Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen placed a target on state Rep. Travis Clardy’s back, while former House GOP caucus chairman Dustin Burrows painted the bullseye and added the name of Rep. Trent Ashby, according to audio released Tuesday of a June meeting between House leaders and the CEO of a hardline conservative group.
Clardy, R-Nacogdoches, was one of two Republican lawmakers specifically targeted by Bonnen over opposition to eliminating publicly funded lobbying during a June 12 meeting with Empower Texans CEO Michael Quinn Sullivan. Bonnen, R-Angleton, said repeatedly he would give the conservative group media credentials in exchange for help defeating a group of fellow Republicans in the 2020 primary.
“Travis Clardy and Phil Stephenson, don’t want to go any further down that list,” Bonnen said. “He can,” he added referring to Burrows, a Lubbock Republican.
Sullivan secretly recording the meeting an held onto the tape for months.
Ashby, R-Lufkin, came up after Bonnen left the room and Burrows offered a list of 10 GOP lawmakers he wanted defeated.
“It’s 50/50 what he’d do,” Burrows said.
Burrows also called Clardy “the ringleader of the opposition.”
Bonnen made expletive laden disparaging remarks about multiple Democrats, calling one House member “vile” and saying another “made his skin crawl.”
Read more in Wednesday’s edition of The Daily Sentinel.