State News

Friend of John Edwards makes courthouse appearance

Posted January 6, 2011

— A friend and supporter of John Edwards made an appearance Thursday at a federal courthouse where a grand jury is investigating the two-time presidential candidate's finances.

Chapel Hill businessman Michael Cucchiara and an attorney walking with him declined to comment while entering and leaving the courthouse Thursday afternoon. He is among several friends, aides and supporters of Edwards who have come to the federal building in recent months.

Along with being a financial donor to Edwards' political campaigns, Cucchiara and his wife gave a $2 million gift in 2006 to a poverty center that Edwards had developed at his alma mater, the University of North Carolina Center at Chapel Hill. That center provided Edwards a platform to continue his public advocacy between the 2004 campaign, when he was the Democratic vice presidential candidate, and his 2008 White House bid that began at the end of 2006.

Cucchiara said in a statement at the time that he was proud to join Edwards and UNC in supporting a forum for experts to address the issues of poverty, work and opportunity. Edwards, who was director of the program and repeatedly turned to the issue of poverty in his campaign platform, called the gift "extraordinary."

The widow of Edwards's former campaign finance chairman, Dallas attorney Fred Baron, appeared at the courthouse on Wednesday.

Baron said before his 2008 death that he provided money to Edwards' mistress, Rielle Hunter, to move her away from the campaign spotlight while she was pregnant.

Andrew Young, a former campaign aide, said Baron also gave him money to finish his home near Chapel Hill so he could move his family to California with Hunter. Young claimed during the campaign that he had fathered Hunter's child, but Edwards acknowledged a year ago that he was the girl's father.

Edwards has said he is confident no campaign money was improperly spent.

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  • carolinarox Jan 7, 2011

    Politico reports that John Edwards and his mistress Hunter are engaged 3 weeks after Elizabeth Edwards funeral.DontLikeTheSocialistObama

    Actually Politico is reporting that Edwards Denies the Engagement. Not quite the same as what you wrote.
    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0111/47182.html

  • dwallace9392 Jan 7, 2011

    Leave the man alone!!! I wish that he would consider running after the 2012 election and I would vote for him again!!!! I think the country need someone like Edwards, who would actually do something for the poor and help create jobs and increase incomes. What he does in his personal life has nothing to do with being a great president!!! Remember Clinton!!!!

  • REALLY4real Jan 7, 2011

    @jdupree
    That's funny!! Well done!

  • GWALLY Jan 7, 2011

    Typical liberal/entitlement democrat....he like Nancy Pe can be standinging in a cesspool up to their waste...grin and proclame....doesn't this rose garden smell lovely????....and the worst part of it all is most of the liberal/entitlement sheep will nod their heads and say why YES it does!!!!!!!!

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Jan 7, 2011

    Politico reports that John Edwards and his mistress Hunter are engaged 3 weeks after Elizabeth Edwards funeral.

    This man is true sleaze.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Jan 7, 2011

    "Has anybody investigated the Poverty Center? It sounds like another excuse to funnel illegal money to then-candidate Edwards to keep his campaign alive. - mulecitybabe"

    The Democrats in Raleigh created it as way to give John Edwards a salary while campaigning for President along with paying all of his travel expenses until he declared his candidacy for President.

    More Democrat corruption in Raleigh.

  • jdupree Jan 7, 2011

    John still has a friend?????? Are you sure?????

  • Surrey Hills Jan 6, 2011

    First sentence should be ..."two-timing" presidential candidate...

  • mulecitybabe Jan 6, 2011

    Has anybody investigated the Poverty Center? It sounds like another excuse to funnel illegal money to then-candidate Edwards to keep his campaign alive.