Common Cause Statement on the Indictment of Former Sen. John Edwards

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Mary Boyle, (202) 736-5770

Common Cause Statement on the Indictment of Former Sen. John Edwards

WASHINGTON - John Edwards appears to have raised nearly $1 million from a pair of political supporters to finance an elaborate coverup of his affair with a former consultant to his presidential campaign. A multimillionaire himself, Mr. Edwards surely had sufficient resources to care for his mistress and their child; the help his supporters provided appears to have been an investment in his political career and thus, according to prosecutors, an illegal campaign contribution. 

Against that backdrop, today’s indictment makes a welcome statement about the Justice Department’s commitment to strict enforcement of our campaign finance laws.

Now President Obama should demonstrate that his personal commitment to those laws goes beyond the pursuit of high-profile defendants like Mr. Edwards. He can do that by promptly making a set of strong appointments to the Federal Election Commission (where five of six seats either are vacant or soon will be) and by directing the IRS to begin enforcing portions of the tax code that political operatives in both parties are now exploiting to raise millions of dollars in secret contributions.

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Common Cause is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization founded in 1970 by John Gardner as a vehicle for citizens to make their voices heard in the political process and to hold their elected leaders accountable to the public interest.

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