According to reports published this week, Herman Cain’s presidential campaign funneled over $100,000 to a company owned by Cain called T.H.E. New Voice. Cain told Bloomberg News that his campaign is simply buying the candidate’s books, despite earlier Federal Election Commission (FEC) reports that claimed the money was for “lodging” (an amended report changed the payments to “books.”)
ThinkProgress has reviewed additional disclosure reports, and found that T.H.E. New Voice pays Cain a direct salary. Essentially, it appears Cain’s campaign is using contributor money to buy Cain’s own books, and that Cain could be reaping at least part of the profits. At the CNN debate in Las Vegas, ThinkProgress spoke to Cain spokesman J.D. Gordon about the arrangement:
FANG: On the last campaign disclosure for Mr. Cain, it showed that the T.H.E. New Voice, the company owned by Cain, pays a salary, a large salary*, to Mr. Cain. And there’s a revelation this week that the Herman Cain campaign committee has given over one hundred thousand dollars to this private company that’s paying Cain. Does this company still provide a salary to Mr. Cain?
GORDON: Well, I would say T.H.E. New Voice handles the book. And so the whole book enterprise and the campaign are distinct entities. Clearly there’s a synergy between the book, the book tour, and the campaign. But they are separate entities.
Cain has faced critics who have claimed that he is not running a serious campaign. Rather, he has spent much of his time simply promoting his book.
Cain’s unusual campaign book profiting scheme puts him at odds with other candidates with books who use independent publishers and receive a royalty, or in Gov. Rick Perry’s (R-TX) case, proceeds from his book sales are donated to a conservative think tank in Texas.
Writing for BusinessWeek, Joshua Green reports that Cain also earned about $250,000 for giving paid private speeches. Cain’s paid speeches are not disclosed on his personal finance forms required by the Federal Elections Committee.
*ThinkProgress misspoke during the interview when we said that Cain draws a “large” salary from T.H.E. New Voice. In fact Cain’s disclosure shows that he receives a salary from T.H.E. New Voice, but he did not reveal the exact amount.