By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
In 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.”
Secretary 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?
If 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”
So Ted is using shaming and intimidation? No surprise here. Aren’t these the basic motivational tools of his religion? Of all Fundamentalist religions?
The majority of Americans can read and count. If the majority of Americans were presented with objective illustrations of the issues, they would be more than capable of understanding the differences, causes and effects, and in last place ideological bent. We have the vehicles today, internet, several objective news papers, and an overall ability to communicate almost immediately. Yet the system still remains more like a dog and pony show of two hundred years ago than a democracy in a modern Western nation. The essence of today’s decision making is based on who changed their mind, who is a socialist, who made a mistake and tried to weasel out of it, etc. The fact of the matter is that everyone is guilty of all of the above.
The reason is simple, money. The golden rule is, ‘Who has the gold, makes the rules’. This is the society in which we live. A couple plus centuries ago a bunch of guys tried to change that. America was the first modern nation that attempted to elect its leaders based on their merits. Almost all of the great words that have come down to us illustrating this great effort come from the politicians at the time of the revolution or shortly after. The only other times were when the country was almost torn in two or under attack. Greatness was absent in our leadership during 9/11 but not in the everyday American. Greatness is possible but only through intelligent and informed participation by the voters. The greatness that is missing today is more than evident in the circus that is the political system. It could be an election, a Super Bowl, a game show, or any other form of base entertainment. It is certainly not the electing of the best. The perfect example of our sorry state of affairs is someone like Trump, spending his billions, to target malcontents who have little to no understanding of why they are unhappy, and procuring almost enough attention to be nominated. Step back, look at the show, and then ask yourself if this is working the way it should, was intended, or in our best interests.
The problem is almost entirely the fault of private money being the engine of the system. The next problem is that the US system of government has failed to evolve with the times and conditions. America no longer needs a king. America needs a vehicle that will invite its citizens into the procedure. For this to happen it is necessary to eliminate private funding, develop a minimum of four parties, and reduce the position of the Presidency to that of simply the leader of the party in power or better still an independent in the style of a chairman of the board. For this to happen the first step must be for the government to be the only instrument in electing our representatives. The means exist to determine who are the options, what are their positions, and issues, to allow voters to imagine what this country would be like if indeed this or that candidate were to be elected. If the means exist why then do we not see the demands for intelligent and informative illustrations of the issues. Without the demands there will be no participation. The first step is to establish a model of an independent and objective government department that can create, monitor, and fine tune a proper democratic system of elections, something we are sorely in need of.
Most of the remarks posted on this blog focus on protecting the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and other guarantees of our cherished rights and freedoms. Whatever damage that has been done thus far has been done due to our perverted system and our complacency or ability to have been bought off for the price of entertainment. We have, in effect, an oligarchy. The oligarchs, along with their bought and paid for lackeys are the ones who pervert the sacred texts of this nation. If they are so sacred how have we arrived at a condition of allowing them to be represented in this manner?
Only people who pay federal taxes should be allowed to vote. Corporations should also have a say since they are forced to pay taxes.
When The Tedster worked for Justice Rheinquist at the Supreme Court he was on a mission. Whenever there was a death penalty case he would get all fired up and rant and rave about killing the perp and did so in no uncertain terms. He is a killer. If made Commander In Chief we will be at war so that he can fulfill his blood lust. The Holocaust is coming. He hates certain religious groups and we will have Buchenwald on stilts. If you liked Adolph then you will love Tedster. Coming to a theatre near you. By the way, Iowa is where the tall corn grows.
Tall corn grows almost everywhere.
NC Democrats sent me a letter just like this during last presidential election. It is appalling the lengths to which these cretins of both parties will go. It’s why I haven’t voted for either party in 20 years.
L’Observer I went to the link and it appears you’re being a little sarcastic in saying I’m the trusted correspondent. As usual no one actually watches the videos I post . Also I never said he was born in Kenya. He might have been born in Indonesia or Connecticut since he’s used a Connecticut Social Security number that failed E-Verify. But I digress….if you’re convinced that it’s only bone head ‘conspiracy theorists’ who fantasize that the birth certificate is fake without you actually considering the mountain of evidence .. well, there’s no hope for you. 🙂 As Obama himself loves to say, “You’re on the wrong side of history.”
Someone stole Pee Wee Cruz’s bicycle?
Time to ask Paul C the Palin Question….which British papers do you read?
Why he does better than Sarah! He actually does read one. The Daily Mail. I understand the Kardashians never miss an issue. Others use it for toilet tissue.
L’Observer – I do read the DM, the Guardian and the Times.
You could believe our most trustworthy correspondent……Hildegard!
Karen is very mistaken. A publisher’s pr pamphlet wrote that he was born in Kenya. The author has said it was an error and Obama was never consulted on the bio.
Now Karen should go find the book and passage that Obama authored that says he was born in Kenya.
L’Observer – BS is BS. You are always given approval on your bio. Usually you write it. Obama’s publisher is covering for him. Grow up and smell the roses.
If Obama was born in Hawaii, why the fabricated ‘document’ offered on Whitehouse.gov that MANY experts, including Reed Hayes who submitted a 40 page affidavit to that effect, have reported on? Many here are only half getting it.
There are so many links and videos I could post here to prove the point but seriously; you people need to catch up. This Is OLD news. Can we move on to something real?
Maxwell – natural born citizen means that someone is born meeting the requirements to be a citizen of the US.
For instance, children of US ambassadors and military personnel born abroad are born US citizens. Otherwise, you could not get them to serve overseas if they were building a family.
This was discussed in detail regarding Obama’s election. Even if the allegations about being born in Kenya (as he allegedly claimed in his book in order to get foreign exchange student status to Harvard) were true, his mother was a citizen and thus so was he. I do not believe Obama was born in Kenya. He appears to have altered his account of his history in order to use it to best advantage, but he was born in Hawaii. He claimed to have been a foreign exchange student in several instances, both his book and his college days, which may explain how someone with admittedly poor grades got into Harvard, a shark tank of academic competition. Then he reverted to the truth about his birthplace when he got into politics. He also claimed to be a Muslim when in Indonesia, which was most advantageous, and then reverted to Christianity here, which was most advantageous politically. He’s a bit of a chameleon.
Dems and Rep BOTH use this horsesh!t shaming tactic. So, you duopoly lemmings, STFU about the “other side” using these tactics. They BOTH do and it’s wrong when BOTH do it.
The carrot is more appropriate than the stick.
I recall listening to a marketing expert talk on the radio about telemarketing. He said it’s crucial that you not only get brand recognition, but that such recognition is positive. If you telemarked to people constantly, oh, they’ll remember you alright. They’ll remember to never, ever buy your product and probably spit on it as they walk past.
Cruz, et al, take this lesson to heart.
That is why the process cannot be left to the free enterprise system. The Constitution, Supreme Court, and the rest of the sacred foundations of America are tampered with indirectly and sometimes seemingly directly but remain the property of the people. The election process somehow has become perverted to a point that negates a substantial portion of what Americans hold dear. Trump talks to idiots like they were idiots and they remain idiots. The same is so with the rest of them. How refreshing to hear politicians in other countries express their views on the issues without the circus. The primaries are ludicrous: popcorn, peanuts, root beer, get your programs, ya can’t tell the players without a program.
issacbasonkavichi – Agreed, locating an “informed voter” is like searching for a nearly extinct creature. The so-called Main Stream Media (aka Lame Stream) are owned by a number, less than 10!, of corporations who are not really on the side of the middle class. These media entities have been “captured” by the 1%.
Would be great if thee mighty internet and social media could bridge the gap between disinformation and what’s really important to people who work for a living. One of the most read news blogs today, The Huffington Post, has only been online for about ten years. We are going through a molasses-slow change of information sources and formats. Can’t be fast enough for me and many others. Millennials, help us march forward! Onward! –Greg
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I fully acknowledge that my “individual voting history as well as [my] neighbors’” may indeed be “public record”.
But, if ANY candidate sent a letter like this, with my name next to an ‘F’, to ANYONE, it would very well fit the definitions of fraud and willful misrepresentation, harassment, stalking, and/or liable/slander. I guarantee a politician employing such a technique would not get to see themselves elected.
Ted Cruz appears to me to have the air of an unscrupulous used-car salesman. He is not qualified to be POTUS for any and all reasons. He is not even qualified to lick my shower curtain. And, no problem, Ted; I won’t apologize to you, either.
ExpatNJ – Is he grading on a curve? What is a passing grade? If I got this, I would vote for whomever was running against him/her/it.
You reinforced something I mentioned, although inadvertently, “A proper democracy is one that produces the closest relationship between an educated and informed public and their representatives.” The objective is to find an educated and informed public. Your comments, along with those of some others, consistently illustrate that ingredient to be wanting.
issac – I am pretty well informed and since I read the British papers, better informed than most Americans.
Only a fool could compare what MoveOn used with Cruz. He stated that the voter committed a VIOLATION in not voting or caucusing, while MoveOn simply gave it as a report card and compared it to their class in the neighborhood. It is the difference between a cop arresting you and your teacher giving you a failing grade in class. Too bad there are some folks who are so partisan and stupid to understand simple things. Cruz mentioned the NAMES of each person who did not vote and showed that BIG BROTHER WATCHING YOU! ANY person who supports this kind of thing should be viewed as a real Nazi or totalitarian. We all can now see just what kind of people there folks are.
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