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Long ties to Koch brothers key to Cain's campaign


FILE - Republican businessman Herman Cain speaks during a dinner sponsored by 


IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain has cast himself as the outsider, the pizza magnate with real-world experience who will bring fresh ideas to the nation's capital. But Cain's economic ideas, support and organization have close ties to two billionaire brothers who bankroll right-leaning causes through their group Americans for Prosperity.

Cain's campaign manager and a number of aides have worked for Americans for Prosperity, or AFP, the advocacy group founded with support from billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, which lobbies for lower taxes and less government regulation and spending. Cain credits a businessman who served on an AFP advisory board with helping devise his "9-9-9" plan to rewrite the nation's tax code. And his years of speaking at AFP events have given the businessman and radio host a network of loyal grassroots fans.

The once little-known businessman's political activities are getting fresh scrutiny these days since he soared to the top of some national polls.

His links to the Koch brothers could undercut his outsider, non-political image among tea party fans who detest politics as usual and candidates connected with the party machine.

AFP tapped Cain as the public face of its "Prosperity Expansion Project," and he traveled the country in 2005 and 2006 speaking to activists who were starting state-based AFP chapters from Wisconsin to Virginia. Through his AFP work he met Mark Block, a longtime Wisconsin Republican operative hired to lead that state's AFP chapter in 2005 as he rebounded from an earlier campaign scandal that derailed his career.

Block and Cain sometimes traveled together as they built up AFP: Cain was the charismatic speaker preaching the ills of big government; Block was the operative helping with nuts and bolts.

When President Barack Obama's election helped spawn the tea party, Cain was positioned to take advantage. He became a draw at growing AFP-backed rallies, impressing activists with a mix of humor and hard-hitting rhetoric against Obama's stimulus, health care and budget policies.

Block is now Cain's campaign manager. Other aides who had done AFP work were also brought on board.

Cain's spokeswoman Ellen Carmichael, who recently left the campaign, was an AFP coordinator in Louisiana. His campaign's outside law firm is representing AFP in a case challenging Wisconsin campaign finance regulations. At least six other current and former paid employees and consultants for Cain's campaign have worked for AFP in various capacities.

And Cain has credited Rich Lowrie, a Cleveland businessman who served on AFP's board of advisors from 2005 to 2008, with being a key economic adviser and with helping to develop his plan to cut the corporate tax rate to 9 percent, impose a national sales tax of 9 percent and set a flat income tax rate of 9 percent

"He's got a national network now that perhaps he wouldn't have had 15 or 20 years ago because of his work with AFP," said Republican Party of Wisconsin Vice Chair Brian Schimming, who has introduced Cain at events in Wisconsin. "For a presidential candidate, that's obviously helpful to have."

He said Cain was smart to hire Block.

Cain's recent victories in straw polls in Florida and Minnesota highlight the importance of organizing supporters and Block, who has a deep network in the tea party, "gets that side of it," Schimming said.

But Block has had his problems as well. He settled a suit in 2001 accusing him of illegally coordinating a Wisconsin Supreme Court justice's re-election with an outside group. Block agreed to pay $15,000 and sit out of politics for three years.

While Cain is quick to promote his career at the helm of the Godfather's Pizza chain, his ties to AFP aren't something the candidate appears eager to highlight.

His campaign did not respond to inquiries seeking comment, and Cain does not include his AFP work on his biography on his website.

But Cain continues to work with the group.

While several other candidates will be at an Iowa Republican Party dinner on Nov. 4, Cain is scheduled to be in Washington mingling with activists at AFP's annual "Defending the American Dream" summit. He is the only confirmed presidential candidate for the event.

AFP spokesman Levi Russell said Cain has spoken at dozens of AFP rallies and events over the years to support a number of the group's activities. AFP has often covered his travel expenses or paid a "pretty modest honorarium" but he has not been paid since becoming a presidential candidate, he said.

"He's a dynamic, pro-business speaker that connects well with our activists," Russell said. "AFP is a very large organization, and there is a natural overlap between Cain's message of fiscal responsibility and the basic principles that AFP advocates for."

A spokeswoman for the Koch brothers did not respond to The Associated Press's request for comment on Cain.

To some liberals, Cain's rise with the help of AFP shows the incredible influence that outside groups controlled by super-wealthy individuals with specific agendas can have on the political process.

"Herman Cain is the first presidential corporate spokes-candidate," said Scot Ross, a liberal activist who leads One Wisconsin Now, which has often mocked AFP as a front group for corporate interests. "The best way to have your issues talked about in the issue debate is to have a candidate in your pocket with snappy comebacks and easily branded policy papers which mask how destructive they would be."

AFP's agenda also includes weakening private and public sector unions, opposing environmental regulations and undoing Obama's health care reform law, among other policies. But before the tea party and Obama, Cain worked with AFP on more local issues.

In 2006, he campaigned all over Wisconsin in support of a proposed constitutional amendment that would have limited state government spending. A slew of officials and analysts said the plan would have ultimately devastated government services, and the Republican-controlled Legislature eventually backed off it.

In a statement announcing Cain's tour, AFP sent out a press release touting his "in-depth understanding of the battle to control out-of-control government taxes and spending." Block promised that Cain was a speaker that activists would not want to miss.













"I'm just trying to make a way out of no way, for my people" -Modejeska Monteith Simpkins









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Quote by ER: " wonder where the Koch Brothers' money is going to when it comes to endorsing the "next Republican POTUS"???


Koch Brothers money is probably being funneled as of now in secret fashion or being held up for Mitt Romney and the reason why I say that is because if you notice all the Republican Presidential candidates whether it's individual or during debates, they don't seem to have that fire in their bellies approach to aggressively compete with each other to give themselves the edge in leading the race for the top spot and directly challenge the real front runner, Mitt Romney.


And despite all the candidates who have leaped to the top of the polls (Bauchmann, Perry) and now Herman Cain they were all front runners and after a little more than a month after the media does some digging into their agendas or they do or say something stupid, they fall back to the middle or rear of the pack.....and Mitt Romney, the pseudo front runner just keeps a clean cut and very low profile; always remains in the top 2, balancing back & forth and he also gets the least scrunity among all the candidates.


He does very little, does/says next to nothing but remains on top.


And N.J. Gov. Doug Christie, who many Republicans desperately wanted to run for President since many Republicans felt that they weren't happy with the current crop, made the decision not to run but within a week of saying no, he goes on national TV and directly endorses/backs Mitt Romney.


To this point, Romney has bascially kept quiet through all of this with no mud/dirt heaped upon him...he's not really being challenged by any of the MSM outlets and he hasn't reveal hardly any of his plans/agenda for America and his RomneyCare health plan initiative, that compares directly to Obama's health plan does not get the eyeball scrunity by his competitors or the media. Romney just says that his health care plan is totally different from President Obama, and the media drops all the questions and just leaves him alone.


His Mormon faith? One of Rick Perry's spiritual advisors directly called it a cult and not Christanity. The media chastizes the pastor & Perry for those comments and gives Romney a pass. He never gave a true response and when he did address it, he did not use the word "Mormon". The media just let it go. They don't dig into the issue although the majority of Americans are either Catholics or Christains.


And also consider Mormon Warren Jeffs....president of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS Church) who in May 2006 was placed on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List . In 2011, Jeffs was convicted of two felony counts of child sexual assault and is currently serving life in prison plus 20 years.


Warren Jeffs


You mention Romney and Jeffs name in the same sentence, all hell breaks loose and they fiercely defend the position that Jeff's is a branch religion, the FLDC Church of the Mormon faith is bascially rogue and not directly associated with Romney but they are both devout Mormons who follow the exact same "Mormon" scrupture & beliefs.


What is Romney's plan for jobs? Foreign policy? Immigration? Iraq? Iran? Afghanstan? What is Romney's version of Cain "999" plan? Nobody knows but all of the others who so happens to reveal their agenda have been readily broad brushed and beaten up.


And I don't beleieve that since both wars began in 10 years, Romney as a candidate running for President in the past or whatever else, hasn't taken a trip to either warzone to visit the troops or even go to just see the troops in the warzone from his home state of Massachusetts.


Romney has the money; is being closely guarded, protected by the Republicans and they want the current process of elimination to continue and in the end, all the others fall off based on some ish and Romney emerges from the dust (but he never gets dirty) as the Republican Presidential candidate.


A media pundit last week said that the Republicans are giving Romney the privledge and his just due because in the last 20 years, Romney has run for the U.S. Senate and the Presidency with no success. They also probably feel the timing is just right since getting rid of Obama is the priority, the Tea Party is controlling the Republicans, the economy is a mess and big business/Wall Street is sitting on trillions of dollars waiting for the right brainwashed Republican manchurian candidate: President Romney in the White House.


As for Cain, he was selected, knelt down and kissed th ring. He's doing exactly what they want him to do and because he already been deemed by the media as "unelectable", doesn't have the organization to raise funds and he has very little money coming in (2+ million dollars as of now when Romney & Perry are closing in on 20 million apiece); he's doing the bidding of his masters and it seems that before he hit the national scene, he was promised or made a deal with the Republicans & the Koch devils to reaps the benefits of his deeds in the end, be it more visibility/money and national Republican prominance in a "Sarah Palin" sort of way, a lucrative spot on Fox News a la "Juan Williams" with a larger annual paycheck or if Romney wins, a power spot in the Romney White House.


To the billionaire Koch Brothers, Herman Cain, besides being the house negro of the moment, is a Black rags to riches millionaire but still a "poor & hungry" millionaire as millionaires go who has that greed; blood lust & thirst for money, power, prominance and influence and they are playing on those very traits to string puppet him....The Koch brothers are probably sitting back laughing & saying "we finally got the right one".....this n*gger will do or say anything!


They probably offered Michael Steele a similiar deal but he screwed it all up...and now he's totally out of sight, out of mind.... no where to be found...and the same fate many also await Mr. Pizza Man if Obama wins a second term.

Last edited by Cholly

You do make an excellent point, Cholly!!


It DOES seem as if Romney has been deemed "the chosen one" by 'the (Republican) powers that be' ... if for no other reason than the appearance of his teflon-coating image that even the skullduggery and harpooning of the media in their quest for controversy and the defaming of anybody caught in their cross-hairs can't even seem to penetrate!!


I believe they DO have an unexpected problem in Herman Cain, though .... that being that, as I said when he first declared his candidacy, White people - the actual Republican electorate - actually LIKE him for some unexplained reason!! 


I believe it's his "house ni**er" persona that they appreciate most and that endears him to them.  That, plus the fact that he's seen as a "safe Negro" .... whom they can openly support to put their "post-racial-ness" on display for the world to see. 


I think more people than the 'Republican Elite' would prefer will vote for him above any of the other losers ... errr, candidates that may be able to make it, crippled and bloodied by the press, all the way to the actual primary voting .... but, clearly, Romney will be the most unscathed ... seemingly the most viable ... and the eventual winner to challenge President Obama in the presidential elections.


And if you think Romney's got big-money-backing NOW .... you ain't seen NOTHIN' yet!! 

Quote by ER: "I believe it's his "house ni**er" persona that they appreciate most and that endears him to them.  That, plus the fact that he's seen as a "safe Negro" .... whom they can openly support to put their "post-racial-ness" on display for the world to see."


ER, every Republican on the blogs and I see everyday has fallen in love with Herman Cain, his sermon speeches, his love for the Tea Party, his dislike for President Obama, his "999" Plan and all his "there is no racism in America" rhetoric talk.


You're right, it justifies their open support to "post-racial-ness" and as stupid and fake as we know it all is and how foolish they sound about everything when they say his name, they are really happy & content with themselves...But...I was reading an article about Tavis Smiley and Cornel West and why they don't like Herman Cain because according to the article, they are threatened by Cain, his rhetoric and and his success.


So I posted this:


“Republican­s, White people. Pay attention.

Every African American knows that Cain is a joke.


A run of the mill, "Black" joke placed out in front of the Republican­s to have that "race voice" regarding Blacks and as long as he says whatever about race, Whites don't have to be the first to say anything but stand behind him and respond to his comments. That way Whites don't get in trouble and run the risk of being called a racist. Herman Cain is doing what they wanted Michael Steele to do since Obama became President.

"Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear".....I­'ll explain:

Ask yourself this question. If Herman Cain beats the field and is the best Republican candidate for President, will you nominate him, support him and vote for him squarely against President Obama in the 2012 election?

Black Democratic president vs Black Republican candidate. Either way, the next President will be a Black man.

Your heads exploded when Obama won the Presidency and since that time, it has been racist analogies, images, remarks, "the party of no", "one term President" no support etc and now there is the opportunit­y to elect ANOTHER Black President.....back to back and just remember, Black Americans WILL NOT vote for Herman Cain the Republican candidate, so it's all on you.

Can/will you have the stomach to do it?


You say that you "want your country back". Will you allow a Black man to "get it back" for you?


Complete silence.


There had been over 800 responses about the article up to that point and after I posted this, not one response from the Republicans or anybody but 4 African Americans on the site who responded and laughed their asses off.


Last edited by Cholly

Cain is just their "hype" man.  They have no intention of electing him as president.  Remember how they touted Michael Steele as chairman of the republican national committee, and then abruptly did everything in their power to get him to resign.  Herman Cain is probably being paid extremely well to run around the country validating racist American's retarded beliefs about Black people and other minorities, while at the same time convincing stupid Black people and other minorities to actually go out and vote for a republican candidate.  

Originally Posted by Cholly:


ER, every Republican on the blogs and I see everyday has fallen in love with Herman Cain, his sermon speeches, his love for the Tea Party, his dislike for President Obama, his "999" Plan and all his "there is no racism in America" rhetoric talk.




Yep, Cholly ... they - White, middle-Joe and Jane Public-America- just love this guy!! And to the irritation and consternation of the Republican Party leadership ... dude may just mess around and be found to be electable!! 


You can't say stranger things haven't happened ... because the election of President Obama was about as STRANGE as it gets!!


He smiles, grins and shuffles ... and they eat it up!!  And the fact that he's ultra-conservative, compared to the rest of the pack, gains him even more adoration.  But ... I think you're right ... he would be a Tea Party darling except for the fact that the majority of them are probably more racist than they are fiscally prudent.


For them, I doubt his Blackness can be overlooked.  However ... for many others .... He's "just like them" ............



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