Independent gubernatorial candidate Kinky Friedman
announced on June 5 a seven-point political-reform agenda
designed to get politicians out of politics and to open the political process "to the people," he told reporters at his campaign HQ in Southeast Austin. Among the reforms Friedman says he would work to enact as governor are fair ballot access, making it easier for independent candidates to get onto the election ballot; same-day voter registration, a practice that has increased voter turnout in states that have enacted the measure; lobbying reform, banning former officials or state employees from lobbying the state Legislature for a period of two years after they leave state service; and providing for publicly-funded campaigns, by enacting clean-money campaign reforms
already in place in seven states, including Arizona and New Mexico. As it stands, Texas law employs "everything but the poll tax" to suppress voter participation, Friedman asserted. From the restrictive rules applied to independent candidates seeking ballot access rules that forced Friedman and Dem-turned-GOP-turned-indie candidate Carole Keeton Strayhorn
to undertake massive petition drives just to have their names appear on the November ballot (petitions that the Secretary of State is still reviewing) to the lack of a state law that gives the people power to place initiatives of referenda on election ballots, the state chokes citizen participation, Friedman says. "You shouldn't have to be famous or rich to get on the ballot in Texas," he said. "It's time to bring Texas back to its independent roots." (For more information see www.kinkyfriedman.com
In other Kinky campaign news, Friedman told reporters that musician Jimmy Buffett has agreed to perform two concerts this summer likely in Houston and Dallas, Kinky spokeswoman Laura Stromberg says to raise money for the Kinkster's coffers. No dates for the shows have yet been announced.