No, Ted Cruz Didn’t Do Anything Wrong With Goldman Sachs

In a report published on Wednesday by The New York Times, and since repeated across a broad spectrum of media, Ted Cruz is alleged to have failed to report personal loans from Goldman Sachs and Citibank in his Federal Election Commission’s filings pertaining to funding sources of his 2012 Senate campaign.

The assertion is tenuous, at best.

Mike McIntire, investigative reporter for the New York Times and author of the article, summarized his findings thusly on Twitter.

The full truth is that Cruz did report the personal loans as campaign funding in his FEC disclosure, but neglected to specify their origins. He included monies from these loans within a description of “candidate loans from personal funds.” The loan from Goldman Sachs was secured against his and his wife's jointly-owned publicly-tradable assets, with the loan from Citibank being secured against his ownership stake as a partner of the law firm Morgan, Lewis, an Bockius.

Political observers are left to speculate whether The New York Times would have published this article had the funds been borrowed from Harry’s and Sally’s Savings and Loan in Anytown, U.S.A.

For the original data, start here.

The implication is that Cruz deliberately made false statements on his campaign finance disclosure forms filed with the FEC in order to mask ties with Goldman Sachs - an investment banking firm which was fined $550 million by the Securities Exchange Commission in 2010 for misleading investors about the risks involved in collateralized debt obligations (mortgage-backed securities).

More broadly, McIntire pushes innuendo in ascribing superficial political motivations to what he implies was a deliberate misrepresentation of Cruz’s. Running as a Tea Party populist opposed to bailouts of large corporations via the Troubled Asset Relief Program, McIntire suggests, is at odds with borrowing money from Goldman Sachs and Citibank.

“There would have been nothing improper about Mr. Cruz obtaining bank loans for his campaign, as long as they were disclosed. But such a disclosure might have conveyed the wrong impression for his candidacy. 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,” writes McIntire.

The innuendo seems partially successful, given comments on the article from readers characterizing Cruz as a mendacious agent of nefarious Wall Street operators.

McIntire implies disingenuousness on the part of Cruz, in that Cruz apparently claimed - in a fragmented quote which may have been misleadingly decontextualized - to have poured “all of [his and his wife’s] savings” into his 2012 campaign.

The New Republic - which is currently for sale after a continuing lack of profitability - pushed the predictable narrative of Cruz lying about financial hardship in order to bolster populist bona fides.

Noteworthy is that implications of Cruz’s lack of full disclosure in his FEC filings are based on Cruz’s own financial disclosure forms following his securing of senatorship. Although accounted for and described as personal loans to his campaign in his FEC filing, their banks of origin were made public on July 12, 2012.

Left-wing reporter Rosie Gray of BuzzFeed relayed comments from Cruz’s campaign spokesperson Catherine Frazier. The FEC has been consulted for “what their recommended action is,” if any, to correct any error.

H/T Open Secrets

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