take your answer off the air...

  • HorsesAss.Org: the straight poop on WA politics & the press
    progressive brilliance from the guy who pointed out Tim Eyman's nascent horse's-assedness
  • Talker's Magazine
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  • Northwest Broadcasters
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  • The Moderate Voice
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  • News Hounds
    Dogged dogging of Fox News by a team who seems to watch every minute of the cable channel so you don't have to.
  • HistoryLink
    Fun to read and free encyclopedia of Washington State history. Founded by the late Walt Crowley, it's an indispensable tool and entertainment source for history wonks and surfers alike.

right-wing blogs we like

  • The Reagan Wing
    Hearin lies the real heart of Washington State Republicans. Doug Parris runs this red-meat social conservative group site which bars no holds when it comes to saying who they are and who they're not; what they believe and what they don't; who their friends are and where the rest of the Republicans can go. Well-written, and flaming.
  • Orbusmax
    inexhaustible Drudgery of NW conservative news
  • The Radio Equalizer
    prolific former Seattle KVI, KIRO talk host speaks authoritatively about radio.
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April 22, 2012

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Comments

Truth-seeker

What a tangled web they all weave. And Citizens United makes it all the more murkier.

I don't like Edwards and I think his taking the money stinks. But it seems like money can buy just about anything and anybody can take as much as they want. Why are we splitting hairs about legalities anymore?

Puget Sound Blathers

"The candidate at the time was a married father of three, whose late wife, Elizabeth, had breast cancer.

"The money was not spent to influence the election but rather to conceal the affair and resulting pregnancy from Edwards' wife and children, they said.

Edwards never personally received any of the payments, nor did his campaign. The money was used to cover living expenses and medical care for his mistress, campaign videographer Rielle Hunter, rather than traditional campaign activities."


Talk about a bad hair day....

Wasn't John Edwards defense that his wife was in remission? Wonder if he'll use that to explain the situation again?

As to him not receiving it personally, it was clearly constructive receipt on his part. It was for his direct benefit ie the care of his mistress and his baby. Monies he would have had to spend out of his own account but for the fact that his wife, Elizabeth, would have found out about the affair if had paid with assets out of their marriage. If he didn't find a way to pay then clearly his political enemies in the Democratic primary would have found out and used it against him.

Lets just all be happy that this fellow didn't get elected to higher office. Another reason to rejoice that Kerry Edwards failed in 2004.

Runner

Im no fan of John Edwards. But why are we wasting money prosecuting a man whose friends paid off his mistress, in an era of people like Sheldon Adelson personally bankrolling Newt Gingrich. Considering the lack of structure in Gingrich's campaign, just where did all those millions go? Will anyone investigate him? Of course not.
Edwards is as sleazy as they come, but what he is accused of doing is hardly original. Guess he pulled the short straw.

KS

Seems like there is universal agreement here, that Edwards was reprehensible as a human being, made my skin crawl and was the poster child for the ugliness of politics.

Runner is mixing apples and oranges. Gingrich's situation of being bankrolled by billionaires relates to current campaign finance laws. Both the Citizens United ruling by the SCOTUS and the McCain-Feingold bill approved by Congress and signed by Bush need to be repealed - the sooner the better, BUT not one without the other ! Presidential campaigns were shorter with less money, corruption and less distracting back in the 1990's - today they are only getting worse. I have doubts if congress has the wisdom will do this on their own - as long as special interests and lobbyists continue to poison politics in DC. Massive public outrage is the only thing that will bring change here, otherwise the politicians will continue not serving the people who elected them. Sad state of affairs.

DontWorryBeHappy

This happens all the time, funds are generally fungible and plenty politicians play this game. J.E. has been damaged enough, he has ostensibly destroyed his life there's no need to spend all these resources putting a few more nails in his coffin. This is churning.

Puget Sound Blathers

This happens all the time, funds are generally fungible and plenty politicians play this game. J.E. has been damaged enough, he has ostensibly destroyed his life there's no need to spend all these resources putting a few more nails in his coffin. This is churning.

Posted by: DontWorryBeHappy | April 23, 2012 at 08:59 AM

Happens all the time? Well, Bank Robbery happens all the time and we still prosecute it.

At least lets put a consequence to it beyond someone being able to claim 'lets just move on' as a tagline.

Ted Smith

To beat this, Edwards should join the Republican Party. He will no longer be subject to these silly laws and all of his sins will immediately be forgiven. Just ask John Ensign.

Puget Sound Blathers

Bob Shrum may be someone who's policies I disagree with but he kind of nailed it.
(disappointed that Kerry picked Edwards as VP, similar to McCain with Palin).

Here:


"Time Magazine has a fascinating excerpt from Robert Shrum's new book, No Excuses. In it, Shrum details the decision-making that went behind John Kerry's decision of John Edwards as his runningmate, and how in retrospect, hindsight is 20/20 (i.e. Kerry should not have picked Edwards and should have "gone with his gut").

But of particular interest to me was the following passage:

Kerry talked with several potential picks, including Gephardt and Edwards. He was comfortable after his conversations with Gephardt, but even queasier about Edwards after they met. Edwards had told Kerry he was going to share a story with him that he'd never told anyone else—that after his son Wade had been killed, he climbed onto the slab at the funeral home, laid there and hugged his body, and promised that he'd do all he could to make life better for people, to live up to Wade's ideals of service. Kerry was stunned, not moved, because, as he told me later, Edwards had recounted the same exact story to him, almost in the exact same words, a year or two before—and with the same preface, that he'd never shared the memory with anyone else. Kerry said he found it chilling, and he decided he couldn't pick Edwards unless he met with him again. When they did, Kerry tried to get a better personal feel for his potential number two; as rivals for national office since 2000, shortly after Edwards had entered the Senate, the two men hadn't spent a lot of time together. Kerry also wanted a specific reassurance. He asked Edwards for a commitment that if he was chosen and the ticket lost, Edwards wouldn't run against him in 2008. Edwards agreed "absolutely," as Kerry recalled him saying. If Kerry had shared this at the time, I would have told him what I did later: it was naive to think he could rely on a promise like that.
Lessons learned:

1) Politics is cut-throat (not really learned, just reaffirmed)
2) John Edwards is creepy"

Puget Sound Blathers

but too be fair, lots of creepy Republicans. wouldn't vote for them either. but creepy is a trait that crosses party lines.

Fred

"And now you know what will be on Talk Radio in the coming weeks, obliterating all other news."

Oh, I wouldn't think so. The next scandal from the (Party) White House will pretty much knock Edwards off the air.

KS

To beat this, Edwards should join the Republican Party. He will no longer be subject to these silly laws and all of his sins will immediately be forgiven. Just ask John Ensign.

Posted by: Ted Smith | April 23, 2012 at 03:17 PM

A ludicrous comment. First off, Ensign's cheating on his wife was not nearly as reprehensible than Edwards. Secondly, Ensign is no longer in the Senate which is good. He is only the 2nd most corrupt Senator in NV, next to Harry Reid who may not have cheated on his wife, but he was paid off by Abramoff (over $100,000). He has blocked votes on a number of bills from the House that would have helped stimulate the job market - nothing but gutter politics to benefit the Chicago mob in the WH and to make the the Repubs..look bad. He is the poster child for the do-nothing Congress.

Finis Hominis

The next scandal from the (Party) White House will pretty much knock Edwards off the air.
Posted by: Fred | April 23, 2012 at 05:33 PM

I don’t know, if you believe the Whitehouse has control of this situation, then it’s pretty much the Holder Justice Department which is screwing this pooch (Edwards). Keeping in the spirit of brackets an all.

Ted Smith

"Ensign's cheating on his wife was not nearly as reprehensible than Edwards."

Oh, Bullshit! Edwards misused private donations. Ensign misused his office and misused public funds. There is a huge difference, as anyone but a rain-dead Republican apologist can see.

KS

No bulls**t ! I don't believe your facts are correct besides being unable to spell - It is alleged that Edwards used some public and/or illegal contributions - that's the reason for this trial . What about what he did to his wife dying of cancer ? Do morals matter any more ? Just like a partisan leftist.

Be that as it may, Edwards has suffered enough for the scumbag crap that he has pulled off over the years without the shark lawyers going after him for a payday. Whether he broke any laws or not could deserve some scrutiny but am against the litigious spirit of this trial. Looks like it will go on, but the outcome here pales bigtime by comparison to the Holder run in-justice department political charades that mimic justice of a banana republic.


Puget Sound Blathers

i agree with KS and say lets not have either Ensign or Edwards.

Puget Sound Blathers

great article on john edwards. the best line, he doesn't belong in jail, he belongs under a rock.


Rich Lowery, NRO
"A new CBS News poll found John Edwards has a 3 percent approval rating, in a survey with a 3-point margin of error. It is possible no one approves of the disgraced former politician.

He is now on trial for allegedly violating campaign-finance laws in an elaborate scheme to cover up his love child during his 2008 campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. Lots of husbands cheat on their wives. Fewer do it while their wives are fighting a losing battle with cancer. Fewer still — in fact, only one comes to mind — do it while using their wife’s grave illness and their attractive young family as credentials in a presidential campaign.

If Edwards were being prosecuted for shameful dereliction of duty as a husband and father, he’d deserve 30 years of hard labor. If he were on trial for extreme oleaginous insincerity, he’d deserve to be sent to the nearest supermax prison. If he could be charged with running two faux-populist presidential campaigns (first in 2004, then in 2008) that were all about stroking his own ego, he’d deserve to hang at dawn.

None of these things is a criminal offense, though. And neither is paying hush money to your mistress. In the case of United States of America v. Johnny Reid Edwards, it is the United States of America that is out of line.

Two Edwards backers, heiress Rachel “Bunny” Mellon and the late trial lawyer and Edwards crony Fred Baron, provided payments to help Edwards cover his slimy tracks. Almost a million dollars went to Edwards’s mistress, Rielle Hunter, and to lackey Andrew Young, who claimed paternity of Edwards’s love child with Hunter in an act of twisted and self-abasing loyalty to his boss. Even James Ellroy, the hard-bitten crime novelist whose work revels in corruption of all kinds, might recoil from this tawdry crew.
The government contends that the payments constituted campaign contributions in violation of federal limits on donations. The obvious hitch in this charge is that the money didn’t go to the Edwards campaign and wasn’t used by the Edwards campaign. Paying off your mistress is not a campaign expense, not even in 21st-century America, not even in Louisiana, not even in the John Edwards campaign.

Of course, news of the affair with a flaky, star-struck videographer would have sunk candidate Edwards faster than it took him to get one of his $400 haircuts. But he had a more elemental reason to keep his secret: to prevent his reputation from getting torn to shreds, regardless of his presidential campaign. If he had once again been a sitting U.S. senator, or a prominent trial lawyer in North Carolina, he surely would have been just as determined to hide his disgrace. As it happens, the payments and Edwards’s lies continued after his exit from the presidential race. Dishonesty and betrayal weren’t campaign activities for Edwards; they were a way of life.

Even the campaign-finance obsessives at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) consider the case an overreach. CREW points out an absurdity that follows from the government’s argument. If keeping Rielle Hunter quiet is rightly considered a campaign expenditure, as the prosecutors maintain, then the Edwards campaign could have funded her living expenses directly without breaking any rules. “Love child” could have been a legitimate line item in the budget somewhere between “get out the vote” and “phone banks.”

The prosecution is a naked exercise in attempting to punish a loathsome man for his loathsomeness. As such, it is an offense against the rule of law, which depends on clear rules and dispassionate judgments. Every wrong — even flagrant wrongs, played out in public and involving mind-boggling deceit — is not a crime. By stretching the laws to try to reach Edwards, the government is creating the precedent for future ambiguous, politicized prosecutions, perhaps of figures much less blameworthy than the reviled man currently in the dock.

John Edwards belongs under a rock, but not in jail. "

KS

Well stated.

Puget Sound Blathers

Edwards should make some room under that rock is my thought. Originally I thought he should spend time in Jail but at the end of the day if this loathsome creepy man gets something other than that I will be fine with it.

DontWorryBeHappy

Ergo my post above at 08:59 a.m., Apr 23rd. Thank you Puget and KS for reaffirming. He has to live with himself and surely that is penance enough.

Puget Sound Blathers

I don't think Edwards himself has a problem with his inner being, he is amoral.
So in that case, simply letting him 'punish himself' won't work.

But if others treat him with the disdain he deserves that would be apropo. An ersatz public shaming.

The Good Ole' Days

Let's do a stoning. wouldn't that be fun?

Puget Sound Blathers

let he who hasn't messed around on a cancer ridden spouse toss the first stone...


not too high a hurdle, eh?

actually, just a little moral shaming would be fine. surely we can draw the line at that...

DontWorryBeHappy

Remember morality can be a relative term. It could, for instance include masturbation. Let those who have not masturbated cast the first stone. Tis better to spill your seed in the belly of a whore than on the ground.

Hank Hill

I find John Edwards's actions to be utterly odious, and I have absolutely no sympathy for him.

But, it does seem ridiculous that this whole song-and-dance is being done over the almost-insignificant issue of exceeding the $2,300 contribution limit. Really? In the wake of Citizens United, this is what we are worried about?

It brings to mind the Martha Stewart trial. New York prosecutors were so busy hounding Martha Stewart for $60,000 that they missed Wall Street's epic malfeasance in the run up to the crash.

Truth-seeker

Some people never make it through the forest because they are confronted by trees.

Mohammy

What do you expect from a liberal democrat like John Edwards? They all act this way. He just got caught!

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