Texas Democratic Establishment, Houston Chronicle, Dallas Morning News All Endorse Biggest Loser
Ignored by the state Democratic establishment like he was an Al-Qaeda terrorist wearing a bomb coat, Richard "Kinky" Friedman still managed to garner about 185,000 votes in the Democratic primary March 4. Friedman's vote total put him in second place with 37.7 percent of the vote and forced a late May runoff with Joe Hogan (190,200/38.8%).
photo by TexasRedd The state Democratic establishment studiously ignoring Kinky Friedman
The elephant-in-the-room question behind the final totals in the down-ballot race for Agriculture Commissioner is how far out of step with Democratic voters the state's top Democrats as well as metropolitan newspapers including Houston Chronicle and Dallas Morning News are. Hugh Asa Fitzsimons, a buffalo producer near San Antonio, got virtually all the public endorsements from both the Democratic hierarchy and other statewide candidates like Lieutenant Governor hopeful Leticia van de Putte, and from the major print newspapers and Democratic-oriented political blogs like Burnt Orange Report. Even Democratic maverick and former Agriculture Commissioner Jim Hightower endorsed Fitzsimons.
Yet with all the votes counted, the heavily endorsed Fitzsimons could only muster 23 percent of the Democratic vote statewide in the three-man race, illustrating beyond all doubt how out of touch with rank-and-file Democrats the state's major media outlets and top Democratic honchos and strategists are.
Of course, marijuana is the issue that makes people like gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, Hightower, Lon Burnam, van de Putte, and Davis's handlers, Matt and J.D. Angle of Fort Worth, run from Friedman as if he carried leprosy. The carefully worded, inoffensive stance most of these luminaries have taken vis a vis Friedman's candidacy is that he's a nice guy but not serious about the race or the job. Some have called Friedman's candidacy a stunt.
The common denominator seems to be that none of them wants to risk appearing "soft on crime" by addressing Friedman's campaign or the issue of marijuana and what we're going to do about it in the future. Apparently none of them wants to think outside the box either.