The November Fund
The November Fund is a so-called 527 committee organized with the help of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to attack vice presidential candidate John Edwards for his former career as a trial lawyer. As of August 2004, the Chamber of Commerce has given the group half a million dollars, although the pro-business group is not formally connected to the 527 group. PR Week reports, "the group will run ads and media campaigns in swing states linking Edwards to frivolous lawsuits believed by the chamber to damage American companies and the economy."
The November Fund's campaign called The Truth About Trial Lawyers claimed, "John Edwards made North Carolina a more dangerous place to be sick. ... Personal Injury lawyers want to stop legal reform, stack our courts, and make more money. ... John Edwards badly damaged health care." The campaign blames emergency room closures, fewer doctors delivering babies and delayed mammograms for women on trial lawyers.
"Senator John Edwards-a trial lawyer-has received millions of dollars in campaign contributions from personal-injury lawyers. In return, Edwards has done everything he can to stop legal reform. Without reform, trial lawyers will keep getting rich and Americans will keep paying the price," its website stated.
In October 2004, the Wall Street Journal reported that business leaders hadn't contributed to 527 groups to the extent that their liberal counterparts (such as George Soros) had. U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue said, "Big business has been more constrained than any other group" by campaign-finance reform. "A case in point is The November Fund," wrote the Wall Street Journal. "The group once hoped to raise as much as $10 million. Instead, it has raised only $150,000, in addition to $3 million in "seed money" contributed by the chamber."
The November Fund was co-chaired by Bill Brock and Craig L. Fuller. PR Week reported that Burson-Marsteller COO Ken Rietz has taken a leave of absence from the PR firm to serve as The November Fund's director.
The website address of the fund, which is no longer operational or registered, was http://thenovemberfund.com/
The last version of the website that was indexed by the Internet Archive was from September 29, 2004. This page can be found here.
Articles and Resources
- Douglas Quenqua, "US Chamber helping form alliance critical of Edwards' law career", PR Week, August 30, 2004.
- "The November Fund", September 29, 2004. (This is an archived page in the Internet Archive.
- Alan Murray, "Wary Big Business Is Loath to Speak On Bush's Behalf," Wall Street Journal (reg. req'd.), October 26, 2004.