Fresh off his victory in Iowa, Ted Cruz is intensifying his anti-Washington rhetoric, even as his campaign barrels forward fueled by large amounts of cash from the people he claims to stand against. In an email to grassroots supporters sent Tuesday afternoon, Cruz begged recipients to hurry up and send cash to help him fight “the Washington cartel,” and he claimed falsely that “I will never get—nor do I want—money from the D.C. lobbyists or the special interest billionaires.”
Not only is this not true; it’s easy to prove, since Cruz has a well-documented history of bagging money from lobbyists and special-interest billionaires.
For example, during his 2012 run for the Senate, Cruz accepted $125,450 in donations from 92 registered lobbyists (and $21,500 from their family members). We know this because the lobbyists are required to report their donations to political candidates. (A full list of lobbyists donating to Cruz’s Senate campaign can be found at OpenSecrets.org, where I used to work.)
Some of the lobbyists Cruz took money from include Eric Ueland and Daniel Meyer of Goldman Sachs (a combined $3,000); C. Boyden Gray ($2,500), whose past clients include Exelon and FirstEnergy; five reps from Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway ($13,750); and Jennifer Gray-Bonnar of Koch Industries ($1,250).
Cruz’s presidential campaign has also received money from lobbyists. For example, on November 24, Cruz’s campaign picked up $1,000 from former Georgia Republican Rep. Jack Kingston who is now a principal at mega-lobbying firm Squire Patton Boggs.
Cruz also was speaking falsely when he claimed his presidential campaign takes no money from special-interest billionaires. On November 18, his campaign banked the maximum donation of $2,700 from Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and another $2,700 from this billionaire’s wife, Miriam. Two of the Adelson’s children (and their spouses) each gave the maximum to Cruz’s campaign, bringing the Adelson clan’s grand total to $16,200. Another billionaire with special interests who shelled out cash to keep Cruz’s “grassroots” campaign going has been Adelson’s Las Vegas rival Steve Wynn. He and his wife each donated $2,700 for Cruz’s primary bid. By the way, Cruz’s super-PAC has received multimillion-dollar contributions from several billionaires, including Robert Mercer, a hedge fund titan who’s had trouble with federal regulators.
The Cruz campaign did not respond to requests for comment.
The full text of Cruz’s dubious fundraising plea is here.