LUBBOCK, Texas — On Thursday, the Lubbock County Republican Party’s chairman made a statement concerning a statewide controversy that involves Lubbock’s state representative Dustin Burrows.
In essence, the controversy as reported by statewide media outlets is this: an activist group would get media credentials for the Texas House floor in exchange for a particular slant on media coverage.
The dispute includes what was said in a meeting between Texas Republican House Speaker Dennis Bonnen and Michael Quinn Sullivan, a conservative activist with Empower Texans. That meeting was in June, and Burrows, R-Lubbock, was present.
Sullivan, during the back and forth of harsh rhetoric, has said he made a secret audio recording.
The statement from Chairman Steve Evans said the Lubbock County Republican Party would not comment on the situation except to encourage the full release of the audio.
Evans said there would be no local party comment until a full recording of the conversation is released.
According to Sullivan’s report, Burrows provided a list of Republican lawmakers to be discussed.
Sullivan’s report went on to say the list contained names of lawmakers they wanted targeted because they have not been supportive enough to the Texas Republican agenda.
According to Sullivan, the list included 10 Republican Representatives: Steve Allison, Trent Ashby, Ernest Bailes, Travis Clardy, Drew Darby, Kyle Kacal, Stan Lambert, John Raney, Phil Stephenson and Tan Parker.
Basically, Bonnen suggested that if Texas Scorecard, the media outlet Sullivan writes for, would target these representatives in the next election cycle, he would make sure reporters from the organization had access the the House floor in the next session, according to Sullivan.
Texas Scorecard is associated with Empower Texans.
Response from Bonnen
According to a Texas Tribune report, Bonnen released a statement publicly denying the allegations of Sullivan four days after they surfaced.
In that statement, Bonnen said, “the true nature of my conversation with Michael Quinn Sullivan somehow continues to get lost in the media narrative.”
He also said, “Let me be clear. At no point in our conversation was Sullivan provided with a list of target Members.”
According to the Texas Tribune, Bonnen also said he asked Burrows not to comment on this matter.
EverythingLubbock.com has reached out to Rep. Burrows for comment and will provide updates if that occurs.
Full statement from Steve Evans
On the matter of Speaker Dennis Bonnen and Empower Texans’ Michael Quinn Sullivan,
The Lubbock County Republican Party declines to comment until the entire audio recording of the conversation has been released and Speaker Bonnen and Chairman Burrows have had sufficient time to respond to that release.
I join in the calls by the media for the entire recording to be released to the general public.