Sen.-Elect Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has chosen conservative activist and former adviser to Texas Gov. Rick Perry's presidential campaign Chip Roy to be his chief of staff, according to the Dallas Morning News. The move is being widely praised by conservatives.
Chip Roy has served in a variety of offices
The Dallas Morning News reports that Roy has served as head of Texas's State-Federal Relations Office, a move that proved to be controversial. The Houston Chronicle reported that Roy wanted to "empower state leaders … to push back on Washington where necessary." The Texas House voted to defund the office at one point. Roy was also assisted in the writing and editing of Gov. Perry's campaign book, "Fed Up," which inveighed against both social security and the income tax. Roy also served as head of Texas Sen. John Cornyn's Senate leadership office and as his senior counsel on the Judiciary Committee. Austin Your News Now mentions that Roy was also an adviser to the Perry campaign for president.
Roy receives praise from conservatives
Roy's appointment has received praise from a number of conservatives. Erick Erickson, writing for Red State, suggests that Roy's appointment is a sign that Cruz, a tea party favorite, intends to remain independent of the Washington power structure. Erickson bemoaned the fact that too many members of Congress chose Washington lobbyists to staff their offices, a sign that they were being "domesticated" by the Senate Republican leadership. Erickson suggests that by choosing a conservative activist, Cruz is signaling that he will not be easily swayed by the Washington establishment. The Heritage Foundation praised Roy's appointment as well, suggesting that Roy has an understanding about how the Senate can be used to advance conservative policies.
Roy criticized by Salon Magazine
Slate Magazine points out that Roy's appointment means that Cruz is going to be part of a libertarian caucus that includes Rand Paul and Mike Lee, both conservative Republican senators. "Fed Up," was offered as proof by presidential candidate Mitt Romney that his rival, Perry, was a "dangerous libertarian." The more moderate Romney was chosen over Perry, suggesting that the more libertarian views of the Texas governor had not found their moment. Romney went on to be defeated by President Barack Obama in the 2012 election. Slate then suggests, perhaps with a derisive tone, that Roy's appointment means that the libertarian views in "Fed Up" are going to get a second life in the Senate.
Texas resident Mark Whittington writes about state issues for the Yahoo! Contributor Network.