LUBBOCK, Texas — Mayor Dan Pope had harsh criticism against State Representative Dustin Burrows, District 83, of Lubbock.
Pope said on Friday afternoon in a written statement that he read the transcript and listened to the audio of a meeting between Burrows, House Speaker Dennis Bonnen and Michael Q. Sullivan, CEO of Empower Texans.
Sullivan secretly recorded the meeting in June in Austin. Sullivan claims that Bonnen and Burrows offered press credentials in exchange for negative articles directed at specific Republicans.
Among other things, Burrows said, “We hate cities and counties.”
“I’ll take a hard look at them in the interim on a review, to see whether or not they’ve outlived their usefulness,” Burrows said on point during a discussion of local tax money going toward economic development projects.
Speaker Bonnen at one point said, “My goal is for this to be the worst session in the history of the legislature for cities and counties.”
More specifically he was talking in the context of taxpayer lobby which Bonnen and Burrows described as local governments using tax dollars to lobby the legislature against their own police and fire departments and against their own citizens.
Pope said, “Personally I find it distasteful and short-sighted.”
Pope said many other Lubbock citizens also expressed concern. Pope said people should read the transcript or listen to the audio for themselves.
Related Story: Secret recording of Lubbock lawmaker, Texas Speaker released
Burrows was participating in a GOP retreat on Friday and was not available to make a statement. When he chooses to comment, an update will be provided.
Pope’s full statement said:
I have read the transcript and listened to the tape of the meeting between Chairman Burrows, Speaker Bonnen and Michael Quinn Sullivan. I also have heard from many Lubbock citizens expressing serious concerns. Here are my thoughts. We have a proud tradition in West Texas of sending our best and brightest to Austin, and charging them to lead by building coalitions for the good of the state and the good of our area.
I encourage our voters to read the transcript, listen to the tape, and judge for themselves. Personally I find it distasteful and short-sighted. I have the best job in our state representing the best people in all of Texas. I recently announced my plans to stand for re-election in May.
It is my honor to lead the way, however it is our City employees – the police and fire first responders who keep us safe; the solid waste team that collects our trash; the utility employees who ensure we have safe, reliable and affordable water and power; the men and women who take care of our parks; and so many more – that deliver the services our citizens and businesses count on everyday.
I will remain steadfast in working with the Council as together we make common-sense decisions that guide our future. We will continue our efforts to put Lubbock in a position to win by investing in great infrastructure and partnering in workforce development to address our strong job growth. Lubbock’s success is not accidental. Businesses and families are choosing Lubbock. We will stay the course. We will be good stewards. Integrity is paramount. We will work everyday to continue earning your trust.
It’s a GREAT day in Lubbock, Texas!