Cain faces questions about campaign financing

AP News

10/31/2011 6:55:21 PM - AP News

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain has asked a lawyer to investigate possible improper financial arrangements between a charity and his campaign.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Monday that Cain, who is also dealing with sexual harassment allegations from the 1990s, allowed a tax-exempt charity to illegally provide money to help Cain's campaign get started.

The charity, Prosperity USA, was founded by Cain's chief of staff, Mark Block, and his deputy chief of staff, Linda Hansen.

According to the Journal Sentinel report, the organization provided about $40,000 in goods and services to the campaign as it was getting started earlier this year. That's not allowed under campaign finance law.

Cain's campaign said it would investigate whether the payments were allowed.

"As with any suggestions of this type, we have asked outside counsel to investigate the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's suggestions and may comment, if appropriate, when that review is completed," Block said in an e-mailed statement.

In a Fox News interview, Cain himself said he had no idea there were any problems. "I didn't even know about the report until you brought it up on the show," he told Fox on Monday morning.

The finance troubles come as Cain is also admitting he was accused of sexual harassment when he led the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s. In a series of appearances in Washington on Monday, Cain denied that he'd ever committed harassment, but acknowledged that he had been accused twice. As the day progressed, he added new details, acknowledging that at least one woman had received a financial settlement after she had complained about inappropriate behavior.

The accusations threaten Cain's surging campaign. He's been at the top of opinion polls in recent weeks, competitive with front-runner Mitt Romney in national surveys and in some early primary states.

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain is investigating possible improper financial arrangements between a charity and his campaign.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Monday that Cain, who also is dealing with sexual harassment allegations from the 1990s, allowed a tax-exempt charity to illegally provide money to help Cain's campaign get started.

Cain's chief of staff, Mark Block, says the campaign has asked a lawyer to review the transactions. Block says the campaign will comment when that investigation is over.

The charity, Prosperity USA, was founded by Block and Linda Hansen, Cain's deputy chief of staff. The Journal Sentinel reported there are questions about approximately $40,000 that helped Cain's campaign get started earlier this year.