Under the Dome

Dome: Cate Edwards talks to NBC News about her father’s affair

From Staff ReportsMarch 27, 2013 

Cate Edwards, the daughter of former U.S. Sen. John Edwards, said she was devastated when she learned of her father’s extramarital affair with Rielle Hunter.

In an interview to be aired Friday on NBC’s “Today” show and “Rock Center with Brian Williams,” Edwards talks for the first time about the scandal that rocked her parents’ marriage and ruined her father’s political career.

Cate Edwards, a 31-year old attorney, said she learned of the affair from her father.

“He told me,” she said in excerpts made available by NBC. “I guess he and my mom decided that was, you know, how it needed to be done. So yeah, I was devastated. And I was disappointed. I mean, these are my parents. I had grown up with a lot of love in my family, and it was hard to see them go through this.”

Asked about the unpleasant things that Hunter wrote about her mother, Elizabeth Edwards, she said, “I thought it was a poor choice, I guess is all I can say.”

Since her mother’s death, Cate Edwards has worked to promote the efforts of the Elizabeth Edwards Foundation, a charity that provides educational opportunities for children who have limited support and opportunities.

Advocates urge more funding

A coalition of conservationists, hunters and other outdoors interests called on legislators Wednesday to retain funding for land and water preservation, which would be substantially cut under Gov. Pat McCrory’s proposed budget.

At a news conference, Land for Tomorrow announced a list of specific conservation funds it wants to protect and then spread out to visit lawmakers with what it said was more than 150 advocates.

The group wants to see the Clean Water Management Trust Fund funded at $20 million a year. The governor’s budget cuts it to $6.75 million and funds it for only one year.

They’re also asking to preserve dedicated funding for the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund and the Natural Heritage Trust Fund. McCrory proposes leaving those funds to legislative funding year to year.

Tim Gestwicki, CEO of the N.C. Wildlife Federation, called McCrory’s budget disappointing, saying conservation only amounted to 0.13 percent of the budget.

He said licensed hunters and anglers contribute $3.3 billion to the state’s economy and all outdoor recreation provides $19 billion in consumer spending in North Carolina.

Rep. Ruth Samuelson of Charlotte, who is part of the GOP leadership in the House, said that McCrory’s elimination of the Clean Water Management Trust Fund was the only part of his budget she disagreed with. She said it should be restored at the same level it is now for the next two years.

DeMint reaching out in Raleigh

Former South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, the president of the Heritage Foundation, has spent several days in Raleigh this week, in an effort to expand the outreach efforts of the Washington-based think tank.

DeMint wants the Heritage Foundation to become more engaged in communicating conservative ideas outside the traditional party framework.

DeMint said he left the Senate – where he was regarded as a leader of the tea party movement – because he believes that conservatives have not yet figured out how to communicate with the American people. With his background in marketing and advertising, DeMint said he wants to find ways to continue develop policy papers to lawmakers but do a better job of communicating.

“What I want to do is step outside the political structure, which is very negative and poisonous, and just talk citizen to citizen and neighbor to neighbor and find common ground,” DeMint said. “We have to unite America.”

Staff writers Rob Christensen and Craig Jarvis

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