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The Two Faces of Herman Cain

Presidential Candidate (Gasp)

Is He a Traitor to American Values?

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If you are interested in becoming Spiritually Enlightened...Click HERE or on the Red Dragon Below.  You will be taken to a page which will reveal the gateway to Enlightenment.

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Question:  "Separation between Church and State."  Who coined the Phrase?  Give up?  Answer:   Thomas Jefferson - one of the founding fathers of this great Nation and a creator of the U.S. Constitution and the First Amendment to that same Constitution.  Thomas Jefferson, in 1802, wrote a Letter to the Dansbury Baptist Convention, referring to the First Amendment to the US Constitution.  In it he said:

"Believing that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their Legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church and State."



 

Click on Herman Cain's Tax Lien to see documents.

cain-tax-doc-teaser

 

According to court documents obtained by The Beast, Cain and his wife, Gloria, were served in February 2008 with a tax lien totaling $8,558.46 for unpaid income taxes and penalty due for the 2006 calendar year.
Gordon said Cain had filed with the IRS and won a six-month reprieve in paying his 2006 federal taxes as he was undergoing his treatment for stage four lymphoma and believed that filing should also have bought him time with the state of Georgia. “

The state sent a notice of overdue taxes in October 2007, and then proceeded with the tax lien four months later, he said.

Cain’s accountant fought the Georgia Department of Revenue on behalf of his client well into 2008 and the two sides finally settled the matter in November 2008. A court formally withdrew the state tax lien on Dec. 8, 2008, court records show.

Gordon said the campaign was researching the exact date on which Cain made the payment to extinguish the lien.

Georgia revenue officials declined to comment on the matter except to say the lien was withdrawn.

 

Herman Cain On NYT: 'They Don't Know What They Are Talking About'

Excerpt from an article posted: on huffingtonpost.com on 10/29/11

In debates and on the campaign trail, Herman Cain touts his extensive business experience as his main qualification to be president. So when a recent New York Times article raised questions about his management ability, describing his campaign as chaotic and disorganized, the former pizza magnate took it personally.

"They don't know what they are talking about," he said, in an interview with Fox Business. "They are trying to draw a conclusion based on anecdotal information from disgruntled employees."

Cain took particular umbrage at the allegation that staff traveling in a car with him had been ordered not to talk to him.

From the New York Times:

And then there was that e-mail to the staff about traveling in a car with Mr. Cain: "Do not speak to him unless you are spoken to," the memo said.

"I found it odd," said a former staff member who liked to prep Mr. Cain for appearances while driving. The aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, quit not long afterward, citing the e-mail as one of the deciding factors.

Cain called the claim 'ridiculous.' "That's bullfeathers," he said. "I've always had an open door policy in everything I've done. How could I have succeeded over 40 years in business trying to muzzle people?"

He described his organization as solid and explained any turnover of staff as a normal part of campaigns. "Doesn't seem as though those people who left have slowed us down," he said, "in fact our momentum has picked up dramatically."

He also told Fox he considers himself a frontrunner for the nomination. "I would say I am one of the frontrunners because as you know if you are within three or four or five points, that can change next week. I don't see myself as a clear frontrunner, because I don't have a double digit lead, but I would say I am right up there."

 
 

6 Things to Know About "Smoking Man" in Herman Cain's Weird New Ad (Dude Was Banned From Electoral Politics)

Contains excerpts from articles on alternet.org written by Adele Stan and Posted  October 25, 2011

Mark Block is a dirty player on the Wisconsin political scene, and one whose efforts involve a web of entities and local groups.

 

There's a Cancer Man on the body politic.

Herman Cain, the former Americans for Prosperity operative, and his presidential campaign manager, Mark Block, are having a most excellent adventure with Cain's faux presidential candidacy, an endeavor apparently launched, as AlterNet has reported, as a Koch-supported venture designed to bring the other GOP presidential candidates around to David Koch's way of thinking on matters such as taxes and regulations.

Today's YouTube unveiling of a truly strange video (seen at the bottom of this post), "paid for by Friends of Herman Cain," gives a hint of the sort of lark the two seem to think they are on, as they play with taboos and perhaps seek to mock their critics with what some believe to be a reference drawn from the "X Files" -- in which Block plays the figure of the Cigarette Smoking Man, a.k.a., Cancer Man. The ad appears only on a YouTube channel, but not on Cain's official presidential campaign Web site.

In the ad, Block, in a series of close-ups set against a stone wall, uneasily spouts some common campaign-style pablum before bringing a cigarette to his lips as the camera pulls in tighter. The camera then lingers a bit after Block takes the cigarette from his lip, which trembles a bit before the editing cuts to a shot of Cain slowly breaking into a sly, sideways grin. (The Raw Story's Megan Carpentier suggests the the ad may have been made by a Breitbart associate.)

Critics of Block, beginning with this one, have described him as having his fingers in several messy pies. AlterNet's reporting on Block over the course of the last year has revealed him to be a key player in the takeover of the Wisconsin legislature by Tea Party candidates and the election of Gov. Scott Walker. But more than that, we've shown him to be a dirty player on the Wisconsin political scene, and one whose efforts involve a web of entities and local groups. The "X Files" character, the main antagonist to FBI agent Mulder, had access not only to higher-ups in government, but also represented the nefarious Syndicate that constituted the show's Bad Guys. (And we know how much right-wingers love the FBI -- even less than left-wingers.)

I have no idea if that was what Block and Cain are getting at with their smoking moment; the "X Files" conjecture could be too smart by half. Perhaps they simply meant to shock in order to win another day of media coverage. Perhaps they're looking for some superpac money from tobacco companies. Maybe they're just trying to appeal to working-class folks, whom them presume to be smokers who don't like to be told not to smoke. But whatever they're doing no doubt constitutes some kind of gleeful fun-poking in their heads, which are no doubt swollen by the stupendous poll numbers Cain is enjoying: The latest CBS News/New York Times poll shows Cain as clear frontrunner among the GOP presidential contenders, with 25 percent, compared to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's 21 percent.

Block may live to regret his moment of hubris. Until now, he's been one of those shady, behind-the-scenes kind of players, and that shadiness has been one source of his power. In the light of day, he may fare less well. Here are five things, gleaned from AlterNet's reporting, that Block likely doesn't want you to know about him:

  • Banned from Wisconsin politics for three years in 2002 and paid a $15,000 fine for illegal campaign activities on behalf of a candidate for the state Supreme Court - Before Americans For Prosperity was a gleam in David Koch's eye, Mark Block was getting himself into trouble flouting Wisconsin's campaign laws. As AlterNet reported in June:
Block's first day at Americans for Prosperity marked the expiration of three-year ban on political campaign involvement imposed on him by a Wisconsin court for his illegal activity in a 2001 election... Block's triumph as campaign manager for Judge Jon Wilcox's successful run for state Supreme Court was tempered by a $15,000 fine for illegally using an outside group, the Wisconsin Citizens for Voter Participation, to conduct campaign activities.
  • Involved in vote-caging scheme in Milwaukee during the 2010 midterm elections designed to suppress votes of college students and African-Americans. More from our June report:

In late 2010, the liberal advocacy group, One Wisconsin Now, caught a Tea Party organizer on tape discussing Block's role in a vote-caging scheme apparently designed to suppress voter turnout in two Milwaukee districts that are heavily populated by college students and African Americans.

Vote-caging is a technique whereby registered voters are sent letters marked "do not forward" so letters that are undeliverable at the residence to which they're addressed bounce back to the sender. The returned letters are then used by the sender to challenge the votes of those individuals at her or his polling place, meaning that person can only vote on a provisional ballot. The letters were sent by Block's Americans for Prosperity chapter, many to dormitory addresses in August -- a time when students would likely be between dorm assignments.

  • Lied to newspaper reporter, denying that Americans For Prosperity, a Block's direction, did the initial mailing for the vote-cage scheme. As we reported five months ago:

At first, Block denied any involvement in the scheme, until Tim Dake of the Tea Party group, Grandsons of Liberty, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he had personally spoken to Block about it. Block then conceded that AFP had done the mailing, but said they had abandoned the effort when too few letters were returned. 

  • Behind the Koch-linked workplace indoctrination program, Prosperity 101 - AlterNet, in partnership with the Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute, produced an exposé on Prosperity 101, a program conducted in workplaces -- the majority of them in Wisconsin -- during the campaign season for the 2010 midterm elections. The program was used by employers, who brought employees together in seminars to tell them that policies traditionally embraced by Democrats -- such as environmental protection, higher tax rates for millionaires and the like -- would ultimately cost them their jobs. Block recruited Herman Cain -- who dubbed it the right's "answer to ACORN" -- to serve as a frontman for the program. (The Wall Street Journal's Stephen Moore also huckstered the scheme.)
  • Denied involvement in Prosperity 101 when questioned by AlterNet. However, AlterNet had a voice recording of Cain saying he had been recruited to Prosperity 101 by Block.
  • "Main organizer" of the Wisconsin Prosperity Network, a sort of coalition-in-a box devised to create electoral pressure for the Tea Party gains made in Wisconsin in 2010.

Herman Cain Smoking Ad: Jon Huntsman's Daughters Appear In Parody

 
 
 

 

Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman's daughters spoofed Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain's web ad showing his campaign manager smoking in a web video released Friday.

In the original Cain ad, his campaign manager, Mark Block, says: "We've run a campaign like nobody's ever seen. But then America's never seen a candidate like Herman Cain."

The daughters of the former Utah governor appear in their spoof against a brick wall wearing fake mustaches that resemble Block's. "We are shamelessly promoting our dad like no other candidate's family ever has. But then again, no one's ever seen like a trio like the Jon 2012 girls," says one of his daughters.

The Huffington Post's Amanda Terkel reported on their Twitter handle, @Jon2012Girls. "When is someone going to make a song about 9-9-9? We will start working on one. Get ready," read one tweet during a Republican debate, referencing Herman Cain's tax plan.

Block was banned from running Wisconsin political campaigns for three years, has faced accusations of voter suppression and has acknowledged that he was arrested twice for drunken driving.

Compare the original video, below, to the Huntsman daughters' spoof, above.

 

 SCRIPT

Mark Block here. Since January, I've had the privilege of being the chief of staff to Herman Cain, and chief operating officer of the Friends of Herman Cain.

Tomorrow is one day closer to the White House. I really believe that Herman Cain will put 'United' back in the United States of America, and if I didn't believe that, I wouldn't be here. We've run a campaign like nobody's ever seen. But, then, America's never seen a candidate like Herman Cain. We need you to get involved, because together we can do this. We can take this country back.

[CUT TO CLOSE UP OF BLOCK TAKING A DRAG FROM A CIGARETTE, THEN LINGERS AS HIS LIP TREMBLES.]

[CUT TO CLOSE UP OF CAIN ISSUING SIDELONG SMILE]

Paid for by Friends of Herman Cain.

Adele M. Stan is AlterNet's Washington correspondent. She also writes for the AFL-CIO blog.


Herman Cain Used Campaign Funds To Enrich Himself And His Associates!!! ....Oh....That's Right He's a Republican, Never Mind!

WASHINGTON -- Over the past several months, businessman Herman Cain has spent tens of thousands of dollars in campaign cash on his own books and pamphlets, multiple outlets reported on Tuesday. The money -- which went to Cain's company T.H.E New Voice -- represented a significant percentage of the total funds raised by his campaign.

Cain's use of his presidential campaign as a means of personal enrichment has already attracted the attention of watchdog groups, which find his behavior troubling. David Donnelly, national campaigns director of the Public Campaign Action Fund, argued that it could represent an Federal Election Commission violation, since Cain would personally profit by driving his book up the bestseller list.

But the move is still not particularly surprising. Cain may be the most flagrant abuser of the practice -- his schedule contains a relatively equal mix of campaign events and stops on his book tour -- but he is hardly the only one. In late September, the Washington Post reported that fellow Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich was intertwining his campaign activities with promotional stops for his and his wife's books.

Senator Scott Brown (R-Mass.), like Cain, petitioned the Federal Election Commission to determine whether or not he could use campaign funds to purchase "up to several thousand copies of the book to be used solely in campaign related activities." Tim Pawlenty, upon dropping out of the presidential race, tried to parlay his time on the campaign trail into a gig on Fox News. He was turned down.

If campaigns have the potential to become vehicles for candidates to advance themselves financially, far more often they serve as veritable bank accounts for associates or friends of those candidates.

 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


How Does Herman Cain's Book Get On The Bestseller Lists? He Buys Thousands Of Them!

It only takes between 25,000 to 50,000 books being sold to get on the best seller list.  So guess what. Yup, his books are selling like hotcakes...to himself:

Federal Election Commission records show that the former Godfather's Pizza executive paid more than $64,000 of his presidential campaign funds to HIS motivational speaking company, T.H.E. New Voice Inc., for copies of his own books, and for lodging, airfare, and resources, Bloomberg News reports. Cain's third-quarter filing reported his campaign as having spent $4 million through Sept. 30.

Previous rulings by the FEC have allowed candidates to use their campaign funds to buy their own books, as long as the purchase is at market value and the money goes to charity rather than to personal profit. But Bill Allison, editorial director at the Washington, D.C.-based Sunlight Foundation, told Bloomberg that Cain's case should raise some eyebrows.

"All candidates publish books and they offer them as a premiums to donors, but most candidates aren't buying them from their own companies," Allison said. "It raises the question of his campaign contributions ending up in his own pocket."

Shady financing, money going from one pocket to another for personal benefit AND cheating the system to climb up the bestsellers' chart? Yup, that's our leading Republican candidate for you.

 

The University of Southern California's Edward Kleinbard performs the thankless task of trying to figure out the actual impact of Herman Cain's 9-9-9 campaign slogan cum tax plan, and he comes up with the following. Warning: It gets a little complicated:

Now let's put the three taxes together. Starting with $100 of pretax firm-level gross income available to pay salaries, the employee receives $91 in wages, and the firm pays $9 in "business flat tax." The employee then pays $8.19 in "individual flat tax" (9 percent of $91.00). Finally, the employee incurs a $7.45 further tax (the sales tax, measured as 9 percent of $82.81 in post-flat tax cash available for consumption), leaving her with $75.36 after all federal taxes to invest or spend. That represents a 24.6 percent all-in tax on the firm's gross income attributable to the employee's added value. Converting the $24.64 in total tax to a payroll tax equivalent, by comparing that tax to the $91 in salary the employee receives, yields a payroll tax equivalent rate of 27 percent ($24.64/$91).

In other words, when you take a look at the actual effect of the three different parts of Cain's plan, they all act similarly to a flat payroll tax. And the three parts add up to 27 percent. This means that if you're an average worker who spends most of your paycheck each month (in other words, virtually all of us), you'll be paying 27 percent of your income in federal taxes under Cain's plan. This compares to a current federal tax burden of about 14 percent for an average family.

Bottom line: If you make, say, $50,000 a year, your current total federal tax burden is about $7,000. Under Herman Cain's plan, it would be about $13,000. Even if you tweak the numbers a bit to make up for different measurement methodologies, that's a big difference.

So here's Herman Cain's new slogan: If you want to double your federal taxes, vote for me! I know I'm not a conservative and can't really pretend to understand what conservatives want, but I'm pretty sure this is not a tea party winner.

Via Ezra Klein, who adds the obvious point that Cain's 9-9-9 plan isn't a real plan anyway; it's just a brief set of bullet points. Which is just another way of saying that it's a joke.

 


Herman Cain Has Extensive Ties To Powerful Koch Group

Herman Cains Ties
By RYAN J. FOLEY   10/16/11
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain has cast himself as the outsider, the pizza magnate with real-world experience who will bring fresh ideas to the nation's capital. But Cain's economic ideas, support and organization have close ties to two billionaire brothers who bankroll right-leaning causes through their group Americans for Prosperity.

Cain's campaign manager and a number of aides have worked for Americans for Prosperity, or AFP, the advocacy group founded with support from billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, which lobbies for lower taxes and less government regulation and spending. Cain credits a businessman who served on an AFP advisory board with helping devise his "9-9-9" plan to rewrite the nation's tax code. And his years of speaking at AFP events have given the businessman and radio host a network of loyal grassroots fans.

The once little-known businessman's political activities are getting fresh scrutiny these days since he soared to the top of some national polls.

His links to the Koch brothers could undercut his outsider, non-political image among tea party fans who detest politics as usual and candidates connected with the party machine.

AFP tapped Cain as the public face of its "Prosperity Expansion Project," and he traveled the country in 2005 and 2006 speaking to activists who were starting state-based AFP chapters from Wisconsin to Virginia. Through his AFP work he met Mark Block, a longtime Wisconsin Republican operative hired to lead that state's AFP chapter in 2005 as he rebounded from an earlier campaign scandal that derailed his career.

Block and Cain sometimes traveled together as they built up AFP: Cain was the charismatic speaker preaching the ills of big government; Block was the operative helping with nuts and bolts.

When President Barack Obama's election helped spawn the tea party, Cain was positioned to take advantage. He became a draw at growing AFP-backed rallies, impressing activists with a mix of humor and hard-hitting rhetoric against Obama's stimulus, health care and budget policies.

Block is now Cain's campaign manager. Other aides who had done AFP work were also brought on board.

Cain's spokeswoman Ellen Carmichael, who recently left the campaign, was an AFP coordinator in Louisiana. His campaign's outside law firm is representing AFP in a case challenging Wisconsin campaign finance regulations. At least six other current and former paid employees and consultants for Cain's campaign have worked for AFP in various capacities.

And Cain has credited Rich Lowrie, a Cleveland businessman who served on AFP's board of advisors from 2005 to 2008, with being a key economic adviser and with helping to develop his plan to cut the corporate tax rate to 9 percent, impose a national sales tax of 9 percent and set a flat income tax rate of 9 percent

"He's got a national network now that perhaps he wouldn't have had 15 or 20 years ago because of his work with AFP," said Republican Party of Wisconsin Vice Chair Brian Schimming, who has introduced Cain at events in Wisconsin. "For a presidential candidate, that's obviously helpful to have."

He said Cain was smart to hire Block.

Cain's recent victories in straw polls in Florida and Minnesota highlight the importance of organizing supporters and Block, who has a deep network in the tea party, "gets that side of it," Schimming said.

But Block has had his problems as well. He settled a suit in 2001 accusing him of illegally coordinating a Wisconsin Supreme Court justice's re-election with an outside group. Block agreed to pay $15,000 and sit out of politics for three years.

While Cain is quick to promote his career at the helm of the Godfather's Pizza chain, his ties to AFP aren't something the candidate appears eager to highlight.

His campaign did not respond to inquiries seeking comment, and Cain does not include his AFP work on his biography on his website.

But Cain continues to work with the group.

While several other candidates will be at an Iowa Republican Party dinner on Nov. 4, Cain is scheduled to be in Washington mingling with activists at AFP's annual "Defending the American Dream" summit. He is the only confirmed presidential candidate for the event.

AFP spokesman Levi Russell said Cain has spoken at dozens of AFP rallies and events over the years to support a number of the group's activities. AFP has often covered his travel expenses or paid a "pretty modest honorarium" but he has not been paid since becoming a presidential candidate, he said.

"He's a dynamic, pro-business speaker that connects well with our activists," Russell said. "AFP is a very large organization, and there is a natural overlap between Cain's message of fiscal responsibility and the basic principles that AFP advocates for."

A spokeswoman for the Koch brothers did not respond to The Associated Press's request for comment on Cain.

To some liberals, Cain's rise with the help of AFP shows the incredible influence that outside groups controlled by super-wealthy individuals with specific agendas can have on the political process.

"Herman Cain is the first presidential corporate spokes-candidate," said Scot Ross, a liberal activist who leads One Wisconsin Now, which has often mocked AFP as a front group for corporate interests. "The best way to have your issues talked about in the issue debate is to have a candidate in your pocket with snappy comebacks and easily branded policy papers which mask how destructive they would be."

AFP's agenda also includes weakening private and public sector unions, opposing environmental regulations and undoing Obama's health care reform law, among other policies. But before the tea party and Obama, Cain worked with AFP on more local issues.

In 2006, he campaigned all over Wisconsin in support of a proposed constitutional amendment that would have limited state government spending. A slew of officials and analysts said the plan would have ultimately devastated government services, and the Republican-controlled Legislature eventually backed off it.

In a statement announcing Cain's tour, AFP sent out a press release touting his "in-depth understanding of the battle to control out-of-control government taxes and spending." Block promised that Cain was a speaker that activists would not want to miss.

 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Cain's campaign staff say he wasn't an employee of the Tea Party group founded by David Koch. But he did have a desk and an email address at its headquarters.
 

As the New Yorker's Jane Mayer wrote earlier this week, members of Herman Cain's campaign staff are loath to discuss his longstanding ties to Americans for Prosperity and the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, the organizing groups founded by billionaire David Koch, about whom Mayer famously wrote a comprehensive profile last year. AlterNet, which began reporting on Cain's ties to Koch last June, has learned that Cain's work for AFP at one time had all the appearances of a staff position.

In Mayer's 2010 exposé, "
Covert Operations," she detailed the network of right-wing think tanks and organizations funded by David Koch and his brother Charles, principals in Koch Industries, the second-largest privately held company in the United States, according to Forbes.

Now, Mayer has turned her gaze to the ties between Koch and Cain, seeking to find out how much Cain earned from Americans for Prosperity and its foundation, and whether or not Cain has ever been considered an employee of either entity. She
writes
:

Earlier this week, I asked J. D. Gordon, communications director for Cain’s campaign, whether Cain was an employee of Americans for Prosperity. “No,” he said, “He’s not an employee.” I noted that I’d seen Cain speak at an Americans for Prosperity event in Austin, Texas in July 2010....Gordon acknowledged that Cain had received “speaking fees” from Americans for Prosperity. He said he would have to get back to me with details.

As far back as 2005 -- the year Americans for Prosperity was founded -- Cain was fronting the group's efforts to add chapters, as Think Progress reported earlier this month, and the Associated Press explored last weekend, with a campaign called the Prosperity Expansion Project. AlterNet has since learned that Cain was more than simply a cheerleader for the project; he had a mailing address and email address at Americans for Prosperity headquarters.

Here's a screen shot from the AFP Web site, of a 2005 page about the Prosperity Expansion Project (click
here to open the image a separate window
):

Now, the corporate types are famous for embracing employment models that exempt the people who work for them from the sort of benefits and workplace protections that come with being an actual "employee." Perhaps Herman Cain was just an "independent contractor" or a temp worker. If so, then his campaign would be technically correct in saying that he hasn't been on the payroll.

Truth be told, Cain may not have fared too badly as an independent contractor -- if that's indeed what he was -- for Americans for Prosperity and/or its foundation.

When Mayer began peeling back what appear to be layers of obfuscation, she found, listed on the organization's tax forms, payouts by Americans for Prosperity in excess of $120,000 in 2010 to the speakers bureau that books Cain. She also discovered unspecified payments of $50,000 - $100,000 listed on Cain's filing with the Federal Election Commission as fees paid to his company, New Voice, which,
Mayer writes, "he describes as a 'public speaking' and 'publishing' entity."

In June, when Herman Cain announced his presidential candidacy, AlterNet began
laying out Cain's relationship to AFP and its foundation, beginning with his campaign manager, Mark Block, the former director of the Wisconsin chapter of Americans for Prosperity, known as both a talented organizer and underhanded player in Wisconsin elections. As we noted in our June report, Block was fined $15,000 and banned from participating in Wisconsin politics for three years because of election-law violations he committed on behalf of a campaign he was managing for a state Supreme Court candidate.

It was Block who
recruited Cain, along with the Wall Street Journal's Stephen Moore, to front a Koch-linked operation, Prosperity 101, during the 2010 midterm election campaign. Cain claimed Prosperity 101 was the right's "answer to ACORN." (Among the other things Block busied himself with during the midterm campaign was a voter-suppression scheme in Milwaukee, detailed here in The Nation. As AlterNet reported
, at Block's direction, Americans For Prosperity did the initial mailing to voters that would form the basis of the vote-caging scheme, which was done in coordination with local Tea Party groups.)

After the campaign ended, and Block had helped elect Scott Walker to the governor's mansion and fill the Wisconsin state legislature with Tea Party-allied candidates, he recruited Herman Cain to run for president.

When pundits opine that Herman Cain "has no organization," it's only because the conventional-wisdom machine forbids looking behind the curtain labeled Koch. Herman Cain enjoys the favor of an organization that has chapters in 34 states: Americans for Prosperity. That should at least be enough to keep him in the GOP presidential nomination contest until the all-important primary in New Hampshire, where Americans for Prosperity has a very active chapter, is settled.

As we suggested in our earlier reporting, the likely purpose of a Cain candidacy is not to win the presidency. (And given Cain's recent remarks on abortion, in which he seemed to say he's unwilling to criminalize it, it's unlikely he can win the GOP nomination.) The likely purpose of his candidacy is to push former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the likely nominee, into adopting positions such as those favored by David Koch and Americans for Prosperity. In New Hampshire, Herman Cain may yet achieve that goal.

 


Cain 2012 Campaign

Excerpt from huffingtonpost.com Sepeculatron June 24, 2011

Herman Cain spent most of his week being pissily miffed at someone or another. He's apparently really getting sick of everyone asking about his stance on discriminating against Muslim-Americans on the grounds that there are other people in the world who adhere to quasi-Islamic terrorist death cults, and nobody of any other race or religion has ever threatened the U.S. government or its officials with violence.

I think it gets the attention it does because right now, Cain's one bonafide "plan" is to exclude Muslims from government. On all other matters, his "plan" is to "get some people" and "do some planning." Maybe once he does that, reporters will have a second Cain plan to talk about.

Cain's conniption fits aren't limited to reporters asking about one of the few remarkable features of his promised reign. He is
clearly mad that reporters keep writing down the words he says to people and subsequently going and telling other people the things he said, verbatim. He is, apparently, often "kidding" about the stuff he tells people -- except for the whole discriminating against a cross-section of American citizens.

Reporters, he says, are too "nitpicky." That's his word for it, by the way: "nitpicky." By pointing it out to you, we are the nitpickiest of nitpickers.

He's also decided to "
play the race card" against Jon Stewart, because Cain is the only political figure, apparently, that Stewart is not allowed to lampoon or criticize. Cain has said that he "does not care" about what Stewart says or does, but that all comes after a monologue where he works himself into a lather about it.

He should probably revisit his definition of caring or not caring about something. Here's a hint: When you "don't care" about "The Daily Show," you just say, "Oh, what they say about me on 'The Daily Show' doesn't matter to me."

For what it's worth, Cain is
also mad that Mitt Romney will be skipping a debate in Las Vegas, despite the fact that Mitt Romney has agreed to another debate in Las Vegas, anyway.

Want to know what Cain loves, though? Regulatory capture!
He loves nothing more than major industries being overseen by themselves
:

CAIN: The EPA is the biggest barrier to more permits, more drilling, more shale oil production. So I'm going to have a regulatory reduction commission that I'm going to appoint that's going to go in and determine how we make things move faster. Some regulations we need. I'm not anti-regulation. I'm just anti-too much regulation. And the people on this commission are going to be people who know something about coal, oil, shale oil, natural gas, and they will be people whose businesses or individuals who have been abused by the EPA. If you've been abused by the EPA like Shell Oil, I'm going to ask the CEO of Shell Oil would he like to be on this commission, and give me some recommendations. The people closest to the problem are the ones who can solve the problem.
The CEO of Shell Oil's first recommendation will be, "Let us poison the air and water with pollution, please." Then Cain will respond: "This will create jobs!"

The good news for Cain is that
pizza dudes who run for office are having a moment this week!

Herman Cain's Gay Staffer Cover-up

Herman Cain's gay staffer cover-up
AP
Herman Cain

While suing the campaign for unemployment benefits, Herman Cain's former Iowa straw poll coordinator says the campaign attempted to cover up the fact that they had a prominent gay staffer.

Kevin Hall, the former straw poll coordinator, was frustrated that Cain didn't spend enough time in Iowa in the run-up to the straw poll. He was also upset that the campaign was covering up their employment of Scott Toomey, Cain's PAC treasurer and a senior aide until May of this year, when the campaign told everyone Toomey was no longer with them. Which wasn't quite true.

The AP has the slightly complicated story:

Hall said he was not bothered by Toomey's background but aides knew it exposed Cain to charges of hypocrisy.

"A conservative candidate, Mr. Cain is on the record as stating that he believes homosexuality is a sin and a choice. And they know that, if his top adviser, his highly paid adviser, is openly gay that it would cast a negative light on Mr. Cain and would cost him in his efforts to become president," he testified. "Basically the campaign was trying to cover up the fact that Mr. Toomey was still involved. They asked ... me to help them cover up that fact."

[Cain spokeswoman Ellen] Carmichael said she's never spoken to Hall but acknowledged instructing [former Cain Iowa director Tina] Goff that Toomey "is no longer a staffer, which was the 100 percent truth." She said Toomey left the campaign's employment in May and he later did work through a consulting firm he formed. She said Toomey is no longer a Cain staffer or consultant but "his sexuality is not this campaign's business" and not the reason for his departure.

Hall testified that campaign manager Mark Block told him June 29 the campaign would conceal Toomey's continued employment by paying his newly-formed consulting firm so his name would not show up in disclosure filings. Filings with the Federal Election Commission show Toomey, of Chicago, was last paid salary from the campaign June 13. The Soarin' Group, which Hall testified was Toomey's firm, started receiving payments the same month.

The campaign seems to have decided to disassociate itself with Toomey because of the gay thing (or because of the "hypocrisy"), and not because of the fact that Toomey has a history of financial shenanigans. While treasurer of the Madison Pride Board, Toomney failed to pay bills and didn't report "financial discrepancies." When Madison Pride canned him, he moved to Florida and eventually declared bankruptcy, with $20,000 in legal judgments against his promotional company. The Cain campaign distanced itself from Toomey but continued paying him to work for them, which indicates more of a problem with him than with his work history.

Herman Cain did explicitly say that while a Herman Cain administration will discriminate against Muslims, he would have no problem hiring a qualified gay person. But he will apparently also hire gay people with questionable qualifications and then fake-fire them while keeping them secretly employed in order to not upset anti-gay people, too. That's true leadership.

Also for a while there a top Herman Cain staffer was also a former organizer of the Madison Pride Parade, what a world.

 


Do You Get The Feeling That Cain-Mania Has Peaked?

After taking off like a rocket in the campaign season's first GOP debate in South Carolina, Herman Cain has not done much to sustain the momentum, turning in two non-notable debate performances right as Michele Bachmann and Mitt Romney got into the fray in earnest. His light has not shone as bright, what once looked original now plays like campaign schtick, and it all ended in a rather lackluster performance in the Ames Straw Poll, where Cain finished fifth behind Bachmann, Paul, Pawlenty, and Santorum.

The brave face that Cain is putting on all of this is that he is now "
Mr. Fifth Place, Hooray!" As Cain enthused to Fox News' Martha McCallum: "I will finish at number five in Iowa -- that's right where we want to be....If we finish in the top five in New Hampshire, Martha, we will be ecstatic, because we're gonna put the same type of on the ground effort in New Hampshire that we did in Iowa, and we're also working South Carolina simultaneously."

We're not sure if Cain realizes that twin fifth place finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire in January are the sort of results that put you out of the presidential race for good. The good news, though, is in the recent Magellan poll in New Hampshire, Cain is sitting in fifth place.
With 3% of the vote. Tied with Jon Huntsman. That, combined with fourteen bucks, will get you some Godfather's Pizza, and that's about it. (Though there is a possibility that Cain gets an employee discount.)

With his candidacy stuck in a rut, we suppose it's not surprising that this week, just to garner some amount of buzz,
Cain decided to start gibbering incoherently about maybe, you know, impeaching President Barack Obama, because it's not like anyone has anything better to do. "It would be a great thing to do," Cain said. But why do it? Oh, you know, the health care mandate...uhm...he's not defending the Defense of Marriage Act...and, you know, junk. This obviously makes a ton of sense: everyone who opposes gay marriage should definitely impeach a president who...also...doesn't support gay marriage.

Well, you know, Cain really needs some attention from somebody for something, so there you go. Still, for a guy who constantly talks about how the smartest way to address America's myriad concerns is to "first make sure you're working on the right problem," this doesn't make much sense.

Still, fifth place, woo.

 


Excerpts from an article on alternet.org by Adele M. Stan June 7, 2011

GOP Hopeful Herman Cain: David Koch's Stalking Horse?

What goes unremarked in profiles of Herman Cain is his connection to the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, the organization founded by David Koch.
 
Photo Credit: A.M. Stan

For Mark Block, chief of staff for GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain, it's been a good couple of weeks. In fact, it's been a good couple of years -- years Block spent at the helm of the Wisconsin chapter of Americans for Prosperity, where he helped win election for the likes of Gov. Scott Walker and Sen. Ron Johnson.

When, after those and other successful efforts, Block left AFP in December to run the quixotic presidential campaign of a former fast-food magnate, political wags were scratching their heads. But to those at the top of the Americans for Prosperity heap, Block's charge to run Cain's campaign may just be his most important job yet. For if Cain does well enough in the GOP primaries to win more than a handful of delegates to the Republican National Convention next year, he could hold significant sway over the party platform, forcing the nominated candidate to run on the Koch agenda.

Despite the guffaws that greeted Cain's entry into the presidential arena, Block's candidate is ascendant in the polls, even gleaning a flattering profile this week in the New York Times, a newspaper that people on Block's side of the fence sometimes refer to as Pravda (the defunct state-run paper of the Soviet Union). With his pugilistic sound bites, business background, neo-libertarian pronouncements, and anomalous status as African American amid the ranks of the Tea Partiers, Cain has captured media attention. Most recently, Cain made waves when Think Progress quoted him telling an audience in Iowa, where the religious right holds sway in the Republican presidential caucuses, that he wouldn't hesitate to appoint an openly gay person to his cabinet "because they're not going to try to put sharia law in our laws."

What goes unremarked in such profiles is Cain's connection to the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, the organization founded (with its sibling organization, Americans for Prosperity) by David Koch, and chaired by Koch himself. Until he signed on as Cain's campaign manager last December, Block was state director for the Wisconsin chapter of Americans for Prosperity.

Not only is Cain a frequent speaker at AFP Foundation events, he was also, by his own account, tapped by Block to be one of the faces of Prosperity 101, a workplace seminar program, designed for employers to present to their employees at "voluntary" workplace gatherings where they are told that the legislative initiatives typically embraced by Democrats -- health-care reform, energy reform, higher taxes for the wealthiest Americans -- could so hurt their employers as to force layoffs. The program was set in motion during the lead-up to the 2010 elections. (AlterNet, working in collaboration with the Investigative Fund at the Nation Institute, published an expose on Prosperity 101 last week.)

Not long after Block sold Cain on Prosperity 101, Block was on a roll. At a February 2010 Tea Party rally in Sheboygan (video), Block told the audience that he wouldn't be satisfied until membership in the Wisconsin AFP chapter equaled the membership of the state teachers union, the Wisconsin Education Association Council. Indeed, the membership numbers for his AFP chapter were moving upward, and the 2010 midterm elections were looking competitive for a number of candidates who had earned the favor of Americans for Prosperity: gubernatorial contender Scott Walker, U.S. Senate candidate Ron Johnson, and House of Representatives hopefuls Sean Duffy and Reid Ribble. All of these candidates went on to win their races, with Johnson, despite a notable absence of charisma, defeating long-time Sen. Russell Feingold, and Scott Walker going into the annals of Wisconsin history for having ignited 18 days of protest at the state capitol in Madison when he pushed a virulently anti-union bill through the state legislature in the guise of "budget repair."

Dirty Pool

Block is, without a doubt, a hard worker, but he's known not to rely solely on the rewards of an honest day's labor. As Walker's gubernatorial campaign unfolded, Block was revealed to be one of the powers behind a scheme to suppress the vote in two Milwaukee congressional districts with the help of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, then chaired by Reince Priebus (who went on to become chairman of the Republican National Committee).

In late 2010, the liberal advocacy group, One Wisconsin Now, caught a Tea Party organizer on tape discussing Block's role in a vote-caging scheme apparently designed to suppress voter turnout in two Milwaukee districts that are heavily populated by college students and African Americans.

Vote-caging is a technique whereby registered voters are sent letters marked "do not forward" so letters that are undeliverable at the residence to which they're addressed bounce back to the sender. The returned letters are then used by the sender to challenge the votes of those individuals at her or his polling place, meaning that person can only vote on a provisional ballot. The letters were sent by Block's Americans for Prosperity chapter, many to dormitory addresses in August -- a time when students would likely be between dorm assignments.

At first, Block denied any involvement in the scheme, until Tim Dake of the Tea Party group, Grandsons of Liberty, told the Milwaukee Sentinel that he had personally spoken to Block about it. Block then conceded that AFP had done the mailing, but said they had abandoned the effort when too few letters were returned.

The 2010 vote-caging scheme hardly marks Block's first game of dirty politics. In fact, his first day at Americans for Prosperity marked the expiration of a four-year ban on political campaign involvement imposed on him by a Wisconsin court for his illegal activity in a 2001 election.

Then, Block's triumph as campaign manager for Judge Jon Wilcox's successful run for state Supreme Court was tempered by a $15,000 fine for illegally using an outside group, the Wisconsin Citizens for Voter Participation, to conduct campaign activities.

The Wisconsin Prosperity Network

In right-wing circles, one will hear talk, from time to time, of the "Colorado model" -- the means by which liberals and progressives began to turn Colorado from a red state to a blue state in 2004. The model involves wealthy donors who fund "independent expenditure" television ads against the positions of an opposing candidate, and the building of an infrastructure of progressive organizations that facilitates coalition organizing. In 2008, Wisconsin progressives embarked on a similar course, delivering their swing state for Barack Obama.

Not to be outdone, the Wisconsin chapter of Americans for Prosperity hatched its own alliance in 2009 called the Wisconsin Prosperity Network, which came to life as a sort of coalition-in-a-box. With an estimated startup pot of $6.4 million, the initial plan called for the instant creation of 14 new entities that would work together with the Wisconsin chapter of Americans for Prosperity.

When a leaked PowerPoint presentation, obtained by One Wisconsin Now, found its way into the hands of the Wisconsin State Journal, Block conceded to reporter Mark Pitsch that he was the network's "main organizer." Among the new entities created for the network is the MacIver Institute, a right-wing think tank, on whose board sits Scott Jensen, a former state assembly speaker now facing trial for using taxpayer funds for personal expenses.

A major proponent of Scott Walker's union-busting bill, the Wisconsin Prosperity Network sponsored, with Americans for Prosperity, a "Stand With Walker" campaign during the days of protests earlier this year -- busing in Tea Partiers to rallies, and launching TV advertisements, Web sites and petitions.

During the protests, MacIver was exposed for misrepresenting one of its allies as a progressive activist, releasing a video in which a purported protester said a labor-allied doctor was writing fraudulent sick-day excuses for protesting workers. That "protester," according to karoli, a blogger at the liberal Web site Crooks and Liars, turned out to be video producer Christian Hartsock, who made his name working with James O'Keefe on the discredited video that was used to fatally smear the community organizing group, ACORN.

The Answer to ACORN

At last year's RightOnline conference, an event sponsored by the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, Wisconsin Prosperity Network executive director Linda Hansen unveiled before a roomful of activists at a Las Vegas hotel her latest project, Prosperity 101, the employer-sponsored workplace seminar program that advances the Koch agenda to nervous workers. On hand for the presentation was Herman Cain, along with Wall Street Journal Web columnist John Fund, whose colleague, editorial board member Stephen Moore, is, with Cain, a spokesperson for the program.

"A key component of Prosperity 101 is working with employers to help them encourage voter registration among their employees," Hansen explained to the crowd. "So when Herman [Cain] first heard the concept here, he said, 'You've come up with the answer to ACORN!'"

Cain, during his presentation, piped up, "when [Hansen] first came to me with Mark Block to explain the concept, I said, ‘This is fantastic!'"

When I tried to learn more about the Prosperity 101 program -- which is used by two of the top 50 privately held corporations in the U.S.: Menard Inc. and Reinhart FoodService, a division of Reyes Holdings -- my emails to Hansen went unanswered. When I told a member of the Americans for Prosperity staff that I couldn't get through to Hansen, she suggested I talk to Mark Block, who did not return my call or respond to my email.

As chance would have it, I ran into Block last February in the lobby of the Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, D.C., site of the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, at which Cain delivered a well-received speech. When I asked him for a few words about Prosperity 101, Block told me I'd have to talk with the people who were organizing it. When I said I had been directed to him by Americans for Prosperity, he looked down at his BlackBerry and walked away.

A Stalking Horse?

Go to the issues page of the Herman Cain for President Web site, and you'll find an agenda not unlike that of Americans for Prosperity -- in fact, almost exactly like that of Americans for Prosperity (save for military might, and "faith and family," items on which AFP does not appear to take a position). At the centerpiece of Cain's platform, according to the New York Times, is a 23-percent flat consumption tax, which Cain would implement in place of the federal income tax. Here's a page from the Illinois AFP chapter site that opines for just such a flat-tax scheme as advanced by the Wall Street Journal's Stephen Moore, Cain's partner in the AFP-linked Prosperity 101 employee-indoctrination program.

Later this week, Cain is scheduled to speak at an AFP event in New York, where he is expected to inveigh against the carbon-trading scheme known as cap-and-trade that is part of the Obama energy plan and one of AFP's pet peeves. (Koch Industries' core business is in the gas and oil sector.)

When Cain's presidential candidacy was launched, it's likely that his AFP-linked backers never expected he would win the GOP presidential nomination, but that he would make an effective messenger for pushing the party further to the Koch positions. As it looks now, Cain could do even better than that, given the weak GOP presidential field. With each contest in primary season, contenders win delegates to the national convention, where the party platform is laid. Cain will likely do well in New Hampshire -- he could even win the state, as Patrick J. Buchanan did with his populist rhetoric in 1996. And with that win, and strong showings in a few other states, the Buchananites won control of the GOP platform, causing the legitimate candidate, Bob Dole, to run on a platform he could hardly stomach.

That may have lost the GOP the election, but it distilled the party into an even more right-wing body by the time it was George W. Bush's turn to bear the party standard. When the history of the 2016 presidential campaign is written, the role of Herman Cain and his consigliare, Mark Block, may prove to have been, to borrow a word from Cain -- "impactful."


Excerpts from an article by Andy Kroll on motherjones.com Mon May. 23, 2011

Herman Cain's Enron-esque Disaster

The story the GOP presidential candidate won't tell you about his years in corporate America.

What GOP presidential contender Herman Cain lacks in political experience, he likes to say, he makes up for with decades' worth of success in corporate America. He climbed the corporate ladder at the Pillsbury Company, chaired the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, and rescued the failing Godfather's Pizza franchise. That business-centric message has won Cain his share of admirers: a focus group convened after a recent Fox News presidential debate overwhelmingly declared Cain the winner.

"I think that over 40 years of business experience is resonating a lot more with people than simply having political experience," he said on a recent Iowa visit. "Knowing how Washington works isn't necessarily an advantage. As a businessman going in, I don’t want to know how Washington works. I want to change Washington D.C. and so by not knowing how it is supposed to work I can ask tough questions that will help change the culture."

Cain clearly believes that his pro-business message is what GOP voters want to hear. So much so, in fact, that on Saturday he officially unveiled his candidacy for the 2012 GOP nomination. But scrubbed from Cain's official story is his long tenure as a director at a Midwest energy corporation named Aquila that, like the infamous Enron Corporation, recklessly dove into the wild west of energy trading and speculation—and ultimately screwed its employees out of tens of millions of dollars.

According to five lawsuits filed in federal court in 2004, Aquila's board of directors—which Cain joined in 1992—allegedly steered employees into heavily investing their retirement savings in company stock. At the same time, the company shifted its business model from straightforward energy generation to risky energy trading, an unregulated market made infamous by now-defunct Enron. The suits, later folded into a single, massive class action (PDF), alleged that Cain and top company officials violated a 37-year-old federal law requiring that employers manage employees retirement programs responsibly. (Cain's presidential exploratory committee did not respond to a request for comment.)

Founded in 1917 as Green Light and Power, Aquila traditionally made its money operating electric and gas plants and selling the energy they produced. In the years after Cain joined the board, Aquila's earnings climbed, from $254 million in 1995 to $351 million in 1998. Then, in early 1999, the company's leadership decided running power plants wasn't lucrative enough; energy trading and speculation had grown popular, and as the class suit lays out, Aquila wanted a piece of the action.

It was a dangerous move—as a company spokesman later put it, "the risk was huge." In the end, it proved disastrous. Aquila's decision to join Enron, Reliant Energy, and the other heavy-hitters in the energy trading markets would ultimately wipe out 94 percent of Aquila's stock value between 1999 and 2004. The company also faced criticism for using some of the same trading tricks that Enron did as a way to puff up its stock price, the lawsuit says. That included using "roundtrip" trades, a scheme in which Aquila would sell a trading partner some energy and then that partner would sell the same amount back to Aquila, a deal that canceled itself out. In the end, nothing actually changed hands. But it boosted Aquila's trading volume and revenue, sending a positive signal to the markets. The company also engaged in megawatt laundering, or "ricochet" trading, the lawsuit alleges. In such transactions, Aquila and other companies would buy energy from California at a lower capped price, move that energy out of the state, then re-sell it back to California at a higher price for a tidy profit.

But this financial trickery couldn't save a listing ship. In 2002, Aquila teetered on the brink of collapse. And for Aquila's employees, the result of the company's foray into energy trading was devastating: The company's employee retirement fund, overseen by the board of directors, lost more than $200 million in 2002. The reason: At the same time Aquila's executives and directors were investing more and more in highly risky energy speculation, they were selling their employees on the conservative nature of Aquila and pushing them to invest their retirement savings in company stock.

For years, the lawsuit says, executives urged employees in company speeches to reinvest in Aquila, lauded those who did so as "Aquila partners," and even offered a 15 percent discount to buy company stock. Executives and board members also made it more difficult to sell off company stock by implementing lock-up periods, during which employees couldn't cash in their holdings. At the end of 2000, 85 percent of Aquila employees owned common stock in the company. What's more, 60 percent of the employees' retirement fund consisted of Aquila stock—even though financial experts say that total should never be more than 10 to 20 percent.

The spectacular failure of Aquila's trading venture practically wiped out the hard-earned retirement savings of veteran employees. Richard Itteilag, a plaintiff in the Aquila class action, lost 87 percent of his savings. Robert Goodson, a 20-year Aquila employee, lost 75 percent. Michael Reinhardt lost a staggering 94 percent. All told, thousands of employees saw their retirement funds eviscerated thanks to Aquila's Enron-esque activities. (In 2007, Aquila settled with the employees for $10.5 million. Not long after, Aquila merged with other Midwestern energy companies and now no longer operates as Aquila.)

Cain served on the board of directors throughout Aquila's ill-fated trading misadventure and the subsequent collapse of the company's retirement fund. In fact, he chaired the board's compensation committee, which, according to the lawsuit, had direct oversight of the push to get employees to invest more and more in Aquila stock. As chair of the compensation committee, Cain also saw fit to dole out $30 million in bonuses, not including stock options, to the top five execs at Aquila in 2002, with the company's stock plummeting. A month after the Kansas City Star reported on the hefty bonuses in July 2002, the company laid off 500 employees, and the losses to employees holding company stock had reached hundreds of millions of dollars.

As a board member, Cain would've had direct knowledge of Aquila's activities, says Fred Taylor Isquith, a New York attorney who litigated the employee class action. Asked if it was fair to place blame on Cain for the debacle at Aquila, Isquith replied, "Yes, I believe it is."

Andy Kroll is a reporter at Mother Jones.


Excerpts from an article first posted in motherjones.com by Tim Murphy on May 25, 2011

Herman Cain's Muslim Problem

On Tuesday, GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain dropped by Glenn Beck's radio program to argue that his previous promise to not appoint any Muslims to his Cabinet had been "misconstrued." As he put it: "I did not say that I would not have them in my cabinet. If you look at my career, I have hired good people regardless of race, religion, sex gender, orientation, and this kind of thing."

Cain's position now is that only radical Muslims would be prohibited from serving in his administration. That sounds reasonable. Except he told Laura Ingraham in April that he's never met a Muslim who didn't fit his definition of a radical—and in the same interview, alleged that Rep. Keith Ellison (D–Minn.), who's Muslim, has pledged his loyalty to Allah, not the Constitution. But even if Cain's original statement, and subsequent defenses of it, were misconstrued, he still hasn't adequately explained the rest of what he told Think Progress back in April.

When asked for examples of the "creeping attempt...to gradually ease" Islamic sharia law into the American judicial system he explained:

One judge did it up in New Jersey, and ruled in a case. Then last week we heard about a judge down in was it Texas? It might have been Texas where a judge said there was a dispute in a mosque and he was gonna consider 'eclesiastical' law in his deliberations, because of a dispute that was going on inside a mosque. This is the United States of America. Just because it's going on inside a mosque doesnt mean you execute the laws based on what's going on in the [mosque]."

Cain is right: This is the United States of America. But everything else here is inaccurate. In the civil case in question—which was in Florida, not Texas—the judge (a Republican) ruled that he was going to use "ecclesiastical" law because both parties had agreed, per their mutually agreed-upon contract, to settle their dispute through ecclesiastical Islamic law, in the form of a Muslim arbitrator. That's totally normal; Christians and Jews also take advantage of independent arbitrators to settle disputes. If the government were to ban the use of such forums, it would mark a dramatic encroachment on the First Amendment's freedom of religion—I'm fairly certain that Herman Cain doesn't want to run for President on the platform of restricting Christians' free speech rights. The actual trial, the judge noted, would be conducted according to Florida civil law; he was simply assessing whether the arbitration process had been handled properly.

Anyone can make a gaffe, which is how Cain is spinning his "no Muslims" comment. But the more serious problem isn't that Cain misspoke; it's that he has taken an extreme, unconstitutional position based on a conspiracy theory that could have been debunked in 30 seconds.

 


WHO IS HERMAN CAIN?

Herman Cain was born December 13, 1945 and is an American businessman, political activist, columnist, and radio host from Georgia. He is best known as the former chairman and CEO of Godfather's Pizza. He is a former deputy chairman (1992–94) and chairman (1995–96) of the civilian board of directors to the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Before his business and economics career he worked as a mathematician in ballistics for the United States Navy. Cain's newspaper column is distributed by North Star Writers Group. He lives in the Atlanta suburbs.

In January 2011, Cain announced he had formed an exploratory committee for a potential presidential campaign for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, and on May 21, 2011, Cain officially announced his candidacy.

Background

Cain was born in Memphis, Tennessee on December 13, 1945, the son of Lenora (née Davis) and Luther Cain, Jr. His mother was a cleaner and his father was a chauffeur. He was raised in Georgia. He graduated from Morehouse College in 1967 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics and received a Master of Science degree in computer science from Purdue University in 1971, while he was also working full-time in ballistics for the U.S. Department of the Navy. Cain has authored four books: Leadership is Common Sense (1997), Speak as a Leader (1999), CEO of SELF (October 2001), and They Think You're Stupid (May 2005).

Business Career

After completing his master's degree from Purdue, Cain left the Department of the Navy and began working for The Coca-Cola Company as a business analyst. In 1977, he joined Pillsbury where he rose to the position of vice president by the early 1980s. He left his executive post to work for Burger King – a Pillsbury subsidiary at the time – managing 400 stores in the Philadelphia area. Under Cain's leadership, his region went from the least profitable for Burger King to the most profitable in three years. This prompted Pillsbury to appoint him president and CEO of Godfather's Pizza, another of their then-subsidiaries. Within 14 months, Cain had returned Godfather's to profitability. In 1988, Cain and a group of investors bought Godfather's from Pillsbury. Cain continued as CEO until 1996, when he resigned to become CEO of the National Restaurant Association – a trade group and lobby organization for the restaurant industry – where he had previously been chairman concurrently with his role at Godfather's.

Cain became a member of the board of directors to the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City in 1992 and served as its chairman from January 1995 to August 1996, when he resigned to become active in national politics. Cain was a 1996 recipient of the Horatio Alger Award.

Media Work

Cain hosted The Herman Cain Show on Atlanta talk radio station News Talk 750 WSB, a Cox Radio affiliate until February 2011 and serves as a commentator for Fox Business and a syndicated columnist distributed by the North Star Writers Group. In 2009, Cain founded "Hermanator's Intelligent Thinkers Movement" (HITM), aimed at organizing 100,000 activists in every congressional district in the United States in support of a strong national defense, the FairTax, tax cuts, energy independence, capping government spending, and Restructuring Social Security.

Political Activities

Role in the defeat of the Clinton health care plan

Cain publicly opposed the 1993/1994 health care plan of President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. While president-elect of the National Restaurant Association he challenged Bill Clinton on the costs of the employer mandate contained within the bill, criticizing its effect on small businesses. Cain has been described as one of the primary "saboteurs" of the plan:

The Clintons would later blame "Harry and Louise," the fictional couple in the ads aired by the insurance industry, for undermining health reform. But the real saboteurs are named Herman and John. Herman Cain is the president of Godfather's Pizza and president-elect of the National Restaurant Association. An articulate black entrepreneur, Cain transformed the debate when he challenged Clinton at a town meeting in Kansas City, Mo.,

1996 Senior Adviser of Dole/Kemp Campaign

Cain was a senior economic adviser to the Dole/ Kemp presidential campaign in 1996.

2004 U.S. Senate candidacy

In 2004, Cain ran for the U.S. Senate in Georgia, pursuing the seat that came open with the retirement of Democrat Zell Miller. Cain sought the Republican nomination, facing congressmen Johnny Isakson and Mac Collins in the primary. Cain and Collins both hoped to deny Isakson a majority on primary day in order to force him into a runoff. Collins tried to paint Cain as a moderate, citing Cain's support for affirmative action programs, while Cain argued that he was a conservative, noting that he opposed the legality of abortion even in cases of rape and incest. Cain finished second in the primary with 26.2% of the vote, ahead of Collins, who won 20.6%, but because Isakson won 53.2% of the vote, Isakson was able to avoid a runoff.

2012 presidential candidacy

In 2010, "Cain addressed more than 40 Tea Party rallies, hit all the early presidential states, and became a YouTube sensation.. In April, he teased the audience at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference about his being a possible 2012 presidential candidate by saying that there may be a "dark horse candidate." On September 24, 2010, Cain announced that he was considering a run for president in 2012 on the Republican Party ticket. "In December, he was the surprise choice for 2012 GOP nominee in a reader poll on the conservative Web site RedState.com, narrowly edging out Palin."

Cain announced the formation of a presidential exploratory committee on January 12, 2011 on the Fox News Channel program Your World with Neil Cavuto.

Cain supports a non-federally subsidized efficient economic stimulus, saying: "We could grow this economy faster if we had bolder, more direct stimulus policies," criticizing President Barack Obama's stimulus plan as simply a "spending bill" instead of meaningful stimulus through permanent tax cuts.

In December 2010, Jonah Goldberg of the National Review wrote of Cain: "it’s hard to imagine him amounting to more than an exciting also-ran."

In February 2011, Cain addressed the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Ed Morrisey of the conservative website Hot Air said he "stole the show" and that some attendees were moved to tears by the speech. In contrast, liberal website AlterNet accused Cain of pandering to white conservatives and referred to him and other black conservatives as "garbage pail kids". Cain called the news website's attacks racist and condemned its "shameful behavior".

Following a number of comments made by Cain regarding his attitudes toward Muslim people, he was asked in March 2011 if he would feel comfortable appointing a Muslim to his administration or as a Judge. Cain said "No, I will not ... There's this creeping attempt, there's this attempt, to gradually ease Shariah Law, and the Muslim faith into our government. It does not belong in our government" and he went on to cite court cases in Oklahoma and New Jersey as evidence. This led to criticisms of "bigotry" and "muslim bashing" from CAIR, whose spokesperson stated "It would be laughable if it weren't having such a negative impact on the lives of Muslim Americans".

On May 5, 2011 Fox News presented a presidential campaign debate. Cain was one of five potential candidates who participated. (The others were Tim Pawlenty, Ron Paul, Gary E. Johnson and Rick Santorum as the higher-profile candidates declined Fox's invitation.) Cain was declared the winner by pollster Frank Luntz after a show of hands among 29 debate witnesses who were chosen by Fox to act as a post-performance focus group.

Political Positions

Economic

Cain believes economic growth can be achieved by implementing policies that emphasize less legislation, less regulation, lower taxes, and business friendly policies in other words the same policies that dropped the US into the recession its in.

Taxes

Cain supports lowering the corporate tax rates from 35 to 25 percent, eliminating the capital gains tax, and suspending taxes on repatriated foreign profits. He also supports elimination of the estate tax.

Fair Tax

Cain is a strong supporter of the Fair Tax, which would replace all federal personal and corporate income taxes with a national consumption tax. A consumption tax taxes the middle class and poor since the Rich don't spend nerely as much per capita.

Bank bailouts

Cain supported the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) bank bailouts as a way to save the economy, viewing it as an investment opportunity for the taxpayers. In a 2008 editorial, Cain wrote, "Owning a part of the major banks in America is not a bad thing. We could make a profit while solving a problem.". In May 2011, regarding his TARP support, Cain said "I don’t have any regrets".... "I studied the situation. I didn’t have trouble with the idea; I had trouble with its implementation, picking winners and losers."

Federal Reserve

In early 2011, Cain stated on his radio show that there was no need for an audit of the Federal Reserve (Cain objected to auditing the Federal Reserve in 2010 while hosting the Neal Boortz show). Cain has clarified, however, that while such an audit is not a high priority for him, neither does he object to it.

Gold standard

Cain announced his support of the gold standard on a radio program in late 2010:

"Yes I believe in the gold standard. We should have never gotten off the gold standard because when we got off the gold standard, that then allowed Congress to inflate our currency whenever they overspent. Now look at the mess that we have."

Welfare

In an interview with Christianity Today, Cain stated, "Programs today are designed to make people more dependent rather than less dependent."

Social Security

Cain favors a position of reforming the current system, but not privatizing it.

Religion

In an interview with Christianity Today, Cain declared he would not consider appointing an individual of Muslim faith to a presidential cabinet or to a federal court. "No, I will not", he said. "And here’s why. There is this creeping attempt, there is this attempt to gradually ease Sharia law and the Muslim faith into our government. It does not belong in our government. This is what happened in Europe. And little by little, to try and be politically correct, they made this little change, they made this little change. And now they’ve got a social problem that they don’t know what to do with hardly."

Abortion

Cain is pro-life and opposes abortion. He believes that life begins at conception. He favors defunding Planned Parenthood.

Education

Cain believes that education is vital to success and favors performance incentives for teachers. Cain also favors vouchers and charter school systems.

Energy and the Environment

Cain favors offshore drilling and favors drilling in ANWR. He favors allowing consumers to choose alternative energy sources such as solar and wind through the private market instead of the government dictating who will be the economic winners and losers.

Health Care

Cain favors repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Cain favors allowing the free market to play the largest role in health care.

Immigration

Cain believes that the US-Mexico border must be secured. He believes in allowing illegal immigrants living in the US to go through the traditional citizenship process.

Marriage

Cain believes that marriage is between a man and a woman and is against legalizing same-sex marriage. He supports the Defense of Marriage Act

Supreme Court Justices

Cain favors appointed Justices that would abide by the Constitution and not make any rules. He has expressed support for Justice Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.

Second Amendment

He believes that any gun permit law must be dealt with at the state level.

Foreign Policy

Israel

He supports Israel and believes that the US should aid Israel in defending itself. After President Obama said that the starting point of negotiations for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians should be based on the 1967 borders, Cain said, "I was shocked at the president’s position, and I was equally shocked that he would unilaterally suggest that Israel would move the borders back which they acquired 44 years ago. This president threw Israel under the bus, there is no way around it. It demonstrates once again the arrogant disregard of this president for the opinion of the American people who like the relationship we have with Israel, and for Israel having the right to make its own decisions."

Iran

Cain favors a diplomatic approach to nuclear disarmament. He believes that Iran is a threat to Israel.

North Korea

Cain opposes any form of appeasement to the US's enemies. He believes that the number one priority for the US is to keep its citizens safe.

Russia

Cain opposed the New START treaty because he believes that the US gave up too much.

Personal Life

Cancer

In 2006, Cain was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer in both his colon and his liver. Cain underwent surgery and chemotherapy following the diagnosis, and has since reported that he is cancer-free.

Race

Cain has shared first-hand accounts of racial discrimination. In a YouTube video uploaded by his campaign, he describes the experience of sitting behind the white/black demarcation on buses. He also talks about the experience of taking turns with his brother, standing watch as each took a drink from the "white" side of a segregated water fountain in a department store.

In this video, Cain explains that he does not embrace the concept of the "African-American". He says, "When people try to label me, I very quickly point out that I am an American first, black second, and I'm a conservative. So, I'm an ABC."


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