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here are so many "why" questions about Herman Cain's alleged philandering that they are now starling to overshadow all of the "who," "what," where" and "when" questions. But no one's asking the "why" questions. For that matter, no one is asking the "who," "what," "where" and "when" questions, either. Why? Because that would assume the allegations about Cain are true. And, that poses another big, fat "why" question. Why did the liberal media initially treat a Republican like they would a Democrat by soft-peddling two "on-the-record" accusations of sexual harassment by two very credible women? At least, why did they ignore the allegations until Politico.com brought it into the campaign issue, and even then, not until Cain decided the challenge the right of the media to question him after he denied any wrongdoing? Why did the media, which already knew two women received cash settlements from the National Restaurant Association requiring their silence, treat it as insignificant until Cain's repeated denials, when they would have been all over the story like horse flies on cow manure if the indiscretion had been committed by either Mitt Romney or Rick Perry?

After denying he knew anything about a settlement, Cain's campaign was the first to trivialize it by calling it a 5-digit settlement. In fact, his campaign referred to the settlement as an innocuous nuisance payoffs of $10,000 to dispose of a issue that had no merit, but would have the cost the National Restaurant Association far more to litigate. One of the two women Cain, who had previously said he knew nothing about the incident, suddenly recalled, was a poor worker, a comment meant to suggest that her complaints against Cain were triggered by a reprimand and perhaps her termination.

In point of fact, as the New York Times revealed on Nov. 4, the initial two National Restaurant Association complainants were each paid a year's wages—about $35,000.00—to settle their grievance against Cain. That usually happens only when the company's lawyers know, if the case goes to court, they will lose—and lose far more than the settlement offer.

Because all facets of the matter were sealed, Cain knew that no one could dispute whatever he said as he attempted to trivialize both the incident and the settlement. That makes Cain the worst kind of liar. That also makes Cain unfit to lead this nation. We already have enough liars in Washington without knowingly electing another one.

First, Cain remembered the settlement as two or three weeks severance pay. Then he revised his thinking to, perhaps, three months severance. And, finally, he "remembered" that it may have been six months severance. It's interesting how much you suddenly remember about an incident you first said never happened, and then said it may have happened, but that since you were not party to it, you had no knowledge of any of the details. We now know the two women—both who were exceptional employees who have greatly advanced their careers in the interim—were neither poor workers nor complainers. And, we now know Cain had all of the details about the settlements made to them for their silence as he insisted he knew nothing.

According to ABC News analyst and lawyer, Dan Abrams "...you now have the consistency. You have a number of people coming forward which is significant when evaluating the big picture. On the other hand, I don't know if it's necessarily true that you can look at a settlement and say because they settled, therefore it was a valid action or claim." Anyone who heard Herman Cain fluster and backpedal when asked by Fox News' Brett Baier how he could have been caught off guard by the Politico article on Mon., Oct. 31 when he had advance warning that the story was going to break. Cain was asked, by Politico 10 days before the story broke, to comment on the accusations made against him so that his position on the issue would be on the record. He declined.

Cain's comment to Brett Baier was incriminating enough for the GOP presidential contender to convince me there would likely be long trail of woman making accusations that would end Cain's run for the roses. He told Baier that he couldn't "...respond to anonymous accusations..." without knowing precisely who was making them. Cain knew about the two women who received payoffs equal to a year's wages in 1999 because contrary to his claiming he knew nothing about the settlements, as President of the Restaurant Owners' Association he, like the Board of Directors, would have to had known both the details of the accusations and the details of any settlement offer made, and accepted. And, he would have known that neither woman could talk about the incident without having to forfeit the funds they received.

A third woman (referred to as the fourth woman) in a TMZ/Huffington Post report which broke in the late afternoon on Mon., Nov. 7) broke her silence at a press conference along side her attorney, Gloria Allred.

A third woman came forward on Wed., Nov. 2 and said she, too, considered filing a workplace complaint against Herman Cain over what she called "...aggressive and unwanted behavior." Cain's invitation included a visit to his corporate apartment according to the report filed by the Associated Press. A fourth reported harassment surfaced on Thursday when a radio talk show host in Iowa said Cain had recently made "awkward and inappropriate" comments to staffers at the radio station during an earlier visit this year.

UPDATE: Around 3 p.m. on Mon., Nov. 7 a fourth woman, Sharon Bialek, came forward with her attorney, Gloria Allred, and held a press conference in which she described in detail Cain's alleged behavior. Bailek said the incident happened when she was talking to Cain about a job in a bar down the street from the National Restaurant Association headquarters. Bialek said that, instead of going into the offices, Cain suddenly reached over and put his hand on her leg, then up her skirt towards her genitals. When she protested, Bialek said in the news conference, Cain responded, "You want a job, right?"

The hotel room was not the type of room one expects a prospective employer to put you up in unless you are applying for a key employee position. Bialek commented on the "palatial suite" he arranged for her. He replied: "I upgraded you.".

According to Allred, when Bialek lost her job, she turned to Cain for proffered help. "Mr. Cain," Allred interjected, "instead decided to try to provide her with his idea of a stimulus package."

Bialek concluded her statement saying, "I'm coming forward to give a face and a voice to the women." The names of the other three women have not been released. The conservative media has come to Cain aid by minimizing the allegations of the others by suggesting that, if they were anything, they were no more than Cain possibly trying to pick them up.

On Friday, Nov. 4, Dawn Sweeney, the current head of the National Restaurant Association said her organization was willing to waive the confidentiality agreement made by one of Cain's accusers, the woman who came forward last week. Through her lawyer, Joel Bennett, the woman alleged "...several incidents of sexual harassment" in a formal complaint lodged in September, 1999. Sweeney made it clear that the concession to that one former employee would not necessarily apply to any other former employee—suggesting by the structure of the statement that there may be more than one other complainant. The woman was married when Cain propositioned her in 1999, and she remains married to this day. Bennett declined to identify his client, but said while she felt it was important to let the American people know what type of man Herman Cain really was, she "...decided not to relive the specifics" of the incident in a public forum. Bennett told the media that "...[s]he made a a complaint in good faith about a series of inappropriate behaviors and unwarranted advances from the CEO of the restaurant organization."

In a statement made later that same day, Sweeney said Cain disputed the allegations at the time they were leveled against him. But then, he has also disputed other allegations made by at least one other female employee of the National Restaurant Association as well. And, he denied the allegations made by a third woman who has come forward. And, he has also denied the allegations of the Iowa radio talk show host who reported that Cain made unwarranted advances towards female employees of the radio station. It reaches a point where the public finally has to acknowledge that without admission or affirmation, the evidence speaks by itself, for itself.

Cain arrogantly insists that the attack on his character was leveled not because there was any truth to the allegation, but because he's on the top of the political woodpile. He added that an internal investigation at the time showed no evidence of improper conduct by him. Sweeney, who could have ended the war on words by acknowledging that the National Restaurant Association did conduct an investigation which cleared Cain of the allegations, did not. Cain should insist that Sweeney release the transcripts of the investigation, which Cain said exonerate him of committing any improprieties, to the media. That should be enough to put the matter to rest.

That likely won't happen because logic suggests that had Cain's denial been true, the two women who leveled the charges against Cain would not have been "rewarded" with a cash settlement equal to a year's wages. And it would have been in the best interests of the National Restaurant Association to clear Cain's "good name." Therefore, logic suggests if there had been an investigation, it very likely would have supported the allegations of the Cain's accusers. The growing perception of his penchant for the opposite sex suggests there may well be a politically embarrassing history of Cain making "unwarranted advances" against attractive women that could very well drive him out of the campaign; or, at least, cost him the financial support of David H. and Charles C. Koch, the billionaire owners of Georgia-Pacific, Invista, Flint Hill Resources, Koch Pipeline, Koch Fertilizer, Koch Minerals and the Matador Cattle Company who support conservative political activism through the Americans for Prosperity Foundation.

The Koch Brothers are ardent conservatives. In 1984 the Koch Brothers formed Citizens for a Sound Economy which was headed up by former GOP Majority Leader Dick Armey when he retired from Congress in 2003. A year later the organization split into two groups, Americans for Prosperity Foundation and Freedom Works. Armey stayed on as chairman of Freedom Works and David Koch headed AFP.

Cain described himself as "...the Koch brothers' brother from another mother." I believe the only way you can honestly describe Cain is as the Koch Brothers' personal choice to win the GOP 2012 nomination or, if he can't take the nomination, Cain will likely become the Tea Party's candidate for President—splitting the Republican vote and guaranteeing Obama's reelection.

Today {but not literally "today") Herman Cain, a political neophyte with no honest hands-on operations management experience, trumpets his corporate leadership roles as "hands-on jobs growth" experience as he campaigns across the nation. While, as a Pillsbury employee, he created burger jobs and pizza delivery jobs which are not exactly family-raising middle income career jobs, Cain's hands-on experience in middle class job growth is absolutely nonexistent. Campaigning in Iowa while ignoring the fact that he's a former regional Fed Chairman, Cain chose instead to remind Iowa voters that as the CEO of Pillsbury owned Godfather's Pizza, and as a business analysis for Pillsbury and also for 450 Pillsbury-owned Burger King stores, he was a job creator. But, US Congressman Leonard Boswell [D-IA] doesn't remember Cain quite that way in his State.

Nor does anyone who has ever taken the time to check Cain's history as the chairman of Godfather's Pizza. When Cain, as a Pillsbury employee, began running Godfather's Pizza in 1986, it was the 5th largest pizza retailer in the country. It's best year was 1983. It was profitable in 1984 but not in 1985. But Cain's statement that it was near bankruptcy in 1985 was more than just an exaggeration. It was a lie. When he resigned from Godfather's in 1996 it was the 11th largest pizza chain in the country—down from 5th. Cain took his company in the wrong direction, just as Barack Obama is taking the United States in the wrong direction. Can we afford 4 more years of the same type of growth—even under "new management?" I think not. What about you?.

In 1983, Godfather's did $340 million in sales. Sales in 1984 were $365 million. In 1985, $325 million. Cain took over 725 Godfather's Pizza stores in 1986. He did $275 million in sales, closing 85 stores. In 1987 he did $260 million and closed 35 more stores. In 1988 he closed 32 more stores, grossing $242 million in sales. Sales and store size teeter-tottered up and down until 1996 when Cain left the company to head the National Restaurant Association. Since Cain never published Godfather's profits after taxes, we only know that the company's pretax profits the year before he took Godfather's over were $18.7 million and his pretax profits the year after he took it over was less than a million. So much for Herman Cain the corporation-saver. Adjusted for inflation, sales at Godfather's Pizza dropped 64% during Cain's tenure.

Leonard Boswell remembers when Cain served on Whirlpool's Board of Directors from 1992 to 2003 and again from 2005 to April, 2011. When Whirlpool acquired Maytag, they closed their Newton, Iowa plant, sending thousands of Maytag jobs to Mexico. Last summer the Maytag outsourcing to Mexico was pretty much complete—but not before Whirlpool collected a $19 million stimulus check from the Obama Administration under Obama's flagship American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. With $19 million in jobs creation stimulus money in their pocket, Whirlpool closed Maytag's Evansville, Indiana plant that led to the exodus of 50,000 Indiana jobs to Mexico. Boswell told Gannett Newspapers, which controls the 2012 Iowa Caucuses website, that "...Herman Cain is no friend of working Iowans as he personally played a major role in the economic devastation of the central Iowa town. Newton has never been the same since Maytag left." (I expect the same can be said for Evansville, Indiana.) Boswell summed up his comments on Cain when he said, "While Cain continues to make money from Whirlpool, it's rather apparent that his backwards idea of fixing the economy is by putting Americans out of work. Just last week (October, 2011) Whirlpool announced plans to cut 5,000 more US works, which includes the complete closure of its Fort Smith, Arkansas plant."

Wait a minute. According to the Democrat's playbook, voters aren't supposed to remember that stuff. I guess that's why the liberal media, egged on by AFL-CIO president Richard Trumpka, blasted Cain for his role in sending Maytag and all of its US jobs to Mexico. Oh, wait a minute—again. That didn't happen. Why not? All of us understand with a degree of clarity that If Mitt Romney or Rick Perry sat on the Board of Whirlpool—or better yet, simply owned Whirlpool stock—when Whirlpool sent Maytag, and all of its US jobs to Mexico, the leftwing media would have flayed them alive and skinless, tarred and feathered, both would have been run out of party politics as soiled goods—not for being part of the Board that made the decision, but simply for owning stock in a company that exported its jobs. That didn't happen to Herman Cain. Why? Cain's a Republican, isn't he? Why, then, is the media treating him like a Democrat? His sins, at least until he threw the gauntlet down in Texas, are forgiven by the media, and thus, by the voters even without the obligatory mea culpas.

There's really not much about the Cain legend that's true. The lore of most legends is part myth, part truth and part exaggeration. Since what currently resides at 1600 Pennsylvania is largely myth, exaggeration and colossal inexperience, why in the world would we want to trade him for another one just like him? The United States can't afford a community organizer in the White House with a photoshopped birth certificate any more than it can afford a former regional Fed Chairman with a photoshopped resume that makes him look like an experienced jobs creator, and photoshopped ethics that is designed to make him appear to be what he's not. America needs a leader with actual national leadership experience. That's something Cain does not have. America can no longer afford leaders who have taken the proverbial liberal shortcut to success. Imputing success is not the same as earning it.

When former House Speaker Newt Gingrich squared off against Cain in what was billed as the Cain-Gingrich Debate of 2011 during a Tea Party fund-raiser in Woodlands, Texas on Nov. 4, one subject was declared off limits—Cain's alleged sexual harassment indiscretions while he was head of the National Restaurant Association. Cain's chief-of-staff, Mark Block advised the media that the allegations were off-limits during the debate. That's why Cain became enraged when Washington Post reporter Phil Rucker tried ask Cain about the sexual harassment incident. Cain cut him off, saying, "Don't even go there."

"Can I ask my question?" Rucker interjected, to which Cain shot back: "No!" followed by: "Where's my chief-of-staff? Please send [Rucker] the journalistic code of ethics." CNN News anchor Don Lemon was shocked by Cain's refusal to answer Rucker, telling the CNN audience that "...[y]ou'd think that someone who got into this position [by himself] would understand how the media works. Does Herman Cain really think that's going to get reporters to stop asking questions because he simply says so? It doesn't work that way." Cain is accustomed to being accorded the deference that liberals are accorded by the left—they ignore the indiscretions of leftwingers. Cain, who has joined the upper tier of GOP presidential wanabees, has discovered that, when it comes to scandals, Republicans are treating different than Democrats—especially minority Republicans who are viewed by the left as "Uncle Toms.".

The Cain-Gingrich Debate of 2011, which is reportedly supposed to be the first of several, raises the serious "why" question. When you look at the historical standings, Cain is second from the top of the list and Gingrich is second from the bottom. Why does the top tier candidate individually debate the bottom tier candidate? Was the Cain-Gingrich debate an attempt to divert the media from Cain's problems to refocus on GOP politics in a way that benefits Cain? If so, why would Gingrich participate? Since Cain and Gingrich are philosophical soulmates, it benefits Gingrich if Cain is knocked out of the race; and it hurts Gingrich's chances if Cain remains in it.

Or, was this to be the debate where Newt Gingrich transfers the mantle of designated loser to Cain? Or is Cain preparing for the day when he gives up the GOP challenge and officially becomes the Tea Party's independent candidate for President of the United States? Was this to be the first debate between the designated loser of the Election of 2012, Newt Gingrich, and the Tea Party candidate for 2012, Herman Cain? The political season of 2012 has not yet officially begun and it's already full of back-wrenching twists and belly-churning curves.

This is a race the media is going to love, because it will sell both newspapers and news magazines and puff the ratings of the TV news outlets. The only group that's not going to profit from the clone of the Election of 2008 is the American people. Remember this sage advise: those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. If we fail to learn from the Election of 2008 in 2012, it may well be too late in 2016. We just get to make so many mistakes before it's too late to reverse the fortunes our journey into history has given us.

 

Just Say No
Copyright 2011 •Jon Christian Ryter.
All rights reserved
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