Hush money through marked up viral ads
John Edwards' political action committee paid his mistress, Rielle Hunter, $114,000--ostensibly to produce four short web videos for the campaign, ABC News reports. Given that Edwards has now finally admitted he had an affair with Hunter (and, according to the National Enquirer, which first broke the affair story, fathered a "love child"), it's possible that this is the first instance of hush money essentially being laundered through YouTube.
Also notable: Rielle Hunter may be the best-paid web video producer in the business. AP:
In 2006, Edwards' political action committee paid $100,000 in a four-month span to a newly formed firm run by Hunter, who directed the production of just four Web videos, one a mere 2 1/2 minutes long.The payments from Edwards' One America Committee to Midline Groove Productions LLC started on July 5, 2006, five days after Hunter incorporated the firm in Delaware.
Midline provided "Website/Internet services," according to reports that Edwards' PAC filed with the Federal Election Commission.
Midline's work product consists of four YouTube videos showing Edwards in informal settings as he prepares to make speeches in Storm Lake, Iowa, and Pittsburgh, as he prepares for an appearance on "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" and travels in Uganda in 2006.
Edwards' PAC followed the six-figure payment with two smaller payments totaling $14,461, the last on April 1, 2007.$28,500 per video? That's a little high, even for an agency market average. The going rates for professional video production - should range about $5K per video. And $5K for 2 minutes is already on the high end. Edwards paying 28-29 K does smell kind of fishy. Perhaps if she were part of an established company that wasn't founded 5 days prior?