Signature Significance From The Ted Cruz Campaign: No Trustworthy Candidate Would Allow This Mailer

ted-cruz-shaming-campaign-3

I really hate fake mailers, because they are lies. Whether it is a fake census letter to hit me up for a Republican Party contribution, a fake IRS warning to make me read a tax service, a false notification of a prize I didn’t win to sell me soap, or a phony hand-addressed envelope from a “friend” to get me to check out a website, these are inherently dishonest devices dreamed up with the assistance of soulless direct marketing hacks, who from my personal experience are ethics-free sociopaths who luckily—for the rest of us— ended up in a relatively non-violent field. I don’t buy soap from companies that try to hook me with lies; I don’t give money to causes that trick me into opening their solicitations, and I definitely don’t support presidential candidates who use lies and intimidation techniques to get me to vote for them. Presidential candidates like…Ted Cruz.

His campaign in Iowa has admitted sending out mailers like the one above. a large card printed to look like a manila envelope on one side and  labeled in all capital letters, “ELECTION ALERT,” “VOTER VIOLATION,” “PUBLIC RECORD,” and “FURTHER ACTION NEEDED.” On the other side, the mailer says in red letters at the top, “VOTING VIOLATION.” The text, in case you can’t make it out in the photo, reads:

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.

You know what a candidate who sends this kind of mailer is? He is a dishonest, manipulating, principle-free candidate who will say or do anything to win, and who believes that the ends justify the means. No other kind of candidate will send such a mailer, or would fail to fire any staffer who even suggests using such a deceptive device. Most important of all, a candidate who will lie to get elected will lie after he is elected. A candidate who will abuse people to get their support, will abuse them  when he has power, if it suits his ends.

Asked about the mailer, Cruz spokesman Rick Tyler said that the mailer was indeed from the campaign, but its targeting had been “very narrow”—-lying is okay if it’s targeted, you see–“but the caucuses are important and we want people who haven’t voted before to vote.”

Got it. Cruz lied because he thought it would work.

There is no recovery from this. Apologies don’t mean anything: Cruz is in his forties, and if his ethics alarms don’t sound when someone says, “Hey, what about tricking people into opening a mailer that bullies them into voting for you?,” I really don’t care if he’s sorry after it blows up in his face.

This is signature significance for a dishonest, untrustworthy man, unworthy of high office.

31 thoughts on “Signature Significance From The Ted Cruz Campaign: No Trustworthy Candidate Would Allow This Mailer

  1. Update: Here’s Cruz’s statement about the mailer: “I will apologize to nobody for using every tool we can to encourage Iowans come it and vote.”

    Threats, lies, deception, intimidation: these are just tools. Thanks for the clarification, creep.

    • Huh. Where does every tool end then? Threatening them with a gun to their child’s head? Threatening to stop their tax return because their neighbors didn’t vote?

      Amazing. He has managed somehow to narrow his creep-o-meter with Clinton and Trump. That is NOT a change to be proud of. As much as non-voters annoy me, it can be a statement of no confidence in the slates. (wish none of the above was an option) The more annoying thing for me is that my state is later in the parade and the leaders have already clinched the nomination before my primary. Makes voting in primary pointless.

      • This is signature significance for a dishonest, untrustworthy man,
        You forgot stupid. The most likely result would be to think at first that those were names of real people, followed by a dawning anger that anyone might dare put MY name out to shame me in public. Or try to tell me I have to go vote or go to jail. You just lost any chance of having my vote. T’aint funny, Cruz.

    • I never liked Cruz anyway; this is just additional nonsense that confirmations my opinion of him.

      He reminds me of one of those hollow chocolate Easter bunnies; an empty shell with nothing usable inside.

    • It’s the Saint’s Excuse or “It’s for a good cause”.

      Sort of like when someone says “If it is a sin to yadda-yadda-yadda…then I’m proud to be a sinner”

      Where “yadda-yadda-yadda” happens to be a euphemistic rephrase of something that is actually unethical conduct.

  2. Althouse got a similar one years ago from (I think) the Hillary Clinton campaign that she blogged about. It was disgusting then and it’s still disgusting, but it must work to some extent or campaigns would quit using it.

    There are no candidates, who have a chance to win at this point in the race, who have avoided being unethical. I’m going to have to make a list for each candidate listing their ethics breakdowns vs what I think I can trust about them. It won’t be pretty.

    • I hope you are willing to post your lists. I am having a difficult time, especially when trying to figure out “what I think I can trust about them”.

  3. The word “caucus” is not that well known. About ten years ago I saw the results of a questionnaire – a filler piece in a local paper – put out by a poli-sci class in, I think, Sacramento, asking people to connect the words related to politics with their definitions. There was one “extra” word without a definition to match. I don’t recall what turned up at the top of the list of words that people (interviewed on campus and on the street) could connect with the activities of elections or government, but “caucus” turned up at the bottom, most frequently as the leftover. One person wrote next to it that it wasn’t a word at all.

    But it was a word, it was. In fact, it was a big word for a child of seven. As useful Wiki now reminds me (accurately, when idiots haven’t been messing with it), of a book that was published way back when the first American Civil War was drawing to a close, and the U.S. pretty much ignored Victoria as she prepared to add the Dominion of Canada to the jewels in her crown: This is how Lewis Carroll mocked the futility of UK caucuses of the day in “Chapter 3 of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: “[W]hen the “Caucus-race” of running in a circle stops, everyone is declared a winner by the Dodo and Alice is told to hand out prizes to all others, receiving her own thimble as her prize.”

    This is the caucus Cruz deserves.

    Please note that no disparagement is intended of the caucuses of the Here-and-Now, and no dodos were harmed in the writing of this comment.

  4. I have one email account that get pretty much everything, such as announcements my school, various shopper rewards things extra. Importantly, some of those school announcements are emergency alerts.

    Three days after the Paris bombings, K-Mart thought it was appropriate to send an email titled “This is not a drill!”

    I wrote them exactly what I though of their coupons…

    • That would be an appropriate caption if the coupon were referring to a fuzzy picture of an Intraoperative NIM nerve monitor, though.

  5. Actually, this isn’t just Cruz. This may, sadly, be the future of politics. I heard an interview not long after the 2012 election, of, I believe, the main data analyst for the Obama campaign. He talked about the rising supremacy of using the same sort of mass data analysis tools as mass marketers, and then began to discuss, in disturbingly blase terms, the growing capability to identify the patterns of particular voters. The goal, he said, was not to get first-time voters but to identify voters who were statistically likely to vote Democrat and get them out to the polls by hook or by crook. He segued from that into something very similar to this episode, talking about sending mailers to the individuals identified showing their and their neighbors’ voting records. The mailers said they would then send another round of these mailers after the election, an implicit threat based on the idea of publicly shaming non-voters.

    The problem is that when you’re as focused on mass data analysis as modern campaigns are, people become statistics. It’s not so much that they’re sociopaths as far as not caring about people, they just don’t see the numbers on their screens as people because they’re so far removed. Same way, a few years ago, Target told a teenage girl’s family that she was pregnant.

  6. In Connecticut, voter attendance data is public, including party affiliation and which elections one attended (the vote itself is of course secret and nearly untraceable in most cases). There is one individual that posts this data online as soon as each year’s rolls are released.

    Even so, caucuses are private events, and would not not “improve” one’s election ‘attendance rate’, unless the party itself is releasing the attendance data, and the Cruz campaign were mixing it into its calculated voter rate.

    Even then, there is no obligation to attend any vote or caucus. It is a civic duty to be informed and vote, but not a crime to skip. Skipping the vote is almost as important a right as suffrage itself.

      • Yes. In the CNN version of the story, the Iowa officials said as much, and basically said his pants were on fire. But for Cruz, that’s just a few more people in the government who think he’s full of it.

  7. This is crushing (of trust), this action by the Cruz campaign.
    But not unexpected.
    It seems voters are being programmed to think, “If it is not the worst thing, and it probably isn’t, then more power to [him/her]!”

    • I see that Cruz “won” in Iowa. I wonder how many people truly were affected by that get-out-the-vote fraud, who turned out to the caucuses when otherwise, without the mailer, they would not have turned out.

      Well, Cruz will get thumped in New Hampshire, at least. Even if it isn’t by anyone any better than him.

      • Most people don’t live on the internet, and the Cruz campaign said that the mailer went out to limited voters. The fact that he won despite a terrible debate performance and that fiasco is significant because it shows that Trump’s support is narrow and shallow.

        Rubio was the winner last night.

        • Jack said, “Rubio was the winner last night.”

          Agreed.

          It was nice to see Trump get knocked down a notch but Cruz being the one that knocked him off his pedestal will give that hollow shell Cruz a bigger inflated head than he already has.

          I’d really like to see the intelligent voters of New Hampshire flatten both Trump and Cruz with a Rubio inspired steam roller.

        • I do agree that Rubio is most justified of all the candidates in feeling that the results benefited his campaign’s buoyancy more than any rival’s. But I am still tempted to hold my breath through the NH and SC primaries, out of dread that Trump’s support is not much narrower and shallower in those states than I correctly estimated it would be in Iowa. Cruz won on a 1-2 punch: anti-amnesty (painted against Rubio), and pro-Christian (which neither Trump nor Rubio could surpass Cruz’s attraction with). That won’t work outside Iowa. It might work again in Texas.

          I wonder whether the Cruz mailer will become useful to Trump and Rubio to campaign against him. I’m guessing it won’t. If it won’t, then I’ll probably become even less trusting of both Trump and Rubio. That’s just how my head is working in this case – to judge their silence as condoning. That thought process follows my distrust of Sanders increasing (when I thought I could not possibly trust him less already), when he blew off all the attention being given to Hillary’s e-mails.

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