Tag Archives: National Restaurant Association

Cain Denies Affair, Too

speaking at CPAC in Washington D.C. on Februar...

Image via Wikipedia

A woman said Monday that she engaged in an affair with Herman Cain that began in the 1990s, continued as he flew her from city to city for dates, and ended eight months ago.

In an interview, Ginger White offered details of a thirteen-year relationship with Mr. Cain, sharing phone records that showed calls and text messages from his number.

Mr. Cain denied the accusations, telling CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that they had been friends, but that there had been no sexual contact. He characterized their relationship as “trying to help a friend” because of her “not having a job, et cetera, and this sort of thing.”This month, Cain was accused of sexually harassing several women.

Ms. White said she decided to come forward because she feared the affair would be uncovered to reporters by someone who knew of the relationship.

“I’m not proud. I didn’t want to come out with this. I did not,” said White, who described the relationship with Mr. Cain as taking her away from her “humdrum life.”

“It was pretty simple. It wasn’t complicated. I was aware that he was married. I was also aware I was involved in a very inappropriate situation, relationship,” she said.

Before the first harassment allegations were published, polls showed him leading the Republican race. Over the past month, it has been reported that four women accused Mr. Cain of sexual harassment while he headed the National Restaurant Association.

Mr. Cain denied the allegations, although his campaign suffered as he bungled his response. First, Mr. Cain refused to acknowledge that harassment allegations were filed against him. He later “recalled” accusations but said they were all “baseless.”

Since then, he has fallen to 17% in CNN’s latest poll, compared with 20% for Mitt Romney and 24% for Newt Gingrich.

“I know that the court of public opinion is going to formulate its own opinion,” he told CNN. “I can’t control people who are going to make a decision based upon accusations.”

Ms. White said in the television interview that she met Mr. Cain in the late 1990s at a meeting in Louisville, when he was president of the restaurant association. They had drinks, she said, and he invited her to his hotel room, where he pulled out a calendar and suggested that she meet him in Palm Springs, California.

1 Comment

Filed under Politics

Ex-Boyfriend of Accuser Confirms Allegations against Cain

Herman Cain

Image via Wikipedia

Sharon Bialek, the woman who accused Herman Cain of sexually inappropriate behavior last week, got support Monday, when her ex-boyfriend backed up her claims.

Victor Zuckerman said that Ms. Bialek told him that Mr. Cain had made sexual advances on her in 1997, just after she says the event occurred.

“I can confirm that when she returned, she was upset. She said that something had happened and that Mr. Cain had touched her in an inappropriate matter. She said she handled it and didn’t want to talk about it any further. I respected her request,” he said.Ms. Bialek, who once worked for the foundation affiliated with the National Restaurant Association, said at her own press conference last week that Mr. Cain tried to instigate a sexual encounter with her in exchange for his help in landing a job fourteen years ago.

Mr. Cain has denied Bialek’s accusations, and says he does not remember her.

Mr. Zuckerman, a pediatrician, said the incident had not come up again until recently, in light of Mr. Cain’s presidential bid and the sexual harassment allegations by two women. Remembering Bialek “had a bad experience with him,” Mr. Zuckerman said he contacted Ms. Bialek to ask her if she was one of the anonymous accusers.

“She said no, but also added that based on her experience such accusations didn’t surprise her. She felt she had to respond to these denials by going public with her experience.”

At the news conference, Zuckerman said that he had once filed for bankruptcy. The Cain campaign has attacked Bialek’s credibility, attacking her personal financial history.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

In Light of Allegations, Cain’s Jokes Scrutinized

Herman Cain

Image via Wikipedia

At the Republican Presidential debate Wednesday night, Herman Cain referred to Representative Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic leader, as “Princess Nancy.”

His campaign sent the quip out on Twitter almost immediately, to drive home the point, but the public response was not as the campaign might have expected.

“Ay yi yi,” tweeted Dana Perino, who served as White House press secretary for President George W. Bush. “Former Speaker Pelosi called a princess in the debate? Not fair. We may disagree on policy, but she earned the speaker title.”

Mr. Cain later called the remark “a statement that I probably should not have made.”

After battling accusations that he sexually harassed subordinates while he was chief of the National Restaurant Association in the late 1990s, Mr. Cain faces a new challenge: calibrating his behavior toward women in an atmosphere colored by the allegations.

This was not the first time Mr. Cain had called Ms. Pelosi a princess. On his radio talk show in Atlanta, he referred to her that way routinely.

With Mr. Cain’s campaign running a defense against the sexual harassment charges, any remark or photograph could create a PR problem if seen as rude, flirtatious or aggressive toward women.

Thursday, Mr. Cain was caught on tape joking about Anita Hill, who accused Clarence Thomas of harassment decades ago during his Supreme Court confirmation hearing.

Polls suggest that Republican women support Mr. Cain in numbers that are roughly equal to men, but flickers of discontent are emerging in crucial constituencies.

According to a survey by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, 39% of Americans who have heard about the allegations against Mr. Cain think they are true.

At the moment, Mr. Cain does not seem to be making a pitch to the general electorate. He is appealing to his base, the energetic, conservative core of the Republican Party.

Women make up the majority of the electorate and tend to register and vote in greater numbers than men, but the Republican base tends to be disproportionately male.

A New York Times/CBS News poll conducted last month found that female Republicans were about equally supportive as men of Mr. Cain, within the poll’s margin of sampling error — 28% of women said they support Mr. Cain compared to 22% of men.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Cain Denies Accusations as Another Woman Comes Forward

Herman Cain

Image via Wikipedia

Herman Cain convened a televised news conference Tuesday in which he insisted that he is innocent of all sexual harassment accusations, even as another woman said her that he had approached her inappropriately.

Anticipating calls to end his Presidential run, he said it “ain’t going to happen because I’m doing this for the American people and for the children and the grandchildren. And I will not be deterred by false, anonymous, incorrect accusations.”

Karen Kraushaar, one of two who settled sexual harassment claims while they worked at the National Restaurant Association led by Mr. Cain, works as a spokeswoman at the Treasury Department. She told The New York Times:

When you are being sexually harassed in the workplace, you are extremely vulnerable. You do whatever you can to quickly get yourself into a job someplace safe, and that is what I thought I had achieved when I left.

The scandal engulfed the 2012 Republican Presidential contest for another day, prompting pleas from Mr. Cain’s rivals for him to find a way to move on. Mitt Romney said the accusations are “particularly disturbing” and said, “They’re going to have to be addressed seriously.”

Mr. Cain’s lawyer, L. Lin Wood, who has represented the family of JonBenet Ramsey, Kobe Bryant, and Richard Jewell, falsely accused of being the Atlanta Olympics bomber, said Mr. Cain was “now on trial in the court of public opinion, falsely accused.”

During the appearance before reporters in Scottsdale, a defiant Mr. Cain once again declared that Ms. Kraushaar’s accusations were “baseless” and repeated his claim that his only offense against her was to have made an innocent gesture about her height.

“They simply didn’t happen. They simply did not happen,” Mr. Cain said of the accusations of sexual harassment.

Leave a comment

Filed under Politics

Herman Cain Plans News Conference to Refute Sharon Bialek’s Claims

Herman Cain

Image via Wikipedia

Herman Cain said he would offer a defense against allegations from a woman who said he made an unwanted, rough physical advance on her fourteen years ago.

The woman, Sharon Bialek, said Mr. Cain made the advance after she asked him for employment help in 1997 after being fired from the National Restaurant Association.

“There is not an ounce of truth in all of these accusations,” Mr. Cain said in a jovial interview on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on ABC, where the host discussed the issue in humorous terms.

Mr. Cain said that after Ms. Bialek’s briefing, his wife said, “The things that woman described — that doesn’t even sound like you and I’ve known you for forty-five years.”

Ms. Bialek reiterated the charges in TV appearances late Monday and early Tuesday, putting a public face and name to accusations against Mr. Cain, a Presidential candidate.

She said he suggested she engage with him sexually in return for his help, seizing her and running his hand up her skirt. “Mr. Cain said, ‘You want a job, right?’ ” she said.

Ms. Bialek said she decided to speak publicly to support the other women who have made accusations against Mr. Cain but who will not reveal their names.

Ms. Bialek was the first accuser to publicly allege physical contact on Mr. Cain’s part.

Her appearance on Monday propelled another accusation of sexual conduct against Mr. Cain to center stage in the Republican Presidential nominating contest.

The latest accusation was met with calls from some conservative leaders for Mr. Cain to explain himself, and with a mix of chagrin and defiance from some of his supporters.

Ms. Bialek, a Republican from Chicago, is the fourth woman to have leveled an accusation of sexual harassment against Mr. Cain.

In announcing the news conference, the Cain campaign released a statement saying the allegations were coming from “a woman with a long history of severe financial difficulties, including personal bankruptcy.”

It was the most forceful response yet by Mr. Cain to his accusers. It followed vows that he would no longer speak about the matter.

Via NYT.

Leave a comment

Filed under Politics, Stupid Is As Stupid Does

Cain Accuses Perry Campaign of Leaking Harassment Story. Perry, in Turn, Accuses Romney Campaign.

Herman Cain

Image via Wikipedia

Herman Cain accused Governor Rick Perry of orchestrating a smear campaign to destroy his Presidential candidacy as more accusations emerged that Mr. Cain made unwanted sexual overtures to women while he led the National Restaurant Association.

Mr. Cain shifted his blame from the news media to the Perry campaign. He accused a top adviser to Mr. Perry of leaking details of one allegation, saying the adviser learned of it while working for Mr. Cain’s failed bid for the Senate in 2004.

A spokesman for Mr. Perry called the suggestion “reckless and false,” and denied that the campaign was the source of the disclosures.

The events left the Republican presidential race mired in claims and counterclaims brought about by the sexual harassment allegations, with Mr. Cain blaming Mr. Perry, whose campaign in turn raised the possibility that Mitt Romney’s campaign could be behind the disclosure of the allegations.

Interviews with a dozen people over the last three days paint a picture of Mr. Cain’s 1996-99 tenure at the National Restaurant Association that is at odds with his insistence that he never harassed anyone. Several people who worked at the association said they knew of episodes that women said had made them uncomfortable dealing with Mr. Cain.

One of the two women whose accusations of sexual harassment led to a paid severance agreement has decided against speaking publicly about her side of the story, her lawyer said. “It’s unpleasant and it’s sensational and she does not want to do that,” he said. “She has a life to live and a career, and she doesn’t want to become another Anita Hill.”

The Associated Press reported Wednesday that the third woman considered filing a complaint against Mr. Cain over incidents that included an invitation to his apartment.

Leave a comment

Filed under Politics

Woman Got a Year’s Pay in Settlement against Herman Cain

Herman Cain

Image via Wikipedia

The National Restaurant Association gave $35,000 — a year’s salary — in severance pay to a female staff member in the late 1990s after an encounter with Herman Cain made her uncomfortable.

The woman was one of two whose accusations of sexual harassment by Mr. Cain led to paid severance agreements during his 1996-99 tenure at the association. Disclosure of the severance challenged his description of the matter as a “witch hunt.”

A lawyer for the second woman called on the restaurant association to release her from a confidentiality agreement signed as part of her settlement. The confidentiality agreement left her unable to respond to Mr. Cain’s denials of inappropriate behavior.

The nature of the encounters between Mr. Cain and the two women remains murky. He said that he joked with one of the women about her height, but he has not addressed what happened with the woman said to have received the $35,000 payment.

Asked Tuesday whether he would ask the association to comply with the request to release the woman from the confidentiality agreement, Mr. Cain said, “I can’t give you a definitive answer on that until we consult with our attorneys.”

A spokeswoman for the restaurant association said that the association has not had contact with the woman’s lawyer. She did not address the details of the $35,000 severance arrangement.

Four people with knowledge of the encounter said it took place in the context of a work outing during which there had been heavy drinking. They spoke on condition of anonymity and declined to give details of the encounter.

Leave a comment

Filed under Politics, Stupid Is As Stupid Does

Herman Cain Admits to Sexual Harassment Settlements

Herman Cain

Image via Wikipedia

Herman Cain, a leader in the Republican race for the Presidency, acknowledged Monday that he was accused of sexual harassment while chief of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s.

Mr. Cain spent the day in television interviews and news briefings attempting damage control.

He maintained that he had been falsely accused and that investigations at the association corroborated that.

Mr. Cain’s explanations and gaps in the story made it hard to determine the impact of the revelations on his prospects in states like Iowa, whose caucuses are two months away.

Mr. Cain said to the National Press Club in Washington that “I am unaware of any sort of settlement” related to the accusations, which he called “a witch hunt.” In an interview with Greta Van Susteren of the Fox News Channel later, he acknowledged that “there was some sort of settlement or termination,” worth “maybe three months’ salary.”

Politico detailed incidents between Mr. Cain and two women on the staff that led to settlements. The incidents included “conversations allegedly filled with innuendo or personal questions of a sexually suggestive nature.”

In interviews, two people affiliated with the restaurant group said they knew of the second female employee, and she had received a payment related to harassment accusations against Mr. Cain during his tenure as the association’s chief executive.

They said the second woman similarly complained about what she said had been Mr. Cain’s inappropriate conduct. One said she had been taken aback by one interaction while they were traveling. He said he believed harassment was not the only issue involved in the woman’s termination package.

The restaurant association declined to comment on what it termed “personnel matters that allegedly took place nearly 15 years ago.”

With only scant details from the encounters available so far, the already tricky business of divining how the allegations may affect Mr. Cain’s rising political fortunes was made all the more difficult on Monday.

His candidacy has been enigmatic from the start, and his rise to the top in national polls and in surveys of early voting states has upended expectations in the Republican contest. Aides to rivals including former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, who shares top billing with him in polls, and Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, who trails them, have expressed skepticism that Mr. Cain’s campaign can go the distance but have been unable to ignore his strong marks from voters or the appeal of his blunt policy prescriptions.

Leave a comment

Filed under Politics, Stupid Is As Stupid Does

Herman Cain Settled a Case (or Two or More) for Sexual Harassment

Herman Cain

Image via Wikipedia

Last evening, Politico published a report that reveals that Herman Cain was accused of inappropriate sexual behavior by at least two female employees when he was head of the National Restaurant Association in the late 1990s. Both women, whose names haven’t been released, signed agreements with the group that gave them financial settlements in return for leaving the association and agreeing not to talk about the circumstances of their departure. Politico has pieced together the nature of the allegations:

The sources – which include the recollections of close associates and other documentation – describe episodes that left the women upset and offended. These incidents include 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.

One woman is said to have received an “unwanted sexual advance” from Cain at a hotel where an association event was held. Other anonymous sources say they were troubled by the effort to keep the women quiet and not addressing the allegations.

Mr. Cain’s response to the allegations has been as eloquent as you’d expect. First, his campaign ignored Politico’s request for comment for four days. Then, his spokesman J.D. Gordon said:

These are old and tired allegations that never stood up to the facts … This was settled amicably among all parties many years ago, and dredging this up now is merely part of a smear campaign meant to discredit a true patriot who is shaking up the political status quo.

Later, Mr. Gordon amended the statement, saying he meant the matter was “resolved,” not “settled” in a legal sense. This week, he told Politico that Mr. Cain was “vaguely familiar” with the situation.

When a Politico reporter approached Mr. Cain on the sidewalk, he avoided answering the questions, saying he has “had thousands of people working for me” throughout the years and couldn’t comment “until I see some facts or some concrete evidence.”

He was then asked, “Have you ever been accused, sir, in your life of harassment by a woman?”

He breathed audibly, glared at the reporter and stayed silent for several seconds. After the question was repeated three times, he responded by asking the reporter, “Have you ever been accused of sexual harassment?”

Well deflected, Mr. Cain! Well deflected.

2 Comments

Filed under Politics, Stupid Is As Stupid Does