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Anatomy of a Smear: Heidi Cruz and the “North American Union”

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I’m sure there are similar stories about dirty campaign tricks from all over the country, but I’m here in Texas and have a particular interest in the kind of smears which have been surfacing in our Republican Senatorial primary. It’s an interesting race between an insider who started out with a presumed lock on the seat being vacated by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and an large field of candidates representing various interests and grassroots groups from whom an impressive leading challenger has emerged with a real surge of popular support.

Not surprisingly, when an anointed insider candidate like Lt. Governor David Dewhurst, who has nearly unlimited money at his command, feels threatened by an insurgent campaign, his reaction is to go negative as big as he can, and Dewhurst has gone after former Solicitor General Ted Cruz with both barrels. He has been running very negative attack ads for several weeks, spending $1 million a week and clearly planning to spend even more in the month remaining in the primary.

What makes this particular negative campaign interesting is that Dewhurst seems to be taking his cues from a third-tier candidate named Glenn Addison who began a negative campaign against Cruz early in the primary. Though there’s no real evidence, some have suspected that Addison may have been acting as a shill for Dewhurst the whole time, but the peculiar nature of his accusations suggest that his attacks on Cruz may have started as a kind of personal vendetta. The attacks are interesting because they all center around a conspiratorial, paleoconservative perspective characteristic of the John Birch Society.

The Bircher-style smears basically come down to taking various things from Cruz’ background and suggesting that he’s part of a conspiracy of the global elite and perhaps even some sort of closet international socialist. From Addison they merely seemed peculiar, but with Dewhurst’s money behind them and reaching a much wider audience they are a lot uglier and more disturbing.

I could go after the ridiculousness of tainting Cruz because his immigrant father fought with Castro as a teenager in Cuba, or because his law firm defended a Chinese tire company in a patent suit, or because he has taken some campaign money from arch-devil of the conspiracy fringe Goldman-Sachs. None of these other attacks make any sense, but there’s one attack which I find more offensive and which is right up my ally because of my past writings on the subject.

You see, it turns out that according to a whisper campaign coming from Dewhurst or Addison or perhaps direct from the John Birch Society, Ted Cruz’ wife is one of the architects of the dreaded “North American Union.” The JBS is the most likely original source in a now-deleted article in the online version of their New American magazine called “Faux Neo-Conservatives Defend North American Union.”

As it turns out, Cruz’ wife Heidi is an international investment banker who was invited to be part of a working group at the Council on Foreign Relations which reviewed a notorious 2005 paper called “Building a North American Community” which was largely authored by Robert Pastor and is the presumed origin of the idea of the North American Union, though Pastor has repeatedly denied that it contains anything like that.

Although the proposals in the paper are a mild call for general hemispheric economic cooperation with no formal structure, the conspiracy-inclined have interpreted it as a sinister conspiracy to destroy American sovereignty and combine us into a single union with Canada and Mexico. They are inherently suspicious of the Council on Foreign Relations, despite its repeated claims to be politically neutral and solely interested in studying issues objectively. It has become a lynchpin in globalist conspiracy theories and anything associated with it immediately looks more sinister in some eyes.

The paper is basically benign, pointing to ways that the nations of North America could work together through free markets and reducing trade barriers to spread more success and raise up the economies of the poorer countries. In its concluding section it says:

“North America is different from other regions of the world and must find its own cooperative route forward. A new North American community should rely more on the market and less on bureaucracy, more on pragmatic solutions to shared problems than on grand schemes of confederation or union, such as those in Europe. We must maintain respect for each other’s national sovereignty.”

Which certainly doesn’t sound all that terrible, what with acknowledging how different North America is from Europe, promoting market solutions instead of government and explicitly rejecting the idea of a “confederation or union” while promoting respect for national sovereignty. It’s almost like the conspiracy theorists never read the document, or gave up after the title and wrote a fantasy version in their heads based solely on the title and their obsession with the CFR.

Admittedly, there are plenty of bad ideas in the report. It’s full of proposals for government managed trade and incentive programs and inter-governmental cooperation for regulation and security. It’s all stuff which makes sense if you think government is the way to solve problems, but not something which would resonate with true conservatives. Yet the big irony here is that it appears that Heidi Cruz doesn’t even agree with those aspects of the report for which she is being blamed.

Heidi Cruz’ role in all of this was as one of a large panel of readers and her sole identifiable contribution to the project is a one-paragraph response in the final appendix in which she says:

“We must emphasize the imperative that economic investment be led and perpetuated by the private sector. There is no force proven like the market for aligning incentives, sourcing capital, and producing results like financial markets and profit-making businesses. This is simply necessary to sustain a higher living standard for the poorest among us — truly the measure of our success. As such, investment fundsand financing mechanisms should be deemed attractive instruments by those committing the capital and should only be developed in conjunction with market participants.”

So basically, her role here is to say that free markets and free trade are the answer to greater regional prosperity. I find it hard to believe that any conservative or republican would disagree with this or condemn her for believing it, and it’s positively bizarre to see someone who is as much of a globalist insider as Dewhurst raising this sort of argument.

The whole idea that Heidi Cruz is part of some grand conspiracy is patently ridiculous. It’s guilt by association and by innuendo from people who don’t understand the CFR or the report which they so revile and who assume that anyone who may have been in a room with Robert Pastor or William Weld must be some sort of globalist stooge. The reality is that the CFR draws on a diverse pool of experts, most of whom have very little involvement in the organization and that its output, like this paper, tends to be in the form of general suggestions with no force behind them which no one ever really acts on. We certainly aren’t plunging headlong into any kind of regional union on the basis of one paper which no one seems to have read.

I chose this particular attack as an example because it is so blatantly baseless. There’s no conspiracy, explicitly no proposal for a North American Union in the source document, and it’s not even clear that Heidi Cruz was all that supportive of the conclusions of the report. It’s all a patchwork of irrational fear and ignorant assumptions with no substance to it whatever. Yet I still see many conservatives who might otherwise support Ted Cruz’ run for the Senate repeating this story at face value without ever having looked into the utter lack of truth behind it.

Something has made some conservatives awfully gullible and extremely suspicious. But you have to wonder why those suspicions aren’t directed at David Dewhurst, a man with connections to every kind of global interest, whose campaign is bought and paid for by big oil, bankers and trial lawyers, and who is basically trying to buy a seat in the Senate with a million dollars a week of negative ads based on BS which he assumes no one will bother to check out. That shouldn’t just make you suspicious. It should make you angry.

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About Dave Nalle

Dave Nalle is Executive Director of the Texas Liberty Foundation, Chairman of the Center for Foreign and Defense Policy, South Central Regional Director for the Republican Liberty Caucus and an advisory board member at the Coalition to Reduce Spending. He was Texas State Director for the Gary Johnson Presidential campaign, an adviser to the Ted Cruz senatorial campaign, Communications Director for the Travis County Republican Party and National Chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus. He has also consulted on many political campaigns, specializing in messaging. Before focusing on political activism, he owned or was a partner in several businesses in the publishing industry and taught college-level history for 20 years.
  • El Bicho

    “In its concluding section it says:”

    Oh, you tease. That part got left out from the looks of it.

  • Kevin Surbaugh

    Wow! As a registered Republican in Austin I hadn’t caught all this the only ads I’ve seen are the commercials and Dewhurt’s ads have been widely ignored in my home, at least by me. I personally like Tom Laperds (did I sell his name right) commercials that say he is a businessman not a career politician (Dewhurst and Cruz) a Lawyer (Cruz) or a sportscaster (????), but I realy don’t know anything about any of them and I haven’t seen any political mailings since I moved to Texas (except the ones that still trickle down from Kansas – where I had been very involved in the Republican Party).
    I want to know more about these candidates so I can vote for the one that will protect our Liberties when I go to vote May 29th in the primaries. Hopefully, if I don’t hear from each of the candidates I can at least find information in the media (including blogcritics) that might help me get informed.
    It’s like the Austin City Council and Mayors race. I understand there are 3 positions for council and I am familiar with only one of the candidates (Laura Presley) I don’t even know the incumbent she is running against. Likewise I know of Clay Defoe and Mayor Lee Lefingwell in the Mayors race. The other two positions I don’t know of any of the candidates. Who will I vote for? In those two spots it would probably have to be Donald Duck since despite my best efforts I don’t know who is running or what they stand for. In the spots I do know, I know hands down the candidates that are Campaigning for Liberty. Defoe and Presley and those two will have my vote on May 12, but the Senatorial primary on May 29th? I have no idea who to vote for.

  • Timothy E. Bradberry

    You’ve perpetuated a trumped up charge with “I could go after [Ted Cruz] because his law firm defended a Chinese tire company in a patent suit.”

    In reality Cruz’ firm is representing said Chinese company tire company in an appeal of the patent suit that they lost. The original suit was defended by some other firm.

    Since I’m posting a comment on you article I am providing for the sake of the naysaying conspiracy minded, the paragraph from the CFL report you intended to quote:

    “North American integration has subtly created a domestic agenda that is continental in scope. The U.S. government is not organized to address this agenda imaginatively. Facing difficult trade-offs between private and North American interests, we tend to choose the private, parochial option. This explains the frustration of Canada and Mexico. To remedy this chronic problem, President Bush should appoint a special assistant onNorth AmericanAffairs to chair a Cabinet committee to recommend ways to breathe life into a NorthAmerican community. A presidential directive should support this by instructing the Cabinet to give preference to North America.”

  • Dave Nalle

    Tim, I don’t perpetuate that trumped up charge, I just mention it to dismiss it while going after this other trumped up charge.

    And your quote wasn’t the one that I had originally put in there. I’ve now fixed the article.


  • Glenn Contrarian

    Is the last paragraph in #3 what’s missing from the quote that was apparently meant to be inserted between the last two paragraphs of page 2?

    Good to see you’re still around, Dave. I’ve got one other question, and it’s an honest – by which I mean not ‘loaded’ – question: What’s the difference between a “globalist” and someone who supports free trade and free markets?

    Thanks –

  • Dave Nalle

    Glenn, that’s an extremely complex question.

    From the perspective we’re dealing with in this instance “globalists” are part of a cabal of evil corporations, socialistic governments, international banks and NGOs who want to control the entire world and take away all of our rights and liberties through instruments like the IMF, UN, WTO, CFR, Federal Reserve, Bildebergers, etc.

    The group disliking these globalists actually breaks down into two sub-groups, one which is particularly concerned with Transnational Socialism – the NGOs and quasi governmental organizations – and one which is more concerned with global corporatism. But they sometimes share the paranoid kool aid.

    But yes, support for Free Trade is also a globalist movement, but it’s one which is seen as benign, except when it takes the form of “neoconservative” efforts to impose free trade through military force or large scale economic interventionism by government, or through managed trade agreements. That stuff starts to edge over into the evil kind of globalism.

    Really it all kind of makes my head hurt.


    • DMChoreographer

      Does the Trans Pacific Partnership create american manufacturing jobs? It’s coming next. Obama is working on it… Think NAFTA on steroids with illegal aliens as the workers….

  • Alan C

    I tuned in to read about Heidi Cruz, hoping you would provide a defense of her connections with the CFR and Goldman-Sachs. I’ve been looking forward to hearing the Cruz’s perspective on these allegations.

    Instead, I find a Nalle hatchet job maligning the John Birch society, smears against Glenn Addison, and hyperbole (arch-devil? c’mon…) aimed at opponents (such as Addison & JBS) of corporatism and bailouts. I guess personal attacks are only disallowed in the Comments section…

    I admit I only read the first page. Perhaps you do eventually offer a legit explanation for Heidi Cruz’s globalist and corporatist connections, but I cannot stomach any more. You do violence to the cause of liberty with your mockery of liberty candidates like Glenn Addison, and marginalization of entities (like JBS) who educate the public on eroding civil liberties and US sovereignty.

    • Desertcatn

      That bothered me also, JBS has been supportive of Ted Cruz.

  • Dave Nalle

    The JBS doesn’t educate the public, they spread misinformation and promote paranoia. They have been trying to clean up their act, and I give them credit for that, but their attacks on the wrong targets for the wrong reasons are a big problem for the liberty movement. I feel no need to cut them any slack.

    You might want to read the rest of the article. I’m sure it will annoy you. As for defending her connections with the CFR and Goldmann-Sachs, why would those need to be defended to anyone who is halfway sensible? She’s an investment banker so she has worked with Goldmann-Sachs. It’s largely unavoidable and making an issue of it is just more idiotic paranoid BS. As for the CFR, it’s not the bogeyman the JBS and other nutters make it out to be. It isn’t secretive, it isn’t all-powerful and in the case discussed in the article it isn’t even proposing what it’s been accused of.

    And I’m proud to do a hatchet job on people who deserve to be chopped up.


  • Glenn Contrarian

    (From a train somewhere west of Spokane)

    Thanks, Dave – I appreciate the answer. I may not like the answer, but you gave it straightly and I’ll respect it as I should. Besides, Most anybody that opposes the JB’S is a friend of mine.

    • Audrey Merrell

      the bushes are for the North american Union, All Mrs Cruz did was work for George W bush on the council on foreigen relations, but no longer does since GWB has been out of office. I really don’t think she was in any
      way supportive of the NAU.

  • Jane Zeitgiest

    The question about globalists should make your head hurt Dave… you just don’t get it.
    Not once did you mention our constitution, THE LAW OF THIS LAND & the only thing protecting the people of this nation from over out of control government. THAT is what it’s all about.

    The Council on Foreign Relations is THE American front organization for the global agenda… their goal is to put an end to our national sovereignty. They work hand in hand with the United Nations, The Trilateral Commission and other one world governance organizations.
    Anyone who cares about the survival of our republic knows that the CFR and anyone supporting them is either ignorant to their goal or supports the end of our constitutional republic. Brilliant.

  • Peter S. Chamberlain

    I started out tending to favor Dewhurst, but after his attacks on Cruz for such dreadful sins as being a lawyer, much less a good one who gets hired by clients to appeal after they lose a case, representing a Chinese company–that was long before Dewhurst falsely charged him with child abuse and driving a teen to suicide and all but linked him to the Penn State child abuse failure to report and cover-up crimes, and attacked his wife.

    I am very familiar with Kennedy v. Louisiana, a case I had very much wanted him to win where he only got four votes to permit the death penalty for child rapes (the politically popular Jessica’s Law which Dewhurst did support in Texas over some opposition) and, as a lawyer with trial and appellate experience, who had very unexpectedly come to find myself representing and having other privileged and confidential relationships with an awful lot of child and adult survivors of mostly incestuous child sexual abuse, some of whose immediate and near extended family member molesters I can’t name here, and others who failed and refused to protect such children, were palmed off on us in positions of trust by both political parties. I’ve lost a brother to suicide, sought and obtained treatment for suicidal depression myself, and survive by knowing and understanding more about clinical depression, etc., and the dynamics of suicide than most people, and have represented, and had other privileged and confidential relationships with, more children, teens, and adults who have attempted suicide than I can count. I had a long piece on suicide by young people in and after being in jail published in Texas Lawyer years ago. I had a client, the 18 year old “adult” teenage son of a retired sheriff, who killed himself shortly after I got him released on bail on a simple marijuana possession charge that I might have won and on which probation or a minimal sentence would have been expected. Even with my personal and professional expertise, none of us saw this coming. It is practically impossible to meet the legal burden to prove that the suicide was in fact proximately caused by the kind of misconduct with which Cruz’ client was even charged, especially when it occurs after release. What I also know, all too well, is that, after a suicide, the survivors suffer awful, but irrational, “if only . . . “ guilt, anguish, and pain, and many look for someone else, consciously or unconsciously, to blame to try to alleviate it.

    The omission of one recent federal law from an appendix in that case was, in my experience, an all too understandable error and omission for any of us who have ever done such legal research and know that these things are often badly indexed and hard to find in computerized or hard-book research, as shown by the fact that none of the several lawyers, or the Supreme Court justice and their top law clerks, a very honored position offered only to very top students which Cruz himself had held, picked up on this. Having actually read everything on file in the case, readily available on the Supreme Court’s own and other Web sites, etc., I know, and know that Dewhurst and his campaign and legal advisors knew or should have known, I also know that this omission had no effect whatsoever upon the outcome of the case, and that the Supreme Court effectively so held when it reopened but reaffirmed its majority holding and dissenting opinions after this omission was discovered.

    One of the majorities liberal Justices had previously written that the death penalty was always unconstitutional in modern times, so it is unlikely that this omission led to his vote against the law. The majority opinion explicitly stated that, in considering whether the death penalty for rape of one or more children was “cruel and unusual” and thus prohibited by the Eighth Amendment, which was the only issue the Supreme Court had accepted the case to review, their personal subjective “feelings” were the ultimate authority, and that the rape of one or more children was not serious enough to justify it (though they did reserve the question whether “crimes against the federal government,” a frighteningly broad category, might. They persisted in this and refused to reconsider their opinion when they did reopen the case briefly after this error was discovered. Anyone who thinks any of those five liberal Justices would have changed their mind in this case because that one additional law, thus held unconstitutional, had been listed in the original papers and argument would have to be a fool, and, in my view, anyone making that assertion in a political campaign is not only a fool but a liar.

    Ironically, Harvard Constitutional Law professor, experienced Supreme Court advocate, Obama advisor, and temporary Justice Department official under Obama, Lawrence Tribe, had concluded that law was Constitutional and should have been upheld, but upon a different, valid argument from the one primarily used by Cruz and accepted by the four dissenting Justices. Tribe’s position and alternative legal rationale had been widely publicized before the Court reopened the case due to the omission of citation of this new federal law, which would not control the Court, and liberal former University of Chicago Lecturer in Constitutional Law Barack Obama, who now holds a powerful but temporary government job, also stated publicly, without publishing his precise rationale, that he agreed with the result, permitting the states to provide for the death penalty for this crime or crimes, reached not by the liberal majority but by the four dissenting conservative Justices (confirmation of two of whom he had voted against as a Senator). It is too bad that they and Attorney General Eric Holder did not both pick up on the omission and weigh in with an amicus curiae brief supporting the law, which they would later say they thought was constitutional, before oral argument and the Court’s opinions.

    Dewhurst’s attacks on Cruz’ wife Heidi are not only irrational and unconscionable, but false, deceptive, and fraudulent. I have my own differences with the CFR but they do include many of the smartest experts in the country, and her role, which did not include voting on any of its political positions, was entirely proper. William F. Buckley, Jr., father of the conservative movement in my day, noted that John Birch Society founder and leader Welch’s accusation that President Eisenhower was a closet Communist was, among other things, absurd and “lunacy,” so if that’s the source of the alleged evidence against either Heidi or Ted Cruz, and some posters here have defended the JBS, that would be just one more proof that Dewhurst is a liar and a fool.

    Now there are some issues and questions I am concerned about, and some about whch I am somewhat of an expert, concerning which I have not been able to get answers from either candidate. I’ve never found a party or politician with whom I could agree 100%, and there have been bills of concern to me on which the same Christian religious beliefs, economic and legal education, and professional and life experience that make me a conservative, and thus a Republican, on most issues, and sometimes arcane legal expertise, led me to agree, publicly, with Ted Kennedy and Obama. I’m pro-life and know a lot about children, teens, child abuse, mental illness, suicide, health care, debt and bankruptcy, etc., and want my elected officials to understand, and if I contact them I expect them or a knowledgeable staff person to return my call. When I started fifty years ago, you could do a little volunteer work in a campaign and they would know you and take your calls, and now too many don’t know you and don’t have anything to do with you unless you make huge cash campaign contributions, and I don’t have the money.

  • James Lister
  • Jacquie

    CFR is part of the Lucifer worshipping NWO. So how can you say that anything or anyone on that criminal Task Force is NOT part of it?

    • Christopher Rose

      Mostly because Lucifer doesn’t actually exist and never has…

      • Ali M-K

        I like your answers… very astute & grammatically accurate💭

      • Peter Pan

        hello how are you today?