KP George

Fort Bend County Judge KP George blasted Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen for boasting in an audio tape that city and county officials would face his wrath if they came to Austin.

“The Texas Legislature created local government to meet the needs of everyday Texans when the stroke of a pen in Austin couldn’t,” George said Tuesday after the audio tape was released to the media.

“Local government employs paramedics, police officers, and thousands more hard-working public employees. We know what our residents need because we live here.

“House Speaker Bonnen should know better than to gloat about his crusade to concentrate power in Austin by attacking the closest form of government to the people, our cities and counties.”

Bonnen came under fire earlier this year when a conservative activist accused him of wanting fellow Republicans who didn’t toe the party line defeated in upcoming elections.

One of those fellow Republicans on Bonnen’s “hit list” is state Rep. Phil Stephenson of Wharton.

On the hour-long audio tape, Bonnen called a female lawmaker “vile” and said President Donald Trump is “killing us” in pivotal races.

Democrats filed a lawsuit accusing Bonnen of breaking campaign finance laws during the June meeting with the head of a conservative group called Empower Texans, which has spent lavishly in pursuit of pulling the Legislature far to the right on issues such as abortion and guns.

The meeting was secretly recorded and released by Empower Texans CEO Michael Quinn Sullivan, who said he surreptitiously recorded the meeting held at Bonnen’s Capitol office to protect himself.

Bonnen sought to drive out moderate GOP members who he saw as standing in the way of his agenda.

On the audio tape Bonnen can be heard discussing his views on city and county officials who opposed his cap on property tax revenue.

“In this office and in the conference room on that end, any mayor, county judge that was dumb ass enough to come meet with me, I told them with great clarity: My goal is for this to be the worst session in the history of the Legislature for cities and counties.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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