Patterico's Pontifications


Baron Received Big Bucks from Edwards Campaign as He Was Paying Hunter (UPDATE: For Air Fare?)

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 2:58 pm

A website called “Web of Deception” has the following interesting observation, complete with links supporting the allegations:

Fred Baron provided money to Hunter and Young because he stated he liked them and during that exact period of time he was given $389,698.45 from the “John Edwards for President” campaign and received another $57,428.00 the month Hunter went into the hospital to give birth.


P.S. Is this possibly just a payment for Edwards’s use of Baron’s plane? I have sent Baron an e-mail to ask for an explanation.

That could be legitimate — or a nice way to launder hush money. Only The Shadow knows.

UPDATE: Baron responds to my inquiry:

The payments you reference were made to an aviation company that I control to reimburse travel expense from the campaign — the FEC mandates these charges to be paid by the campaign and they have been reported in our FEC public filings — I hope this answers your question.

I have sent Mr. Baron a few follow-up questions. Hopefully he will respond.

28 Responses to “Baron Received Big Bucks from Edwards Campaign as He Was Paying Hunter (UPDATE: For Air Fare?)”

  1. Edwards’ repeated lies on this subject are unraveling quickly.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  2. Just think what would happen if they required trial lawyers to take an oath to tell the truth in court.

    Icy Truth (d05099)

  3. FundRace 2008 lists Frederick Baron as a large donor to Democratic candidates and causes. It’s plausible he could also be a bundler for trial lawyers. Looking into his finances may be a double whammy: bad for Edwards and bad for Democrats.

    DRJ (9d1be2)

  4. I want Fred Baron to be my new BFF. It sounds like he has a lot of coin. On the other hand he seems to be a slimebucket mass tort lawyer from some of the other material I’ve read, which would help explain his connection to Edwards.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  5. Look at the FEC disbursement report. Any time you donate to a political campaign, they’re going to piss your money away on frivolous crap like florists, bookstores, party rentals, pizza, taverns, valets, etc. Good God, what a waste!

    gp (72be5d)

  6. Fred Baron appears to be the real-life version of Michael Clayton.

    gp (72be5d)

  7. You missed a bit. Immediately above the $389,698.45 was a disbursement of $1,194.18 to Baton & Blue, a foundation started by Fred Baron.

    Dana R Pico (556f76)

  8. Pizza! Good God, they actually feed their volunteers? How . . . DARE THEY!?

    Icy Truth (d05099)

  9. I’m trying to figure out if the $389,000 could simply be his salary. But I can’t seem to find similar payments to campaign finance chairs on the year-end disclosure statements for Hillary or Obama.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  10. See the update. Maybe it’s just for the use of the plane.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  11. 390K is a lot to pay for the use of a private jet, even if the campaign is paying a charter rate and not just reimbursing expenses. That’s several hundred hours of flight time. Couldn’t an alleged “green” like Edwards have occasionally considered taking a commercial flight?

    Glen Wishard (02562c)

  12. The Newsweek writer cited in the other post tells the story of Edwards on a commuter jet being pestered by Hunter.
    So he did join the riff raff every once in a while.
    So, Edwards probably was in a bar and Hunter asked him “what’s your sign?” and then told Edwards his soul was old…. that is how she seduced a guy who was one of the best the Democrats had to offer

    I wonder if Andrew Young’s wife could be a little tired of Hunter, and what that might lead to..

    Looking forward and switchng candidates, I see Obama’s arrogance mixed with the adulation of the ladies being a recipe for disaster.

    SteveG (71dc6f)

  13. There’s riff-raff in first class?

    Well . . . when he sits there, there is.

    Icy Truth (d05099)

  14. I don’t think that’s a ginormous amount for a private plane – if it was on a par with a mid – size Learjet, then it wouldn’t take all that many trips to ring up those kinds of expenses.

    Dmac (874677)

  15. In the fullness of time, it will be shown that:

    – Edwards was getting knobbed by this chick while his wife was getting chemo treatments,

    – the baby is his,

    – he was getting knobbed by this chick after he claimed “the affair” was “over”,

    – he has lied through his teeth throughout the period of allegations, including – no doubt – to his sainted wife, the most beloved woman in the history of the United States (per Boob Woodruff), and

    – he has directed payments from campaign funds to her as hush money and paternity money.

    If Edwards were a stock, I would see everything I own to sell it short.

    Jaibones (468585)

  16. Frank Barone: Didn’t I teach you anything? You gotta problem with your woman, you don’t go out and get another woman. Then you got two problems.

    Icy Truth (d05099)

  17. i’d like to see the invoices for those “flight services” and check them against filed flight plans for the A/C in question…….

    not that i’m cynical or anything. %-)

    redc1c4 (ae7a64)

  18. Great job by the Newsweek writer. Has the story of the campaign staring him in the face and he misses completely. Hunter tells him Elizabeth Edwards runs her out of the campaign and he can’t put two and two together? Newsweek’s Isikoff sat on the Lewinsky story as well and was scooped by Drudge. I only wish I had a Newsweek subscription so I could have the satisfaction of cancelling it.

    And regarding Elizabeth Edwards, she shouldn’t be getting a pass on this one. I believe she’s more deceitful than Hillary Clinton. Edwards tells her about the affair in 2006 and she goes out on the campaign trail with him starting in 2007, posing as the happy couple and what a terrific husband and father this slimeball is. There’s got to be great video of her asking for contributions for this shyster with her having full knowledge of his actual depravity. I hope the media don’t fall for this “poor Elizabeth” BS.

    Patrick McNamara (345607)

  19. A number of blogs are now suggesting that the media intentionally waited to go after this story so that Edwards could take votes from Hillary, making Obama the nominee. I’m not big on conspiracies but it sounds pretty plausible to me!

    Cory (c2ce18)

  20. After watching the John Edwards interview by Bob Woodruff on ABC’s Nightline, I came away with a few reactions.

    First of all, Edwards looked tired and wan-not surprising considering what he has been going through the past couple of weeks.

    More importantly, beyond admitting that he committed a “serious error in judgement” and engaged in an affair with Rielle Hunter in 2006, I firmly believe that he is still lying about several key points, most notably being the father of Hunter’s baby girl and not having any knowledge of monies paid to Hunter. I also believe that the coming weeks will show that.

    First of all, Edwards stated his willingness to take a paternity test, something one would think he would have taken after the child was born in February. Not withstanding that point, it is easy for him to express willingness to take such a test. Guess who holds the keys to that castle? Rielle Hunter, that’s who, and she is the woman who is allegedly receiving $15,000 a month from someone close to Edwards. Unless of course, Andrew Young wants to come forward and claim his parental rights to authorize a test (remember, no father’s name appears on the birth certificate).

    Interestingly, there was one part of the interview in which Edwards was clearly unable to offer a coherent response. That was regarding the picture of him in the hotel room holding the baby. For some reason, he did not want to concede that was him in the picture,even speculating that it might be a forgery. He told Woodruff that he was wearing a different blue shirt that night. His explanation was absolutely unconvincing.

    One especially astounding statement came when Edwards told Woodruff that he “used the fact that the (National Enquirer) story contained many falsities to deny it”, which he described as “being 99% honest”!!

    Well, in that case, it’s time to “Move On”- to Denver!

    Not so fast, John Edwards. There is more.

    In trying to explain why he was at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on the evening of July 21-until 2:40 am- visiting a woman he was no longer involved with and a baby that was not his, Edwards stated that he wanted to convince Hunter not to reveal the affair.

    My question is, what was different two weeks ago from 2 months ago or last year, when he and Hunter were denying the story? Wasn’t she getting $15,000 a month and living in a swanky home in Santa Barbara?

    And that leads to what may be Edwards’ biggest problem down the pike. Where is all that money coming from? Edwards told Woodruff that he had no idea. Meanwhile, with the story breaking, his former campaign finance (FINANCE) director, Fred Baron, is now saying that he threw a few bucks in Hunter’s direction-without Edwards’ knowledge. More specifically, Baron has told the Dallas Morning News that he paid (with his own funds) to have Ms Hunter relocated from Chapel Hill, NC to Santa Barbara because she was being hounded by reporters. At this point, beyond a personal indiscretion, is there a possibility that campaign funds and contributions were being diverted to Edwards’ mistress? I am not saying this is the case, but I think it merits an inquiry by whichever regulatory/law enforcement agency has jurisdiction, to say nothing of all those ace investigative reporters working for the mainstream news media-if they are interested. On the other hand, I suppose they could just leave it to that trashy tabloid National Enquirer to continue doing their job for them.

    The bottom line is this: Edwards, in his public statement, says that now that he has come clean, he will have no further statement on the matter. He is mistaken. In my opinion, his interview and his statement are still full of lies. Mr Edwards still has a lot of questions to answer-questions that will not stop now that the story has finally come out. He apparently is hiding something. He does not want to own up to being the father of the child, and he does not want to admit any connection to a lot of money that has been paid to Ms Hunter to move her around the country and support her.

    This story is not going away any time soon. Nor should it.

    gary fouse

    fouse, gary c (42fe2b)

  21. “I only wish I had a Newsweek subscription so I could have the satisfaction of cancelling it.” by by Patrick McNamara at #19.

    My long late father canceled his Newsweek subscription way back in 1964 for reasons that now seem prescient. I’ve never subscribed to Newsweek or will I read it in a waiting room. A single roll of cheap TP has more value than NW.

    C.Norris (de0dd7)

  22. Patterico, there are other questions you should ask Fred Baron:

    if he was supporting Hunter to the tune of $15K a month, as well as providing her with a house to live in, who paid the gift taxes on that money?

    if he was also providing Young with the same amount, as well as a house to live in, who paid the gift taxes on that amount, as well?

    Considering that the California house that Young, his wife, his children, his (claimed) mistress and his (claimed) child just moved out of is now for rent for $19,000/month, who paid the gift taxes on that little perc?

    How long did Baron foot the over $30K/month bill for all these people?

    It has been reported that the whole happy bunch (Young, his wife, his children, his mistress and his out of wedlock child) all lived in the same California house in a tony gated community until a couple of weeks ago. Perhaps the Edwards apologists would like us to believe that in the ever tolerant world of liberal Democrats, Mrs. Young would not have a problem with her husband’s paramour, and the paramour’s child, living with them. Just another Kumbaya moment. But I don’t know one liberal Democratic woman that would tolerate this and I know quite a few.

    This whole thing sticks. And Mr. Edwards has many, MANY more questions he is going to have to answer.

    And how convenient that Reille Hunter’s sister comes out on Friday and says “Hell yes, Edwards should do the DNA thing” only for Ms. Hunter to say “no” on Saturday.

    retire05 (b0be14)

  23. And then there’s Pigeon, telliing the world that hell, yes, Rielle and Silky hooked up before she worked for the campaign.

    Kate Coe (a29b57)

  24. “… the FEC mandates these charges to be paid by the campaign and they have been reported in our FEC public filings — I hope this answers your question.”

    That misses the point.

    The point is … if John Edwards just had a fling with this lady that ended in 2006, what reason would there be for Mr. Baron to be supplying money to Ms. Hunter be?

    The child is Andrew Youngs … not John Edwards’.


    So why is a John Edwards donor paying child support for Andrew Young’s kid?

    hmmm (d084ad)

  25. Baron claims that he paid the money to Hunter and Young and moved them out of North Carolina because reporters were pestering them. What reporters? No one reported this except the National Enquirer.

    I hope Baron gets investigated for the tax issues. He is a disgusting trial lawyer who is as dirty as they come. He is the former president of the Assoc. of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA) which is the primary lobbying/trade operation for the plaintiff’s bar. Baron and the firm he founded, Baron and Budd, is at the top of the list of big trial lawyers who have the democrat party in their back pocket. I got my JD at Southern Methodist Univ. Law School and went to school with one of their partners. I also have a family connection to another attorney who used to work there. Baron and Budd is full of limousine liberal democrats who wear their hearts on their sleeves when describing their passion for helping people as they obtain tiny settlements for each individual class member in their asbestos litigation. For those who don’t know, most asbestos claimants have never been ill from asbestos exposure a day in their life. Liability is merely based on alleged (many claimants were allegedly exposed decades ago and want you to believe that they can still remember the exact product made by a defendant company) exposure and potential illness. Baron used his political connections to avoid being disbarred and prosecuted when a junior lawyer at his firm mistakenly provided a memo to defense lawyers which detailed Baron and Budd’s technique for coaching witnesses ( Everyone should read that article so they can see the kind of people that Edwards has as supporters

    jt007 (4cd010)

  26. Did you miss the $17,664.13 contributed by Front Page Productions on the $389,698.45 Baron contribution link in your post?

    Everbleed (d809a4)

  27. Baron & Budd, Millberg-Weiss, Dickey Scruggs…
    and the list goes on!

    Another Drew (3397e8)

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