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"I think that's long overdue,....We've pretty well lost the war on drugs doing it the way we're doing it. Drugs are more available and cheaper than ever before. What we're doing is not working."(I think he's right, and if everyone who actually did drugs would just stand up and admit it, then marijuana would be legal about 30 minutes later. But who would say that?)
He said one of the first calls he'd make as governor would be to Robert Muhammad, head of the Nation of Islam in Houston, who he said "the Lord put in my path at the Austin airport earlier this year.""He's a very visionary man," Friedman said. "You would think we're at opposite poles, but we're not. That's the guy I would tap. I would tap him to help us get those gangsters and thugs and crackheads out of [Houston].
He also said he would use one of the governor's few powerful roles in appointing state board members to replace as many as he could...."You clean house," he said. "You get the old farts out of there. You put a bunch of young people in and you put a bunch of people who care about Texas. It's pretty simple."(Hard to argue with.)
On the death penalty, he said he would more carefully look at capital cases approaching execution and suggested he would be more liberal in using the governor's authority to grant a one-time 30-day reprieve to condemned killers.
"I would be careful killing a guy," he said. "I think there are people who need to die, but the question I've asked mostly is: When was the last time we've executed a rich man in Texas?
"We're working with a very imperfect system and I think we've made mistakes. I would not say if it was good enough for the jury, it's good enough for me. I'm not Susan Sarandon. I don't think every murderer is innocent. I would take these case by case."
That's what he does so well; if a "Democrat" said we should take a close look at death penalty cases the Republicans would label them as soft on crime. But Kinky just states it plainly and phrases it in such a natural way that it seems like the only thing to do.
Sometimes he says really stupid things, the "crackhead" line was probably too far, but so much of what he says walks a line that very few candidates even try to walk. He's just being himself, but he's also discussing very serious issues.
I think Democrats should take note...
(oh, and by the way, Kinky is also up for the Thurber Prize for Humor Writing. Past winners include Jon Stewart, David Sedaris and Christopher Buckley. Just thought you should know.)