Ted Cruz Campaign Fundraising Mailer Raises Legal Concerns

posted by Jim Forsyth - 

The Ted Cruz re-election campaign is facing criticism for sending out a fundraising mailer which was labeled 'SUMMONS ENCLOSED, OPEN IMMEDIATELY!' and claimed in the return address to be an 'Official Bexar County Summons,' News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

Inside the mailer, which was a request for the recipient to donate money to the Cruz campaign, was a letter that allowed the recipient to check a box, that read 'YES!  Senator Cruz, I am answering your summons to join your re-election campaign today.

'Texas State Rep Gene Wu (D-Houston) told News Radio 1200 WOAI's Michael Board that the mailing violates the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, a law that he sponsored.

"Even if it doesn't break the law, it definitely violates the spirit of the law," Wu said.  "And even if it doesn't violate the spirit of the law, its just slimy as hell."

Wu, who openly says he backs Cruz' Democratic opponent Beto O'Rourke, says the law contains language that bars 'any document that simulates a summons, complaint, judgement, or other court process.'  

He says he intended the language to stop bill collectors from making debtors think they were being taken to court, but it applies to this case as well.

"Politicians spend all their time talking about how everybody should follow the law, but in their own lives, they spend all their time trying to figure out ways to get around laws that should apply to them," Wu said.

The Cruz campaign said 'voters are not that dumb,' and it is 'obvious that the letter is from a campaign, not a court.'

They point to the fact that, also in the return address area on the upper left corner of the envelope is written 'Ted Cruz for Senate 2018.'

Mail solicitation companies have spent decades trying to perfect ways to get the recipient to open the envelope, which is as critical to them as telemarketers getting you to answer the phone.  We have seen mail solicitation disguised as checks, IRS notices, personal letters with handwritten addresses, and dozens of other tricks to get you to open the letter.

Wu says he wrote his law because of his concern that people would start to throw genuine court documents into the trash, thinking they are solicitations.

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