Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Kinky Friedman . . . Good for the Teachers!

Kinky Friedman, the Jewish cowboy/folk-singer/mystery-novel writer and independent candidate in the Texas gubernatorial race, was quoted in The Pine Log (Austin State University's newspaper) as advocating the legalization of gambling in Texas in order to raise teacher's salaries. Staff writer Jesse Williams writes:
He said teachers had the most important job but are paid $6,000 below the national average. Friedman said gambling would bring $8 billion for teachers. Texans must go out of state to gamble. "We invented Texas Hold'Em, and we can't play it," he said.
Besides teacher's pay, he also said that what teachers instruct students should change. He said that Texas is one of the richest states but has the poorest student grades. Friedman said students should be taught things other than what's on the TAKS test. "We've created a generation of kids who don't know if the Civil War was here or in Europe," Friedman said.

With the campaign slogan "why the hell not?," it is hard to imagine how any dissatisfied Texan voter could resist voting for the man who wrote "They ain't making Jews like Jesus anymore." But if you'd like to be convinced a little more, check out one of his cartoon campaign messages on myspace.

UPDATE (10/3): Thanks to BZ for alerting me that Kinky might not be an all-around ideal candidate -- I'm not so comfortable with certain remarks that he claims were made satirically about Katrina refugees, for example, and he has some disconcerting views about illegal immigration and school prayer.

Of course, one might find the idea of using gambling proceeds as a way to pay for teacher's salaries troubling in the first place.

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