Several years ago during a trip through the Galapagos Islands my companions and I had a memorable stop on the island of Espanola to see the unique mating ritual of the waved albatross, a rare and majestic sea bird with an over 9 foot wing span. The bird is renowned for its soaring capabilities and lumbering landings.The word "albatross" is also a metaphor for an encumbrance. This post focuses on what sort of albatross Forge Consulting represents to John Edwards 2008 Presidential candidacy.
Presidential candidate John Edwards is closing in on a ton. John Edwards is closing in on 100 days of avoiding the Forge Consulting questions. Is he afraid to answer these questions? Will the Forge Consulting issue be the an albatross for John Edwards if he gets the Democratic nomination? We shall see.
To recap for all you registered voters.
- Forge Consulting, LLC a structured settlement firm headquartered in Buffalo, NY, has aggressively used testimonial words purported to be those of John Edwards in its solicitation and sale of regulated insurance and investment products. You can read about Forge Consulting by going to its website at www.forgeconsulting.com or by reading the extensive coverage of the company, including, in my opinion, some significant and material reasons to be concerned about Edwards' "standards" if he is truly giving this company "his highest recommendation", in the category listing to the right of this post------->. Read and judge for yourself.
- The words purported to be that of John Edwards are used in such a way on the Forge Consulting web site and in the body of a letter Download forge_feb_21_2007_letterny_statejohn_bair.pdf , soliciting structured settlement annuity and insurance products, that was sent by Forge President John Bair to trial lawyers, to imply that John Edwards uses Forge Consulting for same services that Forge is soliciting the trial lawyers and their plaintiff clients for (i.e. structured settlements).
- According to publicly available information John Edwards left his law practice in 1999. Forge Consulting began operations several years later. This author believes that due to the time differential it unlikely or impossible that John Edwards ever used or currently uses Forge Consulting for structured settlements, but seeks clarification.
- In March 2007 John Edwards represented to Katie Couric that as a result of his candidacy for President he was OPEN to scrutiny. However, his actions run contrary to that statement.
- This author wrote to John Edwards on March 27, 2007 Download letter_to_john_edwards_032720007_sent_via_johnedwards_2008_website.pdf and has followed up with several members of John Edwards 2008 campaign staff including Kathleen McGlynn and John Pappajohn. Copies of the letter to Edwards appear in the John Edwards category to the right of this post.
- Are the words that Forge Consulting attributes to John Edwards true?
- If the words that Forge Consulting attributes to John Edwards are true and John Edwards did indeed give Forge Consulting "his highest recommendation" was the "testimonial" for structured settlements as framed by Forge Consulting?
- Does John Edwards permit Forge Consulting to use his name and words (if they were his) in ongoing solicitations for regulated insurance products or investment services?
- Forge Consulting represents that it is licensed in all 50 states
- Certain state insurance laws are specific on how testimonials may be used. Some require that any testimonial represent the current opinion of the person giving the testimonial
- Federal securities laws contain strict guidelines on the use of testimonials. There is a strict prohibition on the use of testimonials by financial advisers.
- According to publicly available information several Forge Consulting principals and their wives have given money to John Edwards' campaigns in 2004 and the current campaign. The firm has used its Buffalo Headquarters for John Edwards 2008 fundraisers in 2007 which begs the obvious question concerning the reasons for avoiding or delaying a response.
Once again I call on the "I am open to scrutiny" John Edwards to come forward and answer these questions.
As an aside to readers, I contributed to Edwards' 2004 campaign as did a number of people in the structured settlement industry. Forge Consulting appears to be the only firm of any kind , that I have been able to find, that uses a current Presidential candidate's name in solicitation for regulated financial products.