The second is better than the first, in that the type inside the star on the first is all wrong. It creates some really jarring tension. The second is better, but looks more like an internal governmental communiqué than it does a magazine.
If it is supposed to emulate a magazine cover, I’m afraid neither work. Look at other magazine covers. Whatever the subject (unless fringe publications), They usually all follow a similar format. Prominent masthead. Strong, engaging headline (sometimes they are provocative, which your ‘The Republic Strikes Back’ is – along with the Texan passport idea, it makes me want to read more) referencing the main story. Strong, supporting image or illustration. Smaller call-out text / flashes / boxes with snippets of other things you will find inside, to draw you in.
If you were to make this into a successfully convincing magazine, using a similar theme (which, by the way, I think could work really well), then my suggestion would be to do it photographically. Ideally, you would shoot a pic of a passport in a setting with other objects that support your editorial bent. Comp out the existing passport cover details and replace in a realistic, convincing way with your Texas design. This is unlikely to be an option, I’d imagine, so the next best thing would be to find a good stock shot of a passport in an appropriate setting and do the same comping job on it. Naturally, this is going to require more than basic photoshop skills. For it to be successful, it has to be seamless and convincingly executed.
Look at other magazine covers to see how they use type to highlight articles and salient points. Your idea is great. You just need to execute it with a much higher level of polish.
Good luck. Look forward to seeing the next incarnation.