Friday, July 18, 2003

Edwards the Parser

Contrary to his stump speeches, where John Edwards claims that he does not accept contributions from lobbyists, this Charlotte Observer analysis finds something different. In fact, Edwards does take lobbyist money, so long as the lobbyist in not federally registered. What this means is that state lobbyist money is as good as anyone else's. The distinction is never made clear by Edwards in his speeches, nor on his website. The logic in the exception is that state lobbyists would not be lobbying Edwards personally. However, if one looks at the client list of a typical state lobbyist and a federal lobbyist, there is much overlap. Corporations and unions lobby at both the federal and state levels to protect their interests. So does someone who lobbies for a corporation in Florida have a different motivating force than someone who lobbies for the same company at the federal level? I doubt it!
It is time for Senator Edwards to come clean on this. Either he takes lobbyist dollars or he does not. The position his campaign now holds is like being a little pregnant.


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