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IHeartMedia Has Paid a $630,000 To A PAC Supporting Ted Cruz For His Podcasting Gig

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz has said he makes no money from his thrice-weekly podcast, yet IHeartMedia gave $630,000 to a PAC supporting his re-election campaign

According to a report by the Houston Chronicle, IHeartMedia, the radio network that picked up the “Verdict with Ted Cruz” podcast in 2022, has made regular and growing payments over the past year to the Truth and Courage PAC. The PAC’s main focus, according to its own website, is to “ensure that Ted Cruz is re-elected to the United States Senate in 2024.”

The PAC has already launched ads targeting U.S. Rep. Colin Allred, the Democratic candidate running against Cruz, calling him a “far-left radical,” and “the Democrat Party’s most radical U.S. Senate recruit in history.”

The payments, which are tied to ad revenue from the podcast, represent about a third of the $2 million the PAC reported raising since the beginning of 2023.

Many watchdog groups have raised concerns about Cruz’s moves with his podcast, as he pushes the limits of what the law allows him to do with money. Federal officials can’t solicit a contribution of more than $5,000 to a super PAC or direct more than $5,000 to a super PAC.

“This is not an arrangement we’ve seen before, and it seems like Sen. Cruz is trying to find a way to walk the lines between not falling into an ethics violation and not falling into a campaign finance violation,” Shanna ports, a senior legal counsel at the Campaign Legal Center, told the Houston Chronicle.

Cruz launched his podcast in 2020, using it to defend former President Donald Trump against his first impeachment and to build his political brand. In 2022, IHeartMedia picked up the podcast.

The Campaign Legal Center filed a complaint with the Senate Ethics Committee that year, alleging that the deal between Cruz and IHeartMedia was illegal because senators are prohibited from accepting gifts from lobbyists, and IHeartMedia is registered as one.

The Campaign Legal Center said IHeartMedia provided free production and marketing services for Cruz’s podcast, but a Cruz spokesman said the senator didn’t benefit financially from the deal. The committee found that Cruz had not violated any laws and closed the complaint.

Staff
Staff
Written by RA News staff.

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