Herman Cain: Trick or Treat?

10/31/11

Spartan

With regard to the allegations of Herman Cain and sexual harassment, there are two areas to be addressed:

1) the legal issues and

2) the political issues

The legal issues are somewhat murky. In a nutshell, sexual harassment is not just proposition and contact. It is also hostile work environment. From what I have read, someone who is accused of being a sexual harasser, usually has a track record. There are multiple claims, not just one. What happens to resolve these issues is even murkier. Settlements can be made without the knowledge of the person accused for any amount. Confidentiality is sometimes a part of these settlements. The terms for breeching the confidentiality of the terms of the settlement can lead to loss of settlement and other exemplary damages. The article does not interview or name either complainant. From what I have read in the article, I doubt a case can be made that a breech occurred. I find it interesting that a settlement was made without the knowledge or permission of Herman Cain. It can be done but can Cain be bound by the confidentiality of the agreement?

The political issues are another matter. I would recommend we stand on the sidelines and watch this matter play out. I don’t know and I would hate to guess what occurred. However, it is very important for Cain to get ahead of this issue, not by parsing definitions and events, but with full disclosure (without breeching confidentiality as mentioned above). If he starts putting down markers that these claims are false and all claims like this are false, it will only lead reporters to dig much deeper. If there are new allegations, they can not be explained with, ‘they are all lying’ or contrition. The media, which built up much of his campaign, will desire to tear him down. Liberals will dismiss the claims of a Juanita Broadrick; Conservatives will not be so dismissive. Cain will be the GOP’s version of Gary Hartpence.

One major difference between this and Justice Clarence Thomas. Thomas had only one accuser who could not substantiate any of her claims (then again, its the nature of the charge and not the evidence). Multiple claims will not play well politically for Cain.

There is another question that needs to be answered; was there a complaint filed with the EEOC? IIRC, when there is a charge of sexual harassment, a letter or questionnaire is usually written/sent to the EEOC. It should noted Clarence Thomas’ accuser, Anita Hill, failed to file such a letter/questionnaire. The EEOC investigates and then sends a letter saying whether or not there is reasonable cause to make a claim; a right to sue letter. The rule of thumb is if the EEOC says there is no reasonable cause for a sexual harassment case then the complaints are treated as though without merit. Therefore, why the payments?

Somewhere in the back of my political mind I hear that popular refrain; it’s not the crime, it’s the coverup.

Mr Cain, do you know how many cases of sexual harassment the NRA settled before you arrived? Do you know how many cases of sexual harassment the NRA settled after you left? Is the NRA in the habit of paying claims where no evidence exists?

To all the Cain supporters …… Trick or Treat?

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