Skip to comments.Itís True, Ted Cruz May Have Violated Election Law With Super PAC Ads
Posted on 04/07/2016 9:26:00 AM PDT by Red Steel
After Ted Cruzs big win in Wisconsin, Donald Trump immediately went on the offensive, claiming that Cruz illegally coordinated with a super PAC to produce damaging anti-Trump ads. Under FEC rules, candidates are not supposed to directly coordinate with super PACs which are allowed to raise unlimited funds from individuals, companies, and other groups. We did some digging into Trumps claim, and found that he may, in fact, have a case. The rules around what it means to coordinate are murky. LawNewz.com consulted with election law experts who agree that Cruz got himself into some gray area with at least one super PAC ad in which he was featured.
First, some background.
When confronted Wednesday morning on MSNBC about what evidence the Trump campaign had of this so-called illegal coordination, Trumps Senior Campaign Advisor Barry Bennett said: They (super PAC) set up an event paid for by the super PAC, and he (Cruz) comes and gives a speech. Its total coordination they then film it and turn it into commercials.
Okay, so lets break this down. According to a 2011 FEC advisory opinion, Cruz is allowed to show up at super PAC-sponsored events. In fact, according to The Washington Post, the pro-Cruz super PAC Keep The Promise has been effectively serving as an extension of Cruzs official campaign, hosting major rallies for him from South Carolina to Utah. The senator from Texas appears at the events as a special guest.' As we said, that is allowed. Nothing is illegal. In fact, the FEC website says: The Act and Commission regulations state that federal candidates and officeholders may not solicit non-federal funds, but may attend, speak at, or be a featured guest at fundraising events where non-federal funds are being raised.
However, where Cruz entered into some muddy water is the allegation that (the super PAC) then filmed it and turn it into a commercial. Under federal regulations, super PACs cant exclusively videotape interviews with the candidate that they are promoting. For example, Ted Cruz would be barred from scheduling a video shoot with a super PAC for an ad they plan to air in New York. That would be coordinating. So now, the interesting legal question for Cruzs case, can the super PAC use footage and sound from Ted Cruz at one of their events in a campaign ad? Hes allowed to be at the event, but can they film it and then use it as an ad? Does that count as violating the rules? The answer is: we dont know, it could be.
This activity arguably falls into the gray area its unclear how the FEC rules would apply to this political advertising strategy, Paul Ryan with the non-partisan Campaign Legal Center told LawNewz.com. Heres an example of an ad featuring Ted Cruz that appears to be shot at least partially shot at a Keep The Promise super PAC event:
To be clear, election experts we consulted for this story agree that the FEC has not determined whether what Cruz did is legal or not. An official from the FEC told LawNewz.com that this isnt something that Commission has ever addressed. It is definitely a murky area.
Sham (super PAC) events could be used as a way of getting around the coordination rules, Ryan said, noting, though that the FEC guidelines on coordination are very lenient, and woefully inadequate.
Now, its not clear when the footage from the super PAC-sponsored event was shot, or who shot it. Keep The Promise has not returned an email asking for their response to this story. Neither has Ted Cruz. In order to violate coordination rules, there is a three prong test. One of the elements prohibits material involvement of candidate or party or the agents of either in the development or dissemination or the communication.
What used to be a black and white line between the super PAC and the campaign is totally merging into some kind of fuzzy middle. Its got to be stopped, Bennett, Trumps Senior Campaign Advisor said.
In order to find out for sure whether or not Ted Cruz violated the law, the Federal Election Commission would have to issue an opinion. But what can be said, is the super PAC entered into some uncharted waters in a post-Citizens United campaign season, where cash-infused super PACs can heavily influence the election.
My ass he did
Idiot headline = idiot article.
Guess what? It’s also “True” that he “May” have removed that mattress tag.
(Oh, the horror!)
Lawsuit Happy Donald should put up or shut up.
Bo Dollars (@Zagowski) tweeted at 4:45 PM on Wed, Apr 06, 2016:
@mitchellvii I’m a delegate in MI for Trump and just got a call from the Cruz campaign from a blocked number trying to convince me to switch
Bo Dollars (@Zagowski) tweeted at 4:58 PM on Wed, Apr 06, 2016:
@mwirth525 @mitchellvii asked if I’d be supporting Cruz, I said no my district supported Trump and she said you can support Cruz. I said I
Bo Dollars (@Zagowski) tweeted at 4:59 PM on Wed, Apr 06, 2016:
@mwirth525 @mitchellvii had no interest in subverting voters and they went on to say how Cruz is the only one who can yada yada, I hung up
and trump may be wearing green underwear.
That is what that headline is worth.
and it seems Trump always says someone did something illegal when he does not win, doesn’t it?
he is the real narcissist, and may surpass Obama in that category.
one needs to have some type of fortitude and admit reality of getting beaten rather than blame someone else.
Gee, that sounds like Obama, too. Never his fault either.
Like Trumps staff?
Did anyone find out for sure if Trump actually released that “statement” read on Fox Tuesday night??
It’s an utterly absurd law to begin with.
Does that count as violating the rules? The answer is: we dont know, it could be.
LOL. Hardly what was advertised in the headline.
Haha. LMAO...what a stretch of logic. Since when is a speech an interview.
Those look like two completely different things.
And Trump may have violated it as well by colluding with Fox, the biggest Trump Super PAC out there.
Ted Cruz is too principled as a consistent conservative to do such things! Next thing they will say is that he mislead caucus goers that someone they favored was leaving the race, just before the caucus voting! That would never happen!
The dirty little fact is that they ALL do. For you to get indignant about it only reinforces your obvious bias for your candidate. No one is lily white in this. It was designed to be so.
He’ll be Satan himself before the week is over with. Lol. You guys are priceless.
I would be shocked to hear this, shocked.
Ted likes to skate the line. Kind of like it depends on what the meaning of is is
Utterly... Cruz's favorite word...
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.