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November 8th, 2011

Questions (and Answers) About the Herman Cain/Sharon Bialek Accusations

Sharon Bialek is claiming she was physically groped. Why didn’t she report this sexual assault to police?

To a lot of people who aren’t familiar with the law, sexual assault means rape, or forced intercourse. Not everyone understands, perhaps including Herman Cain, that forced sexual touching is also sexual assault.

Why didn’t she report this incident to he National Restaurant Association?

You mean the same NRA that had just let her go? The one that didn’t actually employ her anymore? What were they going to do? According to other accusers, even for current employees, the answer to that question is that they were going to treat the accusers poorly and sweep it all under the rug as quickly as possible.

Don’t you find it suspicious that this new accuser is from CHICAGO?

Ah, yes, Chicago. You know, the nation’s third most populous city? Where millions of people live? Come on, people. I know Barack Obama and his cohorts are from Chicago, but they don’t actually control the minds of every person living in the greater Chicago metropolitan area. Especially registered Republicans. I have several friends who live in the Chicago are who are very conservative. Besides, if there really was some Obama or Chicago Democrat Machine connection, I’m guessing Gloria Allred wouldn’t have mentioned that the accuser is from Chicago five different times in her introduction. Where she’s from means nothing.

Gloria Allred. ‘Nough said.

True, Gloria Allred wouldn’t be my first choice either. But just because Allred is involved doesn’t make the accusations false. Allred also represented a woman who was the target of disgraced former (Democrat) Congressman Anthony Weiner’s wildly inappropriate tweets. So, it’s not like she just goes after Republicans.

So to all the Cain defenders/Allred haters out there, ask yourselves this: Were you jumping all over Gloria Allred’s case during Wienergate? Or were you too busy berating Anthony Weiner for his wrongdoing and his lying to the American public to cover it up? (And if the irony of that didn’t strike you immediately, you are a Cain supporter who needs to seriously take a step back and get some perspective).

But don’t you know that the accuser is just in it for the money?

Really? What money? Allred was very clear that they are not filing suit over these matters. She also made it clear that the accuser could have very easily sold her story to the highest bidding tabloid, but chose not to do so. I’m already seeing conspiracy theorists commenting on news stories that she’s probably secretly getting paid by George Soros or someone like him. Don’t you think that would be pretty obvious if this woman went out and bought a mansion tomorrow, or any time in the next few years for that matter? If she’s making this up, she’s subjecting herself to HUGE legal liability, and Herman Cain could sue and take away any profits she made off of her defamatory, untrue allegations.

The Cain campaign is already making noise that Bialek has had financial difficulties in the past, but so what? What matters is whether she is out to make money from this now, and the answer to that question seems to be no. However, this would be the place to point out that sexual predators often prey on particularly vulnerable women, and so when she came to Cain out of work and pleading for help in finding a job, it fits the profile of a perpetrator seeking a victim.

Why didn’t she come out with these allegations in 2000 when Herman Cain ran for president or 2004 when he ran for U.S. Senate in Georgia?

Um, maybe because nobody knew Herman Cain was running for president in 2000, and very few people in any state other than Georgia knew that Cain ran in a primary race for the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate (and lost, not even making it to the general election) in 2004. Seriously, people? Can you honestly tell me the names of the candidates who sought the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate from Oregon in 2002? (Note: Oregon residents are excluded from this contest, though I suspect most of them don’t know the answer either). So, how can you expect an average resident of Chicago to know about Herman Cain’s two previous bids for elected office thousands of miles away that never went anywhere and fizzled out quickly?

Why now?

Maybe because she found out after fourteen years of wondering that this was not an isolated incident and she is not alone. But, unlike the other women who claim they were sexually harassed by Herman Cain and have been too fearful to come forward, it appears that Sharon Bialek, a stay-at-home mom, doesn’t have to fear losing her job by coming forward. It’s also interesting that Bialek has ties to some media organizations though her employment after this incident. Perhaps this made her feel more comfortable coming forward and dealing with the media now.

Why do I tend to believe her?

Because she was willing to come forward and subject herself to scrutiny.

And also because of the details she provided. You can bet your britches that every reporter in the DC metro is working their sources to try to find the hotel receipt in which Herman Cain paid for a hotel room upgrade at the Hilton in July of 1997, or at the very least, some sort of business record showing that Bialek stayed in a suite, when her boyfriend, who reserved the room, only reserved and paid for a standard room.

I’ve even heard some question the fact that Bialek remembers exactly what she was wearing at the time of this alleged incident. These people seem to think that this precise memory indicates she is lying. That goes against common sense. Do you remember where you were and what you were doing on 9/11/01 when you saw the plane hit the towers? The point is that, when a traumatic event happens, you tend to remember details that you might not normally remember. These memories make even more sense in this case. Most women who are victims of sexual assault at some point second guess themselves and ask themselves if anything they did, such as what they were wearing, would have made a difference in this situation. Bialek’s memories of these details strengthens her credibility.

Frankly, even the restaurant or bar receipt would back up her story. I don’t know many married men who would take an attractive woman other than his wife out to cocktails and dinner one-on-one without bringing along a third party for accountability’s sake, especially when that attractive woman is basically a stranger… unless, of course, he doesn’t want any accountability. This is especially true for someone like Cain, who claims to be a devout Christian (heck, he’s even a pastor). Even without the groping accusations, it appears that Cain very likely crossed a moral boundary, if not a legal one.

However, the fact is that the allegation is of conduct that constitutes both criminal sexual assault and quid pro quo sexual harassment. It’s not good enough for Cain to issue a blanket denial as has had done yet again regarding these latest allegations. Specific allegations demand a specific response.

Sure, I think we can all agree that he’s denying that he assaulted her. But, is Cain denying that he knows this woman? Is he denying that they had dinner? Is he denying that they rode in his car together? Is he denying that he upgraded her hotel room at the Capitol Hilton in July of 1997?

“End of story” is just not good enough, Mr. Cain. You are being accused of grossly abusing your power, which is not an attractive character trait for the leader of the free world. The people have a right to answers, and you need to provide them.

Mr. Cain needs to authorize this hotel and/or his credit card company to release any information that may exist that would corroborate or dispel these accusations.

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About the Author

Craig Robinson
Craig Robinson is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a political news and commentary site he launched in March of 2009. Robinson’s political analysis is respected across party lines, which has allowed him to build a good rapport with journalist across the country. Robinson has also been featured on Iowa Public Television’s Iowa Press, ABC’s This Week, and other local television and radio programs. Campaign’s & Elections Magazine recognized Robinson as one of the top influencers of the 2012 Iowa Caucuses. A 2013 Politico article sited Robinson and as the “premier example” of Republican operatives across the country starting up their own political news sites. His website has been repeatedly praised as the best political blog in Iowa by the Washington Post, and in January of 2015, Politico included him on the list of local reporters that matter in the early presidential states. Robinson got his first taste of Iowa politics in 1999 while serving as Steve Forbes’ southeast Iowa field coordinator where he was responsible for organizing 27 Iowa counties. In 2007, Robinson served as the Political Director of the Republican Party of Iowa where he was responsible for organizing the 2007 Iowa Straw Poll and the 2008 First-in-the-Nation Iowa Caucuses. Following the caucuses, he created his own political news and commentary site, Robinson is also the President of Global Intermediate, a national mail and political communications firm with offices in West Des Moines, Iowa, and Washington, D.C. Robinson utilizes his fundraising and communications background to service Global’s growing client roster with digital and print marketing. Robinson is a native of Goose Lake, Iowa, and a 1999 graduate of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, where he earned degrees in history and political science. Robinson lives in Ankeny, Iowa, with his wife, Amanda, and son, Luke. He is an active member of the Lutheran Church of Hope.

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