Disaster Is Lurking

Discussion in 'Politics' started by MtnBiker, Jul 10, 2004.

  1. MtnBiker
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    By DICK MORRIS
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- July 7, 2004 --

    JOHN Kerry's choice of John Edwards as his vice presidential candidate is getting predictable but sincere applause from Democrats, relieved that some charisma will enliven their presidential ticket. But the initial positive reaction may not last long as the Bush campaign zeroes in on Edwards' vulnerability: his presidential campaign contributors.

    During his run for the top job, John Edwards relied heavily on leading trial lawyers. Twenty-two of his top 25 donors were trial attorneys. And those donations likely cloak a multitude of sins and violations of the campaign-finance laws.

    Edwards' trial lawyers bundled massive contributions from their assorted law firms and client lists to float his presidential run. Bundling isn't illegal — except when the donors are straw men and women putting up money given to them by a wealthy patron.

    For example, $1 million of Edwards' funds came from trial lawyers' wives — identified merely as "homemakers" in the campaign-finance filings. If the money came from their husbands, there could be a violation of law.

    More significant is the example of Little Rock trial lawyer Tad Turner, whose firm gave $200,000 to the Edwards campaign and associated committees. But Slate found last Aug. 29 that many of the "contributions . . . appear to be illegal." The online magazine reported that "one clerk who gave $2,000 said that Turner had 'asked for people to support Edwards' and assured them 'he would reimburse us.' " Another clerk told much the same story.

    When that came out, Edwards returned $10,000 to Turner employees. Tad Turner himself — a noted trial lawyer — said that he didn't know his promise of reimbursement was illegal.


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