Herman Cain has said there is no other “shoe to drop,” but an attorney for a second woman who apparently signed a confidentiality agreement sealing whatever happened between the two, said she may be able to legally break her silence because Cain has spoken out. Stacy McCain at The Other McCain is reporting this morning that one of the accusers has interviewed with the Wall Street Journal. This woman is not the women we have heard was the “same height” as Cain’s wife. This is the ‘other’ woman. The agreement said that neither party was allowed to make disparaging remarks about the other. Cain reportedly told a television morning show that the accuser’s work “was not up to par,” and the woman’s attorney is saying there was more than one incident of sexual harassment. Read the story at The Hill.
UPDATE: 10:40 pm CDT: The New York Times Caucus Blog reports at 5:09 pm EDT today (11-2-11) that the woman considering coming forward (one of the two in the original story) will not do so. She fears becoming “another Anita Hill.” That definitely would be a terrible thing to be compared to. In fact, I made the comparison in my first story on the Cain accusers. HOWEVER, her attorney may do plenty of talking. Joel P. Bennett says “everything will be through me.” Bennett is asking the National Restaurant Association to release his client from the confidentiality agreement, so that he can speak, while she remains anonymous.
The Hill quotes an article from The New York Times giving more details concerning the woman who Cain said was the “same height” as his wife. This appears to be that article:
The National Restaurant Association gave $35,000 — a year’s salary — in severance pay to a female staff member in the late 1990s after an encounter with Herman Cain, its chief executive at the time, made her uncomfortable working there, three people with direct knowledge of the payment said on Tuesday.
The woman was one of two whose accusations of sexual harassment by Mr. Cain, now a Republican candidate for president, led to paid severance agreements during his 1996-99 tenure at the association. Disclosure of the scale of the severance further challenged his initial description of the matter as a “witch hunt,” as did new descriptions from the woman’s friends and colleagues of her level of discomfort at work.
And I say, let’s hear the whole story — the sooner, the better — directly from the accuser. No more “sources say.” No more anonymity.
No more vague second-hand descriptions that can neither be wholly believed nor entirely refuted. That the accused is a man very much in the public eye, while the accuser is concealed behind a rampart of anonymity, is grossly unfair both to Cain and to the American people. Until the identity of the accusers is made public, and the full account of their accusations can be heard and evaluated, we have no way of judging the credibility of the charges or severity of the alleged offenses.
Earlier this week, McCain writing at American Spectator talked about political leaks:
The natural suspicion with any such story is that someone was shopping around opposition research, the dossiers of negative material that campaigns routinely compile on their rivals. Yet those who push “oppo” to reporters are generally careful to do so in ways that don’t leave their campaign’s fingerprints, especially on a story as explosive as this one….
Indeed, it is politics, where long-ago complaints by former employees can be dredged up and turned into a scandal reported hourly by the cable news networks.
Stacy also points to how the media ignored the comments of a NRA executive who defended Cain and a certain MSNBC talking-head who congratulated Politico on their unsubstantiated hit piece. Read that story here – and find the link to the WSJ interview.
Cain is in a bad place, even assuming he is not guilty. His only option was to speak or not. We could see that he struggled to say as little as possible, but the media forced it, and perhaps he did not have sound legal advice. On the night the news broke, attorney Ann Coulter advised Cain not to say anything without his attorney. He failed to follow her wise counsel. Perhaps this was the leaker’s plan all along. So, I’m with Stacy. Let’s hear it, and let all sides defend themselves.