AUSTIN (1080 KRLD) - Two top Texas House Republicans are the latest trying to pressure conservative political activist Michael Quinn Sullivan, Empower Texans CEO, to release the secretly recorded audio tape of a meeting with House Speaker Dennis Bonnen and then-GOP Caucus Chair State Rep. Dustin Burrows.
Sullivan claims Bonnen and Burrows offered him media credentials in exchange for help defeating incumbent House Republicans who oppose Bonnen. The two are being investigated by the Texas Rangers for campaign finance violations and bribery stemming from the meeting.
Current House GOP Caucus Chair Stephanie Klick and former Caucus chair State Rep Tan Parker are the latest to call for Sullivan to release the tape to the public.
University of Houston Political Science Professor Brandon Rottinghaus suggests those calling for the release of the tape may be vying to be the next House GOP Caucus chair or State House Speaker. “There’s clearly an ambition angle to this that people who are getting involved in this would like to be able to be seen as somebody who is a peace-maker or somebody who is helpful in ending it for the Republican Party.”
Sullivan has released the tape to the Texas Rangers but not to the public. Rottinghaus believes “the compounded pressure that is put on Michael Quinn Sullivan to release the tape or at least to provide some sort of transcript for it is likely to work.”