The tape uncovered the largest political scandal in Texas in years. Democrats have filed a lawsuit accusing Bonnon – the third most powerful Republican in the Texas Capitol – of violating campaign finance laws during a June meeting with the leader of a conservative group called the Empower Texans, which spent a lot of time trying to get the legislation far right on issues like abortion and guns.
State investigators responsible for investigating allegations of corruption by public officials have also commenced proceedings.
The meeting was secretly recorded and released by Empower Texans Executive Director Michael Quinn Sullivan, who said he secretly recorded the meeting held at the Bonn Capitol Office to defend himself. Bonnen may be heard seeking Sullivan's help in directing several Republican officials to next year's primaries, while suggesting that an Empower Texans news associate could receive media information to access the House floor take votes. Bonn tried to banish the moderate GOP members he saw standing in the way of his program.
"You have to hear what I want to do," Bonn said. "We can do this job. I'll put your guys on in the next session. "
Republicans have long dominated Texas politics, holding any state office since 1
998. They gained control of the House for the first time since the 2003 redevelopment and have held it so far
But after peaking at 101-49 In 2011, with a majority, Democrats joined a growing Spanish population and liberal change in suburban areas to narrow that gap. Democrats can grab a majority if they reject nine seats in 2020.
Bonnen suggests on the tape that Trump – campaigning in Dallas on Thursday – doesn't help.
"With all due respect for Trump, whom I love, he kills us in urban, suburban neighborhoods," Bonnen said.
Bonnen also used rough language when discussing freshman Democrats whose midterm victories in 2018 weakened the majority in Home of the GOP.
"John Rosenthal makes my skin crawl. He's a (great) piece, "Bonnon says in the recording.
Referring to another Democrat, Bonnon adds," We have Michelle Beckley, who is an abomination. But we have people who beat our Republicans who don't even try to act like moderate Democrats, do we? Which is good for us. Because we should be able to get their heads off. But I need you to shoot harder. "
It was not clear whether the hours record had been edited.
Bonnen had previously apologized for" disturbing "and" harmful "comments on the tape.
"I repeatedly called for the record to be released because it would immediately become clear that there were no laws violated. It was nothing more than a political discussion – the problem is I had it with this man," Bonn said. " colleagues have always deserved the facts and context that this record provides, and with clear evidence
But launching the tape calls for the resignation of Bonn, including Beckley, who said "this is a bunch of men who are scared of the back backstage "of Democrats taking control of the House.
Rep. Chris Turner, leader of the Democratic Party, called Bonnon's comments" completely out of bounds, even with the low Republican Party standards of the Donald Trump era. " Follow Paul J. Weber on Twitter: www.twitter.com/pauljweber  Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.