• The Hub

    News, Notes, Talk

    Is Ted Cruz laundering dark money through sales of his own book?

    Jonny Diamond

    February 23, 2021, 9:07am

    Cancun day-tripper or Zodiac Killer? Such is the daily challenge set by walking late night punchline Ted Cruz, whose continued presence in the national consciousness seems like cruel parody at this point.

    Article continues below

    The latest bit of Cruzian skullduggery involves shady expenditures by a mysterious third party company, bulk purchases of Cruz’s latest book (One Vote Away: How a Single Supreme Court Seat Can Change History, published by Regnery, of course), and large brackish pools of dark money. Per this thoroughly reported piece at Salon, a Cruz-aligned PAC called Lawyers, Guns, and Money Jobs, Freedom, and Security made payments upward of $1 million last year to Reagan Investments LLC (did everyone just give up on naming these things?) And here’s the kicker:

    The only other committee to register any disbursements to [Reagan Investments] was Trump Make America Great Again, for a fundraising promotion for Cruz’s books in December, according to The New York Times. However, the Trump group clearly marked the payment for “collateral: books”; campaign finance experts told Salon that the PAC’s payment classifications—all of them for “sponsorship advertising”— were unusual and opaque.

    In theory, the Cruz PAC can take huge amounts of money from anyone, with next to no oversight, and then funnel it to the Texan senator via royalty payouts.

    All of this, of course, further underlines the deeply problematic relationship between corporate publishing and the right wing entertainment-industrial complex: there will always be a PAC or an opaquely funded conservative think tank ready to buy made-to-pulp polemics by this or that aspiring quisling senator. It’s not even a free market of consumers desperate to spend their hard earned money on conservative view points! It’s a side hustle laundering dark money.

    Article continues below
  • Become a Lit Hub Supporting Member: Because Books Matter

    For the past decade, Literary Hub has brought you the best of the book world for free—no paywall. But our future relies on you. In return for a donation, you’ll get an ad-free reading experience, exclusive editors’ picks, book giveaways, and our coveted Joan Didion Lit Hub tote bag. Most importantly, you’ll keep independent book coverage alive and thriving on the internet.