Ted Cruz's Hedge Funder Sugar Daddy Spends $100,000 to Bring Death Penalty Back to Nebraska
Over the summer, the conservative legislature of Nebraska – led by left-wing lawmaker Ernie Chambers – stunningly voted to end the death penalty, overcoming the veto of the state's Republican governor.
Now, a coalition of right-wing donors and activists, buoyed by one of Ted Cruz's biggest funders, has converged on the state to bring capital punishment back.
New York City hedge funder Robert Mercer gave $100,000 to the $900,000 campaign that successfully placed a referendum about the issue on the state's 2016 ballot. Mercer is a well-known funder of right-wing causes, giving millions of dollars to organizations such as the Media Research Center and the Heartland Institute. More recently, Mercer gave $11 million to a constellation of outside Super PACs supporting Cruz's campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.
Recall that Cruz recently dismissed Pope Francis's calls for abolition of the death penalty, telling Politico that he “spent a number of years in law enforcement dealing with some of the worst criminals, child rapists and murderers, people who’ve committed unspeakable acts. I believe the death penalty is a recognition of the preciousness of human life, that for the most egregious crimes, the ultimate punishment should apply.”
This is despite the fact that as a lawyer in private practice, Cruz once argued against the death penalty's unfairness as it was meted out in the current criminal justice system.
Recall that over the last quarter, Cruz's Super PACs accumulated $38 million. This means that more than a quarter of all of the outside money coming Cruz's way so far has come from a single man – and that man is doing his best to bring the death penalty back to a state that just got rid of it, a viewpoint that the candidate who is depending on his resources seems to be echoing.