Friedman caught drinking beer at parade in violation of law


Gubernatorial hopeful Kinky Friedman rode in a St. Patrick's Day parade car Saturday with his trademark black hat and burning cigar plus a beer in his hand, an apparent violation of the state's open container law.

A spokeswoman for Friedman, the author and musician running as an independent, acknowledged that the candidate drank from a can of Guinness handed to him. State law prohibits opened alcoholic beverages in the passenger area of a motor vehicle. The Class C misdemeanor carries a maximum fine of $500.

"Guinness is the drink that kept the Irish from taking over the world. It would be unthinkable not to have a Guinness during a St. Patrick's Day parade. In fact, it would be spiritually wrong," Friedman said in a statement issued by spokeswoman Laura Stromberg.

The Dallas police didn't ticket Friedman, because no officer witnessed the imbibing of the libations. They aren't planning to ticket him, despite photos.

In typical style, Friedman said:

Yes, I admit to holding a Guinness. I even admit to drinking it. But I did not swallow.
Having a swig of Guinness during a St. Patrick's Day Parade doesn't really seem like a worthy ticket to me. And Friedman and I have something in common: we both had free Guinness on the 17th.

However, I think that it's arguably a bad headline for voters to read as they form initial impressions of Friedman as a gubernatorial candidate. While disgruntled voters won't mind, they are also less likely to vote, because voting is a habit. Somebody like Ventura didn't win solely because of disgruntled voters, but because they were able to persuade frequent voters as well.

So all in all, maybe a dumb story/scandal, but probably not a good one for Friedman.

Posted by Evan @ 03/19/06 10:48 PM


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