Throughout the highly publicized recorded meeting between Michael Quinn Sullivan, CEO of Empower Texans, and Dennis Bonnen, speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, Bonnen proves himself deceitful and unscrupulous, offering a bribe of official media credentials for Empower Texans’ reporters in exchange for the organization targeting a specific list of Republican House members in the 2020 election cycle. (Sullivan rejected the offer verbally and again later in a formal letter.) Despite Bonnen’s grandiose prattle about the importance of mutual respect for members of the House, both during the session and throughout campaign re-election season, his vile comments and traitorous attacks about the Pro-Life movement and fellow House members – members who voted to elevate him to the speakership – more than demonstrate he is unfit to serve and should immediately resign.
At the end of the abysmal, purple Regular Session of the 86th Texas Legislature, Bonnen issued a decisive warning to House members campaigning against their fellow representatives and threatened repercussions for doing so; his warning extended to what these establishment-type officials call “outside groups” – like Texas Right to Life, Empower Texans, Gun Owners of America Texas, Texas Eagle Forum, etc. In other words, Bonnen used his office as speaker to A.) warn you and me that we would face consequences from him if we worked to unseat pro-abortion incumbents, and B.) limit our First Amendment right to freedom of speech in election cycles.
One – and only one – of the many ironies of this whole exposé of the recorded meeting is that Bonnen could not adhere to his own proscription against the very Machiavellian tactics he has employed since his election to the Texas House in 1997. He clearly communicated his well-thought plan to defeat incumbents in the meeting with Mr. Sullivan. “One who guards his mouth and tongue guards his soul from troubles.” (Proverbs 21:23) One who hasn’t learned such a crucial lesson of charity toward others, let alone pragmatism, after 32 years in public office should go.
Dennis Bonnen must resign as speaker of the House. He has proven himself unworthy of the role to which he has been elected through his unethical behavior and failed leadership. Republicans deserve better. Preborn Texans deserve better. Texas deserves better.
When former Speaker of the Texas House Joe Straus resigned, Texas Right to Life had high hopes that priority Pro-Life legislation would actually pass without the vicious obstruction like that of the last decade.
When Dennis Bonnen was elected to serve as the new speaker of the House right before the 2019 session commenced, Texas Right to Life was cautiously optimistic about this selection due to Bonnen’s consistent 100% record on Texas Right to Life’s Pro-Life Scorecard. Unfortunately, our optimism was entirely misplaced.
Bonnen’s reprehensible actions have now caught the attention of the national press, which already circles like vultures for any sign of weakness in the Texas conservative movement. How embarrassing that the speaker of the Texas House considers our president a liability! Even if he did, voicing that sentiment to one of the most influential political leaders in Texas rather than providing a creative solution to win voters shows lack of insight and further distance from the heart of the real conservatives in our state.
Dennis Bonnen is a liability for Texas. He turned his back on House members. He turned his back on us, the people. He turned his back on Life and on liberty. He thinks he is above the law.
Call your Republican state representative and urge him or her to tell you if he or she will stand in defense of Bonnen or will stand for truth and call for his resignation. The Republican caucus of the Texas House will meet this Friday, October 18. Call your state representative and ask that he or she demands Dennis Bonnen resign from office.