Two-time former presidential candidate John Edwards has been indicted on six federal charges of conspiracy, illegal campaign contributions(4 counts), and making false statements. The charges relate to his affair with former campaign videographer Reille Hunter and the child that was produced from that affair. Edwards allegedly used payments from various sources to conspire to keep the child he had with Hunter a secret during his second run for president, including relocating Hunter and the child during the 2008 election in order to avoid detection by the media.
Although nothing should be surprising when it comes to politics and politicians, this situation is particularly disturbing and despicable. Of course we know that legally-speaking a person is innocent until proven guilty, but the majority of the dirtiest parts of this case are public record and have been (reluctantly) admitted to by Edwards himself. He admitted that he had an affair with Hunter, and that he got her pregnant. He also eventually admitted to publicly denying he was the father for an extended period of time, to protect his image and aspirations. He also allegedly had former campaign staffer Andrew Young claim to be the father of the child, to deflect suspicion from himself. Oh, and all of this was taking place while his wife Elizabeth Edwards was battling cancer, a battle she unfortunately lost last year.
Aside from the ugliness relating to the affair and child, the other aspect of this that is unfortunate is that from a political perspective, John Edwards likely would have been a powerful force within the Democratic Party, whether as president or in some other capacity. He was easily the more natural Progressive than current President Obama, who was always more of a moderate (despite what the Tea Partiers and Fox News would like you to believe). Edwards focused on issues relating to poverty and criminal justice far more than any of the other well-known Democratic candidates during both of his runs for president.
Now, regardless of what comes of the impending trial, his political career is over. Although he would have lost a lot even if he had been truthful about the affair and child from the beginning, he would not likely be facing serious felony charges, and the damage to his image and reputation may have been repairable. In politics people tend to have short-term memories bordering on amnesia. There are plenty of current well-known politicians who have had affairs, children out-of-wedlock, solicited prostitutes,etc. Edwards hurt himself most by attempting to cover-up the truth, which we have learned can be viewed worse than the actual wrongdoing. Hopefully he has learned some lesson from all of this, and(regardless of the trial outcome) will move on in a more honest, productive manner.
Although I won’t go as far as some and say that there are no differences in the two major parties, especially on social issues, increasingly the economic policies put forth by the Democratic Party largely serve the interests of the business community and wealthiest 1% of the population. Democrats increasingly do just enough to make sure that they are able to get enough votes to maintain their seats. Take for example the extremely watered-down health care reform bill. Despite all the raucous debate surrounding it, the final product is a shadow of what could have been given the fact that Democrats held the presidency and both houses of Congress. Is it better than nothing? Yes, but that should not be the standard when you are in control, and when you claim to represent the interests of everyday working people.
The question that goes unanswered is this: What are the alternatives? If, as the author suggest, the Democratic party had no choice but to run to the super wealthy and corporations for support given its loss of a base with labor unions, what new or other base can come along to change that? There is mention of the fact that Black people have consistently been the most loyal voting block to the Democratic party, however is this continued loyalty the best plan of action given the ever decreasing returns on that loyalty?
Christopher Chestnut (pictured above)
Most of us know very little about the ins and outs of property insurance. Christopher Chestnut is not in that category. As a prominent attorney out of Florida, Mr. Chestnut has taken on multi-million dollar cases and handled some of the most complex lawsuits imaginable. As one of the leading young black attorneys in America, Chestnut has been recognized by President Obama for his outstanding accomplishments.
I spoke to Chris this week about Property Insurance and what it can do to make your life a little simpler. Here is what he had to say:
1) If you rent, make sure you have renter’s insurance. Also, make sure your landlord has homeowner’s insurance, since renter’s insurance only includes the contents that are INSIDE the house
2) Check your landlord’s insurance regarding injuries on your rented property. Most people are unaware of the fact that the homeowner is liable in the event that someone is injured on their property. Even if the children across the street climb the fence to get into your yard, you are liable if one of them gets hurt. Find out how your landlord’s homeowner’s insurance would cover you if someone has an accident.