January 30, 2016

The Ted Cruz campaign sends out a mailer that's creepier than something I called "incredibly creepy mail" and maybe "the most disgusting thing I have ever received in the mail."

This post of mine — "We're sending this mailing to you and your neighbors to publicize who does and does not vote" — is the most-read post in the entire archive of this blog.

Back in 2012, an outfit called the Greater Wisconsin Political Fund sent me a mailer informing me that "Who votes is public record" and listing my name along with the names of many of my neighbors, noting whether we'd voted in the last 2 elections. At the time, I said:
Your vote is private, you have a right not to vote, and anyone who tries to shame and harass you about it is violating your privacy, and the assumption that I will become active in shaming and pressuring my neighbors is repugnant.

Not voting is a valid choice. If you don't have a preference in the election, don't vote. If you think no one deserves your vote, don't vote.
Now, some voters in Iowa have received mailers from the Cruz campaign that's similar and worse. It has a scary heading "Voting violation" and it shames voters by assigning them a letter grade (such as F for voting 55% of the time). 
Cruz spokesman Rick Tyler confirmed to IJ Review that the mailer was theirs in a phone call Friday evening, saying that the targeting had been “very narrow, but the caucuses are important and we want people who haven’t voted before to vote.”
Terrible. Atrocious judgment. 

68 comments:

madAsHell said...

You have to forgive him. He's a Canuck!

David said...

"Terrible. Atrocious judgment."

But he's so smart. Supreme Court clerk and all that.

Bay Area Guy said...

Yup, terrible atrocious judgment. I would second that emotion.

Tank said...

And ... H'es done.

Bad move.

Bad.

Fabi said...

It boggles the mind. A truly awful tactic at a very crucial moment for his candidacy.

David said...

It sounds like something Trump would do. Except he doesn't. And wouldn't.

Ru-b-io!

eric said...

This was not a smart move by Cruz. Really bad judgement by his campaign. Ugh.

I still prefer Ted Cruz, but, this was hands down a really duumb thing to do.

I wonder if this means, along with Rubio, Cruz has lost Althouse?

The Bergall said...

Pretty crude but this kind of campaign opposition mailer has been done before - notable by Democrats. His staff paid some 3rd party firm to do this..........

As an aside recall when a New York newspaper dug up all the registered gun licenses and produced an interactive map?

Same crap......

Fabi said...

"You're too lazy to vote and a terrible American -- you get an F!

p.s.: don't forget to caucus for Cruz on Monday!"

traditionalguy said...

The Big Ted Cruz is watching you. You get an F in attendance at the True Christian Cult too, because Glen Beck told us so.

These brain dead idiots have actually revoked The Edict of Toleration all over again. There will be blood on the cornstalks in Iowa soon.

Chuck said...

Can't argue with you, Professor Althouse.

Now, I am not as judgmental as you might be. Public information is public information. But yes, it is creepy and un-neighborly and all of the things that we Midwesterners aren't.

However the United States of America is in your debt, Ann Althouse, as one of the bloggers who has done the most in exposing the tactic from back when AFSCME (it was AFSCME, wasn't it?) was using this tactic in your Regent Street neighborhood to turn out anti-Walker voters.

I am disappointed to see any Republican employ the tactic. And since Iowa is a "caucus," and not a traditional, pure secret ballot, using voting information from general elections seems to be particularly foul play.

One thing I am curious about is whether an extra-big turnout actually helps Cruz. Is that the idea here? Or is the Cruz turnout effort more targeted?

mtrobertslaw said...

Who's this "spokesman", Rick Tyler? Is he legit?

It's hard to believe that Cruz knew about this. But if he did, it was a real lapse in judgment.

coupe said...

It's un-American. It's like that person wasn't even born here.

Lydia said...

Rick Tyler is the national spokesman for the Cruz campaign. He once worked for Newt Gingrich, and ... oh, my, "legitimate rape" Todd Akin.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

This plays onto Cruz's weakness i think. I find him to be kinda creepy, smarmy and insincere. He's my second choice (behind Paul - pfft for what that's worth) but I have a hard time accepting him on an emotional level.

YoungHegelian said...

"Vote for me, you stupid fuckers!"

Ya gotta admit, as messaging goes, it's at least direct & to the point.

mikeyes said...

According to one source, this was an attempt to shame voters into attending the caucuses. Apparently there have been studies going back to 2006 that show shame is a strong motivator to encourage people to get out and vote. I guess the geniuses at the Cruz Campaign felt that this would boost his chances to win Iowa so they doubled down. While it may have worked in Michigan as a stealth method of GOTV, I guess they didn't realize that everything is scrutinized through a filter these days and put on the Internet. The creep factor, already a problem for Senator Cruz (he is a Munster family member doppelgänger) has just been doubled.

sydney said...

And that is the end of Cruz.

Phil 3:14 said...

I was going to write "they did it first!" as a joke, but it looks like someone beat me to it...

but not as a joke.

Saint Croix said...

Is he cracking under the stress? Already?

chickelit said...

I caution other Trump-jocks to be gracious about this -- we may need their supporters come fall.

Karen of Texas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MadisonMan said...

I'm surprised the breast one was beaten out by the creepy creepy mailing one.

How many hits did the creepy mailing post get anyway? (It's gotten a couple more now).

Why would Cruz do this? Ugly, ugly, ugly.

cubanbob said...

I support Cruz but this was dumb, dumb, dumb. If Cruz's campaign keeps this up I'll change my mind for my primary vote.

grimson said...

Not a good idea, but it bothers me a lot less than all the personal and business information flowing into commercial and government computers for future exploitation--the proposed EEOC rule on reporting sex, race, and pay is the latest government example.

SJ said...

[puts on conspiracy theory hat]
Just as a question:

How do we know that this wasn't a trick pulled by another campaign, pretending to be the Cruz campaign?

[/conspiracy hat off]

There are enough off-the-wall things happening in this campaign to cause me to mistrust most things I read in the news.

Theranter said...

https://mobile.twitter.com/HawkinsUSA/status/693306640901234689?s=17 Is reporting MoveOn (including a picture of the 2012 mailer) did a similar thing for Obama, although as they state in their tweet "it wasn't as dickish" as Cruz's.

mikee said...

Well, the Hillary campaign is promoting Hillary Clinton as a candidate for president. Compared to this Cruz campaign flier, I'd say the Hillary campaign has a lot more reason to regret what they're doing.

Che Dolf said...

And that is the end of Cruz.

PBandJ_LeDouanier said...

"Your vote is private, you have a right not to vote, and anyone who tries to shame and harass you about it is violating your privacy, and the assumption that I will become active in shaming and pressuring my neighbors is repugnant."

1) Obviously, the record of your vote is not private.

2) Sometimes your vote isn't private either, e.g. the Ds in Iowa need to, literally, stand in a particular location so all can see which candidate has their support.

3) The whole point of all GOTV tactics seems to be some version of shaming or harassing people to vote a certain way.

I'd say that Cruz's ad that lies about Rubio regarding cap and trade is a bigger problem. Likewise, it's the deception of these Cruz mailers that bothers me i.e., who made Cruz the voter police such that he's in charge of voter violations? Nasty is as nasty does.

eric said...

It's weird. I went to the guy's twitter timeline and he has a link to the IJ Review article in his twitter feed. But he doesn't have the twitter message in his feed that is pictured in the actual article.

I was trying to find out what the date of this was. I wondered, did this happen this week? Two weeks ago and they held onto it to hurt Cruz at the last moment? A month ago? When did this happen?

I figured looking at the date of his tweet might help me figure it out.

But, I can't find that tweet. Why?

eric said...

Looking at the "Tweets and Reply" part of his twitter feed, it looks like he received it a day or two ago, already disliked Cruz and liked Rubio, and pulled it down because he didn't like the sort of tweets he was getting in response to it.

Oso Negro said...

You had already concluded he was unfit to be president of all Americans. This frees you to vote for one of the New York triumvirate of Trump, Clinton, or Sanders. Enjoy.

BrianE said...

Wow. I.think some people have become slightly unhinged. If we hold that voting us an obligation of citizenship, which it was considered in times past, at best it's poorly implemented strategy.
Yes, voter violation is rather over the top, especially if this was targeted to potential Cruz supporters, but you should only be ashamed if you think it's shameful to be too lazy to vote.

PBandJ_LeDouanier said...

Of course Cruz's biggest deception was his bacon cooking video. Carefully editing made it so that Ted didn't do the shopping, then Ted didn't even put the bacon on the gun (some guy in a T-shirt did it). Finally showman Ted swoops in for the money shot.

Presumably Rs only vote for real men who can handle their own bacon.

Saint Croix said...

The Blaze has confirmed the mailer was sent by the Cruz campaign. Daily Beast has also confirmed.

TCom said...

What Trump brands his opponents with always comes true.

Still think he's an idiot? "Nasty guy" Ted Cruz reveals HIMSELF to be a nasty guy right before Iowa.

wendybar said...

Ewww...this is worse than having a private server with Top Secret Government documents on it ( and lying to congress about it) ....He is DONE!!!

Clark said...

I received just such a communication from the candidate I was planning to vote for in a recent mayoral election. I withheld my vote because of it.

Theranter said...

"Looking at the "Tweets and Reply" part of his twitter feed, it looks like he received it a day or two ago"

And January 28th was "Data Privacy Day!"
https://staysafeonline.org/data-privacy-day/

Laslo Spatula said...

Cruz viscerally projects the likeability, trustworthiness and charisma of Nixon.

He got screwed by random biology: he looks like someone of Hillary's character should rightfully look, if looks matched deeds.

But that is the hand he is dealt, and no majority of Americans will overcome this impression and decide to make him President.

I am Laslo.

Mid-Life Lawyer said...

I am a Cruz supporter but that is truly pathetic. I doubt if he signed off on it but if he doesn't fire someone over it and distance himself from it then I no longer give a damn if Jimmy Fucking Swaggart is elected president. I'm done.

Unknown said...

So if Cruz is the "pure conservative" in the race, why does he use leftist intimidation? Disgusting.

eric said...

Ted Cruz, on the controversial Iowa mailer: "I will apologize to nobody for using every tool we can to encourage Iowans come it and vote."

Ok, this is incredibly disappointing. Really.

Doesn't he understand how creepy this is?

Mom2Es said...

It was a bad idea and may have cemented my decision to put out a yard sign for another candidate. That being said, Obama supporters did something very similar in the past and he was still able to win the election.

It's not AS big a deal for a Republican to use that tactic in Iowa because the Republican caucuses use secret ballot. So the mailer only lets people know if you have or have not been participating, period. However, the Democratic caucuses in Iowa do not use secret ballots and there is a lot of peer pressure involved in lobbying undecided voters and supporters of low-percentage candidates. Everybody knows which Democratic caucus-goer supported whom.

Fabi said...

Cruz's response is almost as bad as the mailer. I hope that someone in his camp can assess the reaction to this incident and make a correction. The message and its timing couldn't be much worse.

Rhythm and Balls said...

What else would anyone expect from Tyrannosaurus fascicus, Ted Cruz.

I'm not surprised at all. Not in the slightest.

Republicans are so gullible.

Jonathan Graehl said...

Fabi, I'm quoting you on facebook. Hilarious.

Howard Nelson said...

The info presented in the Cruz campaign flyer did not contain any private information. The voter info was from public records. This kind of flyer is not uncommon as a means of increasing voter turnout.
Google the term 'kitman' to see how your opinion may have been manipulated. It's an old and proven effective jihadist technique. We call it im-properganda.
As Lincoln might say, 'Up your critical thinking!'

Howard Nelson said...

Addendum:
I'm surprised, and deplore, the ad hominem vituperation aimed at Cruz.
What has he done to earn it? Bullet point replies will be sufficient if truthful.
Otherwise, check whether you have joined "...all the saints and sages who discussed so wisely of the two worlds, their words to scorn are scattered, and their mouths are stop't with dust." [HT Omar the Tentmaker in a Fitzgerald Contraction Contraption]

Original Mike said...

I also got one of those mailings in 2012. In fact, I've gotten two of them at my current address (I'm guessing the other one was 2010 or 2008). Pissed. Me. Off.

VERY disappointing, Cruz.

AReasonableMan said...

Howard Nelson said...
I'm surprised, and deplore, the ad hominem vituperation aimed at Cruz.


Oddly, I have felt the same thing regarding Obama.

Original Mike said...

"saying that the targeting had been “very narrow, but the caucuses are important and we want people who haven’t voted before to vote.”

Oh, they may well vote now, but they ain't voting for you, fool.

That's too bad. My leanings were towards Cruz.

David said...

Ted Cruz, on the controversial Iowa mailer: "I will apologize to nobody for using every tool we can to encourage Iowans come it and vote."

Maybe he could apologize to the people who are funding him. It's unlikely that his donors expected him to use their money to encourage Iowans to vote for someone else.

Say "glug, glug" Ted.

Original Mike said...

"Ted Cruz, on the controversial Iowa mailer: "I will apologize to nobody for using every tool we can to encourage Iowans come it and vote.""

This is my concern about Cruz; poor judgement. The shut-down-the-government ploy when he had zero chance of winning was equally foolish (and yes, I know, lots of people love him for it).

EDH said...

I've had a negative reaction to all the Cruz fundraising emails I've received from his campaign staff.

Very manipulative in tone. As if they are saying "what the fuck is wrong with you?"

Not sure if it's the candidate himself or his staff, or whether that distinction even matters.

Terry said...

"Ted Cruz said he will "apologize to nobody" for a campaign mailer he sent out to Iowa voters that was made to look like an official government document."
http://www.weeklystandard.com/cruz-on-controversial-mailer-i-will-apologize-to-nobody/article/2000837
This is why I have despair for Republican presidential hopes this year.
Trump would have said something clever about his staff being too enthusiastic, and the guy that did it being moved to oppo research, or bill collecting. Big laugh.
Cruz comes out looking like a dick.
And I think Cruz would make a very good president. Better than Trump, anyhow.

Terry said...

"What else would anyone expect from Tyrannosaurus fascicus"
How is Cruz similar to real fascists, R&B, in ways that do not apply to Hillary or Sanders?
Real fascists -- unlike the fascists of imagination -- railed against the capitalist system and the way it abused workers.
Easier to call names than to make a case, isn't it?

Sammy Finkelman said...

If the targeting is very narrow, that means it went to people who identified themselves, when they were caklled, or their doorbells were rung, as Cruz supporters.

In the Republican caucuses, the votes are taken early by secret ballot. There is no rearranging before the counting. I think they do choose delegates. I don't think anybody records even who voted but just who attended, maybe not even that. In the Democratic caucuses, delegates to the next level are selected and at 15% are needed. That means that O'Malley will be completely wiped out.

chickelit said...

AReasonableMan noted Howard Nelson writing "I'm surprised, and deplore, the ad hominem vituperation aimed at Cruz":

Oddly, I have felt the same thing regarding Obama.

Obama's whole past, present, and future legacy would have been different had he not been so closely tied to Chicago machine politics. That was the deal-breaker for me.

james conrad said...

Terrible. Atrocious judgment.

Yeah, is. It has a whiff of desperation as well.

Beaumont said...

"Cruz, however, was defiant to reporters when asked about the mailer in Sioux City, Iowa, on Saturday night. "I will apologize to no one for using every tool we can to encourage Iowa voters to come out and vote," he said.

With this comment, I think Cruz is knowingly going after the overlapping slice of demographic he shares with Trump, the raging republican voter who wants to identify with the Clint Eastwood 'Dirty Harry' character, projecting strength where the 'Ends justify the Means'.

I am curious though, given the current political climate and the potential voters Cruz was attempting to move in Iowa, what makes this terrible, atrocious judgment? If he manages to win in Iowa, will this hurt him any more than if he did not send out the mailer or if he lost Iowa?

dbp said...

I think Cruz showed bad judgement, if he was the one who decided to do this. I will note however, that I first heard about the creepy mailer through the MSM. The creepy one Althouse received in the past, I only heard about on her blog.

robinintn said...

EDH, I've had the same reaction to the Cruz fundraising emails, to the point that I try to ensure they all go to junk. They're stunningly crude, dishonest and manipulative. If I won't vote for Christie because of his inability to properly govern his own state, (and I wont), consistency requires that I apply the same standard to Cruz' inability to manage his campaign.

Krumhorn said...

Laslo, as usual, nailed it. This mailer plays right to the central weakness of the Cruz political persona. He looks and acts just like Hillary should look if our faces were formed by our character and deeds...a congenital liar, venal, conniving, and corrupt to the bone.

Still, she does look like a late-middle-aged battle ax who would dice up your pecker like pancetta if provoked or if it would season her stew.

- Krumhorn

Rhythm and Balls said...

How is Cruz similar to real fascists, R&B, in ways that do not apply to Hillary or Sanders?
Real fascists -- unlike the fascists of imagination -- railed against the capitalist system and the way it abused workers.


Just because Crusie uses massive demagoguery to achieve his goal of merging the corporation with the state, doesn't mean he's any less fascist. And I never said that Clinton wasn't almost as bad, either.

Sanders isn't a fascist. He believes that the laws of the land should serve the interests of the people and that corporations should be equally beholden to them. He doesn't believe in using the corporation or the state to enhance each others' power, let alone to merge them as one. No. He believes the laws serve the people, and that corporations are secondary to that - not at the head of that arrangement.

He understands the difference between the rule of law and the rule of corporate-state power. You would do well to learn that difference, also.

Amanda said...

No doubt, God told him to do it.

Mick said...

Seriously? That's the violation? His candidacy is a violation. He was born in Canada you morons! Almost 40% of the vote in Iowa is polled to go to illegal Candidates who are not natural born Citizens, but I guess the "law prof" is OK with that because the Usurper's Solicitor General says it's OK, like he doesn't have a vested interest in validating the Usurper's presidency.
She voted for a British subject--- Twice. (a "Con Law prof"?) Look what he has done. What can those kids be learning? But then she never did much real work outside of "teaching", probably not unlike most "Con Law Profs" who can't figure out that someone born in Canada, that had Canadian citizenship until a year ago, is not eligible.
That not EVERY "Con Law prof" is not screaming from the top of their Ivory Towers that Cruz and Rubio are not eligible proves that the Ivory Tower of Academia is the protector of the elite political class. They are useful idiots.