just let us get on down the road"?

A. James "Rick" Perry
B. Chris Bell
C. Richard "Kinky" Friedman
D. Carole Keeton Strayhorn

9. Who said "I do not suffer hunters gladly"?

A. James "Rick" Perry
B. Chris Bell
C. Richard "Kinky" Friedman
D. Carole Keeton Strayhorn

10. Who said "We need to reduce the number of abortions in Texas by reducing unwanted pregnancies. Gov. Rick Perry's policies have failed to reduce abortions, which have increased under his administration"?

A. James "Rick" Perry
B. Chris Bell
C. Richard "Kinky" Friedman
D. Carole Keeton Strayhorn

11. Who said "Building highways through toll financing rather than pay-as-you-go financing dramatically speeds the time it takes to complete a given project"?

A. James "Rick" Perry
B. Chris Bell
C. Richard "Kinky" Friedman
D. Carole Keeton Strayhorn

12. Who said "I’m a conservative. I believe in limited, efficient government—and that’s the opposite we’re getting from the Republican Party"?

A. James "Rick" Perry
B. Chris Bell
C. Richard "Kinky" Friedman
D. Carole Keeton Strayhorn

13. Who said "If 500 of Rick Perry's campaign contributors died of abuse, I think he would find the money to protect them, but when incomprehensible cruelty visits the least of those among us, suddenly we can't find the money"?

A. James "Rick" Perry
B. Chris Bell
C. Richard "Kinky" Friedman
D. Carole Keeton Strayhorn

14. Who said "The Jews own the world, the Catholics run it, Protestants work it, and the Niggers and Mexicans enjoy it, basically, that's what they've done"?

A. James "Rick" Perry
B. Chris Bell
C. Richard "Kinky" Friedman
D. Carole Keeton Strayhorn

15. Who said "Under this governor, it is us against them"?

A. James "Rick" Perry
B. Chris Bell
C. Richard "Kinky" Friedman
D. Carole Keeton Strayhorn

16. Who said "That marriage is the union between a man and a woman is a truth known to each one of us already, and any attempt to allow same-sex marriages is a detriment to the family unit and hurts our state and nation"?

A. James "Rick" Perry
B. Chris Bell
C. Richard "Kinky" Friedman
D. Carole Keeton Strayhorn

17. Who said "We can't treat teachers like glorified test monitors and pay them accordingly if we want to have any hope of keeping teachers in classrooms"?

A. James "Rick" Perry
B. Chris Bell
C. Richard "Kinky" Friedman
D. Carole Keeton Strayhorn

18. Who said "I have been a lifelong Democrat, but I'm going to spend the rest of my life vigorously and wholeheartedly in the GOP"?

A. James "Rick" Perry
B. Chris Bell
C. Richard "Kinky" Friedman
D. Carole Keeton Strayhorn

19. Who said "The crackheads and thugs who remain in Houston after Katrina happen to be black; that's fact"?

A. James "Rick" Perry
B. Chris Bell
C. Richard "Kinky" Friedman
D. Carole Keeton Strayhorn

20. Who said "It's becoming increasingly obvious that Rick Perry just doesn't get it, that he doesn't understand that budgets are moral documents, that there are human costs attached to fiscal decisions"?

A. James "Rick" Perry
B. Chris Bell
C. Richard "Kinky" Friedman
D. Carole Keeton Strayhorn

21. Who said "All of these politicians are afraid of offending Hispanics"?

A. James "Rick" Perry
B. Chris Bell
C. Richard "Kinky" Friedman
D. Carole Keeton Strayhorn

22. Who said "I said there was not a shortfall in the budget this session, but a shortfall in leadership from the governor"?

A. James "Rick" Perry
B. Chris Bell
C. Richard "Kinky" Friedman
D. Carole Keeton Strayhorn

23. Who said "A leader does not let nine sessions go by and now a tenth without a long term fix with cutting property tax and money going into educate for our teacher and for our classrooms"?

A. James "Rick" Perry
B. Chris Bell
C. Richard "Kinky" Friedman
D. Carole Keeton Strayhorn

24. Who said "What [Bush]’s been doing in the Near East and in the Middle East, he’s handling that well, I think"?

A. James "Rick" Perry
B. Chris Bell
C. Richard "Kinky" Friedman
D. Carole Keeton Strayhorn

25. Who said "The informed-consent requirements should conform to mainstream medical knowledge, which refutes the link between breast cancer and abortion"?

A. James "Rick" Perry
B. Chris Bell
C. Richard "Kinky" Friedman
D. Carole Keeton Strayhorn

26. Who said "Native Americans believe you can't really own land, a horse or a waterfall. The only thing they believe you can really own is a casino"?

A. James "Rick" Perry
B. Chris Bell
C. Richard "Kinky" Friedman
D. Carole Keeton Strayhorn

27. Who said "We divide the border into five sections and we appoint a Mexican general in charge of each section, and we give him a million bucks, which we hold for him in a bank account, and every time we catch an illegal coming through his section we withdraw $5,000"?

A. James "Rick" Perry
B. Chris Bell
C. Richard "Kinky" Friedman
D. Carole Keeton Strayhorn

28. Who said "“Packing the Ethics Committee with DeLay loyalists further immunizes the Republican congressional leadership not just from the Democrats but also from democracy"?

A. James "Rick" Perry
B. Chris Bell
C. Richard "Kinky" Friedman
D. Carole Keeton Strayhorn

29. Who said "I am going to see nondenominational prayer and the Ten Commandments put back in the schools"?

A. James "Rick" Perry
B. Chris Bell
C. Richard "Kinky" Friedman
D. Carole Keeton Strayhorn

30. Who said "Adios, MoFo"?

A. James "Rick" Perry
B. Chris Bell
C. Richard "Kinky" Friedman
D. Carole Keeton Strayhorn

ANSWERS:

1. B, 2. C, 3. A, 4. B, 5. D, 6. C, 7. B, 8. A, 9. C, 10. B, 11. D, 12. C, 13. B, 14. C, 15. D, 16. A, 17. B, 18. D, 19. C, 20. B, 21. C, 22. D, 23. D, 24. C, 25. B, 26. C, 27. C, 28. B, 29. C, 30. A

Molly Ivins Explains Why Kinky is Wrong

Of course, it is no surprise that Molly Ivins would endorse the Democrat who is also the most progressive candidate in the race.


Yet there have been many Kinky supporters who have misrepresented that Molly supported Kinky.


Fortunately, Molly has corrected those Kinky supporters who have been touting that Ann Richards supported Kinky (false) and that Molly Ivins supports Kinky (also false).


Here are Molly's sage thoughts on the matter:


By Molly Ivins


Chris Bell for governor! I know, I know, it’s stop the presses, Ivins favors Democrat! But the Kinky Friedman candidacy is worn thin and no fun. Besides, we actually have a good chance to get Rick Perry out of office. After six years in office, the Coiffure is at 36 percent approval. He gets another four years, I don’t think we’ll have a public school system left—he really does intend to destroy it, at far-right GOP donor Jim Leininger’s bidding, you know. We may never again get a chance to do our state such a great service. This could be the Alamo of elections.


For those, like me, who believe in music and laughter in politics, Kinky Friedman appeared to be a natural—and besides, how hard can it be?


It turns out, a little harder than Kinky is willing to make an effort to go. In an excruciating interview with the Dallas Morning News, Friedman not only got about half his facts wrong (this is why we accuse Bush of misleading people), but also demonstrated that he does not understand school finance or taxes, nor does he have any intention of trying to do so.


...


One of the great mysteries of this race is why Carole Keeton Strayhorn has imploded almost as fast as Friedman. The only reason Friedman is still in the race is because of free media: Reporters were all so bored by the thought of another snoozer Republican victory, they fought to keep Friedman’s candidacy alive long past the point when it was clear that the Kinkster was in it entirely for ego and publicity. I still like the idea—maybe next time, we should get a funny, smart musician who cares enough to study up a little. Marcia Ball, anyone? Joe Ely?


...


Bell is looking like a better bet because: (A) He has the Democratic base vote going for him, and (B) Perry is just so lame. As we start down the stretch, Bell is picking up on the outside, Perry is still at 35 percent after a year, Strayhorn is fading and Kinky stopped to poop on the track.


...


There was a bit of flap recently when Liz Smith claimed the late Ann Richards would have been in favor of Kinky for governor. Maybe Liz knew Ann better than I did. But I’d bet not. Listening to her memorial service, I was reminded how hard we fought and how tough it was. I thought of the slippage since she left office—blacks and browns left out again. All we have to do to win this is get Democrats to vote. Let’s make it a vote for Annie.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Kinky Friedman in his Own Words

To punish criminals we should "throw them in prison and throw away the key and make them listen to a Negro talking to himself," and then he explained that "Negro ... is a charming word."



"You folks know the Friedman family motto now: The Jews own the world, the Catholics run it, Protestants work it, and the Niggers and Mexicans enjoy it, basically, that's what they've done."



"I was run over by a bookmobile coming to the show this evening. They took me to the Ben Talb hospital now- when I came to the doctor told me, 'Kinky, we've had to give you a transfusion with the blood of a person of the Negro persuasion.' I said, 'well that's moderately unpleasant.' He said, 'well yes Kinky there's a good side to this, too. There's some good fringe benefits. Your welfare check will start coming in next month and your penis just grew 12 inches so these are some things you should think about...'"



"I went to a bowling alley. I couldn't go bowling, there were no bowling balls. The people here throw 'em all in the sea, thought they were nigger eggs…thought they were nigger eggs."



"I often encourage young people to go ahead and get into politics themselves. You see, I don't like young people, and if they become involved in that worthless tar baby that is politics, the more chance there is that maybe they'll leave me alone."



"The musicians and artists have mostly moved back to New Orleans now. The crackheads and the thugs have decided to stay. They want to stay here. I think they got their hustle on, and we need to get ours."



"The crackheads and thugs who remain in Houston after Katrina happen to be black; that's fact" followed a few days later by "I am not a racist, I am a realist. ... I never said what color their skin was. .... I'm smarter than that."



"All of these politicians are afraid of offending Hispanics. I want the border off the evening news until we get something resolved," but later "I want the border on the nightly news every night."



"My immigration policy is 'Remember the Alamo.'"



"Native Americans believe you can't really own land, a horse or a waterfall. The only thing they believe you can really own is a casino."




"I am going to see nondenominational prayer and the Ten Commandments put back in the schools."



"I'm not pro-life, and I'm not pro-choice. I'm pro-football."



"If you don't love Jesus, go to hell."



Discussing the reason why Kinky lost his last political election when he ran as a Republican "my inability to appeal to the religious right … torpedoed my candidacy."



"I've been stoned a lot of times... And I don't regret any of it. ... I quit doing cocaine when Bob Marley fell out of my left nostril."



"I am not anti-death penalty,"
but later (and under oath) "let's do away with the death penalty," and still later "I think there are people who need to die."



"I'm not a liberal, believe me. I'm a compassionate redneck, far more conservative than I am liberal."



"I was for Bush in 2004. He's a good man trapped in a Republican's body."



"Well, actually, I agree with most of political positions overseas, his foreign policy. … I basically think he played a poor hand well after September 11. What he’s been doing in the Near East and in the Middle East, he’s handling that well, I think."



"I voted for Gore," but when Kinky’s Kerr County voting records confirmed that he voted only in the 2004 general election but not in any other election since 1994, and that Kinky had lied about voting for Gore, Kinky said "The voting record doesn't look strong, but my voting record is better than Dick Cheney's."



"All the little issues you're talking about are all (expletive). It's all (expletives). That's the key. Okay, I mean, you can talk about, 'And I would deregulate this; and my plans is to give a seven percent raise on the textbook.' It's all (expletive) because the people who are doing this are crooks and they're corrupt and they don't give a (expletive) about the people of Texas. That's the truth."




"I'm still not sure I want to be governor."

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Kinky and Race (Episode 3 in Kinky vs. Minorities)

After months of treating Kinky Friedman as nothing more than a sideshow freak in the three-ring circus that the Texas governor's race has become, the media have finally begun to explore the inherent flaws in Kinky's campaign.

True to its nature, the first of many flaws which the media have fixated upon is the more sensational misjudgments (and less policy-oriented errors) represented by the strain of racial tension undercutting Kinky's campaign efforts.

From Kinky's last political campaign as a Republican candidate to his current political campaign, Kinky has established a pattern of using racially charged phrases about his on-again-off-again distaste for the "tar baby" of politics, his thoughts on "nigger eggs," his views on punishment by mumbling "Negroes" in prison, his talk of "fried chicken in the ghetto," and his plans for the black "thugs and crackheads" in Houston.

Some call this pattern of comments racist, but others call this simply a foolish way for Kinky to guarantee that he won't win a single minority vote. In either case, it is not without good cause that Kinky has less than half of the minority support that Chris Bell enjoys and less than two-thirds of the minority support for Perry.

While Kinky's comments about the mumbling Negro prisoners, fried-chicken-eating ghetto dwellers, and black crackheads have already received much media attention recently, his "nigger egg" and "tar baby" comments have not.

Expect these comments from the April 2001 edition of Texas Monthly to surface in the next wave of press questioning Kinky's wisdom in courting the minority vote in Texas:

But it wasn't former U-boat commanders who torpedoed my candidacy. It was my inability to appeal to the religious right. To me, the religious right has always seemed like the kind of place where if Jesus walked in with three nails, they'd probably put him up for the night. But I persevered. I even went so far as to become a Southern Baptist until I realized that they didn't hold 'em under long enough.… Thus it was, because of my personal disillusionment with politics, that I finally became a charismatic atheist. About the only article of faith that we charismatic atheists truly cling to is the belief that ballet is basketball for homosexuals.... I often encourage young people to go ahead and get into politics themselves. You see, I don't like young people, and if they become involved in that worthless tar baby that is politics, the more chance there is that maybe they'll leave me alone.

For those too young to be familiar with the nature of the term "tar baby," historian and public schools curriculum advisor Randy Lightfoot explains:

Tar Baby gained a negative connotation during the period of American slavery. The nickname was given to African children living on slave plantations. It was a degrading term that implied a lack of intelligence and uncivilized behavior, he said.... "For those who know what it means, Tar Baby is very offensive," he said.


Also, expect to hear more soon about Kinky's recorded comments from his April 16th, 1980 concert at the Rockefeller Club in Houston, where Kinky joked with his mostly white audience:

Then I come down to Houston, I went to a bowling alley. I couldn't go bowling, there were no bowling balls. The people here throw 'em all in the sea, thought they were nigger eggs…thought they were nigger eggs.


Once the media tires of pointing that Kinky hasn't done much to win the trust of black voters in Texas, it will ultimately see that Kinky is not a better friend of the Native American or the Tejano.

Maybe, just maybe, after all that discussion of Kinky’s propensity to offend minority voters the media will finally consider the fact that Kinky's absurd proposed political policies present the greatest threat to Texas.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Kinky Lies to the Associated Press

On Wednesday, September 13, 2006, the Dallas Morning News published an Associated Press interview with Kinky Friedman. Kinky tried to downplay the racist nature of his recent unfortunate comments saying that the black hurricane refugees in Houston from New Orleans were "thugs and crackheads":

Friedman last week said he would provide $100 million to Houston, or any other city facing similar crime problems, so Houston could hire 1,200 new police officers to deal with crime and weed out the "crackheads and thugs" among the thousands of Katrina evacuees from New Orleans who relocated to Houston.

Roundly criticized as a thinly veiled attack on blacks from Louisiana, Friedman said Wednesday his proposal "was not in any way racist."

"How can you possibly regret that, telling the truth?" he asked. "I am not a racist, I am a realist. ... I never said what color their skin was. .... I'm smarter than that."


Yet on September 9, 2006, Guillermo X. Garcia with the San Antonio Express-News Staff reported on a question-and-answer session with Kinky and directly quoted him:

In answer to a question, Friedman said the comments do not indicate that he holds racist views. Rather, he said they demonstrate his ability to take on a subject the other candidates won't touch.

"Racism was here before I came around," he said. "I am just trying to bring up these issues within the (expletive) society."

Later, he said: "As it happens, the crackheads and thugs who remain in Houston after Katrina happen to be black; that's fact."



This latest lie follows Kinky's previous lies about his past claims that he vote for Ann Richards and Al Gore and against the Constitutional Amendment rejecting equal marriage rights. Here is one such false claim:

Susannah McNeely: ... after your bid for Justice of the Peace in ’86, you said you were leaving “that worthless tar baby that is politics” to the young people. What happened that changed your mind and prompted you to run for governor of Texas?

Kinky Friedman: Nothing changed my mind, that’s still correct. This is not a political campaign. It’s a spiritual one—a spiritual calling.
...
SM: So does this idea of the honorable cowboy have anything to do with why you threw your support behind President Bush in this last election? You did, didn’t you?

KF: Yes. I did in this last election, but I didn’t vote for him the first time.

SM: Who did you vote for in 2000?

KF: I voted for Gore then.
I was conflicted. . .but I was not for Bush that time. Since then, though, we’ve become friends. And that’s what’s changed things.

SM: So it’s your friendship with him that’s changed your mind about having him as president more than his specific political positions?

KF: Well, actually, I agree with most of his political positions overseas, his foreign policy. On domestic issues, I’m more in line with the Democrats. I basically think he played a poor hand well after September 11. What he’s been doing in the Near East and in the Middle East, he’s handling that well, I think.


Kinky statements about his past votes have proven false based on Kinky's public Kerr County voting records:

"Quite often, I did not like my choices," Friedman was quoted as saying in Friday's Dallas Morning News....

"The voting record doesn't look strong, but my voting record is better than Dick Cheney's," he said....

According to Kerr County voting records, Friedman voted in the 2004 presidential general election but not in any other contest since 1994.


More on Kinky's lie under oath to follow.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Why Kinky Cannot Win

I believe Kinky Friedman should not be elected because of his reactionary views on many issues from reproductive choice to immigration to eroding the separation of church and state. Most of this blog is dedicated to spreading information about Kinky's unsuitability for the office of Governor based on his position on substantive issues.

This post is not about why Kinky shouldn't win; instead, this post is about why Kinky can't win.

Perry has led every poll throughout this election (not including website polls where people from other states vote, people who are unregistered vote, and poll participants can vote as many times as they wish). This election is unquestionably Perry’s race to lose, but it seems that Perry is doing his best to lose it. Consider the election prospects for each of the three main alternatives to re-electing Perry.

Strayhorn

Strayhorn presents a unique threat to Perry's re-election. When Perry and Strayhorn last ran for office, they appeared on the ballot together. Strayhorn, not Perry, was the top vote recipient among all Republicans (she also received the most votes of any candidate for any office regardless of party affiliation). Strayhorn captured 2,878,732 votes compared to Perry's mere 2,632,591. Not only does Strayhorn have proven appeal among Republican voters, she has some support from those who typically support Democrats, including the endorsement of the TSTA and the TFT as well as support from prominent Hispanic Democrats such as Tony Sanchez, Perry's last Democratic opponent.

In addition to these factors, Strayhorn has raised over $10 million to fund her campaign, and the majority of those funds will be spent on comparative advertising directed against Perry's abysmal record as governor. While Strayhorn's support in the polls has been erratic and the trend has generally been downward, she has the campaign funds on hand to mount a substantial television advertising campaign to address that trend.

Bell

Bell also threatens Perry. Several recent polls have identified Perry's current level of support between 31% and 35% with a continuing significant downward trend. This would be disastrous for an incumbent in most situations, but Perry is less threatened because the two thirds of the vote which is currently "not Perry" is divided among three significant alternative candidates (plus Libertarian James Werner who will probably get nearly 2%).

Bell's support is trending upward (most recent polls have identified Bell's current levels of support between 18% and 25% and rising).

There are two historical voting trends which strongly indicate that the upward trend of Bell's support will continue to even higher levels.

First, Perry, Strayhorn, and Kinky have very well established name identification among Texas voters. Bell, on the other hand, is identified by about half of likely Texas voters. We know from previous elections, once a candidate achieves a very significant level of name identification with a likely voter without achieving that likely voter's support, it becomes substantially more difficult for the known candidate to win that voter's support. The fact that Bell has the most room to increase his name identification indicates that he also has the easiest task of building his support. Moreover, we also know from past elections that Bell's name identification will rise as the election nears as a result of the fact that Bell is the nominee of a major party. Among likely Texas voters who can identify the names of all four main candidates, Bell is polling at 28% to Perry's 32%, which is barely outside the margin for error. (For those who question the Zogby poll which has Perry at 30.7% and Bell at 25.3%, within the margin of error, if you review Zogby's internet-based methodology, you'll find that Zogby does a good job of polling an accurate ideological cross-section of the voters -- better than telephone-based Rasmussen, for example, who has Perry’s support at 33% -- but Zogby polls skew to over-represent people who are quicker adapters of new technologies – whereas Rasmussen under-polls this group -- and the people polled by Zogby tend to be better informed about politics and so the Zogby numbers show where Bell will be polling when he gets better name identification).

Second, Bell (and Perry) will receive a boost from straight-party voting which polls undercount (people answering polls generally deny voting the straight-party ticket but past elections confirm that about half of Texas voters choose a straight-party ticket in a statewide election during a non-presidential year). In recent non-presidential elections, about 23% of the Texas electorate has voted for the straight-party Democratic ticket (and about 28% have voted the straight-party Republican ticket). Moreover, in recent past elections where the Democratic candidate has accepted the party's nomination but essentially chose not to campaign, those types of statewide Democratic candidates have nevertheless received about one third of the vote (despite the fact that pre-election polling consistently identified levels of support much lower than 33% of the Texas electorate for such non-campaigning Democrats). When statewide Democrats mount a campaign, they generally receive about 43% of the vote during non-presidential elections. Undoubtedly, if Bell could achieve Democratic Party unity, he would easily win, but Strayhorn and Kinky will certainly disrupt the party unity for both Democrats and Republicans.

Friedman

Kinky is a unique candidate. Kinky's support has polled between 11% and 22% in polls that were conducted contemporaneously so his levels of support are obviously difficult to measure and highly dependant on the poll's method for identifying likely voters. But the prospect for Kinky's rise in the polls is not good. Of all the major candidates, Kinky has by far the highest disapproval numbers. Moreover, Kinky has very high name identification so his task of winning new supporters will be very difficult.

Kinky's campaign looks to Arnold Schwarzenegger's and Jesse Ventura's campaigns as models, but those campaigns are substantially different from Kinky's campaign.

Schwarzenegger's campaign differs from Kinky's mainly in the fact that Schwarzenegger enjoyed the strong backing of the Republican Party as that party's candidate (the California Republican Party and its prominent figures endorsed Schwarzenegger, including several other potential Republican candidates who dropped out of the race to avoid dividing the Republican vote). Interestingly, Schwarzenegger's campaign demonstrates how a minority party (whether Republicans in California or Democrats in Texas) can win a plurality election against a much stronger party (Democrats in California or Republicans in Texas) with strong party unity. Because the multi-party Texas gubernatorial race will be determined by a plurality (the eventual winner will likely garner only 33% to 38% of the vote) just as the recent California election, Schwarzenegger's model for minority-party triumph is more of a model for Bell's campaign than Kinky's campaign. Kinky’s model from the California recall election is not Republican-Party-candidate Schwarzenegger, it’s entertainer-with-campaign-jokes Gary Coleman.

Ventura's campaign differs from Kinky's mainly in the differences between the manner in which Ventura achieved a third-party coalition and in the differences between Minnesota and Texas election law.

Like Schwarzenegger's Republican Party support, Ventura had the organized campaign support of the Reform Party (Ventura was the Reform Party's nominee, not an independent candidate) which was by far the most significant third party in Minnesota with a substantial party infrastructure and network of campaign workers. Moreover, Ventura won the support of the Libertarian Party and others who value the separation of church and state when he famously said that "organized religion tells people to go out and stick their noses in other people's business" and whereas Kinky has alienated that group by advocating prayer in school and posting the Ten Commandments in public school classrooms. Ventura won with 37% of the vote by running under a coherent platform as a fiscal conservative and a social liberal in a state with about one third Republicans, one third Democrats, and a full third of the electorate as Reform Party members or other Independents. In contrast, Kinky's platform is not coherent (socially liberal on gay marriage, de-criminalizing some drug crimes, and legalized casino gambling to alienate social conservatives, but socially conservative on immigration, abortion, and school prayer to alienate social liberals), and Texas is more like 50% Republican leaning, 35% Democratic leaning, with only 15% truly independent. Also, Minnesota's minority vote is much smaller than the minority vote in Texas, and Kinky has irreparably handicapped his candidacy among likely minority voters with Kinky's comments about "Negroes" and "tar babies" and black “thugs and crackheads” from New Orleans and Kinky’s alignment with the “Minutemen” border vigilantes and his statements that politicians being "afraid of offending Hispanics" and saying the Tejano immigration protesters were "playing hooky." It is no wonder polls show Kinky with the least minority voter support of the candidates, and this problem with Kinky's campaign cannot be fixed.

Yet perhaps the more important distinction between Ventura's campaign and Kinky's is the election law differences. An Independent candidate's chances of success are much greater in Minnesota due to Minnesota's law allowing for voter registration at the voting booth on election day and Minnesota's public financing for state elections (which would minimize Kinky's current status as the candidate with the least funds on hand).

In light of these factors, the conventional wisdom of professional election analysts from Kinky's former colleague at "Texas Monthly" Paul Burka, to Republican poll guru Mike Baselice, to the progressive Lone Star Project, to independent analyst Chuck McDonald has consistently concluded that Kinky will likely end up in the single digits on election day (and if he pulls anywhere near 15%, Perry will likely win by default).

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In summary, Kinky can't win for five main reasons:

(1) Base vote -

(a) Perry will get a substantial Republican base vote (less than in other years because Strayhorn and Kinky will cut into that base) so Perry builds support on a base of perhaps 25% who will vote for the Republican no matter who the nominee is so Perry wins votes to add to 25% he gets automatically,

(b) Bell will get a substantial Democratic base vote (also less than in other years) so Bell builds support on a base of perhaps 20% who will vote for the Democrat no matter who the nominee is so Bell wins votes to add to 20% he gets automatically,

(c) Strayhorn has no party base but she was the top vote recipient on the whole ballot last time she ran so she likely has some established core of support among voters so, while she has to win every vote one-by-one (i.e., she benefits from no straight party vote), she has a voter constituency which she has established in prior statewide elections, and if we look at her petition drive supporters as an approximation of that core of support, she is now adding votes to a base of about 4%,

(d) Kinky has no party base and he has not run for office since his unsuccessful mid-'80 run in a local Kerr County race as a Republican so he also has to win every vote one-by-one (i.e., no straight party boost), and if we look at his petition drive supporters as a core of support, he is now adding votes to a base of about 3%,

(2) Minority vote - Kinky has the lowest levels of support among all racial minority voting groups and his support is still falling among those voters and it appears that Kinky's candidacy has been irreparably damaged in this regard by his bigoted statements, and the alienation of these large voter groups sets a cap on Kinky's ability to build support,

(3) Negative identification - Kinky has by far the highest numbers of likely voters who have already developed a negative impression of him and his candidacy (Kinky’s negatives are about double the other candidates’), and these high negative numbers set a cap on Kinky's ability to build support,

(4) Substantive campaign mismanagement - People complain about how Strayhorn has run her campaign (the suit to get her on the ballot as "Grandma" which the campaign had to abandon was a mistake) and Bell's campaign (not visible enough), but these are complaints about the procedural aspects of the campaign, whereas Kinky's campaign is suffering substantive defects (Kinky has had to contradict his own campaign staff on about “Kinky’s” position in key issues from immigration, to abortion, to ethics) and this is the sign of a rudderless campaign where the candidate is not providing any ideological direction, and

(5) Ideological dissonance - When some Kinky supporters say that Kinky is neither liberal nor conservative, they are mistaken. A candidate who holds middle-ground positions on many issues is neither liberal nor conservative, and Kinky is the exact opposite. Kinky is both liberal and conservative (not neither) because Kinky simultaneously takes the most right-wing views on issues like abortion, immigration, eroding the separation of church and state, privatizing aspects of the public schools, racial scapegoating, etc., and Kinky has also expressed the most liberal views of any candidate on issues like regulating pet ownership, expressing contempt for hunters, and de-criminalizing some drug crimes. Kinky does not take the most moderate views; instead, he combines the most right-wing views with the most liberal views. Kinky’s “platform” is not like Jesse Ventura’s quasi-Libertarian platform which coherently blended liberal social views with conservative fiscal views because Kinky’s issue positions seem almost calculated to alienate progressive voters with his stance on abortion, immigration, destroying the separation of church and state, privatization of aspects of the public schools, and racial scapegoating while simultaneously alienating right-wing voters on issues like hunting. Kinky's nonstop pattern of flip flops (abortion, immigration, hunting, etc.), his taking two contrary positions at the same time on the same issue depending on what audience he is addressing (capital punishment, cronyism, etc.), and some outright lies (his false claim to have voted for Ann Richards and Al Gore, etc.) appear connected to this ideological dissonance.

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Considered together, these factors will utterly prevent Kinky from ever rising in the polls to threaten Perry. Will Kinky get 5% or 20%? I can't say. But I can say that Kinky will not ever get anywhere near Perry's base vote numbers so even if Perry is limited to his hardest-core base and nothing more, Perry will still beat Kinky.