Texas Democrats: Judge who said Obama could trigger civil war should quit

Friday, August 24, 2012 - 9:00am

Texas Democrats are calling for the resignation of a Republican elected county judge who warned this week that the nation could descend into civil war if President Barack Obama is re-elected.

"It's really up to Judge (Tom) Head to do the right thing and resign and stop embarrassing Lubbock County," said Kenny Ketner, who became the county Democratic Party's chief Monday.

"I wish we were getting worldwide attention for something better than a crazy county judge," Ketner told CNN. "But what are you going to do?"

There is no recall process for Head's office in Texas, Ketner said.

The county's Republican Party chief, Carl Tepper, accused the Democrats of "opportunism" and said he had called Head and left him a message offering "moral support."

"I don't agree with him, but everyone has their opinion," Tepper said. "I can respectfully disagree with him and he can still be an elected official."

While Tepper said he had not heard from state Republican Party chiefs, the Texas Democratic Party did weigh in with a statement.

"This nonsense is what passes for mainstream in today's Republican Party," the statement said. "It's not only ridiculous, it's dangerous. It's crystal clear that Judge Head should resign."

In remarks this week, Head called for a well-equipped force to battle the United Nations troops that he said Obama might bring in.

The comments by Head, who oversees emergency planning efforts, were broadcast by CNN affiliate KJTV. He made similar remarks on radio station FOX Talk 950.

Saying that as the county's emergency management coordinator he has to "think about the very worst thing that can happen and prepare for that and hope and pray for the best," Head told radio host Jeff Klotzman that he believes "in this political climate and financial climate, what is the very worst thing that could happen right now? Obama gets back in the White House. No. God forbid."

Referring to unexplained "executive orders" and other documents that Obama and "his minions have filed," Head said, "regardless of whether the Republicans take over the Senate, which I hope they do, he is going to make the United States Congress and he's going to make the Constitution irrelevant. He's got his czars in place that don't answer to anybody."

Obama, Head said, will "try to give the sovereignty of the United States away to the United Nations. What do you think the public's going to do when that happens? We are talking civil unrest, civil disobedience, possibly, possibly civil war. ... I'm not talking just talking riots here and there. I'm talking Lexington, Concord, take up arms, get rid of the dictator. OK, what do you think he is going to do when that happens? He is going to call in the U.N. troops, personnel carriers, tanks and whatever."

Head vowed to personally stand "in front of their personnel carriers and say, 'You're not coming in here.' And I've asked the sheriff. I said, 'Are you going to back me on this?' And he said, 'Yeah, I'm going to back you.' Well, I don't want a bunch of rookies back there who have no training and little equipment. I want seasoned veteran people who are trained that have got equipment. And even then, you know we may have two or three hundred deputies facing maybe a thousand U.N. troops. We may have to call out the militia."

Sheriff Kelly Rowe told KJTV there had been no conversation about such a civil war scenario. The two have discussed contingencies for emergency management, he said.

The lone Democrat on the Lubbock County Commissioner's Court, Gilbert Flores, described Head with a colorful West Texas saying: "He's a six-pack short of a full case of beer, if you know what I mean."

KJTV reported that the warning was linked to taxes. Head "indicates a tax increase is needed to shore up law enforcement to protect us," the station reported, adding that a tax increase is under consideration that "would largely benefit the district attorney and sheriff's offices. But the emphasis is more on salary competitiveness than doomsday scenarios."

Head made his controversial remarks Tuesday.

On Wednesday at a county commissioner meeting, he emphasized that his remarks were about "worst-case scenario in my opinion," and added, "Do I think those are going to happen? Probably not."

Also Wednesday, he told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, "I cannot divorce my theology and my philosophy from me, from my office, you know? I am pro-life, I am pro-gun rights, and if you're going to vote for me and say you don't believe in gun rights, you don't want me in office, so you won't vote for me."

Attorney Rod Hobson jokingly put up U.N. flags outside his Lubbock office, KJTV reported. "When I saw the story I thought, once again, Lubbock is going to be the laughingstock of the entire nation," Hobson said. "What makes it so sad is he is our elected county judge, who is in charge of a multimillion-dollar budget. That is scary. It's like the light's on, but no one is home. ... I'd just like to think he's off his meds."

But video from the Wednesday meeting showed at least one citizen supporting him. "Judge Head, thank you, and God bless," the citizen said.

Head did not respond to e-mail or phone calls to his office on Thursday.

Both Ketner of the county Democratic Party and Tepper of the county Republican Party said they have received calls from people on both sides of the issue.

While many callers to Ketner have asked if there is any way to boot him from office, some have said they support the judge, Ketner said.

Tepper said Republicans are split over the issue. "There's quite a divergent mix of views" within the party, he said. "Some people are very staunch defenders of Judge Head. And some people don't appreciate how he said what he said."

Democrats are pushing for members of the public to show up Monday to a county commission budget meeting. "Normally, nobody shows up," Ketner said.

But given the attention Head's remarks are getting, this meeting just might draw a crowd, he said.

--
CNN's Ed Lavandera contributed to this report.
 

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