Cruz has dropped another round of deceptive mailers, and Texans are reacting angrily on social media.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has apparently decided the best way to help his struggling re-election campaign is to piss Texans off even more, by sending them a deceptive fundraising appeal that looks like an official government "summons."
At first glance, it looks like a jury summons or some other serious government matter. The first line of the return address reads, "Official Travis County Summons."
Inside the envelope, however, recipients find only a fundraising appeal from the Cruz campaign.
One Twitter user angrily posted that the deceptive mailer was sent to his 88-year-old grandmother — and that with this underhanded move, Cruz had merely clinched another vote for his Democratic challenger, Beto O'Rourke.
Received this for my 88-year-old grandma. Says it's a summons from Travis County, but is actually asking for money for @tedcruz . Did your campaign authorize this? Is this even legal? Shame on you. That's one more @BetoORourke voter. pic.twitter.com/NcFoOCvjFj
— Sean Owen (@sean_r_owen) September 16, 2018
This is not the first time that Cruz has employed this shady tactic. During his ill-fated presidential campaign, Cruz deployed mailers that accused Iowa recipients of a "VOTING VIOLATION."
The mailer drew criticism from Republican Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate, who said the piece "misrepresents the role of my office, and worse, misrepresents Iowa election law.”
Cruz refused to apologize, however, and promised he would "continue to use every tool we can" to get elected.
Earlier this year, Cruz made good on that promise by rolling out the "SUMMONS" mailer for his re-election campaign.
According to Politifact, the deceptive mailers do not run afoul of federal election law because Cruz's campaign is conspicuously disclosed in the return address. Politifact took no position on whether the mailer violates state laws.
Legal or not, the most recent round of "summonses" are evidence of the Cruz campaign's mounting desperation in the face of Beto O'Rourke's juggernaut of a challenge campaign.
While O'Rourke raises piles of cash from grassroots donors, Cruz has been reduced to begging Trump to campaign for him — even after Trump infamously called Cruz “Lyin’ Ted,” alleged that Cruz’s father was involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and even mocked the physical appearance of Cruz’s wife, Heidi Cruz.
And while O'Rourke has been campaigning across every county in Texas, Cruz has been forced to reach out to establishment Republicans for rescue.
Thanks to O'Rourke's hustle, the race for Cruz's seat is now rated a "toss-up" — even after nearly two decades of complete Republican control of Texas' two Senate seats.
Tricking voters may be the only tool Cruz feels he has left, but so far he doesn't seem to be fooling Texans.