We Have Ways Of Knowing If You Vote, Round Two: Cruz Campaign Cited For Intimidating Mail Campaign

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Ted_Cruz,_official_portrait,_113th_CongressIn November of 2014, I wrote an article describing how a New York based political committee had been accused of sending what many saw as an intimidating letter to party voters who have chosen not to vote in previous elections. Whether this was considered peer pressure, inducing worry, or encouraging others to vote had not diminished the controversy and showed an insight into some of the tactics political parties use to generate more votes to their cause. Letters such as this raise questions as to the ethics of shaming citizens to vote. The right not to vote is considered a lawful option of the electorate.

Now, Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate strongly rebuked the Ted Cruz campaign for performing the same scare tactics to worry or shame voters into turning out for caucus voting in Iowa.

The mailing sent to voters gave them poor grades based upon their voting history. One side of the mailing read, “ELECTION ALERT: VOTER VIOLATION,” “PUBLIC RECORD” and “FURTHER ACTION NEEDED.” The other that had printing in large red letters reading, “VOTING VIOLATION”.

The mailing continued with the following:

“You are receiving this election notice because of low expected voter turnout in your area. Your individual voting history as well as your neighbors’ are public record. Their scores are published below, and many of them will see your score as well. CAUCUS ON MONDAY TO IMPROVE YOUR SCORE and please encourage your neighbors to caucus as well. A follow-up notice may be issued following Monday’s caucuses.”

cruz-voting-violationSecretary Pate in an official statement condemned the practice of sending this mailing,

“Accusing citizens of Iowa of a “voting violation” based on Iowa Caucus participation, or lack thereof, is false representation of an official act. There is no such thing as an election violation related to frequency of voting. Any insinuation or statement to the contrary is wrong and I believe it is not in keeping in the spirit of the Iowa Caucuses.”

Additionally, the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office never ‘grades’ voters. Nor does the Secretary of State maintain records related to Iowa Caucus participation,” Pate said. “Also, the Iowa Secretary of State does not ‘distribute’ voter records. They are available for purchase for political purposes only, under Iowa Code.”

Cruz Campaign Spokeswoman Alice Stewart claimed on behalf of her organization responsibility for the mailing.

Ted Cruz  when questioned by reporters in Sioux City demonstrated his defiance toward the criticism of the mailing.

“I will apologize to no one for using every tool we can to encourage Iowa voters to come out and vote.”

Well folks, there you have it. I believe that Mr. Cruz summed up quite clearly and succinctly what he actually thinks of voters: a mere tool to elevate him to his political ambitions. It speaks loudly of a desperate tool to win since if he believes he likely will come in second otherwise, he has only to gain if such intimidation or shaming stunts such as this actually work.

“Every tool we can”, what other tools do you have Mr. Cruz to get people to come out and vote? How about utilizing the tactics of the Rajneeshees in Oregon in the early 1980’s. Or perhaps send out some goons to “encourage” people to come to the vote?

143px-Voting_United_StatesIf people don’t want to vote, or are unable to for whatever reason, it is their civil right to do so. There is a voter strategy you might not be aware of Mr. Cruz, it is called boycotting. It is used when citizens refuse to vote because they believe the election is a sham, that they have no real choice, or because it is pointless since the system is dominated by one or two political parties that control the political system. How a citizen votes or does not vote is nobody’s business but their own and for you to imply some sort of penalty will be levied against them shows how dishonorable your campaign must really be, and by extension to you sir since you clearly support these tactics.

Not every citizen commands expertise in campaign or voting law, but the Cruz campaign through this act takes advantage of those who are vulnerable. His is a type of disenfranchisement since it could be that flavors of this type of mail campaigning might lead to demanding voters complete their ballots in an approved fashion or else.

Ted Cruz in my opinion portrayed for Iowa voters a worrisome clairvoyance of what we might expect from him in an administrative capacity as president.

Will he stop at just intimidating and shaming the voters, or is the voting process going to be his next expeditionary campaign?

By Darren Smith



The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.

46 thoughts on “We Have Ways Of Knowing If You Vote, Round Two: Cruz Campaign Cited For Intimidating Mail Campaign”

  1. Cruz is hardly the first to do this.

    … MoveOn unveiled a multimillion-dollar campaign to do just that. Between Tuesday and Election Day, the group will send 12 million “voter report cards” (PDF) designed by Oran to residents of presidential battleground states and other states with key Congressional races such as Connecticut and Massachusetts. The report cards grade recipients based on how often they’ve voted in the past, and—here’s the kicker—the cards compare each individual’s grade with the average grade of his or her neighbors.


  2. “In 1988, high school senior Ted Cruz reflected on his life’s ambitions while attending Second Baptist School in Houston, TX. Now, he is a Republican Senator running for the office of the President of the United States of America.”

    Off topic but in the general vein of truth seeking and corruption at the highest levels:

    Gates Foundation accused of ‘dangerously skewing’ aid priorities by promoting ‘corporate globalisation’
    Controversial new report calls for Bill Gates’ philanthropic Foundation to undergo an international investigation

  3. We normal folks always hope we don’t get stuck on an airplane seated next to people who pontificate in long and tedious paragraphs.

  4. We see cracks in the duopoly on a routine basis: Nader, Perrot, Nader again, etc. Attempts are made but are doomed before they start. The problem lies in the privatization of the political process. The first step is to make the political process off limits to private money. Now we have special interests with unlimited funds that buy our representatives. A Parliamentary system would see a guy like Sanders as the head of one of four + parties, in the government, influencing stuff, because he would be there and needed by another party, either to the left or right of the center. A guy like Trump would be there as head of his party representing the malcontents. The US has outgrown its King/President. This is a symbol that no longer functions. Fifty/sixty years ago Great Britain, Canada, and most other countries evolved away from a bipolar two party structure to a multi party system. Basically there are two sides, the conservative and the liberal but they function better in representing the public as more of the public is represented through the fringe parties. As well, private ownership of representation is vastly reduced with government funding of elections.

    A proper democracy is one that produces the closest relationship between an educated and informed public and their representatives. The US system is too convoluted, too bipolar, too much of a circus, and not representative of the people.

    Regardless of the system there will always be a group whose fault it will be. Right now the fault lies in the system. The US must abandon its quasi religious ties with its past and evolve along with the rest of the world. This check and balance mumbo jumbo makes no sense at all when all you end up with are bought and paid for representatives pointing fingers at each other. America came about by way of a revolution. Unfortunately the revolution is dead and America has regressed to the state of affairs against which it originally fought. We have the same royalty with a king as Great Britain naturally evolved away from.

    The proof is in the statements, “It’s all Obama’s fault.”, “No one shames like the liberals.”, etc. you can review them on a regular basis on Turley’s blog.

    1. issac – a Parliamentary system is how Hitler got into power. Is that what we want? Under a Parliamentary system, a Republican would be President right now.

  5. “Good” not goo. Christie is a “fat tub of goo.” There’s some fat shaming for ya’.

  6. Paul is correct, no one shames like liberals. What is stupid about this tactic is that the Cruz persona is he is creepy. This just solidifies this. But hell, there is push polling, walking around money, whisper campaigns, etc. “Politics ain’t beanbag.” In many countries, there is violence, coups, in politics. We are seeing cracks in the duopoly and MSM establishment this election. THAT’S A GOO THING.

  7. I am on three sides of this. 1) I do not like shaming 2) I think it is funny since the liberals have been using it and 3) caucuses should be abolished. They should all be primaries.

  8. This activity of ‘shaming’ people to vote is a result, along with the rest of the circus, of the election process being handled through the private sector. The American public is not given their best and most representative people for whom to vote and when voted into office to represent them. Money from that top 1% choose the candidates, shove them into the public’s face with endless nonsense and none of the important content, and then when in office control them.

    The government should, under a Constitution like design, control the entire process of choosing candidates and presenting them to the public. Activities of the type mentioned above could then be graphically illegal and stopped. Our more evolved peer nations do not have this problem. Their representatives are closer to the public than ours. Their political campaigns are primarily funded by the government, special interests and oligarchs do exist but in no way near approaching the corruption found in the US.

    It is We The People that vote, therefore it should be We The People that run the choosing of our candidates and whether or not they stay in office. The government is best suited to guarantee that this happens properly and that instead of the three ring circus and clowns we get presently, that the real issues are what we get. Imagine the conversations focused on the issues instead of Trump’s hair or dislikes, Cruz’s jabs on Rubio, Rubio’s vacuous remarks on everything, etc. The present system belongs in Las Vegas.

    Perhaps it is the public’s grasp on issues that is the problem, or part of it. Perhaps because of the public’s lack of understanding of what the issues really are is substituted with a desire for a ‘show’. Well that’s what we get now, a ‘show’. There is little difference between our elections and sports events, or the Oscars, or waiting for the next scandal. Some Greek philosopher once said that if, in a democracy, the people don’t vote, then they deserve the fools they get. Taken one step further, if the public does not make informed and intelligent choices then they deserve these idiots. The public will never know what is informed and what is intelligent under the present, privately funded, circus. That’s just the way the 1% want it.

  9. Dieter – How about this. Outsource Wash DC functions by using H-1B visas.
    I’m thinking India. Yeah, let India handle all branches of U.S. government at a reduced cost. It’s called ROI…. Return on investment.

  10. Cruz was not “natural born”. The doctors had to do some surgical procedure to get him out of the womb because he was in there bitching.

    The politicians or political idiots who sent these messages out need to be replied to. Something along the lines of: “We know where you live so shut the itShay up or we will come and dump urdTays in your yard. And if you don’t have a yard cause you live in Queens then we will dump in your elevator.”

  11. Maxwell. I am not a legal scholar hence the following is merely a hunch and it comes from the constitution itself. One requirement to be eligible for the Presidency is “natural born citizen”. One requirement for US Senator or Representative is “US citizen”. Hence the requirement for President with regards to citizenship must be more restrictive than that for US Senator or Representative. The issue then is which of the citizenship “allowances” for US Senator or Representative are “forbidden” for the Presidency?
    Naturalized citizens can become Senator or Representative. I hold that this was for obvious reasons already a non-debatable issue when Washington became President and CiC and has remained so until today. Today naturalized citizens cannot legally become US President period.
    Hence the only “allowance” for US Senator or Representative which can be “forbidden” for the Presidency is “born outside the USA”. Ergo Mr. Cruz is a Senator legally but would be an illegal President if elected.
    Several commentators have suggested that the issue should be submitted to the US Supreme Court. While that might be a “quick fix” it can always be overturned by a later ruling. A much better fix is a Constitutional amendment which in 21st century language spells out the requirements for our Presidency. It should include “born abroad” with specific requirements. The eligibility of naturalized citizens ought to be at least debated honestly.What is our Congress waiting for? A constitutional crunch when a US citizen born abroad is eventually elected?
    PS. The family of the hated King George of Great Britain had been “imported” from Germany. Could that have played a role when the constitution was designed?

  12. Each time I read about how all the politicians push the envelope, I wonder at what point will the people say “stop”? You have the million man march, the pro life march, the BLM march, the woman’s rights march, you even have the illegal aliens marching on Washington. When do you suppose we have a white Americans, black Americans, hispanic Americans, asian Americans, italian Americans, polish American and every other type of American March on Washington to stop the professional politician from abusing thier office?

  13. Is the public competent to elect their own political leaders? As an election judge I have heard several people say, when they look at the ballot, something like, “I don’t know anything about any of the people on this ballot.” That includes voters who have seen a barrage of campaign advertisements slinging mud at opponents and saying things that polls say the public wants to hear – jobs, security, taxes, yada, yada, yada. We still don’t know what kind of a person a candidate is unless we have known him/her personally for an extended time. After all the long hours of hearing from and about Donald Trump, who really knows what kind of decisions he might make as President?

    OK, I don’t have a better system in mind. Just sayin’

  14. Teddy needs some legal advise.

    Donald Trump is actually right about something: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) is not a natural-born citizen and therefore is not eligible to be president or vice president of the United States.

    The Constitution provides that “No person except a natural born Citizen . . . shall be eligible to the Office of President.” The concept of “natural born” comes from common law,
    and it is that law the Supreme Court has said we must turn to for the concept’s definition. On this subject, common law is clear and unambiguous.
    The 18th-century English jurist William Blackstone, the preeminent authority on it, declared natural-born citizens are “such as are born within the dominions of the crown of England,”
    while aliens are “such as are born out of it.” The key to this division is the assumption of allegiance to one’s country of birth. The Americans who drafted the Constitution adopted this principle for the United States.
    James Madison, known as the “father of the Constitution,” stated, “It is an established maxim that birth is a criterion of allegiance. . . . [And] place is the most certain criterion; it is what applies in the United States.”

    Article I of the Constitution grants Congress the power to naturalize an alien — that is, Congress may remove an alien’s legal disabilities, such as not being allowed to vote.
    But Article II of the Constitution expressly adopts the legal status of the natural-born citizen and requires that a president possess that status.
    However we feel about allowing naturalized immigrants to reach for the stars, the Constitution must be amended before one of them can attain the office of president.
    Congress simply does not have the power to convert someone born outside the United States into a natural-born citizen.

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