Kinky Friedman Interview
by: Rod Rice, October 9, 2006 5:10:00 am
Some of Friedman's positions are controversial, such as legalizing marijuana, another, casino gambling is part of Freidman's plan to fix what's wrong with education in Texas.
"I plan to get rid of the TAKS test. I plan to appoint people who've seen the inside of a classroom, ya know, to the education system. I plan to have instead of 254 monkeys I'd like one gorilla running the thing. I'd like to legalize casino gambling so we acutely have a permanent revenue stream to pay for education once and for all: six to eight billion in fact. It's nonsense to be the richest state in the country and we can't pay or teachers, can't provide health insurance for the kids, and can't even maintain our state parks, that's crazy."
Friedman supports renewable energy, he says for the first time Texas is importing energy.
"I would like to have us lead the parade instead of following it that's all. We lead the parade with oil and gas exploration once, we can do with renewable fuels and Willie Nelson stands ready to help. He's uniquely equipped to do this because the farmers and Willie and very close, and that's the way you make ethanol and bio-diesel available to most of us, is farming co-ops all across Texas set up to do this. And these things, by the way, don't have to be subsidized; I mean bio-diesel is something that won't cost us anything."
When it comes to immigration Friedman says keep it simple.
"Let's put ten-thousand Texas National Guard troops on the border and lets do it now. Let's have a tax ID card, so anybody who's working here, any illegal, working here, that wants to be legal, that wants to work, can have a background check through D-P-S. He buys his own card, he's good. If an establishment is caught hiring an illegal after that they're fined $25,000 first time, $50,000 the second time--no nonsense. Let all the pathway to citizen ship and guest worker stuff, let the feds handle that. We been waiting for the feds for 153 years to help us with the border, they haven't helped us yet and they're not going to."
Friedman says he knows Austin politicians may not like all his ideas but he believes he can use the bully pulpit to forge public opinion.