Texas State Representative Dustin Burrows resigned in disgrace from his position as chairman for the Texas House Republican caucus on Friday after a secretly gathered recording of himself and two other individuals at meeting exploded into the news. The Texas Tribune reports that vice-chair Stephanie Lick has been promoted to replace him.
During the meeting in question, Burrows and Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen spoke with conservative activist Michael Quinn Sullivan, who was recording the conversation unbeknownst to the two other men.
Sullivan revealed last month that Burrows and Bonnen offered to facilitate press credentials for a website run by Sullivan if he, in turn, would use his super PAC to primary ten different Republicans in what has been described as a political “hit list.”
While the recording is not publicly available yet — although Democrats have sued to get it released — numerous Republicans have confirmed that the recording does indeed show what Sullivan claims. The ruthless attempt to stab fellow Republicans in the back has engulfed the state party in scandal.
Speaker Bonnen says he will not be following Burrows’s lead by resigning himself. “I respect his decision and I remain committed to strengthening our majority,” said Bonnen. Clearly, the man has little to no shame and is far more interested in maintaining his grip on power than any kind of accountability. He is exactly the kind of cynical operator that constitutes the vast majority of the body of Republican elected officials.
This story is a clear demonstration of two of the animating elements of the modern Republican Party: opportunism to the point of political backstabbing and blatant corruption. Sullivan himself characterized the saga as emblematic of “hypocrisy, unethical offers, denials, lies” that resulted in a resignation.
Previous to all this was #TxLege Speaker @RepDennisBonnen’s VERY public pronouncements that he would punish any legislator who works against any incumbent House member. Hypocrisy, unethical offers, denials, lies, and now a resignation.
Only thing left in this saga is a cover-up. https://t.co/t6PWsSqzfM
— Michael Quinn Sullivan (@MQSullivan) August 16, 2019
While this resignation will do little to fix the problems that riddle a GOP rotten to its core with immorality and dishonesty, it’s yet another black eye for a party that sorely deserves them. People like Burrows and Bonnen will continue to haunt our government from the state level on up until voters finely start rebuking these creeps en masse at the ballot box.