Conservative Activist Says He’ll Release Secret Recording Of House Speaker Dennis Bonnen

This week in Texas politics with The Texas Tribune.

By Rhonda FanningOctober 14, 2019 12:58 pm,

It’s time for the week that was in Texas politics with Emily Ramshaw, editor-in-chief of The Texas Tribune.

The Republican Party will face a diversity issue next fall: There won’t be a single Republican person of color in the House after U.S. Reps. Will Hurd and Bill Flores retire.

“Unless a couple of additional folks get elected – and they might – we’re looking at a pretty white House,” Ramshaw says.

In Austin, conservative activist Michael Quinn Sullivan announced he will release the secret recording of his meeting with Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen and another Republican lawmaker. Sullivan claims Bonnen offered him House media credentials if his organization, Empower Texans, went after 10 GOP members during the 2020 primary. Bonnen has denied Sullivan’s claim of quid pro quo, but has apologized to colleagues for saying “terrible things that are embarrassing to the members” during that meeting, Ramshaw says. 

Ramshaw says those following the scandal hope to hear the recording before the Oct. 18 House GOP Caucus meeting. Also, the Texas Rangers have been investigating Sullivan’s allegations, hand-delivering requests to House members to provide testimony, recordings and documents by Oct. 17.

President Donald Trump blamed Department of Energy secretary and former Texas governor, Rick Perry, for encouraging him to call Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Ramshaw says Perry and energy officials confirmed that the secretary wanted Trump to call to Zelensky, but only to discuss energy and economic issues. 

“If I were Rick Perry, I’d be pretty irked that Donald Trump seemed to be throwing him under the bus,” Ramshaw says. “We’ll see what happens with Rick Perry.”


Written by Savana Dunning.