The political news website Politico has dropped the bombshell news that Herman Cain, a Republican frontrunner for the presidential nomination and kooky numerologist, was accused of sexual harassment twice by women who later took pay-outs not to talk about the incidents.
Based on the reports of a half-dozen sources, Politico claims that when Cain headed the National Restaurant Association during the 1990s, two women complained to colleagues and senior officals about his behavior and ultimately left their jobs with financial pay-outs. Cain has refused to talk about the accusations for the past 10 days. But when confronted by a reporter this weekend, he said he couldn’t comment “until I see some facts or some concrete evidence.” When he was repeatedly pressed, Cain turned it around on the reporter, asking, “Have you ever been accused of sexual harassment?”
Politico said it has confirmed the names of the two employees, but will not publish their names for privacy reasons. The site says their sources tell them the women complained about “sexually suggestive” behavior by Cain at the National Restaurant Association trade group and felt “uncomfortable” and “angry.” The harassment is described thusly:
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.
When the women left the association, they accepted financial pay-outs “in the five-figure range” and signed agreements that ban than from talking publicly about why they left. In once case, Politico saw documentation from the National Restaurant Association about the incident.
What do you think about the accusations against Herman Cain? If you were supportive of him — or supportive of the Republicans in general, but still figuring out who you would vote for — do these accusations change your feelings? Let us know in the comments. Does it matter to you in general when a politician — whether its a Republican, Democrat (ahem, Clinton), or whomever — is accused of sexual harassment?
Contact the author of this post at Jessica@TheFrisky.com. Follow me on Twitter at @JessicaWakeman.
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