The Buzz

TheChat: Ted Cruz imports his secret weapons

The Cruz family campaigns
The Cruz family campaigns

Good morning.

▪  “Cruz definitely has made this a family affair.” — Bob Vander Plaats, a prominent Iowa social conservative, on Ted Cruz’s use of his family to woo voters.

The idea here: Soften Cruz’s rough edges. His wife and father do some of that as Cruz enjoys an uptick in the polls.

▪ “Will this happen again?” — Emily van Schenkhof with Missouri Kids First expressing concern about Congress’ decision to take $1.5 billion out of a fund that supports victims of crime.

She said crime victims don’t get enough support as it is. Both of Missouri’s U.S. senators said they opposed the transfer. Sen. Roy Blunt said he was confident the money would be replaced. (link via

▪ “The problem with the current system is that four out of five voters in four out of five states are being ignored in the general election campaign.” — Pat Rosenstiel of National Popular Vote based in Los Altos, Calif.. He’s pushing a plan to elect the presidential candidate who gets the most votes.

Under the present system, the key to victory is winning the Electoral College. Rosenstiel wants to change that and is looking for support in Missouri. To date, 11 states have passed the National Popular Vote bill.

▪ “The alternative would be move all those justices off the court and bring in seven strangers, and that just has not, over the course of many years, proven to be practical.” — Kansas Supreme Court Chief Justice Lawton Nuss arguing that the state’s highest court can rule on a funding dispute that’s centered on how chief judges in each judicial district around the state are picked.

The Legislature passed a law this year that says if the chief judge selection process is struck down, funding for the courts is wiped out. Now the issue is whether the state Supreme Court should hear the case over the constitutionality of that idea. Critics say it should not given its own stake in the case’s outcome. Nuss is saying the court really doesn’t have any choice. It has to hear the case because the impractical alternative is importing seven judges from outside Kansas to hear it. Bottom line: This is a huge mess.