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No One Is Buying Ted Cruz’s Book Except for Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz walks alone through the Capitol holding a cup of coffee.

Last year, Ted Cruz received a $320,000 advance for his book One Vote Away: How a Single Supreme Court Seat Can Change History. And according to a financial disclosure, it appears that the Texas Senator’s own campaign spent $153,000 artificially boosting its sales.

To be clear, this isn’t illegal. It’s not even really unusual. Politicians often use campaign funds to buy bulk orders of their own books to then sell elsewhere, often as signed copies in exchange for campaign donations. But those orders usually amount to somewhere between $5,000 and $20,000. $153,000 is astronomical.

The payments to bookseller chain Books a Million are itemized on the disclosure as simply “books,” and when asked by Forbes, a spokesperson wouldn’t identify which titles were included in those purchases. A spokesperson did tell the outlet, “Senator Cruz has not received one cent of royalties in connection with any One Vote Away book sales.”

That doesn’t exactly provide evidence that Cruz’s campaign didn’t buy $153,000 worth of his own books, though—actually, it suggests the opposite. Campaigns are allowed to buy their candidate’s own books, as long as the discount doesn’t exceed a certain amount and the candidate donates all the royalties earned through those sales. So really, the less money Cruz earns in royalties, the more it suggests he is, in fact, the only person buying his book.

A signed copy of Cruz’s book is available on his website in exchange for a $77 donation to his Senate reelection campaign, a 550% markup from the current retail hardcover price of the book that no one is buying.

(via Forbes, image: Liz Lynch/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.