Cruz Draws Rebuke for Controversial Mailer in Iowa

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas on his tour bus near Ames, Iowa on Jan. 30, 2016.
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas on his tour bus near Ames, Iowa on Jan. 30, 2016.

* Editor's note: This story has been updated throughout.

SIOUX CITY, Iowa — Ted Cruz on Saturday drew the ire of the top elections official in Iowa over a mailer from his presidential campaign that seeks to pressure voters into turning out for the state's first-in-the-nation caucuses.

The mailer, which surfaced Friday, looks like an official government document, informing recipients that they have a "voting violation" for failing to participate in past caucuses. The literature lists the name of the recipient and their neighbors, assigning a letter grade to each one based on their voting record. 

Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate issued a statement confirming the authenticity of the mailer, saying its message is "not in keeping in the spirit of the Iowa caucuses."

"Today I was shown a piece of literature from the Cruz for President campaign that misrepresents the role of my office, and worse, misrepresents Iowa election law," Pate said. "Accusing citizens of Iowa of a 'voting violation' based on Iowa Caucus participation, or lack thereof, is false representation of an official act."

 

Cruz's campaign confirmed the mailer was real, saying it was modeled after a similar piece used by the Iowa GOP in 2014. Matt Schultz, the former Iowa secretary of state who chairs Cruz's campaign in Iowa, issued a statement calling the mailers a "common practice to increase voter turnout."

Speaking with reporters here before a rally, Cruz was unapologetic about the mailers, saying he "will apologize to nobody for using every tool we can to encourage Iowa voters to come out and vote."

Iowa's caucuses are Monday.

The authenticity of the mailer was first confirmed by writer Sarah Rumpf in Independent Journal Opinion.

Below is a photo of the mailer that surfaced Friday on Twitter.

 

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