Campaign finance is a moderately hot issue right now, and former presidential and vice-presidential candidate John Edwards has to pay back a whole big chunk of it, the Federal Election Committee has ruled.
Edwards is several years into what has to be one of the longest falls from grace in the political world in recent memory- after drumming up some level of enthusiasm among democrats for his strong stance against poverty and a stronger middle class, Edwards’ career was sullied and then irrevocably destroyed by his affair with Rielle Hunter, his attempt to hide the fact that he fathered a child with her outside his marriage, and the dissolution of said marriage just before his wife Elizabeth passed away from cancer. Also, there was a sex tape.
Edwards was indicted back in June on charges of misuse of campaign funds, and after he declined a plea bargain instead of a jury trial (Edwards was a successful and notable trial lawyer before becoming a politician), he said outside the courthouse:
“I will regret for the rest of my life the pain and the harm that I’ve caused to others… But I did not break the law. And I never, ever thought that I was breaking the law.”
Ultimately, the FEC ruled that Edwards had received matching funds of $12,882,878, which was $2,136,507 over his actual entitlement. Lawyers for Edwards’ campaign committee commented on the decision, saying that although “the committee disagrees with the commission’s determination, it will not pursue this matter further.” John Edwards’ pending criminal trial is separate from the FEC ruling.