Cover image for You can lead a politician to water, but you can't make him think : ten commandments for Texas politics
You can lead a politician to water, but you can't make him think : ten commandments for Texas politics
Friedman, Kinky.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Simon & Schuster, [2007]

Physical Description:
ix, 127 pages ; 23 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
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Item Holds
JK4816 .F75 2007 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



The hilarious, insightful and politically astute memoir of the 2006 Texas Governor's race - in which Kinky Friedman, to the shock of pundits everywhere, emerged as a major contender and finished with about 700,000 votes.

Author Notes

Kinky Friedman is the author of twelve novels, including Blast from the Past, Road Kill, The Love Song of J. Edgar Hoover, God Bless, John Wayne, Armadillos & Old Lace; and Elvis, Jesus and Coca Cola.

He lives in a little green trailer in a little green valley deep in the heart of Texas.

(Publisher Provided) Author, singer, and songwriter Kinky Friedman was born in Chicago, Illinois on October 31, 1944. He grew up on a ranch in central Texas and received a B. A. in Psychology and Plan II Honors from the University of Texas at Austin in 1966. After graduation, he severed two years with the Peace Corps in Borneo.

In the early 1970's, he formed a country and western band called The Texas Jewboys. His music mixed social commentary with humor and dealt with topics such as racism and anti-Semitism. He reached cult status and was a musical guest on Saturday Night Live in October 1976.

After his music career ended in the 1980's, he started writing detective novels featuring a fictionalized version of himself solving crimes in New York City. Since April 2001, he has been a regular columnist for Texas Monthly magazine, but stopped in March 2005 due to his campaign bid for governor of Texas.

He founded Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch, whose mission is to care for stray, abused, and aging animals. He currenlty lives at Echo Hill Ranch which is located near Kerrville, Texas. In 2012, Kinky Friedman partnered up with Willie Nelson to write Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die: Musings from the Road which became a New York Times Best Seller.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

When satirist/novelist/musician Friedman declared his independent candidacy for Texas governor, nobody expected him to win-and he didn't. But he did get nearly 550,000 votes, or 12% of the total cast. He also collected rich material for his sendup of politics in Texas and other jurisdictions. Friedman's always irreverent, sometimes profane and occasionally sophomoric commentary won't appeal to everybody, but even those who refuse to laugh out loud can find verities worth repeating. His chapter about improving schooling for all children, for example, includes the observation that "No good teacher wants to teach to the test; no great teacher ever will." The emphasis on classroom assessment, Friedman says, risks creating "a whole generation of supposedly college-bound kids who aren't quite sure if the Civil War took place here or in Europe. It wasn't on the test." Given Texans' independent streak, Friedman correctly calculated his messages would get a hearing on the campaign trail. After all, he noted, professional wrestler Jesse Ventura won the governorship of Minnesota. Too bad he lasted only one term, Friedman quips: Ventura "never figured out that wrestling is real and politics is fixed." (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Kinky tries for the Texas governorship in 2006 and has a lot to say about the campaign process. With a seven-city tour, mostly in Texas but also in New York and Washington. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

A Prefacep. 1
An Introduction: Old Testaments and New Revelationsp. 5
Oaf of Officep. 5
See Kinky Runp. 9
Dome Improvementp. 13
1 remember the Alamo and Keep it Holyp. 19
The Alamo of the Heartp. 19
A Band of Gypsies on a Pirate Shipp. 22
Blessed Is the Match That Kindles the Flamep. 26
2 Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor's Mudflaps, or, The Long-term Effects of Apathy upon the Yellow Rose of Texasp. 31
3 Never Say Fuck in Front of a C-H-I-L-Dp. 39
No Teacher Left Behindp. 39
Suggestions to improve the education system in Texasp. 41
Increase teacher salariesp. 41
The Trust for Texas Heroesp. 41
Transfer sports fundingp. 42
Get rid of "teaching to the test"p. 42
The Texas Peace Corpsp. 44
How Do We Pay for All of This?p. 45
4 Thou Shalt Fight Wussificationp. 47
WWWRDp. 41
Guinnessgate, 2006p. 51
God Bless Oscar Wildep. 55
5 Thou Shalt Throw the Money Changers Out of the Temple, or, I Can Answer That for You, but I Can't Understand It for Youp. 57
Suggestions for political reform in Texasp. 59
Same day voter registrationp. 59
Mandatory votingp. 60
Fair ballot accessp. 60
Initiative and Referendump. 61
Fair and open debatesp. 61
Publicly funded campaignsp. 64
Lobbying reformp. 64
Redistricting reformp. 65
6 Thou Shalt Not Bullshit, or, Sacred Teachings of the Butt-Sniffing Clanp. 67
K. I. S. S.P.p. 70
Suggestions for dealing with
Illegal immigrationp. 70
Crimep. 72
Government spending/taxesp. 72
Perry's business taxp. 73
7 Thou Shalt Not Killp. 75
Max Soffarp. 75
Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboyp. 80
My Pet Projectp. 82
8 Thou Shalt Not Eat a Chicken-Fried Steak Bigger Than Your Head, or, Common Sensep. 89
What Has Six Balls and Screws Texans?p. 90
The Santa Anna Highwayp. 92
The Five Mexican Generals Planp. 95
9 Fuck 'em if They Can't Take a Jokep. 99
Criticize Me All You Wantp. 102
The Only Two Good Balls I Ever Hitp. 103
Booze in the Blenderp. 107
On the Road Againp. 110
10 Ask Not if You're Proud of Texas: Ask if You've Made Texas Proud of Youp. 113
The Good Shepherdp. 115
Young Voicesp. 117
I Have a Dreamp. 118
Bird in the Handp. 121
A Truth-Seeking Missile: A Tribute to Molly Ivinsp. 123
Acknowledgmentsp. 129