Thursday, October 27, 2011

One way to get a free Brooks Brothers suit

Need a personal slush fund? Run for office. It worked for Justin Burr and – perhaps – for John Edwards.

Burr, a Republican state representative from Stanly County, is being criticized for spending campaign funds for his personal use. He spent $857.42 at Brooks Brothers in Raleigh for suits, the Stanly News and Press reports, and hundreds more on rent for his apartment and some office supplies.

Turns out, there might be nothing wrong with that. Campaign finance laws don’t put many restrictions on how campaign funds are spent. State Board of Elections chief Gary Bartlett told the (Raleigh) News & Observer that buying suits isn’t necessarily against the law. “We give them the benefit of the doubt as long as they don’t seem to abuse it,” he said.

At least Burr reported his expenditures. In a higher profile case, Democrat John Edwards, the former U.S. senator and presidential candidate, didn’t report millions given on his behalf to help cover up his affair with Rielle Hunter during his presidential run. Now, Edwards will go to trial on charges that he violated campaign finance law by accepting such large donations and not reporting them.

Kudos to federal judge Catherine Eagles, who today refused to throw out the charges against Edwards. That means Edwards, who spent his life in courtrooms as a trial lawyer, will now be in one as a defendant.

“What I know with complete and absolute certainty is I did not violate any campaign laws,” Edwards said outside court today.

Given Edwards’ distant relationship with the truth in recent years, that’s not good enough. Tell it to the judge.

-- Taylor Batten


Ghoul said...

Taylor, could you repost that editorial where you and the Observer came out against Edwards' $1200 haircuts paid for with campaign money.

And the one against Bevy's 42 illegal flights.

Then the one where you came out against Mike Easley's sweetheart deal on his beach house.

Then the one where you came out against Jim Black's, an eye doctor, bill requiring all elementary school kids get an eye exam before being admitted to school.

Skippy said...

Tell me you just didn't try and compare a purchase of a $800 suit to what your hero John Edwards did? Just when I thought you couldn't get more pathetic.

Jim said...

I think it's all W's fault!

BolynMcClung said...


Just wanted to point-out that you don't have to be a candidate spending other people's money to have good clothes.

Yesterday, I bought a Brooks Bro. sports coat at the Assistance League shop on $10.

Used yes. But looks new.

At the same time got a Nordstrom's shirt, Brooks Bro shirt and an Eddie Bauer shirt. All three for $17.

Once again, all look like somebody's Christmas present that stayed in the closet too long.

Once bought a silk Burberry jacket for $7 and looked on their website and saw it for $450. I still have that fabulous coat seven years later. It will go to GoodWill soon.

There is a lesson here. A good candidate knows value. A great candidate knows where to find it.

Bolyn McClung

Garth Vader said...

"is being criticized"

Does that passive tense come from the Chicago Manual?