After a considerable amount of time and publicity about a grand jury investigation of Edwards’ use of his campaign chest to support his mistress and child, he’s finally been indicted.
Since most view the criminal courts as a way to punish those they dislike, I suppose the prosecution has advanced its public standing in indicting John Edwards, but permit me to say that while I never liked Edwards, I dislike the notion of criminalizing this behavior even more. I think it a waste of prosecutorial resources, a bad precedent which permits prosecutors (who all adults must realize are not always impartial, non partisan officers of the court enforcing the public interest) to poke around into any candidate’s campaign expenses, and criminalizes behavior which is rarely if at all treated with more than a pat on the hand.
I dislike the federal campaign finance laws for many reasons but it seems to me prosecutions under them should be limited to those matters which really undermine the right to vote free of foreign influence and conduct designed to corrupt the process of voting. For example, I’d have gone after the foreign contributions to Obama’s campaign made possible by someone on his staff disabling the portion of the internet contribution feature which indicated the country the money was coming from and I’d have put more time into the coordination between ACORN and its effort to corrupt fair voting and the Obama campaign.