Friday, August 08, 2008

The John Edwards Affair's Santa Barbara Connection

(This post has been updated with additional information.)

It's funny how fast news can break. I left the house around 11:45 this morning to head out for a bike ride. (Watching the weight you know.) Just before I left I had MSNBC turned on and they were mainly promoting their Olympics coverage and talking about tonight's opening ceremony.

When I returned around 1:15 pm I turned the TV back on and MSNBC had the story of former senator and Presidential candidate John Edwards admitting to an affair with a woman who currently lives in Santa Barbara.

Interestingly, while he admitted to the affair, he denied being the father of Hunter's child that was born in Cottage Hospital this past February.

An ABC News investigative team has been here in Santa Barbara for the better part of a week. Considering the cost of keeping them on standby, it figured something would break on this story and it finally did.

The woman involved, Rielle Hunter, has been living in a rented home in Ennisbrook, an exclusive gated community in Montecito. (That should be interesting when the satellite trucks roll in to camp out in front of the home and find out they can't get past the guard gate!)

The Ennisbrook home is owned by real estate investor Bob Short. However he has no known connection to the Edwards campaign, has given money in the past to Republicans, and therefore probably didn't know about the relationship of his tenant to Edwards.

The local connection isn't confined to Montecito. Bob McGovern, who has been described as a "new age healer," has been involved in chauffeuring Hunter around, most notably to the Beverly Hilton Hotel where the National Enquirer reporters claimed to have busted Edwards visiting Hunter.

When "bookers" from network news morning programs showed up recently at McGovern's Goleta home to try and see if he would submit to an interview, McGovern and his wife vacated their residence for awhile.

I'm sure more details on the Edwards/Santa Barbara connection will be forthcoming.

Saturday 8:00 a.m. Update. The big question for Saturday morning is "where is Rielle Hunter? She apparently moved out of the Ennisbrook house shortly before the news broke that Edwards had confessed to the affair.

Also staying at that same house was former Edwards campaign aide Andrew Young, who had claimed to be the father of the baby in question. But get this, Young who has been married for sometime, was staying there with his wife and three children. Kind of makes you wonder whether he is some type of "fall guy" for Edwards?

Good analysis by Tim Rutten in the L.A. Times on how the traditional media failed to cover the Edwards rumors.

Although the News-Press had a wire story about the Edwards affair they had nothing local on the Santa Barbara angle to the story.