On Friday, September 27, 2019, I sat in the Law Office of Attorney Tony McDonald for the express purpose of listening to the audio file of the meeting between Michael Quinn Sullivan, President of Empower Texans, Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, and the former Chairman of the Texas Republican House Caucus Dustin Burrows. Before I heard the audio, I had written the following:
“Recent credible allegations concerning a meeting with Republican Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, Republican Chairman Dustin Burrows, and Empower Texans President Michael Quinn Sullivan leave little room to doubt that an extraordinary level of corruption and subterfuge has infiltrated our Texas state government. Offering press credentials in exchange for certain favors to be performed by Mr. Sullivan, including targeting 10 Republican incumbents running for re-election in 2020 to be taken out, is abhorrent. For more information, go to Empower Texans, Texas Scorcard, and your state representatives.
In light of the serious and credible accusations surrounding the particulars of this meeting, one begins to wonder what else is being done behind our backs in Austin. Could other back room deals by Speaker Bonnen be the reason we suffered enormous legislative losses in the 2019 86th Legislative Session? Does this question begin to explain why no Republican Party of Texas Platform priorities were passed? Do you wonder how Speaker Bonnen will lead us if he follows Governor Abbott down the road of more compromises on stricter and stricter gun control laws?
If your conclusions draw you to a place of doubt and unease about Speaker Bonnen’s and Chairman Burrows’ probity (the quality of having strong moral principles; honesty and decency - from the Apple dictionary) before, during, and after this infamous meeting with Michael Quinn Sullivan, please join American Liberty Forum in signing the Resolution calling for the immediate resignations of Speaker Bonnen and Chairman Burrows from their Texas House seats.
A copy of the Resolution will be sent to Governor Greg Abbott, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, Republican Party of Texas State Chairman James Dickey, Texas State Senator Bob Hall, SD 2, Texas State Representative Morgan Meyer, HD108, House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, Representative Dustin Burrows, Republican Party Dallas County Chair, Rodney Anderson and SD16 SREC committee members, Susan Fountain and Randy Dunning. It’s time to make a difference!”
After I listened to the audio, David Carruth, Forum Chair of American Liberty Forum, and Russ Ramsland, Founder of Park Cities Preston Hollow Leadership Forum (newly named American Liberty Forum) join me in standing by this Resolution calling for the immediate resignations of Speaker Bonnen and Rep. Dustin Burrows.
While some say that Burrows was caught off guard and did not intend to be a part of this sordid quid pro quo offer from Bonnen, that he got roped in at the last minute, and that he really is a nice guy and votes conservatively (even though his Empower Texans Fiscal Index is an abysmal 47), Burrows still has to go. If Burrows really is a man of integrity, as one man suggested to me after listening to the audio, then Burrows must take one for the team. Do the honorable thing by resigning, admit that he should have never supported a single solitary word that Bonnen uttered in that meeting, and certainly not “expose the dogs” (his words) who voted against taxpayer funded lobbying.
While taxpayer funded lobbying is a terrible thing, an even more terrible thing is the unmitigated, unchecked corrupt wheeling and dealing behind our backs. All for the sake of the Party, not for the sake of we the people. Bonnen’s suggestion that MQS go “pop some guys” and Burrows’ providing the hit list because they didn’t vote for their “benchmark bill” is not surprising in this current dog-eat-dog environment, but to tie their actions to offering a House press pass is whorish.
Of course I support Burrows’ desire to pass a bill banning taxpayer funded lobbying, but what about life bills, real property tax reform bills, bills to save our historic monuments and protect our election integrity and electric grid?? Not to mention forcing the horrendous mental health bills down our throats and increasing government spending by 12%! Would they “kill off 1 or 2 or 3” as a punishment for not voting for those bills?
I was tempted to provide exact phrases from the audio to leave no doubt in your minds that something either criminal or improper happened in that meeting and that the two perpetrators, Bonnen and Burrows, must resign. I decided against it because the language is so disgusting, I couldn’t bring myself to smear another human being the way Bonnen did.
One final point must be addressed. Some have suggested that MQS was wrong to make the audio file known and available to others. He is not wrong. In light of Bonnen’s initial denial of the contents of the meeting, MQS had an obligation to bring forth the evidence. We the people have a duty to hold our elected officials accountable, and we have a right to know what they are doing. Even if there were some level of expectation of confidentiality, verbal or otherwise, MQS was under no burden or imperative to remain silent. In fact, quite the opposite is the case, lest his silence make him a party to the offense.
While MQS’ remaining silent in the name of honoring the expectation of confidentiality advances his own moral piety, an evil would be allowed to progress unchecked. Because God alone is the supreme sovereign authority, honoring His holiness and righteousness trumps any humanistic notions of absolutism. Our choices never stand alone in a vacuum; they are always interconnected with and subservient to Almighty God and His Law. Bonnen’s reckless and lawless actions deprived him of any claims of confidentiality. He does not have a rightful claim to MQS’ silence at our expense or at the expense of the transcendent purposes of God Almighty.
Help clean up Austin by signing the Resolution calling for the Immediate Resignations of Speaker Bonnen and Rep. Burrows. For the love of God and Country and even the Grand Old Party!
About the Author:
Beth Biesel is the Editor of the americanlibertyforum.org "What's New" Blog
American Liberty Forum
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