The Cain campaign’s pushback against Sharon Bialek began in earnest with this press release, which lays out Sharon Bialek’s financial and judicial history. Essentially, she has been a defendant in several proceedings and has filed for bankruptcy twice. The press release also asks three questions:
The questions should be – who is financing her legal team, have any media agreed to pay for her story, and has she been offered employment for taking these actions?
So far there isn’t an answer to her first question, other than Gloria Allred saying on Fox this morning that she isn’t being paid to represent Bialek. Allred also noted that she represented one of former Rep. Anthony Weiner’s recreational twitpic recipients, to deflect charges that she is working with Bialek to mount a political assassination on Cain’s character because he is a Republican. Bialek has also said that no media are paying her, which could obviously be true now but change later. There’s no indication yet that she is getting any job offers out of coming forward, and honestly, what sort of job offers could she expect to get? One friend, anonymously, describes Bialek as a “gold digger” who would do anything to live an affluent life without having to work. Similar things were said about Paula Jones during her case against Bill Clinton, for what it’s worth.
Radio host Amy Jacobson has corroborated Bialek’s claim to have had a conversation with Cain a month ago at a Chicago Tea Party event. But Jacobson says the conversation appeared to be friendly, even flirtatious.
The Cain press release does state that Bialek’s accusations are “patently false” but doesn’t get into the specifics of the hotel room upgrade, the dinner or any of the other details. Perhaps Cain will address those specifics this afternoon, when he goes before the press at 5 PM eastern in Phoenix.
Update: Another of Cain’s accusers is anonymous no more. She is the client for whom lawyer Joel C. Bennett issued a brief statement on Friday.
Karen Kraushaar, a 55-year-old former journalist and seasoned government spokeswoman who served on the front lines of the Elian Gonzalez custody battle, is a competitive equestrian and lover of golden retrievers. She has been married for more than two decades.
“She wouldn’t be the type to make false allegations,” brother-in-law Ned Kraushaar, a Georgia software consultant, told The Daily. “This happened [more than] 10 years ago. It’s not like she wanted to try and hurt the Republican Party.”
Karen Kraushaar currently serves as a communications director at the Inspector General’s Office of the Treasury Department, a position she has held since last year. She did not return phone messages left by The Daily.
She is “an extraordinarily good person,” said Jennie Williams, a friend and Atlanta equestrian. “She is very reliable and has lots of integrity. I don’t know what happened. I don’t want to know. Enough is enough. She is quality.”
A former colleague at the National Restaurant Association who asked not to be identified said of Kraushaar, “The woman is a consummate professional. What I saw was an extremely talented woman. A professional, knowledgeable woman and nothing more.”
So that’s two accusers on the record now, plus Chris Wilson, the consultant who said he saw things years ago in Cain’s behavior toward women that he expected would turn up during Cain’s run for the presidency.
Update: And then there’s this allegation, that Cain tried arranging a dinner with a young female who asked him a question at a forum.
Donna Donella, 40, of Arlington, said the USAID paid Cain to deliver a speech to businessmen and women in Egypt in 2002, during which an Egyptian businesswoman in her 30s asked Cain a question.
“And after the seminar was over,” Donella told The Washington Examiner, “Cain came over to me and a colleague and said, ‘Could you put me in touch with that lovely young lady who asked the question, so I can give her a more thorough answer over dinner?'”
Donella, who no longer works for USAID, said they were suspicious of Cain’s motives and declined to set up the date. Cain responded, “Then you and I can have dinner.” That’s when two female colleagues intervened and suggested they all go to dinner together, Donella said.
Cain exhibited no inappropriate sexual behavior during the dinner, though he did order two $400 bottles of wine and stuck the women with the bill, she said.
The next time the women heard from Cain was Christmas, when he sent them his gospel CD.