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Senator to the Extreme: Who Exactly Is Ted Cruz Standing With?

Aaron Patrick Flanagan • Oct 03, 2013

Sen. Ted Cruz at Values Voter Summit 2012 (Photo by Gage Skidmore)

Much hullabaloo surrounded the recent one-man performance piece of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), which was staged in one of the great theaters of our nation’s capitol last week. The good senator’s 24-ish hour tirade, more a fundraising appeal than impassioned defense on behalf of working-to-middle class Americans, highlights the extreme ends to which Cruz is willing to travel, metaphorically speaking, to cast down his heretical opposers. More literally, since being elected, he (and even his father) have been criss-crossing our country, speaking at an array of events hosted by far-Right, bigoted special interest groups.

His travels for such engagements time-and-again reify one point: that when Sen. Ted Cruz stands, he’s more than happy to stand alongside extremists and on behalf of their agendas-the breaking of immigrant families, a hatred of the so-called “gay agenda,” a willingness to limit women’s freedom of choice and the civil rights of nearly all who offend his sense of kith and kin.

Last October, for example, Sen. Cruz took the stage at the Values Voter Summit, the yearly conference of the far-Right Christian organization the Family Research Council (FRC). FRC is widely recognized for its virulently anti-LGBTQ and anti-choice mission. FRC goes further, couching its bigotry in the rhetorical notion that gays, liberals, feminists, Muslims, et al evil-doers are waging a world war against the freedoms of Christians. Here in America, that amounts to clandestine attacks on the Constitution, a document FRC believes to be bequeathed by God himself. Tony Perkins, head of FRC, has come under past criticism for speaking before meetings of the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens, a pro-segregationist group that openly refers to Blacks and African-Americans as “a retrograde species of humanity.” Sen. Cruz is scheduled to speak at this year’s Values Voter Summit, as well.

This past July, Sen. Cruz turned up in the heat to support the DC March for Jobs, which was coordinated by the anti-immigrant front group the Black American Leadership Alliance. Apparently, even when he perhaps desires to speak to working-to-middle class Black and African Americans, Sen. Cruz must do so through a puppet group that takes orders from white nationalists within the established anti-immigrant movement. BALA is headed up by the decidedly conservative and shady Leah Durant, who was hand-picked by those same puppeteers back in 2009 to run yet another front group, the laughably named-and-conceived Progressives for Immigration Reform (PFIR). Prior to PFIR, Durant worked for the Federation for American Immigration Reform’s (FAIR) project-group, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI). If IRLI sounds familiar, author of anti-immigrant bills such as SB 1070 and “self-deportation” superstar Kris Kobach is “Of Counsel” there.

PFIR operates within the constellation of organizations that comprise the established anti-immigrant movement, many of which were either founded and/or initially funded by infamous white nationalist activist John Tanton. The most prominent of these groups being the aforementioned FAIR, the Center for Immigration Studies, and NumbersUSA. NumbersUSA, run by Tanton’s close friend and associate Roy Beck, featured Sen. Cruz on a special webcast hosted by the group back in June. Like Perkins, Beck has also appeared at Council of Conservative Citizen events. Beck also spoke at BALA’s July event, along with Sen. Cruz.

Not to be confined to a single strain of nativism, back in May Sen. Cruz was a featured speaker at a David Horowitz Freedom Center (DHFC) event out in Texas. DHFC is set to hold another event in Texas in November, where he’s scheduled to speak, yet again.

Clearly, there is a deep correlation between who Sen. Cruz spends his time speaking to and for when he takes up the podium on the Senate floor. The Tea Party favorite who is styled to cut the figure of “the every-man” is in truth as beholden to extremist positions of far-Right special interest groups as he is the deep pockets of Republican power brokers and PACs.

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