Cain Campaign Goes After Accuser

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Nov. 8 2011 12:20 PM

Cain Campaign Goes After Accuser

Since this whole email from the Cain campaign made me shake my head and spit out liquids (happily, just water, and none of it on my computer), I share it all with you. Not endorsing -- quite the opposite! But it's interesting to see that the Cain campaign's response to the story is the one used effectively to shut down accusers in the past. Ad hominem. Attack the motives. Exploit the hatred out there for Gloria Allred.

Who is Sharon Bialek?

As Ms. Sharon Bialek has placed herself in the public spotlight through making patently false allegations against Herman Cain, it is only fair to compare her track record alongside Mr. Cain’s.

In stark contrast to Mr. Cain’s four decades spent climbing the corporate ladder rising to the level of CEO at multiple successful business enterprises, Ms. Bialek has taken a far different path.

The fact is that Ms. Bialek has had a long and troubled history, from the courts to personal finances – which may help explain why she has come forward 14 years after an alleged incident with Mr. Cain, powered by celebrity attorney and long term Democrat donor Gloria Allred.

In the courts, Ms. Bialek has had a lengthy record in the Cook County Court system over various civil lawsuits. The following cases on file in Cook County are:

  • ·         2000-M1-707461 Defendant against Broadcare Management
  • ·         2000-M1-714398 Defendant in lawsuit against Broadcare Management
  • ·         2000-M1-701522 Defendant in lawsuit against Broadcare Management
  • ·         2005-M1-111072 Defendant in lawsuit against Mr. Mark Beatovic.
  • ·         2007-M1-189176 Defendant in lawsuit against Midland Funding.
  • ·         2009-M1-158826 Defendant in lawsuit against Illinois Lending.

Ms. Bialek was also sued in 1999 over a paternity matter according to ABC 7 Chicago (WLS-TV).  Source: WLS-TV, November 7, 2011

In personal finances, PACER (Federal Court) records show that Ms. Bialek has filed for bankruptcy in the Northern District of Illinois bankruptcy court in 1991 and 2001. The respective case numbers according to the PACER system are 1:01-bk-22664 and 1:91-bk-23273.

Ms. Bialek has worked for nine employers over the last seventeen years. Source: WLS-TV, November 7, 2011

Curiously, if Ms. Bialek had intended to take legal action, the statute of limitations would have passed a decade ago. 

Which brings up the question of why she would make such reprehensible statements now?

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?

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A couple of problems, starting from the bottom. First, while a goose chase to find out if media have "agreed to pay" for her story sounds fun, Bialek gave the details at an open press conference at the Friar's Club, then set out for TV interviews on CNN and other networks -- networks that don't pay for stories. The Gennifer Flowers attack doesn't work; no tabloid bought this.

Second, Bialek is not suing. She is not paying Allred, who lives on media attention, not on bread alone. The question of who's "financing her legal team" has been asked and answered, unless Allred has decided to blow her credibility by lying.

It's important that the Cain campaign has nothing new. It was blindsided, even though third parties have confirmed that Cain ran into Bialek again this year, as she said. Here's another case where the campaign was prepped to deal with something Cain couldn't have ruled out happening.

Oh -- and it's been three days since Cain said he was done talking about the story.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. You can reach him at daveweigel@gmail.com, or tweet at him @daveweigel.