Who's Behind A Third Pro-Edwards 527? (UPDATED)
UPDATE: An Edwards spokesperson said the form was filed in error; the group is basically inactive; Jarding isn't affiliated with the committee; there's no there there.
There's Working for Working Families, funded by the Carpenters' union.
The New America Alliance, funded by wealthy SEIU branches.
And now, there's the John Edwards One America Committee 527, which re-organized, officially, on December 5, according to the group's filing with the Internal Revenue Service.
After the 2004 election, the 527 committee, an adjunct of Edwards's hard dollar political action committee, allowed donors to contribute without limit to the PAC, which helped fund Edwards's public activities between November of 2004 and the beginning of his current campaign.
Steve Jarding, a former senior adviser to John Edwards, is listed as the executive director.
But Jarding, in a telephone interview, said he has no idea why he is listed, having amicably departed from the Edwards orbit after the 2004 elections.
"I am very much not affiliated with the organization, whatever it is," he said. "It's a mystery. I'm not involved in anything on behalf of John Edwards or the presidential campaign right now."
After a reporter called Jarding to ask him about the group, Jarding began to investigate. He said he tried to contract the two other names listed on the IRS filing, a treasurer, Lora Haggard, and Jeannette Hyde, a director, but was not able to get in touch with them. Jarding is currently helping Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD) with his re-election campaign
The committee has a Raleigh post office box but there is no telephone listing for the group.
The Committee's purpose, according to its organizational statement, is to "Help Democratic Candidates who support a reform agenda for giving people greater control over their futures."
There's no sign of any current spending by the 527, which suggests that it might have been formed to help Edwards after Iowa and New Hampshire, and would be in a position to raise money to run television ads in the spring, should Edwards win the nomination. Edwards is participating in the federal financing system and cannot raise and spend more than 50.9M through the primaries.
Edwards's lawyers are exploring the option, should he accumulate enough delegates to win the nomination, of declaring him the nominee before the convention and then beginning to raise and spend general election money right then and there.
In 2004, Edwards aide Jonathan Prince resigned before the Iowa caucuses and established an independent 527 in Edwards's benefit. He has said that he did not coordinate with the presidential campaign.