Ted Cruz, the Republican senator who may run for president, will address the “secret” conservative group Friends of Abe next month.
Cruz told The Hollywood Reporter that he will address what he considers is a government effort to intimidate artists who criticize President Barack Obama and his policies.
Cruz said that Friends of Abe was right to refuse a request from the IRS to reveal the names of its members. It’s a group of about 2,000 entertainment industry workers.
“FOA should respond to the IRS as it would to any McCarthyite request for information,” Cruz said. “The U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled that Americans have freedom of association and that groups should not be forced to reveal the names of members, because that information could be abused for political gain. There has already been an incident where the IRS leaked that kind of information about a group.”
Treatment of the group aligns with similar alleged abuse such as the arrest of Dinesh D’Souza, who made “2016: Obama’s America,” which is highly critical of the president. D’Souza allegedly make illegal campaign contributions in a U.S. senate race in New York.
Cruz alaso noted the arrest of filmmaker Nakoula Nakoula, whose video, “Innocence of Muslims,” was blamed for causing the riots in Benghazi in Libya that eventually left four Americans dead.
“It’s a remarkably selective prosecution considering Obama raised millions of dollars under similar circumstances and donors merely faced civil fines while D’Souza is charged with felony violation of federal law,” says Cruz. “There is a pattern of targeting filmmakers who speak out politically.
“Authorities have been remarkably selective in prosecuting D’Souza; the IRS’ treatment of FOA is consistent with what this administration has done to Tea Party and conservative groups; and with Benghazi, which we now know was a terrorist attack, the administration’s first instinct was to blame a filmmaker. This administration locked him up. That should be very troubling to the filmmaking community.”
Cruz added: “Imagine if George W. Bush had locked up Michael Moore, Sean Penn and Alec Baldwin. Hollywood would be outraged and rightly so. It’s striking that when Nixon targeted his enemies it was rightly criticized as abuse of power, but when President Obama does it with far more success, the silence from Democrats, the media and from filmmakers is deafening.”