Nobody wants to read Ted Cruz‘s crappy new book… except, apparently, for Ted Cruz.
Recently released FEC filings suggest the antigay senator blew over $150,000 on copies of his own book using money donated to his campaign in 2020.
Last September, Cruz released One Vote Away: How a Single Supreme Court Seat Can Change History, for which he was paid a $320,000 advance by his publisher. According to FEC filings, his campaign spent $153,000 at Books-a-Million shortly after its publication.
It’s not entirely clear what titles were purchased with that money, since the filing simply lists the purchase as “books”, but records show the campaign spent $40,000 on October 15. Coincidentally, the very next week, Cruz’s book ranked #9 on the NYT Bestseller list.
The campaign spent another $11,900 on “books” in the beginning of November. Coincidentally, the very next week, Cruz’s book ranked #5 on the NYT Bestseller list, jumping nine spots from #14 the previous week.
The campaign spent another $111,900 on “books” on December 1; however, Cruz’s book didn’t end up cracking the list the following week, which also happened to be the same time President Obama’s memoir was released, as well as new books by Dolly Parton and Michael J. Fox.
In addition to the $320,000 advance, Cruz receives 15% of each hardcover sale of the book, 7.5% for each paperback sale, 25% for each e-book sale, and 15% for any books sold outside the U.S.
It is not illegal for US senators to buy their own books using campaign funds, according to the FEC. But they have to make sure royalties from book sales go to charities and not their own pockets.
In fact, Sens. Tammy Duckworth, Elizabeth Warren, and Tom Cotton all used campaign funds to purchase copies of their books. However, those purchases were all for less than $20,000.
Cruz is currently peddling signed copies of the book (which retails for $28.99) to anyone who donates $77 to his campaign. A spokesperson insists that he “has not received one cent of royalties”, although they declined to say what was purchased at Books-A-Million with that $153,000 worth of campaign funds.
Earlier this year, Cruz was accused of illegally using $18,000 in campaign funds on Facebook ads to promote One Vote Away. And in 2015, he spent $122,000 to buy copies of his book A Time For Truth during his failed presidential campaign.
Graham Gremore is the Features Editor and a Staff Writer at Queerty. Follow him on Twitter @grahamgremore.