Friday, July 26, 2019


"Talk no more so very proudly;
Let no arrogance come from your mouth,
For the Lord is the God of knowledge;
And by Him actions are weighed."
1 Samuel 2:3

Late yesterday afternoon, Michael Quinn Sullivan made some INSANE revelations.  You really ought to read the whole thing for yourself.  Here's the main part:
Bonnen insisted: He would ensure Texas Scorecard reporters received House floor access in 2021 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.

Spending political money was the issue, Bonnen said. Not just refraining from spending it against his pals. He wanted us to spend it against Republicans he saw as not being helpful.

If we could “make this work,” he would put the Texas Scorecard guys on the floor next session.


The list of targets Burrows named off included 10 Republican Reps—Steve Allison, Trent Ashby, Ernest Bailes, Travis Clardy, Drew Darby, Kyle Kacal, Stan Lambert, John Raney, and Phil Stephenson.
There are two noteworthy aspects about this: Bonnen's arrogance AND Bonnen's stupidity.



More than anything, one aspect stands out: How much Bonnen wanted Sullivan to give up, and how little Bonnen was offering in return.

It's insane.

Bonnen wanted Sullivan to give up everything. credentials?!?  NO (obviously).

There is no deal that's worth cutting that involves blanket bans on criticizing elected officials.  NoneWhatsoever.

To accept this sort of an offer would be to permanently forfeit one's credibility, thus Sullivan's response is self-evidently correct.

Here's the really crazy part: If it were presented in a less heavy-handed manner, and if Bonnen were offering more in return, then thepart of Bonnen's request isn't entirely unreasonable.

The members Bonnen wants gone represent mostly safe Republican districts.  Even in a bad national environment, they're unlikely to flip.  Thus, there's a certain logic to focusing on them.

Imagine if, instead, Bonnen had said something like this: "I know you're frustrated.  I know the grassroots are frustrated.  But, in this political climate, I think it's best for everyone involved to focus on rural districts.  BTW, here are the members who were truly problematic...."

We'll say this: If the speaker wants to give us a clean shot at Drew Darby and Dirty Ernie in exchange for going easy on Charlie Geren and Dan isolation, that might be a deal worth taking.

But Dennis Bonnen didn't make that offer.  Dennis Bonnen made a very different offer.  The offer Dennis Bonnen actually made was one no self-respecting human being could accept.

Arrogant...insanely so.



Beyond the arrogance, however, is the stupidity.

The speaker serves at the pleasure of the members.  Most members hate Sullivan.  Thus, for Dennis Bonnen to consider even working clandestinely with Sullivan risks the wrath of Dennis Bonnen's electorate.

Ross Ramsey elaborates:
The politics are dangerous for the first-term speaker, no matter which version of the story is right.

Sullivan has been an outspoken critic of the Republican leadership all year, carping about what he saw as a lack of attention to issues he cares about most. Sullivan's Empower Texans also helped fund primary challenges against several House incumbents in past years. It’s fair to say that a number of Republicans have reason not to think kindly of Sullivan, his organizations and his financial patrons as political allies.

They’ll be wanting to know why Bonnen met with him at all, no matter what they were talking about. Up to this point, Bonnen has been outspoken in his defense of the 149 other members of the Texas House.
Pretty much.


Bottom Line: Bonnen remains overwhelmingly likely to retain the speakership, but nevertheless this interim just became a lot more interesting....

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