A legal summons may give most people nightmares, but for senator Ted Cruz, it’s an opportunity to gain financial support. However, people all over Texas are not enjoying his latest fundraising stunt.
The Texas senator has sent hundreds of thousands of envelopes seeking donations that actually look like county summons, with the words “SUMMONS ENCLOSED- OPEN IMMEDIATELY” printed on the front of envelopes. Many on Twitter denounced the move, calling it a shameful strategy on behalf of the incumbent senator, who will face Democrat Beto O’Rourke in November’s midterm elections.
“[It] says it’s a summons from Travis County, but is actually asking for money for Ted Cruz. Did your campaign authorize this? Is this even legal? Shame on you,” wrote an Austin resident on Twitter. Although Texas residents questioned the legality of the mailers, Cruz didn’t break any laws because they include a disclaimer that they’re sponsored.
Some have asked what's inside. It's a quite normal campaign fundraising letter, and this form. Still a "Summons" and asking for a "affirmation" signature, but no mention anymore of Travis County (hmm) and more clearly about campaign donation. pic.twitter.com/tbMdkjGPzi
— Sean Owen (@sean_r_owen) September 16, 2018
All is fair game for the Cruz campaign, which is facing an uphill battle to raise more funds than its Democratic opponent Beto O’Rourke. Cruz has raised $23,365,835, while O’Rourke’s funding is up to $23,332,950. The campaign trail has also been a challenge for Cruz, who is ahead of O’Rourke by three points. The two will face off in three debates before the midterm elections.
As a result, the Cruz campaign has turned to an old strategy. In 2016, his campaign sent mailers that read, “VOTING VIOLATION” during the presidential primaries. “You are receiving this election notice because of low expected voter turnout in your area,” it read.
The Cruz campaign told Newsweek that only a few complaints had been made about the mailers from people who were confused, but said everyone else was clear on the envelopes’ motives. But others think the mailers are deceitful. Austin resident Sean Owen said he filed an official complaint with his county and will most likely not vote for Cruz now.