Grassroots conservative leader Michael Quinn Sullivan threatens to release audio of his meeting with House Speaker Dennis Bonnen if he does not “recant the lies and misrepresentations he has made.”
The Dallas Morning News reports that Sullivan accused Bonnen of targeting Republicans in next year’s primary.
BLP reported on these accusations as well, which further shows a growing schism between Bonnen and grassroots conservative interests in the Lone Star State.
On Wednesday July 31, 2019, Sullivan claimed to have recorded the June 12 meeting where the offer was allegedly made. The conservative leader then gave Bonnen and Republican caucus chairman Dustin Burrows, who was also present at the meeting, an ultimatum.
On Texas Scorecard, Sullivan wrote “Speaker Bonnen and Rep. Burrows must recant their false claims. All of them. Immediately.”
He added, “If they do not, I believe I will be obligated to release the recording — in whole or in part, I haven’t decided yet — so as to set straight the record they have tried to contort.”
Bonnen then proceeded to dare Sullivan to release the recording, saying “Mr. Sullivan, release your recording. Release it in its entirety.”
The House Speaker denies Sullivan’s accusations of him giving Sullivan the target list. Bonnen added that he held the meeting to “protect my Republican colleagues.”
The Republican from Angleton admitted that meeting with Sullivan was a mistake and that Sullivan devised it to “further create chaos among our caucus.”
However, three Republican lawmakers revealed to The Dallas Morning News that they heard the audio which confirms Sullivan’s account of this event.
State Representative Travis Clardy of Nacogdoches, who was a target on this alleged hit list, listened to the recording and said that the audio “was consistent with what [Sullivan] wrote in his blog.” Bonnen apparently made “disparaging” remarks about both Republicans and Democrat members of the Texas House, Clardy claimed.
Clardy also pointed how Burrows mentioned several GOP members who could be targeted during the primary season.
The representative from Nacogdoches said “They were made flippantly and they were disrespectful.” He added, “It was repugnant. This is my fourth term and this is the most disappointing thing that I’ve ever seen.”
Clardy then encouraged his House colleagues to listen to the audio themselves so that they can make a “clear, responsible decision for how we’re going to go forward as a body.”
The state representative holds no ill will towards Bonnen and Burrows and welcomes them to address the members in person to “try to set the record straight if there’s something we have misunderstood or missed.”
Another Republican, Steve Toth, who was not on the target list, commented on this matter.
In a statement, Toth said “What I derived from the audio tape is that Speaker Bonnen was not truthful.”
He added, “A list was provided during the meeting and the speaker referenced the list multiple times. Honestly I was caught off guard and shocked. I supported Dennis from day one and am embarrassed how poorly his actions reflect on the Republican Party.”
State Representative Jonathan Stickland also confirmed that he heard the audio. He claims that the tape goes for more than an hour and it is “clear and easy to hear.” He added that Bonnen and Burrows can be heard on it.
Stickland commented, “I’m shocked at the public lies and manipulation the speaker has tried to engage in. Texas deserves truth, honesty and a better moral compass than Bonnen is giving us.”
On Thursday, July 25, 2019 Sullivan commented on Texas Scorecard that Bonnen and Burrows offered writers at Empower Texans media credentials during the 2021 legislative session provided that the group target 10 Republican incumbents. Bonnen also requested that Sullivan not criticize the legislative session and not spend any money to challenge other GOP incumbents.
According to The Dallas Morning News, this list is comprised of “Reps. Tan Parker of Flower Mound, Steve Allison of San Antonio, Trent Ashby of Lufkin, Ernest Bailes of Shepherd, Drew Darby of San Angelo, Kyle Kacal and John Raney of College Station, Stan Lambert of Abilene, Phil Stephenson of Wharton and Clardy.”
These rumors confirm what many Texas grassroots activists have warned about for years.
After a disappointing legislative session, which saw Constitutional Carry killed by House Speaker Bonnen, grassroots conservatives are growing weary about Texas’ political leadership.
As Texas becomes more competitive electorally, the GOP will actually have to deliver on certain planks of their platform, lest they want to lose power in the Lone Star State.
Democrats Introduce Expanded Background Check Legislation
Democrats are going to implement a background check which targets “extremism.”
Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy and California Congressman Mike Thompson brought forward legislation on March 2, 2021 that aims to broaden the federal background check system on firearms sales, according to a report by The Hill.
Under The Background Check Expansion Act, gun sales and purchases between all unlicensed sellers and buyers would be subject to a mandatory background check. The background checks would not be applicable for law enforcement officers, lending out firearms for the purpose of hunting, temporary transfers for self-defense, or family members gifting a firearm.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and 43 Senate Democrats have co-sponsored this bill. Thompson, who is the chair of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, reintroduced this legislation in the U.S. House
“For years, the bipartisan House-passed background checks bill languished in the Senate under Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. Now, with Senate Democrats in the Majority, we have the opportunity to act on this overwhelmingly popular, lifesaving legislation to protect American communities,” Schumer declared in a press release.
According to a CBS News report, President Joe Biden has repeatedly called on Congress to pass stiffer gun control laws. This gun control bill will not pass so easily given how it will need 10 Republican senators to vote in favor of it.
Against the backdrop of the January 6 storming of the Capitol, such a background check will likely feature provisions that target so-called “extremists.” The ruling class has routinely lumped average gun owners with domestic extremists and will most certainly use recent events to justify encroachments on people’s right to bear arms.
Biden is a veteran of the gun control movement, as evidenced by his sponsorship of the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990 and the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban. With Democrats in control of all branches of the federal government, they will certainly move to pass gun control. However, their success is not guaranteed due to moderate Democrats like Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema and West Virginia Joe Manchin not being completely receptive to radical gun control that could alienate them from their more right-wing constituents.
Nevertheless, the Left has shown that it’s willing to act regardless of the political context. Keeping this in mind, gun owners must be ready to beat back any kind of gun control coming from D.C. Such fights will allow the Right to rebuild its forces and make a splash in the 2022 midterms and the 2024 presidential race.
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