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Feds Probe Edwards Campaign Records

From the (North Carolina) Charlotte Observer:

Feds are looking at Edwards’ campaign

Investigators dig through records to see if donors’ money was used to cover up affair with campaign worker.

By Mandy Locke
Sunday, May. 03, 2009

RALEIGH – Federal investigators are sifting through the records of money that helped John Edwards’ presidential campaign to determine if any was used to keep quiet his affair with Rielle Hunter.

Edwards, a Democrat and former U.S. senator, acknowledged the investigation to The News & Observer.

“I am confident that no funds from my campaign were used improperly,” Edwards said in a statement.

“However, I know that it is the role of government to ensure that this is true. We have made available to the United States both the people and the information necessary to help them get the issue resolved efficiently and in a timely matter. We appreciate the diligence and professionalism of those involved and look forward to a conclusion.”

Edwards declined to discuss the matter.

A review of Edwards’ campaign money will turn up a cluster of nonprofits, some not subject to the same rules of transparency as official campaign organizations.

Records of one group that does disclose donors, the Alliance for a New America, show that Edwards’ 2008 campaign got a huge boost from a single source: $3.48 million from a holding company for Rachel “Bunny” Lambert Mellon, a 98-year-old matriarch of industrialist Andrew Mellon’s fortune.

The riches that bankrolled Edwards’ bid for president will be tough to sort, campaign finance experts say.

“This may be a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack,” said Sheila Krumholz, executive director of Open Secrets, a campaign watchdog group. “John Edwards is a leader in misleading the public.”

Records show that Hunter was paid by a political action committee aligned with Edwards. She received $114,000 to film Edwards as he hopscotched the nation to rally crowds in the fight against poverty. She followed him to Uganda, where he met with starving children orphaned by attacks by rebel forces. Her “webisodes” still live on the Internet.

The investigation is being conducted by the office of U.S. Attorney George Holding, based in Raleigh, and a federal grand jury could consider evidence. Holding declined to comment on Edwards…

At 98, Mellon is active and lucid, friends and family members say. “She’s got it all upstairs,” said her grandson, Stacy Lloyd. “She’s in amazing shape for her age.” …

The Alliance for a New America, the group that received Mellon’s millions, was kept at arm’s length from Edwards, a requirement of campaign finance law. Nonprofits known as 527 groups primarily pay for media messages that closely align with a candidate’s stance.

The alliance was launched by Nick Baldick, Edwards’ campaign manager in 2004

Edwards partly funded his unofficial launch into the Democratic primary race with funds from a different nonprofit he started in 2005.

The Center for Promise and Opportunity, a nonprofit organization allowed to shield donors’ identity but still make political expenditures, paid for much of Edwards’ early groundwork in New Hampshire and Iowa.

The organization’s statement of purpose, filed with its tax disclosures, never mentioned Edwards, even though Edwards was the center’s honorary chairman, according to 2006 media reports.

“They play this charade. Refrain from saying they are a candidate, so they don’t have to follow the rules,” said Paul Ryan of the Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan group. “They’re gaming the system. If they play carefully enough, they can avoid running afoul of the law.” ..

In 2006, Edwards traveled the nation, walking picket lines and talking to crowds about poverty and his regret in voting to fund the war in Iraq, travel paid for by the Center for Promise and Opportunity.

The center also paid for Edwards’ trips abroad, where he met with foreign leaders and visited developing nations plagued by squalor. Rielle Hunter was at his side filming

Luckily for Mr. Edwards there really are two Americas after all.

One where Democrat politicians are never held responsible for their corruption or illegal actions.

And the one for the rest of us.

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, May 3rd, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

12 Responses to “Feds Probe Edwards Campaign Records”

  1. proreason says:

    John Edward just may be enough of a hypocrite to get himself a SCOTUS nomination.

    Plus, he generously let himself be held up as contrast to Mr. Perfect, who is so pure that he has waltzed through life without even noticing that everyone he has ever associated with is a criminal, a terrorist, or a hate-monger.

  2. GL0120 says:

    What’s the reason for the investigation?
    Edwards explained everything when he said that his wife was in remission from cancer while he was having his affair; why would anyone question such a principled human being?

  3. catie says:

    Ken Doll, Breck Girl, your day of reckoning is coming. I’m not a big fan of men who cheat on their wives, especially when they wife is suffering through a terminal illness. I’m not a real big fan of Mrs. Edwards but there is no excuse for his behavior. Evidently old Johnny Boy can charm the socks of the young and the very old.
    I’m editing to add I’m no fan of women who cheat on their husbands either.

  4. Colonel1961 says:

    The single biggest narcissist I have ever had the displeasure of knowing. And, in spite of the Delaware DOT’s injunction, that slut must be dumber than a box of rocks. Ugh. Even Obama-jama doesn’t love himself as much as little Johnny.

    One time, please. Just once let the laws work and punish this piece of nouveau riche white trash…

    • MinnesotaRush says:

      I’m with ya’, Colonel; but .. tell us how you really feel … :-)

    • DoctorRock says:

      So you’re a tarheel, Herr Hauptmann? Carolinians seem to have made art of their humility, and for the state that gave us aviation AND Ava Gardner – that’s just the A’s people – that’s enough to humble us all.
      That fop (archaic for “metro-sexual”) will get his. And being from one of the filthier corners of our fair country, I’m ready to cite Adam Clayton Powell, Mario Biaggi, Robert Torricelli and Elliot Spitzer as examples of those who “got theirs”, in spite of their good standing in The Party. There are those who would sooner brave shot and shell than abandon a fallen comrade. Then there are those who would throw their own grandmother under a bus, even if she was a typical white person. Your friend Jon is on his own.

    • BannedbytheTaliban says:

      white trash…This in insensitive and demeans his rural South Carolina roots. To avoid controversy, simply refer to him as a whiskey tango in the future. After all, not too many people in the trailer park can afford $400 hair cuts.

    • Liberals Make Great Speedbumps says:

      “and for the state that gave us aviation”


      That state would be Ohio. (Wilbur and Orville) NC just happened to have good wind on their beaches! Other than that, spot on.

  5. GetBackJack says:

    Oh, how I wish a lesbian leather Nazi biker gang would probe John Edwards

  6. i12354 says:

    Does this mean that he has to give back that Father of the year award he got in 2006?

  7. Reality Bytes says:

    Rachel “Bunny” Mellon?! Any relation to the Thorton Mellon “Tall & Fat” empire?


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