Friday, June 3, 2011


Happy Aloha Friday to you, if it is, a Happy Aloha Friday, if it ain't.

The case against former Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards brought up something that I was totally unaware of, that is, there is such a thing as an "intent law" versus an "non-intent law." For example, if you take off your pants, or skirt, and run pantless or skirtless around town with abandon, that would fall under the purview of breaking a non-intent law. You're guilty as is. You cannot claim that you suffer from bouts of poor memory and occasionally forget to put on pants or a skirt.

However, with the John Edwards' case, that's falls under intent laws. The prosecution has to establish the existence of "intent," specifically that he deliberately set out to break campaign spending laws. At issue is Edwards allowing $925,000 in hush money to be transferred to his mistress's bank account while he was running for vice president. Even if it is absolutely clear that hush money is not the way campaign funds should be legally spent, Edwards' defense is that he wasn't aware that the hush money would be classified as a campaign contribution. Two individuals donated the almost million dollars, almost half a million a piece, for whatever reasons, and as far as everybody knows, the money went straight to Edwards' mistress, not to Edwards' campaign chest, then re-routed to the mistress. Since obviously there is no question that the money wasn't meant for his campaign to be spent on tv ads, or to print out campaign signs to begin with, the mitigating circumstance is in Edwards' favor. Anyways, that's Edwards' non-intent defense in response to breaking an "intent law." Btw....why didn't multi-millionaire Edwards simply give his mistress a million dollars from his own bank account? The answer is that Edwards was afraid that his wife would have found out about the affair.

There's an online newspaper called Honolulu Civil Beat that I just found out about. It was started by Pierre Omidyar, founder/chairman of the eBay, who lives in Honolulu. They only focus on City and State legislation related stories for the moment. They've been in business for just over a year, but perhaps in the future, the Web paper will branch out into including more popular kind news too. Honolulu is a one newspaper town and another daily newspaper would be a welcomed addition even if it's in a non-paper format.


OkiHwn said...

Honolulu Civil Beat - great site!

RONW said...

Nate- and the commentators are the most "civil" of any local media website where comments are allowed. It's difficult to keep up with the dialogue if you're unfamiliar with the specific House or Senate bills that they happen to be talking about, but still some sharp thoughts.

OkiHwn said...

Like the State and C&C salaries link they have.

RONW said...

Nate- yes, and even those sub sections makes interesting reading.