Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen messed up royally when he agreed to meet with a far-right-wing political activist and then offered to toss 10 of his fellow legislative Republicans over the proverbial cliff.
He finally has fessed up to the mess he created. It’s just that it is way too late to do him any good. Bonnen took many hits from his Texas Legislature colleagues and then decided he wouldn’t seek re-election from his Angleton House district after serving just a single legislative term as the Man of the House.
Why speak out now? Who knows? At some level, though, I do care.
Bonnen conspired with Michael Quinn Sullivan, the head of that far-right outfit Empower Texans. He committed a terrible mistake by agreeing to meet with Sullivan in the first place. You see, Sullivan recorded the meeting secretly, then sprang the trap into which he had snared Bonnen in the summer of 2019. He revealed what Bonnen had done; Bonnen at first denied it; then Sullivan released the recording and, by golly, he was right.
Bonnen had given Sullivan the names of 10 legislators. He also offered to provide media credentials to Empower Texans, enabling the PAC direct access to House members on the House floor when the Legislature was in session. Very, very bad call, Mr. Speaker.
Bonnen spoke recently to the Dallas Morning News in which he apologized to his House colleagues and admitted to turning his career into so much road kill.
I am hoping for all I’m worth that the next speaker of the Texas House of Representatives will learn from Bonnen’s mess up … and trust Michael Quinn Sullivan only as far as he can toss him.