We expect our elected officials to act with integrity and to be mindful of how the taxpayer's money is being spent. It looks like basically the taxpayer is subsidizing the training of his relatives. — Virginia Canter, chief ethics counsel at the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics
We expect our elected officials to act with integrity and to be mindful of how the taxpayer's money is being spent. It looks like basically the taxpayer is subsidizing the training of his relatives. — Virginia Canter, chief ethics counsel at the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics
Ted Cruz has been doling out jobs — and taxpayer cash — to his cousins
  • Sen. Ted Cruz has hired cousins to work for his Senate office and campaigns.
  • Ethics experts say it's nepotism that violates the spirit, if not the letter, of the law.
  • Cruz's office called Insider's questions about hiring his family a "political slime job."
Cruz employed the daughter of his first cousin in his Senate office as a paid press assistant and gave his cousin's son a coveted Senate internship. Cruz put his cousin on the payroll for his 2016 presidential campaign and later for his Senate campaign, records show.

Federal law bars members of Congress and other government officials from hiring close relatives — including first cousins — for paid, taxpayer-funded posts.

Cruz did not violate the letter of this anti-nepotism law, ethics experts told Insider. But "hiring of the first cousin's child would just miss the law by a nose," said Craig Holman, a government-ethics lobbyist at the watchdog group Public Citizen.

"We expect our elected officials to act with integrity and to be mindful of how the taxpayer's money is being spent," said Virginia Canter, chief ethics counsel at the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. "It looks like basically the taxpayer is subsidizing the training of his relatives."


... Audrey Sol Loyola served as a press assistant and staff assistant in Cruz's Washington, DC, office from June 2019 until August 2020, according to her LinkedIn page and the congressional database LegiStorm. She earned about $40,000 during that time, records show. Loyola's LinkedIn page says she is now a communications manager at Mercury One Inc., a nonprofit launched by conservative news host and commentator Glenn Beck.

Loyola's mother, Beatriz Bous Loyola, is Cruz's first cousin. Cruz is close to their family; he celebrated Audrey Sol's college graduation in May 2019 and spent the day with her and her father at a Six Flags theme park in July.

Lawmakers hiring the child of a cousin to work in their office "violates the spirit of the law, but the enumeration of who is and is not covered renders this act of nepotism as not a violation of the letter of the law," Holman told Insider.

Audrey Sol's brother, Diego Loyola, interned in Cruz's Senate office from July to August 2019, according to his LinkedIn profile. He said he worked with Cruz on his staff on memos and briefings, made calls to constituents, and gave tours of the US Capitol.

Audrey Sol and Diego both appeared along with other Cruz family members in some awkward raw footage of a presidential campaign ad that CNN uncovered in 2015. The footage features Cruz coaching his relatives and occasionally getting frustrated with them as they try to project an image of a made-for-TV family.

Cruz also paid his cousin, Beatriz Bous Loyola, from the payroll of his presidential and Senate campaigns, federal campaign finance records show. She was paid $27,000 from his presidential campaign in 2015 and 2016, records show, and another $20,000 by his Senate campaign in 2017. Her mother and Cruz's father are siblings.
Read the full article: https://www.businessinsider.com/ted-cruz-hired-cousins-senate-office-campaigns-ethics-nepotism-2021-8