The Federal Election Commission (FEC) and the Senate Ethics Committee filed FEC complaints about Cruz and his aides bulk buying his book One Vote Away: How a Single Supreme Court Vote Can Change History. The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) raised $1.5 million giving books away to donors as incentives.
Cruz’s staff spent $154,000 from his supporters’ funds on copies of his book. He also added $18,000 to promote it in Facebook ads.
‘When elected officials use campaign contributions to advance their personal bottom lines, they compromise the integrity of the political process and undermine the public’s trust that their political contributions are being used legally.’
An attorney specializing in FEC regulations, Brett Kappel, said legislators could only earn up to $28,595 above their federal salaries in 2021. Fortunately, book advances and royalties are exempt from that limit. Kappel added:
‘You can see why writing books is one of the favorite ways for members to earn outside income.’
Republican organizations have made large bulk purchases of books by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR), Senator. Josh Hawley (R-MO), and Donald Trump Jr.
A spokesperson for the political watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility, Jordan Libowitz, commented:
‘A political party or outside group can help a candidate’s bottom line and turn them into a best-selling author, something that could further help their bank account. That’s not the purpose of a political party.’
The spokesperson to the National Republican Senatorial Committee said it spent around $77,000 last summer. Those buys were made by former staff members.’
‘The NRCC said it gave away copies as incentives to donors, raising $1.5 million in the process. it accumulated Fortitude’s ”ascent up the bestseller lists.” The NRCC said it gave away copies as incentives to donors, raising $1.5 million in the process. It was a quiet move. and thrust Cruz’ book onto the Bestseller List.’
‘While there’s no prohibition on such second-party purchases, a new complaint alleges that another Texas Republican, Sen. Ted Cruz, crossed the line into illegal activity when he used campaign money to boost sales of his newest book.’
The FEC states that any royalties that Cruz received that were not on the up-and-up penalizes the Texas senator. The group is seeking unspecified civil penalties against Cruz. The FEC typically requires candidates to repay any questionable expenses to their campaigns.
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