Ted Cruz at the 2015 Iowa Freedom Summit Photo credit: David Davidson - Prezography.com
Ted Cruz at the 2015 Iowa Freedom Summit
Photo credit: David Davidson – Prezography.com

The Cruz for President Campaign yesterday sent a letter to Iowa radio stations requesting they stop running an ad placed by America’s Renewable Future critical of Cruz’s opposition to the Renewable Fuel Standard.  The campaign claims it is false and say the group wants to keep taxpayer subsidies going to the ethanol industry. 

You can listen to the ad below:

The ad claims, “Politicians like Ted Cruz support subsidies for Big Oil, but want to end support for ethanol.”

“Politicians like Ted Cruz support subsidies for Big Oil but want to end support for ethanol,” says the radio ad released on Tuesday. “Cruz backs policies that threaten rural Iowa and thousands of jobs.”

“Politicians like Ted Cruz are the worst kind: hypocrites,” the ad continues. “He says he’s a conservative but doesn’t want to do anything to stop the $4.8 billion in subsidies received by the oil industry.”

“Ted Cruz wants to decimate Iowa farmers and risk 73,000 Iowa jobs by repealing the RFS,” said ARF Co-Chair and farmer, former Iowa State Representative Annette Sweeney, “Since he isn’t being honest about why, we are making sure Iowans know that Ted Cruz would rather support subsidies for oil companies than stand up for Iowa farmers.”

America Renewable Energy pointed out in a press release yesterday that the oil industry receives subsidies costing American taxpayers $20.5 billion annually according to a report from Oil Change International. Subsidies for biofuels like ethanol ended in December 2011 meanwhile. They contend that Cruz has close to a million dollars personally invested in oil companies, which is roughly equivalent to the over $1 million campaign contributions he has received from the oil industry. They claim that the Super PACS supportive of his campaign have received over $25 million from oil interests.

Cruz’s campaign says their claim is false.

“It is blatantly false to suggest that Sen. Cruz wants to end the Renewable Fuel Standard while maintaining subsidies for oil,” Cruz spokesman Rick Tyler said. “Cruz has repeatedly stated that he would end all energy specific subsidies, both ethanol and oil among others.” 

The campaign pointed out that earlier this year in a speech delivered at Heritage Action in Washington, D.C., Cruz said, “Big government energy mandates don’t stop with ethanol. There are tax credits for almost every form of energy. Each designed to give one industry a leg up over the other.”

He went on to say that we should level the playing field, end the special interest handouts, and stop the energy cronyism. He supported the Energy Freedom and Economic Prosperity Act, sponsored by Utah Sen. Mike Lee and Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo, which would eliminate all technology-specific energy tax credits. 

“While Cruz stands consistently in support of the free market, Sen. Rubio champions corporate giveaways like the RFS and sugar subsidies that pick winners and losers in order to enrich lobbyists at the expense of the American taxpayers,” Tyler added.

The text of the letter to the radio stations is below and may be viewed here:

December 1, 2015

Dear Station Manager:

On behalf of Cruz for President, I write this letter to inform you that, based upon available information, America’s Renewable Future, Inc. has purchased media time to publicly disseminate a false and misleading advertisement regarding Senator Ted Cruz. 

The ad falsely claims, “Politicians like Ted Cruz support subsidies for Big Oil, but want to end support for ethanol.”

To the contrary, Ted Cruz has repeatedly stated that he would end energy subsidies for both ethanol and oil among other energy subsidies.

He specifically supports the Energy Freedom and Economic Prosperity Act, sponsored by Utah Sen. Mike Lee and Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo, which would do just that.

 Because this advertisement makes a flatly false factual claim for which your station is ultimately responsible, we urge you to exercise your discretion as a licensee to refuse to continue to broadcast this advertisement, and, because it is already airing, immediately pull the advertisement from your rotation. 

 As an FCC licensee you have the legal responsibility to exercise independent editorial judgment and discretion to oversee and protect the marketplace of ideas, but also to avoid deliberate misrepresentations and intentional libel.  Political Programming Policies, 7 FCC Rcd 678, 685 n.54 (1991)(“licensees are not required to accept any political material that is not authorized by candidates”).   Such obligations must be taken seriously because courts command broadcasters to “protect the public from false, misleading or deceptive advertising.”  Licensee Responsibility with Respect to the Broadcast of False, Misleading or Deceptive Advertising, 74 FCC 2d 623 (1961).  Your failure, as an FCC licensee, to fulfill this obligation, may be deemed an “underlying abdication” of your duties as such a licensee and result in the loss of your station’s license.  Cosmopolitan Broadcasting Corp. v. FCC, 581 F.2d 917, 927 (D.C. Cir. 1978).  With this letter, Cruz for President reserves all rights, remedies and recourse to which we are entitled in connection with the potential or actual broadcast of the advertisement referenced herein, and that no action or inaction by Cruz for President shall be deemed to constitute a waiver, relinquishment or other impairment of such rights, remedies or recourse.

 Thank you for your consideration and please do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions. 

 Sincerely,

Eric S. Brown

General Counsel

The full transcript of the ad is below:

ARF :60 RADIO: HYPOCRITE

ANNCR:

Ethanol and renewable fuels are good for the country and keep Iowa working.

Ethanol creates markets for farmers, strengthens rural communities and employs 73,000 Iowans.

Politicians like Ted Cruz support subsidies for Big Oil, but want to end support for ethanol.

Cruz backs policies that threaten rural Iowa and thousands of jobs.

Why is Cruz against ethanol?

Well… there are millions of reasons.

Cruz has personal investments of up to $700,000 in oil and the Super PACs propping up his campaign have received over $25 million from oil interests.

Politicians like Ted Cruz are the worst kind.

Hypocrites.

He says he’s a conservative but doesn’t want to do anything to stop the $4.8 billion in subsidies received by the oil industry.

There are millions of reasons Ted Cruz supports Big Oil instead of Iowa farmers.

Call politician Ted Cruz- tell him to stop being a hypocrite and support Iowa jobs.

Paid for by America’s Renewable Future.

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