Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween Skeletons: Herman Cain Sexual Harassment History Brought to Public Light

Yesterday, Maryland Juice published a short Halloween post titled Herman Cain's "Smoking" Web Ad: Political Trick or Treat? We were literally unable to figure out what the GOP Presidential candidate's ad was trying to convey, given that its most prominent elements are a mustached man smoking a cigarette, and a suggestive look from Herman Cain. Rival candidate Jon Huntsman's daughters even donned mustaches in a spoof response ad. It seems they were trying to capture a piece of the absurdity craze (hat tip to reader Monica!).

Unfortunately, the video's context is no longer a laughing matter. In fact, the web ad now seems a bit creepy. Politico has potentially game-changing coverage of past sexual harassment claims against Mr. Cain from female employees. We excerpt some basic facts and a series of quotes below:
During Herman Cain’s tenure as the head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s, at least two female employees complained to colleagues and senior association officials about inappropriate behavior by Cain, ultimately leaving their jobs at the trade group, multiple sources confirm to POLITICO. 
The women complained of sexually suggestive behavior by Cain that made them angry and uncomfortable, the sources said, and they signed agreements with the restaurant group that gave them financial payouts to leave the association. The agreements also included language that bars the women from talking about their departures.... 
Cain was president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association from late 1996 to mid-1999. POLITICO learned of the allegations against him, and over the course of several weeks, has put together accounts of what happened by talking to a lengthy roster of former board members, current and past staff and others familiar with the workings of the trade group at the time Cain was there....
“I happen to know there were sealed settlements reached in the plural. I think that anybody who thinks this was a one-time, one-person transgression would be mistaken,” this source said.... 
“She was offered a financial package to leave the association, and she did,” said the former board member. “What I took offense at was that it was clear that rather than deal with the issue, there was an effort to hush it up. She was offered a way out to keep quiet.” 
A second source with close ties to the restaurant association from that period said the woman revealed at the time that she had suffered what the source described as “an unwanted sexual advance” from Cain at a hotel where an event involving the group was taking place.
 Maybe it'll be Romney after all.

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