Book Sense

Posted July 17, 2012 at 12:01am

Forget legislating a redistribution of wealth. Sen. Bernie Sanders is doing some of it on his own.

The Vermont Independent has given almost $23,000 in royalties from a book chronicling his famous 8.5-hour filibuster to a family support group in his state.

The Addison County Parent/Child Center received the check in October, thanks to “The Speech: A Historic Filibuster on Corporate Greed and the Decline of Our Middle Class,” a 126-page account of Sanders’ 2010 marathon floor speech opposing an extension of the Bush-era tax cuts.

Sanders reported the gift on his annual filing.

Members of Congress are required to turn speaking fees and payments for public engagements over to charity, but book royalties are fair game for the personal purse.

Other Congressional scribes might take note when deciding what to do with the earnings from their political manifestos.

One such tome by Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.), House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.) — “Young Guns: A New Generation of Conservative Leaders” — was released just before Republicans reclaimed the House in 2010.

Their offices did not answer Roll Call’s questions about the book’s earnings, but HOH did pick up on a hint: Ryan reported giving between $2,500 and $5,000 in book royalties to charity in 2011.

His spokesman declined to say where the money went. So much for PR.