Focus Falls On Women in Cain Scandal
A woman who settled a sexual harassment claim against Herman Cain when he was head of the National Restaurant Association later filed a complaint in her next job about unfair treatment.
Karen Kraushaar, a former NRA spokeswoman who lodged a harassment claim against Cain in 1999, filed a complaint two or three years later when she was working as a spokesperson for the Immigration and Naturalization Service, according to the Associated Press. The claim, which did not include a specific sexual harassment complaint, argued that she should have been allowed to work at home after she suffered a serious car accident and also accused a manager of circulating a sexually charged email among staff.
Her lawyer, Joel Bennett, told the AP he wouldn't comment on the complaint because it was handled internally by the INS.
Kraushaar, who now works as a spokeswoman at the Treasury Department, is the second woman to step forward publicly to accuse Cain of sexual harassment, though she has yet to detail exactly what her claims were against the Republican presidential candidate.
She and Bennett are working to organize a joint press conference among the three other women who have accused Cain of sexual misconduct.
Kraushaar, who received a $45,000 payout from the NRA in response to her complaint against Cain, told ABC News that Cain could be described as a "monster."
Cain, in a press conference yesterday, again denied he had harassed anyone, insisting the allegations aired in the media, "simply did not happen."
"I have never acted inappropriately with anyone, period," Cain declared.
Yesterday, his campaign began to target Sharon Bialek, a former NRA education fund worker who was the first to publicly accuse Cain of harassment. His campaign released a press release revealing she had previously filed for bankruptcy and was the defendant in several lawsuits over the years, including one over a "paternity matter."
The campaign also began running Google ads tied to Bialek's name, headlined "Get past the allegations and lies." The ads linked to an opposition research dump the Cain campaign released on Bialek Tuesday.
A source familiar with the ad buy told Yahoo News the Cain campaign began running the ads timed with his press conference yesterday and not only show up when readers search Bialek's name but also with the search term "Herman Cain scandal."
The campaign is also running display and mobile ads through Google that read "Bypass the Media Filter" and link to his campaign site. It wasn't immediately clear how much Cain's ad buy was worth. The source told Yahoo News Cain purchased his ad space through an "auction."
At his news conference Tuesday, Cain repeatedly insisted he doesn't recall meeting Bialek and described her as a "troubled" woman.
But Cain's campaign continued to struggle to contain the controversy. Both Cain and his chief of staff, Mark Block, continued to imply their campaign is a target of a Democratic and media conspiracy—though their evidence didn't always withstand scrutiny.
In an interview with Fox News's Sean Hannity, Block said the campaign had "confirmed" that Kraushaar was related to a reporter at Politico, which first reported the sexual harassment allegations against Cain almost two weeks ago.
"We've confirmed he does indeed work at Politico, and that's his mother, yes," Block told Hannity.
Block appeared to be referring to Josh Kraushaar, a former political reporter for Politico who left the publication in June 2010 to work for National Journal's Hotline. But he said in a message on Twitter that he's not related to Cain's accuser.