Ted Cruz is on a crusade to lock down what he calls “the evangelical bracket,” emailing 100,000 pastors last weekend to mobilize their congregations in a 50-state campaign to defund Planned Parenthood.
The Texas GOP senator, who carried the votes of many religious conservatives in his 2012 Senate run, maintained at a religious liberty-themed campaign rally in Iowa last Friday that the Supreme Court and other institutions are waging a “war on faith.”
But Cruz has some work to do with the clergy, at least in terms of persuading them to drop some change in his collection plate. So far in the 2016 cycle, he has drawn less than $18,800 from pastors and other employees of places of worship.
In fact, the presidential field’s leading recipient of contributions from this group of donors is Democrat Hillary Clinton, who had brought in at least $47,400 as of the end of June. Among others who gave to Clinton was Dagmar Braun-Celeste, a former First Lady of Ohio who was secretly ordained as a Roman Catholic priest more than a decade ago and then excommunicated because the church doesn’t allow women to be priests; she gave Clinton $1,000. Rev. Timothy Boggs, the priest at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, posted a $1,000 donation as well. Boggs is not without a political compass: For two decades before taking his…