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Just hours after his campaign became embroiled in yet another sex scandal, Herman Cain’s beleaguered presidential campaign had more bad news, this time announcing that the candidate has apparently been blackballed from holding events in the small town of Independence, Ohio.In a statement emailed to reporters this evening, the Cain campaign said it has been forced to cancel a Wednesday campaign event in Independence, a Cleveland suburb, because the city had revoked its reservation to use the Independence community centre. The statement, titled “Cain: Cleveland Rocks, but Political Establishment is Tone Deaf,” suggests that the decision was politically motivated.
Via the release:
Mr. Cain was scheduled to speak in a suburb outside of Cleveland but the local mayor of Independence, Ohio has instructed his Director of Community Services to revoke the campaign’s venue request at the last minute forcing the campaign to cancel its rally.
“The political establishment is afraid of Herman Cain and his problem solving strategies and common sense solutions such as his ‘9-9-9 Plan.’ They don’t want Ohioans to hear Cain’s message to renew America,” said Kim O’Malley – Ward Leader, Republican Party Cuyahoga and Secretary of the Independence Republican Club.
O’Malley continued: “Mayor Kurtz claims city property cannot be used for political purposes. This is new to me since the Cuyahoga Republicans, the Independence Republican Club, Build a Better Ohio and Governor Kasich have all used the same venue we had reserved for Mr. Cain.”
Apart from O’Malley’s comments, the Cain campaign does not offer any other evidence to back up its accusations, and the statement does not give any indication as to why the town of Independence might have singled out Cain. A schedule of Wednesday’s Ohio campaign swing emailed earlier Monday did not list any stops in the Cleveland area.
Neither the Cain campaign, the Independence Republican Club, nor the mayor’s office could be reached for comment.
If Cain actually has been blacklisted from Independence, however, it will be yet another strange bit of intrigue in what may be the most bizarre presidential campaign in modern history.
The fact that Cain is even going to Ohio in the first place is weird, given that the state’s 2012 Republican primary is still months away. Cain will also host campaign events in Tennessee this week, but has no plans to stop in important any of the early voting states that will shape the Republican nominating contest.
The City of Independence has emailed a statement to Business Insider, rejecting that the Cain campaign’s allegations.
Here’s the statement:
The City of Independence welcomes all visitors to the City and all its facilities, including candidates for elected office, at all levels. However, there are simple and clear procedures that City residents must follow in order to use City facilities, even for the purpose of welcoming presidential candidates, so that other functions and City resources are not disrupted.
Unfortunately, people purportedly representing the Herman Cain Campaign simply refused to follow these procedures which included signing a three page rental agreement and paying a small rental fee.
Had these representatives followed this simple procedure, standard City consideration would have been afforded them relative to their request.
Kim O’Malley, the Independence Republican Club Secretary who filed the venue request with the city, told Business Insider that she followed standard procedures to reserve the community centre, which she said is frequently used for Republican party meetings. She said that it is not unusual for the venue contracts to be signed on the day of the event, and that she cleared the paperwork with a city clerk.
O’Malley told BI she had “no idea” why the city had revoked her request. She added that she represents the Cuyahoga County GOP and does not yet support any Republican presidential candidate.
In the end, Cain’s Ohio kerfuffle appears to be a simple misunderstanding between local officials.
This actually makes the whole incident a lot weirder. It seems totally bizarre — and borderline inappropriate — for a national presidential campaign to make sweeping accusations against a small-town mayor, particularly without substantial evidence to back it up. Why the Cain campaign chose to single out Mayor Gregory Kurtz of Independence, Ohio remains is still unclear.
The Cain campaign has not returned multiple requests for comment.
Now meet the brains behind Herman Cain’s absurd, post-modern campaign >
*The original version of this post was published 11/29 at 12:09 a.m.
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