Campaign Legal Center and End Citizens United file FEC Complaint Regarding Potential Soft Money Violation by Sen. Cruz and iHeart Media

Washington, DC: Campaign Legal Center and End Citizens United have filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission alleging that Sen. Ted Cruz violated provisions of the Federal Election Campaign Act 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. 

Erin Chlopak, Campaign Legal Center’s Senior Director of Campaign Finance, issued the following statement: There is a reason why federal candidates are legally prohibited from using ‘soft money’ - that is, money raised outside the scope of federal election law - to power their campaigns. This type of funding risks putting the priorities of wealthy special interests above everyone else and makes our political process more vulnerable to corruption. Yet all available information makes it seem that a partnership between Texas Senator Ted Cruz and iHeartMedia has produced such an illegal transfer, with over $630,000 in ‘income’ from Cruz’s podcast moving to a super PAC supporting his reelection. To give Texas voters clarity, the Federal Election Commission must swiftly investigate this matter and determine whether Sen. Cruz played a role in directing this transfer.

(See the complaint here)