Ted Cruz’s weird New Mexico connection
Nutjob Texas Senator Ted Cruz made it official today. He’s running for President.
Cruz (who is Canadian, by the way) has done such a great job representing Texas in his short term in the US Senate that one of the state’s major newspapers, the Houston Chronicle, rescinded their endorsement of him in 2013.
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Political peeps are already speculating about a Cruz-Martinez ticket (see Daily Kos‘s Jon Perr’s piece today here, and an evolving thread on Reddit here, ); but, did you know Cruz has a notable New Mexico history as well?
It turns out, he made millions of dollars (at least for his client and law firm who, undoubtably, paid him well) defending huge jury verdicts in New Mexico while running on a platform to stop them. Read on.
New Mexico attorney Emil Kiehne blogged about Cruz’s court victories on his law firm’s website just a few weeks ago:
The article describes Ted Cruz’s involvement in two New Mexico appellate cases while in private practice, Keith v. ManorCare, Inc. and Selk v. Res-Care New Mexico, Inc. In those cases, Cruz represented the plaintiffs, and defended huge punitive damages awards in nursing home negligence cases; $50 million in Keith, and $49.2 million in Selk.
The articles he references were first posted in Mother Jones last month:
Yet, as a lawyer in private practice, Cruz—at least twice, in 2010 and 2011—worked on cases in New Mexico to secure $50 million-plus jury awards in tort cases prompted by corporate malfeasance. These are precisely the kind of jury awards that the tort reform Cruz has promoted would abolish. That is, Cruz the attorney, who sometimes billed clients $695 an hour, made money defending jury awards that Cruz the politician wanted to eliminate—and he did so at the same time he was running for Senate as a pro-tort-reform candidate.
Mother Jones even picked up audio from the hearing where Cruz argues in defense of the multi-million dollar verdict:
Audio tapes have a way of tripping up New Mexico politicians (just ask Susana Martinez). We wonder if Cruz’s New Mexico comments – and the big bucks he made to make them – will come back to haunt him in conservative primaries as well.