In yet another example of why more and more people are turning to the Web for their news, the DBKP blog has just uncovered information that the John Edwards campaign has been refunding campaign contributions even before billionaire Warren Buffett suggested that Edwards could be hit with a class action lawsuit. And can you guess which of the two of Edwards' Americas got the majority of the refunds? DBKP explains:
The Edwards ‘08 Campaign for President has quietly refunded almost $4 million to individual contributors, a number of them, bundlers and big backers. This should be news to Warren Buffet who recently mused that Edwards’ supporters should get together and file a class action suit. It seems another “class” has already had their contributions refunded–and it’s not the “grassroots” little guys.
We had no idea the campaign was handing out refunds until we happened to come across the information while perusing the site OpenSecrets.org and the data supplied to the Federal Election Commission by the Edwards’ campaign.
We were baffled, how did the Edwards’ campaign manage to refund that much money, almost $4 million, and no one notice? We hadn’t seen any mention of the refunds elsewhere, not on the web, not in the MSM, and not on the Edwards’ campaign website.
No surprise there that this fact slipped by the mainstream media. Once again it is the blogosphere that has dug up this information. Here is a breakdown of some of those who received their refunds:
Out of 667 “bundlers” or designated fundraisers, 276 or 40%, had received a refund of their individual contributions. Not only did the individual bundlers get their money back but in some cases so did their family members.
Other refundees included Fred Baron, Edwards’ former national finance campaign chairman in both the ‘04 and ‘08 elections. Baron recently admitted that he had been monetarily “helping” Edwards’ ex-mistress, Rielle Hunter. The list includes some of Edwards’ largest bundlers, Thomas Girardi, John O’Quinn, and William Lerash, as well as other “famous” refundees: Michael Eisner, Don Henley, Eric Montross, and Michigan Congressman (D) David Bonoir of Michigan.
And what of the "other America?" How did they fare in the refund department? DBKP provides the answer:
As for the little “grassroots” contributors, the percentage of those who received refunds is laughable, less than 1/5th of a percent. Some of the “little” people who gave a $100 or less were professionals: attorneys, physicians, and lobbyists, a far cry from those who could only afford to give “$15″ at the Texas fundraiser given for Edwards last year by attorney John O’Quinn. Out of the 125 refunds given to people for $100 or less, only three were under $15, two of those were contributions from attorneys.
It will be interesting to see what happens if and when the MSM decides to cover this. And will they give credit to the blogosphere for digging this up? Meanwhile the MSM continues to follow where the Web leads.