While most of the coverage of skyrocketing spending by SuperPACs and tax-exempt 501(c)(4) organizations has focused on the tens of millions going to presidential campaign attack ads, one statewide candidate has been the beneficiary of $1.1 million in spending by right-wing groups already this cycle — a radical attorney named Ted Cruz.
Cruz, a former Texas state solicitor general, is seeking the Republican nomination for Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison’s (R-TX) open senate seat. Although his two primary opponents have raised much more in campaign cash to date, every “independent expenditure” reported for the race, to date, has been aimed at helping Cruz’s candidacy or hurting his opponents.
Yesterday, Sen. Jim DeMint’s (R-SC) Senate Conservatives Fund reported spending $500,000 on a pro-Cruz independent expenditure. Likewise, the conservative Club for Growth, Club for Growth Action, and former Rep. Dick Armey’s (R-TX) FreedomWorks have spent more than $634,000 on pro-Cruz ads and over $468,000 on ads bashing primary opponent Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst for being a “moderate.”
So what’s so exciting about Cruz that far right groups are willing to pay top dollar to put him in the Senate? Cruz excited anti-government groups with his unconstitutional proposal for a backdoor method of state nullification of federal laws and the Affordable Care Act. He co-authored a white paper advocating a radical reading of the Constitution that would lead to Medicaid and most federal education programs being declared unconstitutional, and he supports an equally radical plan to privatize much of Social Security.
Moreover, if Cruz is elected, he would quickly find several new friends who share his inability to distinguish the Constitution from the Tea Party’s policy preferences. Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT), Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Rand Paul (R-KY) have all pushed even more radical efforts to declare much of the Twentieth Century unconstitutional.