Political Notebook

Jon Huntsman calls for alternate party

Jon Huntsman, the Republican and former presidential candidate, called yesterday for a third political party “to compete against a duopoly that is getting old and tired.’’

Huntsman, speaking on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,’’ said he would not run as a third party candidate, but he would like to see someone do so.

“We’re going to have problems politically until we get some sort of third party movement, or some kind of alternative voice out there that can put forward new ideas,’’ said Huntsman, a former governor of Utah and ambassador to China.


He dropped out of the race last month and endorsed former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. Huntsman said he believes Romney is the best candidate to handle the economy. But, he said, he is not a surrogate for Romney. Huntsman said he has not seen bold ideas such as overhauling the tax code and the campaign finance system from any candidate.

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“I’m looking at the political marketplace and saying this duopoly is tired, we’re stuck in a rut, we’re not having conversation in this country that we need to have,’’ he said.

Huntsman dismissed the presidential debates, including one Wednesday, as “dumbed down,’’ saying people watch them for entertainment value. “Gone are the days when the Republican Party used to put forward big, bold, visionary stuff,’’ he said.

Huntsman said the recent debates over cultural issues, including birth control, are “a total waste of time.’’


Edwards’s former mistress wins ownership of sex tape


RALEIGH, N.C. - The purported sex tape of 2008 presidential candidate John Edwards and his mistress will be destroyed within 30 days, after a lawsuit over who owned the tape was settled yesterday.

Rielle Hunter sued former Edwards aide Andrew Young and his wife in 2010 over the tape and other personal items that the couple said she had left in a box of trash while they were helping her hide out as the former North Carolina senator ran for the White House. Hunter lived with the Youngs while she was pregnant with Edwards’s baby, and Young initially said he was the father.

In the settlement, the Youngs agreed to give up their claim on the tape and other property, which has been held in the vault of a courthouse. Hunter has long wanted the tapes destroyed.

The Youngs also agreed not to talk publicly about the tape or the other items. There is also a tape of Frances Quinn Hunter’s birth. She turns 4 on Monday.

According to testimony in the lawsuit, the ribbon of tape had been pulled out of the cassette in an apparent attempt to destroy it. Andrew Young rewound the tape so he could play it.


Young said he kept the tape as security and proof of his story, while declining large financial offers for the video.

The settlement does not address a pending contempt against the Youngs and two of their attorneys for providing copies of items that had been under seal to federal officials investigating Edwards for campaign finance violations. The Youngs’ lawyers have said they turned over the items in response to a grand jury subpoena.

In the settlement, the Youngs pledged to seek the destruction of any copies of the tape that may be in the government’s possession.

Hunter was hired as a videographer by Edwards’s political action committee 2006.

Prosecutors have accused him of using money from two campaign donors to pay for Hunter’s care while she was pregnant. He was indicted in June on six campaign finance charges. He has pleaded not guilty; his trial is on hold because he needs treatment for a heart condition.