She may, famously, not be a witch, but here’s a bit of money magic from former Delaware Republican Senate candidate and recent Mitt Romney endorser Christine O’Donnell: her political campaign gave $142,000 to her super PAC, which proceeded to buy copies of her book.
Federal Election Commission reports filed by her campaign and super PAC this week show that the money her campaign gave to her super PAC represents just under 62 percent of the $229,985 the PAC took in during 2011. $19,912.30 of that money went towards an August 20th purchase labeled “PAC Fundraising Non-Residual Books” from a book shop in Philadelphia.
O’Donnell’s book, “Troublemaker,” had a list price of $25.99. If the books were purchased at that price, the campaign would have gotten around 766 copies. O’Donnell’s PAC only received contributions above $200 from 16 individuals in the second half of the year.
Despite extensive media coverage of her book launch, “Troublemaker” failed to fly off the shelves, as Slate’s Dave Weigel pointed out back in August. The book only sold 2,000 copies in the first two weeks it was out. It’s unclear if the copies O’Donnell purchased counted during that period counted towards the total. But even if the super PAC only got a slight discount off the cover price, her super PAC would have purchased over half of the books sold in the first few weeks. If they bought them at the current Amazon price of $14.32, the PAC could have purchased 1,390 copies.
Correction — 11:00AM Feb. 6, 2012 — contributions below $200 aren’t reported to the FEC, so many of the books ChristinePAC purchased could have gone to donors who gave under that amount. The group took in $32,292.00 in unlisted contributions in the second half of 2011.