Federal Election Commission records show that Republican presidential contender Herman Cain has used campaign funds to buy his own books from his motivational speaking company, which he owns.
Although his autobiography was published by a division of Simon & Schuster Inc., Cain's campaign paid Cain's company T.H.E New Voice Inc. $36,511 for the books. His campaign spent $4 million through Sept. 30, including more than $64,000 paid to his motivational speaking company for airfare, lodging and supplies, as well as the books.
"They are buying my books and my pamphlets," Cain said in an interview in between appearances in Arizona yesterday. "The campaign is buying them from T.H.E New Voice."
Cain's autobiography, 'This is Herman Cain! My Journey to the White House,' made its debut over the weekend in fourth place on the New York Times bestseller list. Cain said the sales are in compliance with FEC rules because the campaign is paying the going rate for the material.
Bill Allison, editorial director at the Washington-based Sunlight Foundation, a nonpartisan group that tracks political money, said: "All candidates publish books and they offer them as premiums to donors, but most candidates aren't buying them from their own companies. It raises the question of his campaign contributions ending up in his own pocket."