“Old tired allegations” is how Cain’s vice president of communications described what Politico is reporting tonight. An “exclusive” that includes two sources and details that are quite juicy for the competing frontrunner.

But one source closely familiar with Cain’s tenure in Washington confirmed that the claims related to allegations of sexual harassment “” behavior that disturbed members of the board who became aware of it, as well as the source, who otherwise liked Cain.

“I happen to know there were sealed settlements reached in the plural. I think that anybody who thinks this was a one-time, one-person transgression would be mistaken,” this source said.

[…] “She was offered a financial package to leave the association and she did,” said the former board member. “What I took offense at was that it was clear that rather than deal with the issue, there was an effort to hush it up. She was offered a way out to keep quiet.”

A second source with close ties to the restaurant association from that period said the woman revealed at the time that she had suffered what the source described as “an unwanted sexual advance” from Cain at a hotel where an event involving the group was taking place.

A third source said that the woman has indicated to her current employer that she received a compensation package from the association and has warned there that she may be the subject of an embarrassing story involving a presidential candidate.

The second woman’s identity was confirmed by a source familiar with the association.

This has been compiled like an investigative news piece.

Members of the National Restaurant Association board of directors who are quoted in the Politico article were “shocked” at the story.

Scrutiny’s a bitch. When you have sourcing that hunts it sticks.

Politico also reports that Herman Cain and his people declined to comment for the story, which is just stupid. It’s also something only an amateur would think he could get away with.

That’s why tonight they reversed themselves, with Byron York having the statement:

Inside the Beltway media attacks Cain

Fearing the message of Herman Cain who is shaking up the political landscape in Washington, Inside the Beltway media have begun to launch unsubstantiated personal attacks on Cain.

Dredging up thinly sourced allegations stemming from Mr. Cain’s tenure as the Chief Executive Officer at the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s, political trade press are now casting aspersions on his character and spreading rumors that never stood up to the facts.

Since Washington establishment critics haven’t had much luck in attacking Mr. Cain’s ideas to fix a bad economy and create jobs, they are trying to attack him in any way they can.

Sadly, we’ve seen this movie played out before “” a prominent Conservative targeted by liberals simply because they disagree with his politics.

Mr. Cain — and all Americans, deserve better.

Actually, the “Washington establishment critics” are mostly conservative, if you’re looking to Joe Scarborough and Karl Rove, with most liberals laughing at Mr. Cain’s obvious buffoonery. As for Democrats, Cain vs. Obama would be a gift to them, so they’re not going to say squat.

But because it wasn’t a story broken by Fox News Channel, even though Politico has sourcing, it’s bogus and a “liberal news” story.

Regardless, it could make even more Republicans nervous about Cain, which they should have been long before this scandal broke.

Mr. Cain is due to speak at the American Enterprise Institute, then take questions at the National Press Club.

Is lunch too early for popcorn?