Ted Cruz sucks. Like really, really, really sucks. Trump aide Mick Mulvaney even admitted to GOP donors that no one likes Ted Cruz, which is why he’s could easily lose his reelection campaign this fall. Cruz is the picture of a (semi) smart, smarmy person who chooses to be dumb in a bid to win the approval of a group of people he clearly does not respect. His latest gambit certainly crosses an ethical line, as he sent out mailers that ask for donations and look like court summons.
Astute observers have pointed out that the “Presorted STD” label in the top right gives the envelope away as not a real court summons (despite that word being plastered all over it), as those always arrive via first class mail, not bulk. But given the imagery of the entire thing, how many of you would notice that minute detail while the word “summons” is highlighted twice on the envelope and in the first sentence of the paper on the interior? Let's be clear, there is no ambiguity in his pervasive use of that word. Cruz knows exactly what he's doing. “Summons” is defined by the dictionary as “an order to appear before a judge or magistrate.”
This is a dirty trick that is not technically illegal (since it makes clear it's a paid advertisement by Ted Cruz for Senate 2018), but it is clearly designed to bilk confused people out of their money (and it's extremely easy to get confused by the outer envelope). Anyone who receives a “summons” from an elected official will have their heart stop momentarily, and Ted Cruz is banking on them not taking the time to really look this over before writing a check, hoping they won't see it for what it really is: an intentionally deceptive scam to funnel money into his increasingly desperate campaign. Normally this is where I'd say something like “let's hope Cruz can realize his mistake and rectify it,” but we're talking about a senator who phone-banked for a president who claimed his dad killed JFK and said his wife was ugly. Ted Cruz has the spine of a jar of expired mayonnaise.
This isn't even the first time that Ted Cruz has pulled nonsense like this. When running for president in 2016, he sent out this mailer ahead of the Iowa caucus with the names of registered voters on people's streets.
This dirty trick was enough to motivate undecided voter Tom Hinkeldey, a resident of Alta, Iowa to vote for Marco Rubio. Let’s hope that a repeat of Desperate Ted’s dirty tricks has the same effect to help push Beto O’Rourke over the finish line and into Cruz’s senate seat. Apropos of nothing, if you feel like willingly donating to Beto’s campaign, you can do so here.
Jacob Weindling is a staff writer for Paste politics. Follow him on Twitter at @Jakeweindling.