Politics - Today's Republican Scandal
It's Rudy's turn. The Miami Herald reports that one Barry S. Edwards, organizer of Rudy Giuliani's upcoming speechifying in the state of Florida for "Saint Reagan" day, has stepped down due to the exposure of criminal acts for which he was arrested.
The two criminal incidents involving Edwards were unrelated, and occurred within months of each other in 1998.I thought the Democrats were the party of sex scandals, but the Republicans sure are giving them a run for their money this season. So soon after Larry Craig's bust, this has to hurt.
According to a Florida State University arrest affidavit: Edwards was first charged after a 19-year-old FSU political science intern claimed Edwards, then an adjunct professor, plied him with beers, trolled briefly for prostitutes, watched ''heterosexual'' pornography and then exhorted him to masturbate in a game.
The intern said Edwards threatened him with bad grades if he didn't ''get into it.'' He declined to press charges. Edwards said the claims were ''lies'' but he didn't ''want to revisit it.'' Edwards was fired from FSU.
Shortly after his extortion arrest, state Capitol police then arrested Edwards on charges of theft, burglary and dealing with stolen property after the cops said he stole at least $10,000 worth of computer equipment from offices of the Florida Legislature.
Bonus talking point:
Pinellas County Republican Party chairman Tony DiMatteo said he knew of Edwards computer arrest but didn't know about the extortion charge. DiMatteo noted that Edwards, a former Democrat who once worked at the party and fundraised for candidates, is not a party officer.The hypocrisy. It simply reeks.
The fact that the charges are coming up again, Edwards said, is just another example of the viciousness and coarseness of politics today.
''Whether you did something or were accused of something you didn't do almost doesn't matter. Perception is reality,'' he said. ``This chills people from becoming involved.''
Said Elliott Bundy, a spokesman for Giuliani, ``this gentleman was organizing the event on behalf of the Pinellas County party and not us. We have no further comment.''