FEC OK's book promos from campaign accounts

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is poised today to approve a request by Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas) to use campaign money and staff to promote her children’s book, What’s Right About America: Celebrating Our Nation’s Values.

The FEC’s advisory opinion, released earlier this week, states that Granger may legally advertise book signings on her campaign website and send promotional e-mails to her campaign mailing list because she will donate all royalties to charity. Jan Baran, the Wiley Rein & Fielding campaign-finance lawyer who represented Granger in her petition, said the FEC’s draft plan is consistent with past rulings.

The decision could set a precedent for other members, including any presidential hopefuls releasing books in coming months, to devote campaign resources to book promotion, But Baran wondered how often other lawmakers would choose to forsake the personal benefit of a new book to take advantage of the FEC’s ruling.

“I’m not aware of any recent books by senators who forego royalties,” Baran said.