John Edwards has issued a challenge to the other Dem contenders to help him eliminate federal special interest contributions to the Democratic party, and while doing so is making an appeal to his supporters to send him some ‘clean’ money.
No word yet on whether or not he plans on returning contributions he’s rec’d from rolling-in-dough hedge funds and trial lawyers. Scratch that. Yes, he has commented on at least the hedge fund part of the question, in a recent Democratic debate in which he took Senators Obama and Clinton to task for their lobbyist ties:
Rep. Dennis Kucinich saw an opening to tweak Edwards. “Would Sen, Edwards expand that to be willing to include all Wall Street hedge funds?” Edwards, who earned millions from New York-based Fortress Investments, wouldn’t go that far. “As long as we don’t have public financing, I think we have to raise money from nurses, teachers and doctors, people who work on Wall Street in New York City.”
LOL. Note how he slips in nurses, teachers, and doctors an puts them alongside the hedge fund contributions as if to suggest “hedge fund employees are people, too, just like our good nurses and teachers!” And he left out “lawyers” for some strange reason
In any event, Edwards is actually being pretty slick here. Note that he’s talking about federal special interest contributions. Nothing there about state contributions, though. Not only that, but he’s talking about direct contributions from lobbyists, but he’s already found a way around that:
While Edwards does not accept money directly from lobbyists, he eagerly solicits donations from people with ties to special interests and lobbyists — particularly the trial lawyer profession, which has a stake in actions taken by the White House and Congress.
See this way, he can make himself look ‘above’ the fray – not actually taking money directly from special interests (and even making a ‘big show’ out of returning some of the contributions), but instead from people ‘with ties to them’ (people who are essentially proxies for those lobbyists, anyway). This is probably the most important detail left out of Edwards pleas for people to stop taking ‘federal lobbyist money.’ He simply is not the anti-lobbyist saint he wants people to believe he is, as even the liberal MyDD blog reported last week:
John Edwards has made a big point of his claim that he doesn’t take money from “Washington” lobbyists. But a fair examination where he raises money reveals a different John Edwards. A John Edwards that says nice sounding things that rile people up and at the same time a John Edwards accepts money from the Insurance Industry ($83,737), the Pharmaceutical Industry (6,758), from Heath Care Professionals ($254,297), from Hedge Funds ($218,290), from Securities and Investment Professionals ($668,590), from Commercial Banks ($131,876) and from the Real Estate ($500,870).
This is also the same guy who demanded Democrat candidates return any campaign contributions they received from Rupert Murdoch and News Corp., yet didn’t reveal that his own hands were very deep in Murdoch money, thanks to a cushy book deal. Edwards told the Post that he wouldn’t be returning the $800,000 payout he rec’d from Murdoch and News Corp.-owned HarperCollins, and that $334,000 of the money “went to charities” which was later discovered to be a lie. Come to find out, according to The Politico, “HarperCollins paid portions of a $300,000 expense budget for the book to Edwards’s daughter and to a senior political aide, Jonathan Prince.”
It’s all about the show to John Edwards, not the substance. He thinks if he can smile enough, look humble enough, and have enough good hair days in a row, that people won’t care too much about whether or not what he says is from the heart. It’s almost as if he expects that people who come to see him speak – that is, when he’s not late and keeping supporters waiting in the heat – will take his faux down home, Southern boy charm at face value without doing a closer examination. Sadly, some are, but not enough to give him any advantage in the polls, thank goodness.
I hate to sound like a broken record, but anybody out there who is on board the ‘Edwards Express’ is a fool. The guy never means what he says, and is truly the type of politician who will say whatever it takes, and do whatever it takes to get elected – including using his wife’s battle with cancer in order to raise money for his campaign. It doesn’t get much lower than that.