While he travelled the state running for Senate last year, Ted Cruz found time to make $1 million representing deeply immoral clients of his former law firm. As the Dallas Morning News explains in their (pay-walled) investigate report, among his final clients were “a businessman who pleaded guilty to bribery, a drug manufacturer that fired an employee who refused to break the law, and a company that illegally copied another’s tire design.” Cruz lost all of those cases.
The businessman was Robert Mericle, who bribed two judges to give minors harsher sentences in the infamous “kids for cash” system. Why? To make money for his private juvenile detention center. Cruz lost the case, but he took home hundreds of thousands of Mericle’s money.
Two days after the arguments, Cruz appeared in his first primary debate with Dewhurst. The court had Mericle pay $2.15 million to fund local children’s health and welfare programs, and he faces up to three years in prison. His lawyer is now arguably the most prominent Republican in America.
In another case, Cruz represented Moog, a company that fired a spokesperson for refusing to promote its pain control pump Accufuser for nonapproved purposes. Cruz argued in appeals court that the trial jury didn’t fully analyze whether the company made the request. The appeals court found the evidence for illegal misconduct to be overwhelming, and Cruz lost that case too. Ka-ching for Cruz nonetheless.
Cruz also made money from a case he argued in December 2011 on behalf of a Chinese tire company against charges that it illegally took blueprints from Florida businessman Jordan Fishman. Cruz failed to disprove the accusations. Last June, an appeals court upheld a $26 million jury verdict in favor of Fishman.
All people and companies deserve lawyers when prosecuted, of course. This is the America. But the frequency with which Cruz represented sleaze bags in the midst of his Senate campaign is striking. Central to his campaign’s message was that Cruz was the honest, wholesome candidate. Cruz’s ability to switch from campaign mode to defendant of the deeply immoral speaks to the seamless contradictions in the man.
Other Cruz contradictions: he’s a self-billed grassroots candidate whose candidacy was boosted in large part by outside groups, he’s there to get things done in Washington by obstructing everything, and he’s supremely rational but also believes the U.N. wants to put people in “hobbit homes” and same-sex marriage leads to prosecution of pastors. The clear conclusion left by Cruz’s contradictions is that he’s a shifty politician with extreme views, who Americans cannot trust.