A Republican county emergency-management official in Texas says unrest may erupt if President Barack Obama is re-elected, that the president would respond by sending in United Nations troops, and that he needs more sheriff’s deputies to deal with it.
“He’s going to hand over the sovereignty of the United States to the UN,” Lubbock County Judge Tom Head said this week on a Fox News television station in the northwest Texas Panhandle region. “Then what happens? I’m thinking worst-case scenario -- civil unrest, civil disobedience, civil war maybe.”
“We’re talking take up arms and get rid of the guy,” he said. Obama’s response? “He’s going to send in UN troops. I don’t want them in Lubbock.”
The White House declined to comment on Head’s statements. The county Democratic Party released a statement calling the comments “pure paranoid fantasy” and said Head should resign.
Head elaborated in a video interview yesterday with the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, which serves the county of about 284,000 people that is the home of 1950s rock pioneer Buddy Holly, Texas Tech University and the Prairie Dog Town tourist attraction.
As the county’s chief emergency-management official, Head told the newspaper, he must prepare for worst-case scenarios, which he said included Obama’s re-election and Democrats retaining control of the U.S. Senate and a category 5 hurricane.
“Do I think UN troops are going to be rolling into Lubbock? Probably not going to happen,” he said. “F-5 hurricane? Probably not going to happen.”
Head offered the scenarios as partial justification for a 1.7 percent property-tax increase to hire more deputies and add other law-enforcement resources.
“It’s not the first time he’s said something ridiculous and gotten us into the national news,” Kenny Ketner, who chairs the Lubbock County Democratic Party, said by phone today.
In 2009, Head posted a flier on the courthouse bulletin board with arrest photos of nine people -- seven of them black - - wearing Obama T-shirts. “Did you ever see anyone arrested wearing a Bush T-shirt, or for you older folks, an Eisenhower?” he wrote in a note next to the flier, according to the Avalanche-Journal. Head told the newspaper the posting wasn’t racist and was intended to “try and get people talking to one another.”
Carl Tepper, who chairs the county Republican Party, said Head “really is a very nice man. He’s been a good officeholder.”
“Individual officeholders sometimes say outrageous things,” Tepper said, adding that Vice President Joseph Biden is known for occasionally blurting out controversial comments. “In Lubbock County, we’re Republican; we don’t like Democratic administrations, whoever they are.”
Mark Jones, who chairs the political science department at Rice University in Houston, said he read Head’s comments as “venting” by someone who’s frustrated at the prospect of another term for President Obama.
“In rural, Republican West Texas, people already see the country going down a perilous path,” Jones said by phone. The idea of four more years of an Obama administration “creates a sense of desperation among some of them.”
Head has been the top elected official in Lubbock County since 1999, according to the county website. Head is a former police officer and SWAT team member at Texas Tech.
He didn’t return messages left at his home yesterday night or at his office this morning.