Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has been hit with two federal complaints over his campaign’s usage of donor cash to promote the Senator’s personal book. Campaigns are prohibited from spending money for the personal benefit of candidates, but via the Cruz team’s promotion of his book, that’s exactly what the Texas Senator’s campaign seems to have done. Cruz receives royalties amounting to 15 percent of hardcover book sales, and he got a whopping $400,000 advance from the publisher.
The new federal complaints against Cruz are from a government watchdog group known as the Campaign Legal Center, and the complaints have been filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and Senate Ethics Committee. The FEC complaint names Cruz’s campaign, while the Senate complaint targets Cruz personally. In late 2020, Cruz’s campaign apparently spent up to $15,000 on Facebook ads that “exclusively” promoted the book, according to the Campaign Legal Center’s description.
Brendan Fischer, who serves as director of federal reform for the Campaign Legal Center, commented as follows regarding the situation:
‘Because Cruz receives royalties from book sales, his campaign crossed a legal line by spending donor funds on Facebook ads promoting sales of that book. We don’t know how extensive these violations might be because any similar ads that Cruz may have run on platforms other than Facebook or Google are not publicly available.’
And as the Campaign Legal Center’s senior legal counsel for ethics Delaney Marsco put it:
‘Senate rules are also crystal clear about all members, both current and former, being prohibited from converting federal campaign funds to personal use. Voters must be able to trust that when they are donating to political campaigns, they are doing so to help their favored candidate win or retain their office, not financing their personal endeavors.’
Cruz has faced another recent complaint with the Senate Ethics Committee outside of this situation.
Seven Democratic Senators requested an Ethics Committee investigation into Cruz and fellow election objector Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) after they “lent legitimacy” to the January Capitol rioters with their propagation of the lie that the 2020 presidential election outcome was dubious, as the Democratic Senators put it. Hawley whined that the complaint supposedly represented an effort to “silence dissent,” as though Hawley’s deceptive objection to the certification of the duly documented outcome of the presidential election amounted to mere “dissent.” In reality, Hawley, Cruz, and others went after the very foundation of governance in the United States with their despicable lies.