Conservative activist Michael Quinn Sullivan released a recording he made secretly during a June 12 meeting with Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen and Lubbock State Representative Dustin Burrows. In a post on Texas Scorecard, Sullivan accuses Bonnen of offering "official action in exchange for targeting his Republican foes" in next year's primaries.
While Sullivan says the 64-minute-long audio recording he posted is the entirety, FOX34 has not verified whether there has been editing. We did confirm State Rep. Burrows is in the recording.
Click here - to listen to the full recording on the Texas Scorecard.
In the recording, a speaker Sullivan says is Bonnen says: "Could we kinda not waste our resources, yours and mine or anyone else's, fighting over members that aren't really a huge problem? I mean, you might not find them in your favor, and even help us out - kill off one, or two or three."
Sullivan claims Bonnen started naming specific legislators on a "list," but stopped himself and remembered he gave the list to Burrows.
"I don't want to go any farther down that list," Bonnen is heard saying, "but he can," meaning Burrows, according to Sullivan's account.
Burrows was chairman of the House Republican Caucus at the time the recording was made. He resigned from that position in August, weeks after the allegations were made public. In late August he urged the release of the recording and denied any wrongdoing.
"There's not a single Republican that you're going to see me criticize or do anything against," Burrows told FOX34 in August. "Keeping the House is of primary importance. We're heading into a redistricting year. It is so important we have republicans at the helm for the next decade."
On July 25, Sullivan, who leads Empower Texans, accused Bonnen and Burrows of offering media access to the conservative group in exchange for going after Republicans they disapproved of in 2020. Bonnen initially bushed back on the claims, and said he was not in the room for any list presented. But he apologized to Republicans for taking the meeting with Sullivan.
Burrows stayed quiet on Bonnen's orders until finally going on the record in late August. He spoke with FOX34 on August 27, when he denied any wrongdoing.
"I think that discussions about who voted for and against bills with advocacy groups happen daily at the Texas Capitol," Burrows said.
Burrows announced this summer he is running for re-election for District 83.
Rep. Dustin Burrows released the following statement Tuesday afternoon:
"I'm glad the audio has been released, as it should have been months ago. I now intend on focusing on what is important: passing conservative legislation for future generations and the needs of West Texans."
Lubbock Mayor Dan Pope tweeted saying he has not had an opportunity to read the transcript of the meeting.