Subscribe Subscribe   Find us on Twitter Follow POL on Twitter  



Arbitrary campaign finance prosecution department

| 1 Comment

In North Carolina, John Edwards is currently standing trial for alleged felonies related to campaign finance violations: it is claimed that the Edwards campaign coordinated over a million dollars of third-party payments to Edwards's mistress, Rielle Hunter, to buy her silence for fear that Hunter talking would adversely affect Edwards's presidential campaign; the third-party contributions should be considered illegal "contributions," according to prosecutors. As Bradley Smith, among others, has noted, this seems abusive to take such a grey area of the law and turn it into a criminal prosecution, especially since Edwards had non-campaign reasons—a desire to hide the affair from his wife—to engage in such shenanigans. (Earlier on POL; and indictment coverage.)

In apparently entirely unrelated news, the New York Post reports that, in conjunction with Barack Obama's personal request, an Obama campaign supporter attempted to pay the Reverend Jeremiah Wright $150,000 to keep quiet during the 2008 presidential campaign, for fear that if Wright publicly talked too much, it would adversely affect Obama's presidential campaign. There doesn't seem to be anything other than political reasons to keep Wright quiet, since Mrs. Obama was present at the same controversial anti-American sermons that Obama supporters feared Wright would talk about. Nevertheless, not even the New York Post suggests the need for prosecutors, and I seem to be the only blogger asking why this payment isn't more problematic than the one Edwards is being prosecuted for.

1 Comment

As always, the wrongdoing is not in the actual deed, but how it is accomplished. Edward's actions and Obama's proposition neglected the intermediate steps that would have legitimized the transactions.

Leave a comment

Once submitted, the comment will first be reviewed by our editors and is not guaranteed to be published. Point of Law editors reserve the right to edit, delete, move, or mark as spam any and all comments. They also have the right to block access to any one or group from commenting or from the entire blog. A comment which does not add to the conversation, runs of on an inappropriate tangent, or kills the conversation may be edited, moved, or deleted.

The views and opinions of those providing comments are those of the author of the comment alone, and even if allowed onto the site do not reflect the opinions of Point of Law bloggers or the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research or any employee thereof. Comments submitted to Point of Law are the sole responsibility of their authors, and the author will take full responsibility for the comment, including any asserted liability for defamation or any other cause of action, and neither the Manhattan Institute nor its insurance carriers will assume responsibility for the comment merely because the Institute has provided the forum for its posting.

Related Entries:



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.