Ted Cruz’s campaign purchased $153,000 in books from an online bookseller in the 2 months after his latest book came out

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) listens at the confirmation hearing for Samantha Power, nominee to be Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on March 23, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) listens at the confirmation hearing for Samantha Power, nominee to be Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on March 23, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
  • His campaign spent $153,000 buying books in the two months after his book "One Vote Away: How A Single Supreme Court Seat Can Change History" was published.
  • He also received $320,000 in advance payment from his book's publisher Regnery Publishing in 2020.
  • In April, a watchdog accused Cruz of using campaign funds to promote his book.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Senator Ted Cruz may have used up $153,000 in campaign funds when he was running for senator last year to buy his own book, reported Forbes reporter Zach Everson on Monday.

In a 2020 Federal Election Commission (FEC) filing, Cruz's campaign spent $153,000 at retailer Books-a-Million. It is not clear what books were purchased - the filing simply listed the purchase as "books."

But the money was spent in the two months following the release of his book "One Vote Away: How A Single Supreme Court Seat Can Change History" on September 29, 2020.

According to the filing, the campaign spent $40,000 on October 15, two weeks after his book was published. In early November, it spent another $11,900. The biggest spend came on December 1, when his campaign spent $111,900 on books.

Cruz is currently offering signed copies of the book for those who donate $77 to his campaign. The hardcover version of the book is being sold at $28.99 on the Books-a-Million website.

Ted Cruz's office did not immediately respond to a request from Insider asking what books were purchased, or if he received royalties from them.

It was also revealed in his financial disclosure for 2020 filed on Monday that he received $320,000 as an advance payment for the book from the book's publisher Regnery Publishing.

In the disclosure, the publisher agreed to pay a $400,000 advance in three installments for the book. Additionally, Cruz will receive 15% of each hardcover sale of the book, 7.5% for each paperback sale, 25% for each e-book order, and 15% of the sale of any books outside the US.

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, according to Forbes.

A spokesperson for Cruz told Forbes Cruz "has not received one cent of royalties in connection with any 'One Vote Away' book sales."

This is not the first time Cruz's campaign has apparently doled out huge amounts of money on his own books. During his presidential campaign in 2015, Cruz paid $122,000 to HarperCollins Publishing, the publisher of his book "A Time For Truth," according to an FEC filing, reported The New Republic - thought it was similarly unclear whether Cruz's team bought his own books.

Cruz also got into trouble earlier this year when watchdog group Campaign Legal Center (CLC) accused Cruz of using $18,000 in campaign funds on Facebook advertisements to promote his book, reported Insider.

"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," said Brendan Fischer, CLC director of federal reform.

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