published Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

Sexual harassment and GOP candidate Herman Cain

  • photo
    In this photo provided by CBS News, Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain appears on CBS's "Face the Nation" in Washington Sunday, Oct. 30, 2011. (AP Photo/CBS News, Chris Usher)
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Herman Cain's unlikely rise in the field of Republican presidential aspirants was bound to draw attention to his past, and rightly so. Every candidate who gains prominence in the pursuit of the nation's highest office comes under a microscope. What Politico.com uncovered in its meticulous investigation of allegations of sexual harassment against Cain, published Sunday, is part of that process of due diligence. And so far, the quality and depth of Politic.com's reporting is a league ahead of Cain's varied and belabored responses.

At the moment, Cain has the megaphone. He made headlines Monday, but not by claiming that he had not been charged with sexual harassment by two females who previously worked for him. Rather, he asserted that he had been "falsely charged." Following his earlier evasions to Politico.com's reporters, that sort of quasi-denial begs context and fuller disclosure -- the kind provided by Politico.com and avoided by Cain.

Politico.com is one of the country's brightest and most comprehensive online news journals. Before it published its story Sunday about the allegations of the two females who had worked for Cain, it conducted a range of interviews with current and prior board members and employees of the National Restaurant Association. That's the trade group Cain headed as ceo in the 1990s, when he helped the organization build a substantial lobbying operation in Washington.

The online magazine confirmed through multiple board member sources that the two women brought sexual harassment charges against Cain, that several board members were offended, upset and troubled by the nature of the alleged acts of harassment, and that the association ultimately resolved the women's formal complaints by offering them five-figure compensation settlements, which contained language that restrained public disclosure of the incidents.

The incidents, Politico.com reported, included "conversations allegedly filled with innuendo or personal questions of a sexually suggestive nature, taking place at hotels during conferences, at other official sanctioned restaurant association events and at the association's offices. There were also descriptions of physical gestures that were not overtly sexual but that made women who experienced or witnessed them uncomfortable, and that they regarded as improper in a professional relationship."

Politico.com's four-member reporting team wrote that the first complainant was identified by a former association board member and two other sources, and that "she was offered a financial package to leave the association..." The magazine quoted the board member as saying, "What I took offense at was that it was clear that rather than deal with the issue, there was an effort to hush it up. She was offered a way out to keep quiet."

The second complainant was similarly confirmed. The magazine said it withheld their identities to protect their privacy.

Given the details provided by Politico.com, Cain's earlier refusals to comment and his evasive answers to the magazine's questions parallel the now common patterns of public figures who seem to hope the story will go away if they refuse to comment. When given specifics, he finally said he was " 'vaguely familiar' with the situation." Then his spokesman, J.D. Gordon, told Politico.com that Cain was being attacked with "old and tired allegations..." as "merely part of a smear campaign meant to discredit a true patriot who is shaking up the political status quo."

At this point, it's too early to say that the information produced by Politico.com will be, or should be, the undoing of Cain's rise in the GOP field of presidential wanna-bes. All we know is how many politicians have risen to prominence and then been brought down by revelations pertaining to their character that they denied until the end. The pattern of evasion, denial and then rebuttal has typically been an accurate guide as to the outcome.

Now, it's not just the unfavorable analysis of his dicey 9-9-9 tax plan, which would shift the burden of taxes even more heavily onto the middle and the poor, that dents Cain's luster. Charges of sexual harassment will have to be considered, as well.

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Harleigh said...

Well, Mr. Cain perhaps has reached the same level as President Clinton but then there was physical evidence and Bill lied during a deposition.

November 1, 2011 at 3:25 p.m.
potcat said...

I can't believe this would even concern anyone at TFP. Harassment by someone from your own Papper, and not a peep of recognition or a sorry, not even an acknowledgement that it happened.I felt violated and i was in no way at fault in this persons actions against me. I should have at least been told what his explanation was and if he admitted it and what was done,and is he dangerous! More than any thing i want to know did he admit it.

November 1, 2011 at 7:52 p.m.
Livn4life said...

Well once more we see the media's true colors. It amazes me when an African-American in the spotlight, politically or otherwise commits a crime and it is proven, yet that person is a Democrat or Liberal, how it is swept under the rug ignored etc. This is true even when it is a direct violation of liberal's claimed issues. But let a Conservative or Republican person of color just be charged, just have unproven allegations and here comes the media frenzy. The sexual harrassment and other issues are brought up only when liberal causes may be served. Someone else mentioned former President Clinton, that arduous defender of liberality and how he treated women. Even though he is caucasin, how he was treated during all that, proves the point.

November 2, 2011 at 7:35 a.m.
acerigger said...

Livn4life said... "The sexual harrassment and other issues are brought up only when liberal causes may be served. Someone else mentioned former President Clinton, that arduous defender of liberality and how he treated women. Even though he is caucasin, how he was treated during all that, proves the point"

Proves what point?That Kenneth Starr and the Repub witch-hunters(aided by their lapdogs in the corporate media) spent MILLIONS investigating Bill Clinton and blaring the "gory details"every day for months?

November 2, 2011 at 9:59 a.m.
Fire_Obama said...

This was a trap set by the liberal press. Forcing Herman Cain to talk about it gives an excuse to get the confidentiality agreement the women signed thrown out. They then get exclusive rights to the interview or story so Herman Cain can not cross examine their stories.

How much do you remember about LIES told about you 15 years ago?

As a man of faith, when affronted by false allegations his first thoughts would no doubt be to turn the issue over to God and follow through with what ever steps were appropriate based on the policies of his organization.

At the time of these incidents there were a number of big dollar settlements for so called "sexual harassment" cases. Gold diggers were everywhere claiming what ever they thought would get them a big settlement. I know this because my wife is a para legal and she remembers many cases like this. I believe Herman Cain because he is, more than any other candidate, a man of character and honor. He is NOT smooth and polished and that is a positive for me. We have had enough slick willies and would be Greek gods. If these women are now willing to come forward I would not believe any of them if they are getting any kind of payment from the lame stream media for "exclusive rights to their story" "exclusive interviews" as it will not only confirm their gold digger status but prevent honest media sources from questioning them. The basis of our judicial system, the heart of it, is that the accused has a right to face and question their accusers. The liberal media does not have justice in mind, it has an agenda.

November 2, 2011 at 10:36 a.m.
ibshame said...

This exposure of Herman Cain is right out of the Lee Atwater playbook of dirty Repub politics. No doubt this leak occured from INSIDE the Republican Party because Herman Cain was getting too much attention as the so-called "FRONT RUNNER." Herman Cain is not now, nor was he EVER a threat to Barack Obama. The Repubs were not seriously going to nominate Herman Cain as President, maybe as VP to Mitt Romney but definitely not as Pres. His Candidacy was like that of Sarah Palin as VP in 2008. She had not been vetted and the McCain camp thought with her on the ballot she would attract those Dems who were for Hillary. Well, it didn't work once she opened her mouth and the media began to take REAL notice of what she was saying. Her lack of knowledge about things one would expect a VP to know was embarrassing not only for her but the McCain Camp as well. Things like "I can see Russia from my front porch", or not being able to name even one U.S. Supreme Court decision other than Roe v Wade she could discuss with any semblance of intelligence. Not to mention she couldn't name even one newspaper or news magazine she read to be informed of what was going on outside Alaska. Herman Cain is another Sarah Palin the only difference is he's running for Pres. When Herman Cain said he didn't know who the President of U becky, becky, stan, stan was and didnt' care, it was a flashback to Sarah Palin equating her front porch as the basis of her knowledge of Russian Foreign Policy.
Herman Cain did or said something to two women to cause both women to file Sexual Harrasment complaints against him. The issue was settled when both women were paid money. Why is it racist to point this out when it's true they were paid and the settlement was conditioned on they couldn't discuss it with anyone? Was it racist when Anthony Weiner's escapade was exposed? What about the former Gov. of S.C. who lied about being on the App. Trail when instead he was in Argentina with the "love of his life?" When politicians do dumb things they take the risk of exposure, especially if it relates to sex. Sex sells and it gets people's attention. The problem for Herman Cain is not about race it's the fact he's done what so many, many others have done: deny first and then start backtracking to cover up the lies. Herman Cain has provided comic relief for Dems, why would they want to see him lose? Most Dems liked the sound bytes coming from the Cain camp, the weirder the better.
No, it's not this sexual harrasment Cain is going to have to worry about. It's the money provided by his campaign manager illegally to his campaign. He could go to jail for that, just ask John Edwards. This Sexual Harrasment case was just the warm-up act from the Lee Atwater playbook. And who was the heir apparent to that playbook? LOL

November 2, 2011 at 11:34 a.m.
Fire_Obama said...

Remain in the state of denial if you wish. At this point any Republican is a threat to Obama, he is a disaster by any measure. Herman Cain is an honorable man. That all by itself is enough to send the left running in fear. As far as other republican doing this to Mr. Cain, they would have to be crazy to do that. Is there anyone at any lame stream media that any republican would trust with that knowledge? D' Nile is not just a river in Egypt.

November 2, 2011 at 11:51 a.m.
ibshame said...

At this point NONE of the current crop of Repub. Candidates are a threat to Barack Obama. They know it and so does everyone else. That's why there's been a new "flavor of the month" for Repubs who know in the end, whether they like it or not, Mitt Romney is going to get the nomination. A man who is the poster boy for the word: FLIP-FLOPPER.
Most Dems would have loved to have seen Herman Cain as the Repub Presidential Nominee, just like they were cheering for Michelle Bachman and Donald Trump. LOL. If Herman Cain was as honorable as you say, then he would have been upfront from the start with this story because by now it would have been old news and only merited a yawn or two. Look at Newt, no one even mentions the fact he left his first wife with cancer to have an affaif with the second then left the second to marry the third wife with whom he was having an affair while he was prosecuting Clinton. To see him on stage now you would think he was a real statesman. LOL I have no doubt if something like this had been in Barack Obama's past Repubs would have been salivating to put it out there. Just look at how some stupidly pursued the "birther" issue. Even after the "long certificate" was released the week Barack Obama was ordering the hit on Osama Bin Laden. Five months later, Rick Perry allowed himself to get caught up in that ignorance again.

The problem for Repubs is that try as they might, their candidates all have a problem with staying with one position or not having any one that makes sense. Herman Cain's 999 plan was DOA and so is Rick Perry's flat tax. No one knows what position Mitt Romney is going to take from week to week. The rest are just props on the stage. As for anyone thinking Repubs wouldn't do this to themselves, I remind everyone of the job Karl Rove did on John McCain during the primary season of 2000. It was Karl Rove who started the rumor in South Carolina that John McCain had fathered a Black Child who in reality turned out to be McCain's adopted daughter. Karl Rove sat at the feet of Lee Atwater, one of the master players in what the Nixon White House would call ratf**king. You're right though D'Nile is not just a river in Egypt because ignorance is a way of life for some people.

November 2, 2011 at 1:03 p.m.
Fire_Obama said...

That isn't what the polls say. D' Nile is ramped in the Dem party

November 2, 2011 at 1:33 p.m.
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