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.