Rep. Bucy said Bonnen recording reflects poorly on Texas government


Texas State Rep. John H. Bucy III (D) said Tuesday's announcement that Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen (R) will not seek re-election was "inevitable."

"I think it's the right decision to make," said Bucy. "I hope other members of the House elect a Speaker of the House that plans to work on bipartisan efforts for the state of Texas."

Bonnen made the announcement  after 43 House Republicans had  either called for his resignation or stated that they no longer supported him over a recently-released secret recording. The recording was made during a June 12 meeting but was not made public until last week.

It has a really negative impact on the Texas House in general, and people’s trust of the Texas legislature and Texas government,” Bucy said. “I think what he has done is bigger than him, and it’s going to have repercussions all over.”

In the recording, Bonnen offered Chief Executive Officer of Empower Texans Michael Quinn Sullivan media access to the House floor in exchange for his participation in targeting members of their own party in order to secure the 2020 nomination. Empower Texans is a hardline conservative lobbying group.

Bonnen also said disparaging things about other elected officials, most of them Democrats, in the recording. 

Bucy said he was disgusted and frustrated with the comments Bonnen made regarding his colleagues that elected and put trust in him to manage the Texas House.

“Some of the things that were said … that is not how anyone should treat their colleagues — attacking people’s character, making homophobic slurs and sexist comments,” Bucy said. “We have to hold ourselves up to a higher standard, especially as the Speaker of the House.” 

Bucy said what the recording really shows is a real stain on the Texas Speaker --- not just the individual, but the institution. 

“I think it’s good for all of us to know what actually happened,” Bucy said. “I think a lot of the rumors were accurate, and I think it’s as bad or worse than we thought it was going to be.”

The other 149 Texas House members put trust into Bonnen to work beyond party, Bucy said. 

“I think what he showed was not beyond party,” Bucy said. 

Bucy said he was deeply concerned about policy issues discussed in the recording, and that Bonnen has a vendetta toward Texas cities and counties. In the recording, Bonnen said he intended to make the next legislative session the worst "in the history of the legislature for cities and counties."

“I believe that elected officials at the city and county levels should make the decisions and be accountable to their voters, not to the Texas legislature,” Bucy said.