AUSTIN, Texas – A Democratic Texas lawmaker on Sunday dubbed Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz's mailers that look like jury summonses illegal.
State Rep. Gene Wu said the mailers are a violation of the Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
"I know, because I passed this law in 2015," Wu said on Twitter.
Hello.— Gene Wu (@GeneforTexas) September 16, 2018
This is violation of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA).
I know, because I passed this law in 2015.
See below: https://t.co/9oga4Gq8Zy
A Twitter user named Sean Owen posted a photo of the mailer his 88-year-old grandmother received and it went viral.
Received this for my 88-year-old grandma. Says it's a summons from Travis County, but is actually asking for money for @tedcruz . Did your campaign authorize this? Is this even legal? Shame on you. That's one more @BetoORourke voter. pic.twitter.com/NcFoOCvjFj— Sean Owen (@sean_r_owen) September 16, 2018
Owen wrote "Says it's a summons from Travis County, but is actually asking for money for @tedcruz. Did your campaign authorize this? Is this even legal? Shame on you. That's one more @BetoORourke voter."
The campaign donation mailer is a manila-colored envelope that has the words "SUMMONS ENCLOSED - OPEN IMMEDIATELY," written across the center of the envelope in enlarged font and the following message on the upper left-hand side of the envelope:
Official Travis County Summons
Voter Enrollment Campaign
Division Ted Cruz for Senate 2018
Owen posted a photo of the contents of the envelope, saying it appeared to be "a quite normal campaign fundraising letter," but nonetheless a "'summons' and asking for (an) 'affirmation' signature."
Some have asked what's inside. It's a quite normal campaign fundraising letter, and this form. Still a "Summons" and asking for a "affirmation" signature, but no mention anymore of Travis County (hmm) and more clearly about campaign donation. pic.twitter.com/tbMdkjGPzi— Sean Owen (@sean_r_owen) September 16, 2018
One person replied that the "PRESORTED STD" stamp at the top right of the envelope should have given away the fact that it was "junk mail."
Another person responded, "an 88 year old woman may not be able to tell the difference. She could be so frightened she would send the money."
Wu followed up with his followers, stating he has no grounds to sue Cruz.
Another replied to Wu's tweet stating that in order for the solicitation to be a violation, it would need to be connected to a service or a good.
"With all due respect, the DTPA appears inapplicable unless there's a 'good or service' connected to the solicitation, which it would seem there was not," the person said.
Wu replied, "Interesting."
The legality of the mailers is unclear, but many agree that the mailer could cause an elderly person or an individual with diminished mental capacity concern.