Paul Teller, the conservative Executive Director of the Republican Study Committee (RSC), was reportedly fired unilaterally by RSC Chairman Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), who is a close ally of House Speaker Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), much to the shock of some RSC members.
According to the National Journal, “the dismissal was announced to members at Wednesday’s closed-door meeting. Shortly after the caucus gathered around lunchtime, dozens of staffers were asked to leave the room, an unusual move that typically signals Scalise’s desire to discuss a sensitive matter with RSC members only.”
Scalise reportedly “informed members at the meeting that he had asked for Teller’s resignation, and that Teller accepted.”
Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), a member of the RSC steering committee, told National Journal that she “didn’t find out about it until I walked in the room.”
RSC member Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) said he was “very disappointed” by the news because “Paul’s one of the most effective staffers on the Hill.”
“He helps our cause,” he said. “And firing him does not.”
Teller was reportedly fired for “undermining” establishment Republicans by working with grassroots conservatives. The Tea Party Patriots declared Teller’s firing an act of war on Wednesday and conservative talk radio host Mark Levin said Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) was a Boehner lackey who purged Teller, whom Levin referred to as a “patriot.”