Edwards Org Tested Meaning of ‘Charity’

Nonprofit not just soapbox, but financial platform for '08 run
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 22, 2007 9:50 AM CDT
Edwards Org Tested Meaning of ‘Charity’
Democratic presidential hopeful and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards listens during a meeting with Smithfield Packing Co. workers at his campaign headquarters in Chapel Hill, N.C., Thursday, June 21, 2007. Edwards met with more than a dozen workers from the hog processing plant in Tar Heel, highlighting...   (Associated Press)

After the Kerry-Edwards loss in 2004, John Edwards launched two nonprofits, ostensibly to fight poverty—but one of  them was devoted primarily to keeping Edwards himself in the public eye. The New York Times asks whether Edwards crossed a legal line, using the foundation, the Center for Promise and Opportunity, as a financial platform on which to build an '08 run.

The tax-exempt group, which was allowed to accept unlimited donations, had as its stated purpose “making the eradication of poverty the cause of this generation.” But its filings detailed retreats and seminars with experts on foreign policy and national security. A former nonprofit overseer said Edwards was uncomfortably close to the legal line: “He was close enough that if a wind was blowing hard, he’d fall over it.” (Read more campaign fundraising stories.)

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