Republican Senator Ted Cruz recently won a major lawsuit that will essentially allow candidates for federal office to loan their campaigns as much money as needed, and then they can raise money AFTER the election to pay themselves back. This means that wealthy candidates will now always hold an advantage, and they don’t have to worry about the risk because their donors can now send as much money as they’d like for the candidate to use to repay themselves. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins explains this disastrous decision.

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*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Recently Ted Cruz secured a court verdict that will open the flood gates of corporate money, even wider than they’ve already been opened for federal campaigns. Here’s the backstory. Back in 2018, we all know Ted Cruz was running against Beto O’Rourke to save his Senate seat and he ended up loaning his campaign $260,000, thanks to a loan he got in part from Goldman Sachs. So anyway, Ted Cruz loans his campaign $260,000, after the campaign he’s allowed to reimburse himself only up to $250,000 and Ted Cruz says, oh, hell no, I should be able to pay myself back the full amount. So he files this lawsuit and wouldn’t you know it, a judge who has some ties to the Koch brothers, I’ll mention, I’ll get to that in a moment. But the judge says, you know what Mr. Cruz, you’re right. And I am going to rule that candidates are now allowed to repay themselves whatever amount they loan their campaigns.

And here’s the thing. Candidates are still able to raise money even after the election is over. They can still raise money for their race, even when they’ve already won or even lost the race. So what this new ruling will allow for is individuals who loaned a bunch of money to their campaign to then go to the corporate donors and be like, hey look everybody, I won, but I got a lot of debt that I need to pay myself back for. And the corporate donors can say, don’t you worry now that we know you’re in, we’re going to need some favors. So here is the money. Now, of course, it’s not going to be as obvious of a, as a, you know, quid pro quo as that, but that is essentially what is going to happen as a result of this lawsuit from Ted Cruz,. I have to read this, this is from Sludge, phenomenal, phenomenal organization, if you don’t follow them. Cruz whose household is worth as much as $3.2 million, according to Open Secrets most recent estimate, took a margin loan to fund his campaign from Goldman Sachs, where he and his wife have a substantial amount of their wealth invested. Heidi Cruz is a managing director at Goldman Sachs.

So it wasn’t even that he put his personal money into it, he took a loan out for the sole purpose of funding his campaign, and then took money from the donors after the campaign to pay himself back so he could pay off the loan. So you’re basically playing with house fun money at that point, as long as you have the money to get the loan in the first place. So what this ruling is going to do is allow only the wealthiest of candidates to have an advantage. You can have a billionaire step into the race, loan his campaign as much money as they see fit, and then they can pay themselves back the full amount, thanks to this ruling. Now I mentioned the judge and the Koch connection here. Also from Sludge, the judge who wrote the memorandum opinion in the case, DC appeals court judge Neomi Rao, was the founder and original director of the center for the study of the administrative state at George Mason university, which was established with funding from the Charles Koch foundation.

After working in the Trump administration from 2017 to 2019, Rao was confirmed to the DC circuit court in March, 2019 with the help of Koch’s Americans for Prosperity nonprofit, which ran a digital and PR campaign to boost her reputation on the hill.