Silky Phony Watch: John Edwards’ Rupert Murdoch connection

Looks like the former (thank goodness) Senator from NC has been caught being a hypocrite – again:

August 3, 2007 — WASHINGTON – John Edwards, who yesterday demanded Democratic candidates return any campaign donations from Rupert Murdoch and News Corp., himself earned at least $800,000 for a book published by one of the media mogul’s companies.

The Edwards campaign said the multimillionaire trial lawyer would not return the hefty payout from Murdoch for the book titled “Home: The Blueprints of Our Lives.”

The campaign didn’t respond to a question from The Post about whether it was hypocritical for Edwards to take money from News Corp. while calling for other candidates not to.

In addition to a $500,000 advance from HarperCollins, which is owned by News Corp., Edwards also was cut a check for $300,000 for expenses.

Edwards claimed $333,334 in royalties from last year’s release of the book, according to media accounts. The campaign said last night that those funds were part of the advance.

He says he gave that amount to charity, which would also provide tax benefits for Edwards. “We’re more than happy to give even more of Murdoch’s money to Habitat for Humanity and other good causes,” spokesman Eric Schultz told The Post yesterday.

He declined to show proof, however, that Edwards had donated the $500,000 advance or $300,000 expense checks to charity.

I wonder if that money was donated to his own little poverty foundation? Wouldn’t be surprising if that’s exactly what he did, all things considered.

This part’s even funnier:

The Edwards campaign said it would return less than $1,000 in donations from three Fox employees.

Got that? There are apparently three employees at Fox News who support Edwards, but because they’re unfortunate enough to be employeed for the evil Fox empire, their contributions aren’t welcomed at Silky Phony headquarters.

How stupid.

Tigerhawk nails it:

His accomplishments as a politician notwithstanding, Edwards continues to wax sanctimonious from a position of moral and actual inconsistency. Trial lawyers do this all the time, because their pronouncements are understood as nothing more than the required zealous representation of their client, and in any case are isolated from prior inconsistency by the rules of evidence. Edwards does not seem to understand that Americans want their sanctimony confined to the courtroom and the church sanctuary, and only in the first case will they accept it from an overt hypocrite.

Here’s something else: Since he rails against ‘wealthy insiders’ (which would include hedge funds), too, I wonder if we’re going to see him return all the campaign money he’s rec’d from hedge fund employees, some of whom he probably knows and worked with:

Fortress announced Edwards’s hiring as an adviser in a brief statement in October 2005. Neither Edwards — who ended his consulting deal when he launched his presidential campaign in December — nor the firm will say how much he earned or what he did.

But his ties to Fortress were suggested by the first round of campaign finance reports released last week. They showed that Edwards raised $167,460 in donations from Fortress employees for his 2008 presidential campaign, his largest source of support from a single company.

Nearly 100 Fortress employees or their family members donated to Edwards around the time of a fundraiser his campaign held at the firm in mid-March. Senior executives, individual fund managers, lawyers and a secretary gave the maximum $2,300 donation. Three administrative or executive assistants gave smaller amounts.

As a side note, Edwards, who has also criticized subprime lenders, denied knowing anything about Fortress’ attempts at expanding “its subprime lending business while he worked there, becoming a major player in the high-risk mortgage sector Edwards has pilloried in his presidential campaign.”

And, he claimed to have only worked at the hedge fund in order to “learn about financial markets and their relationship to poverty – and to make money too.”

Right. I’m sure the poverty angle was the big reason behind his working at Fortress.

We’re waiting for you to return those contributions, too, Senator. But we won’t hold our collective breath.

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