When van Susteren further asked about “the financial settlement,” Cain said, “My general counsel said this started out where she and her lawyer were demanding a huge financial settlement. I don’t remember a number. But then he said because there was no basis for this, we ended up settling for what would have been a termination settlement.” When asked how much money was involved, Cain said, “Maybe three months’ salary. I don’t remember. It might have been two months. I do remember my general counsel saying we didn’t pay all of the money they demanded.” Within hours, Herman Cain and his campaign went from denial and a refusal to comment to admitting there was a problem while consistently declining to respond directly about whether or not he ever faced allegations of sexual harassment at the NRA and whether there were financial settlements in two cases in which women filed complaints.
Politico has stated that in one case, they have seen documentation describing the allegations about Cain and showing that NRA formally resolved the matter with both women receiving separation financial packages in the five-figure range. Politico has also stated that they have a half-dozen sources shedding light on Cain’s allegedly inappropriate behavior with the two women. According to Politico, the incidents included conversations allegedly filled with innuendo or personal questions of a sexually suggestive nature, taking place at hotels during conferences, at other officially 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.
There are now apparently four (4) women who have allegedly been the subjects of inappropriate comments by Herman Cain. Two of the women worked for Cain when he was head of NRA and settled with the organization after filing a complaint. A third woman who worked there at the same time told the Associated Press that she didn’t file a complaint but believed that Cain acted inappropriately and made her uncomfortable. The woman, who did not want to be identified, said Cain invited her to his corporate apartment. A fourth claim came from pollster Chris Wilson, a Perry supporter and former NRA employee, who said Cain had made inappropriate comments to a woman while at a group dinner in Arlington, Va. Cain continues to say that he is only aware of one sexual harassment complaint, that he was falsely accused, and blames his opponents and the media for stirring the pot.
On Wednesday, November 2, 2011, Mark Block, Cain’s Campaign Manager, accused Perry’s campaign of being behind the release of the stories. “This is one of the actions in America that is the reason why people don’t get involved in politics,” Block said in an exclusive interview with Fox News.” “The actions of the Perry campaign are despicable.” “Rick Perry and his campaign owe Herman Cain and his family an apology,” Block added. The Perry campaign disavows any connection to the story, calling Block’s charge “reckless and false.”
“For a candidate and campaign that claim to be the victims of unfounded and unproven accusations, they are awfully quick to hurl unfounded accusations themselves,” Perry campaign spokesman Ray Sullivan said in email. “Contrary to the Cain campaign’s false accusations, there is not one shred of evidence that any member of the Perry team had anything to do with the recent stories regarding Herman Cain — because it isn’t true.” Sullivan also noted that supporters of Mitt Romney’s campaign are connected to the NRA although the Romney campaign responded simply that any suggestion it pushed the Cain story is “not true.”
Although the Cain campaign has been dealing with the sexual harassment charges since they were first released, their problems are further exacerbated by possible violations of campaign finance and tax implications. Cain’s campaign also faces questions about tens of thousands of dollars in expenses that were paid by Prosperity USA, an organization claiming 501(c)(3) charity status with the IRS that is barred by law from political activities. Prosperity USA apparently paid $40,000 in expenses, including bills for chartered planes, iPads and other items, according to financial documents exposed by the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel. Cain’s campaign disclosure reports failed to list these payments as debts or in-kind contributions. The newspaper said the financial documents of the charity indicate that $37,372 is “due from FOH” which stands for Friends of Herman Cain, the campaign committee for the candidate. It is not known if the campaign repaid the money.
Prosperity USA was established in 2010 by Mark Block, Cain’s campaign chief of staff and Linda Hansen, the deputy chief of staff. The organization paid approximately $17,000 for chartered flights and $15,000 for a trip to Atlanta, according to records cited by the Milwaukee paper. Block was the Wisconsin state leader of Americans for Prosperity; the grassroots conservative advocacy group started in 2004 with donations from the billionaire Koch brothers. It has 501(c)(4) status and can accept unlimited contributions from donors without disclosure, as long as the funds are not spent primarily on politics.
Cain says that he is an associate minister at Antioch Baptist Church North in Atlanta, Georgia. Sexual harassment is a despicable action by anyone especially ministers because we look up to them as role models. As a Christian, minister of the gospel and Presidential candidate, Herman Cain should be held accountable for his actions, but that’s just my take.
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