Herman Cain isn’t as laughable as I originally affronted. He has been making the media rounds and impressing a few people along the way, even earning himself a flock of supporters. After a recent Fox News presidential debate, a focus group overwhelmingly declared the black Republican and former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza victorious.
So now that Cain has proven his candidacy as one to be take notice of (but can you blame us for brushing him off at first? Most of president Obama’s would-be contenders were just laughable.), it is only natural that the serious smears of campaign season would arise against him. First up: A business scandal that so closely mirrors the travesty at Enron, it warranted this headline from Mother Jones Magazine: “Herman Cain’s Enron-esque Disaster: The Story the GOP presidential candidate won’t tell you about his years in corporate America.” If our skepticism of him before was baseless, it certainly isn’t now.
“Cain clearly believes that his pro-business message is what GOP voters want to hear. So much so, in fact, that on Saturday he officially unveiled his candidacy for the 2012 GOP nomination. But scrubbed from Cain’s official story is his long tenure as a director at a Midwest energy corporation named Aquila that, like the infamous Enron Corporation, recklessly drove into the wild west of energy trading and speculation – and ultimately screwed its employees out of tens of millions of dollars,” Mother Jones reports.
According to a massive class action lawsuit against Aquila’s board of directors – including Cain – he allegedly steered employees into heavily investing their retirement savings in company stock, while at the same time shifting their business model from straightforward energy generation to risky energy trading – the kind of corporate greed that infamously brought down Enron, Mother Jones reports. In the suit, it claims that Cain and other top officials violated a 37-year-old federal law that requires employers to responsibly manage the retirement programs for their employees. Their pensions and life savings were lost.
Thus far, Cain has been running as the pro-business candidate who successfully turned around the failing Godfather’s Pizza franchise after working in the corporate offices of the Pillsbury Company. His lack of political experience is always countered by touting his decades’ worth of success in business. Positions at Godfather’s, Pillsbury and his post as chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City are listed as part of his official campaign biography. His part in the major downfall of Aquila – where he was on the board of directors for much of the 1990s and early 2000s – is nowhere to be found.
Yes, it is expected for a candidate to try and hide his skeletons, but he should also expect to eventually be exposed. Herman Cain, you are exposed.