Conservative Activist Releases Secret Tape Of Meeting With Dennis Bonnen

This week in Texas politics with The Texas Tribune.

By Alexandra HartOctober 18, 2019 3:03 pm,

It’s time for the week that was in Texas politics with Emma Platoff, justice and politics reporter for The Texas Tribune.

Third-quarter fundraising numbers for John Cornyn show the incumbent senator has a massive fiscal advantage, so far, in the 2020 Senate race.

“He has nearly $11 million on hand – orders of magnitude greater than any of the 10 Democrats who are seeking to challenge him next year,” Platoff says.

The surreptitiously recorded tape from the meeting in June between Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen and conservative activist Michael Quinn Sullivan came out this week. In the tape, Bonnen offered media credentials to Sullivan if his organization would target 10 House Republicans running in 2020.

“Now the question is whether Bonnen can survive this,” Platoff says. “We’ve seen a dozen of his fellow House Republicans already call for him to resign, with tough words from several more. A few Democrats have waded into the fray as well.”

Platoff says it’s hard to predict if this will negatively impact Bonnen’s position as speaker of the Texas House; he had a successful 2019 legislative session and received praise from his colleagues and others. But the scandal has created tensions between him and House lawmakers.

“His own caucus, the Texas House GOP Caucus, is meeting today in Austin for a retreat, and that sort of brings together all these folks who haven’t seen each other all in one place for months,” Platoff says. “You have to imagine there’s some interesting conversations going on there.”

Listen to the full story in the player above.


Written by Savana Dunning.