Skip to comments.Cain campaign launches internal investigation
Posted on 11/01/2011 6:58:43 PM PDT by smoothsailing
November 1, 2011
For GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain, the questions far outnumber the answers.
Mark Block, chief of staff for the Cain campaign, announced the campaign was hiring an investigator to check out claims that a private Wisconsin-based firm owned and run by Block and his No. 2 picked up the tab for as much as $40,000 in campaign expenses for the Cain campaign earlier this year.
"We've retained independent counsel to look at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story and report back to us," Block said Tuesday at a Washington, D.C., media event.
A reporter for ABC News continued to pursue the issue, asking the former Wisconsin political operative a couple of follow-up questions, including one about his role in the matter.
"Why don't we talk about the campaign going forward?" Block asked.
That's not the only question he ducked.
Block, the 57-year-old former head of the state chapter of Americans for Prosperity, didn't respond to calls and emails from the Journal Sentinel asking for the name of the investigator and whether Block or Linda Hansen, Cain's deputy chief of staff, played a role in selecting the individual.
Also, the Journal Sentinel asked about Cain's statements Monday that he was in the dark on the issue.
Speaking to Fox News, the former CEO of Godfather's Pizza said, "I'm not aware of this report, so my staff has not had time to go through it."
"We will take a look at it," Cain said. "But at this point, I didn't even know about the report until you brought it up on the show."
Yet No Quarter first contacted Block and Hansen on this topic in the summer, and Block was provided a series of questions and all relevant documents last week.
He responded then by saying he would eventually provide a response, something he still has not done.
Not surprisingly, Cain's team has used the controversy over this and sexual harassment allegations to try to raise money for his surprisingly strong presidential run.
"Friends, I need your support now more than ever," said an email solicitation Monday from Cain. "As I establish myself as the GOP front-runner, my family and I will be the target of many negative, false attacks.
"Will you stand with me? If so, please show your support by making a generous contribution to my campaign today."
Block told reporters that his boss' campaign had received more than $250,000 in donations Monday.
"It was one of our best fundraising days ever," Block said Tuesday in Washington, suggesting that he thought Cain's message was resonating with people across the country.
Earlier this week, the Journal Sentinel reported thatProsperity USA - which billed itself as a tax-exempt nonprofit - helped get the Cain campaign off the ground by paying tens of thousands of dollars for such items as iPads, chartered flights and other travel expenses earlier this year.
Cain began accepting campaign donations on Jan. 1 and officially declared his candidacy in early May, according to federal election filings.
Internal documents said Prosperity USA, which was owned and run by Block and Hansen, believed it was owed $40,000 by FOH, a reference to Friends of Herman Cain, in February and March.
In addition, sources told the Journal Sentinel that Prosperity USA paid about $100,000 to the Congress of Racial Equality shortly before Cain was the featured speaker at an awards dinner in mid-January.
It is not known whether Cain's election fund eventually paid back Prosperity USA, which now appears defunct. The candidate's federal records make no mention of the debt, and the figures in the documents don't match payments made by the Cain campaign.
Election law experts were in agreement this week that the situation raises serious tax and election law problems for Prosperity USA and the Cain campaign.
"It does appear to be problematic if all these transactions occurred and none of it is showing up in (Cain's) reports," campaign finance lawyer Larry Noble told theLos Angeles Times. "It's illegal not to report something, and the contribution could be illegal."
Lawrence Norton, a former general counsel at the Federal Election Commission, was even more blunt.
"It looks like a law school exam on potential campaign finance violations," Norton said, according to The Washington Post. "Many of these payments would be prohibited contributions under federal election law."
It looks like it’s Cain’s turn to wear the bullseye. The Communists are on a roll. Hell, we don’t need primaries. The communist party is weeding out the field for us. The Kenyan sure is lucky that he’s a communist too. He couldn’t have survived one day of this kind of BS.
Cain is going have to sort through his feces before he flushes, in order to avoid this degree of scrutiny
At least nobody was drunk /s
OK maybe I’m wrong but my understanding is the campaign finance laws only apply to candidates after they become a candidate. Before that hes not a candidate. So how can activity months before he filed and announced as a candidate be a violation of such laws?
I was one of the donors on Monday. The purpose of the attacks is to plant seeds of doubt and lower the level of support for his campaign.
Once again, let’s assume Block and Hanson did nothing wrong, and Cain was not involved.
The one thing that sticks out to me, because again it is the sign of a candidate who can’t run a campaign staff, is that on Monday, Cain said he knew nothing of the report, but his campaign chairman had the full report a week earlier.
Now, why would the campaign chair keep the candidate in the dark about something as serious as this allegation? Wouldn’t you want to discuss it at least enough that the candidate knows what we are talking about?
Or maybe that’s just how Cain chooses to run things — staying above the fray and paying little attention to the details. He does seem to have a bit of uncuriousity about a lot of things that I would expect him to want to know about.
Just saying it’s rather obvious these “campaign finance laws” are a ridiculous waste of time. We’re talking about failure to list something in reports, and this is being treated as a capital crime.
The MSM is merely a PR effort run out of the basement of the DNC in D.C. for all intents and purposes. Noise.
Seriously, that guy is bad news and Cain should dump him.
He started accepting donations in January.
staying above the fray and paying little attention to the details.
Could be. Wonder if this was his CEO style?
Cain did not announce his candidacy until the about the end of May.
Everything before that was exploratory committee kind of stuff, and they aren’t subject to the same restrictions as is an actual candidate. This makes sense in that they don’t know if they have the support to actually run for the presidency.
The stuff in this article is about January, February, and March....all in the period BEFORE Cain announced.
The people giving money to you at that time are not “campaign donors” since there is no campaign yet. They are the troops that found the campaign, and of necessity, these things start small and then grow. That’s common sense.
Otherwise we’re saying that only extremely wealthy people or those with a multitude of backers at the beginning are eligible to run.
$40,000??? Is this a joke? What about the MILLIONS IN FOREIGN CASH Obama received in 2008 that was never investigated?
I can certainly understand delegation.
No man can manage all the minutia, but there are cracks appearing as to overlooking serious details in the campaign.
We should certainly accept your assumptions of no wrongdoing. That being said, Block is looking like more of a headache to Cain than he’s worth, IMO. I think I’d find a way to ease him out.
I’m begining to worry about how often in Cain threads someone compares him to Obama. I think we should stop that.
Just last week the mantra was “Let Block be Block.”
Thank you for presenting the FACTS.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.