It is a con that Republicans have been running for years to rig the bestseller list, but after a complaint against Ted Cruz, it is finally getting national attention.
The NRCC wasn’t the only outfit providing a big-bucks boost to conservative authors. Four party-affiliated organizations, including the Republican National Committee, collectively spent more than $1 million during the past election cycle mass-purchasing books written by GOP candidates, elected officials and personalities, according to Federal Election Commission expenditure reports. The purchases helped turn several volumes into bestsellers.
Other book purchases by party organizations don’t raise the same self-enrichment issues as those in the Cruz complaint, which hinges on his use of his own campaign funds. But the effect can be the same: A big buy can launch a book to prominence, unleashing a stream of royalties for its author and potentially driving up cash advances for their next book.
Book sales and royalties are exempt from congressional income limits, which is why so many Republicans in Congress that have low approval ratings or little national visibility outside of conservative media write books.
Donald Trump Jr.’s book sales were all inflated with outside buys. It is a scam that Republicans have been running for years. Since booksellers don’t track who is buying the books, tens of thousands of copies ordered in bulk from Amazon or another seller are enough to send a book that no one is reading up the bestseller list.
I first wrote about this Republican practice in 2010, after Sarah Palin bought her way onto the bestseller list.
Republicans will rig anything to make themselves look popular, including the bestseller lists.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association