The Dallas News reports:
Sen. Ted Cruz accused Rep. Beto O’Rourke on Friday of allowing aides to use campaign donations to help Central American migrants moving north through Mexico in a so-called caravan.
Cruz based his allegation on undercover video from Project Veritas, a right-wing group with a checkered history of infiltrating liberal organizations and campaigns and using selective–and dubious –editing to allege wrongdoing.
Cruz referred to the video while campaigning in Fort Worth, telling a crowd of about 300 that “a video broke this morning of his campaign staffers taking campaign money and apparently using it to give it to people coming here illegally.”
The Texas Tribune reports:
O’Rourke’s campaign said that the staffers were responding to an unrelated incident last week in which the federal government dropped off over 100 migrants seeking asylum at a bus station in downtown El Paso. The local newspaper said that bus station officials then called Annunciation House, a Catholic nonprofit immigrant shelter.
“Staff members took it upon themselves to use prepaid cards from one of our more than 700 field offices to buy baby wipes, diapers, water, fruit and granola bars, and donate them to a local humanitarian nonprofit (Annunciation House) that helps mothers and children in the community,” O’Rourke spokesman Chris Evans said in a statement. “The value was under $300 and it will be appropriately reported to the FEC.”
It is not unusual for campaigns to make donations to groups like Annunciation House. Campaigns are allowed to give to charity “as long as the candidate does not receive compensation from the charitable organization before it has expended the entire amount donated,” according to the FEC website.