Herb Cain’s advances on women at the National Restaurant Association appear to have made them more than ‘uncomfortable’ or could be passed off as teasing’ one of the women about her height. His absolute refusal to address the specific charges dooms whatever chance he ever had of making it out of the political minor leagues, if not his new career as a published author.
Karen Kraushaar, who quit her job over advances by Cain is the devastating finale. I don’t know Ms. Kraushaar , but I do know that people in these types of Washington positions don’t accuse colleagues and leave jobs over a minor incident. Ms. Karushaar, a government relations representative for the Association, was one of two women who walked away with a settlement from the NRA.
Role of Trade Association?
Cain was the honorary President of the National Restaurant Association, and presumably a member of its board before that. In most trade associations, the board and officers are chosen from the ranks of its members. But day-t0-day operations are handled by a paid professional staff.
Although a bit far-fetched, it actually is possible that the executives of the National Restaurant Association sought to save Cain embarrassment and get rid of a couple of ‘problems’ without his full knowledge. Either way, the question lingers: what culpability has the Association’s paid CEO or other executive staff? At least one of the woman charging unfair treatment claimed the staff of the Association became hostile to her after she reported an incident with Cain.
While this is a secondary consideration in the Cain affair, by bailing him out twice, the Association points to a culture of acceptance for out-of-bounds behavior at NRA conventions and conferences where ‘wining and dining’ are plentiful. Didn’t anyone of the other officers or legal counsel sit down with Cain and tell him to stop?