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TEXAS POLITICS: The Lt. Governor's Race
Garza-Ray hopes to reach
voters with message of
Texas independence
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 Garza-Ray.

“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 border security.

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 federal government.

“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 them.”

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 government pension.”

He said economic concerns appear to be the main reason many are uncertain about supporting the Texas Nationalist cause.

“They’re concerned about the economics, and employment,” he said. “But Texas can stand on its own.

“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 jobs.”

Eliminating government mandates is what makes an economy work, he said.

“Socialized healthcare 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 ‘em. 

“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 money. 

“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 

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