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Claim that Ted Cruz was bribed by the Koch brothers refuted

Senator Ted Cruz
Senator Ted Cruz
Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images

In a Sunday piece, Politifact noted a July claim by a group called Occupy Democrats that Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas was bribed by the Koch brothers in exchange for offering an amendment that would have transferred federal land to private entities or the states in those states where the federal government owns more than half of the land. Politifact’s conclusion was, “Strike a match. Pants on Fire!” In other words, Occupy Democrats was lying.

The term “bribe” has a very clear definition. “money or favor given or promised in order to influence the judgment or conduct of a person in a position of trust.” Politics have featured private interests offering monetary inducements to politicians since there was such a thing as politics. However the one thing that Occupy Democrats did not offer to support its assertion was anything resembling evidence.

There is also the fact that the Koch brothers did not amass their billions of dollars by being idiots. Leaving aside the criminal exposure of offering politicians suit cases full of cash, or however the thing is done, one would hardly have to offer money to a man like Cruz to support legislation that he supports anyway. Bribing Ted Cruz to try to get the federal government to shed land that it owns is sort of like bribing Elizabeth Warren to propose increasing the corporate tax rate.

Cruz actually believes that the federal government owns too much land, especially in the western states. This has created a great expense to maintain the land. Also the federal government, especially under President Obama, have used federal ownership of land to lock up natural resources such as oil and gas that could be extracted for the economic benefit of Americans. Unfortunately most of the Senate did not agree, so the Cruz amendment went nowhere.