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Cruz Delivers Another Blow to GOP Leadership

One month after the firing of longtime House Republican staffer Paul Teller ignited tea party anger, Mr. Teller hopped across the Capitol, landing in the office of tea party favorite Sen. Ted Cruz.

The Texas Republican announced Monday he had hired Mr. Teller as his deputy chief of staff, starting Thursday.

“Paul’s many years of experience working in Congress and his tireless work to advance conservative principles make him a tremendous addition to our team,” Mr. Cruz said in a statement, noting that he looked forward to working with Mr. Teller to “promote a positive policy agenda that will restore economic growth, rein in government overreach, and protect Americans’ personal liberties.”

Mr. Teller was the executive director of the Republican Study Committee, a group of the most conservative House Republicans, until he was fired in December for divulging the contents of private conversations between lawmakers to outside parties, according to a House GOP aide. The tipping point came when Mr. Teller worked to undermine the bipartisan budget deal brokered by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R., Wis.), a member of the RSC, before it was unveiled, a senior House GOP aide said.

Mr. Teller declined at the time to comment on his departure.

“It is an honor and privilege to work for Sen. Cruz,” Mr. Teller said in a statement Monday. “His leadership is truly motivating, and I can’t wait to get started on our collaboration for liberty.”

Last year, Mr. Cruz helped spearhead the push to refuse to keep the government running unless funding for the health-care law was gutted, endearing him to some conservatives and right-leaning groups. The campaign caused heartburn among House GOP leaders when their rank-and-file, urged on by a band of conservatives, rejected numerous proposals to reopen the government after it partially shuttered, damaging the GOP party in polls and helping boost Democratic fundraising.

Outside groups heralded Mr. Cruz’s hiring of Mr. Teller as fresh evidence of his loyalty to conservative activists, rather than fealty to party leaders.

“Cruz’s decision signals his desire to strengthen ties with the conservative grassroots given Mr. Teller’s years of experience and strong relationship to conservative movement leaders,” contributing editor Todd Thurman wrote in a blog post for the Heritage Foundation, a conservative Washington think tank.

Read more at http://janmorganmedia.com/2014/01/cruz-delivers-face-slap-gop-leadership/#cocYHBVm7MXTcw2K.99