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The End of the Herman Cain Campaign? (It's Not What You Think)

Sexual harassment allegations aren't the only thing troubling Cain's campaign--there's also the dirty politics of his campaign manager, Mark Block.

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"If the records accurately reflect what occurred, this is way out of bounds," said a Washington, D.C.-based election lawyer who advises many Republican candidates and conservative groups on campaign issues. The lawyer asked not to be identified because of those affiliations.

Can Cain Survive Without Block?

Should Mark Block be forced from Herman Cain's campaign, it's difficult to see how the campaign will carry on: the Herman Cain campaign essentially is Mark Block. There's little in the way of campaign staff, and for ground organizing, the campaign appears to be dependent on the Americans for Prosperity network that Block, with Cain as his main rally-speaker, helped to build.

For months, corporate media ignored Cain's deep connections to David Koch and Americans for Prosperity -- connections that AlterNet has tracked since June. Today, at the National Press Club, Herman Cain appeared to survive the light grilling he received at the hands of NPC  president Mark Hamrick about the sexual harassment allegations. Cain said he had never sexually harassed anybody, that false accusations had been made against him, and that he was personally unaware of any settlement paid by the National Restaurant Association to women who had made complaints against him. "I hope it wasn't for much," he added, "because I didn't do anything."

Yet Hamrick's introduction of Cain may have been more subtly damaging than his questioning of the candidate. In recounting Cain's professional background, Hamrick noted that Cain has "worked at the Koch family-funded Americans for Prosperity," an item not listed on Cain's campaign résumé -- but one now impossible to hide.

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H/t Sarah Posner for calling our attention to Bice's report. You can read here Posner's coverage of a Tea Party group's gathering to plan the Milwaukee vote-caging scheme in which Block was later implicated.

Adele M. Stan is AlterNet's Washington correspondent. She also writes for the AFL-CIO Now blog. Follow her on Twitter: www.twitter.com/addiestan