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Mark Block, Cain’s smoking aide, has troubled past

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Mark Block, the prominent Herman Cain aide featured in a viral campaign video (1 million views on YouTube, as of Friday) is facing scrutiny after shooting to fame for his work on previous campaigns and his personal life.

The AP writes that Block was “accused of voter suppression and was banned from running Wisconsin political campaigns” for three years because of accusations he coordinated a judge’s reelection campaign with a special interest group.

The AP reported that Block faced foreclosure on his home, a federal tax warrant and a lawsuit over an unpaid bill. He was twice arrested for unpaid driving.

In his book, “This is Herman Cain!,” the former Godfather’s CEO, recounts how he and Block bonded when the pair toured the country, opening up offices for Americans for Prosperity, a prominent conservative group funded by big GOP donors Charles and David Koch.

Cain has skyrocketed to the top of some polls and in spite of several missteps over abortion rights, trading Gitmo prisoners and scrutiny over his 9-9-9 plan, he has remained in a close race with Mitt Romney in several early states, where he has hardly been a presence.

If his apparent abortion flip flop and lack of knowledge on foreign policy didn’t hurt him, it’s hard to see how disclosures about a top campaign aide will be be terribly damaging with the general public.

So far, Cain has avoided becoming a frequent target of his GOP opponents, who seem to also view him as a flash-in-the-pan candidate.

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