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Iowa radio host’s comments lead to more Cain harassment scrutiny

The national media remains abuzz with discussions of sexual harassment allegations made previously against presidential candidate Herman Cain and it now seems Cain may have acted in a manner that resulted in women at a Des Moines radio station feeling uncomfortable.

Politico broke the story of the transgressions that allegedly took place while Cain served as the head of the National Restaurant Association, and has been following developments in the story closely throughout the week. The situation has intensified for Cain because he has continued to make statements that are contradictory and has remembered new details of which he previously said he had no knowledge.

Steve Deace

A follow-up story filed Wednesday by Politico reporter Jonathan Martin relies heavily on comments from Iowa conservative radio host Steve Deace. The Politico sought out Deace due to remarks made by Mark Block, Cain’s campaign manager, about a radio receptionist believing Cain had made inappropriate comments. For his part, Deace admits to being critical of Cain, but said he has kept his criticism focused on policy differences and has chosen to keep his other thoughts to himself.

From Politico:

… “Like awkward/inappropriate things he’s said to two females on my staff, that the fact the guy’s wife is never around…that’s almost always a warning flag to me,” Deace wrote. “But I chose to leave that stuff out [of the opinion piece] and make it about his record and not the personal stuff.”

Pressed about what exactly Cain said to the employees of his show, Deace responded by describing how he himself treats his staff.

“Many a man has been done in by the inability to control his urges,” Deace wrote. “I am no different and just as vulnerable as any other man, which is why I put safeguards around me and hold myself accountable to my wife and other men in my life. Especially since I have very talented employees that happen to be women. I go out of my way to treat them like my sisters. For example, I wouldn’t tell them or any other woman I am not married to nor related to how pretty she is.” …

Since the news was broken about the earlier incidents, which resulted in settlements and gag orders, several in the GOP — including Karl Rove — have said Cain should press the National Restaurant to let the women involved to tell their side of the story. An attorney for one of the two women who filed complaints has asked the organization to lift his client’s gag order and allow her to speak. Specifically the attorney believes his client has a right to respond to Cain’s assertion that the allegations were “totally baseless and totally false.”

Also on Wednesday, reporters Jack Gillum and Stephen Ohlemacher with The Associated Press broke news that a third woman, an employee at the National Restaurant Association, also considered filing a complaint against Cain for “aggressive and unwanted behavior.”

… The employee described in conversations with the AP over several days situations in which she said Cain told her that he had confided to colleagues how attractive she was and invited her to his corporate apartment outside work.

His actions “were inappropriate, and it made me feel uncomfortable,” she said. …

Cain’s campaign continues to maintain its candidate’s innocence and has referred to continued questions about the previous incidents as an ongoing “smear campaign” launched by the national media. During one interview, Cain said he believes a person that formerly worked for his Senate campaign, Curt Anderson, who is now a supporter and consultant for Texas Gov. Rick Perry, gave the information to Politico. The accusation is one that Anderson and the Perry campaign has denied.

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