The Golden Hammer Staff Reports
Austin, October 10 – Empower Texans Chairman Michael Quinn Sullivan announced this morning that he will release the audio recording of his June 22, 2019, meeting with Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen next week.
Sullivan issued the following statement:
“As has been widely reported, Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and Republican Party of Texas Chairman James Dickey have all requested that the recording of my meeting with House Speaker Dennis Bonnen be released despite not listening to it themselves.
“They have called for the release of the audio despite knowing:
- the recording was made for my personal protection and the protection of my family, staff, and organization;
- certain segments of the recording could cause harm to individuals and their families, and;
- specific statements by Speaker Bonnen in the recording could be used by Democrats [sic] to undermine the GOP.
“Because these Republican leaders continue to call for the recording to be made public and I have been given the green-light to do so by my legal team, I will release the audio next week.”
The June 12 meeting between Dennis Bonnen, the Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, and Empower Texans Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Michael Quinn Sullivan in Bonnen’s office in the Texas State Capitol involved a discussion in which Bonnen offered to allow Empower Texans’ online blog correspondents to obtain press credentials to the Texas Legislature in return for Sullivan’s promise to “lay off our criticism of the legislative session, not spend money from our affiliated PACs against certain Republicans, and—most shockingly—go after a list of other Republicans in the 2020 primary elections,” as Sullivan described it. State Representative Dustin Burrows, Republican of Lubbock, who was the House GOP Caucus Chairman and a close political ally of Bonnen, attended the June 12 meeting with Bonnen and Sullivan.
State Representative Steve Toth, Republican of Conroe said, “The tape recording, which Michael [Quinn Sullivan] played was vile and incredibly damaging. The rhetoric Speaker Bonnen used during the meeting was terrible about both sides.” Toth continued, “Speaker Bonnen said some terrible things about democrats and Republicans in the House.”
At the end of the June 12 meeting, according to Sullivan, as Sullivan reported in Texas Scorecard, the blog of Empower Texans, Bonnen left his office in the Texas State Capitol where they met and Burrows read a list of ten (10) Republican State Representatives whom Bonnen wanted Empower Texans and its political action committees to target in return for press credentials for the “Texas Scorecard” blog reporters. The list, according to Sullivan, was 10 Republican Representatives – Steve Allison, Trent Ashby, Ernest Bailes, Travis Clardy, Drew Darby, Kyle Kacal, Stan Lambert, John Caney, and Phil Stephenson.
The Texas Rangers are currently investigating the circumstances of the June 12 meeting to determine whether any criminal conduct occurred.