January 31, 2016

"Accusing citizens of Iowa of a ‘voting violation’ based on Iowa caucus participation, or lack thereof, is false representation of an official act."

"There is no such thing as an election violation related to frequency of voting. Any insinuation or statement to the contrary is wrong and I believe it is not in keeping in the spirit of the Iowa caucuses."

Said Iowa Secretary of State Paul D. Pate, criticizing Ted Cruz's "voting violation" mailer (which I criticized yesterday here).
Mr. Pate added that his office never “grades” voters, nor does it maintain records of caucus participation. He said that the office also did not “distribute” voter records, but they were available “for purchase for political purposes only, under Iowa Code.”...

Speaking to reporters on Saturday evening in Sioux City, Mr. Cruz said he would “apologize to nobody for using every tool we can to encourage Iowa voters to come out and vote.”
Every tool? That, from a man extolled for his way with words.

47 comments:

rhhardin said...

I don't get the outrage. The method may backfire but it's a tool.

Naturally it offends women.

rhhardin said...

I remember an Easco annual report in the 70s (Easco made Craftsman wrenches for Sears, for instance) with a little girl using the wrenches, being shown how by her dad.

This was the vision of the future. Of course her dad was the one showing her.

She seemed happy. It may have been posed and she just went back to the modelling agency.

traditionalguy said...

You'd never expect the Spanish Inquisition, until you empower an "evangelical" that came out of Havanna, Cuba's culture of 500 years use of Spain's Empire governing tools.

Curious George said...

Not "every tool". "...every tool we can to encourage." Then you show torture tools?

I think you need to look up the word encourage. Or have a big bowl of honesty for breakfast.

Ann Althouse said...

I hate mail that causes you to worry that you have a problem. You have to sort through the mail, most of which, if you knew what it was, you'd put directly into the trash. So various tricks are used to bypass that attitude (except for something you actually want to find, like a check or a credit card). And then it can take a second or 2 or 3 to figure out it's junk. In that time, you have twinges of anxiety, anxiety that is worse for people who are not good at reading or who are generally anxious. That's not me, but I feel for people like that. Think of elderly people who are no longer fully lucid or people for whom English is a second language. Think of people who actually do have problems with the law, such as the many people who are free on probation.

Darrell said...

He's a Canadian--doesn't know any better. Cut him some slack.

John said...

Every candidate, or their campaign staff, will make a poor choice from time to time, some will be more damaging than others. The quality of the individual will be shown by how he or she addresses that choice when called out.

stlcdr said...

Shocking. It's like politicians are pillars of moral standing. For one to stoop so low, is really...not very nice.

SayAahh said...

Some pols are tools.

Mark said...

Every tool?

Even a waterboard, like they use in the US part if Cuba? Might be nostalgic for Rafael.

Fabi said...

Is the violin-shaped device a portable stock?

Bob Ellison said...

I suspected dirty opposition tricks until I saw Cruz stupidly defending the mailer.

Fred Rawlings said...

I hate the fact Kentucky has a caucus this year because of Rand. NPR says the campaigns can harass you inside the building while you wait to vote. Don't think I'm going to waste my time for the primary, thus tarring myself as a bad voter. Iowa only has one claim to fame so they are welcome to milk it, but there are more people in Louisville than the number of Iowa caucusers, and a bunch of them are browner than the average Iowan. So how do these caucuses by a bunch of white farmers matter? Methinks it is a pre-trump vestige of media hubris. If Trump loses it will be scorched earth recriminations at Iowans so vivid that they will skulk back to their corn cribs and convert the ethanol output into likker.

Humperdink said...

I recall posting on my FB page, just prior to the 2012 presidential election, that voting day had been moved to the second Tuesday in November. Oh what fun I had with that.

Predictably, my liberal friends were outraged and my conservative friends roared with laughter.

Of course the libs had the last laugh.

sydney said...

Cruz must not understand that the voters attracted to him are the voters who want the government to leave them the hell alone. He just signaled to them that he doesn't believe in that.

Bob Ellison said...

Chris Wallace made it all the way through a ten-minute interview with Ted Cruz on Fox News Sunday just now without asking about MailerGate. That's really weird. It's the most interesting question on Cruz's campaign right now. Maybe the news swell on this thing came too late for them to realize that they had to address it. I doubt that.

SJ said...

@Ann,

why the "torture" picture?

Wouldn't the All-Seeing-Eye be a more appropriate piece of imagery?

After all, the offending piece of mail depends on surveillance and data-mining, not torture.

MaxedOutMama said...

Brass knuckles, drones hovering over your house at 2 AM, gangs of earnest thugs "inviting" you to vote - "Nice yard you have here. Wouldn't want to see some one dig up the dahlias, would we?" Gangs of squeegee guys at stoplights. Ten bucks or we put on the bumper sticker.

It's the tone-deafness and disrespect shown towards the voter that bothers me, and I think Cruz smacked himself in the face with a pie with that response. If you are trying to run as a "true" conservative - whatever the heck that is - surely you shouldn't be using tactics such as this. Approaching potential voters as if they are heedless adolescents is highly unlikely to get those people to vote for you.

Rural people are generally not into what I call the virtuous guilt culture, and neither are evangelicals.

Cruz has been worrying me, because I have a strong unconsciously rooted perception that he is a very intelligent person who can talk himself in circles and immure himself in a vivid world of his own imaginative construction. I do not think that is what we need in the next president. This incident feeds into a negative perception I already had about Cruz.

While Trump is not my cup of tea, I do think he relates better to people than Ted Cruz, and he does so because he treats people with far more basic respect than Cruz is showing here. Between the two of them, I would say Trump's ego is about one-tenth that of Cruz's ego. Can Cruz see past his ego? It may be that he can't.

Bob Ellison said...

This guy Branstad on Fox News Sunday-- is his brain running on ethanol?

He seems slow. And his mustache is badly asymmetrical.

mccullough said...

He'll use every tool available to win an election but voted against the NSA meta data program. So winning a caucus is important but preventing terrorism isn't.

The first question I would ask is whether he thinks the government should be able to sell voter data and why?

Beaumont said...

"That's not me, but I feel for people like that. Think of elderly people who are no longer fully lucid or people for whom English is a second language. Think of people who actually do have problems with the law, such as the many people who are free on probation."

I agree with you. However, these are not the people Cruz is trying to mobilize to action. From my vantage point, Cruz's political personae is that of a malignant Narcissist at a level of severity unusual even in highest national political circles. He is the purest of the pure, a Cheney, Limbaugh, Levin, 'the ends justify the means' brutal conservative and that is the constituency he is attempting to effect and move. This will be viewed favorably by them. He will be perceived by these sorts of conservatives as someone who is ruthless and manipulative enough to do what needs to be done to win, who can handle Putin and Assad, and the Ayatollah. There were enough people in Texas who identify favorably with this sort of political posture to make him their senator and he is banking on that in Iowa as well. Empathy is not his strong suit.

Of course, if he continues after Iowa, there are many many folks across the country who are not as vehemently conservative and they will be turned off. However, grandiosity is a powerful trait in the Narcissist.

MadisonMan said...

Dear Ted Cruz: When you are in a hole, you stop digging.

Crimso said...

"Every tool? That, from a man extolled for his way with words."

Dershowitz seems to think highly of his intellect. Is it possible he was using the word "tool" in the context of a different meaning of the word? Obama sure "used" a lot of "tools."

Paco Wové said...

"Kentucky"

Yeah, well, fuck you and the rest of your inbred moonshine-addled pig-fucking mountain friends, Fred.

Mrs Whatsit said...

It's not outrageous, it's stupid. This flyer is a great way to guarantee that recipients will get out and vote - for somebody else. Nobody likes a bully.

mccullough said...

People keep saying Ted Cruz is so smart. And he keeps doing stupid shit and Trump keeps drinking his milkshake. Cruz was a good appellate lawyer. That's a pretty narrow skill set as we are seeing.

Anglelyne said...

Beaumont: However, these are not the people Cruz is trying to mobilize to action... He is the purest of...'the ends justify the means' brutal conservative and that is the constituency he is attempting to effect and move. This will be viewed favorably by them.

The intersection between these people and Iowans is the null set. I've lived in Iowa. Iowa is the Kingdom of Nice. (That's why they could always immediately spot me as a foreigner. But they were nice about it.)

What our hostess calls "dick moves" will not go over well with Iowans, and this mailing is a dick move.

(In fact, if Trump should win or do well in Iowa, I think it would be wise to re-evaluate the belief that Trump's appeal is mostly his blustering, bullying persona. Iowans are nice, and deplore Not Nice, to a fault.)

Michael K said...

"the voters attracted to him are the voters who want the government to leave them the hell alone. "

I agree and think it was a mistake. How big a mistake we will see Tuesday morning.

Beaumont said...

The intersection between these people and Iowans is the null set. I've lived in Iowa. Iowa is the Kingdom of Nice. (That's why they could always immediately spot me as a foreigner. But they were nice about it.)

Cruz has pitted himself against the traditional Iowan Conservatives, perceiving them as member's of the Washington Cabal and Republican Establishment, even running against their Republican Governor/Ruler Terry Branstad

SayAahh said...

@ Bob Ellison
I am placing my bet that the nation's longest acting Governor is a victim of a progressive neurodegenerative disorder. His head and extremity tremors are significant. Parkinsonism is often confused by naïve observers with alcoholism when in its early manifestation.

knighterrant said...

Not "every tool". "...every tool we can to encourage." Then you show torture tools? ~ Curious George

Torture tools have been used to encourage (coerce) confessions for thousands of years. "Encouragement" isn't always gentle.

The Cracker Emcee said...

Lemmee guess. Pate is a Donk? Regardless, what kind of half-wit buys into the manufactured outrage schtick? If the Internet has done anything, it should have opened everyone's eyes to that tired old ploy.

wendybar said...

stlcdr said...
Shocking. It's like politicians are pillars of moral standing. For one to stoop so low, is really...not very nice


^THIS^

Harold said...

Somewhere in the recesses in the back of my mind are vague memories of Monica Lewinsky's ex-boyfriend's wife doing something like this 8 years or so ago in a caucus state. I'm not going to try and look it up, because unlike Cruz doing it, with widespread media coverage over the tempest in a teapot, back then it was a brilliant campaign strategy. And the articles have probably disappeared down a rathole.

In fact, it may have just been a general Democrat campaign tactic. If I didn't regularly delete my emails, I could probably find some record of similar solicitation from the Democrat party. Because I remember getting such emails.

cubanbob said...

Beaumont said...

You do realize your comment is equally applicable to Obama and Hillary.

Clyde said...

Just as with the "New York values" comment, Cruz isn't going to apologize, because he rightly understands that apologies will be viewed as a sign of weakness. John McCain and Mitt Romney would have apologized. Cruz is determined not to fall into that trap.

Original Mike said...

"...because he rightly understands that apologies will be viewed as a sign of weakness."

Apologizing is not always the wrong answer.

jaed said...

Being unwilling to apologize to the DNC Media Outrage Machine for having said something they don't like is one thing.

Being unwilling to apologize to the voters for having used skeevy tactics to bully them is something else again. Disrespect to the voting public is... I am tempted to say it is the issue in this campaign. It's certainly the major issue that's caused support for Trump to go as high as it has. Doing anything that shows contempt for the people you are asking to vote for you is unwise in any campaign, but in this one it strikes me as suicidal.

(Contemptuous, that's the word I've been looking for when thinking about this incident. In some ways it's not a big deal, but it is utterly contemptuous.)

Fabi said...

What jaed said! If Cruz doesn't understand the most fundamental issue of this election -- respecting the voter -- then I'm deeply disappointed. We'll know more in 30 hours, but I have a very bad feeling for my preferred candidate.

walter said...

I believe this is an adaptation of a technique employed by Obamites in '08. Although, they did it in person at the door...and would return at a later date to make sure they were on board.
Creepy then?

sydney said...

It isn't creepy to Democrats because they believe government should be intricately woven into your life.

Original Mike said...

"It isn't creepy to Democrats because they believe government should be intricately woven into your life."

There are people of both political persuasions who have no compunction about inserting themselves into your life, and feel righteous for doing so. I thought Cruz was a refuge. That's why this is so disappointing.

mikeyes said...

The New Yorker has an article on line about the use of motivational mailings that gives the history of the use and success of the technique. Marco Rubio sent out a mailing which stated that " seven of your neighbors are going to vote, are you?" This seems to be the type of mailings from the past. The difference appears to be that the Cruz campaign mailing implied that this was a reflection of the official record from the state and it named names to you and your neighbors. The Sec of State in Iowa made a specific reference to how misleading this mailing was (and remember, Rubio did a similar but not as bold a mailing) and stated categorically that there was no such thing as "grades" in the list that the Cruz campaign (and everyone else) bought.
The main difference and the deal breaker, perhaps, is the mention of the names of neighbors and the "grades" which seemed arbitrary and possibly did not reflect actual voting habits. The Rubio mailing only mentioned the name of the addressee without being condemning as the Cruz one was.

Original Mike said...

"The main difference and the deal breaker, perhaps, is the mention of the names of neighbors ..."

This. Having received two of these in the past, the listing of the voting records of your neighbors, by name, is beyond creepy.

BrianE said...

Sounds like Ms. Althouse needs to get some extra fainting couches out of storage.



tim in vermont said...

Ted Cruz's emails creep me out; "Please stop what you are doing right now."

Fuck you Ted.

Mac McConnell said...

Iowa's last Sec of State said this "report card" was not unusual in the past. Even non-political orgs have used it to get out the vote. Even states have used it to get out the vote, especially in states that remove voters from the rolls if a voter doesn't vote in two statewide election cycles. I have no idea what the laws are now in Missouri, but when I was in college in the 70s that was the law.