Ted Cruz’s Podcast Deal Appears to Violate Federal Soft Money Prohibition


On April 9, 2024, Campaign Legal Center (CLC) and End Citizens United (ECU) filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) alleging that Sen. Ted Cruz violated provisions of the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) that prohibit federal candidates or officeholders from soliciting or directing “soft money” in connection with a federal election. Specifically, the complaint alleges that Cruz violated FECA by entering into an agreement with iHeartMedia, Inc., a publicly traded corporation, through which iHeartMedia transferred corporate funds — totaling over $630,000 to date — from its ad sales associated with Cruz’s podcast “Verdict with Ted Cruz” to a federal super PAC, Truth and Courage PAC, supporting Cruz’s 2024 reelection efforts. The complaint also alleges that Truth and Courage PAC violated federal reporting requirements in connection with its receipt of these contributions from iHeartMedia.