Good old “Lyin’ Ted” Cruz (TP – Texas) is suing the Federal Election Commission seeking to invalidate a law limiting the ability of candidates to use contributions repay his or her loans to the campaign. Part of the landmark McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform placed limits on the ability of candidates to repay their loans from political contributions. Roughly speaking, a candidate cannot repay more than $250,000 to himself or herself with money raised after the election. It appears that Cruz loaned his campaign directly or indirectly about $260,000 and was repaid $250,000. That means this suit is over the grand sum of $10,000. Cruz claims that the law is a violation of his First Amendment right to free speech and given the Supreme Court’s conclusion that $ = Speech, Cruz may be on to something. The consequences of a favorable ruling for the Tea Party favorite could be interesting. A candidate could place a huge bet on his or her success and then have unlimited ability to use elected office to repay that winning bet from the well-heeled donors seeking favorable treatment. In any event – given the amount involved – maybe LT is due for a new nickname. How about “Penny Ante” Ted?
Sen. Ted Cruz (TP-Texas) has been accused of campaign violations in the conduct of fundraising for his presidential campaign. Texas Democrats claim that Cruz violated federal election law by illegally coordinating with the Super PAC that is promoting his candidacy but which is supposedly – wink, wink, nudge, nudge – completely and totally separate from Cruz’s official campaign juggernaut.
The complaint filed with the Federal Election Commission alleges that Cruz national co-chairman J. Keet Lewis violated federal election laws at an official campaign fundraiser in December by asking Cruz supporters to donate unlimited amounts, as well as to make corporate contributions to the pro-Cruz Stand for Truth PAC (you read that right – “Lyin’ Ted’s” Super PAC is named “Stand for Truth”).
Under federal law, a candidate or agent of a candidate can solicit donors to a PAC. However, it is illegal for them to solicit unlimited contributions or corporate contributions to a Super PAC.
The complaint names Cruz, Lewis, Cruz for President treasurer Bradley Knippa and Stand for Truth Treasurer D. Eric Lycan as respondents. The primary allegations involve remarks Lewis made at the December fundraiser where he told the crowd, “If you hit your max then we have a table for you that is the unlimited table. It can take corporate dollars, it can take partnership dollars, and that’s the Super PAC, Stand for Truth.”
Lewis denies the allegations, but the complaint seems to be just one more in a long line of ethical questions plaguing Cruz’s campaign as it head into the final stretch of primaries over the next month.