WASHINGTON — The two books Sen. Ben Sasse has written in office are paying off for him. The Nebraska Republican received $601,276 in royalties, according to his 2018 annual financial disclosure report filed Tuesday.
That’s more than three times the
$174,000 annual salary that Sasse receives as a U.S. senator.
It’s an eye-catching figure that’s sure to give new life to complaints from critics who say that Sasse is more focused on his writing career than his day job representing Nebraska.
first elected in 2014 and recently announced that he will seek a second term in 2020.
Nebraska Democratic Party Chair Jane Kleeb noted the six-figure salary senators already receive.
“Instead of making sure that the trade wars end and that we actually make health insurance more affordable for families, he’s busy traipsing around the country making over half a million dollars on his book,” Kleeb said.
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Sasse has been the subject of such criticisms previously. After his first book was published, spokesman James Wegmann defended Sasse’s record and called such complaints
silly and partisan.
In a statement Tuesday, Wegmann said “Sasse has written from 4 to 7 a.m. daily for twenty years, and his writing on raising kids and the toxicity of politics has obviously connected with a lot of Nebraskans.”
The royalties came to Sasse via literary agent Javelin Group, based in Alexandria, Virginia, according to the report.
It also details agreements with publisher St. Martin’s Press that refer to royalties ranging from 7.5% to 25%.
The report notes four Sasse trips that were paid for by St. Martin’s in October and November involving travel to either New York or Washington, D.C.
Those trips were related to promoting his 2018 release
“Them: Why We Hate Each Other — and How to Heal.”
In that book, Sasse argues that cultural fragmentation, technological advances and economic disruptions have undermined American unity.
It was not immediately clear how much of the 2018 royalties represent an advance on his latest book and how much are from the sales of his first one,
“The Vanishing American Adult.”
That book stemmed in part from his time as president of Midland University and focused on the importance of fostering self-reliance and a strong work ethic in young people.
U.S. House members and senators have to file financial reports every year disclosing significant transactions, earned and unearned income, assets and liabilities and travel paid for by outside groups.
Lawmakers are allowed to report holdings in broad ranges, however, which means putting an exact figure on their net worth is virtually impossible.
Sasse reported assets totaling between $1,617,000 and $6,738,000.
The most valuable of those assets is a Victorian town house on Capitol Hill listed between $1 million and $5 million.
Sasse paid $926,000 for the house in 2017. Wegmann said at the time that the senator planned to make it a part-time rental property.
Sasse reported receiving between $5,000 and $15,000 in revenue from the property last year. The report does not detail who rented the house and made those payments.
As for liabilities, Sasse reported a mortgage of $500,000 to $1 million with the State Employees Credit Union in Maryland.
Nebraska's state senators
Nebraska has 49 state senators in the Legislature. Click through to find your state senator and others.
District 1: State Sen. Julie Slama From: Peru
District 2: State Sen. Robert Clements From: Elmwood
District 3: State Sen. Carol Blood From: Bellevue
District 4: State Sen. Robert Hilkemann From: Omaha
District 5: State Sen. Mike McDonnell From: Omaha
District 6: State Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh From: Omaha
District 7: State Sen. Tony Vargas From: Omaha
District 8: State Sen. Megan Hunt From: Omaha
District 9: State Sen. Sara Howard From: Omaha
District 10: State Sen. Wendy DeBoer From: Bennington
District 11: State Sen. Ernie Chambers From: Omaha
District 12: State Sen. Steve Lathrop From: Omaha
District 13: State Sen. Justin Wayne From: Omaha
District 14: State Sen. John Arch From: La Vista
District 15: State Sen. Lynne Walz From: Fremont
District 16: State Sen. Ben Hansen From: Blair
District 17: State Sen. Joni Albrecht From: Thurston
District 18: State Sen. Brett Lindstrom From: Omaha
District 19: State Sen. Jim Scheer From: Norfolk
District 20: State Sen. John McCollister From: Omaha
District 21: State Sen. Mike Hilgers From: Lincoln
District 22: State Sen. Mike Moser From: Columbus
District 23: State Sen. Bruce Bostelman From: Brainard
District 24: State Sen. Mark Kolterman From: Seward
District 25: State Sen. Suzanne Geist From: Lincoln
District 26: State Sen. Matt Hansen From: Lincoln
District 27: State Sen. Anna Wishart From: Lincoln
Patty Pansing Brooks
District 28: State Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks From: Lincoln
District 29: State Sen. Kate Bolz From: Lincoln
District 30: State Sen. Myron Dorn From: Adams
District 31: State Sen. Rick Kolowski From: Omaha
District 32: State Sen. Tom Brandt From: Plymouth
District 33: State Sen. Steve Halloran From: Hastings
District 34: State Sen. Curt Friesen From: Henderson
District 35: State Sen. Dan Quick From: Grand Island
District 36: State Sen. Matt Williams From: Gothenburg
District 37: State Sen. John Lowe From: Kearney
District 38: State Sen. Dave Murman From: Glenvil
Lou Ann Linehan
District 39: State Sen. Lou Ann Linehan From: Elkhorn
District 40: State Sen. Tim Gragert From: Creighton
District 41: State Sen. Tom Briese From: Albion
District 42: State Sen. Mike Groene From: North Platte
District 43: State Sen. Tom Brewer From: Gordon
District 44: State Sen. Dan Hughes From: Venango
District 45: State Sen. Sue Crawford From: Bellevue
District 46: State Sen. Adam Morfeld From: Lincoln
District 47: State Sen. Steve Erdman From: Bayard
District 48: State Sen. John Stinner From: Gering
Andrew La Grone
District 49: State Sen. Andrew La Grone From: Gretna