|By Dave Mundy
It’s kinda funny that
many folks seem to think that those who favor Texas independence from the
United States must be Caucasian xenophobes who hate Latinos, says Richard
“Hell, I’m Hispanic,”
snapped the rancher and retired policeman from tiny Romo who can trace
his family roots to the original Mexican settlers of Texas in the 1750s.
“That oughta make ‘em think. We’re all Texans.”
Garza has thrown his
hat into the race for the Republican nomination for Lieutenant Governor
in the 2010 primaries, and openly favors Texas secession from the Union.
He thinks the matter is best left to the voters.
“It has to be about
Texas, by Texans. It has to be the will of the people,” Garza said in a
telephone interview. “We need to elect a governor and legislature who will
call a special election, and put Texas independence to a vote of the people.”
Garza has allied himself
with the gubernatorial candidacy of Larry Kilgore, who is seeking the state’s
top office and also favors Texas independence. His role as lieutenant governor
will be to set the agenda for independence, and he says he will work to
ensure that the state Senate he presides over will focus on doing its job.
“Heard a story today
about somebody that filed a complaint with the Texas Ethics Commission
because some of the senators and representatives are not showing up for
votes (casting votes by proxy),” Garza said. “When I get elected … If you’re
not there, the (voting) button’s gonna get turned off. These people are
elected by their constituents to represent them. They need to do that.”
Plainspoken and folksy,
Garza terms himself just an everyday retired guy who got fed up with what
he saw happening in government.
“I’ve been feeling
this way since Bush was in office, now with the runaway spending I don’t
see any recourse for Texas but to secede,” he said. “We have the infrastructure,
the manufacturing, the resources to stand as a republic.”
Garza said he isn’t
necessarily displeased with incumbent Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, but wants
to offer voters someone who can focus solely on the job.
“He’s doing a good
job, but has other business interests,” Garza said. “I have no other job.
It seems like historically only the rich can run for office.”
The foremost items
on his agenda, Garza said, would be re-establishing state sovereignty and
The Texas Legislature
passed a state sovereignty resolution during its recent term, HCR 50, which
drew a lot of attention from the public and the media – but none from the
“We’ll have to come
up with something stronger,” he said. “They’re still ignoring us. There
are laws on the books that need to be repealed.
“The immediate issue
is cap and trade. If that passes it’s going to ruin a lot of small businesses,”
he added “The costs get passed on to the consumer. As an example, the costs
of public electricity … if cap and trade passes it’s going to double the
costs for consumers.”
Living only eight miles
from the border with Mexico gives Garza a unique perspective on the border
security issue as well.
“The biggest danger
is the drug cartels and the human smugglers,” he said. ”They open my gates,
they tear down my fences. They’re a danger to anybody that runs across
The Vietnam veteran
said he has personally experienced the federal government’s intentional
ignoring of border incursions by members of the Mexican military.
“I was deer hunting
about five or six years ago, wearing a gillie suit, and I ran across a
bunch of them coming across the border,” he said. “They were dressed in
military uniforms wearing rucksacks and carrying automatic weapons. They
moved like a military unit.
“I called the Border
Patrol later to report it and was told the Mexican Army doesn’t cross the
river. I just laid there real still for a couple of hours, I was lucky
they didn’t see me.”
Garza said that one
of his goals is to reach Texas voters who may be hesitant to take up the
cause of independence with the message that they won’t be signing away
their pensions by doing so.
“The biggest question
I’m getting about secession is from people on Social Security and pensions,
are they going to lose that? The answer is no,” he said. “If you’re drawing
a government pension you can live in another country.
“I’ve seen a whole
lot of people near here, they live in Mexico and come across the border
to collect their social security checks every month. They can’t take your
He said economic concerns
appear to be the main reason many are uncertain about supporting the Texas
about the economics, and employment,” he said. “But Texas can stand on
“The Texas government
can’t create jobs, we’ve already seen what happens when government tries
to do that. Texas business has to create jobs.
“I don’t see mass unemployment
with independence,” he added. “Federal taxes will be a thing of the past.
Business taxes will be a thing of the past. Small business is struggling
right now. They just changed the minimum wage, that’s going to cost more
mandates is what makes an economy work, he said.
would ruin businessmen like ranchers and farmers, who use a lot of seasonal
workers,” he said. “If insurance is mandated by Washington it’s gonna bankrupt
“The damage done to
our economy in just the last six or seven months is incredible. The US
is trillions of dollars in debt,” he added. “You can’t just print more
“We only have to look
at what happened in Mexico to see that, paper money became useless. For
years they would only accept gold and silver currency. You can’t buy your
way out of a recession.”
Garza said that secession
and independence is the only viable alternative for Texas.
“I don’t see any ‘benefits’
coming out of Washington,” he said. “Everything they do is all aimed at
Texas citizens to pay for indiscriminate spending.
“Some of the other
states are watching us,” he noted. “I don’t see Texas ending up in a new
Confederacy. Texas could stand by itself economically.”
Garza is currently
sharing a campaign website with gubernatorial candidate Larry Kilgore at