Here’s a quote from a Politico article from October 31st on the Herman Cain sexual harassment accusations. Did you read the fourth page? Did anybody?
“Revelations about the settlements come as members of the association’s [the National Restaurant Association, or NRA's] board planned to meet this month to talk about ways to use the organization’s clout to boost Cain’s campaign.
Ideas to be discussed included making a donation to Cain from the organization’s political action committee, which typically doesn’t contribute to presidential campaigns, and, more significantly, organizing a fundraiser for his campaign.” 1
According to Charlie Spiering of the Washington Examiner, in a November 4, 2011 article, online news and commentary site Politico has published ninety articles on the subject since it first “broke” the story. In the 1990s Herman Cain was, to use Politico’s term, “head” of the National Restaurant Association (NRA) and the accusations were filed then.
The NRA has lifted the confidentiality restriction to allow at least one woman with whom it settled to speak out on the matter. Her attorney, Joel Bennett, says she has declined to do so. “The woman ‘sees no value in revisiting’ the complaint.” Attorney Bennett told “CBS News earlier that Cain did not sign the initial settlement agreement, and that it’s conceivable that Cain didn’t even know about it.”
The CBS article continues: “The National Restaurant Association ‘can confirm that … in July 1999, Mr. Bennett’s client filed a formal internal complaint. … Cain disputed the allegations in the complaint. The Association and Mr. Bennett’s client subsequently entered into an agreement to resolve the matter, without any admission of liability. Mr. Cain was not a party to that agreement. The agreement contains mutual confidentiality obligations.’”
Corporations are known to quickly and quietly settle such allegations. Radio Shack did the same thing in at least one publicized case in the same time period. Herman Cain not only would not know what was “settled,” he wouldn’t be able to find out. The accuser gets a severance package. Herman Cain has stated that this is all he knows about the matter. Since he denied the accusations, he, perhaps foolishly, thought he was exonerated.
CBS’s article went on to say that “Bennett said he and his client ‘have not asked them [the NRA] to lift it [the confidentiality agreement] beyond making this statement.’ He also expressed concern about violating ‘confidentiality and non-disparagement’ provisions in the agreement.”2
This is lawyer-speak for “We’re afraid of a big company and a big man. We don’t want to get in trouble if we tell the truth” and is misleading and highly inflammatory.
Now let’s hear from Herman Cain. Has he “changed his story”? Has he “given conflicting reports”?
Cain was “asked by [Sean Hannity] if he ever made flirtatious comments to female subordinates or comments such as ‘you look hot’ or anything, Cain replied: ‘No, no, no, I didn’t.’… As a business leader,’ he said, he ‘learned a long time ago’ not to comment on a woman’s appearance. Cain told HLN earlier this week that he has never committed sexual harassment ‘in (his) entire career. Period.’”
Herman Cain noted that a former aide, Curt Anderson, signed on with the Perry campaign shortly before the allegations surfaced in Politico. “These are the facts. Connect the dots,” Cain said.3
Anderson and Perry have both denied any involvement. Cain was certain he had brought up what he referred to as a possible sexual harassment issue with Anderson, and told him that he had “won” the case and the woman had paid his legal expenses.
It sounds like the NRA “handled” the matter, without telling Cain the truth about its actions, and would explain why he might not have the facts in his possession to “come clean” about. Any honest person will admit that sexual harassment is almost impossible to defend against when it is simply an accusation made with no physical evidence. Our society has gone from accusing a woman of “making up stories to get a man in trouble” to the opposite extreme, not even trying to defend against such claims, just paying a settlement. Both are equally wrong decisions.
Finally, let’s hear what Cain’s co-workers and potential witnesses to any of these allegedly “multiple incidents” have to say about him. This is also on the fourth page of Politico’s article, referenced above, where it is just as likely to remain unread. The article includes specific quotes from five top-level NRA members, three of them women. The quotes that follow are representative of all of their views about Cain.
“‘I have never heard that. It would be news to me,’ said Marie Fugo, who runs a Cleveland, Ohio, catering company. ‘He’s very gracious.’
“Joseph Fassler described Cain as treating men and women identically and asserted it was ‘not within his character’ to make unwanted advances.
“Cain was ‘extremely professional “and “fair” to female staffers, recalled Lee Ellen Hayes, an executive at the National Restaurant Association Education Fund. Cain’s treatment of women was ‘the same as his treatment of men. Herman treated everyone great,’ said Mary Ann Cricchio, who was elected to the board of the restaurant group in 1998.
By JONATHAN MARTIN & MAGGIE HABERMAN & ANNA PALMER & KENNETH P. VOGEL 10/31/11 9:18 PM EDT Juana Summers and Emily Schultheis contributed to this report.
CBS News POLITICALHOTSHEET November 4, 2011 4:54 PM By Brian Montopoli
Author: By Tom Cohen and Alan Silverleib CNN Posted On Nov 04 2011 12:52:35 AM EDT Updated On Nov 04 2011 06:44:29 PM EDT