IssuesThe Back MicThe Back Mic: Empower Texans to Release Audio, Granger on Abortion, and Rep. Howard Launches Campaign Offensive

In this edition, Michael Quinn Sullivan to release Bonnen audio, Rep. Kay Granger on abortion and Trump, and Rep. Donna Howard launches campaign offensive.
October 11, 2019

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“The Back Mic” is a weekly look inside Texas politics and policy presented by The Texan. In just a few bullet points every Friday, you’ll know about the critical developments from the candidates, elected officials, and policies that impact Texans everywhere.

Michael Quinn Sullivan to Release Recording of Bonnen Meeting

In an email blast sent on Thursday, Sullivan said he would release the audio of his June 12 meeting with Speaker Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton) and Rep. Dustin Burrows (R-Lubbock). He said:

  • “Certain statements by Speaker Bonnen could cause harm or embarrassment to individuals and their families, while other statements he made could be used by Democrats to undermine the GOP.”
  • “But because these Republican leaders continue to call for the recording to be made public and I have been given the green-light to do so by my legal team, later today I will announce that the audio will be released next week.”

The recording is set to be released before the House Republican Caucus is set to meet, for the first time since the controversy surfaced, on October 17-18 for their annual caucus retreat.

The Texan Tumbler

Sullivan is scheduled to appear in court on October 15 as part of the lawsuit Texas Democrats have filed against him.

Rep. Kay Granger on Abortion, Running for Re-election

At a Republican women’s club meeting in Tarrant County this week, Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX-12) talked about issues that have begun to be breached on the campaign trail.

  • On Running for Reelection
    • “I thought it was a given.”
  • On Her Pro-Life Record
    • “We have to protect the pro-life positions we have taken over the years,” said Granger.
    • At one point during Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, Granger called herself a “pro-choice” Republican
    • In a 2018 op-ed, the head of March for Life cited Granger’s “past support for questionable human embryonic stem cell experimentation and reluctance to promote pro-life provisions in committee” as “unacceptable red flag[s]” for pro-life proponents.
  • On Trump and the Border
    • Granger said she’s looked for ways to support President Trump on the border by helping to write a bill that he could support. 
    • She also said, “The President is watching the economy all of the time and I support him.”  
    • Granger was publicly critical of Trump before his election to the presidency and even called on him to step down at one point during the campaign after a lewd recording of the presidential nominee surfaced.

Former city councilman and grassroots activist Chris Putnam has announced a primary challenge to Granger. Granger has served 11 terms in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Rep. Donna Howard Launches Effort to Support 12 Newest Texas House Democrats

Howard, a Travis County Democrat, launched an effort to help re-elect the twelve Democrats who flipped their respective Texas House seats from red to blue in 2018.

  • Entitled “Opportunity: Texas House,” the website boasts a video of Howard, along with Rep. Gina Hinojosa (D-Austin) and Deputy Executive Director of the Texas Democratic Party, Cliff Walker, emphasizing the importance of reelecting the newest editions to their caucus.
  • The video includes footage of each of the twelve representatives introducing themselves and their districts.
  • The endeavor was paid for by Howard’s campaign.


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McKenzie DiLullo

McKenzie DiLullo serves as Senior Editor and resident plate-spinner for The Texan. Previously, she worked as State Representative Kyle Biedermann’s Capitol Director during the 85th legislative session before moving to Fort Worth to manage Senator Konni Burton’s campaign. In her free time, you might find her enjoying dog memes, staring at mountains, or proctoring personality tests.