Ted Cruz has made a habit of using dirty under-handed tactics throughout his campaign, and his is deceptive mailers have now landed the candidate in hot water, with an activist group in Texas filing a formal complaint against him because his “fake checks” violate state law.
Cruz has been sending out mailers that look like official government checks, but in reality they are just a ploy to beg for donations. The “check” is to send $45 to Cruz’s campaign, which will then be matched by other wealthy donors.
These misleading mailers are not new, having begun appearing in mailboxes in New Jersey and Oklahoma just days after the Iowa caucus. Texas however, has recently passed legislation that outlaws “fake checks” of this kind and requires very specific disclaimers to be clearly visible.
The Deceptive Trade Practices Act “requires businesses sending out fake checks to make sure people aren’t tricked into sending money.” In specific, the law requires that the exact words “SPECIMEN-NON-NEGOTIABLE” be printed on the check in at least 18-point lettering.
Cruz could be charged with violating this law with his latest phony check scheme. According to Phillip Martin, deputy director of Progress Texas, the senator needs to be held accountable.
We filed the complaint because no candidate is above the law, not even Ted Cruz.”
The law, House Bill 1265, was written by Houston Democrat Gene Wu, who issued a statement after the complaint against Cruz’s mailer was filed:
This is the kind of mail my legislation was trying to prevent. It certainly breaks the spirit of the law, and I agree that the Texas’ Consumer Protection Division should look into whether or not it breaks the letter of the law, as well.”
So far, the Cruz campaign has defended their tricky checks, insisting that “match-type fundraising mailers are common to both campaign and non-profit solicitations.”
Although the fake checks are the first to solicit a formal complaint, they are not the first of Cruz’s mailers to draw criticism. In the days leading up to the Iowa caucus, the Cruz campaign sent out mailers that, in big red letters, accused recipients of a “VOTING VIOLATION.”
The letter went on to list the names of the recipient and their neighbors in a nifty little chart, and claimed to use public records to grade them on their participation in past elections. Incidentally, the data used to create the turned out to be total bullshit.
These mailers may have been criminal too, because they claimed to be “official public record.” According to Paul Pate, Republican state Secretary of State, criticized the mailers and the campaign, stating “potential false representation is, in fact, a violation of criminal law.”
April has studied political science, psychology, and philosophy. Back in the good old days she was a reporter for “old fashioned” print newspapers. In addition to news and politics, she also blogs about service dogs and disability advocacy. As a black woman with a disability, she is fed up with the right-wingers who would prefer that she and others like her didn’t exist.