Edwards Accepts Then Returns Lobbyist Money

Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards has vowed never to accept campaign donations from special interest groups.

But records show that during the past several months, at least three lobbyists made contributions to the Edwards campaign totaling thousands of dollars.

An Edwards spokeswoman says the campaign returned money from one lobbyist last week, and money from two others was refunded yesterday after The Associated Press asked about the donations.

Spokeswoman Colleen Murray says the campaign takes "every precaution possible," but that "sometimes people slip through."

Edwards has long shunned campaign donations from lobbyists and political action committees. Asked about that policy during a town-hall campaign event in South Carolina, Edwards firmly declared himself clean of special interest donations.