Thursday, April 8, 2021 was Capitol Action Day for the Texas Nationalist Movement. Over 100 members and leaders visited the capitol in Austin and successfully advanced HB1359, a referendum which calls for a vote on the question of Texas Independence.
The actions of the TNM at the capitol strengthened legislator support for HB1359. Some legislators finally indicated where they stood from their previous silence. Significant pressure was applied to those on the State Affairs Committee to schedule the bill for a hearing, regardless of their support. This is the next step in getting the bill to the floor of the house for a vote, and where the bill has been stalled since March 5, 2021.
HB1359 author Representative Kyle Biedermann met with members of TNM — along with other proponents of the bill — in the capitol rotunda, where he was greeted with thunderous applause and thanked for his vehement support of the TEXIT movement. He proudly led a chant for “Texit!” that echoed throughout the rotunda.
TNM Members took this opportunity to visit the offices of senators and representatives both in favor and in opposition of HB1359.
Representative Will Metcalf has been reticent publicly to show support for HB1359. Privately, he does not support the initiative that would give Texans a vote on whether we should explore Texas secession. The TNM group visited his office on April 8th to let Rep. Metcalf know his position is in jeopardy if he does not support the right of Texans to vote on this issue.
Senator Kel Seliger of Amarillo received a visit to his office, where members Travis McQueen and George Brookins voiced their disapproval of his radio rant, calling supporters of TEXIT ‘crazy’ and labeling the movement as a form of white supremacy. Imagine the shock on the faces of his staffers when the person telling them about Seliger’s opinion let it be known he is of mixed race.
One of the most heated interactions of the day happened between State Representative Justin Holland of Rockwall and TNM President Daniel Miller. Holland — who has privately complained to his colleagues that he is being forced to comment publicly on the TEXIT bill — engaged Miller in the hallway outside of his office and strongly denounced the effort to give Texans a vote on independence. Holland’s combative attitude on the issue attempted to mask his weak defense of his position. His adamant desire not to be recorded or produce a statement of record left supporters to summarize his statements to the following: ‘Considering or discussing Texas independence is wrong, so therefore my constituents should not be allowed to vote on a committee to even explore the option.’
He has taken it upon himself to decide what is right instead of listening to the people who voted him into office. Holland became combative when faced with an inconsistent attitude on the relationship between Texas and the federal government. Holland has signed on to a toothless resolution (HCR52) which ‘claims sovereignty under the 10th Amendment to the US Constitution over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government’. In fact, he acknowledges the fundamental break between Texas and the federal system but has settled for another fist-shaking, do-nothing resolution that has no more effect than a tersely worded letter.
Miller said of the exchange: “It seems that Representative Holland was more concerned with whether or not our conversation was being recorded than with upholding the rights of the people of Texas and allowing them to exercise their fundamental rights to choose how they are governed under the Texas Bill of Rights.”
A meeting with supporters and Representative Trent Ashby led to a declaration of support. His position has advanced from saying he would abstain from voting on the bill to stating that he would vote in favor of HB1359. The TNM considers this as moving to a position of “leaning yes” from “no support”, as the only true declaration of support is committing your position to public record by signing the bill as a co-author. His constituents will continue to encourage the Representative to move to that action.
Leadership and members of the Texas Nationalist Movement also visited with co-authors of the bill and thanked them for their faithfulness to the Texas Constitution and the people of Texas.
Much like the very filing of a bill calling for a vote on Texas Independence, the day was another big win for Texans. Conversations with legislators and their staffers revealed emotional stories of why so many Texans support this bill. The number of supporters traveling to the capitol from Lubbock, Sherman, Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, Houston, and Beaumont left an important impact on many legislators who had stated they did not believe in the widespread support for TEXIT.
If you want to see the TEXIT referendum on the ballot this November, the time to act is now! Call, email, and visit your representatives and senators — especially Representative Chris Paddie, chair of the State Affairs Committee. Time is running out to get HB1359 through committee and onto the ballot in November. Find your legislators information today at tnm.me/legislature.