Last week, members of the Denton County GOP Executive Committee passed a resolution calling for the “immediate resignation of Speaker Dennis Bonnen and Chairman Dustin Burrows.”

The resolution, submitted by Denton County Precinct Chair Jennifer Montgomery, comes on the heels of the recent controversy regarding a meeting between Texas Speaker of the House Dennis Bonnen, former Republican Caucus Chair Dustin Burrows, and Empower Texans CEO Michael Quinn Sullivan. Sullivan alleged that, in the meeting, Bonnen offered media credentials to the organization’s capitol reporters in exchange for Empower Texans providing preferential news coverage and targeting 10 House Republicans through its affiliated political action committee.

Sullivan later made an audio recording of the meeting available to Republican legislators, party officials, and grassroots leaders. Last week, the Texas Rangers Public Integrity Unit initiated an investigation into potential criminal activity at the request of House lawmakers.

In addition to calling for Bonnen’s resignation, the resolution asks that the “Republican Party of Texas issue a public statement condemning [the actions of Speaker Bonnen and Burrows], address the gravity of the damage, and assure the public that the organization will not tolerate anything that compromises the conservative principles and standards we hold ourselves to.”

“We were a little shocked at how quickly it went through,” Montgomery told Texas Scorecard, recalling the events of the night.

“The [Denton County GOP] chair calls for any discussion,” she went on. “There was literally no discussion. No one had anything, and we passed with a supermajority.”

One of the “no” votes reportedly approached Montgomery and said he had changed his mind. “Actually, one of them came to us at the end and said he voted “no” because he didn’t really know the details of any of it,” Montgomery shared. “And he said, ‘Now that I know, I stand in agreement with you.’”

Since the passage of the resolution on August 15, Burrows has resigned as chair of the House Republican Caucus.

A copy of the resolution was made available to Texas Scorecard upon request to Denton County GOP Chairwoman Jayne Howell.

Robert Montoya

Born in Houston, Robert Montoya is an investigative reporter for Texas Scorecard. He believes transparency is the obligation of government.


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