The Big Conversation:
He hasn't even taken office yet, but one of Ted Cruz's first moves as Texas' senator-elect is already delighting conservatives.
Cruz announced on Wednesday that he had selected Chip Roy, who helped Gov. Rick Perry write his 2010 book Fed Up!, as his chief of staff.
Roy, an attorney, worked for U.S. Sen. John Cornyn before Perry tapped him in 2011 to serve as head of the State-Federal Relations Office. During his confirmation hearing for the position, as The Dallas Morning News notes, Roy said he would defend "liberty, state sovereignty and an end to the crippling pile of debt and regulation coming from Washington that is destroying our nation and endangering the state." Roy held the position for six months, after which he left to help Perry write his book.
Cruz's pick drew high praise on Wednesday from Erick Erickson, editor of the influential conservative blog RedState. Erickson wrote that while many Tea Party politicians have selected lobbyists as their chiefs of staff, Cruz's pick signals that he "is not going to Washington [to] sell out the conviction he ran on, but actually, as we’ve all known, [that he] does believe in federalism, the tenth amendment, and limited government."
Cruz has long enjoyed enthusiastic support from Erickson, who hammered away at Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst during his GOP primary battle with Cruz earlier this year.
Erickson, who this week revealed that he himself is considering a U.S. Senate bid in Georgia, wrote on Wednesday: "This is a most excellent first step by the Senator-Elect from Texas. The conservative movement should congratulate Ted Cruz. He’s off to a great start."
- The Austin American-Statesman reports that an arrest warrant was issued in October for Lawrence Meyers, the longest-serving judge on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, for his failure to pay a 4-year-old speeding ticket. Meyers, who has sat on the state's highest criminal court for 19 years, told the Statesman that he hadn't paid the ticket yet because he wanted to file an appeal to contest a municipal judge's decision. "I hate that there is an arrest warrant out, but I’ve got to look at the situation," Meyers said. "All I was wanting to do was get it over with and be treated like any other citizen. I would've paid a fine within the range of punishment."
- A congressional ethics report released Wednesday revealed that U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-El Paso, may have violated ethics rules and federal law by holding campaign meetings on House property and using campaign money to pay expenses for his daughter’s Washington residence, The Associated Press reported Wednesday. The ethics report said that the congressman, who in May lost his Democratic primary to Beto O'Rourke, refused to cooperate with an investigation and that he should be subpoenaed. The El Paso Times has the full story.
- Mexican President Felipe Calderón will serve as a fellow at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government after he leaves office Saturday, according to the AP. Calderón had previously been in talks for a post at the University of Texas at Austin.
"Rick Perry, first of all, he has to get over that back pain stuff, but Rick Perry has tremendous track record of success, probably running again — could run for president." — Anti-tax activist Grover Norquist at a Politico event on Wednesday
- UT astronomers discover what might be largest black hole in universe, Austin American-Statesman
- Payday Loan Chain Owned by Major GOP Donor Skirts Texas Law, The Texas Observer
- Ethics Commission to consider taking over watchdog job from Austin prosecutors, Austin American-Statesman
- Veterans' families file lawsuit after Show of Support train wreck, Midland Reporter-Telegram
- Attorney General Seeks to Seize Polygamist Ranch, The Texas Tribune