Cruz could earn royalties off campaign's $153,000 purchase of 'books,' if they included the one he just released

The Texas Senator received a $400,000 advance on his latest book. In the three months after its publication, his campaign paid a retailer $153,000 for ‘books.’ His spox wouldn’t identify the title.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) would stand to benefit financially from his campaign’s $153,000 purchase of books, if they were in fact of his latest publication, per details of his book deal included in his latest financial disclosure. Reached via email on Monday, Cruz’s spokesperson would not identify what titles the campaign bought.

As 1100 Pennsylvania reported yesterday, Cruz’s campaign purchased more than $153,000 worth of “books” from a retailer in the three months after his latest work, “One Vote Away: How a Single Supreme Court Seat Can Change History,” was released.

While 1100 Pennsylvania reported on Monday about Cruz’s campaign’s book expenditures, details of his contract and his spokesperson’s repsonse are new information.

Cruz’s financial disclosure for 2019 shows that his book deal with Regnery Publishing called for the junior senator from Texas to receive a $400,000 advance based in part on a 15 percent royalty from hardcover book sales. Under his contract, unless Books-a-Million purchased its copies from Regnery at a 78 percent or greater discount, Cruz would stand to earn royalties from his campaign’s $153,000 purchases, either as direct payments or towards paying off his advance—if the book the Cruz campaign purchased was the candidate’s, of course. [H/T S.V. Dáte of Huff Post for pointing your correspondent in the right direction here.]

Autographed copies of Cruz’s book are now available on the official Ted Cruz for Senate website in exchange for donations of $77 or more—while currently unavailable, signed copies of that same book cost $28.99 on Books-a-Million’s website1100 Pennsylvania has been unable to find the Cruz campaign advertising offers involving books by other authors.

A lawyer specializing in campaign finance, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of their terms of employment, told 1100 Pennsylvania that for a campaign to legally buy the candidate’s book, it must do so directly from the publisher and donate to charity any royalties the lawmaker earns from the purchases.

Cruz’s book was published by Regnery, a division of the publicly traded Salem Media Group; the campaign’s book purchases were made at Books-a-Million, a privately owned retailer.

In response to an inquiry about what books were bought, and, if the purchases did include Cruz’s book, why weren’t they made through the publisher and what’s the status of any royalties, a spokesperson for the senator provided a one-sentence response, addressing just the last question: “Sen. Cruz has not made any royalties on ‘One Vote Away.’”

Given the opportunity to deny that Cruz’s campaign’s purchased $153,000 worth of his book at Books-a-Million, his spokesperson did not do so.

This instance marks at least the second time it appears a Cruz campaign may have purchased mass quantities of one of his books. In 2015, Cruz’s presidential campaign paid $122,252.62 to Harper Collinsthe day after that publisher released his “A Time for Truth: Reigniting the Promise of America.”


GOP campaigns spends big at book retailer owned by a major Republican donor

When Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) campaign was in the market for the aforementioned $153,000 worth of books late last year, it chose Alabama-based retailer Books-a-Million.

On Sept. 16, 2020, the Republican National Committee spent $242,845 at Books-a-Million’s website in a single purchase.

Also reporting mid-five-figure payouts to Books-a-Million over the past two years: The National Republican Senatorial Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee.

In possibly related news, Books-a-Million’s owner is a major GOP donor.

Since 2008, campaign-related committees have made 22 purchases of $10,000 or more from Books-a-Million—all but one came from GOP-connected groups.

Meanwhile, since 2008 Books-a-Millions’ owner and a scion of its founding family, Clyde Anderson, has reported 13 campaign contributions of $10,000 or more since 2008—all to GOP causes.


Notable sightings

A glimpse of the foreign officials, government employees, politicians, lobbyists, and the like who patronize or appear at Trump businesses. Most people shown here have reasons to want to influence the former president, rely on his good graces for their livelihoods, or should have been providing oversight. Additionally, high-profile guests serve as draws for paying customers.

Former president Trump passed out a tip to workers at Mar-a-Lago, according to a TikTok video posted on Sunday (because of a formatting constraint, select the link to watch the video).

In March 2019, now-Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) celebrated the release of the Mueller Report by eating a burger with no patty at the president’s D.C. hotel. Trump later endorsed the conspiracy peddler’s candidacy.


Other Trump Organization news

  • “Trump’s company says it made $10,577 from foreign governments last year, which it has donated to U.S. Treasury” by David A. Fahrenthold for The Washington Post

  • “Trump Organisation accuses Scottish politicians of pursuing ‘personal agenda’“ by Martyn McLaughlin for The Scotsman

  • “Judge offers Trump lawyers free lesson on how privilege works” by Joe Patrice for Above the Law

  • “Following Donald Trump’s trail of dirty money: No ‘smoking gun,’ but plenty of sleaze” by Chauncey Devega for Salon

  • “Opinion: Time to relocate FBI headquarters — whether that hurts the Trump hotel or not” by the Editorial Board of The Washington Post

  • “Gov. Reeves’ inaugural nonprofit raised $1.6M from unknown donors, paid family member’s company” by Luke Ramseth for The [Mississippi] Daily Journal

  • The Trump campaign paid $63,000 to Rudy Giuliani’s firm for “travel reimbursement,” noted Rebecca Ballhaus of The Wall Street Journal. It’s not clear where those expenses may have been incurred though.


Reference section

Links to rundowns of developments in the House’s investigations and lawsuits, reference sheets for some of 1100 Pennsylvania’s previous reporting, and articles that provide the background on why all of this matters. The date published or last updated is in parentheses.

Trackers

Notable hotel customers

Summaries

  • Stay to play: Inside the sordid history of Trump’s D.C. hotel—And why the president’s prized property could be headed for a reckoning” by your correspondent for Mother Jones (September 2020)

  • Power tripping in the swamp: How Trump’s D.C. hotel swallowed Washington
    The MAGA social scene is a movable feast, but its dark heart resides within the Old Post Office Building, where the Trump Org operates under a mercenary charter” by your correspondent for Vanity Fair (October 2019)

  • Inside the world’s most controversial hotel: The hotel that was expected to take its place among the crown jewels of D.C.’s travel scene has become a magnet for protestors, a West Wing Annex, and—possibly—the center of a constitutional crisis.” by your correspondent for Condé Nast Traveler (May 2018)

Upcoming key dates

  • Sept. 23, 2019—House Judiciary Committee hearing “Presidential corruption: Emoluments and profiting off the presidency” (postponed, not yet rescheduled)


Thanks for reading! If you like what you’ve read, tell someone.

Share

If you’ve been forwarded this newsletter, subscribe at 1100pennsylvania.substack.com to support independent journalists dedicated to who’s paying the president.

Give a gift subscription

If you’re a paid subscriber and would like to post a comment—or if you would like to view comments from paid subscribers—click the comment button.

Leave a comment

Questions? Read our FAQ. Tips or feedback? Contact Zach Everson at 1100Pennsylvania@protonmail.com (it’ll be encrypted if you also use a ProtonMail account, which is free) or via Signal (secure), SMS, or mobile at 202.804.2744.