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Herman Cain – The First Real Test

Herman Cain – The First Real Test

Because I’m traveling all day, I’m not going to be able to cover the Politico’s not very specific yet sensational claims about two settlements in the 1990s involving women who worked at the National Restaurant Association when Herman Cain ran the organization.  It’s not clear what Cain allegedly did, whether there really were claims of “inappropriate” behavior, or if the claims were legitimate.

Today, or in the next couple of days, I expect that more details — or evidence of the lack of details — will emerge.  We’ll find out if there is any there there.

This is the first real test of Cain’s candidacy.  How he handles this will determine whether he remains a contender.

How should we react?  The instinct to defend a conservative is a good instinct.  We’ve seen too many times, with Sarah Palin and recently with Rick Perry, how the MSM will give every benefit of the doubt to those who make accusations.  We must fight against the use of mere accusations as evidence of actual misconduct.

If supporters of other candidates — particularly bloggers — gloat over Cain’s problems, post it in the comments and when I get back I’ll take a pixelated 2″  x 4″ to their heads, because piling on a fellow conservative is inexcusable.  It’s the principle I’ve been following for the past three  years when Republicans piled on and took cheap shots at Palin, and it’s a principle I’ll apply to Cain.

So consider this an Open thread, and keep each other informed of the latest.


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Let’s contract with the Dems to defend him. They did a stellar job with Weiner. If there’s nothing to this story, it ought to be a walk in the park to defend Cain.

DINORightMarie | October 31, 2011 at 8:55 am

Just re-posting my comment from last night’s blog post, where you mentioned the Cain hit piece; I believe it belongs here:

This is so inane, this Cain attack. Not that it’s unexpected or beneath the leftists (or vicious candidates who want this “usurper” neutralized).

What offends a woman? Or anyone for that matter? And since when is it that an employee is to be “comfortable” with or not be “offended” by what your boss or manager says? He could have accused these ladies with unprofessional, borderline illegal conduct; that sure would make me uncomfortable, even if merited. Anything can be said anymore and be considered “harassment” or “unpleasant” or “uncomfortable” anymore. This is a nation of victims, looking for a target to blame, or attack. Rule 13 in action.

So, the accusation is just another Alinsky mud-slinging attack. They can’t throw down the race card, so – a al Clarence Thomas – throw down the “sex-crazed black man” card. Too predictable.

I just hope the Cain campaign team is ready to handle this type of attack. Cain said he expected a “hi-tech lynching” so he hopefully is prepared to throw FACTS out, and hold MSM and anyone else attacking him to account. He had to have known this might happen, whether true or not. Clarence Thomas’ SCOTUS Senate “hi-tech lynching” is textbook how-to for these thugs. BTW – Anita Hill is doing just fine these days.

Politico’s Martin Dodges Question On Cain Details

Pollutico, famous for political hit jobs.

    JayDick in reply to Viator. | October 31, 2011 at 11:08 am

    He probably dodged because neither he nor anyone else at Politico know any more than what is in the article, in other words, not much. As noted above, the article is too vague to may much attention to. Moreover, it looks like another case of hesaid/shesaid.

Thank You. I’ve been saying everyone with a preference for any Republican candidate should get used to the term “Palinized”.

Maybe “Borkerized” is an appropriate term?

Another black conservative, another high-tech lynching.

Palinized is the new Borked.

Of course, the problem with Republicans is they will run screaming for the hills as far away from Cain as possible.

    Owego in reply to davod. | October 31, 2011 at 5:23 pm


    The next nationally recognized not-in-office Republican candidate willing to stand and fight for ANYTHING will be a breath of fresh air. There should be a line of them demanding, screaming, for details. Man up, take the chance, risk your job, call someone’s bluff. Demand details. If something materializes, let’s have it and we’ll all decide, Herman Cain included. If Politico and Jonathan Martin can’t produce, he should be mocked constantly, publically, openly as an unimportant wannabe twit ankle-biter. (Who is he, anyhow?) Sooner or later someone besides Sarah Palin and Andrew Breitbart is going to have to fight in the trenches and risk something. With no time for TV (that I can’t bear to watch, anyway), I hope someone shows up.

    How about it Tea Party?

I’m very inclined to believe the attack is bogus- it has all the hallmarks of a liberal hit-piece: thinly sourced, the victims are women, etc. But, I’m not going to rush to Cain’s defense, either. The man’s never run for office, which means he’s never gone through the vetting process most experienced politicians have. Usually, by the time a candidate has gotten to the presidential level, his past has been sifted through many times over by the press and political opponents (and safely hidden away if he’s a democrat). Cain’s hasn’t. Which isn’t to say he’s guilty, but rather, none of us know what skeletons might lie in his closet, because up to now, no one has looked.

    The same way the present occupant of the WH was vetted?

      Cowboy Curtis in reply to Ronbert. | October 31, 2011 at 11:57 am

      Re-read the third sentence of what I wrote. The press has never, and will never, treat candidates of the two parties equally. However unfair that might be, these are the current rules of the game, and our candidates simply have to adapt and anticipate, rather than constantly expecting the fairness-bug to bite the press.

I understand that people on the Right see this as an attack on Cain from the Left, but Cain settled with these two women. He may have well just told some off-color jokes, but the fact that he settled and then when asked said he had some “vague remembrances of it”, gives the Left ammunition to go after him in the general election. As head of the National Restaurant Association he should have known better, denied the charges and called their bluffs. Also their were 2 separate women , not just one. We know Bill Clinton was given multiple do-overs with his sexual exploits, but GOP nominees have to be ultra-squeaky clean to get any chance from the MSM, any hint of impropriety can sink him in the general election. This is the way it is for GOP nominees, there are always 2 standards, but he knew that getting into the game.

    Milhouse in reply to damocles. | October 31, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    It’s called nuisance money. They were given four figures to go away; that’s a lot cheaper than defending a lawsuit. And he wasn’t a political candidate at the time, so why would he want to spend time and money defending himself?

The Ass-of-Spades is claiming there are many more reports/claims that he’s heard of, but didn’t mention (until now, natch) because he has no sources.

Still has no sources, but he feels free to run with the rumors, anyway.

    Cowboy Curtis in reply to Crawford. | October 31, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    Its an active news story now. Why wouldn’t he discuss it?

    Some folks seem to think its unfair to talk about these things. Maybe it is, but the media is going to be talking about them regardless. And inventing them. Every one of our candidates is going to have every detail of his life examined, and when stories aren’t found, rumors and outright lies will be created. Its far, far, better to get this stuff out early, when it can be appraised and dealt with, than in the middle of the primaries. Or worse, after the nomination. Consider this day one of Republican candidate spring training for Herman Cain.

    If the story is true, I want to know about it. We need to know about it. If its false, I want it proven so that this line of attack is exhausted for further use. And given what we all must know the nature of the 2012 is going to be, true or false, I want to see how Cain handles it. And honestly, probably a couple more attacks. Why? Because 2012 is going to be an unprecedented bruiser, and I want to see how our frontrunner takes a punch. Or three. Everyone else has run campaigns, I know how they handle attack media. Cain’s untested, and its time we see him get bloodied a little. Its a hell of a lot better to find out now than in May.

There are two issues here:
1) the legal issues and 2) the political issues

The legal issues are somewhat murky. In a nutshell, sexual harassment is not just proposition and contact. It is also hostile work environment. From what I have read, someone who is accused of being a sexual harasser, usually has a track record. There are multiple claims, not just one. What happens to resolve these issues is even murkier. Settlements can be made without the knowledge of the accusee for any amount. Confidentiality is sometimes a part of these settlements. The terms for breeching the confidentiality of the terms of the settlement can lead to loss of settlement and other exemplary damages.

The political issues are another matter. I would recommend we stand on the sidelines and watch this matter play out. I don’t know and I would hate to guess what occurred. However, it is very important for Cain to get ahead of this issue, not by parsing definitions and events, but with full disclosure (without breeching confidentiality as mentioned above). If he starts putting down markers that these claims are false and all claims like this are false, it will only lead reporters to dig much deeper. If there are new allegations, they can not be explained with, ‘they are all lying’ or contrition. The media, which built up his campaign, will desire to tear him down. Liberals will dismiss the claims of a Juanita Broadrick; Conservatives will not be so dismissive.

One major difference between this and Justice Clarence Thomas. Thomas had only one accuser who could not substantiate any of her claims (then again, its the nature of the charge and not the evidence). Multiple claims will not play well politically for Cain.

[…] agree with Professor Jacobson at Legalinsurrection who says conservatives must not allow themselves to be bullied, that they should stand with Herman […]

I think Cain can use the truth to put this story to rest. There is no agreement of silence on his part in the settlements, as best as I can tell. So he just puts out the exact words/actions that he was accused of and then puts forth his denials thereof and his reasons for settling. if there was anything that could have deemed or mis-construed as inappropriate then we can judge that for ourselves. if the charges are out-right lies we will be able to judge that too. Right now it is the “unknown” specificity of the charges that is fueling the salacious nature of the story. If he gives complete disclosure of all the details then it could be a non-story by tomorrow. Unfortunately, giving partial denials without the full detaails only keeps it going. Cain would be smart to lay it all out there today.

Milhouse, it’s called the principle of the thing, unless he was forced to settle by his insurer, and if so he should say, I wanted to fight but I was strongly advised to settle by my General Counsel and agreed. sexual harrassment isn’t just something politicians have to worry about, CEO’s are at the top of the pecking list for lawsuits. a history of settling on sexual harrassment suits leaves the door open for more.

    spartan in reply to damocles. | October 31, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    If I am not mistaken, the article says the amounts were in the range of 5 digits. That may not seem like much but it is a good deal for both sides. The accuser does not have to deal with protracted litigation and the accusee can go on with his career. I just don’t see the political expedience of claiming all of these claims were/are false. I would be very uncomfortable re-litigating these claims in the media. Multiple claims will only further dilute his campaign message.

    As for the campaign finance article, how can he say ‘he does not know’? It does not help his bona fides.

    Sometimes you settle because it’s so much more expensive to fight than simply to settle and move on. For any rational person pride ALWAYS gives way to economics. ALWAYS.

    Milhouse in reply to damocles. | October 31, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    You may be willing to squander both your valuable time and your company’s money for vain principles, but why do you expect everyone else to do the same? How many businessmen would do so? I’d guess very very few. And if I were on the board of a company whose CEO decided to fight such a claim for “the principle of the thing” I’d not be happy, and might well support a motion to remove him.

Well, I guess it’s pile on Cain day. I just read a new breaking story about campaign finance impropriety :
“Herman Cain’stwo top campaign aides ran a private Wisconsin-based corporation that helped the GOP presidential candidate get his fledgling campaign off the ground by originally footing the bill for tens of thousands of dollars in expenses for such items as iPads, chartered flights and travel to Iowa and Las Vegas – something that might breach federal tax and campaign law, according to sources and documents.
Internal financial records obtained by No Quarter show that Prosperity USA said it was owed about $40,000 by the Cain campaign for a variety of items in February and March. Cain began taking donations for his presidential bid on Jan. 1.

Prosperity USA was owned and run by Wisconsin political operatives Mark Block and Linda Hansen, Cain’s current chief of staff and deputy chief of staff, respectively. …

It is not known if Cain’s election fund eventually paid back Prosperity USA, which now appears defunct. The candidate’s federal election filings make no mention of the debt, and the figures in the documents don’t match payments made by the candidate’s campaign.

In addition to picking up these expenses at least initially, Prosperity USA also paid as much as $100,000 to the Congress of Racial Equality, a conservative black organization, shortly before Cain was a featured speaker at the group’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. dinner in mid-January.”
There’s more on the details and possible fallout at:

I think it’s more incompetence than dishonesty, but from a candidate who claims to be an organized businessman ,who will help organize the country, it plays poorly, and on a bad Cain news day it may stick.

    This is the problem with “journalists” writing articles who are inexperienced in campaign finance law.

    This kind of loan happens ALL the time. It’s considered seed money and is treated just like if a bank had provided the loan on commercial terms. If the loan is paid back in the same filing period as the loan was given, it NEVER needs to be reported. One of the campaigns I worked (where I wasn’t in charge), we had a REVOLVING loan, where we paid it off the day BEFORE the filing was due, and then were granted another one the day AFTER the filing was due. Since it was considered a “new loan” under the applicable campaign finance rules, it didn’t need to be disclosed AT ALL.

      Actually, that’s not true at all. A federal campaign committee may not receive loans from anyone except an entity that is legitimately in the business of making loans — i.e., a bank — or the candidate himswlf for any amount higher than the federal contribution limit. Such a “loan” must be treated as a contribution and reported as such and of course, a $40,000 or $100,000 contribution is illegal.

      Paying back such a “loan” would help keep the FEC off your back but it is still a violation.

      The “good news,” though, is that the Politico non-story has effectively destroyed Cain’s candidacy so the FEC stuff won’t matter

DINORightMarie | October 31, 2011 at 1:56 pm

I think everyone here needs to understand what Mr. Cain has been saying, and what his campaign staff statements say:

Herman Cain was falsely accused of sexual harassment while working for the NRA (National Restaurant Assoc.) about 15 years ago. The NRA settled with the accusers (not Mr. Cain; however, an investigation found that there was no wrong doing on the part of Mr. Cain. That from his statements, and his campaign’s statements.

All these facts are verifiable; the records themselves are, apparently, sealed. It may or may not be the women who brought this out; that is unknown.

The question is: who planted the story at Politico, and why now? If it was a Repub, they are DONE. If it was DNC/liberals, then why now? Why not save that salvo for later? Timing is everything.

This is SOP for leftists – throw down the “sex-crazed black man” card, or the “sexual harassment” card. It is almost as effective (read: toxic) as the race card.

No defense. No squelching the rumor. Poison. Pure poison.

More questions: would a Repub. candidate do this? If so, who would benefit most? Why now?

Someone is very, very scared.

    Herman Cain was falsely accused of sexual harassment while working for the NRA (National Restaurant Assoc.) about 15 years ago. The NRA settled with the accusers (not Mr. Cain; however, an investigation found that there was no wrong doing on the part of Mr. Cain. That from his statements, and his campaign’s statements.

    All these facts are verifiable; the records themselves are, apparently, sealed. It may or may not be the women who brought this out; that is unknown.

    There is another question that needs to be answered; was there a complaint filed with the EEOC?
    IIRC, when there is a charge of sexual harassment, a letter or questionaire is usually written/sent to the EEOC. The EEOC investigates and then sends a letter saying whether or not there is reasonable cause to make a claim; a right to sue letter. The rule of thumb is if the EEOC says there is no reasonable cause for a sexual harassment case then the complaints are treated as though without merit. Therefore, why the payments?

    This is a huge distraction. I hope this is all there is but I am worried.

[…] attack is so pernicious. Herman Cain has already strongly denied the sexual harassment claims so maybe this will go away if there is nothing at all to the story – but it is a test for Herman …including transparency and political acumen and durability of his […]

But if the allegations are true, wouldn’t they make him more qualified to be president? He would just be following in the footsteps of the first black president, right?

    Nice. Isn’t it always fun to watch the hypocrisy of the professional left in lionizing Bill Clinton while trying to destroy any Conservative? You call them out on it and they sputter and try to pontificate on how “well, that was different.”

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | October 31, 2011 at 5:40 pm

I’m starting to wonder if this case is going to resemble what happened to Professor Connell at Widener Law School.

As Althouse points out, the high-tech lynching of Herman Cain by the media has begun. Check out this garbage from JSOnline’s resident liberal nutcase, Daniel Bice.

Well, it looks like finally Cain is starting to speak out about this and give more details. This is good, but it seems that he hasbeen dripping out some detail today, which he denied even knowing about yesterday. maybe he was waiting for his lawyer to tell him it was okay to disclose these details. His campaign was approached by Politico about this 10 days ago and had 10 days to come with a satisfactory answer. What is happening in his campaign? Cain needs to get more experienced staffers who know how to deal with issues like these BEFORE they blow up in his face.

This whole affair is just an example of the democrat attack machine getting warmed up. Expect a lot more of the same even if Cain is not the nominee.

There is nothing more for the liberals to fear than a successful black man running against the current liar-in-chief. They will pull out all the stops to create doubt, innuendo and frustration among the voting public. The mainstream media are just like a bunch of pigs at the trough.

This particular issue will pass but there are plenty more waiting in the queue…