FEC faults Cruz on Goldman Sachs loans in rare unanimous vote

BY MARK HENSCH – 05/26/17 08:18 AM EDT

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) on Thursday said that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) improperly accounted for Goldman Sachs loans he received during his 2012 Senate campaign.

The FEC’s finding, which was posted on its website, marked a rare moment of agreement between the agency’s five commissioners.

The commissioners voted unanimously that $1.1 million in loans to Cruz’s 2012 Senate bid from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Citigroup Inc. should have been disclosed to voters. The loans first came to light during Cruz’s GOP primary bid in last year’s presidential election.

The FEC did not specify whether Cruz would face a penalty, but auditors found that he made five loans to his campaign during 2011 and 2012 totaling $1.4 million.

Auditors said that $800,000 of that total came from Goldman Sachs and $264,000 came from Citigroup, with the rest coming from Cruz’s personal funds.

Federal election law states that candidates can take out loans from commercial banks if they disclose the funding source, the interest rate paid and the loan’s terms.

Candidates are also capable of lending or giving their own campaigns unlimited amounts of their personal funds.

Cruz said during his 2012 run that he was financing his bid in part with personal funds, liquidating his assets to compete a well-funded opponent.

The Tea Party favorite’s 2012 financial disclosure showed that he had not sold off financial assets to be capable of lending his campaign as much as he claimed, however.

The discrepancy was first reported in January of 2016, with many media outlets noting his wife, Heidi’s, past work as a Goldman executive.

Campaign spokeswoman Catherine Frazier acknowledged that the Goldman loan had benefitted Cruz’s Senate campaign but called any omission about the funds “inadvertent.”