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Sharing a Smoke and a Cuppa Joe With Kinky Friedman, Who Doesn't Turn on His Friends

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Prior to his gig tonight at the Granada, Kinky Friedman made a campaign stop at Urban Dog Coffee as he continues his bid for the Democratic nomination for agriculture commissioner. Given his close relationship with gubernatorial candidate Farouk Shami, who had five key campaign aides resign yesterday, we wanted to get his thoughts on Friday's train wreck.

After describing Shami as "a genius" and claiming that Shami would be "a pretty good governor" despite Friedman's endorsement of Bill White, he said the 9/11 issue is "ridiculous."

"Our government is not capable of doing something that efficient," Friedman told Unfair Park. "We couldn't have pulled it off is what I'm saying, so we know our government wasn't behind it. So anybody who thinks they were is really a fool."

Of course, this led us to ask: Do you think leaving the door open -- by not saying whether the government was or wasn't involved -- makes Farouk a fool?

"No, I would never call Farouk a fool," he said. "Farouk just has to field the questions any way he wants. I'm just telling you what I think. Farouk is no fool. He has more money than Oprah."

Friedman says that prejudice and having a "foreign-sounding name" have kept Shami from gaining momentum in the polls. "If Kinky Friedman were to run in Gaza Strip or something for office, I wouldn't get many votes either. It's just cultural, human nature."

And what about Shami's comments about whites not wanting to work in his factories?

"Farouk's probably telling the truth, and people don't want to hear it -- his experience of the truth," he says. "He's not making it up."

Despite Shami's damaging comments and Friedman's claim nearly a month ago that Shami had bribed Friedman's opponent, Hank Gilbert, Friedman says he still stands by Shami.

"Old friends are something you're stuck with. As I always say, 'You can pick your nose. You can pick your friends, but you can't wipe your friends off on your saddle. You're stuck with 'em.'"

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