Lubbock County Judge Tom Head used his Monday night television appearance on Fox 34 to shill for his tax increase that would beef up the staff of the local sheriff’s office. How else, Head said, will the good people of Lubbock defend themselves in the coming great “civil unrest” that he predicts will follow President Barack Obama’s reelection?
These riots will crop up after Obama tries to “hand over the sovereignty of the United States to the UN,” Head predicted. “And what is going to happen when that happens?,” he asked, before answering his own question: “I’m thinking the worst. Civil unrest, civil disobedience, civil war maybe. And we’re not just talking a few riots here and demonstrations, we’re talking Lexington, Concord, take up arms and get rid of the guy.”
Now, under Head’s scenario, the president would then have to send UN troops to Lubbock to quell the violence. “I don’t want ‘em in Lubbock County. Okay. So I’m going to stand in front of their armored personnel carrier and say ‘you’re not coming in here,’” Head said, adding that he has spoken about these possibilities to the sheriff and he wants to have “trained, equipped, seasoned veteran officers” at his back in case this all comes to pass.
So, how do you pay for those “trained and equipped” officers? You raise the property tax rate in Lubbock County by 1.7 cents per $100 the next fiscal year.
Where else would the money go? Well, “an across-the-board pay increase is needed for the attorneys on the DA’s staff to keep them from being poached by higher-paying counties, and the sheriff needs to expand his staff by seven deputies to reduce call response times, minimize officer fatigue and reduce the turnaround time for investigations,” Lubbock’s Fox 34 reported. In other words, without this tax increase, Lubbock could descend into total anarchy.
At Talking Points Memo , Nick R. Martin dug into what Head’s job as county judge entails: “Head’s role as judge is an elected position akin to executive of the county commission, which is known as a court. He presides over commission meetings, prepares the budget and is in charge of the county’s emergency management.”
(Head’s dislike for Obama stretches back to at least 2009, when he posted anti-Obama flyers on a bulletin board in the courthouse that was intended for public notices, according to the Beaumont Enterprise ’s Bayou blog.)
In a blog post at the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal , Carol Morgan was embarrassed by the “imaginary dystopian scenario” Head painted of Lubbock that had attracted attention from the media in “Houston, Dallas, San Francisco, New York, most major news outlets and was even mentioned by a blogger in Sweden.”
The Avalanche-Journal went on to collect some of the national reaction to Head’s comments, including “Ladies and gentlemen, we can now identify the lunatic fringe on a map. Lubbock, Texas, is where it resides,” a blogger declared at Strange Bedfellows , a political blog at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer .
While reporting a follow-up piece on reactions to Head’s statement, Fox 34 reporter Henry Ramos spoke to one lawyer who is thumbing his nose at Head:
Attorney Rob Hobson, who’s office is just down the street, decided to adorn the outside with the United Nations flags as a tweak at the judge. “Well you can either laugh or you can cry, he said. “When I saw the story I thought once again Lubbock is going to be the laughing stock of the entire nation. What is so sad he is our elected County Judge, who is in charge of a multi-million dollar budget. That is scary. It is like the light is on, but no one is home. … I just think he is off his meds,” Hobson said.
Meanwhile, Pat Cunningham of the Rockford Register Star in Illinois lamented in a blog post that Head’s particular brand of nuttiness could not be found in his state. “Whenever I read about wingnuts doing or saying really weird things, they almost always seem to be people from distant locales — mainly Southern locales,” he wrote. Just once, I’d like to see one of these exceedingly wacky types emerge here … in Northern Illinois.”