One of the aides at the heart of this inquiry is Mark Block, a Wisconsinite now famous for a Cain campaign Web ad in which he smokes a cigarette. Mr. Block and the campaign’s deputy chief of staff, Linda Hansen, founded the Wisconsin-based group Prosperity USA, now at the center of questions over whether it improperly paid for some early Cain campaign expenses.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel obtained internal financial documents showing that the Cain campaign owed Prosperity USA $37,372, mostly for travel expenses but also for the purchase of iPads. It wasn’t clear if the money had been reimbursed; such expenditures might be a violation of federal law, the paper said.
Block told the Washington Post in an e-mail Monday that the campaign has asked “outside counsel to investigate the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s suggestions and may comment, if appropriate, when that review is completed.”
In addition, Block was the subject of a Huffington Post piece published Friday that reported he was banned from running Wisconsin political campaigns for three years in the early 2000s after he was accused of illegally coordinating a state Supreme Court justice’s reelection campaign with a special-interest group that favored school vouchers.