Media Blog

Surprise, Surprise

The NY Times has caught Fred Baron, the mega-donor to John Edwards and the guy funding Rielle Hunter, in a mega-lie:

As tabloid reports of a sex scandal threatened former Senator John Edwards’s presidential campaign last December on the eve of the Iowa caucuses, two lawyers surfaced with written statements that appeared to exonerate the candidate.
One of them, Robert J. Gordon of New York, said that his client, Rielle Hunter, a pregnant 43-year-old filmmaker, was not carrying Mr. Edwards’s child. Shortly thereafter, the other lawyer, Pamela J. Marple of Washington, sent word that her client, Andrew Young, an Edwards campaign aide, was the baby’s father.
Seemingly issued independently of Mr. Edwards, the statements appeared to deflate the anonymously sourced reports of an Edwards tryst. But what went unnoticed was that the two lawyers shared an important connection to Mr. Edwards that suggests they were part of an orchestrated effort to protect him, one that is continuing even after he admitted last week that he had an affair with Ms. Hunter but denied that he fathered her child.
The lawyers are linked through Fred Baron, a wealthy Dallas lawyer and former finance chairman for the Edwards campaign who was a key player in the campaign’s response to the scandal. Mr. Gordon has worked with Mr. Baron on class-action personal injury cases, and Ms. Marple helped defend a lawsuit brought against both men and their law firms by an asbestos manufacturer.
After initially saying that he did not know how the lawyers were chosen to represent Ms. Hunter and Mr. Young, Mr. Baron acknowledged that he might have played a role.

Amazing how this thing called reporting actually works. And here’s a new nugget:

The review found that Mr. Edwards’s political action committee went to unusual lengths to make a final $14,000 payment to Ms. Hunter’s film company months after its contract with the committee had ended. The payment was issued while the committee was short on cash and could pay its bills only after receiving thousands of dollars from Mr. Edwards’s presidential campaign and donations from four people, including Mr. Baron’s wife.

OK, we have reports that the last payment to Hunter was on April 1, 2007. We have the new revelation from above that Edwards had to use campaign money to settle his PAC debts. And finally, here’s the email Edwards sent out on March 31, 2007, begging for campaign cash. No mention of paying of PAC debts, of course. Edwards supporters, you were had:

Dear Friend,
I just came out of the conference room in our office, where our whole staff has joined the volunteers making calls to beat this midnight fundraising deadline. There’s energy in the air — we’re getting close. I’ve been calling supporters from Michigan, my home state. A woman I spoke with last night put it very well (I’m paraphrasing here):
“All my life I’ve been hoping someone would just come out there and do something about what everyone can see needs to be fixed, things like, health care, poverty, global warming, all this stuff that’s obvious but no one is doing anything about it. Now here’s John Edwards, finally getting the nation to pay attention, finally saying it’s time to do something! So yes, I’ll donate, because I want the whole country to listen up, and this is my way of making that happen.”
We all have different reasons we support this campaign. But whatever our different dreams for this country, we all face the same deadline at 11:59 PM tonight to make it happen. We’re charging hard towards our new $3 million online goal, but we aren’t there yet. If each us just put in a little bit more in the 7 hours we have left, I know we can make it.
There is no ‘later’ on this one. Tonight sets the course for the rest of the campaign, and this moment won’t come again. Will you be the one who gets us across the finish line?
What’s my personal reason? It’s simple really. I was raised to believe in the fight for economic and social justice. And there is no better leader in that struggle today than John Edwards.
I’m sure you have your own reason. In fact, after you contribute, hit ‘reply’ to this email and send me a note about what did it for you.
I know thousands of you have already contributed, and you’re why we’re on the verge of success today. And if you haven’t yet found the right time to give, well, your moment is here.
For all the million different reasons, I thank you.
David Bonior

Campaign Manager

John Edwards for President
P.S. – Remember, you have till 11:59 PM tonight in your local time zone to make your donation online and still beat the deadline.

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