Empower Texans is a political action committee that has tremendous sway in the Texas Legislature, which at the moment comprises many legislators who adhere to Empower Texans’ extreme right-wing dogma.
We’ve got 181 legislators in both chambers, many of whom think Empower Texans speak for millions of Texans and deserve a special place at the legislative table.
The cabal of zealots deserves nothing of the sort.
My hope for the 2021 Legislature, which convenes next January, is that the legislative leadership — particularly in the House of Representatives — keeps its distance from Michael Quinn Sullivan’s PAC.
It’s not as though Sullivan hasn’t earned legislators’ scorn. Witness what he did to soon-to-be former House Speaker Dennis Bonnen. He and Bonnen had a “secret” meeting. They agreed that Bonnen would provide the names of 10 Republican lawmakers that Empower Texans could work to defeat in the 2020 election. Sullivan recorded the meeting without telling Bonnen. Then he spilled the beans on the speaker, who at first denied saying the mean things he said about his GOP colleagues. The denial lasted right up until the moment Sullivan produced the audio recording.
As they say … Oops!
Sullivan is untrustworthy. So, too, is Empower Texans, which Sullivan runs. Yet the PAC continues to throw its weight around. It seeks to demand that local legislators follow Empower Texans’ agenda.
I want Empower Texans to be put in its place. I want Michael Quinn Sullivan, who has launched efforts against legislators I happen to know and respect, to cease playing an outsized role in determining the Legislature’s political course.
He won’t bow out voluntarily. It then falls on legislative leaders to exert the power they possess to keep Sullivan and Empower Texans at arm’s length.