The story of Herman Cain, alleged serial sexual harasser, began with Politico’s story about an unnamed woman who had settled a claim against Cain with the National Restaurant Association. She now has a name, Karen Kraushaar, and two character witnesses, both of whom were her supervisors while she worked at the INS. One of the witnesses is on the record, the other is anonymous. On the record, Maria Cardona says Kraushaar was an ideal employee. Problem: Cardona has worked at the DNC and has an obvious political motive to say nice things about Kraushaar while Kraushaar is criticizing a Republican.
One reason Kraushaar has been reluctant to come forward publicly, she told Cardona, is that “she can’t stomach forming the words to talk about what happened to her.”
Kraushaar worked under Cardona at the INS and was sent to Miami to handle the media during coverage of the deportation of young Cuban immigrant Elian Gonzalez.
“Karen was the ideal employee,” Cardona said. “In my opinion, her credibility is beyond reproach. She was the utmost professional, one of the hardest working individuals I have ever known … the consummate team player.”
Cardona is a CNN contributor. She needs to be asked on the air if she had anything to do with getting the original story to Politico’s attention. If you’re a media savvy liberal pushing a story that you want to keep your fingerprints off of, taking it to a rival but ideologically similar outlet makes sense.
Anonymously, another supervisor from Kraushaar’s time at the INS says she was a huge pain in the backside with a poor work ethic. But this supervisor may have been the target of one of Kraushaar’s workplace complaints, and this person hasn’t put their name on the line yet.
Kraushaar was injured in a car accident at an intersection in late 2002. After the accident, Kraushaar asked to be allowed to work from home. She filed the complaint when her repeated requests to work at home were denied, according to a former supervisor. The former supervisor told ABC News that Kraushaar wanted a “large payout” of tens of thousands of dollars, a year-long fellowship at Harvard, a raise and the reinstatement of sick leave.
Kraushaar, now 55, told the Associated Press she considered the complaint “relatively minor” and she later dropped it. “The concern was that there may have been discrimination on the job and that I was being treated unfairly,” said Kraushaar, who also said she did not remember the specifics of her demands in the complaint. Bennett told the AP he could not comment on the complaint because it was confidential.
Kraushaar eventually dropped the complaint, but the appearance it creates is one of a worker who sought use an accident that had nothing to do with her job to generate a payout to not work (“poor work ethic”). Perhaps the precedent set at the NRA gave her the idea to go for the gold at the INS? Does Kraushaar have a history of filing lame complaints? Her lawyer wouldn’t directly answer that question when asked. It is obviously relevant to her character; most workers go through an entire career without ever filing any workplace grievances at all, let alone two within a couple of years.
Meanwhile Sharon Bialek has a history, and it’s a very questionable one, according to veteran CBS reporter Bill Kurtis. He remembers her from when she worked at CBS in Chicago. He even says that though Bialek and Cain may have been in a car together at some point, “their roles may have been reversed.” Take a listen.
Kurtis has no obvious motive to lie about this, and if he was caught lying about it, his career is over and his reputation is forever tarnished. So it’s safe to say that he’s telling what he knows to be the truth.
For what it’s worth, and I honestly have no idea how much this is worth, an investigator ran both Cain’s and Bialek’s press conference statements through lie detector software. This isn’t your traditional lie detector with the armbands and headband, it’s an expensive computer program that analyzes voices. The investigator says that the software says Cain is telling the truth, and Bialek isn’t.
Ward said the $15,000 software can detect lies in people’s voices.
CBS Atlanta’s Mike Paluska played Cain’s speech for Ward into the software and watched as it analyzed Cain’s every word.
If he is hiding something this thing would have spiked way down here,” said Ward. “He is being truthful, totally truthful. He is a man with integrity and he talked directly about not knowing any incident he is accused of.”
The software analyzes the stress level and other factors in your voice. During the speech, when Cain denied the claims, the lie detector read “low risk.” According to Ward, that means Cain is telling the truth.
During the section of Bialek’s news conference where she says, “He suddenly reached over put his hand on my leg under my skirt and reached for my genitals he also grabbed my head brought it towards his crotch.”
During the analysis of that section the software said “high risk statement.” Ward said that means she is not telling the truth about what happened.
“I don’t think she is fabricating her meetings,” said Ward. But, she is fabricating what transpired.”
Put that last line up against what Bill Kurtis said about the roles possibly being reversed. And then take a look at how Ann Coulter frames the arc of Obama’s career — he has repeatedly benefited when his enemies got buzzsawed by scurrilous innuendo. And yes, Bialek did live in the same building as David Axelrod, which establishes Democratic connections to both of Herman Cain’s named accusers. Kraushaar is connected to Maria Cardona the CNN contributor and former DNC worker, and Bialek was David Axelrod’s neighbor. Where there’s smoke, right? But then there’s the question, if the Democrats really are behind this, why now?
And if the Democrats really did do this, it’s the most diabolical political hit in America since, well, Jack Ryan. Hmph.
Aside: The story about the lie detector software says nearly 70 law enforcement agencies use it in their investigations. According to this FBI website, there are about 17,000 law enforcement agencies in the US. So well over 16,000 agencies don’t use it for one reason or another.
Before we all get too carried away proclaiming Cain’s innocence, there’s still the matter of the other unnamed accusers from the NRA. Remember, there were three accusers, two who got settlements and one who didn’t end up filing a complaint. Kraushaar, the “ideal employee” with the “poor work ethic,” is one of the three. And there’s still the whatevers that former NRA pollster Chris Wilson says he saw.
So we have a story that’s about as messy as a story can possibly be, and the Cain camp hasn’t helped themselves out of it with their serial baseless accusations against Curt Anderson and a former Politico reporter. But campaign manager Mark Block is keeping his job anyway.