The Spectacle Blog

Karen Kraushaar: Anti-Cain Operative, Serial Complainer

By on 11.9.11 | 11:16AM

Well.

So the woman who accused Herman Cain at the National Restaurant Association is outed.

And lo and behold -- her complaints against employers about matters of sex in the work place include more than Herman Cain.

That's right.

Ms. Kraushaar, according to this AP story, hired the same attorney she sent after Herman Cain to go after -- wait for it -- the federal government.

Why? Here are some excerpts from the AP exclusive by reporters Brett J. Blackledge and Suzanne Gamboa: 

WASHINGTON (AP) - A woman who settled a sexual harassment complaint against GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain in 1999 complained three years later at her next job about unfair treatment, saying she should be allowed to work from home after a serious car accident and accusing a manager of circulating a sexually charged email, The Associated Press has learned.

Karen Kraushaar, 55, filed the complaint while working as a spokeswoman at the Immigration and Naturalization Service in the Justice Department in late 2002 or early 2003, with the assistance of her lawyer, Joel Bennett, who also handled her earlier sexual harassment complaint against Cain in 1999. Three former supervisors familiar with Kraushaar's complaint, which did not include a claim of sexual harassment, described it for the AP under condition of anonymity because the matter was handled internally by the agency and was not public.

To settle the complaint at the immigration service, Kraushaar initially demanded thousands of dollars in payment, a reinstatement of leave she used after the accident earlier in 2002, promotion on the federal pay scale and a one-year fellowship to Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, according to a former supervisor familiar with the complaint. The promotion itself would have increased her annual salary between $12,000 and $16,000, according to salary tables in 2002 from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

The story goes on to say:

Kraushaar's complaint was based on supervisors denying her request to work full time from home after a serious car accident in 2002, three former supervisors said. Two of them said Kraushaar also was denied previous requests to work from home before the car accident.

The complaint also cited as objectionable an email that a manager had circulated comparing computers to women and men, a former supervisor said. The complaint claimed that the email, based on humor widely circulated on the Internet, was sexually explicit, according to the supervisor, who did not have a copy of the email. The joke circulated online lists reasons men and women were like computers, including that men were like computers because "in order to get their attention, you have to turn them on." Women were like computers because "even your smallest mistakes are stored in long-term memory for later retrieval." 

Now.

Let's add this together with this news from Kraushaar, found in this story at Politico:

Kraushaar, 55, said in an interview with POLITICO that she would like to band together with the other three women accusing Cain of harassment.

"That would be my preference, that we all go together in a joint press conference," she said, noting that she's turned down interview requests from a number of TV news shows.

So now the picture as presented by the AP and Politico comes clear:

Karen Kraushaar is serially sensitive, demanding redress not just for whatever actions by Herman Cain (still unknown) at the National Restaurant Association, but also

Taking offense at some dopey Internet "joke" that is one of roughly two-gazillion floating in cyberspace -- then wasting taxpayer time and dollars to lodge a formal complaint because some office bozo who passed it around. Perhaps the question for her supervisor was why she spends her time at work on the US government payroll reading Internet jokes in the first place.

Wanting to work at home? Are we serious? There is a way to work at home. Quit your government job with the nice salary, the health care and the pension -- all of it paid for by taxpayers - and park yourself behind your desk at home and do something else. Risk. Take a chance. But suffice to say the notion of this woman filing a complaint because Uncle Sugar -- ahh, Uncle Sam -- because he won't let her work at home could only be described with a wonderful Jewish word: chutzpah

• Last but certainly not least is Ms. Kraushaar suddenly kicking into anti-Cain political operative mode while in the Obama Administration. Now she wants to organize an anti-Cain pep rally with this, that or the other woman? Fine. Quit her job -- or better yet be fired from her job as a non-political career employee and go do it. But not on the taxpayer's dime.

And a question? News reports have Kraushaar working for both the Clinton and Bush administrations. Implying she has always been a career employee. Is this so? How did she enter federal government service in the Clinton administration? As a career employee? Or as a political -- Clinton -- employee who later "careered in" -- the latter a standard Washington practice that effectively has layered the Washington bureaucracy with one-time political appointees.

What AP has uncovered is not some one-time incident with Herman Cain but a woman, who by the AP account, is presented as a serial complainer -- taking offense for any number of reasons from reading dopey Internet jokes she shouldn't have been spending time reading in the first place to complaining the federal government wouldn't send her to Harvard!

There is a reason Herman Cain's message and that of others in the GOP race are so popular with millions of Americans. And Karen Kraushaar is about to put a face on that reason.

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