Barring something truly earthshaking warranting a separate post, I’ll be updating the Herman Cain story today in this post.
The NY Times reports that one of Cain’s accusers received a year’s severance, $35,000, but that there were issues in addition to Cain that made her uncomfortable working at the National Restaurant Association:
Four people with contemporaneous knowledge of the encounter said it had taken place in the context of a work outing during which there had been heavy drinking — a hallmark, they said, of outings with an organization that represents the hospitality industry. They spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid being publicly drawn into the dispute, and declined to provide details of the encounter, saying they did not want to violate the privacy of the woman.
Two of them said that other factors had been involved in her severance, and that other workplace issues had been making her unhappy at the association as well. But they said the encounter with Mr. Cain had added an emotional charge and contributed to the size of her payment. One former colleague familiar with the details said such a severance was not common, especially for an employee with the woman’s relatively short tenure and her pay grade
Some people are acting like a $35,000 severance payment is a big deal. Trust me, it’s not. It’s less than the cost of defense of a case, and it avoids distractions and publicity which even a weak or false claim can bring. Some large companies will fight these claims even if the cost of defense exceeds a possible settlement, because the company wants to send a message to the workforce that you can’t just make a claim and get a check. But most smaller companies, and certainly a trade organization which needs good publicity, will settle quickly and quietly. I read nothing incriminating into a $35,000 severance agreement with an employee who also had other gripes with the company in addition to the as-yet unspecified issue with Herman Cain.
The way Politico dribbled out the story, admittedly holding back facts and sources, was meant to keep the issue alive and keep Cain in the headlines as long as possible. In fact, I’ll go one step further and say that Politico structured the story in such a way that the accusers would be outed and come forward, with Politico receiving the glory for the scoop but not the blame for causing the women to breach their confidentiality agreements.
Updates: Let’s hope this is not true, Oklahoma Consultant Claims He Witnessed Cain Harassment (h/t @CharlieSykes):
Oklahoma political consultant Chris Wilson says if the woman behind the reported sexual harassment complaint against GOP Presidential hopeful Herman Cain is allowed to speak publicly, it’ll be the end of Cain’s run for the White House.