This Was Ted Cruz's Sneakiest Attempt Yet To Try & Gain Voters
There is outrageous news in the world of Ted Cruz: on Saturday, Iowa's secretary of state hammered the Cruz campaign with criticism for sending out a mailer to potential Cruz voters disguised as an official document. This "official" document suggested these voters had a legal obligation to attend the caucuses on Feb. 1, or risk ruining their individual and neighborhood voting reputations. At the top of the document is written, "Recipient Copy. Official Public Record," in red print, which is clearly intended to alarm voters. Instead, the mailer had the opposite effect: Ted Cruz looks ridiculous in mailing false information coercing voters into voting for him.
In typical Cruz fashion, of course, he was unapologetic for his attempt to pressure voters into action. He defended his campaign's decision on Saturday, stating, "I will apologize to no one for using every tool we can to encourage Iowa voters to come out and vote."
Iowa Secretary of State, Paul Pate, felt quite differently, claiming that the act is a misrepresentation of Iowa voting law:
Today I was shown a piece of literature from the Cruz for President campaign that misrepresents the role of my office, and worse, misrepresents Iowa election law.
Pate continued, stating that "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." For the record, he noted:
Also, the Iowa Secretary of State does not "distribute" voter records. They are available for purchase for political purposes only, under Iowa Code.
Actions of this nature, which can arguably threaten clarity, are discouraged in most states. Colorado, for instance, even with its relatively loose election law allowing any person to collect up to ten ballots, strictly prohibits political campaign operatives from handling any ballots beyond that number. Iowa, on the other hand, is one of the 15 states — including Colorado — that openly allows policies such as same-day voter registration, which is possibly a contributing factor to the Cruz campaign's decision to mail this document to Iowans. Election law varies state-to-state, and the Cruz campaign's apparent understanding of Iowa's election law allows them to scrape by for this coercive document unpenalized, at least as far as legality goes.
As far as Cruz's reputation is concerned among Iowans? Well, that remains unknown until Monday's caucus results. Could this incident reveal a willingness, on Cruz's part, to undermine the American political system for his own professional goals — or is Cruz simply an ambitious politician using any means to reach the White House? Iowans may have their minds made up after this one.