Cain's campaign staff say he wasn't an employee of the Tea Party group founded by David Koch. But he did have a desk and an email address at its headquarters.
As the New Yorker's Jane Mayer wrote earlier this week, members of Herman Cain's campaign staff are loath to discuss his longstanding ties to Americans for Prosperity and the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, the organizing groups founded by billionaire David Koch, about whom Mayer famously wrote a comprehensive profile last year. AlterNet, which began reporting on Cain's ties to Koch last June, has learned that Cain's work for AFP at one time had all the appearances of a staff position.
In Mayer's 2010 exposé, "Covert Operations," she detailed the network of right-wing think tanks and organizations funded by David Koch and his brother Charles, principals in Koch Industries, the second-largest privately held company in the United States, according to Forbes.
Now, Mayer has turned her gaze to the ties between Koch and Cain, seeking to find out how much Cain earned from Americans for Prosperity and its foundation, and whether or not Cain has ever been considered an employee of either entity. She writes:
Earlier this week, I asked J. D. Gordon, communications director for Cain’s campaign, whether Cain was an employee of Americans for Prosperity. “No,” he said, “He’s not an employee.” I noted that I’d seen Cain speak at an Americans for Prosperity event in Austin, Texas in July 2010....Gordon acknowledged that Cain had received “speaking fees” from Americans for Prosperity.
“He said he would have to get back to me with details,” said Mayer.
As far back as 2005 -- the year Americans for Prosperity was founded -- Cain was fronting the group's efforts to add chapters, as Think Progress reported earlier this month, and the Associated Press explored last weekend, with a campaign called the Prosperity Expansion Project. AlterNet has since learned that Cain was more than simply a cheerleader for the project; he had a mailing address and email address at Americans for Prosperity headquarters.