Charles Booker officially became a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate on Wednesday morning in Frankfort, days after candidate paperwork revealed a large salary paid through his non-profit and a six-figure advance on his upcoming book.
Booker paid himself $150,000 through his 501(c)4 non-profit “Hood to the Holler,” a political advocacy group defined by the IRS as tax-exempt for the purpose of promoting social welfare.
Hood to the Holler, Inc. “is focused on leveraging the incredible momentum for positive change in Kentucky and nationally, toward the aim of building broad coalitions, breaking down barriers of race and class, and fueling a people centered movement to build power and transform our future,” according to the group’s website.
“As the founder and President of Hood to the Holler, I was responsible for the overall strategy and management of the organization,” Booker wrote of his position with the advocacy group in the disclosure paperwork.
Federal candidates, staff, and politicians reveal their personal finances as part of transparency measures, Booker’s personal financial paperwork opens the door to other questions including a large book deal and a small salary through the “Working Party Families Party, based in New York.
A book due out in 2022 by the same name, From the Hood to the Holler, also earned Booker $100,000 for an advance on royalties paid by Penguin Random House, according to the disclosure.
Booker is also shown as making $2,000 from Working Families Party, which he listed joining in July 2021 – through the present. The group lists Booker under “our candidates” on their website. The Working Families Party is a minority party in the American political system, like the Green Party or Libertarian Party. They were founded in 1998 in New York. In their words, the Working Families Party “is building our own party on top of the two-party system in the United States…”
“We organize outside the two parties, and then we recruit and train people-powered candidates up and down the ballot and run them to win,” the group says on their website. “Sometimes we run candidates through Democratic Party primaries, and other times we run candidates on our own. We take on elections from city council to U.S. Senate — wherever there’s a path to win, and where winning will advance a people’s agenda, elevate visionary candidates, and help build the multiracial movement we need to win the America we deserve.”
Booker also shows income from his job as a state Representative – that income ended in January of this year when he was no longer in the role.
The personal financial disclosure from Booker comes late in the year after the candidate sought an extension on the disclosure paperwork originally due on July 31, 2021. The report was released on Oct. 30, 2021.
Booker is seeking the Democratic nomination to challenge incumbent U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, in the 2022 Senate election.