The New York Times crunched the numbers on Republican Ted Cruz’s 2012 Senate campaign expense reports and found the now–Texas Senator did not fund his final campaign push by breaking the family piggybank, as Cruz has said on many occasions. Cruz also received as much as a million dollars in low-interest loans from Goldman Sachs and Citibank, a portion of which, the Times deduces, must have been pumped into the campaign. Now, while taking out a loan to run for office may not be a great idea fiscally, it’s not necessarily a problem ethically.
Here, however, is what’s problematic.
The Federal Election Committee requires candidates to disclose loans that are used to fund their campaigns, in order to increase transparency and ensure that candidates aren’t getting sweetheart rates from banks. Cruz did not disclose the loans, one of which came from his wife’s employer—Goldman Sachs. The Times parsed the Cruzes’ financial disclosures and determined the couple did not liquidate enough of their personal assets to cover the $1.2 million ultimately donated to the campaign, meaning some portion of the loan money surely helped pay for campaign expenses. A Cruz campaign spokesperson said the failure to disclose the loans was “inadvertent.”
The Times report also derails the Cruz narrative that his family huddled up and doubled down on the campaign down the homestretch by pouring the couple’s savings into the effort. For most campaigns, having to borrow money is usually not a sign of a candidate on the rise, so it would make sense Cruz wasn’t eager to broadcast the loans. Then, of course, there’s the fact that Cruz has campaigned as an outsider, railing against the influence of big banks. From the Times:
Mr. Cruz, a conservative former Texas solicitor general, was campaigning as a populist firebrand who criticized Wall Street bailouts and the influence of big banks in Washington. It is a theme he has carried into his bid for the Republican nomination for president. Earlier this year, when asked about the political clout of Goldman Sachs in particular, he replied, “Like many other players on Wall Street and big business, they seek out and get special favors from government.”