FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Andrew Yang Used Campaign Funds During His Run for President to Pay Himself and
to Purchase More than $225,000.00 Worth of His Own Book
“Through these blatant acts of self-dealing, Andrew Yang has betrayed the progressive values of the Democratic Party,” said Aaron Foldenauer, Candidate for Mayor of New York City. “Instead of achieving Universal Basic Income for others, Andrew Yang has been busy feathering his own nest.”
** A video statement from Aaron Foldenauer as well as data in support of this press release are available at https://aaronfornyc.com/press **
NEW YORK, NY, December 14, 2020. – Andrew Yang used campaign funds raised from donors during his run for President to make “payroll” payments to himself and purchase copies of his own book.
These facts, which have not been previously reported, were uncovered by Aaron Foldenauer, Candidate for Mayor of New York City, following a search of records in the custody of the Federal Election Commission related to Yang’s campaign for the Presidency.
The records reveal that Andrew Yang’s campaign issued a total of at least $24,906.56 in payroll payments to Yang during the final four months of his campaign alone. Furthermore, the Yang Campaign spent a grand total of $239,920.71 in purchasing copies of Andrew Yang’s own book, The War on Normal People.
“Andrew Yang claimed to be a successful businessman who was fighting for the people during his run for President,” said Aaron Foldenauer. “It turns out, however, that Andrew Yang used money from his own donors to shore up his personal bottom line. Little wonder that he self-destructed in Iowa and shortly thereafter dropped out of the race to accept a lucrative contract with CNN.”
Andrew Yang funneled the vast majority of his campaign’s book purchases through an obscure vendor called BookPal, which bills itself as a “wholesale bookseller” that works with “authors and clients [to] coordinate orders” and has “experience with large order fulfillment.” See https://bookpal.com/author-services/.
“Yang, as the author, earned substantial royalties from the sale of his own book,” said Foldenauer. “Thus, he cleverly utilized money raised from donors who believed in him to purchase hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of his own book, which generated a handsome income stream for Andrew Yang himself.”
When the Yang campaign purchased his own book through BookPal, the Yang campaign claimed that the expenditures were for the “Printing of Campaign Materials,” when in actuality, the Campaign was simply purchasing wholesale copies of Andrew Yang’s book. “This characterization of these book expenses as ‘printing campaign materials’ is misleading at best, and outright false, at worst,” said Foldenauer.
“Through these blatant acts of self-dealing, Andrew Yang has betrayed the progressive values of the Democratic Party. Instead of achieving Universal Basic Income for others, Andrew Yang has been busy feathering his own nest,” said Aaron Foldenauer.
As Yang’s campaign began purchasing copies of Yang’s own book from BookPal, Yang’s book, The War on Normal People, suddenly was listed as a No. 1 bestseller on BookPal’s website. See https://blog.book-pal.com/industry-news/bookpals-bestseller-list-the-best-books-of-march-2019. Yang’s book continued to list as a bestseller on BookPal throughout the remainder of Yang’s Presidential campaign, as the Yang Campaign continued to purchase the book in 141 separate transactions. Once the campaign ended and the Yang campaign stopped purchasing the book, The War on Normal People suddenly disappeared from BookPal’s bestseller list. See https://blog.book-pal.com/business/bookpals-bestseller-list-the-best-books-of-march-2020.
“Andrew Yang was not called out for enriching himself during his run for President, but New York City politics is a different animal,” said Foldenauer. “Given widespread unemployment and the fact that New York City faces budget deficits of billions of dollars, we do not have time for games.”
The records obtained from www.fec.gov indicate that Andrew Yang began issuing “payroll” payments to himself from his own campaign with a payment of $3,611.89 on November 14, 2019, payments which continued in various amounts through February 13, 2020 (and totaling at least $24,906.56). It is unclear whether Andrew Yang tendered additional payments to himself which may be reported separately.
“Before he enters the race for Mayor, Andrew Yang would be well-advised to know that it is illegal to pay yourself from campaign funds here in New York City,” said Foldenauer. “Andrew Yang might be able to get away with paying himself when running for federal office, but here in New York City, our laws do not allow such self-dealing.”
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Aaron Foldenauer’s experience as a political advocate and a business litigator makes him uniquely qualified to become the next Mayor of New York City during these difficult times. A Democrat and veteran of New York City politics, he previously ran for the New York City Council seat based in District 1, Lower Manhattan, where Mr. Foldenauer has lived for 15 years.
Aaron is an accomplished attorney and practiced at several leading law firms in New York City for over a decade. More information about Aaron and his policies can be found at http://aaronfornyc.com/.
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Aaron Foldenauer for Mayor of New York City