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The Afternoon Flap: November 4, 2011

These are my links for November 4th PM.

  • Cain accuser stands by sexual harassment complaint– One of the women who accused Republican presidential contender Herman Cain of sexual harassment released a statement through her lawyer Friday stating that she “stands by” her complaint, which was made “in good faith about a series of inappropriate behaviors and unwanted advances.”There was “more than one incident” of harassment involving Cain and his client over the span of a couple of months in 1999, attorney Joel Bennett said.

    Bennett said his client, married for 26 years, will not reveal her identity because “she and her husband see no value in revisiting this matter now nor in discussing the matter any further publicly or privately.”

    “In fact,” he added, “it would be extremely painful for her to do so.”

    Bennett released the statement after reaching an agreement to do so with the National Restaurant Association, the organization headed by Cain during the time of the alleged harassment. The group had reached an agreement with the alleged victim that included a series of confidentiality and non-disparagement provisions.

    Dawn Sweeney, the current head of the association, issued a statement confirming that in July 1999, Bennett’s client “filed a formal internal complaint, in accordance with the association’s existing policies prohibiting discrimination and harassment.”

    Cain, she noted, “disputed the allegations in the complaint.”

    The controversy has dominated Cain’s front-running campaign for the past week. A defiant Cain insists he did nothing wrong, and will not let the issue deter him.

    For its part, Cain’s campaign said earlier Friday it is considering filing a lawsuit against Politico, the news organization which broke the harassment story last Sunday.

  • Laura Richardson to be proved by House Ethics Committee– The House Ethics Committee has approved a full-scale investigation into allegations against Rep. Laura Richardson, rejecting the California Democrat’s efforts to head off the probe.The decision is a serious blow to Richardson’s already troubled reelection chances in 2012. And it also likely to reignite the debate in some circles whether African-American lawmakers are targeted for ethical or criminal probes at a higher rate than their white counterparts. Richardson raised the race issue in a statement Friday, saying she would explore whether the Ethics Committee “has engaged in discriminatory conduct.”
  • State of the blogosphere 2011: Using social networks for self-promotion – For its annual look at the blogging world, Technorati surveyed 4,114 bloggers in 45 countries. This year, the focus was on why and how they blog, their connections with brands and how they use social media.
    Meet the bloggersThose surveyed are mostly hobbyists (61 percent) who don’t post daily. In fact, only 11 percent of surveyed bloggers were posting on a daily basis. Thirteen percent of bloggers are doing it for extra income on the side, and only 5 percent are bonafide professional full-timers bloggers. Of the pros, 37 percent say it makes up the majority of their income. The remainder of the bloggers are doing it to promote a brand or company — 13 percent are entrepreneurs and 8 percent are corporate.

    For the most part, the bloggers are educated, married parents between 25 and 44 years old. Though still mostly male (59 percent), there was a gender shift from last year when 64 percent were men.

    Eighty percent have been blogging for over two years, and half for over four years. Bloggers are juggling an average of three different blogs, up from two last year. It’s interesting that bloggers are maintaining or increasing the amount of time they put into their blogs after launching, instead of losing interest or moving onto the next new thing.

  • Another poll shows Gingrich on the rise– If you need more evidence that Newt Gingrich’s bid for the GOP presidential nomination is on the rise, check out a new poll by ABC News and the Washington Post.According to the survey, out Friday morning, 12% of Republicans and independents who lean toward the GOP say they support the former House Speaker for their party’s presidential nomination. That’s up five points from one month ago. Gingrich is in fourth place in the new poll, one percentage point behind Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

    Gingrich was in third place at 10% support in a Quinnipiac University national poll released Wednesday, up seven points from late August. He stands at 12% in a recent Fox News Poll and at 10% in a recent CBS/New York Times survey.

    And it’s not just national polling. In Iowa, the first state to vote in the primary and caucus calendar, Gingrich is in fourth place, at 10%, according to a recent CNN/Time/ORC International Poll of registered Republicans.

    Gingrich’s campaign was left for dead by many in late spring, after a number of top advisers and staffers quit and the campaign faced financial difficulties.

    But the former House Speaker has performed well in eight presidential debates held this year, acting as the elder statesman while many of his rivals for the nomination attacked each other. And his fundraising appears to be picking up. Gingrich says he raised more money in October than the $800,000 he brought in during the previous three months.

  • House to launch ethics investigation of Rep. Laura Richardson– The House Ethics Committee voted Thursday to launch an investigation into whether Rep. Laura Richardson pressured her congressional staff to work on her campaign, adding to her political troubles as she faces a tough reelection campaign next year.The investigation is expected to be announced Friday. The panel, equally divided between Democrats and Republicans, largely operates in secret. Members voted unanimously to form a four-member investigative subcommittee — with power to subpoena witnesses and documents — to examine whether the Long Beach Democrat violated House standards of conduct. The investigation is likely to take months.

    A source familiar with the preliminary inquiry discussed it on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. At least eight current and former Richardson staff members told investigators they felt compelled to work on her 2010 reelection campaign on their own time, the source said. Some said House resources, such as congressional phones and copying machines, were used in the campaign, the source said.

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