Ted Cruz Allegedly Used Podcast Revenue to Fund Reelection: Complaint

ted cruz fec complaint

Ted Cruz‘s precarious Senate reelection campaign has hit a new snag, with a watchdog group filing a complaint to the Federal Election Commission over the money the company that produces his podcast has been sending to his super PAC.

The FEC received a complaint filed Tuesday by the Campaign Legal Center about Cruz’s Truth and Courage super PAC (TCP) receiving $630,850.59 from iHeartMedia over the past year. The podcast giant struck a deal with Cruz in October 2022 for Verdict With Ted Cruz and releases three episodes a week of the show where Cruz is a co-host.

The complaint alleges that using the advertising profits from a podcast Cruz works on to fund a super PAC violates federal campaign finance laws that bar the use of candidates soliciting or directing “soft money,” or money from corporations, themselves.

The manner in which the Truth and Courage super PAC has gone about this is by miscategorizing the contributions by iHeartMedia, which itself “has acknowledged that the money is ‘associated with ad sales’ generated by Cruz’s podcast,” according to the complaint.

“For its part, TCP appears to have misreported the money it received from iHeartMedia,” the complaint claims, with the money categorized as “other federal receipts (dividends, interest, etc.)” instead of contributions, which it alleges is in violation of the Federal Election Campaign Act. The complaint seeks an FEC investigation into the super PAC, which is not held to the same restrictions set for normal PACs.

Cruz’s campaign told The Houston Chronicle that Cruz’s thrice-weekly podcast appearances are on a volunteer basis and therefore do not violate federal campaign finance rules.

“Senator Cruz appears on ‘Verdict’ three times a week for free,” the campaign statement said. “He does this to pull back the veil on the corrupt inner workings of Washington — none of which ever get fairly covered. How convenient that the mainstream media and the cogs in the machine of the Biden-Pelosi Democrat Party want this to stop.”


Cruz, who won reelection by a margin of 2.6 points in 2018, faces a sizable challenger in Colin Allred, a former NFL player who has represented Texas’ 32nd congressional district since 2020.

In a Fox News appearance last week, Cruz told Sean Hannity that “the Democrats are coming after me” and that Allred’s campaign is already outraising Beto O’Rourke’s 2018 venture by three times as much. He also appeared indignant and deflective when asked about the iHeartMedia payments during an interview with ABC 13, saying: “It really is sad what’s happening to the media. The media exists right now seemingly to parrot left-wing Democrat attacks.”

Source link: https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/ted-cruz-podcast-revenue-fund-reelection-complaint-1235001578/

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