Staples: Controversial border Web site stays

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by MARTIN BARTLETT / KVUE News

kvue.com

Posted on March 10, 2011 at 7:44 PM

AUSTIN – Those threatened by border violence now include Texas farmers Texas ranchers, and possibly even what you are putting on your family's dinner table, according to state Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples.

“The sovereignty of America is being undermined at this very moment by violent drug cartel members that are invading Texas farms and ranches,” Staples said Thursday.

Last weekend, a ranch foreman escaped a hail of bullets fired at the truck he was driving near Laredo in the wake of such violence, staples said he has heard from dozens of farmers and ranchers abandoning their farms and ranches along the border. If farmers can not farm, and ranchers can not ranch, Texans can not eat, he explained.

“A threat to our food security is a threat to our homeland security,” he said.

Some of those stories are featured in quotes his office provided to KVUE News.

"There's actual drug running in the middle of the day, high-speed chases, on our farm, vehicles being burned, you name it,” said farmer Cliff Chambers.

Staples believes it is time for a high-tech solution to the high-stakes violence on the border. He has launched a website allowing border residents to report crime and hopefully get Washington’s attention. Staples' office last week launched a website, protectyourtexasborder.com. It allows border farmers and ranchers to post their experiences in message boards.

At least one border legislator, State Sen. Jose Rodriguez, D-El Paso, believes Staples should pull his site down. Rodriguez says the message boards include dangerous vigilante messages, including talk of booby traps, land mines and “shooting the bad guys” so they get the message.

Moving forward, Staples said inappropriate content will not be tolerated.

“I hope and pray that the outcry about these minor comments wouldn't distract from the purpose that we need our federal government to respond to the call."

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