But it is Mr. Block’s role helping Mr. Cain get his campaign off the ground that may pose just as great a challenge. A nonprofit group that Mr. Block ran contributed to the start-up of Mr. Cain’s presidential run, serving as a conduit for possibly illegal contributions. The campaign said it had asked an outside lawyer to review the allegations.
Like the wedge issues Mr. Rove identified for Mr. Bush to build his appeal among conservative Republicans, Mr. Block and Mr. Cain’s meeting of the minds was forged over small-government principles that both were paid to promote on behalf of Americans for Prosperity, an advocacy group that has roots in the libertarian movement and the Tea Party.
Mr. Block led the group’s state chapter in Wisconsin. Mr. Cain was hired in 2005 to lead its “Prosperity Expansion Project” to seed more state groups, using his gift for public speaking to advance goals like lowering taxes, slashing government regulations and curtailing unions.
Americans for Prosperity was co-founded and financed by David H. Koch, the billionaire who with his brother, Charles, controls Koch Industries, the energy and chemical conglomerate. When the group holds its annual conference in Washington on Friday and Saturday, Mr. Cain will be one of the keynote speakers, along with Mitt Romney.
Because the Cain campaign’s core staff members are veterans of Americans for Prosperity — Mr. Block, his deputy manager, the senior economic adviser — some critics on the left suggest that despite Mr. Cain’s image as an outsider, his candidacy is in effect a mouthpiece for the corporate interests of the Koch brothers…
Published: Nov 4, 2011