Tuesday, October 22, 2019

#TXLEGE: Acute crisis subsides, Toxic Culture Remains

"For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death."
2 Corinthians 7:10

This was always inevitable:
Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton) announced this morning he would not seek reelection to the Texas House.

“Since Friday, I have had numerous conversations with Members who care deeply about the Texas House, and I respect the manner in which they have handled the entire situation. After much prayer, consultation, and thoughtful consideration with my family, it is clear that I can no longer seek re-election as State Representative of District 25, and subsequently, as Speaker of the House,” said Bonnen in a statement.

“I care deeply about this body and the work we have accomplished over the years, namely, the outstanding success we achieved in the 86th Legislature,” he continued.

This announcement comes after Michael Quinn Sullivan, of the conservative grassroots group Empower Texans, released a recording of a closed-door meeting he had with Bonnen, in which Bonnen offered a clear quid pro quo — Texas House media credentials in exchange for Sullivan monetarily targeting 10 select “moderate” Republican House members.
Two and a half cheers.

It's certainly good that Bonnen is gone.  It always serves the public's interest to remove corrupt officials.  Furthermore, Bonnen's departure reduces the odds of a GOP electoral wipeout.

Still, it's hard to get too excited.  It took them three months to make a completely obvious decision.  It should have taken about three days.

Last Saturday we wrote that, given their inability to do that which is completely obvious re: Bonnen, the GOP deserved to lose the Texas house.  Obviously, this morning's announcement renders most of the specifics of that blog post moot.  Still...is anyone confident a new scandal won't soon emerge?!?

Cuz' we ain't.

As we wrote:
It's no longer just about Dennis Bonnen.  Or one act of political funny business.  This specific scandal is the completely predictable result of the toxic culture in the Texas capitol that has prevailed for a long time.

The GOP, meanwhile, has been running the place for a quarter century.

This is the same Republican majority that:
  • Two years ago, put a man who had been in a sexual relationship with a lobbyist for over a decade in charge of writing its sexual harassment policy.
The pattern is obvious...to anyone not under the influence of afore mentioned Egyptian rivers.
Dennis Bonnen (and Joe Straus and Jim Pitts) might be gone, but Charlie Geren and Jim Murphy remain.

It's hard to feel confident in a culture that continues to tolerate the likes of Charlie Geren and elevates the likes of Jim Murphy.

Even if they did (very, very, belatedly) throw Dennis Bonnen overboard.

Bottom Line: We're certainly in a better place now than we were twelve hours ago...but that's not saying much.

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