The short answer is, probably not. But it’ll take you a while to get there.
This week, the New York Times dropped a story about Ted Cruz’s first Senate campaign, noting that Ted Cruz’s million-dollar loan to his initial Senate campaign was made possible by his wife’s employer, Goldman Sachs, who floated Ted and his wife a significant loan. The loan remains outstanding – he and his wife still owe somewhere between $50K and $100K on it – and it turns out that Cruz, allegedly, failed to disclose the loan in campaign filings.
A review of personal financial disclosures that Mr. Cruz filed later with the Senate does not find a liquidation of assets that would have accounted for all the money he spent on his campaign. What it does show, however, is that in the first half of 2012, Ted and Heidi Cruz obtained the low-interest loan from Goldman Sachs, as well as another one from Citibank. The loans totaled as much as $750,000 and eventually increased to a maximum of $1 million before being paid down later that year. There is no explanation of their purpose.
Neither loan appears in reports the Ted Cruz for Senate Committee filed with the Federal Election Commission, in which candidates are required to disclose the source of money they borrow to finance their campaigns.
There is some excitment over the Great Failure, but it seems like the New York Times, which has been more than receptive to opposition research this cycle (I mean, at least they didn’t say Ted Cruz, like Marco Rubio, was fiscally irresponsible for once liquidating an IRA to replace a broken fridge) has made a bigger deal about a campaign loan than the campaign loan deserves. I don’t say this because it’s not troubling that a $750,000 loan went unreported (other campaigns have faced stiff penalties for these sorts of oversights); I say it because the disclosure comes at an awfully inconvenient time for Ted Cruz, who is trying to maintain a lead in the Iowa Caucuses.
Ted Cruz appears to have, at least informally, disclosed the loan in 2012, while running against David Dewhurst in that fateful Senate primary; it just wasn’t disclosed when he filed for President. Roll Call reported extensively on the loan in 2013, so it’s most certainly common knowledge. And Ted Cruz can correct any formal financial disclosures by filing a form and, if necessary, paying whatever penalties are attendant to his reprehensible crime. It’s a problem, for certain, but it’s hardly a game-changing, career-ending, Iowa deal-breaking bit of evidence that Ted Cruz is secretly beholden to big banks and will have to pay his price to Wall Street in the blood of his children. At least he didn’t, say, take money from foreign countries with business before the State Department, then, allegedly, turn around and do those same countries favors, or something like that.
Nowthat would probably be criminal.