NY Times on Lawyers' Involvement in John Edwards' Mess

The New York Times reported Thursday that Fred Baron, the Texas lawyer who served as Finance Chair for John Edwards' campaign, not only may have paid money to Rielle Hunter and Andrew Young from his personal funds, but that he might have recommended their lawyers to them.

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,...

Unnoticed? The Times does not report that blogs such as Deceiver and Riehl World View have been reporting this for days. [Added: Deceiver says it's the McGovern angle it out-scooped the Times on, not this one.)

Yesterday, I brought out another reason to suspect Baron and lawyers for Young, Hunter and even John Edwards had coordinated their denials of the paternity allegation against Edwards to the media: [More...]

Here's what I wrote, just in case you see it tomorrow or the next day in the MSM:

Here's the First Enquirer article Oct 10, 2007.

Now, the denials: The 12/19/07 Enquirer update has denials of any affair made by Edwards on October 11 -- and by his lawyer and lawyers for Hunter and Young as to paternity in mid December. The bolding of dates in the quotes is by me.

....Reporters asked Edwards about The ENQUIRER report during a campaign stop in Columbia, S.C., on Oct. 11. Edwards responded: "The story is false. It's completely untrue, ridiculous," adding: "Anyone who knows me knows that I have been in love with the same woman for 30 plus years."

From Edwards' lawyer, days after the Enquirer took the December 12 photo of pregnant Rielle in North Carolina:

....things changed dramatically when The ENQUIRER contacted Edwards for a comment just days later. Edwards' lawyer called The ENQUIRER and denied the well-coiffed Democratic candidate is the father of Rielle's baby, adding that Rielle would deny it as well.

One day after the call from Edwards' lawyer, Andrew Young's lawyer's issued this statement:

"Andrew Young is the father of Ms. Hunter's unborn child," declared his Washington, D.C.-based attorney. Sen. Edwards knew nothing about the relationship between these former co-workers, which began when they worked together in 2006. As a private citizen who no longer works for the campaign, Mr. Young asks that the media respect his privacy while he works to make amends with his family."

From Rielle Hunter's lawyer:

In a statement issued to The ENQUIRER through her attorney, Rielle said: "The fact that I am expecting a child is my personal and private business. This has no relationship to nor does it involve John Edwards in any way. Andrew Young is the father of my unborn child."

The fact that all three lawyers -- those for Edwards, Hunter and Young -- contacted the Enquirer within days of the publication of her being photographed pregnant on December 12, and that Edwards' lawyer told them that Rielle was going to deny the paternity allegation, suggests to me, as a lawyer, it was a joint strategy.

Edwards should have dropped out in October even if new rumors he rekindled the affair in 2007 aren't true. But if he did get re-involved with Hunter in 2007, it's inexcusable that he didn't get out, if not in October, certainly in December when her pregnancy became public knowledge -- even if it turns out he isn't the father. Privacy was long-gone by that point.

As to whether he lied to Elizabeth and is still lying to Elizabeth, that's between them and I'll offer no comment.

My concern is the effect of his prolonging his surely doomed candidacy through January 30. Here are the States that voted between Iowa and Jan 30 when Edwards dropped out:

  • January 8: New Hampshire
  • January 15: Michigan
  • January 19: Nevada
  • January 26: South Carolina (D)
  • January 29: Florida

Unlike the right wing bloggers covering this who may just be gleeful to see John Edwards, a prominent Democrat trashed, it bothers me for a different reason. I'm angry that Edwards didn't drop out in October or December, 2007 when the affair and then the pregnancy were first reported -- and that instead he chose to lie about the affair and continue his candidacy.

Not only did his staying in the race change its dynamic, even if it didn't affect the outcome, which we'll never know, had he become the nominee and this came out now or in the fall, the Democrats would never win in November and we'd be looking at another four years of Republican rule. That he took that risk which affected all Democrats based on arrogance and ego makes me very angry.

On one level I'm angry because I supported both Edwards and Hillary between October and December. I covered them equally in Iowa and spent hours attending his campaign events and writing about them. I would have endorsed Hillary much earlier had Edwards not been in the race. As a blogger, that matters to me.

As a lawyer, it bothers me that the Justice Department elected to prosecute two lawyers, Geoff Fieger and Pierce O'Donnell, who raised money for Edwards charging they reimbursed donors with their own money, issuing press releases calling the Edwards' campaign a victim. In Fieger's case, the release stresses that the campaign had fully cooperated with them.

What's good for the goose should be good for the gander, and if evidence develops that Edwards' PAC spent donors' money on Rielle Hunter that was unassociated with the legitimate video work she did for the campaign -- either through payments made directly to her or in covering more of her air travel and hotel expenses than were associated with her video work -- then the campaign should be investigated just as Geoff Fieger and Pierce O'Donnell were investigated. Fieger, you may recall, was acquitted.

I hope it turns out that Edwards and Baron did nothing improper or illegal. I presume they did not and I'm not suggesting they did. But there are questions. Given that this blog covers the politics of crime and the crime in politics. I'd be remiss if I just skipped over it.

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    On local late news, they said (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by nycstray on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 02:55:44 AM EST
    she was paid 14 grand from the PAC after she was no longer working for him.

    Something sounds odd about that to me. I viewed all 4 of the videos. She was, ahem, well paid for what they were, imo. No professional graphics/titling etc. Over all, a poor job for 100 grand (imo , lol!~)

    was paid $14K for 100 hours of unused video (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Josey on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 03:47:06 AM EST
    Or maybe (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by Redshoes on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 06:52:21 AM EST
    He's not the most reprehensible individual alive.

    Maybe Edwards stayed in the campaign in an effort to move the discussion to the left.  As a Edwards supporter I never believed he'd be the 2008 Democratic nominee but I thought he deserved support because when he came out on Election Night (2004) --long after the polls had closed (but before Kerry caved -- Edwards clearly was willing to to fight for Ohio and in 2008 Edward's message spoke to the people and issues I care about.  

    I believe in rewarding the good.  After Edwards suspended his campaign HRC took up the charge and that's when she gained my support and $s.

    As to friends helping friends that's okay too -- but if the money gets funny that's another story (Loyalty 101 -- be willing to follow to the edge of the cliff but no further).

    Of course what certainly appears to be the continued lying and cover up does him no favors -- but his action maybe based on something as basic and primal as fear, the loss of his wife's respect and support.  

    Having donated to his campaign I don't share the anger -- my take on politicians is simple.  I have to like your policies not your personality.  I liked Edward's policies, I hope even though he's ruin the issues he raised aren't ignored by the next administration.

    But (none / 0) (#48)
    by txpolitico67 on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 10:19:53 AM EST
    Couldn't have Edwards worked more in the background or on the periphery with either candidate who more closely resembled his own platform?  He HAD to have known that this would damage the Democratic brand in one way or another.  People have short memories.  We can raise the fact that Newt Gingrich more or less did the same thing.

    It's actions like these that 'reinforce' the stereotype that Dems are lacking in 'family values'.  Being here in Texas, let me tell you how many times I have already heard, "oh, he's a Democrat what do you expect?"

    This saddens me because that is NOT representative of Democrats.


    Neither party has a lock on or a lack (5.00 / 0) (#58)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 11:10:12 AM EST
    of family values.  Its a mixed bag for both.  It is also not all that relevant to what we hire them to do either.  Accepting that premise is falling into a Republican laid trap.

    And all those people bemoaning the fact that Edwards took his wife and kids on the campaign trail are missing the obvious.  Men who are found out by their wives cheating get put on a short leash if the wives choose to stick around.  It is that simple.  I don't believe Elizabeth was trying to deceive.  I think she was trying to survive.  The Edwardses aren't the first, only or last political family that will have a private matter unfold behind the scenes.  They all do.

    Tipper Gore had a mental breakdown.  Nancy Reagan spent her time in the White House obessessing on whether or not her husband would be shot again.  Betty Ford was drinking.  Barbara Bush is mean as a snake.  Hillary - we all know that story.  These are human beings and everyone of them has experienced personal human drama behind the scenes - some of the not so lucky ones are exposed - but none avoid personal problems - none.


    I never claimed (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by txpolitico67 on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 12:02:14 PM EST
    one party had the lock on values.  However, the 'perception' (and I use that term VERY loosely) is that the Dems are not as 'family values' oriented than the R's.  

    I know that everyone from FDR to Bush43 and their wives/families are not perfect.  Show me a non-dsyfunctional family anywhere in this country and they will be on display at the Smithsonian.

    For voters, perception is 99% of it.  Edwards having this happen overtakes the news cycle right up until the convention.  And with BHO traipsing around HI, kinda reminds me of a guy who whistles by an uncomfortable situation.  


    He stayed in the campaign because (none / 0) (#57)
    by JavaCityPal on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 11:04:02 AM EST
    he truly believed he could keep this secret. He had the solid word of all involved.

    That was the only comment he made in his confessional Nightline interview that appears to be true at this point.


    ok, conspiracy theory 101:* (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by cpinva on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 07:30:41 AM EST
    edwards, in collusion with obama, stayed in the race for the sole purpose of defeating clinton. both edwards and obama knew that edwards had zero chance of winning the nomination, but his presence on the primary ballots would draw just enough votes away from clinton to allow obama to sneak in.

    this would neatly explain why edwards, in the face of mounting questions regarding his association with ms. hunter, chose to continue his candidacy, rather than doing the obvious thing, and dropping out.

    *no actual substantive evidence to support this theory whatever.

    At this point, I've come to (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by byteb on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 10:03:47 AM EST
    the realization that John Edwards only concern was fueling his ego. John Edwards didn't care about his wife, his children, his campaign, his message, his campaign workers nor his supporters, nor Obama nor Hillary Clinton. John Edwards was lost in admiration of John Edwards where everything was possible. He was looking out only for himself.

    Interesting observation (none / 0) (#41)
    by txpolitico67 on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 10:09:59 AM EST
    Where Obama and Edwards' personalities may come together:

    John Edwards was lost in admiration of John Edwards where everything was possible

    I am disappointed in Edwards more and more as we learn more about this collusion.  Notsomuch about his actual affair, but the lengths he has gone to to cover it up, pay someone off, etc.


    I think all politicians have huge egos (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by byteb on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 10:40:09 AM EST
    and those that seriously run for President of the United States must have (in order to survive the process) incredibly huge egos with an added dollop of narcissism. I can't think of one top tier Presidential contender that didn't fairly ooze egocentric qualities...even seemingly mild mannered Jimmy Carter.

    However at a certain point that prerequisite huge ego becomes so overpowering and distorted that a certain type of thinking develops where boundaries and caution and loyalty dissolve and the universe shrinks to only them...they really think they can take whatever they wish with no consequences.

    Think of Gary Hart or Bill Clinton or JFK..and now Edwards joins the ranks.

    If we discovered that Obama was carrying on an affair right now while running for President or if  elected began on in the WHite House, I would add his name the list of pathological egos but as of right now, he is no more ego ladened than any other top tier politician.


    Of course (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by kredwyn on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 08:19:23 AM EST
    it would've had an impact on the outcome.

    Yes but what that impact would have (5.00 / 0) (#60)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 11:16:55 AM EST
    been is impossible to determine accurately.  To say that either Obama or Clinton would have benefitted is impossible to determine imo.

    He left the race too early to make a fair call either way in my opinion - and he probably did leave the race because of this issue - just not early enough for some people though I guess.  I was glad he was around talking about issues and I was glad that his healthcare plan got a good enough reception to allow Clinton to feel safe about expanding hers.

    I backed him but never thought he stood a chance against Clinton and Obama so I guess I see it differently than some.  I never saw him as a credible threat - I dreamed he might be because of the things he talked about - but I didn't think he would be.


    I admire Clinton more after this revelation (5.00 / 10) (#23)
    by goldberry on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 08:27:21 AM EST
    She HAD to have known what was going on with Edwards.  In fact, the Edwards and Obama campaigns were fairly goading her into smearing him at one point early in the primary.  

    And she didn't.  

    That's got to take remarkable self-restraint.  Or maybe they thought that it would be all over by supertuesday so they didn't think it was worth the aggravation.  

    But it seems to have become a pattern with her.  She didn't smear Edwards and she didn't go after Reverend Wright.  She won by being positive and outshining the other guys.  

    And voters say this is what they want in a campaign.  They want a candidate who doesn't go negative.  

    There she is.  

    Or maybe she didn't go after (5.00 / 0) (#37)
    by byteb on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 10:06:13 AM EST
    Edwards on his affair b/c it might negatively impact her campaign and bring back memories of what happened with Bill. A 'better to let sleeping dogs lie' kind of thing.

    did I miss the publication (none / 0) (#47)
    by TimNCGuy on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 10:19:10 AM EST
    of some sort of documentation proving that Clinton KNEW about Edwards' affair?

    Is it possible that she didn't go after Edwards on his affair because, like most people, she didn't believe the tabloid reports of it?


    I would find it hard (none / 0) (#49)
    by txpolitico67 on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 10:29:14 AM EST
    to believe that the opposing camps didn't know about the affair.  If a hack from the NE can find out, certainly operatives in other campaigns knew.  From what one reads in the press, there are lots of "open secrets" in places like DC and Hollywood.  

    I give Obama and Clinton credit for knowing about this. There would be NO way.


    well at least your spread it around (none / 0) (#54)
    by TimNCGuy on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 10:40:19 AM EST
    to believing that BOTH Clinton and Obama knew.

    Normally these kinds of "must have known" or "must have really meant" theories are only attributed to the Clintons.


    After seeing some of the footage and photos (none / 0) (#59)
    by JavaCityPal on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 11:10:12 AM EST
    of the two of them together, the fact they were having more personal connections than she was "hired" for is hard to miss. Mostly in John's behavior.

    If they were video taping at the debates, which I assume they were, every candidate could very well have been suspicious of what was going on.


    people claim, in surveys, (none / 0) (#32)
    by cpinva on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 09:40:07 AM EST
    to want "quality" shows on tv too. yet, they consistently place trash programming at the top of the ratings. so much for what people "claim" to want.

    And voters say this is what they want in a campaign.  They want a candidate who doesn't go negative.

    "Trashy" (none / 0) (#43)
    by txpolitico67 on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 10:12:59 AM EST
    is subjective.  What American Idol might be to you is something different to someone else.  I was the BIGGEST Angel and Buffy fan and I had plenty of people who would say the worst things about that show.

    O/T, maybe in the next open thread we can discuss the Hx of good tv shows! ;)


    Fred Baron's response (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Little Fish on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 09:36:04 AM EST
    to whether he had any connection between Hunter, Young and their lawyers reminds me of this.

    Edwards should have dropped out after Elizabeth's cancer returned. None of this would have come out and no one would have questioned the withdrawal.

    What's the legal ramifications if there is found to be a misuse of campaign funds? Finance is not my strong point (and that's putting it mildly).

    Was Edwards talking about (5.00 / 0) (#44)
    by ding7777 on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 10:14:11 AM EST
    Elizabeth's cancer or his own affair?

    "Well, anyone who wants to be president of the United States needs to understand and recognize that there will be very difficult, intense, high pressure times when judgments have to be made. And if you're not able to, in a focused, thoughtful way, deal with this kind of pressure, you are not ready to be president," he said.

    The cancer return press conference March 22, 2007


    I agree completely that Edwards... (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by EL seattle on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 10:12:33 AM EST
    ... should have dropped out immediately at that point. Any account of his life and career should probably be prefaced with the words "Lousy Husband".

    Personally, I think that if John Kerry were to act on behalf of all the people who voted for Kerry/Edwards in 2004, and give John Edwards a good solid punch in the face on national television, he would be cheered by a lot of people.

    But then Edwards would probably sue him for assault and causing emotional distress, 'cause that's the kind of guy that John Edwards apparently is.

    We can debate ad infinitum who should be ... (2.00 / 0) (#71)
    by RonK Seattle on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 11:55:15 AM EST
    ... first in line to punch Edwards in the face, but at this point it's spilt milk over the dam, isn't it?

    Keep eyes peeled for the next JRE - and the next enabling media environment.

    You may not have to look very far.


    Elizabeth (5.00 / 0) (#69)
    by JavaCityPal on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 11:34:11 AM EST
    although she is really a victim in all this, has played an unpleasant role. She didn't show up for the JE endorsement night, but she did show up in Raleigh to accept the role of advisor for the UHC policy Obama would run on. At the time, many criticized EE for taking that role as an effective slap across Hillary's face. He's put her in some really miserable positions.

    The more this goes on, the bigger JE's lies appear, and even his confession is now appearing to be a pack of lies.

    I hope EE isn't having to depend upon the media to dig deep enough to give her the whole truth.

    I know you don't like them (none / 0) (#1)
    by Grace on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 01:41:04 AM EST
    but I'm trusting the NE on this story since it appears they paid for good information.  

    Now it appears to be a... a whatchucallit...  A conspiracy?  A planned scheme to get out of accepting blame for something?  A whatever (words escape me at the moment).  Couldn't that be a chargeable offense if campaign funds are involved?  

    Edwards ticks me off too, but there is nothing that can be done about it now.  Someone (like the NYT) should have latched onto this story a lot earlier.    

    Can Rielle be (none / 0) (#2)
    by Amiss on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 02:02:59 AM EST
    compelled to subject the baby to a paternity test, since JE ssays he wants one? If he truly wants a test then seek a lawyer and file papers to have her compelled to provide the baby for an independent DNA analysis.

    I think if he were alleging (5.00 / 0) (#3)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 02:14:29 AM EST
    he was the father, he could. For example, if he wanted visitation with the child and she refused to acknowledge that he was the father, I would think he could petition the court for a test to establish his rights as a parent. The same if he were to conclude she was an unfit mother and the child should be living with him.

    But to establish he isn't the father? Perhaps if he could argue it's in the best interest of the child because with all the media attention, the child will now grow up with the public speculating on paternity when it could be put to rest, a court might grant it.

    Also, social services, at least in some states, might demand a test so that they can make sure the father pays child support. I think that's been done in cases where the mother doesn't want to name the father and they have reliable information  on the father's identity.

    I don't do this kind of law so this is just a guess based on hazy recollections.


    If either Hunter or Edwards wanted a test (5.00 / 0) (#17)
    by myiq2xu on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 06:37:59 AM EST
    they could file a paternity suit and get one, unless (as does not apply here) there was a conclusively presumed father already.

    Conclusively presumed means "husband of the mother who was cohabitating with the mother and is not sterile."

    The only time a third party claimant would have standing would be if she received welfare and then the state could bring an action to establish paternity in order to obtain reimbursement for support.

    If Edwards is the father, or at least thinks he might be, he could have made a deal to provide support without a paternity judgment in exchange for silence.

    As long as the source of funds is legal, there would be no crime in doing so.

    Hunter can always bring an action later, and so can the child.  Considering Edwards' wealth, being a legal heir would be a good reason to file suit.

    I am basing this on California law, which follows the Uniform Parentage Act.


    Best interest of the child doesn't work here (5.00 / 0) (#24)
    by Valhalla on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 09:09:54 AM EST
    Not for Edwards if he is not claiming paternity, or any third parties, eg, curious media.  

    Best interests is the standard used to determine interests when there is already a case, it is not a cause of action in itself.  If it's not a divorce case, or a termination of parental rights, or an action brought by the State alleging child abuse, best interests doesn't apply.  Also, the State has no free-roving interest in child support; without a support order (or a motion for one) or without Hunter accepting State money for the support of a child (like afdc, or whatever it's called these days, if it even exists anymore), the State has no standing.

    People can't just get a parent into court to force an invasive procedure because they believe the parent isn't acting in the best interest of a child (just think how the courts would be flooded if it were otherwise).  There's no 'failure to act in the best interests of the child' cause of action.


    I think it's only that (none / 0) (#5)
    by Grace on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 02:28:34 AM EST
    one TV show (?? my mind is a blank tonight) that let's men go on and say "I am NOT the father!"  

    I'm not sure that she can be compelled to (none / 0) (#4)
    by Grace on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 02:16:24 AM EST

    Chad Everett had a child with a bit actress years ago.  He refused to DNA test and the courts refused to make him DNA test.  I'm not certain of all the details of the lawsuit -- but I met the mother about 15 years ago, and the son, and the kid was the spitting image of daddy.  (I was looking on the internet to see if I could find anything about this case and if you google "Sheila" and "Chad Everett" you'll find some details on her Myspace page.)  I probably wouldn't remember this as much as I do except, when I met her, she was trying to sell some items to get her son into something after high school -- and she was still chasing after "the father" who had denied the kid for years and years and years.  

    Anyway, just judging from what I know on that case, I don't think anyone can be "compelled" to take a DNA test if they don't want to.        


    I Dont Think That's Right (none / 0) (#6)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 02:30:55 AM EST
    I just looked up the Uniform Parentage Act. It's for Colorado, but the fact that it's called "Uniform" means that other states use it also. I'll check California and North Carolina next.

    19-4-107. Determination of father and child relationship - who may bring action - when action may be brought

    (1) A child, his natural mother, or a man presumed to be his father under section 19-4-105 (1) (a), (1) (b), or (1) (c) or the state, the state department of human services, or a county department of social services, pursuant to article 13 or 13.5 of title 26, C.R.S., or article 5 of title 14, C.R.S., may bring an action:

    (a) At any time for the purpose of declaring the existence of the father and child relationship presumed under section 19-4-105 (1) (a), (1) (b), or (1) (c); or

    (b) For the purpose of declaring the nonexistence of the father and child relationship presumed under section 19-4-105 (1) (a), (1) (b), or (1) (c) only if the action is brought within a reasonable time after obtaining knowledge of relevant facts but in no event later than five years after the child's birth.After the presumption has been rebutted, paternity of the child by another man may be determined in the same action, if he has been made a party.

    (2) Any interested party, including the state, the state department of human services, or a county department of social services, pursuant to article 13 or 13.5 of title 26, C.R.S., or article 5 of title 14, C.R.S., may bring an action at any time for the purpose of determining the existence or nonexistence of the father and child relationship presumed under section 19-4-105 (1) (d), (1) (e), or (1) (f).

    (3) An action to determine the existence of the father and child relationship with respect to a child who has no presumed father under section 19-4-105 may be brought by the state, the state department of human services, a county department of social services, the child, the mother or personal representative of the child, the personal representative or a parent of the mother if the mother has died, a man alleged or alleging himself to be the father, or the personal representative or a parent of the alleged father if the alleged father has died or is a minor.

    (4) Regardless of its terms, an agreement, other than an agreement approved by the court in accordance with section 19-4-114 (2), between an alleged or presumed father and the mother or child does not bar an action under this section.

    (My emphasis)


    California and North Carolina (5.00 / 0) (#7)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 02:36:45 AM EST
    also have it. In California, it's called the Uniform Parentage Act and in N.C. it's called the Family something. I didn't check to see if the provisions are identical, but it appears both have at least similar laws.

    Look up the names I (none / 0) (#9)
    by Grace on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 03:05:15 AM EST
    posted, plus other words like "illegitimate" and you'll find reference to the court case.  Unfortunately, it was before the Internet existed but it was written about pretty extensively locally.  

    I don't know all the details.  

    All I know is that that I noticed "Sheila" looked nothing like this kid and this kid looked like "Mini Me."  It was so crazy!!  Since I had some media connections at the time I started to investigate it a little but I found that Everett had political connections and that was what blocked her getting anywhere on chasing him for paternity.  Some of the local magazines had written articles about the whole thing, but, you know, this is LA.  Scum goes down the pool drain.  There's tons of it in this town and no one ever hears about it -- and meanwhile, there are really straightlaced people, like Alice Cooper, that everyone in the USA thinks is a son of the devil.  It's quite wild what the Hollywood publicity machine produces!  


    I think Sheila's (none / 0) (#10)
    by Grace on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 03:13:48 AM EST
    last name is Scott or Scotti (per her Myspace page).  I believe her son is going by the name of "Dale Everett."

    She was a bit actress in some western with Everett and she played an Indian girl with long black braids.  

    Her son was 18 when I met her which was between 1991 and 1993.  

    This is the only paternity case I know of where the father refused to give DNA and the courts didn't make him give it.  I don't know why but the reasons must be there somewhere in the court records.

     Please delete this post after you read it.

    P.S.  Based on what I saw, I totally believe that CE is the father and that her case has been a total travesty of justice.  What woman would throw away most of their lifetime to chase after a deadbeat father who wasn't really the father?  


    "The family something" (none / 0) (#46)
    by txpolitico67 on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 10:16:06 AM EST
    LOL! That put a smile on my face. I have a great friend who practices family law.  I am going to quiz her on this Edwards paternity test situation this wknd.

    But Jeralyn (none / 0) (#16)
    by Steve M on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 06:32:25 AM EST
    You need to bold a little more text.  A potential father only has standing to bring the action if he is the "presumed father" pursuant to one of the specified statutory subsections - which basically relate to him being married to the mother.

    So if my wife has a baby, I am legally presumed to be the father, but I can bring an action to establish that I'm not actually the father.

    But I don't think I can bring such a proceeding to establish that I'm not the father of just any baby.  Take a look at who has standing under section (1) of what you cited, and also the next few words after the bolding in section (1)(b).


    And (none / 0) (#19)
    by Steve M on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 06:54:44 AM EST
    he could have standing under subsection (3) only if he is "alleging himself to be the father."  He is alleging the exact opposite.  The law apparently doesn't have an interest in helping the entire world prove that they are not the father of a fatherless child.

    I'm not a lawyer (none / 0) (#21)
    by TimNCGuy on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 08:07:50 AM EST
    and I don't play one on TV.

    But, I can't imagine the law would REQUIRE a paternity test when there are three people involved in this case who all AGREE on who the father of the child is.  And, as someone else pointed out, as long as the state isn't paying for supporting the child, who, other than the curious onlookers, would have any reason for a paternity test?  I mean, it isn't really anyone's business who the father of the child is.  Adultery isn't illegal and neither is fathering children out of wedlock.


    Actually, (5.00 / 0) (#25)
    by cmugirl on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 09:24:48 AM EST
    In many states, adultery actually still IS illegal,although never prosecuted (how could it be when half the lawmakers engage in it as well?)

    you know what.... (none / 0) (#30)
    by TimNCGuy on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 09:35:22 AM EST
    I live in one of those states and completely forgot about it.

    In NC we have an "alienation of affection" law on the books.  It isn't used often.  But, it was used once in the last few yeras that I'm aware of.  Usually the "jilted" spouse uses it to sue the person who broke up their marriage.  And, the jilted spouse won the most recent case causing the "ex" and new partner to pay up quite a large sum of money.  


    then after the last time (none / 0) (#34)
    by TimNCGuy on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 09:53:32 AM EST
    they used the law there was renewed talk about getting the law off the books.

    Unmarried co-habitation is also illegal in NC.  That was used recently to fire a woman from some small town police force.

    But, not sure how that one makes any sense.  Wouldn't that make all college students living in dorms with room-mates subject to being arrested?  

    Maybe this co-habitation law only applies to opposite sex co-habitation.  Maybe gays get a free pass on this one.  LOL


    What if Elizabeth (none / 0) (#52)
    by txpolitico67 on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 10:37:03 AM EST
    Edwards wanted one?  Would the wife have any legal standing in this type of situation?

    No, she has no standing (5.00 / 0) (#63)
    by Valhalla on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 11:22:36 AM EST
    In terms of the law, she has no more standing than a random stranger.  She has no biological or legal relationship with the child.

    As a sweeping generalizatin, the law is extremely conservative about extending rights over children to anyone who is not the biological parent, legal parent, or someone with some sort of legal in loco parentis status (like the State when trying to terminate parental rights for abuse).


    Good question (none / 0) (#62)
    by JavaCityPal on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 11:20:52 AM EST
    If EE told RH she would divorce JE if the baby was his, RH would most likely agree without hestitation.

    Well, maybe not without hesitation considering how frightening all the speculation about whether her income has been legal, whether the IRS is going to come after her, whether or not all those attorneys (including JE) she trusted are facing big trouble must be right now. She might well be wishing she had never met the man instead of believing they will be married some day.


    yes john Edwards deceived you (none / 0) (#12)
    by Edgar08 on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 04:00:50 AM EST
    And all of the things said above are true and then some.  I wouldn't need to reference his personal situation to make my argument about john Edwards' deceptive and cowardly political  tactics during the campaign.

    No open thread tonight I guess.   I'm not going to let It go.  Even most especially when someone makes sratements about me that I believe are untrue. Whatever rule of his he thinks I broke he has not made it clear how I broke that rule., and until then it simply remains a case of banning people from his threads for any reason at all on a case by case basis for any reason he sees fit.  And, as was  discussed last night, that's the authority that is given to any front pager on this blog.

    Huh? (none / 0) (#50)
    by txpolitico67 on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 10:31:21 AM EST
    Did you get banned, too, from BTD's threads Edgar?

    I thought it was obvious to most people ... (none / 0) (#14)
    by robrecht on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 06:17:05 AM EST
    ... that Edwards was a fake.  Typical politician, I'm not saying he was worse than most with respect to personal integrity, but the Ken doll obsession with his hair was just so superficial it was impossible for me to take him seriously.

    And I thought it was obvious (5.00 / 0) (#27)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 09:26:46 AM EST
    that judging a politician based on whether or not he's vain about his hair is as lame and lazy as it's possible to get.

    No ... (none / 0) (#33)
    by robrecht on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 09:40:47 AM EST
    ... it's possible to get much more lame and lazy than that.  His preening was not the only basis for my negative impression of Edwards, perhaps just the most obvious.  Had his actions and political record been more impressive, I could have overlooked his obsession his his hair.

    John Edwards (none / 0) (#15)
    by veronica on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 06:22:50 AM EST
    Jeralyn: I agree with you 100 percent! What disgusts me more about the Edwards case is the fact that he denied the affair and stay in the race for the presidency. I don't care much if he had an affair out of the candidacy, but in it? is disgusting..how could he? Didn't he learn anything after Bill Clinton? Why these men think again and again they can get away with it? ..and not think of the concequences thereafter. If this would have happen years ago maybe, maybe would have been another story but this was just last year and he continue in the race. Talk about morals, and also he attacked Bill when his affair surfaced. "People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones" also, you shouldn't never said: "From this water, I will never drink" because you will never know what's ahead and store for you. Amazing morals that should be redefine. I still like Edwards and I forgive him because I am not to judge him but the creator, however I would never believe ANYTHING he says, never THRUST him again because he wanted to become a president of the US with a repugnant behavior and despicable morals with low life family values. Is that what we want in a president? For the future of our children to look after someone like that? I think not. And like you said, we would have lost to the republicans again. I will never forget the lessons I learned on this election year. Amazing!

    Well, the NE says it has lots of information just (none / 0) (#28)
    by Angel on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 09:28:55 AM EST
    waiting to be printed depending on how John Edwards acts, says, etc.

    I read something a day or so ago that quoted someone saying that the baby "looks like John Edwards in a onesie."

    I'm still angry that he stayed in the race because I know it would have changed the dynamics in a major way.  

    Edwards in a onesie? (none / 0) (#84)
    by denise k on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 03:55:37 PM EST
    I have never seen him in a onesie, so I would not know about that.  HE HE HE.  But I have seen that statement before and am alternately impressed that someone could discern paternity by the features of an infant and amused by the image of Edwards in a onesie.  

    I guess I find myself wondering (none / 0) (#35)
    by frankly0 on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 09:55:24 AM EST
    what the real and precise problem was with Edwards staying in the race after his affair.

    It can't be the mere fact that he had had an affair, right? Surely we can accept that there have been politicians, and very likely Presidential candidates who have had an affair while running for office, right? And that those affairs did not per se constitute sufficient grounds for them to drop out, right? How many male politicians might be left if those who had had affairs were obliged to drop out of consideration? (Of course, I'll grant, some might be happy to be rid of them).

    Look, the real problem with Edwards affair was that he was involved with someone who pretty clearly couldn't or wouldn't conduct herself with enough discretion that she could protect Edwards. Another person might have been able to do that; in most such instances, my guess is that the women involved do so conduct themselves.

    Now I'm not going to say that it wasn't Edwards who bore any responsibility for how Rielle seems to have behaved. He may have been a complete cad to her; he may have fully deserved to have been, say, threatened with exposure by her. In that sense, he may well have been far more responsible than she for her apparent unwillingness simply to recede into the background.

    (I think, though, that's it a little hard not to see Rielle as being manipulative here, at least of someone. To put it bluntly, she had the baby rather than an abortion. Given her storied history of wildness, it's hard to see that as based on some deep seated religious conviction, rather than something else.)

    I think that if one is honest about what the real problem with Edwards' keeping in the race despite his affair it is that he completely misjudged the person he was dealing with, and the likely consequences of being involved with such a person.

    But I don't know when, exactly, he should have known that this affair with this person would very  likely blow up in his face. That would be the point at which he was being completely irresponsible to his supporters and to the Democratic Party more largely speaking.

    But even there the problem would be that Edwards could simply go into denial about how likely it would be that the affair would blow up in his face.

    The basic truth is that, in fact, Edwards had effectively kept the story out of the mainstream news pretty much until he himself admitted to the affair. It was not unreasonable for him to have believed before that that he might have been able to do so pretty much indefinitely.

    And the further truth is, we still don't know why it is that he admitted to the affair when he did. A very plausible reason is that he was being shaken down by Rielle, and finally realized it had to come out. But, plausible though it be, it's still speculation.

    Yes and No (5.00 / 0) (#39)
    by Redshoes on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 10:09:47 AM EST
    While I don't share Jeralyn's anger at Edwards and I think there are reasons other than ego for him to have continued his candidacy, from a pragmatic pov he had to know that even the most discrete of mistresses (even hiding in plain sight) posed a serious threat to his electability and that knowledge makes his conduct irresponsible politically.  Also, while I don't need my president to be a saint (nor do the majority of Americans) the 24/7 corporate media loves to build you up to tear you down and Edwards' conduct just feeds that beast and further confirms the cynical.  That's why it's all so sad and frustrating.

    As for the colluding lawyers and friends -- wasn't so painful about this is his best friend was the one he couldn't tell and so he didn't have the benefit of her sage advice.  

    Also, Ms. Hunter may have been a very poor choice of lover(she too needs better friends) but to paraphrase Camus, the heart has reasons that reason cannot know.


    I don't find it that hard (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by Emma on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 11:18:28 AM EST
    (I think, though, that's it a little hard not to see Rielle as being manipulative here, at least of someone. To put it bluntly, she had the baby rather than an abortion. Given her storied history of wildness, it's hard to see that as based on some deep seated religious conviction, rather than something else.)

    How is having a baby rather than an abortion manipulative?  There's something deeply off about this comment, deeply insulting to Hunter and insulting to women.  Why shouldn't she have the baby?  Maybe she wanted a baby.  Maybe she didn't want a baby but got pregnant and then wanted to have it.  Maybe she does have religious convictions, just not the right-wing religious convictions you would recognize as justification for not having an abortion.  (Though, in many cases, those convictions go by the wayside when there's an actual pregnancy involved.)  

    She got pregnant.  She had the baby.  I don't see any manipulation involved in that.  Having an abortion or not is her decision.  Calling her manipulative because she chose not to get an abortion is beyond the pale.  It's exactly what second wave feminists talk about when they say that of course "progressive" men support abortion rights:  it allows them to have sex with women without consequence.  She'll just get an abortion!  

    There's nothing here that leads to the conclusion that Rielle Hunter "should" have got an abortion.  But calling her manipulative because she didn't draws that conclusion.  And implies that Hunter, to be a "non-manipulative" person, should have aborted her child to save John Edwards some embarassment.


    Plus for jeepers sake, we don't even know if (none / 0) (#64)
    by Valhalla on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 11:26:17 AM EST
    it's his kid.  Everyone's just speculating.

    Look, I'm not going to argue (none / 0) (#72)
    by frankly0 on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 11:58:40 AM EST
    that Rielle could not have had some kind of admirable motivation to have brought the child to term.

    Maybe she has completely changed her prior behaviors and dispositions, where she was a notorious party girl. Maybe she found some kind of religion and/or moral point of view which made it impossible for her to consider an abortion. Maybe, for all I know, Edwards encouraged her to have the child, and said he would support her, and even marry her.

    I won't pretend to know for sure whether or not any of these things, or countless others, might have taken place. Obviously, I'm not privy.

    But, if you had to ask me, what is the most likely motivation for her, given what I've heard about her history, combined with the shaking down that at least appears to be taking place, I'd say that her decision to keep the child, given that Edwards -- or whoever -- was married, may well have been intended, at least in good part, to manipulate.

    If we find out that Rielle has in fact been shaking Edwards down, do you think that you might admit that manipulation may have played an important role in her motivations? Or are you going to stick to the claim that there's just no good reason to assume she might have had any kind of manipulation in mind?


    Nobody asked you (5.00 / 0) (#74)
    by Emma on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 12:41:31 PM EST
    But, if you had to ask me, what is the most likely motivation for her, given what I've heard about her history, combined with the shaking down that at least appears to be taking place, I'd say that her decision to keep the child, given that Edwards -- or whoever -- was married, may well have been intended, at least in good part, to manipulate.

    Then maybe the problem lies with you, not Rielle Hunter.  Maybe the problem lies with your assumption that Hunter's default "solution" to being pregnant is to get an abortion.  Why you think you are qualified to make that decision is beyond me.  


    The problem is (none / 0) (#75)
    by Emma on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 12:45:46 PM EST
    you sound like some "father's rights" dude and you don't seem to know it.  "The stupid b*tch manipulated me by getting pregnant and not getting an abortion!  Why should I have to pay child support??"

    Feminist paternity (none / 0) (#81)
    by robrecht on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 02:45:07 PM EST
    At the risk of being accused of being a father's rights dude, it does seem fair to me that if a biological father is to be held responsible for paternity obligations, he should also share some responsibility for a decision to terminate or bring to term a pregnancy.  Since that is obviously untenable and perverse, the logical alternative would be to relieve biological fathers of unintended paternity obligations.  That would seem to me to be pure feminist position.

    Or am I wrong about that?


    If men want to avoid unintended paternity (none / 0) (#85)
    by gram cracker on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 04:05:03 PM EST
    obligations they should take personal responsibility for conception prevention.  Men can keep their pecker in their zipped shut pants, use a condom or get a vasectomy.  

    Men who are concerned about being trapped by a potentially manipulative woman should protect themselves and not rely on a woman to take responsibility for protecting them.  What about protecting yourself from STDs?  What about protecting your spouse from STDs?  I wish Woodruff would have asked Edwards if the reason he is so confidant he isn't the father of Hunter's baby is that he always uses a condom when he cheats on Elizabeth!


    I agree with this ... (none / 0) (#89)
    by robrecht on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 05:43:27 PM EST
    ... but it does not in any way address the inequality I presented.

    This is one of my very favorites (none / 0) (#86)
    by Valhalla on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 04:08:21 PM EST
    "What Feminists MUST argue"  lol

    It is right up there with: "Any woman anywhere wholly refutes every feminist everywhere."


    But I did not in any way say ... (none / 0) (#87)
    by robrecht on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 05:41:47 PM EST
    ... what feminists must argue.  I just gave you my feminist position.  If you do not agree, please offer a substantive counter position.

    Not to be too pedantic... (none / 0) (#66)
    by BrianJ on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 11:29:17 AM EST
    But the point of running for the Presidency of the United States is to win.  A candidate with an ongoing affair has zero chance of winning in this day and age. Edwards was therefore deceiving his supporters and donors by promising them something he could never possibly deliver.

    I also consider it unlikely that the affair could have been concealed from the increased press scrutiny that would have come if he had become the nominee or even the front runner for the nomination, which never occurred in 2004 or 2008.

    When should he have known that the affair would blow up in his face?  The second he started it.  Remember, he was already a Senator.


    Will IRS be interested in payments Baron made to (none / 0) (#38)
    by gram cracker on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 10:08:11 AM EST
    Hunter and Young?  The payments certainly exceed the "gift" limit. Doesn't the "giftor" have to pay federal income tax on the amount that exceeds the yearly gift limits (12,000/yr?)?  

    What work has either been doing to justify classifying continuing payments to them as campaign related expenses?  If they are payments for work performed on behalf of the campaign then it seems that Hunter and Young would need to pay income taxes on the money they received from Baron.

    According to a Tax Attorney (none / 0) (#67)
    by JavaCityPal on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 11:30:05 AM EST
    interviewed, most likely the IRS will because of the large amount involved. But, others of fame and fortune have not been subjected to IRS investigations. So, my guess is, we'll just have to wait and see.

    I'm sure they are looking to see if Baron was given a $30,000 a month raise along the way as the Finance guy for the campaign, or if there is a chain of payments from JE that finds its way to Baron.


    Not exactly (none / 0) (#70)
    by BrianJ on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 11:43:37 AM EST
    The giftor would be liable for the federal gift tax, but only if his taxable gifts (those above $12,000 per annum per capita) exceed a lifetime total of $1,000,000.  They also count off against the estate tax exemption, unless the giftor happens to die in 2010.

    The IRS does require documentation of those gifts, though.


    I agree (none / 0) (#51)
    by txpolitico67 on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 10:33:27 AM EST
    they said she 'would win at any costs'.   HRC should have made believers out of them.  They 'bullied' her into NOT doing it, ensuring an anemic victory for BHO.

    As a sales rep and a manager, I always tell people to play to their strengths.  If the truth was on HRC's side, she should have used it to the fullest extent.

    Rev Wright and Hunter were self-made situations by her opponents.

    I know that many are NOW claiming (none / 0) (#55)
    by TimNCGuy on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 10:45:35 AM EST
    that if Edwards were out of the race (or never in) that it would have benefitted Clinton.

    But, was that the conventional wisdom at the time?  I can't recall for sure.  What was everyone reporting at the time as to where Edwards' voters would have gone in Iowa and NH if he weren't in the race?

    I believe it effected the outcome (none / 0) (#56)
    by BarnBabe on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 10:58:36 AM EST
    I was for Edwards, Jeralyn was for Edwards, many of you and especially x-Kossacks were for Edwards. When he dropped out, we took another look and went with Hillary. Maybe if John had not run, or dropped out in October, we would have taken that look earlier and might not be the position we are in today. I am not saying all Edwards supporters would have turned to Hillary. I do not know the true ratio, and we might never know, but it would have been before SC and that is where the problem started.

    When Edwards endorsed Obama, I sent him an e-mail asking for my money back. Heh.

    The problem started in Iowa (none / 0) (#68)
    by TimNCGuy on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 11:31:28 AM EST
    When Obama won Iowa, the black vote started to move toward him because they figured he was a viable national candidate at that point by winning in a mostly white state.

    Although, it is TRUE, that after Iowa the Obama camp then used false charges of race-card playing against the Clintons to generate even more support for him in the black community.

    And, the Obama camp would likely have done the same thing even if he had LOST in Iowa.  But, if you believe the Obama supporters that Clinton really DID play the race-card (and I don't), then she would have had no reason to play the race-care if Obama had lost in Iowa.  So, in their theory, there woiuld have been no racist statements by the Clintons to complain about going in to SC.

    If you don't believe that Clinton played the race-card, then even Obama making those claims without having won in Iowa would probably NOT given him enough support with blacks to beat Clinton.

    That was the big mistake in her campaign, never believing that a relative unknown with little experience would be able to take over 80% of the black vote.


    If..if..if... (none / 0) (#76)
    by S Brennan on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 02:08:40 PM EST
    If Edwards had dropped out sooner, the affair would have come up sooner and that would have hurt Hillary.  Um...it seems some forget the obvious.

    The thesis of this post is dumb because for the post to have validity, not only does Edwards have to drop out because of the affair, but everybody has to shut-up about it.  And since the original source was probably Axlerod [he's had three of his opposing campaigns encounter sexual revelations since 2006...let's get a clue folks] the idea that he would withhold this information that would hurt Hillary is silly.  

    Also, the idea that Hillary's campaign didn't know about this is also silly.  Which makes this post even dumber.

    Who's the third? (none / 0) (#88)
    by Xanthe on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 05:42:57 PM EST
    the senate race - now Edwards and?  just curious and I'd never thought of that.  

    Agree wholeheartedly (none / 0) (#80)
    by JavaCityPal on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 02:32:21 PM EST
    I watched the video of Edwards denying the affair. What strikes me is how easily he told such a bold face lie with conviction and emphasis. It was the same image he projected when he emphatically stated to Woodruff that he was not aware of anyone paying her and Young and anyone who said otherwise was a liar.

    If Elizabeth, who knows him better than anyone, sees how easy it is for him to lie so forceably to save his sorry b*tt, is she now understanding that she most likely has only a small amount of his truth, too. She's got some really hard decisions to make.

    Had I been in this position, I could have handled every part of it except the ability to lie with such force and intent.

    Reminds me of that old joke about the only time (none / 0) (#82)
    by Angel on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 03:07:01 PM EST
    politicians tell the truth is when they call each other liars!



    Andrew Young's Mother (none / 0) (#83)
    by limama1956 on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 03:26:06 PM EST
    doesn't even believe her son is the bio-Dad, according to the NY Post. Mother knows best?

    I lost all respect for Edwards (none / 0) (#90)
    by chopper on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 06:40:43 PM EST
    Because he cheated on his wife of course, but that, I feel, is a personal issue.

    I also lost respect for him because he may or may not have jeopardized our chance for having a great president, Sen. Hillary Clinton.

    Apparently, she won all the crucial states, except for SC, but Edwards should not have tampered with such an important issue.

    It seems a lot of people were aware of his girlfriend and he should have known it would come out sooner or later.  He must have stayed in just for the glory because it didn't do him or the country any good.