Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen is being accused of conspiring against Republican colleagues in 2020.
Michael Quinn Sullivan, the Executive Director of Empower Texans, claims Bonnen is trying to derail the campaigns of 10 members of the Texas GOP.
If true, this rumor could potentially hurt Bonnen’s reputation during the 2020 elections and into the 2021 legislative session.
The Texas Tribune reports that Sullivan and Bonnen met up after the 2019 legislative session.
At this meeting, Bonnen offered to extend an olive branch to Sullivan but with several conditions, all which the Tribune reported:
“He [Sullivan] said Bonnen offered to give long-denied House media credentials to Sullivan’s Texas Scorecard writers “if we would 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.”
State Representative Dustin Burrows, the head of the House Republican Caucus, was present at this meeting as well. As Bonnen left the room, Burrows read off a list of the Republicans that needed to be targeted:
Steve Allison of San Antonio, Trent Ashby of Lufkin, Ernest Bailes of Shepherd, Travis Clardy of Nacogdoches, Drew Darby of San Angelo, Kyle Kacal and John Raney of College Station, Stan Lambert of Abilene, Tan Parker of Flower Mound and Phil Stephenson of Wharton.
Sullivan claims that he sent Bonnen and Burrows a letter “unequivocally rejecting” the deal and he published Bonnen’s reply which refuted Sullivan’s claims about Bonnen: “No offer was made to you of any kind, and thus, there is nothing for you or anyone associated with you to ‘reject,’” Bonnen wrote.
Like most conservative activists in Texas, Sullivan has been an outspoken critic of Bonnen throughout the 2019 legislative session. And for good reason.
One of the most important pieces of conservative legislation—constitutional carry—was killed during the 2019 session. This left many gun rights activists and their grassroots conservative allies angry.
With Texas becoming more competitive after the 2018 Senate elections, Republicans must start actually delivering results to their constituents.
If they don’t, they could see Democrats continue to gain ground.
Fox News Ratings Crater, Trailing CNN and MSNBC for First Time in 21 Years
A brutal collapse over the past two-and-a-half months.
Recent data from Nielsen shows that Fox News finished behind both CNN and MSNBC in ratings to open the month of January.
This is the first time in twenty-one years that that has happened, according to Daily Wire.
Nielsen’s ratings data shows that CNN finished number one among cable news networks with approximately 2.8 million viewers per day from January 4 through January 10, including 4.2 million in primetime.
MSNBC came in second with 2.3 million viewers per day and 3.8 million in primetime. And in third was Fox News with 1.7 million viewers per day and 3.2 million in primetime.
This is tough data for the conservative-leaning network. Over the past couple decades Fox has become accustomed to completely dominating the ratings, oftentimes receiving more viewership than CNN and MSNBC combined. Several factors contribute to the fall of Fox, including but not limited to:
- The death of Roger Ailes in 2017 and subsequent changes in network leadership
- Their disastrous Election Night coverage on November 3
- Donald Trump’s loss to Joe Biden
- An ostensible effort to distance themselves from Trump
- A real or perceived softening of their conservatism in general
- Trump’s public irritation with the network, to the point of telling people to migrate over to Newsmax and One America News Network (OANN)
Fox News has recently announced lineup changes as well. This is standard practice in the cable news industry and may not have much to do with their suffering ratings, though there’s a likely possibility that it does. Fox will be adding an hour-long opinion show in place of Martha MacCallum’s news show “The Story,” which had fallen behind both CNN and MSNBC’s 7pm timeslots after a stretch of being “comfortably ahead in ratings.” The network will also shuffle some of their daytime lineup.
As Joe Biden works through his first 100 days as president, it will be interesting to see how Fox News continues to perform, not only in comparison with CNN and MSNBC, but also with OANN and Newsmax.
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