Edwards' Lover: Betrayed Again? | Is Rock the Vote Broke? | Ricky's a Dad; Beat Is Back; Dharma Bums

Edwards' Lover: Betrayed Again?

John Edwards’ ex-lover, Rielle Hunter, may have been sold out again — by one of her sisters!

Somehow, the National Enquirer has managed to produce a new, very clear picture of Hunter with baby daughter Frances Quinn. The picture could not be better. So the question is, how did the supermarket tabloid get it? The answer is, it was taken by one of Hunter’s two sisters, either Roxanne or Melissa.

Roxanne, who lives in North Carolina, already has been identified as a source for previous Enquirer stories. She and Rielle had not spoken for 15 years prior to the Edwards scandal.
Melissa, on the other hand, has so far been regarded as the loyal sister, who would never sell out Rielle for money.

Nevertheless, one of them took the picture and e-mailed it to the other. It’s now on the cover of the Enquirer, presumably without Rielle’s blessing.

The Enquirer, meanwhile, says it traced Hunter to a house in St. Croix owned by a lawyer named Lee Rohn, whom it calls a close friend of Edwards. But Rohn’s most recent political contribution went to Barack Obama. He gave the presumptive Democratic nominee $1,300 on Feb. 4, 2008, just four days after Edwards left the race and three weeks before Hunter had her baby.

Rohn did donate $2,300 to Edwards’ primary run last September. He also gave Obama $1,000 during the summer of ’07 for his primary campaign.

Meantime, one more Web site associated with this long, tangled story is gone from the Web. The site belonging to Midline Groove production company has been taken down. There’s no conspiracy, however. I’m told the little company got so many hits from curiosity-seekers that the server crashed. Someone even tried to hack into the site through its contact form.

The funny thing is, there’s no point to any of this. If Edwards doesn’t go beyond his earlier statement that he had an affair with Hunter but isn't the baby's father, and if Hunter isn’t talking, then their story is soon going to die a natural death. It’s already outlasted a normal news cycle. It’s not as if Edwards is running for anything. And he’ll always have to live with what he’s done to his wife. That should be punishment enough.

Is Rock the Vote Broke?

Remember Rock the Vote? It was a campaign to get young people to the polls on Election Day, set up several years ago during the Clinton administration.

But time has passed, and now Rock the Vote is looking pretty anemic. When I called them on Wednesday about their events planned for the Democratic convention next week in Denver, the woman I spoke to said no press was invited and they weren’t really interested in getting what we used to call "ink."

Maybe this is why: Two days ago, Rock the Vote sent out a desperate e-mail to its potential supporters regarding its event set for Aug. 25 in Denver. The e-mail reads: "This is your last chance to purchase sponsorships or concert tickets. Contact us today before it's too late."

Some recipients of the e-mail were stunned that the organization was still pitching for funds at the last minute. The e-mail lists several "donor packages" including one called "Rock Star" for $250,000; "The A List" for $100,000; "Walk of Fame" for $50,000; "Overnight Celebrity" for $25,000; "Entourage" for $15,000; and "Beyond the Velvet Rope" for $10,000.

These might be interesting packages if the groups scheduled to play on Monday were superstars. For weeks, Rock the Vote has been touting Wyclef Jean as its headliner, but the woman I spoke to confirmed that he will not be there. Instead, the acts are Fall Out Boy, NERD and Jakob Dylan. That’s not exactly a blockbuster list, considering that elsewhere in Denver next week, the Black Eyed Peas, Kanye West, Tony Bennett, John Legend, James Taylor, Sheryl Crow, Melissa Etheridge and Cyndi Lauper will all be performing somewhere.

A private post-party, with Nick Cannon as DJ, holds the faint idea that his new wife, Mariah Carey, will show up. It’s unlikely.

The fact that Rock the Vote is still scrambling for money can’t come as a surprise to their insiders. According to its 2006 federal tax filings, Rock the Vote is running very low on funds anyway. They finished last year with $553 in net assets after spending nearly all of the $50,000 they took in.

The group’s education fund didn’t fare much better. It ended 2006 with $37,525 in hand. The fund spent $153,613 on salaries, about half of their total revenue.

How times have changed: in 2004, the last presidential election year, Rock the Vote pulled in $4.2 million in donations. They said they spent of almost all of it on voter registration campaigns, including more than a $1 million in salaries and $250,000 on publicity and investment advisers.

Ricky's a Dad; Beat Is Back; Dharma Bums

What do Ricky Martin, Clay Aiken and Michael Jackson all have in common? Instead of doing it the conventional way, they’ve fathered children using surrogate mothers. None of them has a significant female other.

Yes, Ricky announced Wednesday that he’s got twins, born several weeks ago. Clay used his best friend, a 50-year-old woman, to carry his child. Michael selected a stranger from a "catalog" to bring him the baby he later dangled from a hotel window.

This is a new trend. Rock stars used to have lots of ex-wives and girlfriends who mothered their kids. In 2008, it’s no muss, no fuss. …

The English Beat is back, sort of. The great modern ska group of the early '80s is making a rare appearance this Saturday in the Hamptons at a charity event called "Music for Mercy Corps."

Sarah Silverman is set to host the program, which will raise money to help the people of Darfur. For ticket/table sales, please contact Harris Bostic from the One Door at (646) 747-0755; harris@theonedoor.com.

The group now just has one original member, Dave Wakeling, the lead singer. But what the heck! I saw the Beat (they had to add "English" because of an American group with a similar name) on my 25th birthday. That was right before the Civil War broke out! Download "Save It for Later," their masterpiece single. You won’t be disappointed. …

The promo peeps at ABC are gearing up for the next season of "Lost," and I will play along. They’re sending out e-mails from the Dharma Initiative — that’s the group that preceded our characters on the island, but were killed by Ben Linus. (We think, who really knows?)

The new e-mail comes from "Hans Van Eeghen. Head of Recruiting." In this time of high unemployment, you may want to take this seriously.

It reads:

"Namaste.

Today is the most wonderful of days.

It marks the launch of the Dharma Initiative's Volunteer Recruitment Program.

Having completed the eligibility test you can now download your official Dharma Initiative ID card. Simply go to My Profile and download your card. Carry it with pride.

Today you will also be able to commence our extensive testing program that will assess your suitability for a range of research roles within the Dharma Initiative.

Many years ago I was asked to help rebuild this noble community of scientific inquiry. With its genuinely altruistic vision, I understood that a vibrant volunteer cohort would be a fundamental part of this effort.

Together, with my dedicated recruiting team, I have searched the globe for the best and brightest to join us, to form the foundations of the newly reconstituted Dharma Initiative.

Today we lay that foundation. So that together we can guide the world to a better tomorrow."

Van Eeghen, by the way, seems to be named for the series’ Emmy winning editor, first name Henk. Ho ho ho. ...