October 28, 2011 by staff
John Edwards, U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles ruled today (10/27/11) John Edwards defense if campaign finance should go to trial. Edwards had argued that it has not violated the law in making money as gifts from their fans and their use to cover up his relationship with his lover. Observers say that the question becomes a matter of fact to decide on the basis of specific evidence on this case.
The case is of interest to legal scholars focused on campaign finance laws. The essential question is: What is a campaign contribution and what is a personal gift or business?
The same issue was raised recently when former Senator Marc Basnight Beaufort withdrew from the General Assembly. There were “remnants” of campaign funds worth tens of thousands of dollars. He applied for and received approval to use these funds primarily for personal use in their activities. He argued that qualified retirement activities as “campaign expenses.”
A similar, but what could be with a different twist, has recently emerged with former Democratic Representative from Beaufort, Arthur Williams, who switched to the Republican Party. Question were raised about whether it is legal and proper to spend the money given by donors who believed they were supporting a Democrat to run as a Republican.
Edwards’s legal team, in essence, argues that gifts to a candidate are not necessarily “campaign contributions”, but should be classified as another type of “gift”.
The law is obviously clear about what a campaign contribution and where the line between donations of gifts in front of campaign contributions.
We believe this is an absurd argument. The question, as we see, is not whether a specific donation, call whatever you want, is a campaign contribution or just a personal gift / business. The question is whether the recipient is a politician or not. If so, then the money or the “onerous” should be taken into account under the campaign finance laws. If the political parties remove or change, and even has a duration of something else, the money must be returned to donors.
This legal hair splitting Edwards, Basnight and Williams is nonsense. Any money received after the filing of the office should be spent and accounted for campaign expenses or returned. To fight is a “personal gift” is money or staff as the head buyer for a government agency saying that the journey of a seller gave was “personal” and not related to the fact that he was an official the government to buy things in the donor is sold.
If you are a politician of the gifts they receive are a political gift, unless they come from family members or you can prove that he had received the gift, even if it was not a politician.
If John Edwards is just a disgusting example of lawyers who have lost sight of right and wrong and focus on the technical nuances of words and their arrangements. “It depends on what the definition of ‘is’.” He reminds us of Al Gore, to justify an illegal act by saying that “no legal controlling authority” to address the facts in this situation. Or as the school superintendent in a neighboring county that is detected through the school system issued cell phone to arrange an appointment with her lover on the clock and holding in his “business trips” with him defended his actions saying, “there nothing in politics or in my contract that prohibits anything I’ve done. “Disgusting.
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