The Daily Beast took a close look:
The Cruz campaign bought 15 separate ads on Facebook over the past two weeks, each featuring a video of the senator dramatically hyping the need to hold two U.S. Senate seats in Georgia runoff contests.
He asked for $5 contributions to his new “Keep Georgia Red fund.” But Facebook users who clicked through to the online donation page—and read the fine print at the bottom—would see that the actual beneficiary was Cruz’s own campaign committee, not Sens. Kelly Loeffler or David Perdue, the two Republicans running for re-election in Georgia.
Cruz may be the worst example but he’s hardly alone in using Facebook ads that target Georgians for campaigns that have nothing to do with that state.
In fact, the GOP seems to be on board with the tactic:
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has led the way for his caucus. His campaign has been sending some text messages and running Georgia-focused Google ads linking to a page on the GOP fundraising platform WinRed that says donations will benefit McConnell’s own campaign committee.
To be fair, McConnell and other Republican members of Congress split the proceeds with Loeffler and Perdue. But not all. In addition to Cruz, there’s Hitler-admiring Madison Cawthorn.
Congressman-elect Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) purchased a handful of Facebook ads last week in which he pledged to use his new post in a fruitless and conspiratorial attempt to nullify the 2020 presidential election. “Donate below to join the fight and help save our American way of life!” it read. An additional five Cawthorn ads asked people to “defend freedom and defend Georgia!” But like all the others, they linked to Cawthorn’s own donation page. Cawthorn won’t even be sworn in until this weekend.
As usual, the GOP fish rots from the head. As I’ve previously reported, the first $8,000 of every donation to Donald Trump’s “official election defense fund” (though those solicitations were via email) goes to pay down his campaign debt and/or “personal expenses.”
So what’s Facebook doing about the misleading ads? Nothing that we know of. “Facebook did not respond to questions,” The Daily Beast reported.