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Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., opened a door Tuesday while ranting about the evils of the “dark money” supporting Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation, as part of a supposedly dubious effort to shape the Supreme Court.
An open door that Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, was only too happy to saunter through.
“Something is not right around the Court,” Whitehouse proclaimed. “And dark money has a lot to do with it. Special interests have a lot to do with it.”
Cruz was quick to note the “massive differentials” between liberal and conservative spending, saying Democrats are “deeply, deeply hypocritical” on the issue.
“Here are some facts: of the top twenty organizations spending money for political speech in the year 2016, fourteen of them gave virtually all their money to Democrats and another three split their money evenly, so only three of the top 20 gave money to Republicans,” Cruz stated. “What did that mean in practice? That meant the top 20 super-PAC donors contributed $422 million dollars to Democrats and $189 million to Republicans.”
“Those who give these impassioned speeches against ‘dark money’ don’t mention that their side is funded by ‘dark money’ with a massive differential,” he stressed.
The Republican noted that Whitehouse didn’t acknowledge that the Fortune 500 and Wall Street “overwhelmingly favor Joe Biden and the Democrats.”
“It’s an awful lot of rhetoric about power,” Cruz continued. “But it gets even more interesting when you look at Supreme Court nominations. We just heard an attack on the Federalist Society, a group that I’ve been a member of for over 25 years — I joined as a law student. It’s a group that brings conservatives, libertarians, constitutionalists together to have robust discussions about the constitution and about the law. What’s interesting is nowhere in the senator of Rhode Island’s remarks was any reference to a company called Arabella Advisors, which is a for-profit entity that manages non-profits, including the 1630 Fund and the New Venture Fund.”
“Those sound like awfully dark and confusing names,” Cruz said. “Well, according to The Wall Street Journal this Sunday, in the years 2017 and 2018, those entities reported $987.5 million in revenue. That’s nearly a billion dollars. We heard a lot of thundering indignation at what was described as $250 million of expenditures. In this case, you’ve got a billion dollars.”
Cruz pointed out that one product of those entities is a group called Demand Justice, which spent $5 million opposing Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and has just launched a seven-figure ad buy opposing Barrett.
“So all of the great umbrage about the corporate interests that are spending dark money is wildly in conflict with the actual facts that the corporate interests that are spending dark money are funding the Democrats by a factor of 3 to 1 or greater,” he concluded.
Citizens United was brought up, with Cruz acknowledging that it “makes Democrats very very upset.”
“Citizens United concerned whether or not it was legal to make a movie criticizing a politician,” he said. “Specifically, Citizens United is a small non-profit organization based here in D.C. that made a movie critical of Hillary Clinton. The Obama Justice Department took the position that it could fine, it could punish Citizens United for daring to make a movie critical of a politician.”
The senator called this “a terrifying view of the First Amendment,” as he reminded all that Citizens United was decided on a five to four vote.
Cruz was praised on social media for exposing Democrats so thoroughly on national television.
Here’s a sampling of responses from Twitter:
Partly Whitehouse walked into this rather predictable trap and partly Ted Cruz was able to predict Whitehouse's attack on dark money. Either way, Democrats are hugely vulnerable on the issue of dark money, obviously. https://t.co/UjdNpAzMkZ
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) October 13, 2020
Someone get me a video of Ted Cruz for the past couple minutes. Dude is completely calling out Dem Dark Money hypocrisy
Everyone should hear this, especially the crooked journos who don't cover this
— Comfortably Smug (@ComfortablySmug) October 13, 2020
Somebody get Senator @tedcruz a beer after this.
He just exposed Sheldon Whitehouse and the left’s dark money in front of the entire country!
— Nick Adams (@NickAdamsinUSA) October 13, 2020
Excellent come back by @SenTedCruz !
— L. Schneerer 🇺🇸 (@LSchneerer) October 13, 2020
Nice tidbit of info for the public ears!
— Dani McLaren (@DaniMcLaren2) October 13, 2020
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