So- I wrote to Kinky Friedman's campaign. asked them WHY precisely i (or anyone) should vote for Kinky for Ag Commissioner - I wanted to share what I got back-
These are all valid questions that one should ask. Please allow me to respond. Kinky never supported Rick Perry, and he never will. When asked by the Daily Beast to write a puff piece and say something positive about Perry, Kinky rather naively allowed that under certain circumstances he might could vote for the guy, all in good humor. To this day, Kinky will swear to you that he never gave Perry an endorsement, despite what is said on the net. Knowing how much he dislikes the soon-to-be-ex-governor, we over here know this to be the truth.
We would never want to dissuade you from voting your conscience, may it be Hogan or anybody, for that matter. However, we would ask that you take a closer look at Kinky's platform to see that hemp/pot is not his sole issue. Firstly, the legalization and cultivation of hemp is an environmental issue, a border issue, an education funding issue, a criminal justice issue and a personal freedoms issue. It is much more than a one-note recreational issue.
But it's not the only issue Kinky has taken on. He has a plan for water conservation that involves several points of attack. He sees a ten fold increase in water harvesting, development of El Paso-style groundwater desalination plants throughout the state, grants for individuals who return their lawns to indigenous ground cover, and, most importantly amending or eliminating the rule of capture in Texas and forming a state level water conservation board comprised of existing regional water authorities.
He has a plan for issuing grants for more family farms, focusing on organic farming, with the intent of using these locally grown organic foods for school lunch programs, which he intends to expand.
He will also issue increasing numbers of department grants for wind farms throughout west Texas.
He even has a strategy for feral hogs, the bane of so many farmers.
Still it does come back to hemp, which we see as the next great Texas cash crop, one that can totally replace cotton, which uses more water, produces less fiber and requires 25% of the world's pesticides (remember: hemp uses none). Right now, in drought conditions, this is to what most farmers and ranchers are responding. They want the opportunity.
Thanks for you time. Persuaded even a little bit?
Your alternative is to vote for an insurance salesman who does not campaign except for inside his home and attributes his coming in first in the Democratic Primary to God.
I talked to Hogan today, and he attributes his victory to the Almighty.
“It was a miracle and only God could’ve pulled it off,” he told me. “That doesn’t sell papers and you may think that’s corny but I truly believe it.”
I can understand why God wouldn’t want the atheistic Kinky Friedman representing God’s Party but what about Fitzsimons, who actually campaigned?
Hogan scoffs at the idea that “the Establishment” has anything to teach him.
“When I called Democrats and told them I was gonna be on the ticket first thing they said was, ‘How long you been in politics?’ I said, ‘I’m not no politician.’ They said, ‘Let me tell you something: It takes a lot of money to win a state race and you can’t win.’ I said, ‘Let me tell you something, y’all haven’t won since 1994.’”
And that’s true enough. Democrats have lost every single one of the last 100 or so statewide races since 1994. Hogan thought he’d try something a little different: He wouldn’t really campaign.
“Basically I run on the internet and a phone,” he said. “My motto is: My phone and Internet can outrun any jet plane or car across the state of Texas. I don’t have to be there.”
But how did voters know about him at all? Details about his candidacy only appear in a handful of small-town papers.
“All you gotta do is Google my name—’jim hogan ag commissioner’—and there’s enough on there.”
Hogan says he signed up for the Democratic ticket only because the field was weaker than the Republican slate, which featured five candidates.
“I can’t whup all five of ‘em but I might whup one of ‘em,” he said. “Sign me up!”
To be fair, Hogan has more experience than Kinky Friedman with farm and ranch affairs. He says he’s been involved in agriculture from childhood and ran a dairy farm from 1973 to 2005. Now in the insurance business, Hogan can speak at length about the economics of irrigated agriculture and the functions of the Texas Department of Agriculture. Still, he doesn’t have much of a platform.