Cruz Struggles To Get Back Money He Borrowed Campaign – Courthouse News Service

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Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, interviewed Amy Coney Barrett on the third day of her Supreme Court confirmatory hearing on October 14, 2020. (Greg Nash / Pool via AP)

WASHINGTON (CN) – GOP Senator Ted Cruz is calling on a federal court to repeal a federal electoral commission rule that limits post-election donations to repay money he borrowed for his 2018 campaign in a case that was made in Washington on Wednesday was negotiated.

Cruz, a Republican from Texas, gave his campaign two loans in the last election campaign. Donations totaled $ 260,000 – $ 5,000 from his personal bank accounts and $ 255,000 from a personal property loan.

But a campaign finance bill limits the amount of money a campaign committee can repay a personal loan candidate to $ 250,000.

Cruz sued last year, accuses the commission of restricting the right to political speech in the First Amendment for candidates, their campaign committees and donors by setting a deadline for donations and a candidate’s ability to spend personal funds on campaign speeches.

Lawyer Charles Cooper, who represents Cruz, argued in a three-person district court Wednesday that the rule would prevent candidates from lending money to their campaigns.

“Limiting terms act as a deterrent or a deterrent to even granting the loan,” said Cooper.

But the FEC pushed back, saying the regulation was necessary to prevent corruption in return.

“This is a very targeted restriction,” said FEC attorney Harry Summers.

When the law was passed in 2002, Congress wanted to contain the appearance of corruption. Campaigns can repay candidates’ loans from Money in hand after election dayrather than relying on post-election donations, the FEC attorney argued.

In Cruz’s case, it’s his campaign had $ 2.2 million to pay off $ 2.5 million in debt after the 2018 election, but repaid vendors and other expenses rather than the Senator on his personal loans.

“It’s really not a question of language, it’s a question of financial decision-making,” Summers said.

US District Judge Amit Mehta asked if Cruz had demonstrated that FEC rule routinely discouraged candidates from lending for their campaigns.

“I am not sure how you get out of the starting gate at all,” said the Obama representative.

Cooper, the Senator’s attorney, pointed to an FEC study that found that the 2002 rule “had a significant impact on the propensity of many politicians to lend large amounts.”

He also scoffed at an argument by the FEC that the rule increases financial disclosure among political office holders.

“If it was a question of forcing the contributors into the sunlight of the pre-election fees, well, it was them [Congress] would have capped all posts after the election, ”he said.

But the FEC defended the regulatory reach of Congress, saying that lawmakers can take it step-by-step.

“There really is no constitutional right to get your campaign expenses back,” argued Summers.

Voter confidence is at stake, the FEC argued in the litigation and submitted an April 2020 poll to the court that found that 81% of 1,000 respondents said that donors who donated money to a federal candidate’s campaign after an election Expecting “very” likely “or” likely “in return for a political favor.

However, Mehta questioned the legitimacy of the survey as respondents were not told that the post-election donation cap would be the same as the individual limit of $ 2.8000 when a candidate is running.

Summers defended the poll, saying the formulation did not detract from the results and gave Americans some insight into the critical factors.

But U.S. District Judge Neomi Rao, who attended the District Court hearing along with Trump-appointed U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly, repeatedly questioned whether the court should take the FEC’s alleged interest at face value: preventing Corruption in return.

Cooper pounded on the question, arguing that the FEC must prove that the damage mentioned is real.

But Summers, who represented the commission, disproved the Supreme Court on the landmark case of campaign finance Buckley v. Valeo the attorney said isolating quid pro quo cases was a challenge, especially since the FEC rule in question has been in place for nearly 20 years.

Rao added that when it came to corruption, the limit on donations that can return money directly to a candidate’s personal accounts should be zero, not $ 250,000.

“Congress is trying to strike a balance,” Summers replied. “It is not necessary to regulate all activities. It can go step by step. “

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