Former federal ethics chief blasts Ted Cruz's message to 'woke' corporations as 'openly corrupt'

U.S. Sen Ted Cruz published a letter in the Wall Street Journal threatening to cut off access to corporate CEOs who don't toe the Republican Party line. - SHUTTERSTOCK
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U.S. Sen Ted Cruz published a letter in the Wall Street Journal threatening to cut off access to corporate CEOs who don't toe the Republican Party line.
The former head of the Government Office of Ethics called an editorial penned by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz as a warning to "woke CEOs" as possibly the “most openly corrupt” message ever from a senator to corporate donors.

“It’s the part everyone knows: these crooks sell access,” Walter Shaub, former chief of the Government Office of Ethics, tweeted Sunday in response to a column Cruz, R-Texas, published in the Wall Street Journal. “Others have the sense not to admit it. This is why our republic is broken: Immoral politicians selling power we’ve entrusted to them like it’s theirs to sell.”


In case anyone needs a translation: Shaub, who headed the office under the tenures of presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump, was calling out Cruz for having the gall — or maybe the profound cluelessness — to openly admit his own party engages in greased-palm politics.

In his editorial published last week in the WSJ, Cruz wags his finger at CEOs that have spoken out against Republicans' assault on voting rights in state legislatures, saying those captains of industry are no longer welcome to seek special favors.

“This time, we won’t look the other way on Coca-Cola’s $12 billion in back taxes owed," Cruz wrote. "This time, when Major League Baseball lobbies to preserve its multibillion-dollar antitrust exception, we’ll say no thank you. This time, when Boeing asks for billions in corporate welfare, we’ll simply let the Export-Import Bank expire.”

By now, accusations of dirty dealing are nothing new to Cruz, who facing separate ethics complaints over his potential role in the January 6 Capitol insurrection and his alleged use of campaign funds to promote a book he wrote.

Maybe Cruz figured he had nothing to lose if he went ahead and said the quiet part out loud. After all, that didn't seem to be a political liability for Trump, whose coattails Texas' junior senator is eager to ride.

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