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What We Should Really Do With John Edwards

It is sad for former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards that he was indicted Friday on felony charges. He is accused of giving cash from his campaign to his mistress. It is even sadder for America that with the real problems we have as a country that we are wasting taxpayer money and government time on this indictment.

The six counts Edwards was charged with are not lightweight charges. Accepting and receiving illegal campaign donations is serious, and if you are going to get those contributions illegally then of course you are going to conceal it, hence two more indictments. 

We can't be having Presidential candidates breaking the law, of that there is no question.

My concern is on two fronts: How is it that John Edwards can't conceal cash to his campaign and yet the Supreme Court found in the Citizen's United case last year that it was perfectly legal to have interest groups/corporations provide campaign cash and not having to disclose where the cash is coming from. 

It is much more damaging to the democratic process to have piles of money influencing the elections than a private donor like Bunny Mellon's money going to support a love child. 

If Bunny Mellon did not know where the money was going that is a private matter between John Edwards and her. She should be hopping mad and ask for the money back.

My other concern is we have become a nation that doesn't watch soap operas, we live them. From Anthony Weiner and "Weinergate" this week, to the impeachment trail of President Clinton in 1999, we have moved from one political sex scandal to another. It has done nothing to edify us as a country, and like a soap opera it has simply allowed Americans a temporary reprieve from the daily bad news of employment and debt.

The financial resources to bring the case against Edwards to trial, which may result in a jail sentence could cost taxpayers upwards of a million dollars. With schools needing textbooks, tornado victims needing homes, this is a waste of our resources. 

Let Edwards off with a very large fine, require him to pay the money back to Bunny Mellon as well as additional taxes and we will all be better and richer for it.

Ellen Ratner is Washington Bureau Chief for Talk Radio News Service and a Fox News contributor.

Ellen Ratner joined FOX News Channel as a contributor in October 1997.