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Ted Cruz Used Campaign Funds to Hawk Book Online

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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) used campaign donations to promote sales of his book on his official Facebook account, a move that experts say appears to violate a federal law that prohibits candidates from using campaign funds to enrich themselves personally.

In September and October of last year, Cruz’s campaign, Ted Cruz for Senate, paid for 17 ads on his official Facebook candidate page promoting retail sales of his book, One Vote Away: How A Single Supreme Court Seat Can Change History. The sponsored posts, which Facebook catalogued in its political ads library, feature a video of Cruz telling viewers to purchase his book from third parties, and include links to landing pages on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Books-A-Million. The copy on the Amazon links reads, “Buy my book.”

The Federal Election Commission bars candidates from using contributions to line their own pockets, such as by promoting items that generate private income, including publishing royalties. Experts in election law say that while both Republican and Democratic political committees frequently, and legally, offer books as “donor mementos” in exchange for donations, Cruz appears to have crossed the line by selling the books outright.

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