More Hypocrisy from John Edwards on Fund Raising

After eight years of George Bush, I sure hope we don’t have to put up with his doppleganger from the left. There’s enough of a credibility gap from government without having to put up with more of how John Edwards stretches the truth.

This presidential campaign is a perfect example of how our politics is awash with money. I have raised more money up to this point than any Democratic candidate raised last time in the presidential campaign — $30 million. And, I did it without taking a dime from any Washington lobbyist or any special interest PAC.

What Edwards leaves out is that over half his money is from a single source–trial lawyers. A candidate who receives such a large percentage of his contributions from a single source is in no position to take such a high moral ground. Edwards also didn’t come out too well when The Washington Post looked at how pure the candidates were on campaign finance issues. Edwards was the most secretive with regards to revealing the identities of his big fund raisers:

Edwards is no less tainted by the trial-lawyer money he scoops up by the bucketful than he would be by lobbyist contributions…

Indeed, who takes money from lobbyists is the wrong question about an essential subject. Instead, voters who care — and I think voters should care — ought to ask: What is the candidate’s history on campaign finance reform, lobbying and ethics rules, and open government generally? How transparent is the candidate about campaign and personal finances? What steps will he or she take to limit the influence of money during the current campaign?

On these, there are revealing differences among the Democratic front-runners.

Edwards was part of the legislative team working to pass the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, but lobbying and campaign reform were nowhere near the top of his agenda in the Senate.

During the 2004 campaign, Edwards gave a useful speech outlining his plan to limit lobbyists’ influence. But, unlike the other Democratic candidates, he refused requests to reveal the identities of his big fundraisers. This time around, after considerable prodding, Edwards agreed to release the names of fundraisers — all his fundraisers, with no specifics about how much they had collected. His campaign argues vehemently that it should be praised for this avalanche of information, not faulted. But the candidate knows who has reeled in $1,000 and who raised $100,000. Why shouldn’t voters?

Hillary Clinton also responded to these attacks from Edwards regarding taking money from lobbyists:

If Mr. Edwards is so concerned about the influence of special interests, he should give back the hundreds of thousands of dollars he’s taken from health care, securities, and insurance companies.

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