Ted Cruz’s campaign accused of spending $150,000 on Texas senator’s own book

Senator is one of several to have offered marked-up books to his campaign donors, but ethics regulations make bulk-buying a tricky business

Andrew Naughtie
Thursday 19 August 2021 17:19
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Texas Republican Ted Cruz’s campaign has been accused of purchasing scores of copies of the senator’s most recent book – to the tune of some $150,000.

As reported by Forbes, the Republican senator received an advance of nearly $320,000 for his book One Vote Away: How a Single Supreme Court Seat Can Change History, published last year. According to campaign finance filings, after it was published, the campaign spent tens of thousands of dollars at a merchant called Books-a-Million.

It is not unheard of for political campaigns to bulk-buy copies of a candidate’s book and then send signed copies to individual donors. Mr Cruz’s campaign website currently promises to send an autographed edition of One Vote Away to anyone who donates at least $77 to the re-election effort.

However, bulk book orders from campaigns are usually made via the publisher, not a bookseller, as buying books on the market can raise royalties and push books up bestseller lists – thus skirting the boundaries of campaign finance regulations.

A campaign spokesperson told Forbes that “Senator Cruz has not received one cent of royalties in connection with any One Vote Away book sales.”

Mr Cruz’s team appears to have paid for copies of his book before. In 2015, when the senator was in the first stages of a presidential run, the Cruz campaign paid well over $100,000 to HarperCollins, who published his pre-campaign manifesto A Time for Truth.

Mr Cruz narrowly won re-election to his Texas seat in 2018 after a strong challenge from Democratic then-congressman Beto O’Rourke, who is now thought to be mulling a challenge to incumbent Republican Governor Greg Abbott in 2022.

The next opportunity for a Democrat to take on Mr Cruz will be in 2024, but if Donald Trump does not or cannot run for another presidential term that year, the senator is favoured to be popular with the Republican base in a primary to succeed him.

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