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Oglesby: Lost friend, HOT lanes, Cain's problems
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Another longtime friend who I saw a few weeks ago died a few days before this writing. Milon Christman sold me my first set of practically new golf clubs for $100. I used them a trying to get my handicap down. I finally did to a 3. Woods, irons and putter, all are severe handicaps to my game I now get to play only occasionally. Milon contributed much to this community.

There may be some readers out there who'd like to join a civic organization where they'll be able not only to dine weekly while fellowshipping with others and go to work in serving the youth of our community. If you have an inkling you might be, give me a call and I'd love to have you attend a luncheon meeting to see what we're about as my guest. It doesn't matter if you don't know me. I love to make new friends. If you know someone who is a Kiwanian, call him or her.

The HOT toll lanes going into and out of Atlanta all messed up. People are irritated. New rules have slowed commute time, not improved it as intended. The feds have to approve returning to the old system which worked well. Federal bureaucracy is slow. Maybe we'll be surprised and it'll get working efficiently soon.

In these parts it appears most people are keeping an open mind on the sexual harassment allegations against Herman Cain. He at the time was president of the National Restaurant Association. He at first strongly denied outright and then backtracked a little saying a couple of his (so far) accusers did in fact receive a settlement equal to their annual salaries, $45,000 to one and $35,000 to another. They agreed to and signed confidentiality agreements not to discuss it. Now that he's running for president, they are asking to be released from it so they can tell about it.

A third woman who reported an alleged sexual assessment to the association (which it verified was reported) but never sought or signed an agreement so is not bound was promising to talk about it publicly but hasn't as this was written Friday.

That's how it should be: innocent until proven guilty. Cain has handled the allegations very clumsily in violation of my Oglesbyism: "Unlike fine wine, bad news does not improve with age. Get it out while you have control of it before it consumes you."

He first brushed them off, then denied, then backtracked. He accused contender Rick Perry's camp of publicizing the alleged incidents to destroy his candidacy. Some supporters already say it negatively affects their opinion. Others say "hear him out." He also is an ordained minister.

Cain also needs some major work on the national sales tax component of his 9-9-9 plan. That 9 percent added to all local and state sales taxes would result in Hall County in a minimum sales tax of 16 percent. Low and middle income people would pay far more tax than now. It would be a tax increase, not a needed decrease.

Even bad news doesn't necessarily destroy his candidacy. Several presidents and hopefuls had trouble keeping pants zipped. President John Kennedy's affairs are legendary. Colorado's presidential candidate Gary Hart denied dalliances, challenging media to find incidents. They did; he withdrew.

Though not sexual harassment, Newt Gingrich has marital baggage that could become an issue if his poll numbers keep rising. I think Cain actually was running for vice president, hoping to be picked as the running mate by the ultimate nominee.

Ted Oglesby is retired associate and opinion editor of The Times whose column of 52 years appears biweekly on Tuesdays and at gainesvilletimes.com. Contact him at P.O. Box 663, Gainesville, GA 30503.

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