Talk about doing an end-around …
Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, who’s under fire over a weird conversation he had with a fiery right-wing activist, has squandered the trust of his Republican House colleagues. He could just resign the speakership, but no-o-o. He decided to ask his colleagues to draft a resolution calling for him to quit.
Bonnen, an Angleton Republican, made an emotional speech Friday to his colleagues, apologizing for tossing several of them under the proverbial bus. His colleagues, though, decided against the resolution because House rules — not to mention the Texas Constitution — require them to be in active legislative session to remove a speaker from office.
Good grief, man. Just quit your speakership! At the very least, just announce you won’t seek the speakership for the 2021 Legislature.
Bonnen took part in a meeting in June with Empower Texans guru Michael Quinn Sullivan, who recorded the meeting he had with Bonnen and with former Texas House GOP chair Dustin Burrows of Lubbock. Bonnen offered Sullivan the names of 10 GOP legislators that Empower Texans could target in the 2020 election. He also offered to grant Empower Texans media credentials, which means House floor access to lawmakers.
Bonnen had tried to deny what he said. Then he apologized for saying mean things about his colleagues. Now we have heard the conversation. Sullivan had it right.
The Friday meeting was a tense affair, according to the Texas Tribune. House GOP members have condemned in strong language what Bonnen told Sullivan. They also are angry with Burrows. It is becoming apparent that Bonnen wouldn’t be re-elected as speaker if he decides to seek the office again.
The speaker is seeking to play some kind of weird game of chicken, it seems to me, with his Republican colleagues, several of whom have called for his resignation. He ought to knock it off.
Just submit your resignation or tell your colleagues you won’t run for the Man of the House job next time around.