Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Strictly Business?

An associate of John Edwards says the former presidential candidate's political action committee paid his ex-mistress $14,000 after she stopped working for the campaign. The associate tells the AP that it was not hush money for Rielle Hunter, but payment for 100 hours of unused videotape. Hunter was originally hired to produce several short Web videos.

However, Hunter had already been compensated $100,000 for her work before the $14,000 payment.

Combat Cash

U.S. soldiers have donated more money to Democrat Barack Obama than to Republican John McCain. The Nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics only tracked donations of $200 or more.

The center found that 859 members of the military donated more than $335,000 to Obama. McCain received more than $280,000 from 558 military donors. Among soldiers serving abroad, 134 gave just under $61,000 to Obama while 26 soldiers gave about $11,000 to McCain.

A McCain campaign spokesman says he is confident U.S. troops will support his candidate in the election, saying, "We suspect most are too busy doing the important work of defending this country than to make political contributions."

Empty Feeling

Despite claims from Olympic officials that all 6.8 million tickets have been sold for the Beijing games, the first week of competition has featured plenty of unused seats and half-filled stadiums. Now, the BBC reports Olympic officials are admitting they have paid volunteers to fill those empty seats.

Beijing Olympic Committee Vice President Wang Wei says, "If local venue managers find that there are not enough people in the venue, or too many empty seats, they arrange for local volunteers as cheerleaders," adding that they cheer for both sides in order to "create a better atmosphere."

The Guardian newspaper reports several hundred yellow-shirted spectators were cheering the Venezuelan volleyball team when it took on the U.S. earlier this week. It has since been revealed that those spectators were in fact hired.

Self Service?

And finally, on August 5 the federal government unveiled a new immigration plan asking illegal aliens to deport themselves. Operation Scheduled Departure allows the estimated 457,000 illegal aliens with outstanding deportation orders and no criminal history to avoid jail time by turning themselves in.

When the program was announced, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Julie Myers said that given the chance, many illegals would rather go home than be holed up in the immigration process.

But in the first week of the program, only six illegal immigrants have come forward — a Mexican national in San Diego, two Indians and a Guatemalan in Chicago, a Salvadoran in Charlotte, North Carolina and an Estonian national in Phoenix.

FOX News Channel's Zachary Kenworthy contributed to this report.