Even as he rails against what he calls the “Washington cartel,” Ted Cruz uses the tactics of a Boston ward heeler.
This weekend brought news of a mailing to Iowa voters that was marked “Voting Violation.” Inside was a record of the voter’s recent voting participation history, as well as that of neighbors. The voter was advised that the neighbors would be getting a similar notice, including the percentage of times the voter had gone to the polls.
The Cruz campaign defended this tactic, saying that records of a voter participating in an election is public information. Yes, they are, and if my next door neighbor wants to go to City Hall and look up voting records, he can do so. That doesn’t mean, however, that it is not offensive for a stranger to mail that information about me to the neighbor. And this is from a guy who boasts about his fidelity to American values and the Constitution’s safeguards on privacy.
Today there are reports that on the day of the caucuses the Cruz campaign falsely reported that Ben Carson was abandoning his bid for the GOP nomination. One of Cruz’ national campaign chairs, the odious Congressman Steve King tweeted this “news” in the hope that Carson supporters would caucus instead for Cruz.
Now, I know politics ain’t beanbag. And I must admit that I find the smarmy and supercilious Cruz the most loathsome figure on the political scene – quite a statement in a year in which we have a Donald Trump. Cruz revels in being the most hated man in Washington, but a continuation of these campaign tactics are guaranteed to have a growing portion of the electorate share that view.