Cain Seeks to Build Political-Business Empire

Friday, 25 May 2012 11:29 AM

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Former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain, fresh off a presidential candidacy that brought him attention and popularity across the nation, is now trying to establish a political-business operation.

The idea is similar to what Newt Gingrich did with his Newt Inc., which included both for-profit consultancies and non-profit foundations, Politico reports. Cain wants to create a new movement — Cain’s Solutions Revolution — to keep his 9-9-9 tax plan alive and endorse candidates, he says.

But it’s unclear if Cain’s effort will succeed to the extent of Gingrich’s. Cain’s groups have amassed substantial debt and don’t have large-scale donors yet. And they haven’t generated the same grass roots enthusiasm that Cain’s presidential bid did.

He has set up two super PACs, two non-profit groups, and a for-profit business. He still has his presidential campaign committee too. They have received five-figure checks from two rich backers, including a lieutenant of casino/hotel titan Sheldon Adelson, who along with his family donated $16 million to Gingrich’s presidential campaign.

“I think helping to shape the narrative was what I brought to the campaign,” Cain said in a speech earlier this month at Northwestern University as part of his Solutions Revolution. “I’m still helping to shape that narrative because I won’t shut up. They wish I would.” The movement will “create a massive groundswell of voters and citizens to help force Congress to fix stuff,” Cain said.

Someone familiar with Cain’s effort told Politico it’s like a hybrid between the tea party group FreedomWorks and what South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint has done, "where you could have a grass-roots model that could activate people around an issue but you could also do the endorsements.”

The supporters and donors for Cain’s current effort come largely from his presidential campaign.



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