Minnesota Jewboys

Categories: National
Last week's New Yorker had a terrific piece by Dan Halpern on Kinky Friedman's (not entirely quixotic) run for governor of Texas. The Texas Jewboy has hired on a couple of Minnesotans with a history of successfully running seemingly unfeasible gubernatorial campaigns, Dean Barkley and Bill Hillsman. Here's the relevant passage:


Returning to Austin, Kinky introduced a new media consultant to the press--Bill Hillsman, an adman who worked on Jesse Ventura's campaign for governor of Minnesota, in 1998. The Ventura campaign, with its tiny budget, outlandish candidate, and unexpected triumph, is an important model for the Kinky campaign--Dean Barkley, the campaign director, also worked for Ventura--and Hillsman lost no time in schooling the staff on how to attract--what he calls "unlikely voters." At a strategy summit outside Austin, some of the campaign staff began to complain that the candidate's policy positions weren't being publicized enough. Hillsman, a pale Chicagoan rapidly turning pink in the strong Texas sun, told them, "We're in the business of fomenting discontent. Even if we've got the greatest answers in the world, now's the wrong time to be putting them out there, because no one's really listening." Most of the staff--a combination of Kinky's old friends and energetic twenty-somethings--seemed to agree, although Cleve Hattersley, a musician who managed Kinky's solo career in the eighties and is now the campaign's communications director, said later, "I agree with Dean and Bill that less is best, but we do need more about who the fuck he is."


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