The tumult surrounding Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen’s recorded conversation with a right-wing rabble rouser has claimed its first victim.
Texas House Republican Caucus Chairman Lance Burrows of Lubbock has resigned his leadership post. He was allegedly caught taking part in some secret conversations involving Burrows and Empower Texans guru Michael Quinn Sullivan, who reportedly were targeting some House Republicans for defeat in the next election cycle.
What’s more, the Texas Rangers are now involved, investigating whether there might be some campaign law violations associated with this apparently growing mess.
Bonnen at first denied taking part in the conversation with Sullivan, with whom he has had a testy relationship. He has since apologized to his fellow legislative Republicans for the things he said about them. Bonnen wants Sullivan to release the entire conversation, apparently thinking its full context might explain what the men were discussing. Good luck with that, Mr. Speaker.
I am glad the Rangers are involved. We need to find out what happened, who said what to whom and what precisely this clown, Sullivan, was intending to do with the information being pledged to him by Bonnen … allegedly.
I had some hopes that the new speaker would continue the kind of leadership demonstrated by Joe Straus of San Antonio, who left the Legislature at the end of 2018. Silly me. It appears my hopes have been dashed, if what we hear turns out to be correct.
The idea that the speaker, reportedly a moderate-to-conservative politician would hold hands with a far-right ideologue such as Sullivan, for whom many mainstream Texas Republicans have considerable loathing, is repugnant on its face.
Bonnen’s role in this once-secret conversation has angered a lot of GOP House members. To which I say: Perhaps a change in the House speakership well might be in order.
If anyone is interested in some names to replace Bonnen, I can think of a couple of fellows from up yonder in the Panhandle who I believe would work out just fine.
Four Price or John Smithee, are you available?