Tag Archives: Al Sharpton

Roger Stone: Pretty Reckless Is Going Straight To Hell Part Eight

ROGER STONE:

PRETTY RECKLESS IS GOING STRAIGHT TO HELL

PART ONE PART TWO PART THREE PART FOUR PART FIVE PART SIX

PART SEVEN PART EIGHT PART NINE PART TEN

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

THE WELL DRESSED MAN PART EIGHT: THE WIFE OF THE WELL-DRESSED MAN / DIVIDE AND CONQUER / THE BIG ENCHILADA

(Of invaluable help in following the intricate politics of the Libertarian Party since the 2008 election was the Liberty for America journal; I recommend its work to the curious and scholarly, their back issues can be found here. Equally helpful for following the conflicts within the Libertarian Party at that time, some involving Johnson and Stone, was the website, The Independent Political Report.)

The opening moments of that visit often came back to me over the next decade, during three elections in South Vietnam and two in the United States. Nixon came up to the large room on the second floor of [General Edward] Lansdale’s villa where the team members were gathered in a semicircle to greet him. I had never seen him before in person, and never did again. He was jet-lagged and rumpled, with the jowls and heavy five o’clock shadow of the Herblock cartoons. But in the long discussion that followed, he was alert and articulate. He went around the circle and shook hands with each of us. Then he joined Lansdale, standing in front of two armchairs side by side, and said, “Well, Ed, what are you up to?”

Getting right to business, Lansdale said, “Mr. Vice President, we want to help General Thang make this the most honest election that’s ever been held in Vietnam.”

“Oh, sure, honest, yes, honest, that’s right” – Nixon was seating himself in an armchair next to Lansdale – “so long as you win!” With the last words he did three things in quick succession: winked, drove his elbow hard into Lansdale’s arm, and, in a return motion, slapped his own knee. My colleagues turned to stone.

–Daniel Ellsberg, Secrets: A Memoir

This eighth part gives good space to the role of Roger Stone in the 2012 election, which was marked by several pieces given over to the longtime fixer’s switch from the GOP to the libertarian party, such as “Roger Stone’s Steakhouse Politics” by Gabriel Sherman, say, or “Roger Stone to GOP: Payback’s a Bitch” by Mark Warren, or “GOP trickster Roger Stone defects to Libertarian party” by the Washington Post, all asking questions and wondering what philosophical shift this implied. My belief is that this is the wrong question to ask, as Stone has nothing like a consistent political philosophy or beliefs. The only relevant questions are: who is he grifting, and how big a grift is he trying to pull off?

This same question can also be asked of his wife – not Nydia Stone, but his first wife, Ann, who is very much a kindred spirit. She is almost entirely invisible in the profiles by Labash and Toobin – going entirely unmentioned in the first, and only given brief mention exclusively as a wife in the second – “Stone and his wife at the time, Ann, became famous for their lavish life style, which included a chauffeur-driven Mercedes and tailor-made clothes,” “In the nineties, Stone divorced Ann and married Nydia Bertran,” – rather than as a formidable political force in her own right. I do not think he was the best or most loyal of husbands, but he gives her a complimentary mention in his memoir, and I don’t think this is a case of gallantry or politeness, but simply giving his ex-wife her just due. There are two people, Stone writes, who taught him everything about direct mail, and getting a message out to conservative donors and activists. One of them is Jim Martin, the man who managed to put out the message that the inheritance tax should be called a death tax. The other is his ex-wife Ann E.W. Stone. She, along with Martin, “are both two of the most brilliant marketers I know”187.

Direct mail was the secret fuel of the conservative movement, and its master was Richard Viguerie. Through pleas to fight communism in the United States or abroad, for the cause of persecuted christians or persecuted capitalists, direct mail harnessed a massive amount of money from small donors to fund conservative political causes and groups, including NCPAC – an ordinary PAC as opposed to a Super PAC which relies on the funding of a small number of single wealthy donors, or sometimes a single wealthy donor, such as the Koch brothers or Sheldon Adelson. Both Ann Stone and Richard Martin, the names singled out by Roger Stone, were two of Viguerie’s best students. “Funding Father”, is a 2003 Washington Times ode by Martin to Viguerie. “Shy about personally visiting contributors,” Martin writes, “Mr. Viguerie realized he could contact 1,000 or 10,000 potential donors by mail without spending any more time, effort or money than it would take to personally solicit a single contribution from one potential donor.” He is perhaps not overstating things in the next paragraph. “Legions of candidates, from the courthouse to the White House, have benefited from Mr. Viguerie’s expertise, and legions of others have tasted defeat as a direct result of his ability to raise money and promote action simply by sitting down at his typewriter.”

Easily the best discussion of the phenomenon is “The Long Con” by Rick Perlstein, and the title is not idle malice. Perlstein gives substantial evidence that questions how much of the money raised went to their intended causes and how much ended up in the pockets of the mail wranglers. There’s also the ways in which these political appeals resemble snake oil sales of elixirs and sure fire investments, whose appeals the dedicated conservative got as well, with the mailing lists sold off to commercial bidders of cheap, cruddy stuff and grifts. All this reaches the obvious and expected nadir with direct mail’s electronic ancestor in “Newt Gingrich & Herman Cain Are Now Making Money Off Spam” by Ben Adler, where subscribers to the mailing lists of both men receive news on how Obamacare is destroying lives, the betrayal of the dead of Benghazi, but also the ways their erectile dysfunction problems can now be solved, and how you can get rich quick now. This same theme, false politics overlapping with the deceptions of the con, is there in the career of Ann Stone, woefully unreported, except for brief outbursts of scandalous exposure.

The name of her husband cameos in the Watergate hearings, and she makes a similar brief appearance in what I think was a much larger scandal, Iran-contra. This scandal of the Reagan administration involved the sale of weapons to Iran to provide funding for the contras of Nicaragua, all without congressional oversight, all for the purpose of getting weapons to these rebels of Central America after congress had specifically banned such funding. Here she is, in the “Iran-Contra Investigation, Appendix B, Volume 3: Depositions (specific pages 162-163)”. The man being interviewed by Congress is Adolfo Calero, the head of the contras, their chief lobbyist for funds, who was also connected to the man at the center of the scandal, Oliver North, and was well aware of the illegality of the Iran-Contra money188. I boldface the appearance of her name:

Q And was there any other source of money? Did you get any money from Secord? [Richard Secord, another Administration figure involved in the scandal]

A No, no.

Q And you still had ammunition and weapons left from what you had managed to squirrel away in 1985?

A Yes. And then at one time we got a $75,000 donation. I don’t know where it came from. We got $50,000 from phone calls that I made. And that was paid to [REDACTED] and that money had been sent to Ann Scott, no Ann Stone. And $75,000 that checks that were made did not pass through our account, checks that were paid directly to the [REDACTED]

It was most likely a much larger scandal than Watergate in terms of what was done, though without any of the repercussions of that one. Watergate had pushed Roger Stone into shameful exile, his name briefly the equal of a leper’s sore. By Iran-contra, however, conservatives had managed to figure out how to turn an unconstitutional action into a fundraising opportunity. “It’s unbelievable. I’ve never seen anything like this,” says a direct mail expert of the time, as she pulls in $54 000 collected on a single day, from an appeal sent out after Oliver North testified on his proud involvement in anti-constitutional activity. This wasn’t a traitor, a criminal, a felon; this was a patriot, persecuted by the spineless liberals of the Northeast establishment. The direct mail expert, the title character of “North Appearance Spurs Contra Fund-Raising, Spokeswoman Says”, is our heroine as well:

A fund-raising appeal sent out by the Contra rebels on the heels of Lt. Col. Oliver North’s congressional testimony has drawn a “mind-boggling” response, a fund-raiser said Friday.

The mailing, capitalizing on the wave of public sentiment that North raised during a week of testimony about the Iran-Contra affair, was sent early last week to 200,000 people drawn from conservative mailing lists, said Ann Stone, a mail consultant who sent the appeal for the Contras’ official money gathering arm, the Nicaraguan Development Council.

The money is to be spent on nonlethal supplies for the rebels and for expenses of their Washington office, she said.

Ms. Stone said the mailing paid for itself on the first day the returns came back, with $54,000 collected that day.

The appeal, in the form of an “Urgentgram,” went out over the signature of Adolfo Calero, one of the most recognized names in the U.S.-backed Contra leadership. It said in part: “In the past few days a man I am proud to call my friend, Lt. Col. Oliver North, has laid out the reasons our men and I fight the communist Sandinistas who have enslaved Nicaragua.

“These enemies will not give up simply because Ollie North told the truth about the Nicaraguan communists. They continue to spread lies and disinformation – we must counter them.”

The letter concludes with a plea for “whatever you can afford to send – $1,000, $500, $100, $50, $25 or less.”

“I thank you. I’m sure Ollie North would be grateful too.”

I wrote of this scandal being transformed into one more conservative persecution complex, the upstanding man doing the righteous thing, only to be stabbed in the back by the perfidious liberal, and this is not my reading, but the one that Ann Stone and Richard Viguerie are happy to make explicit, the very one that they use to pull in cash, all there in “Conservatives Using 50s-Style ‘Soft on Communism’ Tactic in Contra Aid Fight” by Donald Rothberg. Ann Stone might be more discrete than her husband, might be smarter in sticking to the shadows, but make no mistake that she is as vicious and tough a pit fighter as he is. Of those who might think the United States should not interfere or get involved in Central and South America, “We are saying either they are fools or they are collaborators,” says Ann Stone.

WASHINGTON (AP) Conservative supporters of the Contra forces in Nicaragua are gearing up a 1950s-style campaign labeling opponents of U.S. aid as “soft on communism.”

“We are saying either they are fools or they are collaborators,” said Ann Stone, a conservative fund-raiser.

“The perception of being soft on communism really has hurt a number of Democrats,” said Richard Viguerie, whose company pioneered direct-mail fund- raising for right-wing causes and candidates.

Ms. Stone and Viguerie are flooding the mails with millions of letters urging people to send money and also call their representatives or senators urging them to support President Reagan’s $100 million aid package for the Contras fighting the Sandinista government of Nicaragua.

In the same article, there’s Terry Dolan; a year away from dying of AIDS, turning everything into a simple question:

John T. Dolan, chairman of the National Conservative Political Action Committee, said his group is running ads against some aid opponents. He described the theme as, “Are you for a communist government there or are you for getting rid of it? It’s as simple as that.”

Typical of the mail being sent was a letter dated March 14 and signed by Dolan.

“We have only one week to act,” the letter began. It went on to talk about a 14-year-old girl who “lost her eye fighting against the communists in Nicaragua. … She fought so our boys wouldn’t have to go down there to keep communism from spreading up through Mexico.”

Ann Stone is raising funds for Nicaragua, but she’s pulling in money for a much larger issue than Nicaragua. This isn’t just about Nicaragua, it’s about Viet Nam, and liberals betraying Americans on Nicaragua, liberals betraying Americans on Viet Nam. It’s about liberals betraying America.

Conservative fund-raisers have been going through a dry spell in which contributions have been down. Many now see Central America as an issue that might get conservatives to whip out their checkbooks again as they did when the United States ratified treaties during the Carter administration calling for gradual transfer of the Panama Canal from U.S. to Panamanian control.

Conservatives branded the treaties a “giveaway.” “It’s kind of like a Panama Canal issue where close to 100 percent of the conservatives are on board,” Viguerie said.

Asked if she agreed, Ms. Stone said, “Absolutely. You’re talking about an anger among many Americans not only going back to the Panama Canal, but all the way back to the redressing of wounds and complaints people had from the Vietnam War and the way many in the liberal community dealt with that issue.”

It was while researching something else, that I came across Stone’s name in the midst of a recent scandal, and it gives you some sense of the way she belongs to the shadow world of politics that the piece covering the scandal simultaneously acknowledged that she was a very powerful figure without noting that her ex-husband was Roger Stone – possibly a valuable biographical detail, but one absent in a long, in-depth, and very well done piece of investigative reporting. “National Women’s History Museum Makes Little Progress After 16 Years” by Andrea Stone (no relation) and Christina Wilkie describes the sixteen year long effort to build a museum devoted to honoring women’s achievements, but one with strikingly little to show for it, without even a location for a building secured or picked out. There were two women involved in the project, Joan Bradley Wages, a democratic lobbyist, and “Ann E.W. Stone, a veteran Republican political operative”. Stone, the authors write, “seemed like an ideal backer: a well-connected Washington insider on the fault line of women’s politics, a pro-choice Republican with good fundraising credentials and a knack for publicity. Stone has been a member of the museum’s board since it was founded and has twice served as treasurer. She has been the senior vice president since 2007.” Stone held a central role in the development of the museum, and a central role in the scandal – that nothing apparently was achieved in over sixteen years, while getting a rather healthy stream of money from the museum189.

Stone’s work for the museum, along with that of Wages, was recorded as in-kind donations, a rate fixed to each hour donated with the accumulated salary of those hours considered a donation to the museum, helpfully improving the museum’s revenue and picture of financial health. In 2010, Ann Stone’s company the Stone Group was the biggest single non-cash contributor to the museum, donating over $370 000 in in-kind donations. In 2009, she’d personally donated over $27 000 worth of volunteer time. The year after that, she suddenly gave far more of her time, over 1700 hours, which works out to nearly 43 weeks of time at forty hours per week. She would count 780 of these hours as in-kind donations, valued at between $150 to $1000 per hour. Her total personal contribution was over $200 000. Wages would also make large amounts of in-kind donations through volunteer time, 1450 hours in 2009, first valued at over $398 000 before auditors took issue with her $275 per hour rate, at which point her in-kind donations were revalued as being worth a little over $189 000. When the writers of the investigative piece asked for an explanation for the sudden jump in volunteered time, Stone grew flustered and said she’d call back with an explanation. She did not call back. A president of the nonprofit charity watchdog, Charity Navigator, would say that the fact that Stone and Wages were also the museum’s biggest volunteers was “very, very unusual.”190

While she was giving these highly valued donations of her time to the project, the museum was paying her companies for their direct mail services, spending at least $194 000 since 2005. They would also spend money with Total Direct Response, the company of Lora Lynn Jones, the business partner of Ann Stone for the past thirty years. Both Stone and Jones have already appeared in this narrative (“Roger Stone: Pretty Reckless Is Going Straight To Hell Part Four”), in 2000, when companies associated with them print out the fundraising letters for the “Committee to Take Back Our Judiciary”, the mysterious group formed to pressure the Florida Supreme Court to vote in the Bush campaign’s favor. “Were you as outraged by the Florida Supreme Court’s efforts to highjack [sic] the presidency for Al Gore as I was?,” the letters screeched. “We must raise at least $4.5 million by the ‘Vote No’ campaign to organize Florida voters to reject the retention of these three liberal Supreme Court justices.” This direct mail fund-raising campaign cost $150,000, the project funded by a single payment of $150,000, whose source appears to be still unidentified191.

This detail, as well as Stone and Jones, all appear in this excerpt on this mysterious committee, from “Election Law: Supreme Plot” (archived) by Dan Christianson, from Daily Business Review, July 10, 2003:

The direct mail fund-raising campaign cost $150,000. According to Judge Hooper, Roger Stone came up with the money that Committee campaign records later listed as a “loan” from an Alexandria, Va.-based firm called Creative Marketing. The mailing address reported by the Committee for Creative Marketing was the same as that of the Stone Group, a fund-raising and marketing firm owned by Roger Stone’s ex-wife, conservative Republican activist Ann Stone. Investigators could find no company by the name of Creative Marketing.

Mary McCarty said Roger Stone told her he and his partner, Craig Snyder, would be personally responsible for repaying the $150,000 that funded the “Dear Friend” mass mailing.

There were also questions about who the money went to. Judge Hooper found that Roger Stone “or his Organization” actually paid the $150,000 not to Creative Marketing but to a Virginia company called Unique Graphics and Design, which, according to Virginia State corporate records, had as its principals Ann Stone and Lora Lynn Jones. The Committee subsequently paid Unique Graphics an additional $50,000 in May 2001 for purposes that remain unclear.

Last November, Lora Lynn Jones testified in a deposition that it was Roger Stone who hired Unique Graphics for the Florida work, gave her “marching orders,” and was responsible for paying the tab for the fund-raising letter. Lora Jones said she asked for and received the entire $150,000 payment by wire, in advance, because Roger Stone had “burned” her once before on a job.

Neither Hooper nor the FEC determined why the Committee listed “Creative Marketing” rather than “Unique Graphics” as the recipient of the payments. In another anomaly, a Daily Business Review examination of Virginia State corporate records found that “Unique Graphics” was NOT a legal entity when the two payments of $150,000 and $50,000 were made and received. The company’s charter was terminated in 1994, and the firm was purged from the state’s records in 1999.

And despite state records showing that Ann Stone was a principal of “Unique Graphics”, Lora Jones said she was the sole owner and employee. She also said, however, that she was a longtime employee of the Stone Group.

Jones would donate 2050 hours in volunteer time to the museum in 2010, 2050 hours of volunteer time valued at a little over $164 000, 2050 hours of volunteer time that would break down to an average valuation of about $80 per hour, 2050 hours of volunteer time that Jones said included “chores”, such as moving furniture and picking up supplies192.

This was one project that Ann Stone was involved in, but there was a second project which she was even more actively involved in that had even more intriguing questions. It all came out in “The curious spending of Republicans for Choice” by Josh Israel. The focus was a PAC chaired by Stone whose ostensible purpose was to support pro-choice Republican candidates at all levels of government, to bring about a more moderate Republican position on abortion, one more proximate to the beliefs of mainstream Republicans. The piece was aptly named, since this was a PAC that had raised and spent over $5.5 million since its inception in 1990, but according a decade’s worth of data (from 2000 to 2010), less than 5% had gone to political candidates, committees, or independent expenditures. Between 2005 and 2010, the year that “Curious spending” was published, one half of one percent of the million dollars at the PAC’s disposal had gone to federal or state campaigns. In contrast, according to the FEC, the average federal PAC of the 2007-2008 election cycle had spent 35% of its funds on federal candidates. Republican Majority for Choice PAC, a PAC with a very similar agenda to Republicans for Choice, spent more than 87% of its funds on candidates, committees, and independent expenditures. The Planned Parenthood Action Fund spent 72% on these. Two Republican anti-abortion groups, the Republican National Coalition for Life PAC and National Right to Life PAC, spent 79% and 91%, respectively, on candidates, committees, and independent expenditures193.

The expenditures for the Republicans for Choice PAC were similar to those of the National Women’s History Museum: Capstone Lists, The Stone Group, and Ann Stone herself. Since 2001, Stone received nearly a quarter of a million dollars in reimbursements from the PAC, for such things as “travel and entertainment,” and “automobile maintenance repairs”. The Republicans for Choice PAC paid for $685 of her parking tickets194. There were several ways you could look at this. That, according to Ann Stone’s comments to a Politico piece which summarized the allegations, this was a misunderstanding of her PAC, and that “our PAC was never primarily designed to support candidates by giving money. In fact I was clear with him [the reporter of the original piece, Josh Israel] that was a small part of what we were set up to do.” The reason why Republicans for Choice used The Stone Group and Capstone is because no such firm with Republican ties would do so, out of fear of retribution by the party. As for now, the party may have calmed down, and “maybe I could have bid the work out but since my firm was named as one of the top in the Nation by a vote of our peers, why settle for less with another firm?”195 So, there was the possibility that it was a misunderstanding on the part of the writer. The other two possibilities, left to cynical, suspicious minds, were those which open this post: how big is the grift and who is Ann Stone grifting?

There was the simplest possibility, an outgrowth of the theme of Rick Perlstein’s “The Long Con”, that she was raising money of which the vast majority were going to herself rather than the cause for which she was raising. There was, however, the possibility of an even larger, longer con, tied to when the group began. Stone’s Republicans for Choice would make a very public appearance in such articles as “G.O.P. Group Formed to Support Abortion Rights” by Robin Toner, along with one of the only profiles of Ann Stone in a mainstream magazine, People‘s “A True-Blue Conservative Chooses to Break Ranks” by Elizabeth Gleick. Republicans for Choice would be created several months after another conservative abortion rights group, mentioned in “G.O.P. Group Formed to Support Abortion Rights”, had already been created with the very same purpose, to support pro-choice Republicans: Pro-Choice America. We have, a week after the publication of “G.O.P. Group Formed”, the piece “Abortion Issue Simmers In GOP” by S.A. Paolantonio, about the possibility of abortion dividing the Republican party. “It’s our biggest fear,” Ann Stone’s ex-husband, Roger Stone, is quoted as saying in the piece196. We are then given an imagining of a very dramatic split of the Republicans over this issue during a presidential convention:

Imagine anti-abortionists repelling any changes in the platform committee, and an abortion-rights advocate, say, Rep. Nancy Johnson of Connecticut, proposing a platform change from the convention floor. The chairman denies her motion, and abortion-rights supporters – a majority of GOP leaders, according to a Boston Globe poll last week – walk out of the convention.

Imagine this on live television.

It is this crisis point in the klieg lights that many Republicans are desperate to avoid. Last week, a new group called Republicans for Choice – so far about 300 legislators, fund-raisers and members of Congress in all 50 states – embarked on a mission to take control of the party’s policy-making apparatus before the 1992 convention. Their goal: Excise the anti-abortion plank in the Republican platform.

As already said, one of the issues Roger Stone deals with is voter fragmentation, eliminating it on his own side, while creating division among potential supporters of your opponent. This is not the same as eliminating ideological division, which is expected to exist, but to make sure that ideological division cannot be expressed on his own side, while being given as much outlet for expression in the opposition. Every effort must be made to keep George Wallace from running in the general, when he will split conservative votes, while every measure possible should be taken that he runs in the democratic primary, fostering division among democratic voters and perhaps depressing enthusiasm and turnout in the general. This would be the larger scale grift. To deal with this potentially devastating split in the Republican party – “It’s our biggest fear,” says Roger Stone – one might imagine a possible effective counterstrategy: to control the splitting faction, to create a pro-abortion rights Republican PAC which takes in money for the purpose of electing pro-choice Republican candidates, but instead does nearly nothing with it. Electing pro-choice Republican candidates, after all, would not simply change the position of the party, but create a party split, just as busing, crime, drugs, and the issues those words explicitly expressed, or the one they implied – race – had split the democratic party for more than a decade and a half. Rather than letting this issue split the party, you have an advocacy group that doesn’t advocate – it would be a little like taking a dangerous electricity and running it into the ground. We might also imagine this approach taken with another project. Let’s suppose you were conservative minded and thought the idea of women getting their own museum was ridiculous. What would be a more effective approach for halting construction: throwing yourself in the middle of the road, to block the construction equipment, or making yourself head of the construction team, and slowing down the pace to the point where nothing is done?

With regard to Republicans for Choice, this is only a theory, and the best supporting evidence that this was the true intent of the group is that Ann Stone was once Roger Stone’s wife, very much a kindred spirit, a virtuoso at direct mail from whom he learned everything, as merciless a political pit fighter as he was. Other than that, we have only small hints that this is what Republicans for Choice was attempting to do. There is “McInnis served on Republicans for Choice board for nearly a decade” by Scot Kersgaard, which points out that McInnis, a Republican candidate for Colorado’s governorship, was on the board of Stone’s Republicans for Choice from 1996 to 2005, at the same time that he served in the House of Representatives, where he went from being pro-choice to voting mostly against abortion, with the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) giving him a rating of zero percent on abortion issues in 2003. “Yet after receiving that rating,” the piece notes, McInnis “continued to serve at least two more years on the RFC board. Did the board actually offer advice in the running of the organization as implied or were members merely figureheads?” More succinctly: what is a pro-life congressman doing on the board of a pro-choice organization? When McInnis ran in the Republican primary for governor of Colorado, he would support a “personhood” initiative in the state, which was expected to ban abortion in the state. McInnis lost197.

There was another story that perhaps gave weight to this theory, “Republicans for Choice vs. Republicans for Choice” by Jeff Johnson, about the conflict between Stone’s Republicans for Choice PAC and Republicans for Choice, an affiliate of Planned Parenthood. Stone’s group supported the appointment by George W. Bush of Priscilla Owen to the Fifth Circuit, while the Planned Parenthood affiliate was opposed. “I worry that if we in the pro-choice movement attack even those judicial nominees who are responsible and acclaimed jurists that we will appear like the ‘boy who cried wolf’ when the really bad nominees come forward,” wrote Stone. “We need to pick our fights and this should not be one of them.” “Republicans for Choice”, you discovered in this article, was a name that had been trademarked by Planned Parenthood in 1990, with an agreement between the group and Stone allowing her to use it, with necessary qualifiers to avoid confusion. Yet the confusion appeared inevitable, given the names; Stone’s website was republicansforchoice.com, while republicansforchoice.org was the affiliate’s. “We are Republican first and pro-choice second in their eyes,” said Stone of her disagreement with Planned Parenthood. “Our group was organized to be party-friendly and to work out the issue within the party … I have been a target more often than not because they see me as being ‘too Republican.'” In their mailer “Priscilla Owen Nominee for United States Court of Appeals For the Fifth Circuit: Executive Summary”, NARAL would write the following as their basis for opposing the nomination:

In almost every case concerning reproductive rights decided by the Texas Supreme Court during her tenure, Owen has sought to restrict a woman’s right to choose. In most of these cases, she did not merely uphold the Texas legislature in its decision to create a barrier to reproductive choice, she actually attempted to rewrite the statute to create her own, additional, barriers.

Stone would say the following in reaction to Planned Parenthood’s opposition of Owen: “To call her an ‘anti-choice extremist’ is ridiculous. It’s laughable.”198

There was one final detail in the history of Republicans for Choice, a reminder of what a hard pit fighter Ann Stone could be, so very much like her former husband in the nasty smears he could come up with, a cruel moment that the all encompassing historical amnesia had helped forget. It was two weeks to the end of the 1996 race for the governor of Delaware, and the Republican candidate, Janet Rzewnicki, was far behind the incumbent, Tom Carper, when Ann Stone held a news conference where she made a stunning accusation. There were, said Stone, sealed court records which proved that Carper abused his wife. Further, Stone said, “people in Delaware I trust,” had told her it was true. Carper had admitted to slapping his first wife once during their marriage in documents from a 1981 child custody dispute. Martha Carper, the governor’s current wife, would angrily deny Stone’s allegations in a press conference called almost immediately after Stone’s. “There are no documents sealed or unsealed because there are no documents in Family Court or in any other court.” The chair of the state Republican party would also denounce the allegations. “Ann Stone does not represent the Delaware Republican Party. We don’t practice that type of politics here in Delaware,” he’d say. “I think the whole thing is a malicious attack on the governor without a foundation.” Both Rzewnicki and her campaign manager insisted it was up to Carper to prove that he didn’t beat his wife. “If there’s nothing to hide, unseal the records and let the people of Delaware decide on this issue. I’m certainly not calling Tom Carper a wife-beater, but I believe that the people of Delaware have a right to know the entire story,” said Rzewnicki. “Show that he didn’t do it again and that’s the end of it,” said her campaign manager. Four members of the Republicans for Choice would resign in the wake of the accusations. They objected to Stone “raising issues that allegedly occurred over 15 years ago and with nothing but rumor and innuendo that they have occurred since then.” They also believed that Stone’s accusations, which I italicize what might have actually been an important and very intended effect, “could prove to be damaging to pro-choice candidates.” The question, unanswered, is the same here as it is in other parts of the story of Roger and Ann Stone: how large a game are they playing? Was this simply a clumsy smear, or a smear with the intent to do harm to the pro-choice movement in the Republican party? Janet Rzewnicki had previously served on the board of Republicans for Choice. In 1982, in Tom Carper’s first race, the issue of domestic abuse had also been brought up by his opponent. His opponent then was Tom Evans, and the campaign of Evans was run by a man known well to both Ann Stone and the reader, a man by the name of Roger Stone. Tom Evans would lose that race In 1982. Janet Rzewnicki would lose the governor’s race in 1996199.

This same question, how large a game is being played, is at the forefront of Roger Stone’s involvement of the 2012 election. It is this on which attention should have been focused, rather than on any supposed philosophical metamorphosis. I have already mentioned the pieces by Gabriel Sherman and the Washington Post whose purpose, arguably, is not even analysis of this shift, but simply presentation of a colorful character, the Roger Stone schtick with the malice of the Redlich smear entirely forgotten, with only the supposed pretense of such analysis. A far more insightful piece, one which served as the impetus for this lengthy essay, was from the NSFW Corp, “The Gary Johnson Swindle and the Degradation of Third Party Politics” by Mark Ames. The other writers treated Roger Stone as an amusing carnival act, while Ames looked at Stone and the product he was promoting, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, as a crueler kind of joke. “Gary Johnson,” Ames writes, “is proof that our democracy is finished, a fistula of bad politics swelling up under Lady Liberty’s armpit.” The next paragraph:

It’s surprising to me how little skepticism or critical interest there is in Gary Johnson’s third party campaign, especially since he’s been hard-sold to progressives as the “real alternative” or “principled” or “more progressive than [NAME OF CORRUPT DEMOCRAT SCUMBAG HERE].”

The article’s ultimate thesis is simple, a reprise of the theme of voter fragmentation. Just as Wallace was employed to split the democratic vote in 1972, Gary Johnson will be employed to split enough democratic votes in key states for Romney to win the election. Ames dismisses most of the analysis of Stone and Johnson except for one piece, by David Sirota, “The libertarian/marijuana conspiracy to swing the election”. The subhead gives us a succinct summary, “Robocalls urge pro-drug legalization voters to support libertarian Gary Johnson, and could push the state to Romney”, and a few excerpts give us the argument:

The armchair pundits in Washington and New York typically write off these latter two factors as forces destined to aid the president’s reelection campaign. The conventional wisdom is rooted in oversimplified cartoons and caricatures of voter preferences. Essentially, the idea is that the marijuana measure will bring out liberal, Obama-loving hippies, yuppies and crunchies from Denver, Boulder and Fort Collins, while the libertarian candidate’s campaign will siphon conservative votes that would otherwise go to Mitt Romney, thus making Johnson the Republican “version of Ralph Nader,” as the New York Times predictably projects. But that kind of hackneyed red-versus-blue story line – so prevalent in the national media echo chamber – ignores how these forces are playing out on the ground.

This is particularly true considering the intersection of the pot initiative and the Johnson campaign. Despite the punditocracy’s narratives to the contrary, the former New Mexico governor has already been taking as much – or more – support away from Obama in Colorado as he has been from Romney, according to polls. And Johnson’s anti-Obama effect could be come much more pronounced in the next few weeks, thanks to how his supporters are deftly leveraging all hoopla around the marijuana initiative to sharpen their candidate’s appeal and message to disaffected Democrats.

This message is not just word-of-mouth anymore; it has been elevated to the big leagues by a new voter outreach campaign. Indeed, a new automated telephone call focused on the pot measure and playing to liberal disappointment is right now hitting Democratic households in Colorado. Here’s what the message says (you can listen to the full audio below):

Hello fellow Democrat. Like you I was thrilled to vote for Barack Obama in 2008. In 2008, candidate Obama promised not to use the Justice Department to prosecute medical marijuana in states where it was legal. But the real Obama did just that, more than doubling prosecutions, putting people in prisons and shutting down medical marijuana facilities in Colorado. That’s not the change you wanted on health freedom. But you can still be a force for hope and change by voting for Gary Johnson.

Officially funded by the Libertas Institute, the message is accurate in its factual broad strokes. Candidate Obama did explicitly promise to restrain the Justice Department from prosecuting medical marijuana offenses in medical marijuana states, and President Obama has nonetheless overseen an intense Justice Department crackdown on medical marijuana in those states, directly contradicting his pledge.

Though the national media has made the unilateral decision to ignore the massive and destructive Drug War, Johnson and his supporters clearly see the issue as a perfect opening for maximum local – and by virtue of the Electoral College, national – impact. They can make a full-throated libertarian case against the Drug War in a state whose politics are uniquely aligned to convert that argument into an election-winning game-changer for the Republican presidential nominee.

However, Sirota then argues against the idea of an intentional vote split:

Is this a brilliant GOP conspiracy theory? In other words, is the libertarian candidate deliberately trying to help Romney, as Obama partisans will no doubt grouse? Almost certainly not, as Johnson is no fan of Romney, to say the least. He has run a consistently honest and principled campaign that has been equal – and equally harsh – in its criticism of both parties. For that, despite being on most state ballots, he has been mercilessly shut out of the national debate by America’s bipartisan Political-Media-Industrial Complex. But apparently not shut out enough to potentially shift the outcome of the entire 2012 election.

For some, this will be sufficient refutation against such election shenanigans. For myself, I find Sirota’s claim to be superficial and weak. It ultimately implies that Johnson necessarily be a willing and intentional instrument for a vote split, when that is unnecessary. The only thing crucial is that there be a candidate credible on specific issues in key states to achieve this split – if Gary Johnson wants to run in the general election, then he will be suitable for the enterprise. “GOP donors funding Nader: Bush supporters give independent’s bid a financial lift”, by Carla Marinucci, is a piece on wealthy Republicans such as Nijad Fares, a man who gave $200 000 to Bush’s 2000 inaugural committee, and frozen food magnate Jeno Paulucci, who between 2000 and 2004 donated $150 000 to Republican causes, making large contributions to the 2004 Ralph Nader campaign200. This might be either an expression of deep ambivalence over capitalism, or part of the obvious ploy to keep Nader in the race and pull votes from Kerry, another vote split that would make a Republican victory more likely. Does anyone doubt that Nader was as much a man of principle as Gary Johnson, that he was far more critical of both parties than Johnson was? Yet he was also a useful instrument for a vote split, so useful that the GOP gave money in 2004 to make sure his campaign kept going.

That there was very effective message control with regard to Johnson, with emphasis on marijuana, gay marriage, and an oversized security state, with no mention of inconsistencies in Johnson or the seaminess of a backer like Stone, might be seen in some of the mainstream coverage the Johnson campaign received. The sole issue of Molly Ball’s profile of Johnson in the Atlantic‘s “Pipe Dreamer” is pot legalization. There’s the essay by Roger Stone, which Michael Musto links to, “Obama Actually Betrayed The Gay Marriage Cause”, following Obama’s 2012 statements on same sex marriage. The final quote is: “Barack Obama is playing a cruel and cynical game with peoples lives and happiness. He did nothing to establish that gay marriage is a right yesterday.” No mention is made of Stone’s association with the virulently anti-gay Larry Klayman. No mention is made of Stone’s support for the man he often uses as a lawyer, Paul Rolf Jensen, the same Jensen mentioned in “Attorney For Birther Army Doc Is Former GOP Staffer And Anti-Gay Crusader” by Justin Elliott. Jensen would file suit against twenty five Presbyterian pastors who officiated same sex weddings. “Jensen is a bulldog. A true student of the law. A brilliant litigator,” Roger Stone is quoted in the story. Stone signs off on the birther lawsuit as well, saying that Jensen knows the “damage this case can do to Obama. Won’t be adverse to trying to call Obama for testimony.”201

The emphasis on Johnson restraining the national security state was there in the posts by Conor Friedersdorf pounding the drum for Johnson. The most well-known, “Why I refuse to vote for Barack Obama” came down hard on the president for the U.S drone program, and for a war in Libya that Friedersdorf saw as unconstitutional. Friedersdorf repeatedly chastises liberals for their amorality in voting for Barack Obama. One of the last paragraphs:

The whole liberal conceit that Obama is a good, enlightened man, while his opponent is a malign, hard-hearted cretin, depends on constructing a reality where the lives of non-Americans — along with the lives of some American Muslims and whistleblowers — just aren’t valued. Alternatively, the less savory parts of Obama’s tenure can just be repeatedly disappeared from the narrative of his first term, as so many left-leaning journalists, uncomfortable confronting the depths of the man’s transgressions, have done over and over again.

All this caused me to be very surprised to discover, only after the election, that Gary Johnson had very explicitly, without manipulation or editing, said in 2012 that he was uncertain whether or not he’d end the U.S. drone program in Pakistan. Again, explicitly, and without manipulation or editing, he’d also said in 2012 that he wanted to keep the Guantanamo Bay prison open. That he supported a nuclear strike that would wipe out Iran if they were ever to develop nuclear weapons. That he was for a military strike team going into Uganda to capture or kill Joseph Kony, though he also somehow believed NATO’s work in Libya was unconstitutional, all of this given out in a muddle of an interview that would be an embarrassment to a high school student, let alone a presidential candidate. In the day prior to the 2012 announcement on gay marriage, Friedersdorf would write a nasty column taunting liberals for having the gall to vote for Barack Obama given his lack of support for this issue: “‘Lucy’ Obama and His ‘Charlie Brown’ Progressives”. Neither the involvement of Roger Stone in the Johnson campaign, nor Stone’s association with Klayman and Jensen, would ever be mentioned by Friedersdorf. After the election, you waited to hear what Friedersdorf would say about Rand Paul, a politician he’d done so much to promote, when he compared same sex marriage to marriage between the human and the non-human. “It is difficult, because if we have no laws on this, people will take it to one extension further — does it have to be humans?” asked the always thoughtful Paul in an interview with the always thoughtful Glenn Beck. Perhaps a chastisement, or the emphatic declaration that if you were not for same sex marriage, then you had no principles, you were not a libertarian. Instead, readers got this: “Rand Paul Is a Savvier Politician Than Karl Rove Would Prefer”, an interview with Karl Rove at the Aspen Ideas festival. There were no further notes on the subject. I should emphasize I do not think Friedersdorf is complicit in any kind of conspiracy here – I think he’s just a helpful fool, addicted to his self-righteous libertarianism, like someone whose head is stuck far up his ass and who keeps it there because they get off of the reek202.

“Swindle” gives emphasis to the Sirota piece as supporting evidence, yet there is plenty of other material out there which gives further basis. There is this excerpt from “The Libertarian (Ever) Hopeful” by David Weigel, with Johnson speaking about a meeting he just had with Grover Norquist:

Gary Johnson is late. He’s pretty happy about the reason: too many interviews on the schedule today. That was never a problem when he was running for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination. Now that he’s the front-runner for the less-exclusive Libertarian Party nod, people want to talk to him.

“We started out at Grover Norquist’s meeting,” says Johnson, putting down his iPad to join me at a Dupont circle coffee shop. Norquist’s meeting of conservatives is off the record, but attendees can confirm that they crossed the threshold. “I thought it was a really good reception. Part of being out there, campaigning, talking to people, is being able to read body language. And it was all good. Nobody was dozing off. Nobody was shaking their heads. They were actually shaking their head this way.” He nods vigorously.

We’re talking on the day that Newt Gingrich announced the end of his profound presidential bid, when the Republican Party, supposedly, was learning to love Mitt Romney. It’s a few days before Johnson will claim the Libertarian Party’s nomination, potentially becoming a spoiler for Romney. The heads really nodded this way? No heads shaking that way?

“No, none, zero,” says Johnson. “I really believe I’m gonna take it from Obama rather than Romney. I joke, you know-maybe all those pot-smoking, marriage equality, get out of Afghanistan voters for Romney are going to switch to me. Then, boy, he’ll be in trouble!”

The dissent to this view, is expressed in “Spoiler Alert! G.O.P. Fighting Libertarian’s Spot on the Ballot” by Jim Ruttenberg. The text linking to it in Sirota’s piece refers to it as “that kind of hackneyed red-versus-blue story line – so prevalent in the national media echo chamber”. A few excerpted paragraphs should give some sense of the argument:

The fear of Mr. Johnson’s tipping the outcome in an important state may explain why an aide to Mr. Romney ran what was effectively a surveillance operation into Mr. Johnson’s efforts over the summer to qualify for the ballot at the Iowa State Fair, providing witnesses to testify in a lawsuit to block him that ultimately fizzled.

Libertarians suspect it is why Republican state officials in Michigan blocked Mr. Johnson from the ballot after he filed proper paperwork three minutes after his filing deadline.

And it is why Republicans in Pennsylvania hired a private detective to investigate his ballot drive in Philadelphia, appearing at the homes of paid canvassers and, in some cases, flashing an F.B.I. badge – he was a retired agent – while asking to review the petitions they gathered at $1 a signature, according to testimony in the case and interviews.

The challenge in Pennsylvania, brought by state Republican Party officials who suspected that Democrats were secretly helping the effort to get Mr. Johnson on the ballot, was shot down in court last week, bringing to 48 the number of states where Mr. Johnson will compete on Nov. 6.

Both sides agree that Mr. Johnson, whose pro-marijuana legalization and antiwar stances may appeal to the youth vote and whose antigovernment, anti-spending proposals may appeal to conservative fiscal hawks – and to supporters of Mr. Paul – has the potential to draw from both Mr. Romney and Mr. Obama.

Aides to Mr. Romney, while playing down his impact on their candidate, say Mr. Johnson is more likely to hurt Mr. Obama in the potentially critical state of Colorado, where a marijuana initiative Mr. Johnson supports is expected to draw young voters to his cause on Election Day.

They have said they are keeping a keener eye on Virgil Goode of Virginia, a conservative Constitution Party candidate who is on the presidential ballot in Virginia and 28 other states.

So, despite the headline, Romney’s aides thought Johnson was more of a threat to Obama than their candidate, and were more worried about the hard right conservative candidate Virgil Goode splitting their vote than Johnson. “Spoiler alert: Poll finds small following for Libertarian candidate” by Dan Merica further argues that Johnson would take votes away from Romney rather than Obama, but makes the mistake of looking at the country wide picture, rather than state by state: “Obama leads Romney 52% to 46% when Romney and Obama are the only candidates in question, but Romney’s support goes down three percentage points with the inclusion of the third party candidates. Obama’s support only drops one point.” The Johnson campaign know this countrywide analysis is inconsequential, and they are explicit that in specific states, they will be costing Obama votes: “Generally, in places like Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada,” says Johnson’s campaign spokesman Joe Hunter, “it appears that Governor Johnson’s appeal comes from folks that supported Obama in 2008 and are now disillusioned with the president.” Adding: “Who cares if Johnson takes votes from Romney in California?”203 This analysis is also made by Roger Stone, though not in 2012, but in 2008, during Nick Gillespie’s class at the University of Miami in a discussion on that year’s election. It occurs in Stone’s answer to a question about the importance of the latino vote204:

GILLESPIE
So, what happens with the hispanic vote? It’s largely catholic, and seems to be pretty much up for grabs.

STONE
I think it is up for grabs. I mean, the problem is, once we become depicted as an anti-immigrant party, we begin losing hispanic votes. But hispanic voters are strong believers in hard work, strong believers in the work ethic, they’re patriotic, they love uniforms, they respect the military, I think it is a vote that McCain must make in-roads into, in Colorado, in New Mexico, at least – in order to win this election. And that actually, in my opinion, the key. In other words, I think in the final analysis, you should not look at the national polls that show this tied or McCain up three points or Barack Obama up three points, that’s largely meaningless. As you study, you actually look at Ohio, Missouri, Colorado, New Mexico, and Virginia. Probably Florida. And look at the polls in those states. Those are the states that will determine this election. Everything else is predictable, by and large. You know the democrats will carry California, and say, Massachusetts, at this point, the Republicans will carry Texas and Mississippi. You know all that. Every other state is reliably predictable, those states I just mentioned are up for grabs, and in order to win Colorado and New Mexico, I think McCain needs to fall back on his original position on immigration, he’s not an immigrant basher, he has been in favor of a path to citizenship, and I think that could be very palatable to people in those states.

Note the key states: Ohio, Missouri, Colorado, New Mexico, and Virginia. Not Pennsylvania, not Iowa, not Michigan, the places where Republicans were working to keep Johnson off ballots. And there is Virginia: Romney’s aides think Johnson will actually take more votes from Obama than their man, but: “They have said they are keeping a keener eye on Virgil Goode of Virginia, a conservative Constitution Party candidate who is on the presidential ballot in Virginia and 28 other states.” In Stone’s 2008 analysis, McCain needs to win Colorado and New Mexico by going back to his path to citizenship stance. Those voters were already lost to the Romney-Ryan ticket through their embrace of the proposals of Kris Korbach. So, how can they win those necessary states? Through a vote split on the left between Johnson and Obama. Though Ames is dismissive of Warren’s “Roger Stone to GOP: Payback’s a Bitch” piece – “It’s his Ivy Leaguer “bitch” that makes it so authentically awful” – there is, I think, a key point that Stone makes there, and why his role in the Johnson campaign is crucial. I bold the relevant text: “Johnson is polling at 9 percent in Arizona [according to PPP], and it’s all gonna come out of Romney’s hide, and he’s at 6 percent in Wisconsin (according to the Reason poll), which is all out of Obama’s hide. I am helping Gary figure out where to put his emphasis.” I was reminded of this line when reading the emails from the 2010 New York governor’s race, where Roger Stone pleads with Warren Redlich to drop out, and Stone gives his explanation for why: “In a 3 way race for Governor a woman candidate running on marijuana legalization gets 50,000+ votes and takes votes from Cuomo- not a Paladino. Prostitution would be de-emphasized in a fall campaign.” The plan is that marijuana legalization would have been emphasized with a Kristin Davis candidacy, taking it out of Cuomo’s hide, and throwing the election to Paladino. Redlich got the nomination, so Stone had no control in shaping the ticket. In 2012, Stone was there to help Johnson “figure out where to put his emphasis.” Marijuana legalization would be pushed in Colorado and New Mexico, taking points out of Obama’s hide205

Ames cites the precedent of Stone playing a role in a split vote in the 1980 election between Reagan and Carter. In a tight contest in New York, third party candidate John Anderson was predicted to do far more damage to Carter than Reagan. Ames quotes from the Labash profile an episode where Stone, political fixer Roy Cohn, and gangster Tony Salerno get Anderson on the ballot in New York state, and in 1980, New York goes for Reagan. This is one distinctive precedent, but there are several others in Stone’s career. There is the list of notable achievements and connections in his memoir’s introduction, which includes the throwaway line “tried to persuade Warren Beatty to run for President on the Reform ticket (to siphon votes from the Democrats, of course)”206. Rather than run Warren Beatty, the Reform Party in 2000 would run Pat Buchanan, a move that would be their doomsday. Stone would openly take credit for this, and be explicit that the reason he wanted the Reform Party destroyed was because they were splitting the conservative vote. He would say all this publicly in a Reason TV conference and interview from 2007:

NICK GILLESPIE
Should the Libertarian Party continue to exist?

ROGER STONE
Well, as one who, I think, either helped kill, or killed, the Reform Party, because I believe they helped cost us the White House in both 1992 and 1996, and their lack of any ideology at all, it was a hodgepodge of vegetarians and goldbugs and a few libertarians, and gun people, and gun control people…there was no consistency there other than there were people who couldn’t make it in any other party.

Though both Labash and Toobin indulge Stone greatly in his claimed achievements, they shy away from this one. Toobin does not mention it at all; Labash gives it mention, then seemingly appears to wave it away: “After having recruited Pat Buchanan to seek the nod (“You have to beat somebody,” Stone says), he pushed Trump into the race. Trump relentlessly attacked Buchanan as having “a love affair with Adolf Hitler,” but ended up folding. A weakened Buchanan went on to help the Reform party implode, and Republicans suffered no real third-party threat, as they had in 1992, thus helping Stone accomplish his objective. If, in fact, that was his objective. These things are often hard to keep track of with Roger Stone.”207 I’m not quite sure why there’s the hesitation – “If, in fact, that was his objective” – since Stone has been very explicit that this was his objective, and the elimination of a vote splitting party on the right has an obvious tangible benefit for the Republicans. The man who goes further than both writers is, once again, Wayne Barrett, with “The Sex Scandal That Put Bush in the White House”: “The Buchanan saga remains important not only because it reveals the seamy underside of Bush II’s ascent to power, but because it shows how the GOP virtually eliminated a national centrist party that could’ve altered the 2004 race.”208

Roger Stone would meet with his old colleague from the Nixon White House, Pat Buchanan, and encourage him to leave the Republicans and run for the head of the Reform Party. Buchanan declined, but things were soon going badly for him in Republican primaries, where the Iowa straw poll had him behind far right fringe candidate Gary Bauer. Stone commissioned a poll showing Buchanan doing very well on the Reform party ticket and sent the results to Buchanan. A close associate of Buchanan, Pat Choate, would become chairman of the party, and Buchanan would head up the ticket, but only after a very nasty public fight. Donald Trump, who had briefly made public consideration of heading the ticket, called Buchanan a nazi. So did Jesse Ventura, who’d successfully won the governorship of Minnesota on the Reform Party line, and who left the Reform Party after Buchanan was selected. Bay Buchanan, sister and close confidant of the candidate, was bewildered by Stone’s actions, saying she “doesn’t understand why he would want us in the Reform Party in the first place” and then use proxies like Trump and Ventura to go after the candidate as a nazi. Choate would describe the efforts by Trump and Stone as a “Republican dirty trick”, with the intent “to disgust people and drive them away from the Reform Party. They were doing everything in their power to make a mess. You had Ventura leaving and Trump all over TV saying that Buchanan loved Hitler, ignorant statements.”209

Stone would also go after Buchanan with an old rumor that had dogged the candidate when he ran for president in 1992 and 1996. The rumor was that he’d fathered an illegitimate child while he was an undergrad in Georgetown, sometime between 1957 and 1961. In 2000, there was another element. Buchanan, in 1992, had made a series of payments, personal checks from him to his sister, who in turn sent personal checks to an aide, who then delivered cashier checks to a Washington lawyer. Pat Buchanan would call the baby story an “unsubstantiated rumor”. Bay Buchnanan would call the story “false”. Of the payments, Pat Buchanan would say “I’m not going to go into that. I don’t know the details of anything. It deals with a private matter. We did nothing wrong.” Bay Buchanan would confirm that these payments had been made. She would also confirm another detail: that the lawyer to whom the payments were made had once been married to a woman Pat Buchanan had dated when he’d been at Georgetown210.

Roger Stone would aggressively push the illegitimate baby story early on in the 2000 campaign. He was explicit and public in his belief in the story. “Everyone who worked for Nixon knew about” this story, said Stone. “There’s no doubt this illegitimate child story is true. My understanding is that Buchanan supported the child and made educational payments. It would be honorable.” Whenever Buchanan did well, the illegitimate baby story would get pushed. The nasty fight within the Reform Party eliminated the possibility that Perot would run for the ticket, which was always a worry for Bush during the 2000 election. Buchanan would purge the Reform Party of Perot loyalists. This would further intensify strife within the party, and cause Perot to endorse Bush. Buchanan’s ten million dollars in matching funds were used entirely in a near unnoticed media buy in Texas. After the election, Buchanan would say “I’m glad we didn’t take Bush down with us.” Buchanan would deny the possibility that the illegitimate baby story played a role in any of his decisions. “If you’ve got Roger trying to smear me,” said Buchanan, “it had no influence over what I did. I wasn’t intimidated into backing off the campaign by anyone or anything.”211 As for Bay Buchanan’s bewilderment, the part where she “doesn’t understand why he would want us in the Reform Party in the first place,” we have the answer openly given in the opening of a piece about the Reform Party of the time, a “Politics & Prose” column by Scott Stossel:

The only time George W. Bush has appeared to break a sweat in this campaign (aside from when clumsily deflecting allegations of past drug use), was when he implored Pat Buchanan not to bolt the GOP for the Reform Party. Clearly the idea of running against Buchanan in a general election makes Bush nervous.

By bringing Buchanan into the Reform Party, there was no longer the possibility of running against Perot. Having the fight for the Reform Party ticket be as contentious as possible destroyed the strength of the party. The illegitimate baby story kept Buchanan from being too visible in the general election. The possibility of a vote split on the right was eliminated. That this story has received so little coverage, while its auteur Roger Stone has gotten so much ink, demonstrates how journalists are drawn to the cheap thrills and frissons of the image of Stone’s sleazy tactics, sleazy tactics in the abstract, without the guts of the matter. The Reform Party was very much a power in the 1992 election as an expression for the voice of spurned labor, because one of its biggest issues was being against NAFTA, which would eventually have a devastating effect on work and wages. This possibility was burnt down to the ground, with the xenophobia of Pat Buchanan, minus his opposition to NAFTA, provided as a substitute. We instead are given someone like Andrew Breitbart, who sells the idea of cultural marxism, a theory that a small group of jews control the culture and the economy, as a populist voice. To make it more palatable, Breitbart removes the specific connection to this cabal being jewish – they just happen to be so. It’s a theory that’s been plagiarized from an old journal of fringe candidate Lyndon Larouche, one that also happens to show up in the work of Pat Buchanan. A small group of jews who work against the interests of the white christian majority, setting the dark races against them. Breitbart provides the xenophobia, minus any interest in labor. His constant nemesis is the service employees union, the SEIU, who he accuses of being involved in election fraud. Roger Stone destroys a voice for labor, and this raw hatred roars into the vacuum. Toobin does not speak of the Buchanan incident, and though Labash slavishly gives close attention to so many of Stone’s doings, he abruptly shies away from this consequential event: “These things are often hard to keep track of with Roger Stone.”212

Wayne Barrett would also document a second prominent time when Stone would use a candidate for divisive purposes, and this would be Al Sharpton in the 2004 Democratic primaries. “Sleeping With the GOP: A Bush Covert Operative Takes Over Al Sharpton’s Campaign” would detail how Stone would provide loans and staff for Sharpton’s campaign, with the intent to divide the democrats in 2004 as they had been in 1972. While the Club for Growth bought ads against Howard Dean in Iowa, Sharpton would attack Dean for the lack of black men and women in his Vermont cabinet. It was just like in 1972, when black protesters had suddenly shown up outside Edmund Muskie’s hotel room, demanding why he had ruled out the possibility of a black vice president. A member of the Nixon CREEP committee, Donald Segretti, would later take credit for that. “Top level consideration should be given to ways and means to promote, assist, and fund a Fourth Party candidacy of the Left Democrats and/or the Black Democrats,” wrote a Nixon strategist and speechwriter in 1972. “There is nothing that can so advance the President’s chances for reelection – not a trip to China, not four and a half per cent unemployment – as a realistic black…campaign.” That Nixon strategist was Pat Buchanan, before he himself became a third party threat to conservative voter unity213.

The desire to support and fund the creation of a fourth party, one led either by Eugene McCarthy or one with black candidates catering specifically to a black demographic, for the express purpose of splitting the Democratic vote, is made explicit in the tapes of the Nixon White House, a plan approved by the then president himself. The following is a transcript from Stanley Kutler’s invaluable Abuse of Power: The New Nixon Tapes:

SEPTEMBER 14, 1971: THE PRESIDENT, HALDEMAN, AND COLSON, 12:37-1:32 P.M., OVAL OFFICE

Nixon continues to rage about the IRS and his friends. Colson then joins the conversation, offering his special contributions to White House dirty tricks.

COLSON
Well, Bob Brown has some friends who are going to have signs around the Muskie rallies, [saying Carl] Stokes [the black mayor of Cleveland] for vice president. This raises the point-

HALDEMAN
I will hope the hell that Watts do go ahead with a black president candidate.

PRESIDENT NIXON
So do I.

HALDEMAN
In fact, Buchanan has come in with a suggestion that may make a lot of sense which is that – he says if we’re going to spend $50 million in this campaign, then 10 percent of it, $5 million, ought to be devoted-

PRESIDENT NIXON
To the fourth party.

HALDEMAN
-to financing a black-

COLSON
Shirley Chisholm and Julian Bond.

PRESIDENT NIXON
Do you think that the blacks will vote for a black party?

HALDEMAN
Some.

COLSON
A lot of them will especially if-

HALDEMAN
Just to show that the Democratic party has no one…But Pat’s point is we’ve got to get a viable candidate – only if they get a viable candidate. If they get a Julian Bond-

PRESIDENT NIXON
Well, let me suggest this. Might – $5 million would finance Eugene McCarthy.

HALDEMAN
Well, that’s Howard Stein is working on that. There’s a good story in the U.S News, Newsweek, or something. Stein has outlined the McCarthy plan which is that he is not going to enter the primaries but he’s going to do a major speaking tour next year will go to the convention as people – the Democratic convention as the people’s candidate. If, as is expected, he’s rejected by the convention, he will then go to the fourth party. The problem is that it’s too late then go to a fourth party. You have – it takes time to get a fourth party qualified…[Remember, Wallace? Wallace did a superb job. That’s why with a black party you’ve got to get started (inaudible), so they get qualified for-]

PRESIDENT NIXON
All right, Bob. Put that down for discussion – not for discussion but for action. They should finance and contribute both to McCarthy and to the black thing.

COLSON
That’s a helluva lot-

PRESIDENT NIXON
We’re recognizing that McCarthy – the black won’t take any votes from us. Just like the damn Democrats contributed to [George] Wallace in Alabama. They did, you know. Jesus Christ, they were praying for Wallace to win that primary.

HALDEMAN
Yeah.

COLSON
That’s a helluva lot better use of money than a lot of things.

PRESIDENT NIXON
Oh, we spent – waste money on all sorts of things.

HALDEMAN
Okey-doke. What he’s saying is, you know, instead of some television commercials-

PRESIDENT NIXON
Absolutely.

HALDEMAN
-we can do this.

COLSON
Or billboards.

HALDEMAN
Because we’re going to need the television commercials.

(Audio of this very moment in the White House tapes. Audio is taken from the extraordinary resource nixontapes.org, row 572a from the page chron2, audio link rmn_e572a.mp3.)

The concept of running Eugene McCarthy as a fourth party vote splitter also comes up in a conversation on August 9, 1971. Transcript, again from Stanley Kutler’s Abuse of Power, is on pastebin, “Nixon Fourth Party as Democrat Vote Splitter August 9 1971”.

Stone would say that he “helped set the tone and direction” of Sharpton’s Dean attacks. “I am helping Gary figure out where to put his emphasis,” said Stone of the 2012 Johnson campaign. Stone would co-ordinate contributions from various states to get federal matching funds for the Sharpton campaign – you need at least $5000 from at least twenty states for such funds. Among the contributors to the Sharpton campaign from Florida: Nydia Stone, Michael Caputo, Dianne Thorne, Tim Suereth. This attempt to get matching funds, to keep the campaign going as long as possible and maybe even pick up delegates, so they’d bring the dissent all the way to the convention, would ultimately fail214.

When Dianne Thorne was hired by the Broward County sheriff’s department in 2013, Stone would have a strange reaction to allegations that there was a connection between his possible help for Scott Israel in the sheriff’s campaign and Thorne’s hiring. “Diane [sic] has not worked for me for over two years,” he would write. “She is an amazing professional, and I have missed her assistance over the past two years since she left my employ.”215 It is a strange reaction, and a reminder once again that I lack Stone’s genius. I subtract two years from 2013, and go back to 2011. Yet Thorne appears to be very much there in the campaign, credited as Stone’s assistant, at the Johnson campaign in 2012. From “Live From Tampa, Roger Stone’s Steakhouse Politics: Charred and Bloody” by Gabriel Sherman. My bolds:

It was shortly after 8 p.m. on a rain-soaked Monday night, and Stone was fondly recalling conventions of yore on his 60th birthday with Diane Thorne [sic], his raven-haired Australian assistant, and her friend Gretchen, a blond tenth-grade English teacher from Miami Beach. He had his hair bleached signature blond, and wore a custom tailored tan suit, a red-and-yellow striped tie, and a white handkerchief in his breast pocket (“I’m Roger Stone, I have to dress this way,” he says). Smoke from the airplane-hanger-sized gaming room adjoining the steakhouse wafted into the restaurant.

We all ordered crab cakes and shrimp cocktail. Stone went with the New York strip, done “Pittsburgh” (charred on the outside, rare in the middle). “This is good,” Stone said biting into his steak. “When you’re with Gary Johnson, you’re eating at PF Changs or Outback. We’re very frugal with campaign cash.”

“What are you talking about?” Thorne said. “We eat at Chipowah, or whatever it’s called.”

“It’s Chipotle,” Stone said. “You know,” he said turning to me, “I kind of like Chipotle for lunch.”

We also have the observations of Bill Still, a libertarian gadfly who was very critical of the involvement of Roger Stone in the Libertarian Party. An excerpt from the “Still Report #41”, via the Independent Political Report (which is a transcript of his “Still Report #41” on youtube):

Now before I go on, I’m going to say this may be the last time I talk about this. Watch it, do your own research, believe it or ignore it. I’m tired of having to go negative on Gov. Johnson, but as I’ve said before, his candidacy represents a takeover of the Libertarian Party – not only by the Republican Party – but the most nasty, pro-Federal Reserve wing of the Republican Party.

That’s the only thing that can possibly explain the mindless two-pronged Johnson economic policy:

So who is behind this takeover of the LP?

This guy, Andrew Miller – the one in the pink shirt – is sitting with Gov. Johnson at breakfast a couple of weeks ago in Georgia. He and a gorgeous black-haired Australian woman have been in the Johnson entourage until they disappeared at the California convention. They had been with Gov. Johnson since the first convention he showed up at in Manhattan.

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

(last image from Andrew Miller’s twitter, taken from “Hidden owner of ‘news’ site gave $120,000 to group that paid sheriff’s campaign manager” by Dan Christensen, the first two are from “The Still Report #41”)

However, what I found out in California was that Miller and the beautiful Australian actually work for this man, Roger Stone, probably the dirtiest of the American political consultants.

Who could this beautiful, raven haired Australian woman possibly be?

The question, again, should not be “what is behind Roger Stone’s philosophical shift in 2012?” Roger Stone has no philosophy, no beliefs, only practical concerns. The question is: how big a grift is he pulling, and what kind of grift is he aiming for? There is the possibility that he and his associates are simply draining the Johnson campaign of funds, as Larry Klayman alleged they’d done with him (this is discussed in part six). Stone would insist that he worked on the Johnson campaign as an unpaid volunteer: “I have been paid zero by the Johnson campaign.” He worked pro bono for Carl Paladino as well, with two companies run by Dianne Thorne paid at least $84 000. A company run by her stepson, Andrew Miller, was paid $17 000. Thorne worked as a scheduler for the candidate for New York governor, did her work from a suite on Miami Beach. The Gary Johnson campaign would originally end the 2012 post election period with a little over $197 000 in debt, which would suddenly jump up to over $1 134 000 in debt in February 2013. Much of that debt was to “Political Advisors”: $535 244.94 for “Staff Hours – Mid-Level, Senior Advisors, Clerical, Creative Advertising, Campaign Consult”216. Members of the Libertarian Party had already noticed, and complained, that Libertarian Party donations had paid off his campaign debts – rather than those debts being paid off by federal matching funds, as the Johnson campaign had claimed217. That Stone worked as a volunteer advisor on the Paladino and Johnson campaigns may well be due to a generosity of spirit. However, I could not help but be reminded of some excerpts from the biography of Roy Cohn, Citizen Cohn by Nicholas Von Hoffman. Stone was an admirer and protegé of Cohn, with Cohn getting considerable space in Stone’s memoir Dirty Tricks and a 30th birthday party thrown by Cohn for Stone is clearly considered by the dirty trickster as one of the great moments of his life218. Cohn also had massive tax liens on him during the later part of his life, and he dealt with them as follows:

Roy’s strategy for not paying taxes and not going to jail was magazine cover-story material also. The high-fashion New York business magazine manhattan, inc. did a piece on how he did it called “The Prince of Paupers,” wherein it was explained that Roy received almost no salary or other compensation but lived off expenses provided for him by his law firm.

How do you avoid your salary from being hit by your liens? You have your salary paid to your associates.

There was an ominous detail, picked up only in “Swindle” by Ames, that the positioning of Johnson as a vote splitter was part of a long term project of a faction on the right. “Our America Initiative”, Johnson’s election organization, was registered in March 2010, and it was registered by Maureen Otis, who specializes in far right groups and causes. She was the legal contact for the anti-immigrant Declaration Alliance, whose website declared “the United States of America is under relentless attack by foreign invaders who neither obey our laws nor honor our institutions”, she was the legal contact for Californians for Population Stabilization, a group opposed to legal immigration to California, she was the legal contact for True the Vote, a ballot security group that was almost entirely white, which operated in black and latino voting precincts in 2012. All these and other details I already wrote about in a post also spurred on by the NSFW Corp piece, “Maureen Otis: A Mystery Inside a Mystery”, about Otis and the unreported shadow money so ubiquitous in politics now. When I wrote that, however, there were a few subtle details I missed. Maureen Otis is the legal contact for the 60 Plus Association and USA Next, two grassroots senior advocacy groups that are nothing of the kind, getting almost all of their funding from big pharma and industry. They may be the only seniors organizations to fight against price caps on medication for seniors. They might be the only seniors organizations to advocate for burial of nuclear waste in Nevada, and offshore oil drilling, thanks to donations from the respective industries. Those details I did not miss, and gave mention in “Mystery Inside a Mystery”. What I missed is that United Seniors Association was founded by Richard Viguerie and re-organized by J. Curtis Herge. That J. Curtis Herge also incorporated the 60 Plus Association. J. Curtis Herge, the same man who incorporated the New York Institute for Law and Society, which attacked the Mohawks as drug dealers and human traffickers in newspaper ads, a smear campaign which Trump and Stone had to apologize for (see “Roger Stone: Pretty Reckless Is Going Straight To Hell Part Five”). J. Curtis Herge, who gets a mention in Stone’s memoir: “In 1972 I was assigned to work for J. Curtis Herge, an affable and capable attorney from Nixon, Mudge, Rose, Gutherie and Alexander, Nixon’s starchy Wall Street firm. Herge had done advance work for Nixon in 1968 and 1970.” I missed that nuance, and I missed another one. I first came across the excellent piece, “National Women’s History Museum Makes Little Progress After 16 Years”, because I was looking up the various organizations for which Maureen Otis is the legal representative. In 2008, Maureen Otis was the legal contact listed for the National Women’s History Museum219.

These connections I missed, and I also missed what was taking place in the Libertarian Party in the four years leading up to the Gary Johnson nomination. The 2008 Libertarian convention may well have been the most eventful in the party’s history, certainly the one that attracted the greatest media scrutiny. Bob Barr, a former Republican who’d been a major player in the congressional impeachment hearings of Bill Clinton, was running for the party’s nomination for the presidential ticket. There would be a profile of Barr in the New Yorker, “The Third Man” by Raffi Khatchadourian, though the coverage of the convention was only a small part of it. For writing on that, you’d have to read the excellent “Freedom Freaks” by Michael Idov, which portrays a very contentious vote, divided between the hardcore libertarian faithful such as Mary Ruwart, and the ascendant intruder, with the election going to six ballots before it was decided in Barr’s favor. Crucial to Barr’s victory was another man new to the Libertarian party, who garnered an incredible amount of votes thanks to barn burning charisma. The contrast between the stodgy idealism of the libertarian old guard and the disruptive electricity of this second intruder is well conveyed in Idov’s piece:

Most of the assembled purists save their loudest cheers for “Dr. Mary” Ruwart, a party veteran with a soft, hypnotic voice that doesn’t break its motherly cadence even when she explains how the right to carry concealed weapons could have prevented September 11. (She’s also on the record suggesting that children should have a right to consent to sex with adults.) Her mostly male fans have come equipped with posters that say “Mary” inside a red heart. Another old-school favorite is Steve Kubby, a cancer-battling marijuana activist who drives a 1984 Mercedes that runs on cooking oil. The Mary-Kubby people are fast congealing into an anti-Barr alliance. From my informal survey of signs and pins and hats and paddles and T-shirts, Mary has the ears of about 25 percent of the delegates and Kubby another 20 percent: enough to make Barr nervous. Ruwart suggests that she would pick up Hillary Clinton supporters, who “can’t wait to vote for a woman,” and the heart-Mary signs fly up.

A few doomed dabblers march across the stage, serving up a glimpse into the party’s various now-endangered constituencies. Christine Smith, a New Age-y redhead with a musical twang, says things like “Ah see freedom in the ahhs of wild creatures.” Alden Link is an older gentleman who talks exactly like Truman Capote, except about the Second Amendment.

And then something electrifying happens. A man from Las Vegas named Wayne Allyn Root saunters to the podium. A ruddy bookmaker and TV sports handicapper who once co-hosted a show with Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder, Root looks like a cross between “SNL”‘s Darrell Hammond-as-Bill Clinton and Biff from Back To the Future. He’s been itching to diversify from odds-making and TV appearances, and recently wrote the book Millionaire Republican, about “creating personal wealth in the GOP-dominated era.” (It came out in 2006.) Soon after, he had his own “Libertarian awakening,” as he calls it. Root’s brochure baldly paints his candidacy as a pure p.r. project. His detailed “sixteen-year plan” for the party has such milestones as “Wayne hits a local college nightspot and dances with the younger set. The video makes U Tube” and “Wayne becomes a frequent guest on ‘This Week with George Stephanopoulos,’ Wayne’s Columbia University classmate.” (Stephanopoulos on Root: “I definitely didn’t know him.”) His other Columbia classmate? “Barrack [sic] Obama.” P.r. gold.

Root grabs the mic, leaves the podium, and begins to prowl the stage like a motivational speaker, crossing back and forth in front of his frozen competitors. “I am the anti-politician! I am an s.o.b.-son of a butcher! America needs a son of a butcher! I know how to manipulate the media! First Jewish-American to run for president! First small businessman! First home- school dad! This is an opportunity of a lifetime!” His speech is all disembodied applause lines, and Root flogs and teases and massages each one for maximum impact.

Root leaves a definite mark. Compared to the low-boil Gravel, the literally and figuratively absent Barr, and the parade of amateurs that preceded him, he is the only one who seems to really enjoy being here. An impressed follower of Kubby, the pot activist, jokingly floats a “Grass-Root ticket.” “I had a feeling that he was going to sell me some Ginsu knives,” says another delegate when it’s over. “But … I don’t know-maybe this is what we need right now?”

Barr and Ruwart would be pitted against each other in the final ballot, and it was thanks to Wayne Allyn Root swinging his support behind Barr that Barr got the ticket. Wayne Allyn Root would get the veep slot, and would soon become a very visible face of the party. In “The Life of the 3rd Party” by Thomas Vinciguerra, a brief profile of Root in the month before the 2008 election, we see a man not shy about extolling his virtues. “The Libertarians have been a debate society since 1971,” Root says. “No one ever thought about winning. And then I came along.” He is already bragging about his future achievements. “Bob Barr and I are going to get a million to three million votes this year,” he says. “In 2012 I expect to duplicate Ross Perot’s number of 19 million. In 2016 I expect to be a credible third-party candidate, and in 2020 I plan to win.”220

There is something fascinating in Root that begs for a lengthy profile, and this is not simply because of all that would come to pass after his 2008 nomination. He had the strange duality of an aggressive salesman combined with something more malign. He made you think of the sound of an energetic, loud, productive motor that you slowly realize is a chainsaw. If there was a character he reminded you of, it was deputy Lou Ford from Jim Thompson’s The Killer Inside Me, who’s an endless source of banal feel good homilies, an endless source of murder. Root was like Ford, a smiling malice at low boil, minus the murder. “Just Another Hustler in the Hustler Kingdom” by David Weigel, a gifted writer who can be quite scathing, doesn’t go after the hustler with sharp claws, or claws at all. “The One-Wing Ticket” by Jesse Walker, also for the Libertarian magazine Reason, is more succinct and nasty about who the party has just voted in. It was one thing to pick Bob Barr, a long time advocate for a smaller state, for the ticket. However, he should have been balanced out with an orthodox veteran of the party. In “a tone-deaf, disappointing decision,” Walker writes, they’d picked “a man with the deportment of a Ronco pitchman with a squirrel in his pants.”221

In “Life of the 3rd Party,” Root is described as a professional handicapper, but he had also been called a far nastier name – he was a professional scamdicapper. “What is a professional scamdicapper?” asked a post on Maddux Sports. “A Scamdicapper,” the post answered, “is a term that is used to refer to a sports handicapping service that is not in the sports wagering business to help you, but to profit off you and scam you out of your money.” The rest of the post continued this blunt approach. “Some common practices of Scamdicappers are to claim outlandish winning percentages, go under multiple names, give out both sides of a game, or even call and harass you until you purchase their picks.”222 There, at the end, was a list of scamdicappers to avoid at all costs, and there was the name: Wayne Allyn Root. The bluntness was not limited to this gambling outreach, but there in a New York Post column, Phil Mushnick’s “Pardon my Indigestion”, as well: “Shame on the Discovery Channel for selling infomercial time to self-promoting blowhard, Libertarian Party presidential candidate and longtime braggart, liar and sports scamdicapper Wayne Allyn Root, and his cohorts (“I went 8-0!” “I’m 26-0!” “Call now!”).” The venom continued for two paragraphs:

Unless accepting money in exchange for allowing Root and the likes of former Chicago and New York sports radio and TV host/windbag/glad-hander Chet Coppock is how Discovery operates, this time-buy should be immediately tossed. And shame on Hooters’ Las Vegas casino for sponsoring this scam show. Aren’t casinos supposed to trade on the public’s trust?

Root may be good at suckering Fox News Channel producers and hosts and Wikipedia into thinking he’s legit, but others know a lot better, and have for years.

Root’s handicapping company was Winning Edge, and “The Tout” by Christina Binkley is a profile of him and the company from 2005. “I like UMass, Providence, and, um, lemme see — my other pick was South Carolina,” says Root into a phone. “Don’t get scared on me.” Two years later, Winning Edge International, Inc., also known as Winning Edge, would be sold to Betbrokers, PLC, its shares worth three tenths of a cent. “As a result of the asset sale,” we can read in the document announcing the asset sale, “Winning Edge received shares of Betbrokers, PLC. Winning Edge will use the proceeds of the sale of Betbrokers’ stock to pay off existing debts.” After debts were paid, Winning Edge shareholders might get something. “If there are any proceeds left after the sale of Betbrokers’ stock and payment of debts, the remaining proceeds will be distributed to Winning Edge’s shareholders.” That, however, was highly unlikely. “At this time, management is not certain if there will be any funds to distribute to shareholders and shareholders should consider it unlikely that there will be any distributions.” The debts of Winning Edge were in excess of two point four million223. After the collapse of the company, Root would bring in General Patent Corporation International to sue various other sports betting firms for infringing on his patent. Winning Edge, you see, owned U.S. Patent No. 6,260,019, also known as “Web-Based Prediction Marketplace”. What they’d patented was any “method and apparatus pertain to the on-line prediction of future events.” I should emphasize the any – the patent was not specific to any software, hardware, or any specific algorithm. This is sometimes known as patent squatting. Winning Edge and Betbrokers went after Playbook Enterprises and Don Best Sports. The companies settled224.

The other company Root was associated with was Wealth Masters International. WMI would sell you video tutorials on how to achieve wealth, and part of the way you achieved wealth was through recruiting new members. There were a number of names for this; one of them was “mid level marketing”, the other was “pyramid scheme”. Norway would classify Wealth Masters as a pyramid scheme and ban them from the country225. A search on February 14th, 2014 at Ripoff Report, would produce sixteen reports for Wealth Master International. “Got my attention by claiming to be honest in a crooked industry and therefore doing business the better way. But just when you start trusting you realize you too have been conned by their lies”, read the title of the first.

Root was elected a member at large of the Libertarian National Committee, while heading up a sister organization that would be created soon after his arrival, the Libertarian National Campaign Committee (LNCC). There was soon a creeping fear that Root was trying to take over the LNC, with a different emphasis on libertarian issues. Liberty for America, a libertarian journal, would review Root’s book Conscience of a Libertarian and note that his concerns were entirely lower taxes, smaller government, and end to restrictions on internet gambling. There was no discussion of the prison industrial complex, drug sentencing, foreign intervention, the defense industrial complex – many of the key issues of libertarianism226. Root would fundraise and endorse Republican candidates. This, he would argue angrily, is about outreach. The Florida and Idaho state chapters of the Libertarian Party would pass resolutions demanding that Root be removed from his positions on the LNC and LNCC227. “I call Wayne a “Republican” Libertarian,” said Eric Dondero, another Libertarian controversial for his passionate defense of the military, and a fan of Root’s. “He’s like a GOP infiltrator within the Libertarian Party.”228

Beneath all the gladhanding salesmanship there was a nasty, cruel ugliness to Root. It came out when he argued with other libertarians, but most of all it came out when he talked about his former classmate at Columbia, Barack Obama. Except that Root wasn’t sure that Obama had been his classmate, since he’d never seen him. Root wasn’t sure Obama had gotten into Columbia by virtue of his ability. It was all there, above the surface and very visible, in an interview with Matt Welch and Tim Cavanuagh, “Wayne Allyn Root’s Million-Dollar Challenge”. I initially tried to only partially excerpt this piece, yet Root keeps going and going in each line, so that the following is almost the entire interview. What the “million dollar challenge” refers to is made obvious in its middle:

Matt Welch: So tell us what we should know about Barack Obama that we don’t?

Wayne Allyn Root: I think the most dangerous thing you should know about Barack Obama is that I don’t know a single person at Columbia that knows him, and they all know me. I don’t have a classmate who ever knew Barack Obama at Columbia. Ever!

Welch: Yeah, but you were like selling, you know, Amway in college or something, weren’t you?

Root: Is that what you think of me! And the best damned Amway salesman ever!

Welch: No, I’m sure that you were an outgoing young man, I’m just guessing.

Root: I am! That’s my point. Where was Obama? He wasn’t an outgoing young man, no one ever heard of him.

Tim Cavanaugh: Maybe he was a late bloomer.

Root: Maybe. Or maybe he was involved in some sort of black radical politics.

Welch: Ooooooooooh.

Root: Maybe he was too busy smoking pot in his dorm room to ever show up for class. I don’t know what he was doing!

Welch: Were you the exact same class?

Root: Class of ’83 political science, pre-law Columbia University. You don’t get more exact than that. Never met him in my life, don’t know anyone who ever met him. At the class reunion, our 20th reunion five years ago, 20th reunion, who was asked to be the speaker of the class? Me. No one ever heard of Barack! Who was he, and five years ago, nobody even knew who he was.

Other guy: Did he even show up to the reunion?

Root: I don’t know! I didn’t know him. I don’t think anybody knew him. But I know that the guy who writes the class notes, who’s kind of the, as we say in New York, the macha who knows everybody, has yet to find a person, a human who ever met him. Is that not strange? It’s very strange.

Welch: That’s peculiar! Do you have any theories?

Root: Don’t have any theories. I don’t know. Don’t know why. Kept to himself…. The only thing I could even imagine is that he talks in his biographies about being, you know, his identity crisis, his “am I black or am I white?” He chose black. And he hung out with a couple of black kids and never went near anybody and his wife? That’s the only thing I can think of. All my buddies are white, what can I tell you! They don’t know him, nobody’s ever seen him, I don’t know what to tell you.

Other guy: That’s the era.

Root: That’s the era. I mean, when I went to Columbia, the black kids were all at like tables going “Black Power!” We used to walk by and go, “What the hell are they talking about.” And they didn’t associate with us and we didn’t associate with them. So if you track down a couple of black students, they’ll probably know him. But nobody white’s ever heard of this guy. It’s quite amazing. Nobody remembers him. They don’t remember him sitting in class.

Welch: Black power in ’83?

Root: Ha ha. That’s Columbia. Colubmia’s radical, always was. There was gay power over here, and pot power over here, and black power over there, and Hispanic power over here, and feminism.

Welch: And what was your power?

Root: Oh I was the bookie guy, don’t worry about it…. But here’s the story that I think the press should be digging up, I really mean this, about Barack Obama. When George Bush annoyed everyone the first thing they went to was how dumb he was, and they said how bad he did in Yale, and blah blah blah, he got a C average. Then they found his C average was better than Al Gore’s average, and it was better than John Kerry’s average!

Cavanaugh: And then you stopped hearing the story.

Root: Right. But the point is all three of them had C averages. I had a B-plus, A-minus average at Columbia University.

Welch: Wait, you’re bragging on your GPA?

Root: No, no I’m not, because here’s the moral to the story…. I had a B-plus, A-minus average at Columbia University, in four years. When I graduated, I took the LSATs and I did well. I didn’t do great, I did well; B-plus, A-minus average. My counselor at Columbia said don’t even bother applying to Harvard Law School, because you can get into any law school in the country with your record, except Columbia, Harvard, Stanford, Princeton [Editor’s Note: Princeton doesn’t have a law school]. Except for the very top, you can get in anywhere, but don’t even try those, because your grades don’t cut it.

Well, everyone says how bright Barack is, but Barack won’t release his transcripts from Columbia University.

Cavanaugh: Hmmmm.

Root: And I’d be willing to bet every dime I have in the world, a million dollars I’ll put, I’ll put a million dollars cash on the fact-

Welch: This is on the record-

Root: -that my GPA was better than Barack’s-

Welch: Oooooh.

Root: …and he got in based on the color of his skin.

Does anyone doubt that possibly Barack could have gotten into Harvard with a C average because he’s black, where as I, white, couldn’t get into the same school with a B-plus, A-minus average? And yet his wife says that America is a terrible nation unfair to minorities! I say, Au contraire!

I say the whole problem with America is we are racist against people because of the color of their skin. We’re helping people because they’re black. We’re helping people because they’re minority. We’re helping people because they’re poor. In reality only those who have the most skill and talent should get into Harvard, not because of the color of their skin.

So now I ask out loud in the press, I challenge my classmate to give his GPA against mine. And let’s see if he really is the bright guy they all say he is. What if we discover he got into Harvard with a C average? Is he then the brilliant man America thinks he is? That would be a very good question, don’t you think?

Welch: The follow-up I want to ask is: What if it’s better than yours? You just said a million dollars!

Root: Well, who’s taking the bet? I didn’t hear anyone accept. No, I’m pretty sure I’m right. I’ll go out on a limb. Listen, they always said with O.J. Simpson, you know, never ask the question if you don’t know the answer, does the glove fit? I don’t know the answer but I’m pretty sure I know the answer. He had a lower average than me and he got into Harvard and I didn’t.

And so my answer is, has America really been unfair to minorities? No it hasn’t. It was unfair to me. A white butcher’s kid, whose father had no money, but nobody gave me a break. And do I have a chip on my shoulder? You’re damn right I do. And I represent millions and millions of poor people in this country who weren’t lucky enough to be poor and black, they were unlucky enough to be poor and white, and they can’t get into Harvard. So maybe that country Barack’s fighting for, he’s got the wrong country here. He’s been just fine in this country. The rest of us need someone to defend them….

Anyway my point is, for those of us in America who want to fight for talent being the determiner of who’s successful or not, I’m your representative. Obama’s the wrong representative. And for those who disagree, I say: I’m for affirmative action-I think the NBA should be 80 percent white. […]

Welch: And are you hitting this note as you’re doing all this media that you’re doing from Nevada and stuff?

Root: I actually haven’t; I brought it up tonight to you guys for the first time because I think reason is the right media to bring it up with, without being painted as a racist. Because I don’t have a racist bone in my body.

“Wow,” one commenter to the interview would write, “Wayne Allen [sic] Root is an asshole.”229 In September 2011, Wayne Root would invite Johnson to join the Libertarian Party. “Gary Johnson is a friend of mine. We’re fans of each other’s politics,” he wrote. “On all of his many radio appearances with me, I’ve yet to find an issue we disagree on…I’d welcome Gary’s addition to the LP in any capacity. He’d make a wonderful Libertarian officeholder, leader or Presidential/Vice Presidential candidate.” Roger Stone would tip his hat to Wayne Root, asking in March 2012 on his blog, “Will Wayne Allyn Root replace Harry Reid in 2016?” Root would endorse Johnson for president on the ticket, and Johnson would endorse Root for his at large position at the LNC230. It might make a perfect reveal that the intent of the Libertarian ticket all along was to divide the vote on the left, while conservatives of all stripes were called on to vote Romney, if say Wayne Root were to defect from the Libertarian Party back to the GOP and sound this call, and, well, that’s exactly what did happen.

“It’s gotta be Romney, there is no choice,” Root would first proclaim on a podcast a month before Johnson was nominated to the ticket. A few days later, when introducing Johnson at an event, he explained this as just more outreach231. In early September, Root would leave the LP and endorse Romney. “I don’t deny that Romney and Ryan aren’t libertarians, but Romney is a pro-business capitalist and Obama is a Marxist-socialist. The economy has been trashed. This is about my kids’ future, it’s about my businesses. There is no hope for America if Obama is re-elected.”232 In his resignation letter, he also said he wanted to run for a U.S. Senate seat in Nevada, just as Stone had encouraged him to do in “Will Wayne Allyn Root replace Harry Reid in 2016?” Root would not only endorse Romney, but give a prescient vision of the future that made clear why he was such a fearsome gambler: “Las Vegas Oddsmaker Explains Why He Predicts Romney Landslide”, where he confidently expected the Republican challenger to win by 100 to 120 votes. “I’ve made my living for the past 27 years predicting the winners of sporting events, like the Super Bowl and March Madness. I did it well enough to be awarded my own 180 pound granite star on Las Vegas Blvd – the only oddsmaker ever inducted into the Las Vegas Walk of Stars,” he wrote, bragging about a star that anyone could get, if they were willing to spend $15 000. Previously, he’d predicted that McCain would win the 2008 election, with 37 to 40 states (McCain won 22). “This professional prognosticator,” Root would write in a 2005 book, “believes that the GOP will dominate American politics (on all levels) for the foreseeable future.” After the 2012 election, Root could say clearly why he’d been wrong233. “Obama’s re-election proves that bribery as a campaign tactic is validated,” he’d write in “What went wrong with my prediction about Mitt Romney and the 2012 election”. “Promise enough “free stuff” and you win votes, even if the end result is no jobs, no hope, and a lifetime dependent on government.”234

Though Roger Stone, despite his cruel and slimy past, is often presented as a rogue member of the GOP, attempting to re-shape the party into something better, his attitude about the 2012 election and why the Republicans lost, is very much an echo of Root’s complaint and the nastiest, most hermetic voices of the Republican party. From “Buzzsaw: LBJ and the Killing of JFK with Roger Stone (Nov 24, 2013)” (40:25-40:55):

Roger Stone - Pretty reckless is going straight to hell

TYREL VENTURA
Where do you see our country headed, from the research you’ve done on JFK, and all the years you’ve been in politics where do you see us going?

STONE
I wish we could be more optimistic. I think the biggest problem we have in America today is we have more takers than we have producers. So, the government’s going to turn around and buy the votes with our own tax money, whether it’s I’ll give you free health care or I’ll give you a college scholarship, or I’ll give you a bigger welfare payment, or I’ll give you a cellphone. For votes. I think that’s a very dangerous thing.

The Johnson campaign would barely, if at all, cut into the votes of democrats. That it was a failure should not be mistaken as being the same thing as it not being attempted. The motivation for Stone doing this, is obvious and pragmatic. If Johnson had split the vote, and Romney had won the election, the Romney team would owe Roger Stone, far more than the Bush team owed him in 2000. This is the only issue for me – whether Stone was aiming for the small payoff of leeching the Johnson campaign of funds, or the larger payoff of whatever the Romney White House might give him. We need not keep this vague on the prize, but come up with something specific. Stone would be given sway once again over the Bureau of Indian Affairs, just as he had after 2000. The federal recognition that the Connecticut Schaghticokes lost, which they need to set up a casino, is reversed again, thanks to the intervention of Stone. He gets an advance in the casino as well as an ownership stake. A professional handicapper, Wayne Allyn Root, gets part of the action as well. Much was made of Stone’s defection from the Republican party, about the small barbs he threw at Romney, at Ryan, at the Koch brothers, while ignoring a post published at the Huffington Post, April 9th, 2012, two months after he’d defected from the GOP to the Libertarian Party. It was called “The GOP’s Indispensable Man”, and it was about his old colleague at Black Manafort Stone & Kelly, Charlie Black. It made no mention that they’d been colleagues, but was full of unqualified praise for his former partner. “Black is a master political mechanic,” Stone writes, “respected for his discretion, his balanced nature and his deep experience.” The final sentence: “Romney is both wise and lucky to have him.”235

We might take this as a simple bit of flattery, or as a coded message, confirming a past agreement: I am very much still on your side. The idea of a vote split to win a Romney victory was a good idea – the only problem is that they got Roger Stone to do it. In this, Stone might well be like his best known client, Donald Trump, who represents an image of a part better than those who play the part far better. Trump is far better at creating a brash, crass entity, a full-figured emptiness, “an opera buffa parody of wealth” in Mark Singer’s phrase, that embodies arrogant capitalism far better than those who are actual successful and important billionaires, whether it be Warren Buffett or Bill Gates. “Deep down, he wants to be Madonna,” says a security analyst of Trump236. Deep down, Roger Stone wants to be Madonna, too. Stone is better at creating an image of a political fixer than he is at the role. His race with Tom Kean was a razor thin victory, while the only presidential campaign he ever headed up, Arlen Specter’s, ended before the first primary. Warren Redlich beat him in the Libertarian primary. His candidate, Kristin Davis, finished dead last in the governor’s race. His two greatest achievements, the Brooks Brothers riot and the leak of Eliot Spitzer’s sexual life, are both inventions, bought up by a gullible and stupid press. His “jokes”, like harassing Bernard Spitzer or his libeling Warren Redlich as a sexual predator, are obvious, cruel, and stupid. The mystery, the malevolence one associates with him are not his own, but the qualities of a political world, now, of secret money and secret power. He is a man who tries to claw at fame by making himself the embodiment of that secret world, but he is one of the players of the least significance. Roger Stone is an evil genius without the genius part. That no large financial donor ended up backing Johnson, through the veiled power of a Super PAC, shows the lack of confidence on the part of secret money in Stone’s ability to pull off this bet.

In the days after the 2012 election, Roger Stone would identify what he thought was the problem with the current political system. “The problem,” he said, “is that we have a duopoly.”237 This was the proclamation of the man who proudly took credit for destroying one third party, and may have used another third party in a failed vote split. “They’re really very similar,” Stone would complain of this duopoly he’d helped put in place, “they’re both for foreign intervention.” In 2008, Stone had expressed his misgivings over Iraq, but it wasn’t that there’d been a war in the Middle East, but a war with the wrong country. “I don’t see the point of the war in Iraq,” he’d say. “Now, if you wanted to have war against the Saudis, I’m with you. They’re our problem in the region, they’re not our friends.”238

In 2013, he tried to run Kristin Davis as New York comptroller, so he could once again throw some slime at Eliot Spitzer. The press gave some coverage to this, because Roger Stone is always amusing color. What they didn’t cover is that Kristin Davis had been nominated at a libertarian convention where those who voted her onto the ticket weren’t members of the state party. A new convention was called, and it wasn’t Kristin Davis on the Libertarian Party ticket, but Hesham El-Meligy, who’d been highly critical of the NYPD surveillance policy of Muslims. In an email, Stone would dispute the results, and then there came a moment that somehow never made it out into the press coverage of this charming rogue. Without any basis whatsoever, he would call El-Meligy a radical Islamist. He would call El-Meligy the Al-Qaeda candidate. He would say that El-Meligy couldn’t possibly hope to get matching funds, despite his support from the Muslim Brotherhood and the Taliban. “For all his bravado,” writes Toobin in “Trickster”, “Stone told me that he shied away from racially inflammatory campaign work.” Stone went on Facebook and threatened to sue over El-Meligy’s nomination239. Later in the campaign season, Kristin Davis got arrested for selling prescription drugs, and she never submitted her signatures to be part of the debates240. Roger Stone stopped talking about Kristin Davis after that. At the reddit AMA, “I am Gov. Gary Johnson, Honorary Chairman of the Our America Initiative”, held on February 2013, “Daedalus991” asked of the campaign’s expenditures, “I’ve read your campaign manager used $2.3 million of the $2.5 million you raised to pay his own company. If I donated money to your campaign, where do I write for a refund? Thanks, Governor.” (link) The query got 194 upvotes, making it the most popular question in the thread. It went unanswered. “The problem,” Roger Stone said, “is that we have a duopoly.” In his unpublished guide, Stone’s Rules, Stone believed there were even fewer choices than that. “There is only one Party – The Green Party.”241 He does not say whether he thought it a problem, or not.

That I have any suspicion that a vote split was attempted in 2012 is propelled most of all by the secret money system we are now all forced to deal with, and which only benefits those with the vastest of treasures. Our suspicions about the darkness which surrounds us becomes a paranoia, but one that feels justified, where anything other than paranoia would be foolish. In an incident that took place in the past two days, while I was writing this, Rand Paul was accused of plagiarizing the work for his lawsuit against the NSA by a lawyer he’d worked with, Bruce Fein. The accusation would later be retracted, with Fein placing the blame for the accusation on his ex-wife, Matty Lolavar. Both Fein and Lolavar have already appeared in this lengthy piece (they show up in part six) because Lolavar was allegedly involved with Roger Stone’s IKON consulting firm in some very strange ventures. I wrote there that the best source for information on Fein and Lolavar had been “Libertarian Bum Fights” by Mark Ames, and when the fight broke out between Rand Paul and Fein, I immediately thought of a possibility raised in “Bum Fights” which I hadn’t included here because it seemed too distracting. The suggestion, as I read it, was this: that Bruce Fein had once been executive editor of a private intelligence publication called “The World Intelligence Review”, staffed by ex-CIA and ex-MI5 spies, that the purpose of “The World Intelligence Review” was to defend the CIA’s public image, that perhaps Fein’s shift from devotion to hard-right Cheneyism to a man calling for Cheney’s trial wasn’t obvious opportunism, but a man playing a double game, so he might infiltrate the camps of his enemies, all of which leads to the obvious guess about the latest events, that the accusation of plagiarism against Rand Paul – a man, I should emphasize, who I cannot stand and do not want elected as president – was an act of deliberate sabotage of the lawsuit against the NSA242. One is moved to such ridiculous paranoid thoughts not out of any desire for a conspiracy, but the overwhelming darkness, under which there may well be an ocean of secrets.

Mark Ames ends “Bum Fights” with a nod to Philip K. Dick and The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch. When writing this, I thought constantly of Dick’s thoughts on death, which are quoted in Divine Invasions: The Life of Philip K. Dick by Lawrence Sutin: “I have a feeling that in the instant after death everything real will become apparent; all the cards will be turned face-up, the game will be over, and we will see clearly what we have suspected only…and unfounded suspicions will be erased.” I write these posts as a set of possible guideposts for that future history which will be written when those not yet born will laugh at our foolishness, at what we suspected and dared not suspect, for that time when the cards that are now face down will be open, obvious, visible, and face up.

POSTSCRIPT (06/10/2014):

This post-script is made to just briefly look over some material which might offer helpful insights into Roger Stone’s political bent after managing the 2012 Libertarian Party candidacy. Remember: the Gary Johnson candidacy, as presented in something like “Why I Refuse to Vote for Barack Obama” by Conor Friedersdorf, was as an alternative to hardline policies in the police state and the national security state.

We might first look at some recent sample tweets from Wayne Allyn Root, the man who was in the vice president slot on the 2008 Libertarian Party ticket, and the man who invited both Roger Stone and Gary Johnson into the party, before bolting and urging libertarians to vote for Mitt Romney in the general election. These tweets reflect a consistent thinking that Barack Obama is a deranged, tyrannical marxist, that there is a communist takeover of the United States, that liberalism is corrupt, weak, and stupid, and that the religion of Islam itself must be considered an enemy. From the twitter of @WayneRoot:

(link is: http://www.wnd.com/2014/10/klayman-files-for-deportation-of-barack-obama/)

(link is: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/10/06/watchdog-claims-union-legal-fight-reveals-obamacare-fraud/)

We can first turn to an interview Stone did on the show “Buzzsaw” with Tyrel Ventura, “LBJ and the Killing of JFK with Roger Stone”. I’ve taken from this episode two clips, “Roger Stone on Military Industrial Complex and Makers Versus Takers”.

What’s interesting in the second section is that we have an exact echo of the makers versus takers rhetoric of the Romney-Ryan campaign, and of the hard right: there is a group of entitled, government dependent leeches who will keep voting in big government to get their government cheques and free phones (starting at 1:36):

TYREL VENTURA
Where do you see our country headed, from the research you’ve done with JFK, and like, all of your years in politics, where do you see us going?

ROGER STONE
I wish I could be more optimistic. I think the biggest problem we have in America today, is that we have more takers than we have producers. So, the government’s going to turn around and buy the votes with our own tax money. Whether it’s I’ll give you free health care, or I’ll give you a college scholarship, or I’ll give you a bigger welfare payment, or I’ll give you a cellphone. For votes. And I think that’s a very dangerous thing.

More interesting, is the section in this interview conducted a year after the 2012 election and where the Gary Johnson campaign and third party alternatives are discussed, is Stone being very critical of the national security state (the first excerpt featured in “Roger Stone on Military Industrial Complex and Makers Versus Takers”):

ROGER STONE
The military industrial complex is not ideological. They’re about money and power. They’re neither right nor left. They will invent a candidate on the right and left if they need one. So, people were upset about George W. Bush; so, they created Barack Obama. Who’s fully unqualified to be president of the United States. Who served in the state Senate, and the U.S. Senate, and has written two biographies, but no major legislation of any kind. So, the military industrial complex, the American media establishment, they can go either right or left depending on what’s required at the time.

TYREL VENTURA
And it makes sense, coming out of the Bush presidency, with Cheney and all of that, we’re feeling very constricted, we’re feeling very down, we need a new champion of the people.

STONE
Plus they take advantage of the democratic [sic – most likely “demographic” is meant here] change. We have more and more minority voters. So, maybe it was time for the first minority president. Being black was not a detriment to his candidacy, it was an asset to his candidacy. Just like Kennedy’s being catholic was a benefit, not a drawback. In fact, Bobby Kennedy had millions of pieces of violently anti-catholic literature attacking John Kennedy printed, he put Hubert Humphrey’s name on it, and he mailed it to the voters in West Virginia. All the catholic households, only.

This is a contrast to some of Stone’s tweets over the past year. Again: the Johnson candidacy, steered by Roger Stone, was supposed to be the more progressive candidacy, the ticket for those who could not condone the brutality of drone warfare. An example of this outlook might be “Forget Julia, It’s The Life of Ahmed That Demands Attention”, again by Conor Friedersdorf, which counters the hypothetical woman of Obama campaign advertising with a hypothetical muslim life. Example: “At age 22, Ahmed’s father is collateral damage in a drone strike that President Obama empowered the CIA to carry out without knowing the names of the people targeted.” How does Roger Stone feel about this hypothetical Ahmed?

Well, these are some of the things Stone tweeted our during the recent ISIS campaign: “Drone these bastards now!”, “drone these pricks now”, “Where the hell is Gen Curt LeMay when we need him ?He and the USAF would make Iraq a parking lot”.

For those unfamiliar with who Curtis LeMay is, he served as the basis for the Jack D. Ripper in the movie Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. He oversaw the brutal bombing campaign of Japan and argued in favor of the idea of a pre-emptive nuclear war.

Here is a screengrab of a re-tweet by Stone, and in this case, I think it is very much an endorsement:

Roger Stone's Pretty Reckless is Going Straight to Hell

Roger Stone - Pretty reckless is going straight to hell

During the Israeli war in Gaza, both Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem offered welcome criticism, and this is what Roger Stone tweeted in response: “Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem make me wanna puke #StandWithIsrael”

This is what Stone tweeted out after Governor Chris Christie met with imam Mohammed Qatanani: “See here- Chris Christie and his beloved Koran- this Shariah lover will never be President”

Johnson was supposed to be the face of a scaled down police state. This is what Stone tweeted out on the Michael Brown killing and on journalists on-scene who were arrested while covering the event: “horseshit Lawlessness must be put down harshly regardless of color. Brown attacked a Police officer- shooting justified. Period.”, “wrong on the facts. Attack an officer -shooting justified. Sorry kid u don’t know shit.”, “Journs have no special rights. Ignore order from an officer-suffer consequences #toughshit”.

Again, Gary Johnson was presented as the alternative for those liberals queasy about the less progressive policies of Barack Obama. How does Roger Stone feel about Bernie Sanders, the man who may end up being the left-wing challenger to Hillary Clinton in 2016? “Soviet Agent Bernie Saunders, Should be arrested for treason and shot.”

Again, we have the Johnson campaign favored by libertarians like Friedersdorf for its more progressive attitude about refugees and immigrants, as opposed to the Obama policies depicted in “Life of Ahmed”. This makes this tweet by Roger Stone about Rick Perry’s arrest notable: “Payback from OBAMA for Perry criticizing Barry on flood of illegals crossing borders #Democrat Conspiracy #RickPerryIndicted”

This stance is surprising given the ostensible commitment Libertarianism has for open borders, but it is entirely consistent with the associations of Maureen Otis, the lawyer who is listed as registered agent for the Gary Johnson campaign, and is also listed as registered agent for the National Women’s History Museum, whose foundation is run by Ann Stone, Roger Stone’s ex-wife. In “Maureen Otis: A Mystery Inside a Mystery”, we saw that she had close assosications with the Minutemen Alliance, an anti-immigrant militia group, and was listed as the legal contact for the Declaration Alliance, whose website contains text like the following:

Whereas the foreigners sneaking into the United States have no plans to assimilate and become Americans, but instead desire to see the southwestern states transformed into Spanish-speaking provinces of Mexico; and

Whereas members of radical Islamic terror groups (classified by US Border Patrol as “OTMs or Other Than Mexicans”) continue to execute a plan of infiltration of the United States mainland through incursions along the border with Mexico, for the purpose of establishing terror cells and training operations within our homeland;

Therefore, let it be resolved that we, the people of the United States, citizens by birth or naturalization, do hereby DEMAND that the Congress of the United States immediately secure our border with Mexico, enforce current laws by arresting and deporting all criminal illegal aliens, and block all attempts to pass any type of amnesty legislation.

Otis was also the legal contact for True the Vote, a ballot security operation, which allegedly conducted training sessions where trainees were taught intimidation tactics against “questionable” voters. Stone, as already mentioned in part four of this series, also known as “Ballot Security / Garden State / Sunshine State”, was involved with voter intimidation tactics in a 1980 New Jersey campaign, tactics of such questionable repute that they resulted in a thirty year ban on any ballot security group within a polling place.

This context makes the following opinion given by Roger Stone unsurprising. It was given first on an interview with Bill Whittle, “Nixon Insider Roger Stone: Obama Does More Illegal Stuff than Nixon Did” and then excerpted by this site for an isolated clip: “Roger Stone on Voter ID and Voter Fraud”. A transcript of the notable comment follows:

WHITTLE
Speaking about the differences between the two men [Richard Nixon and Barack Obama], it was widely reported just anecdotally that after the 1960 election against Kennedy, there was pretty credible evidence that Kennedy had some serious cases of voter fraud across the country, and a lot of advisors to Nixon said you should fight this thing, and Richard Nixon apparently said “No, I’m not going to tear the country up over something like this.” And now you have a president whose voter fraud is his entire calling card. I mean, really, it’s a fundamental difference about personal power versus the destruction of the country. Nixon has just been demonized as the most venal and selfish president in American history, but he’s really nothing compared to this fellow.

STONE
Well, look, I’m a Nixonite, although I have to say, you gave the most charitable explanation for 1960 possible. The truth is, the election was stolen from Richard Nixon, he knew it, but the evidence in Texas, where the most egregious stealing went on, had already been destroyed, and there’s no re-count law there. I think he had taken consideration that even if he had passed for a re-count, the chances for getting an honest re-count were virtually impossible. So, he took a pass, and of course, that turned out for him to be the best thing that happened, because eight years later, he made the most fantastic comeback in American political history. But the notion that there is no longer voter fraud, which is what this administration tries to tell us, is nonsense. Or that the idea that someone should be required to show a driver’s license or a photo ID to vote, I don’t find that terribly objectionable, you need one to get on an airplane, why wouldn’t you need one to cast the most important thing you have, your vote?

I end this post-script on a long question. Given that this man wants a more ruthless, more hardline approach to the war with ISIS, who wants people bombed to glass, given that he cannot tolerate even the slightest criticism of Israeli war tactics, given that he wants no sanction for those refugees crossing the border, that he views the most modest gestures of civility towards a imam as an embrace of shariah, who believes the killing of Michael Brown was justified, who believes the arrest of journalists covering the aftermath is justified, would such an individual want a more progressive alternative to Barack Obama, or would he prefer Mitt Romney?

POSTSCRIPT (04/19/2015):

The first part of this post was devoted to Ann Stone and the possibility that the Stones, Roger and his then wife Ann, were creating a pro-choice group solely to keep the issue from splitting the party. On April 18, 2015, Stone would perhaps show his true colors when he tweeted the following (tweetsave):

The background for Stone’s animus against Vergara is that Stone was very much an ally of her ex, Nick Loeb, as well as Loeb’s father. Here is “This time, Sofia Vergara’s boyfriend might really, really run for US Senate” by Marc Caputo (no relation to Stone’s occasional henchman, Michael Caputo) from November 16, 2011:

Sofia Vergara’s boyfiend appears ready to finally run for United States Senate. He’s scheduled to announce at 2 p.m. at the Sagamore hotel in Miami Beach, according to a press release.

For months, he has flirted with the idea. Recently, we noted, he was spied dining with Gov. Rick Scott (and now Gov. Rick Perry’s) pollster, Tony Fabrizio. The real force behind the possible candidacy is Fabrizio’s longtime pal and sometime-dirty trickster Roger Stone, who lives on Miami Beach, as does Fabrizio.

Oh, yeah, the potential candidate’s name is Nick Loeb. His father is friends with Stone.

Here is a piece from 2009, by Buddy Nevins, “Roger Stone To Work Against Bogdanoff”, on Stone possibly helping out Loeb during a run as a Florida state representative:

State Rep. Ellyn Bogdanoff has a problem on her hands — famed political operative Roger Stone.

Stone told me he is supporting her Republican primary opponent Nick Loeb in the state Senate race to replace Jeff Atwater.

Watch out, Ellyn!

It was Stone who helped engineer the victory of Sheriff Al Lamberti last year. He was behind the attack ads that eviscerated Democratic opponent Scott Israel.

It was Stone who instigated a near riot which thwarted the 2000 presidential recount in Miami-Dade County. The incident was portrayed in the recent HBO movie Recount.

Stone explains why he is supporting Loeb:

“When I went to New York in 1979 to organize the state for Ronald Reagan, one of Governor Reagan’s first supporters was John L. Loeb, Jr. who Reagan would later appoint Ambassador to Denmark and later to the U.S. Delegation to the United Nations. Ambassador Loeb helped me raise money and recruit Reagan delelgate candidates.

Given my longtime friendship with his father, I am going to be ‘helping’ Nick Loeb in the Senate race.”

The first comment on this blog post is from Scott Rothstein, before he went to jail for half a century (direct link to comment):

Buddy,

finally an opportunity to show you what happens when my dear friend roger and i end up on opposite sides of the fence…..
Roger is my favorite assassin…but it looks like i am going to have to fight the battle for Ellyn with him on the other side….Stand back 🙂

p.s. love ya roger…be nice to me…

Rothstein comment

Scott Rothstein would be arrested later that year.

POSTSCRIPT (07/02/2015):

The supposedly progressive, libertarian Roger Stone who wanted the GOP to be a bigger tent party and more open to pro-choicers would tweet out the following attack against one of his many nemeses, former New York Governor George Pataki and 2016 Republican Presidential candidate, that he committed the sin of performing abortions (tweetsave):

POSTSCRIPT (05/04/2017):

On the June 25, 2016 episode hosted by his sometime friend, sometime enemy, comedian / activist Randy Credico, Stone would openly state that he ran Sharpton’s 2004 campaign in order to disrupt the Democratic primary. Audio of show is on mediafire. Full transcript is on pastebin. From the transcript:

CREDICO
So. Now. With Jackson you worked on- Not his campaign in ’88? You haven’t worked exclusively with Republicans?

STONE
Yes, pretty much I have. As you know, I gave some advice to the Reverend Al Sharpton, on a personal basis. You should know, because you were among those who introduced me to him.

CREDICO
Two thousand and four, at Gallagher’s.

STONE
As you know, I had my own motives. I wanted chaos in the Democratic Party.

CREDICO
Yeah! It worked!

STONE
And he wanted good advice.

CREDICO
So…it worked. I remember…wasn’t it you who told him to bring the ax out? In Mississippi, or Alabama, tell me that story.

STONE
I would never take credit for that.

CREDICO
Well, tell me the story. Let’s say it was you.

STONE
He was speaking at an NAACP Convention.

CREDICO
Lester Maddox.

STONE
The convention was the day after Lester Maddox died. And therefore, he used the ax handle to symbolize, you know, the opposition.

CREDICO
I see. And then, what about the debate with Howard Dean? That he had, and he brought up the fact that Howard Dean had very few, if any, African Americans or Latinos in his administration. Sharpton brought that up, and Dean was completely petrified, caught off guard. Wasn’t that your recommendation? I mean, it seems like you had something to do with that.

STONE
Well, I mean…as you know, there were very, very low employment numbers among minority, African Americans, in the Vermont government. And it just kinda proved, that the guy was a regional candidate, at best.

(Some small edits have been made to this post since publication – on February 16th, 2014, the information on Gary Johnson’s debts for his Republican campaign being paid by Libertarian Party donors was added to footnote #216. That Our America Initiative was started in 2009 was also added on this date, and some additional material was quoted from the letter by Wayne Allyn Root welcoming Johnson to the Libertarian Party. Additional support was added concerning the failure of the Sharpton campaign to achieve federal matching funds in footnote #213. The only other major edit in the previous posts was fixing the broken footnote links in Part Five, a change made on February 15th. The addition of the reference to the Dana Milbank column to the last footnote was made late on February 16th. The quote about there being only one party – the green party, was added on February 17th. On the same date, the images featuring Andrew Miller were added, and the quote from Johnathan Schell about the importance of a fourth party and the accompanying footnote were added. The additional material in footnote #206 of the youtube video of Carter and its transcript was added on February 19th, 2014. On March 1st, the fragment from Buzzsaw’s interview with Stone was put in. Roger Stone’s connection to Tom Carper’s 1982 race was put in on March 5th, 2014. On March 16th, the transcript and accompanying youtube clip of Nixon’s discussion about setting up a vote splitting fourth party were added. On September 28th, a long overdue spellcheck was made, videos featuring the clips of Stone speaking to Nick Gillespie were added, and a piece of Miguel Unamuno’s Tragic Sense of Life which somehow ended up amongst the footnotes was excised. On Aptil 9, 2015, this post received some long needed copy editing.)

(Should any tweets in the post-script be deleted, screenshots will be uploaded.)

PART ONE PART TWO PART THREE PART FOUR PART FIVE PART SIX

PART SEVEN PART EIGHT PART NINE PART TEN

FOOTNOTES

187 From Dirty Tricks:

Roger Stone - Pretty reckless is going straight to hell

188 The details of Calero’s life here are unquestioned and can be found in many places, including his obituary, “Adolfo Calero dies at 80; tied to Iran-Contra scandal” by Tracy Wilkinson:

By 1983 he declared his leadership of the Nicaraguan Democratic Force, a Contra rebel group formed and financed by the CIA. He was considered one of the more hard-line members of the force and at times clashed with other leaders as well as his American backers.

“My idea would be to take the nine commandantes, plus the next nine down, and the next and the next, about 60 people or so of the Sandinista power structure, bind them up and put them on an airplane and drop them off in Havana,” Calero told writer Shirley Christian in 1983, as recounted in her book “Nicaragua: Revolution in the Family.” “That would solve our problems.… That is what I want.”

The war would, of course, turn out to be much less surgical and cost thousands of lives. The U.S. involvement in attempting to overthrow the Sandinistas also led to a secret and illegal operation in which U.S. agents sold weapons to Iran and gave some of the money to the Contras.

Calero worked closely with fired White House aide Oliver North, one of the major Iran-Contra figures who worked to raise millions of dollars for the Contras after Congress cut off aid. At one point, Calero gave some of the money back to North, in the form of unsigned traveler’s checks, after North said he needed to fund other Contra operations and buy the freedom of American hostages in Lebanon.

“I reacted immediately, saying that Nicaraguan hostages of the Sandinistas [and] American hostages of these groups in Lebanon were one and the same, and that I would be happy to help in their liberation,” Calero testified to Congress in 1987 hearings on Iran-Contra. “I felt deeply for those poor people who had been kidnapped.”

189 From “National Women’s History Museum Makes Little Progress After 16 Years” by Andrea Stone and Christina Wilkie:

WASHINGTON — Sixteen years ago, a small band of women working on Capitol Hill launched a campaign to “Free the Sisters of the Crypt” and raised $85,000 in modest, private donations to move an unfinished, 10-ton marble statue of suffrage pioneers from the basement of the U.S. Capitol to the Rotunda.

That one achievement has since grown into a movement to build a national museum in Washington honoring women’s contributions to American history. Big-name sponsors, including actress Meryl Streep, have pledged their support, and the museum’s organizers have raised nearly $10 million.

Yet 16 years after organizers began in 1996, there is still no National Women’s History Museum (NWHM). Its leaders have failed to secure — or even identify — a location for a building, and sometimes have downplayed the very idea that they need one.

The museum’s president, CEO and chair of the board of directors is Joan Bradley Wages, a lobbyist and onetime flight attendant. Ann E.W. Stone, a veteran Republican political operative, serves as senior vice president of the board. Stone is also a key vendor for the museum and its largest contributor of in-kind, or non-cash, donations.

When she became president of the museum in 2007, Wages seemed like a plausible candidate to head a legislative campaign to secure a dedicated site. “[My] credentials to lead the NWHM are primarily due to my experience as a lobbyist in Washington on behalf of three Flight Attendant unions,” she told HuffPost in an emailed statement.

Stone, too, seemed like an ideal backer: a well-connected Washington insider on the fault line of women’s politics, a pro-choice Republican with good fundraising credentials and a knack for publicity. Stone has been a member of the museum’s board since it was founded and has twice served as treasurer. She has been the senior vice president since 2007.

190 From “National Women’s History Museum Makes Little Progress After 16 Years” by Andrea Stone and Christina Wilkie:

Stone and Jones, however, aren’t simply for-profit vendors to the museum. They are also the museum’s biggest volunteers, followed closely by Wages — an arrangement that Berger at Charity Navigator characterized as “very, very unusual.”

Donations of volunteer time can help to boost a nonprofit’s overall financial picture in the eyes of potential donors and grantmaking foundations. Volunteers report their hours and the fair market value of their services, which is then recorded as revenue from in-kind donations on the organization’s financial documents, adding to its overall revenue, a key indicator of financial health.

The museum’s total revenue has jumped considerably in recent years due to the influx of in-kind donations, the vast majority of them in the form of volunteer hours. In 2008, the museum reported $551,550 worth of in-kind donations, an increase of more than 500 percent over the previous year. In 2010, the latest year for which figures are available, the museum reported $456,303 worth of in-kind donations.

In 2010, according to IRS records and documents provided by NWHM, the Stone Group donated a total of $371,824 in in-kind donations, making it the biggest single non-cash contributor to the museum. Volunteer time accounted for the vast majority of this amount, with personal expenses and software programs totaling a few thousand dollars.

The year before, Stone personally donated $27,060 worth of volunteer time, according to documents provided by the museum. In 2010, that number shot up. Stone reported having performed 1,717 hours — nearly 43 weeks’ worth, at 40 hours per week — of volunteer work for NWHM, split between her board duties and other services such as “social media coordination” and public speaking. Of these, she counted 781 hours as in-kind donations, valued at between $150 and $1,000 an hour. Her total personal contribution of time, she said, was worth $201,450.

Jones reported donating even more time — 2,050 hours — in 2010, for a total value of $164,426, according to documents the museum provided to HuffPost. Wages said that Jones’ work included “chores,” such as “moving furniture [and] running errands to pick up supplies.”

Wages is no stranger to eye-popping in-kind donations, herself. According to the museum’s records, in 2009 — the only year she appears to have donated hours — Wages provided $189,462 worth of volunteer time. She had initially valued her time even more highly, calculating 1,450 hours as worth $398,750. But that figure didn’t sit well with the museum’s auditors.

According to a statement from the museum, the auditors “recommended that [Wages] could not charge more than $25 per hour for many of the donated hours,” a steep drop from the $275 per hour at which she had initially valued her time. Consequently, they “recommended that [Wages’ in-kind donation] be reduced by $209,288.” Still, an in-kind donation of nearly $190,000 is striking.

Jones declined to speak to HuffPost, but stood by her calculation of her own hours, saying in a written statement, “Some days I volunteered long hours, some days short hours and then there are days I don’t volunteer there at all.”

Stone, however, had trouble explaining in a phone interview the more-than-sevenfold jump in the value of her donated time from 2009 to 2010. When HuffPost asked her what caused the increase, she grew flustered and said she would check her datebook and send back an explanation. Stone has yet to reply.

When asked how she found time to operate two small businesses and run a PAC while donating so many hours to the museum, Stone responded, “I don’t know what to say to that. I guess from your standpoint, you can look at this and see what you see, but from my standpoint, [I know] what’s in our hearts.”

191 From “National Women’s History Museum Makes Little Progress After 16 Years” by Andrea Stone and Christina Wilkie:

Since 2005, the museum has paid Stone’s two companies at least $194,000 for their direct mail services, according to records provided by the museum. The Stone Group oversees mailings to the museum’s list of supporters, while Capstone Lists rents mailing lists to the museum for solicitations.

The vice president of the Stone Group and Stone’s business partner for the past 30 years, Lora Lynn Jones, owns a third company, direct mail brokerage Total Direct Response, which also does business with NWHM.

Stone denied that her status as a vendor, donor and board member for the museum constitutes a conflict of interest. “It has been handled totally in keeping with what [nonprofit governance website] BoardSource and other sources have laid out. [Museum board] committees are aware of it, and it’s been fully disclosed,” she said.

But two experts say that Stone’s multiple roles with the museum, while not illegal, fall well outside typical board-vendor arrangements.

“This certainly isn’t a best practice,” said Ken Berger, president of the nonprofit watchdog Charity Navigator. “Nonprofits are really discouraged from hiring the services of board members, and while technically you can get away with it, even then it’s really bad. Our advice is that vendors should step off the board [if they want to do business with a nonprofit],” he said.

David Schultz, an expert in nonprofit law at Hamline College in Saint Paul, Minn., said the arrangement with Stone presents “enormous potential for self-dealing and conflicts of interest.”

From “Election Law: Supreme Plot” (archived) by Dan Christianson, from Daily Business Review, July 10, 2003

Mary McCarty’s “Dear Friend” letter was shrill. “Were you as outraged by the Florida Supreme Court’s efforts to highjack [sic] the presidency for Al Gore as I was?” the letter asked. “It was an outrageous, arrogant power-grab by a left-wing court which is stuck in the liberal 60s…We must raise at least $4.5 million by the ‘Vote No’ campaign to organize Florida voters to reject the retention of these three liberal Supreme Court justices.”

192 From “National Women’s History Museum Makes Little Progress After 16 Years” by Andrea Stone and Christina Wilkie:

Jones reported donating even more time — 2,050 hours — in 2010, for a total value of $164,426, according to documents the museum provided to HuffPost. Wages said that Jones’ work included “chores,” such as “moving furniture [and] running errands to pick up supplies.”

Jones declined to speak to HuffPost, but stood by her calculation of her own hours, saying in a written statement, “Some days I volunteered long hours, some days short hours and then there are days I don’t volunteer there at all.”

193 From “The curious spending of Republicans for Choice” by Josh Israel:

Since the PAC’s formation in 1990, documents show that Republicans for Choice has raised and spent more than $5.5 million. But a Center for Public Integrity analysis of the PAC’s more recent filings – along with data from CQ MoneyLine, which tracks political giving – reveals that over the past decade less than five percent of the committee’s spending has gone to political candidates, other political committees, or independent expenditures. Since 2005, just about one-half of one percent of the PAC’s nearly $1 million in spending has gone to federal or state campaigns, according to a review of records. By comparison, Federal Election Commission data show the average federal PAC in the recent 2007-2008 cycle dedicated about 35 percent of spending to contributions aiding federal candidates. A comparison to other PACs on both sides of the abortion debate shows that similar groups spend a much greater portion of their funds on candidates and campaigns.

When the issue of the group’s early spending was raised in a 1992 Legal Times article, Stone wrote a rebuttal defending the PAC’s practices. The first goal of the group, she said, was “not the election of federal candidates, but the election of pro-choice delegates” to the Republican national convention. Including state campaigns, she added, 10.6 percent of total spending at that point had gone to “direct assistance to candidates,” putting the PAC in line with other major abortion rights political action committees. But in recent years, the group’s expenditures have not tracked with other major PACs on both sides of the abortion debate. Using data from the Center for Responsive Politics, the Center analyzed how much other abortion-issue PACs spent on federal candidates, political committees, and independent expenditures since 1997:

  • Republican Majority for Choice PAC, another abortion rights GOP committee: more than 87 percent;
  • NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC: 49 percent;
  • Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s PAC: 72 percent;
  • Republican National Coalition for Life PAC, an anti-abortion GOP group: 79 percent; and
  • National Right to Life PAC: over 91 percent.

194 From “The curious spending of Republicans for Choice” by Josh Israel:

In recent years, most of the PAC’s payments have gone to one of three recipients: Capstone Lists (a direct-marketing company owned by Stone), The Stone Group (a political consulting firm owned by Stone), and Ann Stone directly.

Dating back to the beginning of 2005, about 69 percent of the $967,108 spent by the group has gone to those three entities. Both companies and the PAC, along with the not-yet-built National Women’s History Museum (Stone is senior vice president), share space in an Alexandria office building. Though the four entities list different suite numbers on correspondence, filings, and the building’s occupant directory, the four Stone groups share a second-floor office with a door marked “250-260.”

Republicans for Choice pays thousands of dollars each year for office, equipment, and list rental to Capstone Lists. The Stone Group’s services are retained for the PAC’s accounting, mailing production, and website updates (though www.republicansforchoice.com contains numerous out-of-date and under constructionn pages).

Stone herself received nearly $250,000 since the start of 2001 as reimbursements for her “travel and entertainment,” “automobile maintenance repairs,” phone, tires, gasoline, and various other expenses.

Among other expenditures by the RFC PAC were 13 payments over the 2006 and 2008 cycles to the Washington, D.C. government and one to the City of Alexandria to cover $685 worth of parking tickets. This figure represents more than 10 percent of the total given by the committee to political candidates over the same period. Stone does not dispute that these were her violations, but points out that the PAC is transparent about them. “I could have put these on an expense report to ‘hide’ it,” she said. “I did not.”

195 Ann Stone’s comments are taken directly from the Politico article “A PAC’s spending” by Ben Smith; for clarity, some paragraph breaks have been added, but no other changes have been made. There were two comments made, and they get separate quotes:

Yes I am that Ann Stone whom this article is whipping you up to hate. But if you knew the whole story your perception might be different. Let me start off though by telling you that most of the “facts” in the original article are correct. Most but not all. But that is not enough to know the real story.

The real problem however is in the conclusions and in the omissions of information by the author of the original article. They may say the omissions were to limit the length of the article but those omissions change the tone and perception of the “facts” they reported and some of their conclusions. First off, I made the original reporter well aware that our PAC was never primarily designed to support candidates by giving money. In fact I was clear with him that was a small part of what we were set up to do. And I explained that unlike the other groups he had compared us to we did all our work under a PAC which meant that all of our activity was disclosed and is public.

The other groups listed who are great and do great work have separate 527’s or c3s or c4s to do most of their work which is not candidate related. Organizing a group’s overall work that way allows them to split up expenses and overhead. And they are not required by law to make any public disclosure of specific receipts and expenses like we do in a PAC. So much of their administrative and project costs are separated from their PAC so their percentages of course would look better. I guess I would now say we should have done it the same way so that all the money contributed into the PAC was only raised for candidates and spent that way,but that is not how we did it. We neither raised money soley for candidates nor spent it that way, creating this PR nightmare. If you go to our website http://www.repubicansforchoice.com you will read about our full mission…

To continue: Our donors who were solicited knew that when they signed up. The donor they write about came to us unsolicited and clearly thought PAC=candidates. But that donor should also remember that he was surveyed regularly to find out what they thought our spending priorities should be. We have been very responsive to what our members have asked us to do. Shockingly funding candidates rates down the list at bottom or near bottom.

We offered to share a sample of those letters with the authors of the original article. Further anyone who thinks I made money on this PAC did not read the article or does not understand FEC law. When you incur expenses for a PAC personally …you must be reimbursed for them…that is the law. The money RFC paid me was to reimburse me for money I paid out.. Like for our expenses at each national convention which between airfare, hotel for our staff and volunteers and other staff expenses I would have charges of thousands of dollars… By law I had to be reimbursed for or it would have been a violation of law. So did this “fund my lifestyle?” Hardly. And the much ado about the parking tickets and car repairs…if we got a ticket due to staying at a meeting downtown that had to do with RFC …RFC paid the ticket. As for car repairs and such…I worked out a deal that RFC would pay for car repairs etc instead of mileage…which was much less paperwork and time consuming…and as I said in the article we could have hidden it away in an expense report but chose to have them pay it directly and disclose it.

Sadly I will have to spend the next few days refuting much of the omissions and misinterpretation of facts in this article. Here is another example of a conclusion that was distorted. What the authors did not tell you is that the reason my firms were paid was two fold: 1) When I started RFC no GOP firm would help us fundraise or organize for fear of retribution by the GOP. In fact there were a whole host of printers and list owners and others who we had dealt with at other times that would not work for us because of our stand on this issue. So rather than hire a Democratic firm (which also would have been a PR nightmare) my firm handled what we could not get others to do. Now that the Party has calmed down toward us recently maybe I could have bid the work out but since my firm was named as one of the top in the Nation by a vote of our peers, why settle for less with another firm? And we were able to do the work at a rate we would not have gotten outside…but still within the market norm as is required by law. 2)The second reason is that to save costs starting in 2005 when our revenue started declining, we outsourced staff functions and project coordination to my firms because they could do their work, outside of what volunteers could handle, more cost effectively. I have great and experienced staff and it now allows me to be able to personally oversee RFC’s work and still do my other work. But when our firm orders printing or does computer work or designs literature or writes an ad script or does research, or records a radio ad they are required to bill RFC for that work and to be paid for it…or it is an illegal corporate contribution.

In fact when we filed our first FEC report we had an audit almost immediately provoked by an FEC complaint from an anti choice group who was looking to have us nailed as having provided work or office space to RFC which would have been an illegal contribution so we were sensitive to this from the start. You may think we made bad decisions on how we organized the work we do by putting it all under the title PAC or disagree with how we spend our money but our work has had impact and has always been done according to the law. All of our expenses have always been out in the open for anyone to see. Further the authors did not detail the pages and pages of accomplishments we gave them nor the fact that during the lean times I personally lent or gave the PAC money to keep going to the extent I was allowed by law. No that would have messed up their storyline. Feel free to email me through the RFC website if you want to ask me any more questions…

196 From “G.O.P. Group Formed to Support Abortion Rights” by Robin Toner:

WASHINGTON, April 23– A group of centrist and conservative Republicans says it is mounting a three-year drive to change the party’s platform and its firm opposition to abortion rights.

Ann Stone, a conservative fund-raiser who is heading the group, Republicans for Choice, said, ”Our first goal is to change the party’s platform to reflect the view of the majority of Republicans, which is that choices should be made at the individual level and government should get out of our lives.”

Ms. Stone said the group, which will be a political action committee, hoped to raise $1.5 million to $3 million over the next three years to aid Republican candidates who support a woman’s right to have an abortion and to bring about changes in the platform at the 1992 convention.

Ms. Stone said the group already had almost 200 elected officials signed on to its advisory board. Among them, the group said, are Representatives Nancy L. Johnson of Connecticut, Jim Kolbe of Arizona, Ronald K. Machtley of Rhode Island and Tom Campbell of California.

Earlier this month, another Republican political action committee was formed to aid Republican candidates who support abortion rights. The group, Pro-Choice America, includes Republicans like former First Lady Betty Ford and Representatives Constance A. Morella of Maryland, Bill Green of New York and Claudine Schneider of Rhode Island.

From “Abortion Issue Simmers In GOP” by S.A. Paolantonio:

Imagine it’s 1992, and thousands of reporters and television crews have descended upon the Republican National Convention for the re-coronation of George Bush.

But there is one big problem. There is no story to cover.

The world is still at peace. The economy is cruising. So is the President’s popularity. What are the reporters going to write about?

Abortion.

“It’s our biggest fear,” said Republican political consultant Roger Stone. Imagine, said Stone, that President Bush, who has consistently vetoed abortion-rights legislation, is a spectator at his own convention while renegade Republicans lead a charge to overhaul the GOP platform, which currently calls for a constitutional ban on abortion.

197 From “McInnis served on Republicans for Choice board for nearly a decade”:

Anti-abortion Republican candidate for governor Scott McInnis says he does not remember serving on the advisory board of Republicans for Choice, a political action committee ostensibly dedicated to supporting pro-choice candidates.

Papers filed with the Federal Election Commission, though, show that McInnis served on the organization’s board from June of 1996 through at least August of 2005. Filings submitted since then do not include the PAC’s letterhead, which lists its advisory board.

Republicans For Choice did not return multiple phone calls or emails.

Mcinnis served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1993 until 2005, and was originally elected as a pro-choice candidate. By 1999, he was voting mostly against choice and by 2003 the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) had him rated at zero percent on its issues.

Yet after receiving that rating, he continued to serve at least two more years on the RFC board. Did the board actually offer advice in the running of the organization as implied or were members merely figureheads? It’s hard to say. RFC founder, chairwoman and treasurer Ann E. W. Stone earlier this year told the Center for Public Integrity that she relies on an advisory board to set the agenda for PAC spending.

From “Scott McInnis’s Abortion Stance Comes Full Circle With Support For ‘Personhood’ Initiative” by the Huffington Post, describes Innis support for the Personhood ballot initiative. That McInnis lost his primary was obtained from the wikipedia entry “Colorado gubernatorial election, 2010”.

198 From “Republicans for Choice vs. Republicans for Choice” by Jeff Johnson:

Capitol Hill (CNSNews.com) – Two Republican pro-abortion groups with similar names are on opposite sides of the debate over President Bush’s nomination of Priscilla Owen to the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The pro-abortion group “Republicans for Choice Political Action Committee” supports Owen, while the pro-abortion “Republicans for Choice®” affiliate of Planned Parenthood does not. The confusion created by the similar names is creating tension between the groups.

Ann Stone, national chairman of “Republicans for Choice PAC,” said Tuesday that her pro-abortion colleagues should “cease their attacks on Priscilla Owen and let her nomination go forward.”

“I worry that if we in the pro-choice movement attack even those judicial nominees who are responsible and acclaimed jurists that we will appear like the ‘boy who cried wolf’ when the really bad nominees come forward,” he explained in a press release. “We need to pick our fights and this should not be one of them.”

Stone’s group is located online at republicansforchoice.com. The website includes a disclaimer at the bottom of each page stating, “This Republicans For Choice committee is a political action group and is not a part of, or affiliated with, Planned Parenthood.”

Changing the .com to .org, in the web address, however, yields a connection to the “Republicans for Choice” that is an affiliate of Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest fee-for-service purveyor of abortions, and opposes Owen’s nomination.

A search of the records of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office reveals that the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc., does, in fact, hold the “service mark” for the phrase “Republicans for Choice.”

The mark was submitted for approval on March 30, 1990 and registered to the group on December 28, 1993. Records indicate that Planned Parenthood claims to have first used the phrase on July 17, 1981.

The page titled “A message from Ann Stone” on her website claims that she “founded Republicans for Choice in 1989.”

Stone told CNSNews.com that she has been using the name since the late 1980s under a “working arrangement” with Planned Parenthood.

“We are Republican first and pro-choice second in their eyes,” Stone explained. “Our group was organized to be party-friendly and to work out the issue within the party … I have been a target more often than not because they see me as being ‘too Republican.'”

Crockett is urging Stone to change the name of her organization “because it sends a confusing message.”

“You can’t call yourself ‘pro-choice,'” Crockett wrote, “and support an anti-choice, extremist judicial nominee.”

Stone laughed when asked if she was planning to change her group’s name. Regarding Planned Parenthood’s characterization of Owen, she added, “To call her an ‘anti-choice extremist’ is ridiculous. It’s laughable.”

199 From “Del. Governor’s Wife Denies Charge Husband Abused Her” by Sandy Bauers:

WILMINGTON – In one of the stranger chapters in Delaware’s political history, the wife of Gov. Carper held a news conference yesterday to say her husband doesn’t beat her.

That event was triggered by an earlier news conference in which the chairwoman of a national Republican political action committee said the abuse had occurred.

The accusation against the Democrat by Ann Stone, chairwoman of Republicans for Choice, an abortion-rights lobbying group based in Alexandria, Va., was immediately denounced by Delaware Republican leaders as well as members of her group. Four Delaware members of the Republicans for Choice advisory board, including two Delaware state senators, resigned in protest.

“I am dismayed that my husband’s political opponents would engage in such an attack at the expense of my family,” she said. “To assert that I would allow my husband to abuse me is offensive to me as a wife, as a mother, and as a professional woman.”

Stone handed out what she identified as court documents from a 1981 child custody dispute in which Carper admitted slapping his first wife once during their marriage. The admission was initially reported in 1982 by the New York Post.

Stone yesterday claimed that there were sealed court records in Delaware proving that Carper had abused his current wife. She said she had not investigated but that “people in Delaware I trust” had told her it was true. She also cited “people who said they had had conversations with people inside the Carper circle who said the pattern had continued.” Stone refused to name any of the individuals.

Martha Carper said at her own news conference two hours later, “There are no documents sealed or unsealed because there are no documents in Family Court or in any other court.”

Edward Pollard, administrator for Family Court, said there were no court documents on file involving either Carper or his wife.

Delaware Republican State Chairman Basil Battaglia was among those who bluntly dismissed Stone and her accusations yesterday.

“Ann Stone does not represent the Delaware Republican Party. We don’t practice that type of politics here in Delaware,” he said, contending that most campaigns are “very genteel.”

The GOP candidate for governor, Janet Rzewnicki, the state treasurer, denied any involvement in Stone’s news conference.

Rzewnicki did say in a statement, “If there’s nothing to hide, unseal the records and let the people of Delaware decide on this issue. I’m certainly not calling Tom Carper a wife-beater, but I believe that the people of Delaware have a right to know the entire story.”

Her campaign manager, Jeffrey M. Busch, said it was up to Carper to prove he has not hit his wife.

“In 1981, it showed that he hit his wife,” Busch said. “Show that he didn’t do it again and that’s the end of it.”

That Janet Rzewnicki, the candidate, was once on the board for Republicans for Choice is mentioned in “GOP Abortion Stand Besieged From Within” by S. A. Paolantonio and Katharine Seelye:

Republicans for Choice includes a broad spectrum of the party’s top and middle-level operatives and officials, including Hersh Koslov, former counsel to the New Jersey Republican Party, California Rep. Tom Campbell, Delaware State Treasurer Janet Rzewnicki, political consultant Roger Stone, and his wife, Ann, a conservative direct mail specialist, and Charles Kopp, one of Pennsylvania’s top fund-raisers.

That Rzewnicki lost to Carper in the governor’s race is information available in many places, including the wikipedia page for “Tom Carper”, which gives the outcome, though none of the details of the 1996 race.

From “GOP Spokesman Black: A True Believer Steps In” by Alan Pell Crawford, on Roger Stone’s involvement in the 1982 race:

Partner Roger Stone seems to relish his image as a no-holds-barred campaigner. In a 1982 campaign for Tommy Evans against Delaware Rep. Thomas Carper, Stone tried to label the incumbent a wife-beater, the kind of tactic for which the New Republic labeled Stone Washington’s “state-of-the-art political sleazeball.” [“State of the Art Sleazeball” by Jacob Weisberg, re-published in Slate] Stone, who with Black was one of NCPAC’s founders, has a long history of such misdeeds. One of the “dirty tricksters” unearthed by the Senate Watergate Committee, Stone likes to think of himself, according to one friend, as “the next generation’s Roy Cohn.”

200 From “GOP donors funding Nader / Bush supporters give independent’s bid a financial lift” by Carla Marinucci:

Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader — still not on the ballot in a single state — has received a recent windfall of contributions from deep-pocketed Republicans with a history of big contributions to the party, an analysis of federal records show.

Nearly one in 10 of Nader’s major donors — those writing checks of $1, 000 or more — have given in recent months to the Bush-Cheney campaign, the latest documents show. GOP fund-raisers also have “bundled” contributions — gathering hefty donations for maximum effect to help Nader, who has criticized the practice in the past.

The donations from wealthy Republicans — combined with increasingly vocal Democratic charges that they represent a stealth GOP effort to wound Democrat John Kerry — prompted Nader’s vice presidential running mate, Green Party member Peter Camejo, to suggest the consumer advocate reject the money that doesn’t come from loyal Nader voters.

But the financial records show that $23,000 in checks of $1,000 or more have come from loyal Republicans. Among those who have given recently to Nader are Houston businessman Nijad Fares, who donated $200,000 to President Bush’s 2000 inaugural committee; Richard J. Egan, the former ambassador to Ireland, and his wife, Pamela, who have raised more than $300,000 for Bush; Michigan developer Ghassan Saab, who has given $30,000 to the RNC since 2001; and frozen food magnate Jeno Paulucci, and his wife, Lois, who have donated $150, 000 to GOP causes since 2000 alone.

201 From “Obama Actually Betrayed The Gay Marriage Cause” by Michael Musto:

“Once Gay Americans are through celebrating President Barack Obama’s ‘personal’ support of Gay marriage equality, they will learn that Obama’s ‘evolution’ changes nothing. Obama’s new position is a bullshit cop-out.

“This comes on the heels of a cynical Obama campaign pirouette where Team Obama trotted out first Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, then Vice President ‘Crazy’ Joe Biden to say they support gay marriage and imply that the President would too–after the election.

“Now, incredibly, Obama says Gay marriage is a state issue. That’s what they used to say about abortion and before that, slavery. Now the President says he believes that gay couples should be able to marry but he doesn’t believe they have a right to do so. Obama would leave the question to the states–in other words–the status quo. This is like saying that public schools ought to be integrated but if the people of Mississippi disagree, well it’s up to them.

“If Obama believes that marriage equality is a constitutionally guaranteed civil right, as former Governor Gary Johnson does, than it can’t be abridged by the states. Forty-four states currently ban gay marriage. Under Obama millions of Americans in most states will continue be denied the right to marry the person of their choice.”

From “Attorney For Birther Army Doc Is Former GOP Staffer And Anti-Gay Crusader” by Justin Elliott:

The attorney driving the story of the Birther Army doctor facing a court martial for refusing orders is a former Republican Hill staffer and current personal injury lawyer who has dabbled in anti-gay activism and reportedly wrote a letter to the FBI tipping off the feds to New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s use of prostitutes, months before the scandal publicly broke.

Attorney Paul Rolf Jensen runs a California law firm, Jensen & Associates, that focuses on bread and butter personal injury cases involving dog bites, seatbelt failure, and asbestos exposure.

But, says the GOP operative Roger Stone, a friend and sometimes client of Jensen’s, he should not be underestimated when it comes to the case of Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin.

An Army doctor, Lakin believes President Obama may not be a natural born citizen, and therefore that military orders are invalid. He was charged last week for refusing orders to show up to be deployed for a second tour in Afghanistan.

“Jensen is a bulldog. A true student of the law. A brilliant litigator. Not adverse to high profile cases and high risk legal strategies,” says Stone in an email. He “understand[s] public relations and the damage this case can do to Obama. Won’t be adverse to trying to call Obama for testimony.”

Jensen did not respond to our request for comment, but his background seems to be in line with Lakin spokeswoman Margaret Hemenway, a former staffer for Sen. Bob Smith (R-NH) who now leads the American Patriot Foundation, which is raising money to pay Lakin’s legal fees.

Jensen, too, is a former Smith staffer, and he also worked for Sen. Jeremiah Denton (R-AL) and as counsel for the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works in the early 2000s, according to his bio.

Also like Hemenway, who once filed a complaint against her daughter’s first grade teacher because the teacher announced she is a lesbian, Jensen has been involved in anti-gay activism.

Jensen had filed “25 charges of heresy” against other Presbyterians around the country, CNN reported in 2004. The complaints included cases in which pastors officiated over same-sex unions, ordained gay elders, or were themselves gay.

“I am called to action within the Presbyterian church to fight back against those who have made war and would destroy our church,” he told CNN.

202 From “Why I Refuse to Vote for Barack Obama”:

There is a candidate on the ballot in at least 47 states, and probably in all 50, who regularly speaks out against that post-9/11 trend, and all the individual policies that compose it. His name is Gary Johnson, and he won’t win. I am supporting him because he ought to. Liberals and progressives care so little about having critiques of the aforementioned policies aired that vanishingly few will even urge that he be included in the upcoming presidential debates. If I vote, it will be for Johnson. What about the assertion that Romney will be even worse than Obama has been on these issues? It is quite possible, though not nearly as inevitable as Democrats seem to think. It isn’t as though they accurately predicted the abysmal behavior of Obama during his first term, after all. And how do you get worse than having set a precedent for the extrajudicial assassination of American citizens? By actually carrying out such a killing? Obama did that too. Would Romney? I honestly don’t know. I can imagine he’d kill more Americans without trial and in secret, or that he wouldn’t kill any. I can imagine that he’d kill more innocent Pakistani kids or fewer. His rhetoric suggests he would be worse. I agree with that. Then again, Romney revels in bellicosity; Obama soothes with rhetoric and kills people in secret.

The whole liberal conceit that Obama is a good, enlightened man, while his opponent is a malign, hard-hearted cretin, depends on constructing a reality where the lives of non-Americans — along with the lives of some American Muslims and whistleblowers — just aren’t valued. Alternatively, the less savory parts of Obama’s tenure can just be repeatedly disappeared from the narrative of his first term, as so many left-leaning journalists, uncomfortable confronting the depths of the man’s transgressions, have done over and over again.

Johnson’s statements on Uganda are from “Gary Johnson would send troops into Uganda but not Libya”, of which the following is a transcript:

FOX NEWS GAL: So the president’s said that he’s sending a hundred troops to Central Africa, to combat the LRA, Joseph Kony. Would you support this if you were president? Is this something you would do?

JOHNSON: You know, in thinking about this, he signed legislation…Congress authorized that this is what needed to take place…he signed that legislation as president. If I were president, and I signed that legislation, I would have had an action plan ready to go immediately. From all appearances, this really does seem to be genocide. I mean, this really seems to be…these are really bad actors, a finite number of fighters…whatever that number is, I don’t know if I’d be sending advisers there, as immediately as after signing the legislation, sent a strike force to wipe them out.

KRAUTHAMMER: That’s very non-libertarian of you.

JOHNSON: Well, I’ve always said that genocide is something that none of us want to stand by and watch happen. From everything I can ascertain from this situation, this does qualify for genocide.

KRAUTHAMMER: What about the Qaddafi threat, when he was winning the war against the rebels at the beginning…to wipe out the people, his opponents in Benghazi. Would you have sent the army to go and prevent that?

JOHNSON: No, I would not have. I did not see a military threat from Libya. That’s another issue here with the Lord’s Resistance Army, is that this is their nation. We’re talking about a foreign dictator here. I don’t think there’s anything in the constitution that says because we don’t like a foreign leader we should go in and topple that foreign leader.

KRAUTHAMMER: But I’m not sure if I understand. Clearly the Liberation Army in Uganda is not a threat, to the United States. Yet you would say you would send a strike force. You can argue equally, whether Qaddafi is the leader of a country or not, he was a threat to the people of Benghazi, and you would not. I’m not sure I understand the logic.

JOHNSON: Well, uh, these are the questions that I…another thing I would do as president of the United States, I would be really transparent. Look, I’m signing this legislation authorizing wiping out the Lord’s Resistance Army, authorizing that legislation, on the other hand, going into Libya, I heard the transparency…I just didn’t see the military threat. And I did not see a military threat from the Lord’s Resistance Army. I do not see that as a threat to national security at all.

FOX NEWS GUY: There’s a lot of nuance.

JOHNSON: There’s a lot of nuance as president of the United States.

That Johnson wished to keep Guantanamo Bay open is taken from the interview with Andrew Napolitano, “Governor Gary Johnson I would not close Gitmo”:

NAPOLITANO: Governor, should we close Guantanamo Bay? Should they be either tried in federal district courts, or returned to their countries, or should we keep it open, and leave them uncharged for the rest of their lives?

JOHNSON: Well, when president Obama didn’t close Guantanamo Bay, and that was one of his promises, I really looked into the issue, and I had a lot of prominent libertarians tell me, if it weren’t for Guantanamo that we would have to create that situation somewhere else. So, I’ve kinda been sold on the notion that this is something we have to have whether it’s…if it’s not Guantanamo, it’s going to be somewhere else…that these are enemy combatants, and not U.S. citizens, I’ve been wooed over to the side that there’s a reason for keeping it open.

Johnson’s policy on Iran and drone strikes is taken from “Gary Johnson’s strange foreign policy” by Jamie Weinstein:

Libertarian Party presidential contender Gary Johnson has been portrayed as an anti-war candidate, but that isn’t quite so clear.

Johnson sat down with reporters and editors from The Daily Caller last week, generously providing his time to answer any and all questions, no matter how difficult or ludicrous.

But when pressed on foreign policy topics throughout the interview, Johnson gave answers that didn’t always seem to add up and were often, at best, unorthodox positions for a man who has been painted as a non-interventionist.

Johnson said that while he wants to end the war in Afghanistan, that doesn’t mean he would necessarily stop drone attacks against terrorists in Pakistan or Yemen, even though he believes they create more enemies than they kill.

“I would want leave all options on the table,” Johnson said.

But if Johnson plans on leaving Afghanistan, how does he plan to leave the option of a drone campaign against al-Qaida elements in Pakistan on the table?

“So now you have the U.S. bases that exist in those areas, do we shut down those military bases? Perhaps not,” he suggested, taking an odd position for a supposed anti-war candidate.

“I would completely withdraw our military presence,” he further expounded. “Does withdrawing our military presence from Afghanistan mean that we would still have a base open in Afghanistan if they allowed us to keep a base open? Perhaps.”

On Iran, Johnson said that if “Iran launches a nuclear warhead they can be assured that they will no longer exist.”

“None of their country will be left to stand and that will be from Israel,” he said, confident that the threat of nuclear retaliation would prevent the Islamic Republic from using any nuclear weapon it obtained.

Johnson went on to say that he doesn’t think Iran has seriously been engaged diplomatically. So what would Johnson say that hasn’t been said to get Iran to reconsider developing a nuclear weapon?

“Look, ‘Don’t develop a nuclear weapon,'” he proffered.

You don’t think that’s been said, TheDC asked?

“‘So if we open up trade with you all, we’d like to be a trading partner,'” he added.

Seriously, you don’t think that has been put on the table in negotiations, TheDC asked?

Johnson then pivoted and suggested that there wasn’t any evidence that Iran was developing, or ever wanted, a nuclear weapon.

“Am I not correct in saying that Iran has never voiced that they are developing a nuclear weapon, nor do they have any intention of using a nuclear weapon against the United States?” he asked.

“That’s never actually been voiced. I don’t know where that has come from, but it hasn’t been from Iran.”

So if he doesn’t believe Iran is developing a nuclear weapon or has any intention of developing a nuclear weapon, why is he even suggesting negotiations? Shouldn’t we just open up trade with Iran without asking for anything in return in that case?

“I would be in that camp,” he conceded.

Rand Paul’s comments on same sex marriage are taken from “Rand Paul mentions non-human marriage while discussing gay marriage, says it was joke” by Aaron Blake:

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Wednesday appeared to suggest a link between the Supreme Court’s rulings on gay marriage and marriage between a human and a non-human, but later walked back that suggestion and said it was a joke.

“It is difficult, because if we have no laws on this, people will take it to one extension further — does it have to be humans?” Paul said Wednesday in an interview with Glenn Beck, after Beck suggested some unintended consequences of the rulings, including polygamy.

Paul’s office said that the senator was making a joke.

“Sarcasm sometimes doesn’t translate adequately from radio conversation,” spokeswoman Moira Bagley said. “Sen. Paul did not suggest that striking down DOMA could lead to unusual marriage arrangements. What he was discussing was that having the state recognize marriage without definition could lead to marriages with no basis in reality.”

Later in Wednesday, on Fox News, Paul took a different tack, saying marriage as defined by each state “will probably be within certain parameters.”

203 From “Spoiler alert: Poll finds small following for Libertarian candidate” by Dan Merica:

Washington (CNN) – Gary Johnson’s poll numbers may not give him much-of-a shot at winning the presidency, but in the latest CNN/ORC Poll, he is registering enough of a following to possibly tip the balance in an increasingly close election.

Three percent of likely voters responded that they would vote for Johnson, the Libertarian Party’s candidate for president, in November. That number is slightly higher among registered voters, with 4% identifying with the former governor of New Mexico.

The poll also finds that Johnson’s inclusion, along with the Green Party’s candidate Jill Stein, hurts Republican candidate Mitt Romney more than it does President Barack Obama.

Obama leads Romney 52% to 46% when Romney and Obama are the only candidates in question, but Romney’s support goes down three percentage points with the inclusion of the third party candidates. Obama’s support only drops one point.

“The inclusion of the two minor-party candidates turns a six-point margin for President Obama into an eight-point lead,” said Keating Holland, CNN’s Polling Director. Since third party candidates are typically not on the ballot in all 50 states, those numbers can be slight deceiving when relating them to the support the candidates will receive on Election Day.

204 A partial transcript of this conversation, “Roger Stone on New Media and Old Campaign Tricks”, follows:

QUESTIONER
Yeah, in the articles…it seems you think the Bush administration has done great damage to the Republican party…I was kinda wondering, what ways do you see this Bush administration has done damage to the Republican party and why do you prefer John McCain and see him as someone different from this administration?

STONE
Sure. Well, first of all, I’ve never been a Bush Republican. I consider myself a Goldwater Reagan, more libertarian oriented Republican. And, take your pick. The only thing I like about the Bush administration is their tax policy. I am for tax reduction because I do think it makes the economy grow, but you couldn’t be a conservative and spend like this administration is spending. They’re spending us into the millennium. You couldn’t be a conservative and approve of the growth of government in the eight years George Bush has been governor – president – and lastly, I think this war is pointless. I don’t see the point of the war in Iraq. Now, if you wanted to have war against the Saudis, I’m with you. They’re our problem in the region, they’re not our friends. But the Bush administration kisses up to the Saudis and you get a war in Iraq that doesn’t seem to me to have any point. Now, when we need to use hardball tactics against the Iranians, we’ve worn out the goodwill of the American people who don’t have the stomach for more conflict.

GILLESPIE
How does that translate into support for McCain?

STONE
Well, I don’t think John McCain is George Bush. I think McCain has been with the Bush administration – with the exception of the war – largely when they’re right. But McCain – who I’ve known for twenty years – is very definitely his own man. He didn’t challenge George W. Bush in 2000 for no reason. I do think he has already demonstrated to a great extent he will go his own way, that he will take on iconoclastic fights that would seem out of type for your average conservative Republican. I think it’s a cheap shot to say he’s four more years of George Bush. He’s not. I think he’ll be very different, I think he is a reformer, I really think he hasn’t been afraid to take on the tobacco companies, trial bar, so many other special interests, the administration certainly has never taken on.

GILLESPIE
How brilliant a political strategy was the Palin pick? [the delivery conveys no irony, and there is no subsequent laughter]

STONE
Breathtaking. Because it takes advantage of discord in the democratic party caused essentially by the dumping of Hillary Clinton. They not only don’t nominate her, even though she gets eighteen million votes, they don’t consider her seriously for the ticket, leaving the Republican party a big fat opening. Now, a lot of people thought that all of the women who supported Hillary were ultra-liberals and therefore they couldn’t possibly be attracted by a Palin candidacy. That’s turned out to be false. Many of the women who supported Hillary supported her because they felt it was important to elect a woman president, they thought the role of women was expanding, this would be history making. We’re gonna get thirty percent of the people who voted for Hillary. They’re gonna vote for the McCain-Palin ticket. And that’s very significant. I also like it because it wrenched control of the Republican party away from the party establishment. The republican establishment in Washington does not like John McCain. They don’t like him because they can’t trust him to go along and keep his mouth shut. He really is a maverick, I disagree with Matt Welch in this regard. [a reference to the Matt Welch book: McCain: The Myth of a Maverick] And Sarah Palin didn’t go to Yale. She’s not part of the fraternity here in town. She’s truly an outsider in the sense that McCain is an outsider. So I think that she is out of the Goldwater Reagan Laxalt brand of western frontier conservatism which is not an Ivy league establishment eastern institution brand of republicanism. I think she’s a breath of fresh air.

QUESTIONER
Well, my question kinda goes back to your slanderous techniques earlier, your hardball techniques…I don’t understand, in the New Yorker, they mention you have a beef with Karl Rove. What’s that about?

STONE
Well, that goes back to a college Republican fight in the seventies, where I believe he and his friends forged a bunch of proxies. But let’s go back to your question. I don’t consider any of my activities slanderous, because to be slanderous, I would have to be saying, or communicating, or publicizing things that were not true. And I’ve never done that, and I don’t believe in that. I think these negative TV ads, like the ones on sex education and Barack Obama are actually counterproductive. Bad research. And it’s cost him. Completely juvenile, and not germane to the campaign. Now, had it been accurate, had that ad aired in the right markets, it could have been effective, or even devastating. But instead it was a cheap shot. And this is an area I guess I agree with Rove. But my real beef with Rove is, he lost us both houses of congress, and he drove the Republican party to its lowest approval rating in decades. This is the architect? The architect of what? Failure? The republican party has bred no bench, we have no hard charging attractive young conservative candidates coming up the pike, it’s why our choices for vice president were so dismal. Mitt Romney? Please. Give me a break. The guy was a liberal, three minutes ago. He keeps going about going “Ronald Reagan! Ronald Reagan!” In 1980 [1988] he supported Paul Tsongas for president. He’s not a conservative, if anything he’s a convenient conservative. He’s a liberal yesterday, he’s a conservative today, what will he be tomorrow? I don’t think he knows what he believes in. Other than getting elected.

QUESTIONER
Do you think there’s any possibility in the future of the libertarian party actually playing a larger role than it does now, as a possible third party? Or is that too far a reach?

STONE
I think play a role is the right expression. I think the problem we have is the laws in the fifty states, as well as the federal laws are completely stacked against any new party. It would require real reform of state laws, and federal election laws, to make a third party viable. There’s no question that the Perot phenomenon demonstrates that there’s an interest in a third party in America, there’s a hunger, but I think the role of the parties like the libertarians is keeping the Republicans honest. [interruption by motorcade] I think there’s an interest in a third party, and I think the libertarian party is important, because it keeps pressure on the Republicans to keep them honest, and it keeps issues in the forefront that normally wouldn’t be in the forefront of a presidential campaign. Will they ever elect a president, will the two party system in this country ever collapse, or be expanded, I don’t think so as long as the laws are currently stacked the way they are. So, therefore, I think the Republican party is the traditional home of conservatives, as Barry Goldwater said, and I think we’ve got to fight it out within the party.

QUESTIONER
I have a sibling who is a student at University of Miami…I wondered if you did any work trying to get the votes of the student body there.

STONE
I haven’t specifically, but it raises an interesting question which is, given the millions of dollars that the Obama campaign is spending on voter registration, specifically among students, whether that opens the door to serious abuse, where students vote twice, they vote once where their parents live, where they’re from, and they vote again where they’re at college. That is, of course, a felony. It would take very sophisticated tracking…it was very interesting, in the 2000 election, it was so close, the New York Post tracked thousands of New Yorkers who voted both in New York and in Palm Beach county. Thousands. When you consider that Bush only won by a handful of votes, those illegal votes are very significant.

GILLESPIE
Do you think any of the Palin scandals, Bristol Palin or this troopergate stuff, is that gonna stick, and will any of the Obama scandals, well, not really scandals, but the Jeremiah Wright things, the various non-policy related attacks, do those-

STONE
Well, ironically, because the national media is so lathered up, and because their attacks on Palin have been so vicious, and so rabid, I actually think those things will not stick. I think a) they create a sympathy for her, and secondarily, a lot of votes write them off as just another liberal oriented attack on her. Now, that assumes we don’t learn any new cataclysmic facts that we don’t know today, but I don’t think we’re going to do. I think she’s the real deal, I think she really is what she appears to be, I think she is an outsider, I think she is pretty feisty, I don’t think she is the real, the secret mother of her daughter’s baby, I think the daily kos really damaged their credibility by putting that out, the Monday before the Republican national convention…so, actually I think attacks on her inure to her benefit at this point.

GILLESPIE
What about Obama?

STONE
Well. I think it’s a slightly different situation, only because he’s been so unscathed so far, despite the very best efforts of the Clintons, and because he’s running for the top job and he’s still largely an unknown commodity. The best line of the convention was, “What do you say about a guy who’s authored two memoirs but no significant pieces of legislation?” To me, he’s a cipher. He can’t point to a special interest he’s ever taken on, because he’s never taken on. He can’t point to any significant legislation he pushed against great odds in the U.S. senate or the state senate, because he didn’t do any. I really think that when the democrats raise the question of Palin’s qualifications to be president, and her experience, they’re really harming Barack Obama more than they’re harming her. Because it elevates experience as an issue that people will begin to focus on.

GILLESPIE
So, what happens with the hispanic vote? It’s largely catholic, and seems to be pretty much up for grabs.

STONE
I think it is up for grabs. I mean, the problem is, once we become depicted as an anti-immigrant party, we begin losing hispanic votes. But hispanic voters are strong believers in hard work, strong believers in the work ethic, they’re patriotic, they love uniforms, they respect the military, I think it is a vote that McCain must make in-roads into, in Colorado, in New Mexico, at least – in order to win this election. And that actually, in my opinion, the key. In other words, I think in the final analysis, you should not look at the national polls that show this tied or McCain up three points or Barack Obama up three points, that’s largely meaningless. As you study, you actually look at Ohio, Missouri, Colorado, New Mexico, and Virginia. Probably Florida. And look at the polls in those states. Those are the states that will determine this election. Everything else is predictable, by and large. You know the democrats will carry California, and say, Massachusetts, at this point, the Republicans will carry Texas and Mississippi. You know all that. Every other state is reliably predictable, those states I just mentioned are up for grabs, and in order to win Colorado and New Mexico, I think McCain needs to fall back on his original position on immigration, he’s not an immigrant basher, he has been in favor of a path to citizenship, and I think that could be very palatable to people in those states.

STONE
Most important rule: read the newspaper every day. I continue to be amazed by people who don’t read the newspaper. It doesn’t matter if you read it on-line, or if you read it in paper form, I don’t see how you can be an informed citizen, form opinions, if you don’t know what’s going on in the world. I have colleagues who don’t read the newspaper every day. It just astounds me. I read four five newspapers every day. Florida papers, national papers, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the New York Times. I don’t believe a lot of what I read…but I think it kinda tells you where everybody’s coming from. The New York Times, you go on the Stone Zone today, I have a long piece about the vitriolic nature of the New York Times which seems to be leading the charge, anti-Palin efforts. A lot of reporters I respect, a lot of reporters I like, a lot of reporters that I like to read have now suddenly become vitriolic about Palin. Richard Cohen in the Daily News yesterday which I think is a Washington Post column about, Sarah Palin’s qualifications to be president, whether she has the experience to be president. No mention of Barack Obama being a cipher in there.

GILLESPIE
Can you talk a little bit about how the Weekly Standard and then the New Yorker pieces happened?

STONE
Well, let’s see…one of the things I was involved in was the destruction of the reform party. I feel the Reform party elected Bill Clinton not once, but twice. I read that Barack Obama is meeting with Bill Clinton in New York, in Harlem last week, to seek his political advice, and my question is: why? He never got 51% in any election, and he did far more damage to his wife’s campaign than he did good. I think he’s got a tin ear. I think he assumed the presidency through luck, rather than skill. No Perot: no Clinton.

GILLESPIE
This is in 1992, Clinton won the presidency with 43% of the vote, which was a very low figure, in a strong three way race. And then against Bob Dole four years later, he got 49% of the vote which is, it was interesting that we had presidents who did not win a simple majority for a number of elections there. Because George Bush also did not. But how did the Weekly Standard profile happen?

STONE
At the reform party convention, where I was promoting the candidacy of Donald Trump, largely as a holding action that played some role in kinda coaxing Pat Buchanan into the party, that was the beginning of the end…because he was more interested in the federal matching funds, I think, than actually being elected…and once the party drops below a certain level of votes they’re no longer eligible for federal matching funds…Buchanan got them there, and the party has disappeared.

205 From “Roger Stone to GOP: Payback’s a Bitch” by Mark Warren:

“Johnson is polling at 9 percent in Arizona [according to PPP], and it’s all gonna come out of Romney’s hide, and he’s at 6 percent in Wisconsin (according to the Reason poll), which is all out of Obama’s hide. I am helping Gary figure out where to put his emphasis.” He points toward the convention floor. “Snubbing Ron Paul’s people today, and not counting their votes, was just magical, wonderful for us,” he says beaming, arms spread wide as if to say come to papa. “A bunch of people are gonna leave here very angry. To not announce Ron Paul’s total from the chair is an insult. He won those delegates, he’s entitled to – shall we say – be defeated gracefully. They are angry, and we are going to pick up those people.”

The email from Roger Stone to Warren Redlich is taken from Capitol Confidential‘s “E-mails show Stone strategizing for Paladino” (archived) by Jimmy Vielkind; the full email from which the quote is taken is the following:

Stone, 4:48: Because of her tangential connection to spitzer no other race makes sense for her. She, unlike you, has a shelf life. The further from Spitzer downfall the less her ability to command coverage. No other race has any logic for her.

Were you to support her actively you could help win her the votes to be nominated. If you ran for AG I could get Paladino to let you ride on both his GOP ( you are a registered R) and Tea Party petitions- and thus get in the GOP primary for real and get a second line. I can have Paladino himself confirm this if you like.

Donovan [Daniel M. Donovan, the eventual Republican candidate for Attorney General] is not a certain candidate for AG. You could end up the nominee.

In a 3 way race for Governor a woman candidate running on marijuana legalization gets 50,000+ votes and takes votes from Cuomo- not a Paladino. Prostitution would be de-emphasized in a fall campaign.

From my point of view you would help KD more as a candidate for LG making a nice balance M-F,downstate-upstate, non-lawyer, lawyer etc.

From your point of view a race for AG would be better for you if you would consider it.

R

206 From “Roger Stone, Political Animal” by Matt Labash:

Around the time he became northeast chairman of Reagan’s 1980 campaign, he had another awakening when he started working with the notorious lawyer Roy Cohn, former McCarthy henchman and also a Reagan supporter. “I’m still kind of a neophyte,” Stone admits, “still kind of thinking everything’s on the level. ‘Cause the truth is, nothing’s on the level.” At a 1979 meeting at Cohn’s Manhattan townhouse, he was introduced to major mobster and Cohn client Fat Tony Salerno. “Roy says to Tony, ‘You know, Tony, everything’s fixed. Everything can be handled.’ Tony says, ‘Roy, the Supreme Court’ Roy says, ‘Cost a few more dollars.'” Stone loved Cohn: “He didn’t give a s– what people thought, as long as he was able to wield power. He worked the gossip columnists in this city like an organ.”

Stone, who going back to his class elections in high school has been a proponent of recruiting patsy candidates to split the other guy’s support, remembers suggesting to Cohn that if they could figure out a way to make John Anderson the Liberal party nominee in New York, with Jimmy Carter picking up the Democratic nod, Reagan might win the state in a three-way race. “Roy says, ‘Let me look into it.'” Cohn then told him, “‘You need to go visit this lawyer’–a lawyer who shall remain nameless–‘and see what his number is.’ I said, ‘Roy, I don’t understand.’ Roy says, ‘How much cash he wants, dumbf–.'” Stone balked when he found out the guy wanted $125,000 in cash to grease the skids, and Cohn wanted to know what the problem was. Stone told him he didn’t have $125,000, and Cohn said, “That’s not the problem. How does he want it?”

Cohn sent Stone on an errand a few days later. “There’s a suitcase,” Stone says. “I don’t look in the suitcase . . . I don’t even know what was in the suitcase . . . I take the suitcase to the law office. I drop it off. Two days later, they have a convention. Liberals decide they’re endorsing John Anderson for president. It’s a three-way race now in New York State. Reagan wins with 46 percent of the vote. I paid his law firm. Legal fees. I don’t know what he did for the money, but whatever it was, the Liberal party reached its right conclusion out of a matter of principle.”

The anecdote about running Anderson in New York is also repeated in the memoir Dirty Tricks:

Roger Stone - Pretty reckless is going straight to hell

From Dirty Tricks, on running Warren Beatty to split the vote:

Roger Stone - Pretty reckless is going straight to hell

“The Gary Johnson Swindle and the Degradation of Third Party Politics” follows this quote with the mention that Carter himself thought that Anderson cost him victory:

Players in the art of elections-fixing have no illusions over what purpose a malleable Third Party figure can, and usually does play. Jimmy Carter agrees with Roger Stone’s version; in fact Carter has always argued that John Anderson’s third party insurgency against the tweedle-dee/tweedle-dum two-party stranglehold was what allowed Ronald Reagan to win the 1980 elections and permanently alter the country’s politics and wealth distribution. In any case, Roger Stone knows more about political dirty tricks than anyone, and as he said in that 2007 interview, his favorite dirty trick in the bag is using “patsy candidates to split the other guy’s support.”

The link is to the youtube clip “Jimmy Carter Reagan Won Because Of Third-Party Candidate”:

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Well, let me ask you this issue that is cutting right now. There`s a lot of buzz on this show already about the possibility of a third party running in 2012, which, in many ways, as you know, automatically tends to help the Republicans, in this case — and maybe not automatically — but, if Bloomberg, the mayor of New York, runs, that`s going to hurt Obama, isn`t it?
What do you think of third parties?

FORMER PRESIDENT JIMMY CARTER: Well, of course I didn`t like them when I ran for reelection in 1980s…

MATTHEWS: Right.

CARTER: … because, for two-and-a-half years, Ted Kennedy had been running against me. And in the last minute, a third-party candidate came in and picked up a lot of the liberal Democratic votes.

MATTHEWS: Right.

CARTER: And, as a matter of fact, Ronald Reagan only got less than 51 percent of the votes, but he won because of a third-party candidate.

MATTHEWS: Well, won`t Bloomberg do the same to Obama?

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: If you look at the states that Bloomberg could win, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, you know the ones, maybe Florida, they`re all Obama states last time. He would only hurt Obama, wouldn`t hurt a Palin or Republican of any kind of at all.

CARTER: Well, I`m not sure that Bloomberg is seriously considering that. I think it would be a mistake if he did, because he couldn`t win, but he might prevent Obama from winning reelection. And what he would do is just guarantee the Republican would move into the White House. And that`s what happened in 1980, when Ronald Reagan moved in because of the split Democratic Party.

This transcript of the clip is taken from a piece skeptical of Carter’s claims, “Chris Matthews Lets Jimmy Carter Blame Loss to Reagan on Third Party Candidate” by Noel Sheppard. After some analysis arguing against this claim, there is a look at the difference state by state:

Taking this further, an analysis of the statewide results shows that if Carter picked up all of Anderson’s votes, and Reagan got all of [Libertarian candidate Ed Clark’s], Carter would have won Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, and Wisconsin. This would have given him 122 additional electoral votes making Reagan still the victor with 367.

As such, the claim that Anderson gave Reagan the election in 1980 lacks any factual basis. That Carter would make it as he tours the country trying to improve his image is not surprising. That Matthews would let him get away with it without correcting or challenging him is despicable.

I have no interest in stating that Anderson cost Carter the election; what Sheppard does not dispute in his piece is that Anderson cost Carter votes. What Stone says explicitly in both “Political Animal” and his memoir is that they put Anderson on the ticket in New York for the specific reason that it would cost Carter votes, and that it might swing the state to Reagan, an objective achieved.

207 From “Roger Stone, Political Animal” by Matt Labash:

Naïfs might say he’s a cancer on the body politic, everything that is wrong with today’s system. But maybe he is just its purest distillation: Politics is war, and he is one of its fiercest warriors, with the battle scars to prove it.

The first time I laid eyes on Roger Stone he was standing poolside at a press conference on the roof of the Hotel L’Ermitage in Beverly Hills. With a horseshoe pinkie ring refracting rays from the California sun and a gangster chalk-stripe suit that looked like it had been exhumed from the crypt of Frank Costello, Stone was there to help his friend and longtime client Donald Trump explore a Reform party presidential candidacy in 2000.

Actually, it was more complicated than that. After having recruited Pat Buchanan to seek the nod (“You have to beat somebody,” Stone says), he pushed Trump into the race. Trump relentlessly attacked Buchanan as having “a love affair with Adolf Hitler,” but ended up folding. A weakened Buchanan went on to help the Reform party implode, and Republicans suffered no real third-party threat, as they had in 1992, thus helping Stone accomplish his objective. If, in fact, that was his objective. These things are often hard to keep track of with Roger Stone.

208 From “The Sex Scandal That Put Bush in the White House” by Wayne Barrett:

Pat Buchanan is on the tube again, co-hosting a Crossfire facsimile on MSNBC. Just a celebrity commentator now, he changed the face of American politics in 2000-unnoticed by a recount-focused media. First, he seized control of the most successful third party in half a century, the Reform Party, whose founder, Ross Perot, cost Bush I the presidency in 1992. Once Buchanan became the party’s presidential nominee, he mysteriously disappeared, getting 2.4 million votes less than Ralph Nader, 80,000 less in Florida alone. The Buchanan saga remains important not only because it reveals the seamy underside of Bush II’s ascent to power, but because it shows how the GOP virtually eliminated a national centrist party that could’ve altered the 2004 race. Alive now in only seven states, the party’s remnants just offered their ballot line to Nader, which could also wind up benefiting Bush. The saga begins with a baby, allegedly born more than four decades ago. Incredibly, just as Bush backers in 2000 used an illegitimate-child scandal in South Carolina to smear John McCain, longtime Republican dirty-tricks operative Roger Stone was simultaneously using just such a scandal to undermine Buchanan.

Stone, who also spearheaded the pro-Bush mob shutdown of the Miami/Dade recount in 2000, says now that he “has no specific recollection” of strategically employing the Buchanan baby story. But a Voice investigation reveals that he pushed it aggressively on reporters early in the 2000 campaign, then just let it hover over Buchanan, who was nose-diving so badly toward November that no explicit threat of a scandal story was even needed.

209 From “The Sex Scandal That Put Bush in the White House” by Wayne Barrett:

The Stone-inspired Reform infighting served multiple Bush interests: It killed any possibility of a third Perot run, blocked the candidacy of former Connecticut governor Lowell Weicker, and forced out the party’s only elected official, Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura. Buchanan’s vanishing act-after Stone cajoled him to run Reform-left nearly a dozen party leaders contacted by the Voice convinced that he and Stone were conscious agents of doom.

The trail starts in June 1999 at a lunch at The Palm in Washington. Bay Buchanan, the sister who ran all three of Buchanan’s presidential runs, brought her mentor from the Reagan days, Lyn Nofziger, to a lunch requested by Stone, the scheme-a-day consultant who used to rent her his summer beach home. The Buchanans had already started another Republican run, but “it was Roger’s brilliant idea,” recalls Nofziger, “that Pat ought to leave the party and become the candidate of the Reform Party.” Stone talked about the $13 million in automatic federal matching funds that came with the Reform nomination and “said he knew what to do to get it,” says Nofziger.

Stone also began talking to William Von Raab, the customs commissioner under Reagan who’d been co-finance chair of the 1992 Buchanan campaign. Stone had already recruited Von Raab as a partner in a small Washington-based lobbying and consulting firm, Ikon Holdings, that listed Stone as its president and Von Raab as its chairman. “Roger asked me if I wanted to go to the Reform convention in July and try to promote a Buchanan candidacy,” Von Raab recalls. Stone told Von Raab that Donald Trump, Stone’s longtime top client, was thinking about seeking the Reform line and that Von Raab’s efforts for Buchanan would help Stone “see what the makeup of the convention was.”

Buchanan, who says he did not know about Von Raab’s ties to Stone, did well in an unofficial convention tally, but decided to continue on the Republican primary trail. He was demolished, though, in the August 14 Iowa straw poll, coming in behind Gary Bauer. The next day, Washington pollster Robert Schroth started doing a poll for Stone that showed Buchanan running strongly on the Reform line. Bay Buchanan says Stone sent her the results, which he also dropped in a September news story. Schroth would later do another poll for Stone trumpeting Trump, who, like Buchanan, announced on October 25 that he was changing his registration to Reform and seeking the party’s nod.

By mid February, with the story in limbo, Trump quit the race and Buchanan’s Pat Choate became party chair. Choate now says the Trump/Stone operation was “a Republican dirty trick,” designed “to disgust people and drive them away from the Reform Party. They were doing everything in their power to make a mess. You had Ventura leaving and Trump all over TV saying that Buchanan loved Hitler, ignorant statements.” Bay Buchanan, who stopped talking to Stone during the campaign, says she still “doesn’t understand why he would want us in the Reform Party in the first place” and then assail Buchanan as a Nazi.

210 From “The Sex Scandal That Put Bush in the White House” by Wayne Barrett:

“Everyone who worked for Nixon knew about” the alleged Buchanan baby, says Stone, adding that he “lived with it through two Reagan campaigns.” Stone and Buchanan were aides to Nixon and Reagan, and Stone, also a Bush I campaign veteran, was rewarded for his subterranean 2000 efforts with an appointment to the Department of Interior transition team, which he parlayed into a multimillion dollar business as an Indian gaming consultant (see Voice, April 19).

Buchanan says that when he ran for president in 1992, 1996, and 2000, he was dogged by “an unsubstantiated rumor” that he had an illegitimate child while a Georgetown undergrad between 1957 and 1961. “I don’t know who ginned it up,” says Buchanan. “Do I have suspicions? Sure. Reporters realized these people were doing something to damage me and decided not to write it. The same kind of thing was used against McCain.” But in the 2000 campaign, a new allegation was added to the tale that made it more damaging and more likely to see print. Ex-aides were telling reporters that Buchanan had made payments to the mother to kill the story. One reputed 1992 money trail, albeit perfectly legal, involved an intricate chain of personal checks-from Buchanan to his sister to an aide, who then delivered cashier checks to a Washington lawyer. Asked about the child and these payments, Pat Buchanan told the Voice: “I’m not going to go into that. I don’t know the details of anything. It deals with a private matter. We did nothing wrong.”

Bay Buchanan, who goes further than her brother and calls the baby allegation “false,” concedes that in fact she did “make some payments,” delivered by an aide, to the lawyer “because Pat was out of town campaigning for 10 weeks” in New Hampshire and elsewhere in early 1992. She says Pat either prepaid or “reimbursed” her and that she “thinks” the lawyer had “done some legal work for Pat.” She confirmed that the lawyer was once married to a woman Pat had dated during his Georgetown years. Saying that “our opponents were pushing” the story “every time we did well,” Bay Buchanan said she had not heard Stone’s name associated with it, but knew “people close to Roger” were. Stone minced no words when asked about the charges: “There’s no doubt this illegitimate child story is true. My understanding is that Buchanan supported the child and made educational payments. It would be honorable.”

But Stone also cited “a controversy about hush money,” contending that a top Buchanan aide, Scott Mackenzie, “quit because of it.” Reporters in fact contacted Mackenzie in 1999 shortly after Stone discussed the Buchanan issues with him. “I have no specific memory of being one of the people who suggested this story to reporters,” insists Stone now, “but this is widely known information and it’s not inconceivable that someone did.” Stone recalled that the story was “heavily peddled in 1996 by Phil Gramm’s people,” referring to the former Texas senator who was running against Buchanan that February. Stone’s longtime partner Charles Black was running Gramm’s campaign and concedes it “did come up,” though he says he told the staff not to answer press questions about it. John Weaver, however, another top Gramm aide, says he “got reports that phone calls were being made” by the campaign. Black also concedes that he “heard about it in 1992,” when he was running the Bush I campaign, but says he got it from a reporter whose name he could not recall, and that he “shut down” the Bush staff “from discussing it.” Black says he doesn’t “remember discussing it with Roger,” but “wouldn’t be surprised” if Stone was circulating it.

211 From “The Sex Scandal That Put Bush in the White House” by Wayne Barrett:

This circus ended any possibility of Perot belatedly entering the race-always a major Bush concern. Russell Verney, the first national chair of the party and Perot’s closest ally in it, says Buchanan launched a state-by-state delegate war, purging the Perot leadership “to make sure Perot didn’t come in.” Bay Buchanan agrees, saying an unusual party rule would’ve permitted a last-minute convention switch to Perot. The bloody battle led to a convention walkout, legal challenges that cost Buchanan ballot status in states like Michigan, and a Perot endorsement of Bush. Buchanan says he just “played out the hand” after that. He raised $7.1 million before his nomination and less than half a million afterward. He handpicked a John Birch Society vice-presidential candidate who’d claimed workers compensation for a mental disorder. He dumped $10 million of his matching funds into an invisible media buy by a Texas company that did mattress commercials. In the final week he spent two days in Alaska. He went from blasting Bush as “the Prince of Wales,” unequipped for the presidency, to declaring after the election: “I’m glad we didn’t take Bush down with us.” He assured the Voice that he did in fact vote for himself, adding: “It didn’t make any difference in Virginia.”

Buchanan adamantly rejects any notion that the implicit threat of the child story had anything to do with what even old friends like Lyn Nofziger see now as his “nonexistent” campaign. “If you’ve got Roger trying to smear me,” says Buchanan, referring to the Voice findings, “it had no influence over what I did. I wasn’t intimidated into backing off the campaign by anyone or anything.” Indeed, with Buchanan “staying out of the way of the Bush campaign in the battleground states,” as Verney put it, the child story needed no pre-November revival. It had only ever surfaced when Buchanan did well, and aides like Townsend say he trimmed his sails in those races as well. Stone told Von Raab that his Buchanan maneuvers were a “tactical exercise”-an accurate description of his ironic orchestration of Al Sharpton’s campaign this year. The master of convoluted chaos, double agent Stone has left his mark in the dark alleys of presidential politics since Watergate, but the sacking of the Reform Party may be his lasting legacy.

212 The issues dealing with Andrew Breitbart and the plagiarism of a conspiracy involving a small number of jews who control the world is discussed in “Andrew Breitbart: Psychosis in a Political Mask Part One” and “Cultural Marxism, Jewish Conspiracies, Spring Break 83, and Penny Stocks”. The importance of Perot in the 1992 election is explored in “Ross Perot, Last American Leftist” by Moe Tkacik.

213 From “Sleeping With the GOP: A Bush Covert Operative Takes Over Al Sharpton’s Campaign” by Wayne Barrett:

Roger Stone, the longtime Republican dirty-tricks operative who led the mob that shut down the Miami-Dade County recount and helped make George W. Bush president in 2000, is financing, staffing, and orchestrating the presidential campaign of Reverend Al Sharpton.

Though Stone and Sharpton have tried to reduce their alliance to a curiosity, suggesting that all they do is talk occasionally, a Voice investigation has documented an extraordinary array of connections. Stone played a pivotal role in putting together Sharpton’s pending application for federal matching funds, getting dollars in critical states from family members and political allies at odds with everything Sharpton represents. He’s also helped stack the campaign with a half-dozen incongruous top aides who’ve worked for him in prior campaigns. He’s even boasted about engineering six-figure loans to Sharpton’s National Action Network (NAN) and allowing Sharpton to use his credit card to cover thousands in NAN costs-neither of which he could legally do for the campaign. In a wide-ranging Voice interview Sunday, Stone confirmed his matching-fund and staffing roles, but refused to comment on the NAN subsidies.

While Bush forces like the Club for Growth were buying ads in Iowa assailing then front-runner Howard Dean, Sharpton took center stage at a debate confronting Dean about the absence of blacks in his Vermont cabinet. Stone told the Times that he “helped set the tone and direction” of the Dean attacks, while Charles Halloran, the Sharpton campaign manager installed by Stone, supplied the research. While other Democratic opponents were also attacking Dean, none did it on the advice of a consultant who’s worked in every GOP presidential campaign since his involvement in the Watergate scandals of 1972, including all of the Bush family campaigns. Asked if he’d ever been involved in a Democratic campaign before, Stone cited his 1981 support of Ed Koch, though he was quoted at the time as saying he only did it because Koch was also given the Republican ballot line.

From The Time of Illusion by Jonathan Schell:

One question though, was how the Republicans in the White House could exercise remote control over the behavior of the Democratic Party. How could the central plank of the Republican platform be something that the Democrats would do; namely, destroy themselves? The planning group had many techniques to suggest. Almost all of them involved covert action, action taken under false pretenses, or action taken for a hidden purpose. Together, the planning group’s proposals added up to the first plan for a wholly subterranean Presidential campaign strategy ever to be devised.

One technique was secretly to promote extreme elements on both the far right and the far left of the Democratic Party. On the right, the candidacy of George Wallace would be promoted. Not long before, the White House, far from trying to promote Wallace’s candidacy, had wished to eliminate him altogether from Presidential politics, and had secretly funnelled four hundred thousand dollars left over from the 1968 Presidential campaign to his rival in the Democratic gubernatorial primary in Alabama in 1970. But now the White House had found a use for Wallace. If he ran in the Democratic Presidential primaries, this would be “an excellent vehicle for surfacing and hardening the divisions within the Democratic Party.” Buchanan wrote in his October 5th memo. On the left, Buchanan wanted the White House to promote a fourth-party movement. “Top level consideration should be given to ways and means to promote, assist, and fund a Fourth Party candidacy of the Left Democrats and/or the Black Democrats,” he wrote. “There is nothing that can so advance the President’s chances for reelection – not a trip to China, not four and a half per cent unemployment – as a realistic black…campaign.” At this point in his memo, Buchanan, shifting to an alternate strategy began to sound like a chairman of the Democratic National Committee. “We should continue to champion the cause of the blacks within the Democratic Party,” he wrote, the point being that a party identified with black people would be less appealing to white people. The policy of promoting extremism while pretending to oppose it was born in 1969 and 1970, during the Presidential Offensive. In those years, the President had systematically exaggerated the threat posed to him by the far left. Now his men were yearning once again for violence, and the President’s chief aide, H.R. Haldeman, was noting on memos that violent and obscene demonstrations against the President were “good.”

214 From “Sleeping With the GOP: A Bush Covert Operative Takes Over Al Sharpton’s Campaign” by Wayne Barrett, on setting the tone of the Sharpton campaign:

Stone acknowledged that he “helped Sharpton” in the campaign’s desperate attempt in November and December to reach the $5,000 matching-fund threshold in 20 states. “I collected checks,” he said. “That’s how matching funds is done. I like Al Sharpton. I was helping a friend.” Sharpton was the last candidate to meet the December 31 deadline and is immediately seeking more than $150,000 in federal funding. If the FEC, which has been reviewing his application for a month, determines that he meets the threshold, Sharpton will be eligible for more.

But he only submitted 21 states, and at least one, Illinois, is unlikely to be certified, since it came in at $5,100 and contains two $250 contributions from the same individual. Only single contributions of up to $250 can count toward the threshold. That means Sharpton’s funding-against which he has already taken a $150,000 bank loan-is the lifeblood of the campaign. Stone and Halloran allies, including staffers Johnson and Ruffin, kicked in the last four $250 contributions in D.C., all on December 30 and 31, that gave Sharpton a perilous $5,332 total.

In Florida, Stone’s wife, Nydia; son Scott; daughter-in-law Laurie; mother-in-law Olga Bertran; executive assistant Dianne Thorne; Tim Suereth, who lives with Thorne; and Halloran’s mother, Jane Stone (unrelated to Roger, he says), pushed Sharpton comfortably over the threshold, donating $250 apiece in December. Jeanmarie Ferrara, who works at a Miami public relations firm that joined Stone in the ’90s fight on behalf of the sugar industry against a tax to resuscitate the Everglades, also gave $250, as did the wife of the firm’s name partner, Ray Casas. Another lobbyist, Eli Feinberg, a Republican giver appointed to a top position by the Republican state insurance commissioner, did $250.

Clive and Lenore Baldwin, entertainers known for their impersonations of Al Jolson and Sophie Tucker, came in at the matchable maximum as well. Stone adopted their act years ago, producing a Clive Baldwin recording, and putting him onstage at the 1996 Republican National Convention. In a Times tale of a recent Baldwin appearance in Long Island, he wound up being “shown the door” after a “confrontation” with angry black caterers. (Apparently Stone could not locate Amos & Andy for a contribution.)

Two vendors for a current campaign assisted by Stone-the senate campaign of Larry Klayman-also donated in Florida, with public relations consultant Michael Caputo and Tasmania Productions owner Teddi Segal donating $250 (she says she doesn’t know Stone). Caputo, ironically, was Stone’s spokesman in 1996, when Stone was embroiled in the most embarrassing scandal of his career-the much ballyhooed revelation that he and his wife had advertised, with photos, for swinging partners in magazines and on the Internet. Caputo has, until recently, been handling press inquiries for Klayman, an evangelical who led the sex assault in Washington on Bill Clinton and is running a moral-majority, retake-Cuba campaign for senate. Stone volunteered behind the scenes for Klayman too, and several Stone-tied vendors, like Baynard and pollster Fabrizio, McLaughlin & Associates, have been retained.

Sharpton would eventually qualify for the matching funds and then have to return them due to improprieties in the contributions. From “Taxpayer Dollars At Work: Libertarian Candidate Poised To Qualify For Matching Funds” by “BuzzFeed Staff”:

Johnson has a hand in this process from a veteran of this particular corner of politics: The flamboyant Republican operative Roger Stone, who legendarily helped the Rev. Al Sharpton qualify for $100,000 in matching funds in 2004. Sharpton was later forced to repay the money, after an FEC audit found he’d broken rules in contributing to his own campaign.

215 From “Sheriff hires aides of Roger Stone and Ken Jenne” by Brittany Wallman:

Stone said Thorne is “one of the most capable and independent women I know” and that when a deputy called him as a reference, he gave her “the highest possible reference. I played no other role in her hiring.”

Here’s more from Stone, who learned his trade as a young man working for someone on CREEP, Committee to Reelect the President, the president being Richard Nixon.

“Diane has not worked for me for over two years. She is an amazing professional, and I have missed her assistance over the past two years since she left my employ

Her expertise is in scheduling and advance and I believe that is what she is working on at BSO.

She is very qualified for her position as opposed to say……Tom Wheeler who became Undersheriff with no law enforcement background whatsoever after being “recommended” by Charlie Crist who, as I recall appointed Lamberti. Seems Wheeler and Crist were frat brothers. Perhaps it was a quid pro quo. I must have missed the SS editorial on this. Dianne is highly qualified. She will serve BSO well.”

216 Roger Stone’s claim that he was paid nothing by the Gary Johnson campaign is taken from “Johnson Allies Reject Spending Charges” by Rosie Gray:

The email, which is signed by an apparently fictional person named Eric Stevens of Twinsburg, Ohio, also implicates Roger Stone, the longtime operative who became an advisor for Johnson earlier this year.

“How much is “former Republican” Roger Stone being paid? The FEC reports don’t say but you can bet it’s plenty. This mercenary doesn’t come cheap,” the email says.

Joe Hunter, a spokesman for the Johnson campaign, said that he was familiar with the email, but “I have no idea where that particular one is coming from.”

Reached by email, Stone said “I have been paid zero by the Johnson campaign.”

From “Carl Paladino: The Dirty Details in His Campaign Filings” by Wayne Barrett:

*Two companies controlled by Stone’s secretary Dianne Thorne, and registered out of her Miami apartment, have received a total of $84,320 so far from the campaign. The payments started in March, shortly after the campaign also made the first of $17,000 in payments to Thorne’s stepson, Andrew Miller, who listed a St. Peters, Missouri address. Miller was confounded when the Times told him he’d actually appeared on the payroll for four months longer than he was aware. Thorne, down on the beach, was described as Paladino’s “scheduler.” She actually once had a company registered out of the same address called Hype LLC.

On Thorne operating from Miami Beach, from “Carl Paladino vs. The Tea Party: No Love Lost”:

Of course, the Tea Party Express has been widely credited with pulling off the biggest party victories — Jim Miller in Alaska and Christine O’Donnell in Delaware. In fact, world vagabond Caputo, a New York native who’s long called Miami home, had himself just arrived in Buffalo with Floridian Roger Stone to take over Paladino’s campaign. Indeed Paladino’s “scheduler,” Stone’s secretary, still operates from a Miami Beach suite.

The massive increase in debt by the Johnson campaign is covered thoroughly each month by Liberty for America: Journal of the Libertarian Political Movement, their back issues available here. Their coverage of the new, much higher debt starting in Volume 5, Number 9, February 2013:

Johnson Debt: $1,134,602

With the end-of-year FEC filings, the Johnson-Gray campaign has suddenly disclosed huge new debts, more than 1 million dollars of them. It is extremely difficult to understand how the debts were incurred so late after the election.

The Johnson-Gray Campaign ended the post-general election period with $197,002 in debt. The campaign raised $212,536 from late November to year’s end. That was enough to pay off every penny it admitted owing.

Now, suddenly, the campaign has revealed the truth. It owes another $1,134,602. That’s the new debt we know about. There may be still more. Your editor has seen references that could be read as implying that another 2/3 of a million is out there.

This newspaper has repeatedly warned that Gary Johnson’s 2012 Presidential Campaign, first as a Republican and then as a Libertarian, owed large sums of money. But not this much.

Furthermore, Johnson has at last revealed how much of his spending went for advertising, and how much went for staff salaries. The results are quite staggering.

The FEC reports for the end of 2012 have been filed. Gary Johnson, the man nominated by William Redpath to be our Presidential candidate, the man who in turn nominated Wayne Root to be an LNC, member, has set some remarkable financial records.

For the period of November 27 through December 31, 2012, the Johnson 2012 campaign had $212,537 in receipts and spent $171,547, leaving them with $43,932 in cash on hand at the end of the reporting period. For the entire primary and general election, the campaign acknowledged $2.22 million in contributions, $2.478 million in expenditures, and managed at the end to owe $1,134, 603 in debts and obligations. That final number represents an enormous increase over the past, mid-November, report in the debts and obligations owed by the committee. Incidentally, none of the debts and obligations are money owed to the candidate as a result of candidate loans. The candidate did at some point donate $8000 to his own campaign. The remaining $2.212 million in campaign receipts over the course of the campaign came from individual donors.

The campaign acknowledged receiving for the period $202,026 in federal funds for a total of $333,751 in federal campaign matching funds for the duration of the campaign. In a future report, we will compare federal matching funds received by the Johnson campaign with the campaign’s commitment to the LNC that past debts would only be paid off by means of federal matching funds.

Where did the money go during this end of year? Spending during the end of year period by the Johnson campaign included $7547 in bank and merchant charges, $2000 for opinion research, $2000 to Wagon Works LLC, and $160,000 to “Political Advisors” of 731 East South Temple, Salt Lake City for “payment on obligation”.

The debts to ‘Political Advisors’ as discharged in the end-of-year period covered

$12,991.95 for Ad Placement, Travel, Shipping, Printing, Email Marketing, Printing, and
$147,008.05 for ‘Staff Hours – Mid-Level, Press Relations, Senior Advisor, Creative Ad Hours, Campaign Consult’

That’s right, under 10% of the money went for advertising, travel, and the like. 92% went to the campaign staff. Readers familiar with my book Funding Liberty, soon to be released in a new edition, will recognize those numbers. They are some-what similar to the numbers found for Harry Browne’s 2000 Presidential campaign.

And the debts: The small parts are: $500 to Wagon Works for fund raising, $4090 to Daines Goodwin and Co PC for ac-counting, and $29,955 to Hackstaff Law Group LLC and Law Office of Douglas C. Herbert for legal services and fees.

Then there is the money owed to “Political Advisors” of Salt Lake City. The listed debts include:

$46,295 for fundraising commissions
$113,437 for preparing the FEC matching funds request.
$150,000 for ‘Consulting for Primary per signed contract’
$535,244.94 for “Staff Hours – Mid-Level, Senior Advisors, Clerical, Creative Advertising, Campaign Consult”
and, oh yes, the real political stuff:

$206,659 for outreach-“Ad Placement – Web, Candidate Staff Travel, Ballot access, attorney fees, Vehicle Wrap,Media etc.” and several slight variations on the same phrasing.

Let’s look at the grand totals here, namely money spent and owed for outreach versus money spent and owed, just by “Political Advisors” for fundraising, filings, and staff hours, including money spent and money still owed in the year-end report. There’s $219,651 on outreach, all the modes noted above, versus $991,985 on staff hours, filings, and fund raising. Said otherwise, that’s 82% on staff hours, filings, and fundraising, and only 18% on outreach.

We had previously reported on the astronomically huge – by Libertarian Presidential campaign standards – number of paid staff members supported by the Johnson campaign. Even if all of them are ill-paid, when there are truly large numbers of them the staff salaries add up.
We’ll try to have a total for the entire campaign in a near-time future issue. That 18% may tend to shrink; most of the other spending and debt is for back office work rather than outreach.

We quote our February 2012 issue “The Johnson 2012 Libertarian Presidential nominating campaign has filed its end-of-2011 FEC disclosure. Its total debts at the end of this period were $203,761, which is an unprecedented amount for a Libertarian campaign to owe – not counting loans from candidates them-selves – this far before the National Convention.” The situation has become much worse since.

The 2000 Browne campaign sent emails claiming $60,000 in unpaid debts. The 2008 Barr campaign was perhaps a quarter million, round number, in the hole. Despite massive Federal campaign money, the 2012 Johnson campaign ended in debt nearly five times more than the Barr campaign did.

217 From “Libertarian Donors Pay Johnson’s Republican Campaign Debts”, out of Liberty for America, October 2012:

As we previously reported, in a signed affidavit presented to the United States District Court for Eastern Virginia, Gary Johnson’s campaign man-ager Ronald Nielson last Spring specified under penalty of perjury “…At present OAI [Ed: Our America Initiative, Johnson’s political advocacy commit-tee] is indebted to NSoN [Ed: Nielson’s company] for services rendered and expenses advanced in the approximate amount of $1.8 million. At present GJ2012 is indebted to NSoN for services rendered and expenses advanced in the approximate amount of $676,000.”

We are led to believe by sources on the LNC that Johnson promised the LNC that his Republican campaign debts would be paid out of Federal campaign matching funds.

In the August FEC Report, covering July, Johnson received Federal campaign matching funds totalling $130,058.91, and other donations totalling $202,921.89, and paid his debts down from $431,722.03 to $296,201.47. The de-crease in Johnson’s debts was a few thousand dollars larger than the Federal matching funds he received that month.

We now come to Johnson’s August spending. In his September FEC Report, Johnson reports paying his campaign debts down to $175,087.91, a drop of over $121,000. How-ever, for this same period his Federal Matching Funds in-come was only $73,692.29. Included in the payoff were the Johnson 2012 campaign debts to Jonathan Bydlak, who prior to the nomination had already sued Johnson 2012 for nonpayment of these Republican campaign debts.

If $73,692 of the debt reduction came from Federal campaign matching funds, this month more than $47,000 did not. That $47,000 inescapably came from money raised from Libertarian donors during Johnson’s Libertarian Presidential campaign.

218 From Dirty Tricks:

Roger Stone - Pretty reckless is going straight to hell

219 Stone’s mention of Herge in Dirty Tricks:

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

The connection between Herge and the two associations, United Seniors Association and the 60 Plus Association, is given in “Drug Money” by Merrill Goozner:

So who are those guys? The predecessor group to United Seniors was launched in the late 1980s by right-wing direct-mail guru Richard Viguerie as a scheme to bolster his faltering enterprise. It failed. The current group emerged from a reorganization orchestrated by J. Curtis Herge, whose legal career traces its roots to Richard Nixon’s law firm and wound through Ronald Reagan’s transition team. After that, Herge ended up as an assistant general counsel in James Watts’ Interior Department. Herge also helped incorporate the 60 Plus association in 1992.

Another piece on Herge and United Seniors Association is “United Seniors Association: Hired Guns for PhRMA and Other Corporate Interests – July 2002 Report” put out by the Public Citizen. The strange advocacy of both the United Seniors Association (also known as USA Next), the 60 Plus Association, as well as Otis’s involvement with True the Vote and the Declaration Alliance is discussed in greater detail in “Maureen Otis: A Mystery Inside A Mystery”.

Maureen Otis, listed as legal contact for the National Women’s Museum of History:

Roger Stone - Pretty reckless is going straight to hell

This information is taken out of the 2006 charity list from the secretary of state’s office of Tennessee.

That Our America Initiative was registered in 2010, though its creation by Johnson was announced in 2009, I get from this well-researched blog post, “Gov. Gary Johnson’s documents reveal puzzling trail” by Peter St. Cyr. That there appear to have been problems dealing with proper disclosure is interesting, though I’ve been unable to discover what was their cause. I’ve removed most of the links from the original post – the California registration is broken – leaving in the link for the 4th quarter filing in Utah:

Just days before former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson is expected to formally announce his bid for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, we’ve found a complex web of non-profit registrations, and only one quarterly financial report, for his 16-month-old Our America Initiative.

Johnson, who chairs the political advocacy group announced he was forming it in December 2009, but it was not registered as a Non-Profit Corporation in California until March the next year. The only financial disclosure we could find for the IRS exempt 501(c)(4) is this 4th Quarter (2010) filing in Utah.

Attorney Maureen Otis, from Stafford, Texas filed the financial report with the Utah Department of Commerce’s Consumer Protection Division as required this February for the group’s Treasurer Chet Goodwin, who lists his office in Salt Lake City. No financial reports were located at the California Secretary of State’s office for the entire period.

The Our America Initiative registration, date stamped August 9th 2010 is on scribd.

220 From “The Life of the 3rd Party” by Thomas Vinciguerra:

Dinner was at Chin Chin, on East 49th Street. For the candidate (whose initials, he points out, spell WAR), Chinese food has great significance: It was over a meal of Sichuan chicken that Mr. Root and his business partner, Doug Miller, mapped out his professional future. His handicapping insights can be gleaned at his Web site, http://www.winningedge.com.

“That’s what my life has been about, winning,” Mr. Root said. “The Libertarians have been a debate society since 1971. No one ever thought about winning. And then I came along.”

Not that he thinks he and his running mate will triumph in 2008. “Bob Barr and I are going to get a million to three million votes this year,” he predicted, between bites of chicken. “In 2012 I expect to duplicate Ross Perot’s number of 19 million. In 2016 I expect to be a credible third-party candidate, and in 2020 I plan to win.”

221 From “The One-Wing Ticket” by Jesse Walker:

The mistake wasn’t nominating Bob Barr for president. I’ve had a soft spot for Barr ever since I first saw him on C-Span in the mid-’90s, asking the right questions during the House’s Waco investigation. I have disagreed with him on issues ranging from trade with Cuba to the rights of neopagans in the military; most notably, I think he was dead wrong about the drug war, the one area where his general bias in favor of due process and decentralization seemed to go out the window entirely. But he seemed far more interested in liberty than most of his colleagues, and after he left office that interest grew stronger; when I interviewed him for reason in 2003, three years before he joined the LP, he seemed to be on the verge of becoming a full-fledged libertarian. Since then he has revised his stated views on drug laws, the Defense of Marriage Act, and other important areas. I still have my disagreements with him, but I don’t expect to have trouble casting a ballot for him in the fall. And if he pulls enough votes from the candidate of perpetual war to elect the man who, for all his flaws, at least promises to pull out of Iraq, then so much the better.

But given the number of party activists who are wary of the former congressman, and given Barr’s deficiencies on several issues, it would have made sense to round off the ticket with a more hardcore libertarian. The ideal choice was Steve Kubby, a medical marijuana activist whose signature issue could have balanced Barr’s past support for the drug war. Instead the delegates opted for another member of the party’s conservative wing. Worse yet, the conservative they picked was Wayne Allyn Root, a man with the deportment of a Ronco pitchman with a squirrel in his pants.

222 From “Scamdicappers: Beware of Scamdicappers”:

WHAT IS A SCAMDICAPPER?

A common question the public asks is what is a scamdicapper? In this article we will explain what Scamdicappers are. A Scamdicapper is a term that is used to refer to a sports handicapping service that is not in the sports wagering business to help you, but to profit off you and scam you out of your money. Some common practices of Scamdicappers are to claim outlandish winning percentages, go under multiple names, give out both sides of a game, or even call and harass you until you purchase their picks. As a lot of you may know, this industry is mostly made up of con men and thieves. There are over 2800 handicapping services in the US, with only a handful of them being hard working, sophisticated, honest services that are not out to make a quick buck off you. It seems like every day there is some new handicapping service that pops up on the Internet, TV, or radio. Ninety-nine percent of them are run by Scamdicappers.

LIST OF KNOWN SCAMDICAPPERS
(Avoid At All Costs)
Mike Warren
NSA Wins
Vegas Sports Insiders
TodaysPicks.net
Wayne Root
Chet Coppock
Ron Meyer
Sportsaction365
Free-Picks.com
JustWinBaby.tv
KickoffSports.com
Wizofodds.com
Joe Wiz

223 From “WTCG-K: Asset Sale”:

As a result of the asset sale, Winning Edge received shares of Betbrokers, PLC. Winning Edge will use the proceeds of the sale of Betbrokers’ stock to pay off existing debts. Winning Edge is subject to a one year restriction on the sale of Betbrokers’ stock in any public sale. With the approval of Betbrokers, PLC, Winning Edge may sell the stock in a private transaction but any buyer would still be restricted from any public sale of the stock on the AIMS. Since Winning Edge has current obligations which must be paid, it is highly likely we will seek to sell Betbrokers’ stock in a private transaction. Betbrokers’ stock sold in a private transaction would most likely be sold at a discount to market. Once existing debts are paid, Winning Edge would anticipate selling the balance of the Betbrokers’ stock following the one year lock-up. At this time, it is difficult to determine what proceeds will be received from the Betbrokers’ stock, particularly since we will be forced to sell at a discount to market in order to pay existing obligations. Winning Edge has no ability to control the price of Betbrokers’ stock and the price will likely fluctuate over the course of the next year based on factors beyond Winning Edge’s control.

If there are any proceeds left after the sale of Betbrokers’ stock and payment of debts, the remaining proceeds will be distributed to Winning Edge’s shareholders. At this time, management is not certain if there will be any funds to distribute to shareholders and shareholders should consider it unlikely that there will be any distributions. Currently existing obligations of Winning Edge are in excess of $2,400,000. Additionally, Winning Edge is subject to a one year restriction on the sale of the Betbrokers’ stock so no distributions to shareholders will occur for at least one year. Only shareholders of record on September 27, 2007, the record date for distributions, will be entitled to receive any distributions related to the proceeds of the Betbrokers’ stock.

224 From “Winning Edge Settles Lawsuit with Preferred Picks and Don Best Sports” by Reuters:

General Patent Corporation International Acts as Licensing Agent
SUFFERN, N.Y.–(Business Wire)–

General Patent Corporation International (GPCI), a leading patent licensing and enforcement firm, announced today on behalf of its client, Winning Edge International, formerly known as GWIN, that Winning Edge has settled its patent infringement lawsuit against Preferred Picks Publications, Inc. a/k/a Playbook Enterprises of Weston, FL and Corcom, Inc. d/b/a Don Best Sports of Las Vegas, NV.

A lawsuit against Preferred Picks, Don Best Sports, Vegas Insider.com, Vegasexperts.com, Inc., Sports Direct, Inc. and Covers Media Group Ltd. was filed in August 2006 in the Eastern District of Texas (2:06 CV 318) for the infringement of Winning Edge’s U.S. Patent No. 6,260,019 (the Patent).

“We are pleased to have reached settlements with Preferred Picks and Don Best Sports,” said Paul Lerner, GPCI’s Sr. Vice President and General Counsel. He continued, “We look forward to licensing the rest of the defendants in the lawsuit.”

Winning Edge owns U.S. Patent No. 6,260,019 titled “Web-Based Prediction Marketplace”. The patented method and apparatus pertain to the on-line prediction of future events. Winning Edge is a wholly owned subsidiary of Betbrokers Ltd., a publicly traded company on the AIM Exchange in the United Kingdom (BETB:AIM).

225 From “Norway Gaming Board say WMI an illegal pyramid scheme”:

As reported by BehindMLM readers B.F. and M_Norway, the Norwegian Gaming Board has today declared that Wealth Masters International is an illegal pyramid scheme.

The Gaming Board’s decision comes after nearly two months of investigation into WMI and the conclusion that WMI is in breach of section 16 of the Norwegian Lottery Act, (also I believe known as the ‘Gaming Act’).

Section 16 of the Lottery Act states

It is prohibited to establish or participate in pyramid systems, luck chains, chain transactions or similar enterprises where money or other values are ultimately traded among an indeterminate circle of people.

Wealth Masters International was found to be in breach of the act after the Gaming Board established a set of four criteria to assess WMI on. Last month the Gaming Board sent a series of questions off to WMI to better understand the business. Upon receiving the answers to these questions, the Gaming Board applied them to the criteria they had already established.

In doing so the Gaming Board found that

1. Revenues in WMI primarily come from the recruitment of members, not the sale of products.

2. One must give consideration to achieve revenues in the WMI.

3. The cost to be a member of WMI and to purchase WMI’s products are clearly overpriced.

4. WMI has a pyramid-like trading system.

Criteria one comes from the Gaming Boards closer inspection of where the revenue eventuates from the majority of WMI members based in Norway.

Upon inspection, for the Gaming Board to word their findings with such certainty, I can only assume means that the majority of WMI members are generating revenue via direct recruitment rather than from retail sales of the WMI product line.

That Root is associated with Wealth Masters International was gained from his Root for America website, where it’s listed among his “speaking engagements”.

226 “LNC Receives Letter Critiquing LNCC”, from Liberty for America, November 2011 is an example of the concern that the LNCC is Wayne Root’s own fiefdom, allowing him to distort the Libertarian Party to outsiders:

Dear Libertarian National Committee members,

I recently visited the website of the Libertarian National Campaign Committee (formerly the Libertarian National Congressional Committee?), LNCC.org, and was troubled by what appears there. Several pages on this site read like promotional puff pieces for Wayne Allyn Root, who is described as a “Reagan Libertarian” and “the face and voice of Libertarian-conservative politics in the mainstream national media” in a
lengthy bio touting his acumen as a prognosticator, among other things.

Other materials make it sound like the Libertarian Party is a conservative party. There is lots of focus on economics and only passing mention of civil liberties. No mention at all of the War on Drugs, “PATRIOT” Act, or “War on Terror” abuses, that I could see. While the party’s non-interventionist stance is noted, someone reading that section could get the impression that extra-national military intervention is okay with the LP so long as it’s done for the purpose of protecting “national interests” and not spreading democracy or getting involved in nation-building. Two current Democrats (Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi) and only one past Republican not seen as a conservative by most conservative Republicans anyway (George W. Bush) are depicted as politicians to oppose. Under the heading “Libertarian Issues” we find things like a national sales tax and a section on “Tea Party Libertarians”.

Wayne Allyn Root should not be allowed to distort what our party stands for and use a national LP website as his own personal promotional vehicle. Does the LNCC have any effective oversight from the LNC, or is it essentially Root’s private fiefdom? What is the term of office for LNCC chair, anyway? Is the contact info being collected from visitors to this site being shared with the rest of the party?

“National Director Concern About LNCC” from Liberty for America, December 2011, sounds another note of concern:

We have had forwarded to us a message to the LNC from Wes Benedict: “The LNCC (and chair of the Audit Commit-tee) now has our entire membership database, email database, and full permission from the LNC to use it without limit. Understanding that cannibalization, plus potential general suppression of overall donations to both organizations if there’s any blow-back, is something worth considering.”

The Libertarian National Congressional Committee, Wayne Root, Chair, was created by the LNC as a match for the Democratic National Congressional Committee and a matching Republican group. It has the same fund raising and spending authority that the LNC does.

The review by George Phillies of Conscience of a Libertarian by Wayne Allyn Root, is in Liberty for America, September 2009:

To give credit where credit is due, Mr. Root successfully transports his vigorous tub-thumping speech patterns from the soap box to print form. If you wonder what he sounds like on stage, you have but to read this volume aloud.

Should you want to find Mr. Root’s positions on particular issues, there is a really excellent index. If we were the right wing anti-tax party with esoteric undertones, we might agree this is a libertarian book. We aren’t, and it isn’t.

Let’s start with that Index. In the real world, the President deals in considerable part with foreign, defense, and trade policy. Foreign policy? Iraq-not listed. Iran-not listed. Afghanistan-not listed. The Bush War on Terror-not listed. Ending foreign wars is buried in a two-page section on decreasing foreign aid, a section that rapidly segues into cutting defense spending, starting with the time-worn Republican rant about eliminated waste and stealing.

Mr. Root piles up all sorts of right-wing nostrums and assertions. Libertarians advocate reality-based politics. Root – read Chapter 27 – is a global warming denier. Libertarians historically come from knowledge-based professions – Root goes into a rant against vaccinating young women for cervical cancer.

Root blames the difficulties of the Detroit car companies on labor unions. It was not the labor unions that tried to sell ‘buy American’ rather than ‘our cars have fewer defects’. It was not the labor unions that won one company President a 100-million-dollar contract. It was not labor unions that invented planned obsolescence, designing cars to fail after a few years. It was not labor unions that told company economists to support import quotas or be fired, when they warned quotas would mean billions in extra profits for Japanese carmakers, exactly as happened. It was not the labor unions that agreed to those contracts. Making labor unions the scapegoat for GM going broke is wrong.

Root does talk about ending prohibition. For most libertarians, that is a truly fine issue. Drug prohibition wastes tens and tens of billions of dollars a year, and has blighted the lives of millions of young men and women. Medical marijuana prohibition is a consummate antilibertarian doctrine. Root instead goes on – entirely justly – about gambling prohibition, especially internet gambling. Drug prohibition…not so much. Of course, during Root’s nominating campaign he claimed that there were vast numbers of internet gamblers out there just waiting to support this campaign issue, which clearly did not happen to the Libertarian Party in 2008.

Libertarians historically have tended to advocate equality before the law. Root instead advocates eliminating taxes on capital gains, which he claims is taxing money twice. People who have honest jobs and work for a living apparently get thrown off the rear of the bus. The Root tax plan qualifies as class warfare, not in a way that is likely to win the support of many voters.

Finally, in a country whose constitution and bill of rights create an iron wall between church and state, and in a party many of whose founders were atheists, agnostics, neo-pagans, or uninterested in the topic, opening your book “Let me start with God” is bit surprising. Claiming that our national success is due to divine intervention rather than to capitalism, thrift, and limited government is certainly peculiar not to mention remote from libertarianism.

227 To try to convey the intense divisions that grew between Root and the old guard of the Libertarian Party would take far too much space. I give one example from Liberty for America, October 2010, when it was discovered that Root was fundraising for a Republican candidate, “Root Raises Money for Republican”:

In another issue, Wayne Root urged people to support the Republican Senate Primary Campaign of Peter Schiff. The core text from Root went “I enthusiastically endorse Peter’s candidacy. His wisdom, guidance and steadfast commitment to the values that built this nation and enshrined by our founders in our constitution, are badly needed in Washington. I urge you to give generously to his camping. He needs your financial support and your time

Schiff is a Republican. (He lost.) Some LNC members called Root on it. Mary Ruwart wrote:

This is an egregious conflict of interest for any LNC member, but especially for the Chair of the Libertarian Congressional Committee, which is supposed to fundraise for Libertarian Party candidates. This conflict of interest, to the best of my knowledge, has not been reported by Mr. Root.

On the other hand, California Regional Representative Daniel Wiener wrote

“Okay, Mary, I read through Wayne’s endorsement of Peter Schiff, and I’m not finding any conflict of interest. What am I missing? Nowhere do I see anything which identifies Wayne as a member of the LNC or Chair of the LNCC or past VP candidate or even the word “libertarian”.

I assume you are not happy that Wayne is endorsing someone who is running for the Republican nomination, even though Schiff has strong libertarian views and was the keynote speaker at the 2009 Connecticut LP convention, and even though there is no Libertarian candidate in the race that he’s running against. You also know from our last LNC meeting that Wayne thinks the LP should be expanding its influence by selectively endorsing candidates from the other parties. You two have a strong disagreement over that issue. But a disagreement over tactics is not the same as a conflict of interest. As long as Wayne is doing this on a personal basis and not as an LP representative, I see nothing in either the Bylaws or the Policy Manual which precludes it. Dan Wiener”

To which Mary Ruwart replied

There would be nothing wrong with Wayne fund-raising for Schiff if he were not 1) raising money for a competing party’s candidates while Chair of the committee that is supposed to be raising money for Libertarian Party candidates; 2) an LNC member, with a fiduciary responsibility to the Libertarian Party, helping candidates from a competing party get elected; 3) calling himself the spokesperson for the Libertarian Party, yet endorsing Republicans.

Doing for a competing political party what you’ve pledged to do for the LP is a HUGE conflict of interest, not a “tactical disagreement.”

The efforts to remove Root from the LNC and LNCC are described in “Florida State Party: Boot Root from LNC!”, from Liberty for America, December 2010:

The Libertarian Party of Florida State Committee has demanded that Wayne Root be removed from the Libertarian National Committee (LNC) and the Libertarian National Congressional Committee (LNCC).

The Florida Libertarian Party statement reads:

WHEREAS, the Libertarian Party of Florida Executive Committee is committed to the platform of the Libertarian Party; and

WHEREAS, Libertarian National Congressional Committee chairman, Wayne Allyn Root made the undisputed quote in the November 11-17, 2010 issue of weekly magazine Vegas Seven, “I’m kind of re-creating libertarianism. I’m just not going to follow the traditional roots. I’m a Ronald Reagan libertarian. Traditional libertarianism mixes in too many things that are liberal”; and

WHEREAS, the Libertarian Party of Florida Executive Committee finds Mr. Roots comments found above will confuse the general public as to what the Libertarian Party’s official positions are; and

WHEREAS, the Libertarian Party of Florida Executive Committee finds Mr. Roots comments highly offensive and in direct contrast to the Libertarian Party’s message and platform; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Root has supported Republican candidates for public office while in his position on the Libertarian National Congressional Committee; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Root has made similar and consistent comments noted above.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the Libertarian Party of Florida fully repudiates Mr. Roots comments as described above and strongly feels Mr. Root should be replaced and removed from his position in any official capacity with the Libertarian National Committee, inclusive of the Libertarian National Congressional Committee.

ADOPTED November 14, 2010
Libertarian Party of Florida
Vicki Kirkland, Chair

228 From the comments of Dondero’s site “Libertarian Vice-Presidential candidate Wayne Root, Post-Election Interview” is Dondero himself making a comment:

Eric Dondero said…

I call Wayne a “Republican” Libertarian. He’s like a GOP infiltrator within the Libertarian Party. Thus, he’s just like us, just bass-ackwards.

Yeah, it was a great interview. He said some profound stuff, that’s sure to rile up some folks.
December 3, 2008 at 6:24 PM

A screenshot, in case the comment disappears:

eric dondero comment cropped

229 The comment is by “joe” (link):

Wow, Wayne Allen Root is an asshole.

‘Or maybe he was involved in Black Radical politics.”

Or maybe you’re an asshole.

230 The invite by Root to Johnson, “Wayne Root would welcome Gary Johnson to Libertarian Presidential race”:

Email from Wayne Root:

Gary Johnson is a friend of mine. We’re fans of each other’s politics. We’ve spoken often over the past few years. He is a constant guest on my radio shows. I was honored to speak back to back with Gary at the Conservative Leadership Conference held in Nevada this past July. I was the opening speaker at FreedomFest, where Gary also spoke this summer.

On all of his many radio appearances with me, I’ve yet to find an issue we disagree on. Gary and I never fail to both comment on “our mutual admiration society.” On most every issue we are compatible Libertarian-conservatives who believe in smaller government, dramatically reduced spending, reduced entitlements, lower taxes, and a pro business attitude.

I’d welcome Gary’s addition to the LP in any capacity. He’d make a wonderful Libertarian officeholder, leader or Presidential/Vice Presidential candidate. His record as the 2-term Governor of New Mexico is among the most fiscally conservative in the nation. I applaud literally everything Gary did as Governor, from his tax cuts, to his spending cuts, to his leading the nation in vetoes. If we had 535 Gary Johnson’s in Congress, this country would not be in economic crisis right now.

I’ve personally encouraged Gary in numerous private conversations- including most recently at the Conservative Leadership Conference- to join the LP and consider running for our Presidential ticket. He’d be one heck of an addition. I look forward to continuing my discussions with Gary in the near future.

From “Gary Johnson: The LNC Chair Race is Exciting! Interesting!” by Garrett Quinn:

Las Vegas – Just before endorsing Wayne Allyn Root and Bill Redpath for at-large spots on the Libertarian National Committee, Gary Johnson reflected on the current battle for chair of the party.

“It’s exciting, it’s interesting,” he said.

231 The endorsement took place on Bill Cunningham’s podcast, here is the transcript of the opening, including the endorsement. Cunningham podcast via “Wayne Root, former Libertarian Party Vice Presidential Candidate and Current Member of the LP’s National Committee: “It’s Gotta Be Romney, There is No Choice” by Brian Doherty:

CUNNINGHAM
I’m Bill Cunningham, the great american, let’s continue now, Wayne Allyn Root, Root for America, libertarian candidate for the presidency, on Obamacare and so much more. Wayne Allyn Root of Las Vegas, Nevada, and Wayne Allyn Root, welcome again to the Bill Cunningham show.

ROOT
Yeah, the one thing you can’t say is I’m not a candidate for the presidency anymore, so we can’t say that anymore. I am not running in this cycle, but I do think in 2016 you might have a good third choice. So, let’s save that for another time.

CUNNINGHAM
Please, I would love, I would work hard, I would vote for you, I would do whatever I could to get you elected. I think it’s wonderful.

ROOT
I think the important thing now is to make sure that Obama is not elected, and that means, in my mind, listen, I would love if a libertarian like Gary Johnson, the two term governor of New Mexico, would actually get elected president, but I think we all know that’s not going to happen, so therefore it’s gotta be Romney, there’s no choice. And then, unfortunately…the good news is that Romney stops Obamacare, I hope, and stops the incredible bankruptcy of America and the looting of taxpayers, a little bit. Slows it down, so we don’t go right off a cliff. But unfortunately, Bill, I don’t have a lot of hope that he turns us around and saves America, because to me, he seems like a big government Northeast liberal, compared to Obama, who’s a Marxist. So, between those two choices, yeah, I guess the lesser of two evils is certainly Romney, but they’re both bad choices, and that’s the problem I have. Big government guys on both sides.

A transcript of the opening remarks to Root’s introduction of Gary Johnson at an event (“Wayne Allyn Root Introduces Gary Johnson at April 9 Las Vegas Fundraising Event” on youtube) a few days after the Cunningham podcast in which he’d endorsed Romney, where he gave a veiled defense of the endorsement as him trying to find common ground with conservatives:

WAYNE ALLYN ROOT
Honored to speak with the LP, honored to introduce Gary Johnson. You know, a lot of you here know my middle name is controversy, it never seems to end, a lightning rod of controversy…instead of the usual introduction, I wanted to introduce Gary the way I’ll be doing on a conservative talk show, “The Bill Cunningham Show”, later on this week. Many of you know that I’m going to be in a lot of conservative talk radio, on Fox news, on conservative web sites, all over the United States. And, that’s my platform. That’s my specialty. I speak to specific groups, tea partiers, conservatives, republicans, small businesspeople, and I try and become friends with them. And I try and find common ground with them. And this sometimes causes controversy in the libertarian party. Because I don’t do it the traditional libertarian way. I’m friendly with my conservative audience, I win them over, I become a regular in their car, in their home, in their living room, and I subtly introduce libertarianism. I get a punch in here; I get a punch in there. I win somebody over slowly over time. And I’m on “The Bill Cunningham Show” later on this week, I convinced them to let me come on to do a segment on one thing and one thing only, and that’s introducing Gary Johnson to his audience. So, I actually wanted to introduce Gary today by giving you the script I’m gonna give to introduce you, and see how you like it, and if you like it a lot, we’ll use it, and if there’s anything you want me to change, we’ll change it. But here’s how I’m gonna introduce Gary to a very Republican conservative audience. And it’s kinda different for a libertarian to do it this way. So, the script goes something like this:

Bill, last week, we talked about the usual suspects. Obamacare, and what a disaster it is for America. And of course, the presidential race between Obama and Mitt Romney. We discussed all the reasons what makes economic issues you and your audience might support Mitt Romney over Obama. If that were your only choice. But, actually the question becomes, are those your only two choices? Why has the mainstream media worked so hard to convince you that there are only two choices? Is the fix in? Are they trying to keep us all away from any alternative that might spoil their corrupt game? Are they worried about keeping the trillions in bailouts and stimulus, and government contracts coming in, fast and furious, both for Republicans and Democrats. What is Obama and Romney weren’t your only choices? What if there was a third choice? What if the third choice was the best choice of all? Now, Gary Johnson is a former two term Republican governor poised to win the Libertarian presidential nomination. Now, perhaps many in your audience haven’t heard of him up until now. Maybe the media likes it that way. Maybe he’s a danger to special interests. Maybe he’s a maverick who they don’t want anywhere near the White House. Let me educate you in a way that the media and conservative talk radio rarely does. Because when I’m done, you might be surprised to find you’re actually thinking about something different and voting for something different for the first time in your life. Because while I understand that many of you, at this moment, think that Mitt Romney is a little better than Barack Obama on economic issues, I’ll concede that anything has to be better than Barack Obama.

But the question is, is that really good enough for you? Will it be enough to save the quality of life for your kids and grandkids? Is it enough to save the American economy? We’re under nearly one hundred trillion dollars in debt, and unfunded liabilities, and sinking fast. We’re not Greece, or Spain, but we’re a thousand times bigger. So, the question is, do you really believe that adding to the national debt, but adding just a little bit less, will save us? When the answer is to dramatically cut the budget, and neither Obama nor Romney will consider doing that. Haven’t you heard the liberal, big government big spending Republicans for years, in for George H.W. Bush, in for Bob Dole, in for Gerald Ford, in for John McCain, promise the world, and then deliver the same big taxes, the same big spending, the same big government, as a democrat? Do you still believe them? Isn’t Obama versus Romney the same old game? Isn’t it big government versus even bigger government? They’re both progressives, one is liberal, the other is ultra-liberal. So, it’s the usual lesser evil, right?

232 From “Wayne Root defects from LP to GOP” by Matthew Reece:

On Thursday, 2008 Libertarian vice-presidential nominee Wayne Allyn Root announced that he was resigning from his positions within the Libertarian Party and joining the Republican Party. In the public letter he wrote, Root explains that his decision is much like those of previous Libertarian Party candidates, including David Koch (VP, 1980) and Ron Paul (President, 1988); both of whom left the LP to become influential Republicans.

To add insult to injury, Root announced that he is endorsing Republican nominee Mitt Romney, saying, “I don’t deny that Romney and Ryan aren’t libertarians, but Romney is a pro-business capitalist and Obama is a Marxist-socialist. The economy has been trashed. This is about my kids’ future, it’s about my businesses. There is no hope for America if Obama is re-elected.”

In his resignation letter, Root also announced that he would seek a U.S. Senate seat in Nevada in 2016, saying he “plan[s] to join Tea Party U.S. Senators like Rand Paul, Jim DeMint, Marco Rubio and Mike Lee in the near future, representing the great state of Nevada.”

233 From “Las Vegas Oddsmaker Explains Why He Predicts Romney Landslide” by Wayne Root:

On May 30th, I made a prediction that shocked the readers of TownHall. I predicted a Romney landslide- with Obama leading in every poll.

I did not make that prediction as a political columnist, or as the former Libertarian Presidential contender, or the 2008 Libertarian Vice Presidential nominee. I relied on my career as a Las Vegas oddsmaker. Long before I got into politics, I started out as the Network Oddsmaker and NFL Analyst for CNBC (then known as Financial News Network). I’ve made my living for the past 27 years predicting the winners of sporting events, like the Super Bowl and March Madness. I did it well enough to be awarded my own 180 pound granite star on Las Vegas Blvd- the only oddsmaker ever inducted into the Las Vegas Walk of Stars (along with Vegas legends such as Elvis, Frank Sinatra, Wayne Newton, Dean Martin, Liberace, and Sammy Davis Jr).

But it’s my political predictions that have turned heads in the national media.

Today I’m making it official:

Mitt Romney will win the Presidency, and it won’t be close.

I’m predicting a 5 to 7 point popular vote victory. With an outside shot at 10 points. Electorally it won’t be that close. Romney will win many states that went to Obama in 2008. I’m predicting Romney victories in Ohio, Florida, Colorado, Virginia, Iowa, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Indiana. I predict a Romney victory by 100 to 120 electoral votes.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say Romney even wins one or two Democratic “safe states” like Michigan, Pennsylvania, or New Jersey. On election night, Democrats will be in shock and mourning as the results come in.

On buying a star on the “Walk of Stars”, from “Walk of Stars created to honor citys celebrities and contributors” by Amy Baratta:

LAS VEGAS — A $15,000 donation can buy your favorite entertainer a star on the Strip.

Wayne Newton has one. His three-foot-square slab of polished granite, a tribute from his fan club, was placed in October in front of the New Frontier.

Stars celebrating the late entertainer Liberace and celebrity impersonator Frank Marino – he’s Joan Rivers in An Evening at La Cage at the Riviera Hotel and Casino — were placed earlier this month along the Strip in front of that property.

And the most recent addition, placed in the walk in front of the Flamingo Las Vegas on Feb. 15, honors impressionist Rich Little.

The Walk of Stars, developed in cooperation with Clark County, was designed to mark Las Vegas centennial by recognizing those who have made a significant contribution to the city. The walk is expected to extend from Sahara Avenue to Russell Avenue.

The McCain prediction from “The Life of the 3rd Party” by Thomas Vinciguerra:

Mr. Root wagered that John McCain would prevail in November, winning 37 to 40 states. To his mind, that would be no coincidence.

“McCain literally stole, word for word, what I’ve been saying in my playbook,” Mr. Root complained. “Like education. I called it ‘the civil rights issue of the 21st century.’ And what did he say in his acceptance speech? Same thing, word for word. He didn’t even give me credit.”

(It should be noted, though, that the phrase “the civil rights issue of the 21st century” itself doesn’t appear to be Mr. Root’s creation.)

The number of states McCain did win is taken from “United States presidential election, 2008”.

On his prediction of the continued dominance of the GOP, from “Just Another Hustler in the Hustler Kingdom” by David Weigel:

With all of that behind him, how could Wayne Root not get into politics, the domain of district attorneys and trial lawyers and promotion-seeking chiefs of staff? “My entire life has been a PERFECT preparation for politics,” Root told the Gambling Newswire in 2005. “I’ve spent the last 20 years giving interviews with the media. I’m on national TV more than any politician in the state of Nevada!” (This was before the still-mystifying triumph of Sen. Harry Reid.) In 2005, Root published a sort of sequel to his first self-help tome dubbed Millionaire Republican, telling readers that “thinking like a Republican,” taking risks and cutting throats, was the surest path to success.

Some sections of the book didn’t hold up so well. “This professional prognosticator,” Root wrote then, “believes that the GOP will dominate American politics (on all levels) for the foreseeable future.”

234 From “What went wrong with my prediction about Mitt Romney and the 2012 election” by Wayne Allyn Root:

This combination of science and common sense would tell you that in this economy, no president could be re-elected. Unless President Obama is more an “American Idol” and even a near-messiah than a politician, and his followers ignore logic, facts, and the misery they are experiencing.

Unless we have reached the tipping point that Thomas Jefferson warned about, where a majority of Americans now get checks from government, and realize that they can vote for the guy who promises to keep the checks coming.

Obama’s re-election proves that bribery as a campaign tactic is validated. Promise enough “free stuff” and you win votes, even if the end result is no jobs, no hope, and a lifetime dependent on government.

You wouldn’t believe this could be true. Not in America. That’s another reason why my prediction went wrong.

235 From “The GOP’s Indispensable Man” by Roger Stone:

The New York Times pointed out the presences of longtime GOP ‘wise man’ and veteran Washington lobbyist, Charlie Black, in presidential nominee presumptive Mitt Romney’s entourage. Black has been a key figure in the campaigns of Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, Bob Dole, George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, and John McCain.

While it is easy to criticize Black as the consummate establishment Republican and Washington insider, few understand the pivotal role that Black played in Reagan’s 1976 campaign, which laid the groundwork for Reagan’s successful 1980 campaign, reelection in 1984 and the Reagan revolution.

It is a credit to Black’s discipline, judgment, tact, and knowledge that the Ford people were happy to have Black ride shotgun with Vice Presidential nominee, Bob Dole, after the bitter Ford-Reagan Kansas City Convention.

In 1980, Black resigned from the Reagan campaign on the day of Reagan’s smashing victory in the New Hampshire primary. Reagan bested George Bush, who won a surprise victory in the Iowa caucus after a famous debate in which Reagan demanded Bush admit the other Republican candidates, Bob Dole, Phil Crane, Howard Baker, and John Anderson to what had been billed as a two-man debate. This was an elaborate setup by Sears. Many key Reagan operatives played key roles in setting Bush up in the Nashua debate, including former New Hampshire GOP State Chairman Jerry Carman.

Sears was fired on the night of his greatest triumph. Black chose to resign with him, although virtually every Reagan operative at all levels of the campaign sought his advice in the General Election with Carter. It is a testimony to Black’s indispensability to the modern Republican Party that by 1984 he was back as a Senior Advisor to the Reagan-Bush ’84 committee. Romney is both wise and lucky to have him.

236 From the Donald Trump profile, “Trump Solo”, in Character Studies by Marc Singer:

A securities analyst who has studied Trump’s peregrinations for many years believes, “Deep down, he wants to be Madonna.” In other words, to ask how the gods could have permitted Trump’s resurrection is to mistake profound superficiality for profoundity, performance art for serious drama. A prime example of superficiality at its most rewarding: the Trump International Hotel and Tower, a fifty-two-story hotel-condominium conversion of the former Gulf and Western Building, on Columbus Circle, which opened last January. The Trump name on the skyscraper belies the fact that his ownership is limited to his penthouse apartment and a stake in the hotel’s restaurant and garage, which he received as part of his development fee. During the grand-opening ceremonies, however, such details seemed not to matter as he gave this statement: “One of the great buildings anywhere in New York, anywhere in the world.”

During Trump’s ascendancy, in the 1980s, the essence of his performance art – an opera-buffa parody of wealth – accounted for his populist appeal as well as for the opprobrium of those who regard with distaste the spectacle of an unbridled id. Delineating his commercial aesthetic, he once told an interviewer, “I have glitzy casinos because people expect it…Glitz works in Atlantic City…And in my residential buildings I sometimes use flash, which is a level below glitz.” His first monument to himself, Trump Tower, on Fifth Avenue at Fifty-sixth Street, which opened its doors in 1984, possessed many genuinely impressive elements – a sixty-eight saw-toothed silhouette, a salmon-colored Italian-marble atrium equipped with an eighty-foot waterfall – and became an instant tourist attraction. In Atlantic City, the idea was to slather on as much ornamentation as possible, the goal being (a) to titillate with the fantasy that a Trump-like life was a lifelike life and (b) to distract from the fact that he’d lured you inside to pick your pocket.

237 The quote is taken from following transcript of “FoxNews: Impact of third-party candidates on election (Youtube)”:

STEVE DOOCEY
Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party’s candidate for president made history yesterday by earning the most raw votes in his party’s history. It’s not secret that votes for third party candidates typically come at the expense of Republicans, so did Johnson cost Romney the election? Let’s talk right now to political strategist Roger Stone. Good morning to you.

ROGER STONE
Steve.

DOOCEY
You know, people think back to when Ross Perot…many feel, cost George Herbet Walker Bush the election to Bill Clinton, who won with 39% or something like that…what sort of damage did Gary Johnson do to Mitt Romney?

STONE
There’s really no evidence that his votes came disproportionately from Romney. I think he took votes from both Obama and Romney…and he won the votes from some people who may not have voted at all. He did get a million votes, a million two really, he fell short of the five percent you need to get your party federal funding to become a permanent party. I now know how Teddy Roosevelt felt when he became a Bull Moose now.

DOOCEY
You know, interestingly enough, Herman Cain suggested yesterday suggested that perhaps it’s time for another third party. Because the two parties we have right now aren’t really fixing our problems.

STONE
Well, they’re really very similar, they’re both for foreign intervention, they’re both for deficit spending, they’re both for the PATRIOT act, they’re both for the war on drugs, the two parties have become, despite their rhetoric, almost identical.

DOOCEY
But they’re different on social issues, and that’s one of the things about the Libertarian Party and particular Gary Johnson had talked about pot and legalizing pot, and that explains why in Washington State he wound up with one percent and in Calif- rather Colorado he wound up with one point three percent of the vote because pot was also on the ballot.

STONE
Yeah, I think the country is ready for someone who is a fiscal and economic conservative, but socially tolerant. That’s where the majority of the people are. The problem, of course, is that we have a duopoly. The big parties, the two major parties, control ballot access, who gets into the debates, which is crucial, and in the end, it’s really about money. Ross Perot got 19% as a third party candidate, but he also spent ten million dollars of his own money, so he was taken seriously.

DOOCEY
So, if there’s a really rich libertarian out there, they would have a better shot.

STONE
And my phone number is-

DOOCEY
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Alright, Roger Stone, always a pleasure.

STONE
Great to be with you.

238 The quote about the similarity of the two parties comes from the transcript out of the previous footnote:

DOOCEY
You know, interestingly enough, Herman Cain suggested yesterday suggested that perhaps it’s time for another third party. Because the two parties we have right now aren’t really fixing our problems.

STONE
Well, they’re really very similar, they’re both for foreign intervention, they’re both for deficit spending, they’re both for the PATRIOT act, they’re both for the war on drugs, the two parties have become, despite their rhetoric, almost identical.

The point about the Saudis comes from the transcript of the University of Miami class in 2008, from footnote #204:

QUESTIONER
Yeah, in the articles…it seems you think the Bush administration has done great damage to the Republican party…I was kinda wondering, what ways do you see this Bush administration has done damage to the Republican party and why do you prefer John McCain and see him as someone different from this administration?

STONE
Sure. Well, first of all, I’ve never been a Bush Republican. I consider myself a Goldwater Reagan, more libertarian oriented Republican. And, take your pick. The only thing I like about the Bush administration is their tax policy. I am for tax reduction because I do think it makes the economy grow, but you couldn’t be a conservative and spend like this administration is spending. They’re spending us into the millennium. You couldn’t be a conservative and approve of the growth of government in the eight years George Bush has been governor – president – and lastly, I think this war is pointless. I don’t see the point of the war in Iraq. Now, if you wanted to have war against the Saudis, I’m with you. They’re our problem in the region, they’re not our friends. But the Bush administration kisses up to the Saudis and you get a war in Iraq that doesn’t seem to me to have any point. Now, when we need to use hardball tactics against the Iranians, we’ve worn out the goodwill of the American people who don’t have the stomach for more conflict.

239 “Libertarians running 2 Staten Islanders for citywide office” by Judy L. Randall:

El-Meligy, an advocate for the Muslim community, has said as comptroller he would look for ways to reduce wasteful spending.

While ex-madam Kristin Davis has said she is the Libertarian Party candidate for comptroller, El-Meligy is the party-backed candidate.

The email from Roger Stone is taken from “Robert Wenzel: NY State Libertarian Party War!” by Wenzel:

I’d don’t know who this asshole is but the New York City Libertarian convention met on April 9 and 71 people were eligible to vote under the rules.

Kristin Davis was nominated for Comptroller.

A small dissident faction of Libertarians, unhappy with the result, held a rump convention-8 people participated. All of them voted in the previous convention. They “voided” the results of the previous convention and nominated a radical Islamist named El Meligy. No he is not the legitimate nominee of the LP-he is the nominee of a handful of loudmouths who can’t face their crushing defeat and can’t muster more than 8 people for a “convention’

The Libertarian Party is unrecognized in the state of New York. The assertion that prior use of the name or trademarking of the name or filing of the name as a PAC gives one control of the name is false. The Board of Elections will rule on this if two “Libertarian” candidates file for the same office. If either side is unhappy with the ruling they can sue the BOE. We welcome both the BOE ruling and a law-suit. Some local “libertarians” need to be spanked. They will be.

We will of course challenge El Meligy’s petitions and will refer fraud to the local District Attorney for criminal prosecution.

Worst case – the BOE directs either candidate or both chose another name. Kristin Davis can garner publicity and raise money. It would only be the Libertarian party’s loss. Candidates who cannot raise the New York City Campaign Finance Board matching fund threshold are not required to be in the fall debates. The Al Queda candidate, El Meligy, cannot hope to meet this threshold, despite the strong support he is getting from the Muslim Brotherhood and the Taliban.

Kristin Davis will be on the ballot and in the debates with or without the Libertarian Party label.

Enjoyed doing the show and appreciate your interest in my upcoming book.

A screenshot of the linked page, “Facebook Libertarian Party of Florida”, should the original go down:

NYC second convention Roger Stone reaction crop

240 From “Spitzer’s Ex-Madam Kristin Davis Slips Out of Comptroller Race” by Steve Nelson:

Eliot Spitzer, the disgraced former New York governor seeking election to be New York City’s comptroller, has lost a prominent competitor, his longtime antagonist and former madam Kristin Davis.

Davis won the Libertarian Party’s nomination for the post in April, but did not file last week to appear on the ballot.

The madam-turned-activist was arrested Aug. 5 for allegedly selling the common prescriptions Adderall, Ambien, Oxycodone, Xanax and the muscle-relaxer Soma to a drug dealer the FBI flipped into a cooperating witness.

Davis did not respond to a request for comment about her decision to drop out, nor did her political mentor Roger Stone.

Valerie Vazquez, a spokesperson for the city’s board of elections, confirmed to U.S. News that Davis was not among the candidates who submitted the required 3,750 signatures to appear on the Nov. 5 ballot.

Hesham el-Meligy, an independent candidate from Staten Island who is supported by some Libertarians, did file to run for the comptroller race, according to Vazquez.

241 From Stone’s Rules:

Roger Stone - Pretty reckless is going straight to hell

242A good quick overview of the Fein-Lolavar-Paul affair is “Bruce Fein, Rand Paul, Ken Cuccinelli, and the NSA: Is Mattie Fein right about the plagiarism of her husband’s lawsuit?” by David Weigel – though a perhaps better one, and far more devastating to Paul, is “E-mails back claim that Sen. Rand Paul ‘stole’ NSA lawsuit” by Dana Milbank:

In a telephone conversation Thursday evening, Cuccinelli, joined by Bruce Fein, repeated that Mattie Fein was “not authorized” to speak for Bruce Fein, and said “Mattie sent emails in his name from his account.” But Bruce Fein confirmed on the call that he had, in fact, written one of the two emails forwarded to me from his account, in which he complained about the way he was treated by the Paul team and requested payment. “I was disgruntled with some elements,” he said. Asked about the second email from his account, in which he lists several questions that could be asked at the Paul-Cuccinelli news conference, he declined to comment.

Fein said that Mattie Fein, whom he identifies as Mattie Lolovar, has been his spokeswoman on previous matters but that he “never authorized her to speak for me” on this matter.

Here is the first email Fein wrote, which he sent to Doug Stafford, Paul’s top political advisor.

On Feb 12, 2014, at 1:56 PM, “Bruce Fein” b*****@thelichfieldgroup.com wrote:

Dear Doug,

The protocols for preparing and filing the class action complaint today were hugely suboptimal.

My name was not on the complaint despite the fact that it was predominantly my work product over several weeks and two hundred hours of research, meetings, and drafting. Ken never showed me the final complaint before submission. My name could not be on the complaint under DC Bar Rules because I could not prepare a timely engagement letter. I was never informed until yesterday by Ken of the details of the collaborative arrangement between FreedomWorks and Rand for litigating and paying for the lawsuit. I promptly revised the engagement letter when the information was received, and it has been forwarded via Ken to Rand and FreedomWorks.

I did not learn of the date for filing except by inadvertence from Ken a few days ago.

I was not included in any briefing of Rand about the complaint before filing and press conference today despite the fact that I know vastly more about the Fourth Amendment issue and the history of NSA surveillance than anyone else on the team.

All of this has been especially distressing because I have been an impeccable team player from the outset. I did not ask for an upfront retainer. I did not publicize my role to the media. I heavily discounted my fees. I shared my work product freely with Ken. I responded to all of Ken’s inquiries with alacrity. And I have eagerly defended Rand in the past on Fourth Amendment issues in the media.

Yet I was excluded from key decision points leading up to the filing of the complaint and press conference as though I could not be trusted. I was not only excluded from meetings. I was never informed that they took place and what the decisions were.

My marginalization was thoroughly unfair. Going forward, I expect complete transparency and inclusion on all non-trivial decisions. My name will be on all future pleadings. Ken and I plan to meet shortly to discuss these matters.

My outstanding invoice for work indispensable to the lawsuit should be paid no later than Friday, February 14, an expectation which is completely justified in light of all the circumstances. Please alert me if the work description on the invoice needs alteration.

Thanks for your attention to these matters.

Bruce Fein

From “Libertarian Bum Fights” by Mark Ames:

It’s hard to know what’s bullshit, bluster or truth in the world of DC lobbying and spooks, but Fein backs it up by boasting in his Lichfield Group bio that he was executive editor for a murky private intelligence publication staffed by ex-CIA and ex-MI5 spooks called “The World Intelligence Review.”

An example of Fein’s work for the World Intelligence Review: a letter to the editor of the New York Times in 1995 defending the CIA from revelations about the Agency’s work with torturers, headlined, “Why Hold C.I.A. To Higher Standard?”

It seems that at least one major purpose of the “World Intelligence Review” was to defend the CIA’s public image – letters to the editor, reviews of books and films….Today, a website purporting to be the same “World Intelligence Review” – founded in 1978 and headquartered in Washington DC – mostly serves as an outlet for a paranoid British spook named Nigel West, whom BBC documentary filmmaker Adam Curtis recently described as one of the weirdest of the degenerates who dominate the British spy world:

weirdos who have created a completely mad version of the world that they then impose on the rest of us.

According to Curtis’ piece for the BBC, Nigel West has spooked and scared the public over the years with tales of Soviet moles and traitors inside the MI5, or tales of Iraqi students in Britain acting as Saddam’s sleeper cell terrorists on the eve of the 1991 Gulf War – all accusations that turned out to be nothing but paranoid fantasy. In fact, despite all the hysteria whipped up by people like Nigel West, MI5 never caught a single Soviet mole in the British spy services.

Today, Nigel West is listed as the European Editor of the same weirdo spy publication where Bruce Fein worked as executive editor in the 1990s. And Fein boasts of his ties to that same world: CIA, Homeland Security, National Security Council…outfits which have become less and less effective over time as their bureaucracies bloated, and their personnel regressed into a parallel universe of paranoid fantasy.

In June, after Lon Snowden spoke out against his son’s flight to Hong Kong, Bruce Fein somehow managed to attach himself to Lon Snowden. Ever since, you won’t see or hear a word out of Lon Snowden that isn’t closely monitored by Bruce Fein’s presence. Fein appears to be dragging the father into a funhouse world that makes less and less sense – the same Lon Snowden who told his son not to defect now finds himself groveling to Vladimir Putin, praising His mercy and humanity, all to creepy Bruce Fein’s hovering-vulture approval.

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Maureen Otis: A Mystery Inside A Mystery

While reporters have given their utmost attention to anecdotal points and gaffes of political candidates, Maureen Otis has passed invisibly among great events, given no notice, a figure of almost no possible consequence; she is something like an attractive woman whose face blends into the crowd, of small notice in a photo taken on the cusp of some national tragedy, except: she slowly develops an eerie presence as you flick through other pictures of historical significance, and there she is, always off to the side, in every one of them.

I enjoy looking out for interesting people on the fringes, yet it was only after I read the excellent “The Gary Johnson Swindle and the Degradation of Third Party Politics” by Marc Ames that I came across her name. Ames isn’t dazzled by this idiosyncratic candidate as others have been, but disgusted instead at what he sees as a very dirty, nasty trick played by a few powerful men. He notices something that the roving herd which must invest every Mitt Romney “golly” with existential significance doesn’t have time for: the filing papers for this clean hands third party candidate’s PAC, “Our America Initiative”, are signed by two long time conservative operators, James Lacy and the near invisible woman, Maureen Otis.

The Our America Initiative registration documents can be found here.

Before we move over entirely to Otis, a short note on Lacy will indicate why Ames was so disturbed at seeing his name on the filing document, as well as hinting at Otis’s own skills. Lacy specializes in direct mail, often employing mailers that are deceptive, cajoling seniors that some unrelated new proposition will cause medicare cuts, or say, convincing liberals to vote against a minimum wage law by sending out a flier that has a panel of prominent democrats with the directive to vote against the new law1. The politicians whose likenesses are used, are all in support of the law, and have no knowledge of the fliers.

Otis shares some of the skill set of Lacy, but where Lacy is a contained virus, Otis is closer to a wide-ranging avian flu. She runs a firm in Stafford, Texas, called American Caging and the name may or may not have a malign connotation. Caging, in this possible sense, came to broader attention when Monica Goodling, former justice department counsel, testified that the deputy attorney general had not been fully honest about his knowledge of an appointee’s involvement with “vote caging” in the 2004 election. “What the heck is vote caging, and why does nobody care?”, asked Dalia Lithwick in Slate. She then gave a succinct, solid answer:

Vote caging is an illegal trick to suppress minority voters (who tend to vote Democrat) by getting them knocked off the voter rolls if they fail to answer registered mail sent to homes they aren’t living at (because they are, say, at college or at war).

The appointee, Tim Griffin, would pointedly disagree, in a short piece by Jane Mayer, “Bullets”:

“Caging is not a derogatory term,” he [Tim Griffin, the appointee in question] said, as soon as he got on the phone.”It’s a direct-mail term. It derives from caging categories of mail in steel shelves and files.” He said that the implication that he had run an operation to suppress African-American voters, which could be a violation of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, was “false and close to libelous.”

By contrast, the description that American Caging gives of its activities on its website (archive.today link) leaves one puzzled. They appear to be involved in noble, charitable work for the betterment of those in urgent need, in ways that have nothing to do with direct mail, with or without voter suppression, or even elections at all:

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, American Caging is one of the leading providers of lockbox and data management services, founded in 1990. Since the company’s foundation, it has maintained its core focus for accurate, trustworthy and affordable lock box services.

Our first clients hired us, not because we were located in Washington, D.C. or because we had expensive processing equipment. They came to us because of the high level of customer service, our affordable pricing and because they trusted us to accurately process their contributions.

Over the years our company grew and expanded primarily because of referrals from existing clients who were part of the ACI family. In early 2001, the national headquarters of the American Red Cross joined ACI’s family. After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, ACI processed hundreds of thousands of contributions from around the world to the American Red Cross. In 11 years, we went from a very small operation with a handful of clients, to the caging company primarily responsible for handling contributions during one of our worst national tragedies. We are proud and honored to be a part of the effort to heal the nation.

(Because occasionally these things disappear on the internet, I’ve put up a screenshot of this web page.)

american caging overview

This description is a mild evasion of what American Caging has done for a decade and a half, and for what it is well known for. It handles fundraising and related direct mail projects for two types of non-profits, standard benevolent entities as well as hard-line religious and conservative organizations. There is a tricky game being played here – many of these entities appear to be lobbying groups set up for the interests of a particular group, when in fact they’ve been designed for issue advocacy. Of the many possible examples of this, the most prominent is the “60 Plus Association”, whose name implies an advocacy group founded by seniors for the interests of seniors. They are nothing of the kind – they receive a large chunk of their money from pharmaceutical companies, as well as the Center to Protect Patients Rights, an anti-Obamacare non-profit run by Sean Noble, an associate of the Koch brothers2. Other donors include the American Petroleum Institute and Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS3. This group, whose name suggests it lobbies for the interests of seniors, has fought against Obamacare, fought against the regulation of greenhouse gases, fought to have Yucca mountain used as a storage site for nuclear waste, and demanded, in the wake of the Katrina disaster, not to sacrifice lower taxes in favor of disaster relief, but rather, to rely on market solutions to help Katrina victims4. Most strikingly, ersatz seniors advocacy groups such as these, fought against legislation to reduce drug prices5. Beyond the gains of misleading voters of their true intents, another advantage to a non-profit lobbying for political causes that is not, explicitly, a political advocacy group, is that it does not have to disclose its donors – these are 501(c)(4) entities, the dark money that’s shaped recent elections: “How Nonprofits Spend Millions on Elections and Call it Public Welfare”.

The “60 Plus Association” lists Maureen E. (the E is for Elizabeth6) Otis as a legal contact, but it is one of only many that do so. To give an idea of her prolific skills, I list all the non-profits, which can be divided between benevolent organizations (the most prestigious of which is easily the Mayo Clinic) and political advocacy groups, that have her as a legal contact from a 2006 charity list from the secretary of state’s office of Tennessee. Another list of non-profits which heavily features Otis as legal contact is at the State of New Hampshire’s Justice Department – there is heavy overlap between the two lists, though some groups are on one and not the other; the list below should not be considered exhaustive of all groups with an Otis association, but it serves the purpose of showing how wide-ranging her reach is.

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We may find her as the legal contact for cancer charity Cancer Schmancer (affiliated with Fran Drescher)7, Dress For Success (affiliated with make-up artist Bobbi Brown)8, the troubled project of the National Women’s History Museum9, a PAC supporting Texas republican Louis Gohmert10, as well as conservative powerhouses The Club for Growth11, and The Richard Norman Company12. She is the legal contact for Jewish Voice Ministries International, whose stated purpose is “bringing the Gospel to the Jew first”13, the Corrie Ten Boom Fellowship, a christian zionist organization whose purpose is to share god’s love with the jewish people14, and Policy Issues Institute, also known as Impeach Obama Campaign, which also lists James Lacy’s law office as its address15. Otis is the legal contact for the Christian Research Institute, a religious advocacy group that views the church of latter-day saints and the jehovah’s witnesses as non-christian cults16. Otis’s name is there as contact for the National Vaccine Center, a controversial group that fights against early childhood vaccinations17. She’s also there for Californians for Population Stabilization, a group opposed to legal immigrants18. She isn’t listed as the legal contact for The Society For Truth and Justice Inc. – there the contact is infamous pro-lifer Randall Terry – but the mailing address is once again, “4850 Wright Road, Ste 168 Stafford, TX 77477”, the address of American Caging and the one she often uses when she’s the legal contact; the very same place that shows up as the address listing for the pro-republican Patriot PAC19. She is the legal contact for the Declaration Alliance (also known as Secure Borders), a part of whose website manifesto I quote here:

Whereas the United States of America is under relentless attack by foreign invaders who neither obey our laws nor honor our institutions; and

Whereas this foreign force now numbers up to 20 to 30 million people within the geographic boundaries of the United States; and

Whereas these invaders are bankrupting the United States by overwhelming our medical, educational, and judicial systems; and

Whereas the foreigners sneaking into the United States have no plans to assimilate and become Americans, but instead desire to see the southwestern states transformed into Spanish-speaking provinces of Mexico; and

Whereas members of radical Islamic terror groups (classified by US Border Patrol as “OTMs or Other Than Mexicans”) continue to execute a plan of infiltration of the United States mainland through incursions along the border with Mexico, for the purpose of establishing terror cells and training operations within our homeland;

Therefore, let it be resolved that we, the people of the United States, citizens by birth or naturalization, do hereby DEMAND that the Congress of the United States immediately secure our border with Mexico, enforce current laws by arresting and deporting all criminal illegal aliens, and block all attempts to pass any type of amnesty legislation.

(Because occasionally these things disappear on the internet, I’ve put up screenshots of this web page.)

(a copy of this manifesto can still be found on-line at the blog, On the Arizona Border, their entry for March 2013, “Manifesto of American Sovereignty”)

Of more relevant note for this post, as well as for the recent election, is that she is the legal contact for True The Vote20, an anti-fraud vote group with Tea Party links, which was accused of harassment during the presidential election, and whose members were rejected as poll watchers in Ohio because names had been falsified on forms requesting observer status21. Those who attended a True the Vote training session spoke of being told to use cameras to intimidate voters and to do what was possible to prevent “questionable” voters from getting access to voting machines22. This may not fit the strict definition of “caging”, voter suppression through mail, but I think it unquestionably can be called voter suppression.

The place where Otis first achieves a mainstream prominence is not through her association with organizations clashing with those on the left, but those fighting amongst themselves on the right. In 2005, an anti-immigrant organization, the Minuteman Project, suffered a violent rupture when its two founders, Chris Simcox and Jim Gilchrist, fell into dispute with each other, with Gilchrist, along with many of his followers, leaving the group23. A major point of contention was what had happened to money raised by its members for construction of a private border fence that was intended to replicate that used by Israel against Gaza, with a six foot trench and bullet-proof cameras, but ended up being just a barbed-wire cattle fence, fencing that costs a hundredth of the projected high-tech barrier24. Gilchrist and others demanded to know what had happened to the donated funds, with Simcox refusing to give answers, dismissing those who continued to question him, and assuring critics that the funds were safely being taken care of by a reputable company, a reputable company called American Caging25.

Otis released a statement, making clear that “since the day MCDC [Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, the new name for the Minuteman Project after Gilchrist left] was incorporated, my company has acted as the comptroller and escrow agent for MCDC.”26 When the arch-conservative Washington Times did a story on the brouhaha, Otis could not divulge any figures to the paper, as she had not been given permission to do so by Simcox or members of the board27. That she handled donations for the group only hinted at the various ways she was interconnected with the story. She was the MCDC’s board secretary28; she was the legal contact for the aforementioned Declaration Alliance, which sometimes appears to be an arm of the former presidential campaign of Alan Keyes, and not only did the Declaration Alliance give substantial funding to the MCDC, but the MCDC’s website claimed that it was a project of the Declaration Alliance29; following Gilchrist’s departure, the MCDC contracted with Diener Consulting for public relations work – Diener Consulting was an American Caging client, run by Philip Sheldon, son of Louis Sheldon, founder of the Traditional Values Coalition (listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group), for whom Otis was listed as legal contact30; Philip Sheldon was previously known for obtaining the names of donors to Terry Schiavo’s legal fund for the use of Response Unlimited, which provides mailing lists to conservative organizations. He now helped this same Response Unlimited obtain access to MCDC’s donor rolls for its own mailing list purposes31; Response Unlimited was, of course, an American Caging client32. This company, American Caging, was involved in all this at the same time the Texas state comptroller had listed them as “not in good standing” because of their non-compliance with state tax requirements33.

This tumult in 2006 is where Otis achieves her greatest personal prominence34, but she had already shown up, in a very brief cameo, at a much more important debate. The year before, when the Bush administration was attempting to push forward a program of social security privatization, private retirement accounts as a replacement for traditional social security. Given that a major opponent of the privatization move was the AARP, a lobby composed of seniors acting in the interests of seniors, a useful opponent to the AARP might be a lobby ostensibly designed to serve the interests of seniors, when in fact it was actually funded by interests attempting to craft their own legislation, in prescription drug laws and pension reform. We might imagine this entity to be something like the United Seniors Association, also known as USA Next, also known as Americans Lobbying Against Rationing of Medical Care (ALARM), USA, chaired by Charles Jarvis, a former aide to Iowa Republican Charles “Assume Deer Dead” Grassley and a former employee of James Dobson’s Focus on the Family35. Though incorporated in 1991 by Richard Viguerie, a conservative with a genius for direct mail, it was in that last decade of the twentieth century something ike a creature that barely moved above the ocean’s surface36. One of the few times that I’ve been able to come across its presence then was when Pete Stark, California congressman, submitted mail from the group to the federal postal inspector, arguing that the non-profit was committing mail fraud:

I wish to report a postal fraud by United Seniors Association, 3900 Jermantown Road, Suite 450, Fairfax, VA 22030 and urge your immediate action to impose appropriate penalties.

Enclosed are two mailings from the United Seniors Association (USA) urgently asking for money on the basis of false pretenses and representations. The USA letter contains innumerable inaccuracies and errors of fact. It is so blatantly wrong that it cannot be a simple act of stupidity, but is a calculated scheme to frighten Medicare beneficiaries out of money. In particular, in the letter of September 22, 1997, the paragraph on the first page which reads `Here’s what this appalling new law does: if you are a Medicare patient and you want to personally pay for a treatment which Medicare does not want to cover–it will be nearly impossible to do so. . ..’

This statement, repeated in numerous ways throughout the mailings, is false.

Medicare beneficiaries have always been able to contract privately with doctors for services which Medicare does not cover. Nothing in any law has changed that right. Under certain conditions, the new law actually extends that `right’ to services which Medicare does cover–a new right to be billed more than the Medicare payment rate by physicians, which did not exist before. See enclosed memoranda.

I also urge you to investigate for fraud the enclosed recent Seniors Coalition [yes, indeedy: Otis is listed as legal contact for this group] mailing (11166 Main Street, Suite 302, Fairfax, VA 22030). This mailing calls for `an emergency contribution’ to help fund a lawsuit on the private contracting issue. The cover letter is rather extraordinary in that it asks people to send money to help fight something for which the writer has `no time to explain.’ The statements in the letter over Mary Martin’s signature is false: `your health care will be rationed in a Clinton HMO.’ The enclosed news articles contain numerous errors and misrepresentations. I believe that this mailing may also be a mail fraud because it uses false statements in the cover letter and inaccurate or incomplete statements in the news articles to scare people into sending money to support plans for a lawsuit. I know of no such lawsuit or any grounds for it, and I ask your investigators to determine whether there is in fact such a planned use of the money bilked from the public.

It was in 2001 as prescription drug legislation was being crafted, that this organization achieved a higher profile. It received $1.5 million in donations that year from PhRMA, a trade association for U.S. drug companies, then received close to $25 million over the next two years from a group that can only be guessed at – because USA Next is a non-profit, ostensibly non-partisan organization, it does not have to disclose its donors, and it must be gleaned from what’s there in the IRS filings. The donor does begin with the letter “P”; its spokesman would neither confirm nor deny that the donor was PhRMA37. A 2004 article noted that though USA Next claimed a million members, its most recent tax return claimed zero income from individual member donations38.

In 2002, this organization spent over $14 million in ads defending republicans on how they voted on a prescription drug bill39. In 2005, they picked a fight with the AARP, which was opposed to the privatization of social security. “I’m trying to kill, destroy the bad public policy of AARP,” said Jarvis at the time40. It was this fight that gave the group greater prominence, causing Josh Marshall, of Talking Points Memo, to note that United Seniors Association was “affiliates” with O’Neill Marketing Company. It must be a very tight affiliation, Marshall noted, since USA Next listed as its address 3900 Jermantown Road, Suite 450, while O’Neill listed its address as 3900 Jermantown Road, Suite 450A41. Marshall then gave this succinct observation:

Despite my now living in New York I sometimes still feel the need to translate from Beltwayese into standard English. So in this case, in DC-speak we would say that United Seniors Association is ‘colocated’ with O’Neill Marketing Company whereas in standard English we would say that United Seniors Association ‘is’ O’Neill Marketing Company.

Other O’Neill clients were: Empower America/Citizens for Sound Economy, the National Republican Congressional Committee, the Republican Governors Association, and the Republican National Committee.

Jarvis, again at the time: “I’m very aggressively pro-free-market solutions.” He would continue: “I am very aggressively finding people who agreed with our rock `n’ roll free-market approach.”42 Part of Jarvis’s rock’n’roll approach was to try and use the cultural wars agains the AARP – they, USA Next, were for mainstream values. The AARP was not. This was the controversial ad they put out to make the difference clear, exposing the real agenda of the long-time seniors association. It caused an immediate and hostile backlash, not towards the AARP, but the craven opportunists who had created it:

Maureen Otis - Mystery

USA Next was sued by the couple featured in the photo43. Jarvis, his rock’n’roll lifestyle undeterred, had no regrets about using the photo except for not obtaining permission first44. It was the Scaramouche Blog entry, “Agenda Makers & The Real Agenda” which noticed another important detail. I apologize for the melodramatic bold, but I think this warrants it:

The other day this ad was running on the conservative site The American Spectator. It clicked through to USA Next.org which is running Swift Boat Vet’s type campaign against the AARP which opposes Bush’s destruction of Social Security.

So who is behind USA Next? According to a Whois search the site is registered to

William Brindley
3900 Jermantown Road, suite 450
Fairfax, VA 22030
tel. (703)359-6500

So who else shares that address with them? There is United Seniors Association, Inc. or USA, Inc, which morphed into USA Next. I ran another search on the phone number. Again, there is United Seniors Association, Inc. (USA, Inc.), also known, as ALARM -Americans Lobbying Against Rationing of Medical Care, USA (notice the lovely choice of acronyms) and I saw there is also Maureen E. Otis sharing the same address.

Now if you had had thriving business in registering fundraising groups in, lets say, the State of Washington you would most likely have a mention of that on your website. I can only speculate on why one would play that down unless various connections weren’t meant to be known. Otis is tied to The Richard Norman Company also which has carried on some fundraising activities for USA/USA Next Inc. and funneled quite sum of money [sic] to the Swifties.

The links, in this ever-changing web, no longer point to the same thing – Jarvis is now contact person for USA Next. Otis now always uses the Stafford, Texas address, not one in Virginia. What her previous ties to the Richard Norman Company were, I’m not sure. However, she is still named as the legal contact for this entity, which is listed as a commercial fundraiser. What charities have used the services of this fundraiser? The Alliance for Marriage, the Alliance for Marriage Foundation, Californians for Population Stabilization, the Club For Growth, the Declaration Alliance, the Montpelier Foundation, and True the Vote – all organizations with, of course, I-think-you-can-guess as their legal contact.

There are no doubt many other points in recent history when Otis shows up – but I move forward to her next interesting moment that I came across in my brief investigation. In 2011, the National Organization of Women found itself envelopped in civil strife, with the traditionally liberal group taken over by a conservative national leadership, its state chapters in open revolt.

Angie King, the San Luis Obispo chapter co-ordinator for NOW, sent out an open letter on this last year. I quote the opening paragraphs, which give succinct summary of what was taking place45:

Since 2008, when the current national board of directors for the National Organization of Women was elected by only 8 votes, following a scorched earth campaign by the current officers, troubling news keeps leaking out of Washington, D.C., where national NOW has its headquarter offices. At first, the problem was that there was no news. The transparency of former administrations in keeping the grassroots membership informed of executive decisions ceased. Access to the board meetings was restricted. Dues rebates, the heart blood of the local chapters’ ability to maintain a presence, were cut off. Rumors circulated about illegal (or at least bylaw violative) financial accounting instituted by this national board.

Remember when Shelly Mandell introduced Sarah Palin in Los Angeles, calling herself “president of LA NOW” even though she had been forcibly dismissed some years earlier? Remember the Harpers (October 2010) article by Susan Faludi about the improper financial shenanigans at the national NOW level? Well, this is worse.

CA NOW has held numerous discussions among its members how to respond to the issues raised. In the beginning, we felt it better to continue the positive messages and actions we are known for, without airing our “dirty linen,” so to speak. With each revelation, however, came the realization that we can’t continue to maintain that silence when it comes to the underlying reason we belong to NOW.

The perception by state level organizations of NOW and many chapters (including our own) was that the national NOW had been subverted by a dedicated tight-knit group of anti-woman, probably anti-feminist, women committed to the goal of ruining the integrity of NOW in the public’s eye and thus, neutralizing all the years of advocacy on behalf of women and girls.

I now move to the letter where a certain figure shows up, again. I bold her appearance.

In June this year, CA NOW became the latest target for the cabal. There are many reasons why CA NOW has been targeted. We forced national NOW to acknowledge that Mandell was not president of LA NOW and to hold an election; we complained about the lack of dues rebates in a specially called meeting, which has caused the national organization to resume sending checks. Perhaps our defense of NOW alarmed the increasingly conservative national board, who sought to replace the long-standing infrastructure of CA NOW with a known right-wing anti-woman lobbyist, as the “official” contact in the state for NOW Foundation Inc.

First, CA NOW received a request from the executive vice president of National NOW in June requesting it agree to Maureen Otis as our state contact. National NOW had been unable to register in California due to a name conflict with CA NOW. Attached to the request was the letter from the Secretary of State rejecting the registration, addressed to the Law Office of Maureen E. Otis in Texas. We were confused because NOW has been registered in California for many years so this appeared to be a new registration, which didn’t make sense.

Obviously, CA NOW never gave permission to file for this new registration to do business in California because National NOW and the Foundation are already registered in the state. Despite already being registered, the California Secretary of State accepted the new filing with Maureen E. Otis’ name, contact information in Texas, and Melvin D. Green as the agent for process, with an address listed as 5466 Santa Monica Blvd. #106, Los Angeles, CA 90029. This National Organization for Women’s agent for service of process is a Dollar Discount Store. A people search fails to connect Melvin D. Green to the address above, and the only Melvin D. Green found in the Los Angeles area is deceased. A California Secretary of State website search shows Melvin D. Green’s name on a suspended corporation C0850195 filed and suspended in 1977 named NOW Incorporated with the same address sans the suite number. This search may explain where the name came from, but not why service for process for the National Organization for Women Foundation would be a Dollar Discount Store.

Since the letter from the Secretary of State to Maureen E. Otis in Texas was troubling to us, we began our research on Maureen E. Otis. What we discovered from a simple Google search on Maureen E. Otis is disturbing. We discovered that she is the acting secretary of Freedom Watch, a Minuteman group out of Texas as well as being legal counsel for the Franklin Center, both of which have ties to the Koch brothers. Maureen E. Otis operates her law office out of an organization she leads called “American Caging” where she has established charities for the Impeach Obama Foundation, Club for Growth, Alliance for Marriage Foundation, Border Fence Project, American Conservative Union Foundation, American Patriots for Conservative Action, Committee for Justice, Common Good, Leadership Institute, OUR America Initiative, the Minutemen Project and countless more right-wing organizations. Her own website (American Caging) lists such clients as the Declaration Alliance, Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, and the Traditional Values Coalition. The Declaration Alliance runs a petition on their website to disbar and impeach Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan.

If that wasn’t bad enough, we were left speechless to discover that Maureen E. Otis also works for the Terry Family Trust whose purpose to is help Randall Terry, the founder of Operation Rescue, to recover from legal victories won by NOW and others.

I give a further lengthy quote from this letter as to what Ms. King thinks the motive behind the takeover strategy might be, and bold the most pertinent part:

As a side note, but related, a search on the Secretary of State’s website using NOW and National Organization for Women revealed that the conservative San Rafael law firm Nielsen Merksamer filed incorporation papers on June 20, 2011 for a “new” California NOW non-profit, with the purpose “to promote healthy public debate over the critical issues facing California, advance meaningful reform and hold public officials accountable.” Merksamer represents the American Legislative Exchange Council, an organization of primarily conservative members of state legislatures, and the Free Enterprise Coalition, a conservative organization. We take note of this new non-profit corporation using our brand because this occurred at or near the time that Otis was hired. Whether these are independent acts to corrupt the NOW brand or acts in concert is of no matter. The issue remains – the corruption of the NOW brand with right wing associations.

California NOW members, through California NOW, have no control over the National Organization or Women (NOW), the use of its trademark or the National Organization for Women Foundation and its trademark. That responsibility primarily resides with the National Organization or Women Board of Directors. It isn’t hard to see the advantage to the right wing if they can control the NOW logo. Our logo has become a trusted symbol of initiatives and candidates who support women. We must act decisively in order for that symbol to retain its meaning.

I digress briefly to an episode that does not involve Otis directly – a brief mention of a near successful attempt to do what was done with NOW, a takeover of a liberal organization in order to use its brand to advance a reactionary agenda. This would be the 2004 attempt to put into place an anti-immigrant leadership of the environmental group the Sierra Club. It is described in these interview excerpts with J. Robert Cox, former Sierra Club president with the invaluable Southern Poverty Law Center Intelligence Report, “Former Sierra Club Director Discusses Hostile Takeover Attempt by Anti-Immigrant Activists “. I bold significant parts46:

INTELLIGENCE REPORT: What was your first personal contact with anti-immigration activists interested in the Sierra Club?

ROBBIE COX: When I was president of the Club for the first time. In 1996, volunteer leaders in the Club’s population program approached the board of directors to alert us that new members were coming into the Sierra Club wanting to push immigration as an issue. These leaders thought this was simply inappropriate for the Club, because we had no evidence that U.S. immigration was detrimental to the environment.

So we agreed that year to refine the existing policy by adopting a statement of neutrality on U.S. immigration.

COX: Once the board adopted the neutrality policy, it apparently motivated what we thought was simply a small group of Sierra Club members who began to object. The board held steadfast – we simply did not see the evidence. This group then initiated the ballot proposition process.

The Sierra Club is very open and democratic in its governing structure. It not only allows all its members, over 700,000 people, to elect its board of directors. It also allows members to put forward a ballot proposition, if they gather enough signatures, that can alter the Club’s existing policies.

So this group organized itself as SUSPS, or Sierrans for U.S. Population Stabilization, and began a petition drive to get their proposition on the ballot. This happened in 1997, and the election occurred in the spring of 1998.

IR: Do you know who the principals of SUSPS were then?

COX: One principal actor was Ben Zuckerman. Zuckerman had formerly been a director of an anti-immigration group called Diversity Alliance for a Sustainable America, which is a group whose name does not suggest its goal of restricting immigration into the U.S. Zuckerman was also an officer on the board of another group called Californians for Population Stabilization, or CAPS.

We frankly didn’t know some of the people working with him at the time. I think we underestimated how serious this was in 1998.

IR: In the next few years, anti-immigration candidates Ben Zuckerman and Paul Watson ran for the board – both of them unsuccessfully at first, but winning in the end. Did you realize then that the anti-immigration effort had not yet concluded?

COX: We weren’t aware at the time of an organized effort, either within the Sierra Club or stretching beyond it with some of the outside allies that we now know they have. But this began to change in the last two years.

In 2002, Zuckerman ran a second time and was elected. This time, he dramatically altered his ballot statement and began to speak of his concerns about the Club being more visible on college campuses and about funding for our conservation program.

He did mention population, too, but he never talked about immigration, as he had in his first campaign. He was elected that year.

IR: Since winning, has Zuckerman discussed immigration with the board?

COX: He has asked for time in many board sessions to make speeches to us about the importance of immigration, often citing non-environmental reasons to reverse our neutrality policy, most recently having to do with post-9/11 security concerns. He has also cited concerns about U.S. workers being displaced by immigrants.

At one point, we asked about the link between the environment and a story that he sent us about illegal crossings on the southern border. As far as I could see, the only documented environmental impact was that they were littering the desert with water bottles and trash – there was a photo of discarded bottles at a campsite.

Most recently, he sent to several of us on the board an article from VDARE.com that claimed that Hispanics were spreading disease and crime in the U.S., and that “Hispandering politicians” were allowing this to happen. I was quite upset by that.

IR: What happened after Zuckerman’s election in 2002?

COX: I think SUSPS realized they had a winning strategy.

The following year, 2003, they ran three more candidates, including Doug LaFollette, the Wisconsin secretary of state, and, once again, Paul Watson. They referred to many conservation issues and to population in general, but never mentioned immigration.

Two of them, LaFollette and Watson, were elected.

So by May of last year, we had begun to realize that we had an organized effort to put in place enough directors to take control of the board.

If Watson is to be believed, the intent is not only to seize control of the board, but also of the Club’s assets and credibility – the reputation of the Club itself.

IR: What ultimately is at stake here?

COX: I think the very identity and character of the Sierra Club is at stake if these outside forces succeed in taking it over. We will lose the historical values that have made the Club what it is – a grassroots-driven organization whose members care deeply about the protection of the wild places of the Earth, human health and the quality of the environment overall.

This takeover attempt would ultimately fail, with Sierra Club members alerted to what was going on, and the anti-immigrant candidates receiving only a fraction of the votes in the next election. The connection to Otis is indirect, but it is there: Ben Zuckerman, one of the principal actors in the takeover was an officer in the anti-immigrant group Californians for Population Stabilization, a group funded by anti-immigrant activist John Tanton, who also founded Federation for American Immigration Reform and U.S. English (FAIR), as well as being involved with the American Immigration Control Foundation (AICF) and California Coalition for Immigration Reform (CCIR)47. FAIR, AICF, and CCIR have all been designated as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Foundation. Californians for Population Stabilization, in which Zuckerman was an officer, has as its legal contact on its registration papers a Maureen E. Otis.

We now have the tactic of what was already done with non-profits, the 60 Plus Association or USA Next, these organizations outwardly appearing to be lobby groups for constituents, when they are in actual fact lobby groups for industry, taken to its next, logical step: grabbing an existing progressive brand, and transforming its function to one’s own ends. The brand persists, but its objectives are now those of whatever group conquers it.

This, I emphasize, is the next logical step – but not the final one. This piece ends where it begins, with my reading “The Gary Johnson Swindle and the Degradation of Third Party Politics” by Marc Ames: that article gives succinct, acerbic summary of the past works of Gary Johnson, Jim Lacy, and Maureen Otis – though because their focus is broader than mine, they do not quite give Otis the scope her story is due. One more character of crucial importance in “Swindle” I have made no mention of yet is Roger Stone, a former Nixon dirty trickster; I quote from a Matt Labash profile, “Roger Stone, Political Animal”, cited in “Swindle” of a trick he pulled during the 1980 presidential election to split the vote of New York state, delivering its electoral votes to Reagan:

Around the time [Stone] became northeast chairman of Reagan’s 1980 campaign, he had another awakening when he started working with the notorious lawyer Roy Cohn, former McCarthy henchman and also a Reagan supporter. “I’m still kind of a neophyte,” Stone admits, “still kind of thinking everything’s on the level. ‘Cause the truth is, nothing’s on the level.” At a 1979 meeting at Cohn’s Manhattan townhouse, he was introduced to major mobster and Cohn client Fat Tony Salerno. “Roy says to Tony, ‘You know, Tony, everything’s fixed. Everything can be handled.’ Tony says, ‘Roy, the Supreme Court’ Roy says, ‘Cost a few more dollars.'” Stone loved Cohn: “He didn’t give a s– what people thought, as long as he was able to wield power. He worked the gossip columnists in this city like an organ.”

Stone, who going back to his class elections in high school has been a proponent of recruiting patsy candidates to split the other guy’s support, remembers suggesting to Cohn that if they could figure out a way to make John Anderson the Liberal party nominee in New York, with Jimmy Carter picking up the Democratic nod, Reagan might win the state in a three-way race. “Roy says, ‘Let me look into it.'” Cohn then told him, “‘You need to go visit this lawyer’–a lawyer who shall remain nameless–‘and see what his number is.’ I said, ‘Roy, I don’t understand.’ Roy says, ‘How much cash he wants, dumbf–.'” Stone balked when he found out the guy wanted $125,000 in cash to grease the skids, and Cohn wanted to know what the problem was. Stone told him he didn’t have $125,000, and Cohn said, “That’s not the problem. How does he want it?”

Cohn sent Stone on an errand a few days later. “There’s a suitcase,” Stone says. “I don’t look in the suitcase . . . I don’t even know what was in the suitcase . . . I take the suitcase to the law office. I drop it off. Two days later, they have a convention. Liberals decide they’re endorsing John Anderson for president. It’s a three-way race now in New York State. Reagan wins with 46 percent of the vote. I paid his law firm. Legal fees. I don’t know what he did for the money, but whatever it was, the Liberal party reached its right conclusion out of a matter of principle.”

I ask him how he feels about this in retrospect. He seems to feel pretty good–now that certain statutes of limitations are up. He cites one of Stone’s Rules, by way of Malcolm X, his “brother under the skin”: “By any means necessary.”

The details on Lacy, Otis, and Stone in “Swindle”, damning to the Johnson campaign in and of themselves, are there to put forward a thesis: that the Johnson campaign was intended to split votes just as the Anderson candidacy did, between a democrat and a libertarian, anti-security state, anti-drug war candidate, thus delivering the election to Mitt Romney. Though “Swindle” does not mention it, Stone was also involved in two earlier efforts to shape the vote through outsider candidates. In 2000, he worked to have Pat Buchannan made the head of the reform party, then made threats of revealing information on a possible out-of-wedlock child of Buchanan; whether as a result of this or something else, Buchanan led a vapor campaign in the general election, leaving Bush without a third-party challenger on the right, while Gore had to give up some of his vote to Nader. In 2007, Stone would brag in an interview of helping to destroy the reform party, because, in his view, it had cost the republicans the white house in 1992 and 199648. In 2004, Stone backed Al Sharpton in the democratic primaries, with Sharpton pushing the message that the democratic party was unresponsive to the demands of black voters. The intent appears to have been to either dissuade black voters from voting that year, or maybe even move them over to vote for George W. Bush – both stories come from the diligent work of the Village Voice‘s Wayne Barrett, whose work on Sharpton and, especially, Stone, is invaluable, a reporter who exercises an aggressive insight this world can never have too much of49.

In an interview with Reason magazine editor Nick Gillespie and in a classroom discussion moderated by Gillespie, political operative Roger Stone states openly and explicitly that he destroyed the third party Reform Party in 1992 and 1992 because it split the conservative vote, and caused the Republicans to lose. Taken from the interviews, “Roger Stone at Reason November 28, 2007” and “Roger Stone on New Media and Old Campaign Tricks”.

I include the relevant sections of “The libertarian/marijuana conspiracy to swing the election” by Dave Sirota, another article employed by Ames to further his hypothesis:

Here in the center of the Intermountain West, we have polls showing a nail-bitingly close race between the Democratic and Republican nominees for president. We have a chief election official, Secretary of State Scott Gessler, who has tried both to engage in mass voter purges and to block the mailing of ballots to eligible voters, all while openly saying a “good election” is one in which “Republicans win.” On the ballot, we also have a headline-grabbing ballot initiative about marijuana legalization and a popular former two-term governor of a neighboring state, Gary Johnson, running a Libertarian Party presidential candidacy.

The armchair pundits in Washington and New York typically write off these latter two factors as forces destined to aid the president’s reelection campaign. The conventional wisdom is rooted in oversimplified cartoons and caricatures of voter preferences. Essentially, the idea is that the marijuana measure will bring out liberal, Obama-loving hippies, yuppies and crunchies from Denver, Boulder and Fort Collins, while the libertarian candidate’s campaign will siphon conservative votes that would otherwise go to Mitt Romney, thus making Johnson the Republican “version of Ralph Nader,” as the New York Times predictably projects. But that kind of hackneyed red-versus-blue story line – so prevalent in the national media echo chamber – ignores how these forces are playing out on the ground.

This is particularly true considering the intersection of the pot initiative and the Johnson campaign. Despite the punditocracy’s narratives to the contrary, the former New Mexico governor has already been taking as much – or more – support away from Obama in Colorado as he has been from Romney, according to polls. And Johnson’s anti-Obama effect could become much more pronounced in the next few weeks, thanks to how his supporters are deftly leveraging all hoopla around the marijuana initiative to sharpen their candidate’s appeal and message to disaffected Democrats.

This message is not just word-of-mouth anymore; it has been elevated to the big leagues by a new voter outreach campaign. Indeed, a new automated telephone call focused on the pot measure and playing to liberal disappointment is right now hitting Democratic households in Colorado. Here’s what the message says (you can listen to the full audio below):

Hello fellow Democrat. Like you I was thrilled to vote for Barack Obama in 2008. In 2008, candidate Obama promised not to use the Justice Department to prosecute medical marijuana in states where it was legal. But the real Obama did just that, more than doubling prosecutions, putting people in prisons and shutting down medical marijuana facilities in Colorado. That’s not the change you wanted on health freedom. But you can still be a force for hope and change by voting for Gary Johnson.

Officially funded by the Libertas Institute50, the message is accurate in its factual broad strokes. Candidate Obama did explicitly promise to restrain the Justice Department from prosecuting medical marijuana offenses in medical marijuana states, and President Obama has nonetheless overseen an intense Justice Department crackdown on medical marijuana in those states, directly contradicting his pledge.

Sirota, however, is skeptical of any larger plan:

Is this a brilliant GOP conspiracy theory? In other words, is the libertarian candidate deliberately trying to help Romney, as Obama partisans will no doubt grouse? Almost certainly not, as Johnson is no fan of Romney, to say the least. He has run a consistently honest and principled campaign that has been equal – and equally harsh – in its criticism of both parties.

When I first read Ames’ piece I thought the most important revelation was the simple collection of very unsavoury characters that this supposedly clean hands candidate had gathered round him. That there was some larger goal involved in the candidacy, I waved away. I am now, however, of a different mind.

I should preface the following by saying that I am not a conspiracy theorist: I believe that the evidence overwhelmingly supports the thesis that Oswald killed Kennedy. Shakespeare is not Marlowe or anyone else, but Shakespeare. The harmful propaganda surrounding the illuminati are insightfully discussed and utterly destroyed in Umberto Eco’s Six Walks in the Fictional Woods, Arthur Goldwag’s The New Hate, and Voodoo Histories by David Aaronovitch. I do not, however, think the third party thesis requires a terribly complex or all-encompassing conspiracy.

To address Sirota’s point, I don’t think that it necessary to dispute Johnson being at the same skeptical nexus as Nader, a man critical of both parties. I slightly dispute this idea – I do not remember Nader being as Janus-like as Johnson, who is both critical of america’s war machine and at the same argues for strike teams to Uganda, commits himself to something like continued drone warfare, and promises that if Iran were to test a nuclear warhead it would be wiped from the face of the earth51 – but I can concede this point without issue. I do not think that Mr. Sirota would contest the point that despite Nader’s bipartisan criticism, he ultimately had a far greater impact on votes cast to Gore than to Bush, that this asymmetry exists, despite Nader’s equal animus of both parties.

So, I think it can be agreed that in a tight election like 2012, a candidate equivalent to Nader would be very useful to someone who wanted Romney to win. The only issue then is whether the candidate must necessarily be a knowing participant, and I do not see why this is necessary at all. All that is required is that he take certain positions which will cause some to vote for him, rather than Obama, and we have a Romney victory. There is also, when invoking the word “conspiracy” the suggestion of a large group of people being involved, and I think this is equally unnecessary. All this tactic requires is the money needed to run a campaign, which is an extraordinarily small amount given what some billionaires were spending on anti-Obama ads, and a few people who might conceive a campaign and lightly design it52.

Who might implement such a campaign? A man who managed to get minimum wage legislation voted down because democrats could be made to misperceive that prominent democratic politicians were against it. A man who once placed a third party candidate on the ballot to win a liberal state for a republican president. A woman who has been involved in the creation of a seniors lobby which in actual fact lobbied for the interests of prescription medicine, receiving no donations from seniors. A woman who was involved in trying to take over California NOW, so that a progressive logo might be used to deceptively endorse anti-progressive, anti-liberal causes and candidates. Someone who is expert in achieving a political end by causing the voter to think that a group is for their interests, when this group is being manipulated so that this voter’s very interests are defeated. People speak of conspiracy, but why would a false front presidential candidate be any different from a false front lobby like the 60 Plus Association or USA Next? All it would require is a slightly vain candidate (and what presidential candidate is not slightly vain?) lacking the necessary funds for a run for office, which it would then receive from certain large donors – donors who might well appear to be supporting a libertarian candidate, but whose purpose was instead to elect Romney. This does not require the involvement of anyone else, the RNC, the supreme court, anybody – just a few political consultants and a chunk of money. What is so complicated about that? How is that any more difficult than the creation of USA Next or the takeover of a long-time feminist organization?

Two notable details might be mentioned in the final chapter of this story. The first are possible financial irregularities on the part of the Johnson campaign. The Johnson PAC, Our America Initiative, the one whose registration carries the names of Otis and Lacy, was suspended after it failed to file quarterly reports with the FEC listing its donors: “Johnson’s PAC suspended for financial reporting violation” by Peter St. Cyr. Given that it doesn’t show up on any FEC filings, or such sunlight sites as Open Secrets, this violation may have kept them from ever continuing in the general election. There is also the question raised in “Complaint filed with FEC questions Johnson campaign’s use of funds” by Maggie Haberman, for which I was unable to find any answer: who paid off Johnson’s primary debts, making it easier to run in the general election? However, the main focus of this piece is an FEC complaint filed by Addison Smith, arguing that Johnson’s monthly expenditure listings, which did not distinguish between expenditures for media, political advisers, and travel, violated FEC regulations53. A trouble-making email sent out that month raised a similar question, which tried to make the case that money was not being spent on media, but on advisers – that the campaign was a scheme to simply move money from donors to the consultants.

The major article that deals with this email, “Johnson Allies Reject Spending Charges” by Rosie Gray, makes clear that media buys were being made – though it also stresses that the campaign money seems to be going entirely to companies associated with campaign advisers. The article cites an expense for media which is the same mix of media buys, campaign travel, and, presumably, adviser pay, mentioned in the FEC complaint – all three mixed in a sum going to an entity labeled “Political Advisors”54. The Johnson post-election filing had $140K going for media, “FEC Disbursements by Purpose”, and almost twice as much, $277K, going to political advisers, “FEC Disbursements by Payee”. Both charges, the FEC complaint and the email, were dismissed by the campaign as political attacks – Addison Smith, who filed the FEC complaint, is a long-time republican, though without visible associations to the Romney campaign55. Roger Stone emphasized that he was working for the campaign on a volunteer, pro bono basis56. This may well be true; however, it should be stressed that Stone worked pro bono on Carl Paladino’s 2010 campaign for governor, a campaign whose expenses were ably dissected in “Carl Paladino: The Dirty Details in His Campaign Filings”, by Wayne Barrett, where he discovered huge sums being paid out to Stone associates Dianne Thorne and Michael Caputo, as well as payments associated with Stone from a previous lobbying effort57. He further cites the accounts given by Larry Klayman, the anti-gay hardline evangelical who ran for the Florida Senate with Stone as a consultant; Klayman says that Stone barely did any work and bled his campaign dry58. Caputo was not with the 2012 Johnson presidential campaign, but Thorne was59. We may see here the possible mix of venality and practical purpose exploiting donors who think they are giving to the libertarian cause, when they are contributing to something entirely different, the salaries of sundry advisers, and not for the end purpose of furthering libertarian ideas, but to split the vote to obtain a republican victory. This might be seen as part of a larger tradition, brilliantly described by Rick Perlstein in “The Long Con: Mail-order conservatism”, with enthusiastic conservative donors gouged again and again, with only a fraction of the money sent to a conservative cause going to the cause itself, the healthy majority ending up in the grabby hands of consultants far richer than the donors will ever be. We might see this as well in the possible exploitation of the minutemen group, the money of the anti-immigrant faithful not going to any border fence, but to a clump of groups which all have one woman as their contact, the addresses of these generous zealots soon taken into their maw as well, for even more donations.

This, of course, returns us to our main character, and the other strange detail of this final part of the story. It comes from the twitter profile of Otis. She lists herself as owner of two businesses, one of which is American Caging. She lists, however, something else:

Maureen Otis - Mystery

The blacked out portions, by the way, are family details only of relevance to Otis herself. If Ms. Otis ever reads this, and wonders why I took that step, it’s because of a concept unfamiliar to her, of having a conscience.

Back to the chase: in her profile, she says she’s the treasurer for Restore America’s Voice PAC. This is a PAC that worked exclusively against Obama. Why is someone who sponsors a third-party candidate, also treasurer of a PAC that works against only one of his opponents? This is leaving aside that many of the non-profit advocacy groups for which Otis is legal contact are entirely counter to libertarian ideas on immigration, whether it’s Californians for Population Stabilization, or the MCDC, for which she is not only legal contact, but on whose board she served. I ask these questions, wondering who is this mystery woman, and what is the mystery which surrounds her: was there an actual attempt this year to employ a third party stooge in order to elect a republican president? Here is a more mundane, rhetorical one: would anyone consider such behavior more outrageous than the voter intimidation of True the Vote, or the deceptions of USA Next?

I move towards a conclusion, with a piece on the “North Decoder” website from a year ago, “The Koch Brothers’ Slow Poisoning of America” by Chet (just like Nico, you get a pseudonymous four letters, and that’s it). The author of this piece writes passionately, despairingly, of the way press coverage of North Dakota is slowly being taken over by outside, well-funded conservative interests:

A story in the Grand Forks Herald originated with a Plains Daily blog post about the University of North Dakota using a UND Foundation aircraft to ferry people to and from Bismarck to (among other things) testify on issues relevant to the University. Plains Daily’s capitol beat “reporter” — the author of the UND plane story — is Kate Bommarito. Before becoming a fake “journalist,” Kate worked on Kevin Cramer’s 2010 Republican Party campaign for the U.S. House. She has been active in North Dakota Republican Party politics for quite a while. Her husband, I’m told, is Mike Bommarito, a former ND GOP executive director. When Kevin Cramer’s campaign for Congress was caught buying support of delegates to the GOP convention by paying convention fees a couple years ago, the Bommarito family name came up as the conduit for some of those payments.

He traces the source of the funds to an entity located in a small-town mini-mall:

One of the shops in the mini-mall is the Rushmore Mountain Taffy and Gift Shop. Like virtually every other retail store in town, the taffy shop closes when the Musical shuts down for the “Winter” right around Labor Day and will open back up again some time just before Memorial Day.

You wouldn’t know it by looking at the taffy shop from the outside — or inside, for that matter — but for several years now, it has been the legal home to “The Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity,” a multi-million dollar right-wing non-profit set up for the sole purpose of facilitating indoctrination of Americans through the creative use of old-fashioned, right-wing misinformation and fake, slanted “news.”

The Franklin Center (FC) is a non-profit organization that uses a “post office box” in the United Parcel Service Store in Bismarck. The UPS Store provides a mail forwarding service to the folks at the Franklin Center. But the taffy shop, until very recently, was FC’s “official” mailing address. North Dakota law requires nonprofits to have a “physical address,” too, so citizens have a place to go if they want to ask for a copy of records nonprofits have to make available for public inspection, or to serve court papers on the organization.

Yes, dear reader, you know what comes next.

The Franklin Center was officially incorporated in North Dakota in January of 2009. The Secretary of State (SOS) 2009 filings list a Texas attorney’s address — actually a “caging” operation — as the organization’s mailing address and the local UPS Store mail-forwarding service PO Box as it’s physical address

The Texas lawyer/caging operation, coincidentally, also does legal work for “Club for Growth,” Alan Keyes’ “Declaration Foundation,” the CPAC sponsoring “Young Americas Foundation,” the “Minuteman” militia people, the “Traditional Values Coalition,” and a whole host of mostly far right-wing fringe organizations. It appears the lawyer — Maureen E. Otis — operates her law office out of an organization she leads called “American Caging.

The Franklin Center raised about $3 million in its first year of operation, 2009.

You read that right.

For you headline-writing copy editors out there, here’s your headline:

“THREE MILLION DOLLARS raised by a little North Dakota non-profit based in a taffy shop in tiny town of Medora”

I conclude in this fashion, excerpts from a well-written piece by a pseudonymous writer ending in a picturesque taffy shop, to make clear a line of demarcation. It demonstrates that to control the news, all that is necessary is for the structures of journalism to decay and finally die, just as institutions that help the elderly, the vulnerable, and the worst off have been allowed to die. There have been two major profiles of Gary Johnson that I know of, which appeared in a prestige publication: “Pipe Dreamer” by Molly Ball and “The Zen of Gary Johnson”. Both are entirely light-weight, touching on none of the less sanguine details of Johnson’s political life or his campaign. To read about the seamy underbelly of political life, you would have to go to the fringes of the internet, the NSFW Corporation, the North Decoder website, or, I humbly submit, a post from an obscure blog that is something like this. I do not consider this media indifference some part of any larger conspiracy – it is simply a condition of mainstream journalism now that the most pressing questions are not asked. They leave it to others to shine a lantern on a nest of rats. And they consign themselves to irrelevance.

(Since publication, some edits have been made for aesthetic purposes; the section, with accompanying footnote, on Roger Stone’s involvement with the 2004 Al Sharpton campaign was added after initial posting; so was the footnote featuring a brief interview excerpt with Jim Gilchrist. The section on the takeover of the Sierra Club was added on January 3rd, 2013. On January 5th, the material on the strange financial details of Roger Stone’s past campaigns was added. The detail that Stone publicly admitted to destroying the reform party, and the video clip where he made the admission, were added on January 14th. On April 10, 2015, this post underwent a session of copy editing. Originally, this post listed “Tim Phillips” as a nominee to be an Attorney for the Justice Department; on April 18, 2015, this was corrected to “Tim Griffin”.)

FOOTNOTES

1 From “Slate Nailer: Conservative James Lacy plays turncoat to sway elections” by Nick Schou:

Just before Election Day, [James] Lacy unleashed a series of slate mailings urging Santa Monica residents to vote for prominent Democrats who support liberal causes such as abortion rights and education. The same mailers also directed them to vote “NO on JJ,” a vote to kill the city’s living-wage ordinance.

Designed to lift minimum-wage workers out of poverty and reduce the burden on city social-welfare funds, JJ would have required downtown and coastal Santa Monica employers earning more than $5 million per year to pay employees $12.50 per hour, or $10.50 per hour plus health-care benefits. Although it led in polls up to Election Day, JJ lost by a tiny margin on Nov. 5.

The fact that registered Democrats in Santa Monica were flooded with thousands of misleading mailers in the last days of the race seems to be the best explanation for why that happened. One questionable mailer endorsed two prominent Democrats, Congressman Henry Waxman (D-Santa Monica) and Assemblywoman Fran Pavley (D-Woodland Hills). In massive bold type at the bottom of the page, the mailer states, “NO on JJ.”

While an asterisk next to those words informed voters that the mailer was paid for by an organization called Democratic Voters Ballot Guide, neither Waxman, Pavley nor the Democratic Party-all of whom publicly supported JJ-had anything to do with the mailer or the Democratic Voters Ballot Guide, which didn’t exist until a few weeks before the election. In fact, hotel owners paid for the mailer, and the so-called Democratic Voters Ballot Guide was just a front group consisting of a pair of career right-wing political consultants, including Lacy.

Lacy was also behind two other anti-Measure JJ mailers. One said, “Attention Pro-Choice Voters” and announced that “Santa Monica’s pro-choice leaders agree: no on Measure JJ.” A third bore the caption “Important Santa Monica Issues for Women, Our Young & Our Poor” and urged recipients to vote no on Measure JJ.

2 From the site Open Secrets, Top Organizations Disclosing Donations to 60 Plus Assn, 2012.

From the site Talking Points Memo, “Arizona Dark Money Group Gave Lavishly To Other Groups”, by Eric Lach:

The Center to Protect Patient Rights (CPPR), the secretive Arizona dark money group tied to the movement of millions of dollars between political nonprofits, gave almost $15 million in 2011 to a number of groups that spent heavily on political ads in 2012, according to IRS documents obtained by the Center for Responsive Politics.

The CPPR, run by former congressional aide Sean Noble, spent $23.2 million in 2011, with $14.8 million given in grants to 19 other nonprofits. Bloomberg has previously reported that the CPPR contributed $55.4 million to other nonprofit political groups in 2009 and 2010.

From “Kochs brothers’ plan for 2012: raise $88 million” by Kenneth P. Vogel and Ben Smith in Politico:

Sean Noble, another top Koch operative, has been hired by Americans for Limited Government, another group that sources say received donations from Koch conference attendees for its efforts to attack Democrats during the 2010 midterm campaign.

3 Open Secrets, Top Organizations Disclosing Donations to 60 Plus Assn, 2012.

4 From “‘The Rachel Maddow Show’ for Monday, August 10, 2009”:

60 Plus is well-known in Republican and conservative circles. And like other corporate-funded P.R. operations, it often takes on causes that you wouldn’t logically connect to their stated purpose. The 60 Plus Association, which again, bills itself as a seniors advocacy group, they took on a subject they want us to believe is near and dear to the hearts of seniors.

Back in 2003, it was the issue of nuclear waste, urging Congress to, quote, “move forward and approve the safe storage of nuclear fuel at Yucca Mountain.” Because seniors love nuclear waste being stored in Nevada. Old people love that.

5 From “High drug prices return as issue that stirs voters” by Thomas Edsall, originally published in the Washington Post:

In addition to lobbying, the drug industry spent more than $100 million in 1999 and 2000 to create a supposed grass-roots group called Citizens for Better Medicare. Led by PhRMA’s former marketing director, Tim Ryan, CBM flooded the airwaves with commercials accusing congressional Democrats of “playing politics” by backing legislation to reduce drug prices.

Also, the industry awarded unrestricted “educational grants” — declining to disclose the exact amounts — to two supportive groups, United Seniors and 60-Plus. In this election cycle, United Seniors has bought $12 million worth of ads, according to consultants working for the Democratic Party, while 60-Plus has spent $595,000 on radio ads in seven battleground congressional districts.

6 Family Tree Maker Site for Maurine Elizabeth Otis

7 Cancer Schmancer Foundation Charitable Solicitations Program Charity Profile Report

Mailing Address:
C/o Law Offices Of Maureen E. Otis PC
4850 Wright Road, Suite 168
STAFFORD TX 77477

Street Address:
C/o Grandparents.com
589 8th Ave, 6th Floor
NEW YORK NY 10018

The Cancer Schmancer website, prominently featuring Drescher is here.

8 Dress For Success Charitable Solicitations Program Charity Profile Report

Mailing Address:
C/o Law Offices Of Maureen E. Otis, P.C.
4850 Wright Road, Suite 168
STAFFORD TX 77477

Street Address:
32 East 31st Street
7th Floor
New York NY 10016

Purpose Description

The mission of Dress for Success is to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.

The filing for Dress for Success Worldwide in Texas, again by Otis, has Bobbi Brown as CEO and founder: Business Profiles.com: Dress For Success Worldwide

9 “National Women’s History Museum Makes Little Progress After 16 Years” by Andrea Stone and Christina Wilkie gives an excellent account of the museum’s troubles.

10 Ultimate Memorial, part of the Houston Chronicle:

Goh Conservative PAC – Louiepac, Inc., 4850 Wright Road Suite 168

11 Club for Growth Charitable Solicitations Program Charity Profile Report

Mailing Address:
C/o Law Offices Of Maureen E. Otis, P.C.
4850 Wright Road, Suite 168
STAFFORD TX 77477

Street Address:
2001 L Street NW
Suite 600
WASHINGTON DC 20036

12 Richard Norman Company Charitable Solicitations Program Charity Profile Report

Mailing Address:
c/o Maureen Otis
4850 Wright Road, Suite 168
STAFFORD TX 77477

Street Address:
Two Riverbend
44084 Riverside Parkway, Ste 350
LANSDOWNE VA 20176

13 Jewish Voice Ministries International Charitable Solicitations Program Charity Profile Report

Mailing Address:
C/o Law Offices Of Maureen E. Otis, PC
4850 Wright Rd, Suite 168
STAFFORD TX 77477

Street Address:
10850 N 24th Ave
PHOENIX AZ 85029

Purpose Description

Jewish Voice Ministries International is dedicated to bringing the Gospel to the Jew first and also to the Gentile throughout the world. The Good News is proclaimed through television, radio and large scale Messianic Outreach Festivals. This is followed up by planting new and strengthening existing congregations to nurture and disciple new believers. We also partner with other ministries to establish and operate Messianic Bible Schools to train leadership for Jewish Ministries.

14 Corrie Ten Boom Charitable Solicitations Program Charity Profile Report

Other Names Used

Christian Women of the Year
Jerusalem Prayer Team
Save Jerusalem

Mailing Address:
C/O Law Offices Of Maureen E. Otis, P.C.
4850 Wright Road, Suite 168
STAFFORD TX 77477

Street Address:
1527 W. State Hwy 114,
Suite 500
GRAPEVINE TX 76051

The founder of the Jerusalem Prayer team, Michael Evans, is a prominent christian zionist known for taking a hardline stance on middle east issues. From “How Israeli PM wooed, and lost, Christian dollars”, by Adam Entous and Ari Rabinovitch, in Reuters:

[Ehud] Olmert [former prime minister of Israel] was long a familiar speaker on the U.S. fundraising lunch and dinner circuit. Public records show that, for example, he attended a series of three meetings in churches organised by a group known as the Jerusalem Prayer Team, whose founder Mike Evans’s stated mission is “to protect the Jewish people … until Israel is secure and the redeemer comes to Zion”.

From 2002 to 2004, church fundraisers organised by the Jerusalem Prayer Team, including the one in Dallas, raised $239,300 for the New Jerusalem Foundation. NJF records say it spent its money on parks, charity meals and other programmes.

In January, Evans made clear his view of Annapolis [the Annapolis peace talks between Olmert and the palestinian leadership]: “I was completely outraged when I heard that Ehud Olmert, whom I have known for 26 years, stood next to President Bush and declared that he would work to fulfill the final status solution.

“This means the division of Jerusalem,” he wrote on his Web site. “I will do everything in my power to resist that.”

15 Policy Issues Institute Charitable Solicitations Program Charity Profile Report

Other Names Used

Impeach Obama Campaign
United States Investigative Unit
US Health Congress
White House Watch, The

Mailing Address:
C/o Law Offices Of Maureen E. Otis, PC
4850 Wright Road, Suite 168
STAFFORD TX 77477

Street Address:
30011 Ivy Glenn Dr
Ste 223
LAGUNA NIGUEL CA 92677

This is the office address of James Lacy.

16 Christian Research Institute, Inc. Charitable Solicitations Program Charity Profile Report

Mailing Address:
C/O Maureen E.Otis, P.C.
4850 Wright Road, Suite 168
STAFFORD TX 77477

Street Address:
6295 Blakeney Park Drive
CHARLOTTE NC 28277-7007

A description of the Christian Research Institute can be found at wikipedia:

The establishment of CRI in 1960 is closely linked to Walter Martin. It represents one of the pioneering organizations in what is called the Christian countercult movement, but also relates to the wider history of Evangelical Christian apologetics in the mid-Twentieth century.

The christian countercult movement is described in this wikipedia entry:

The Christian countercult movement is a social movement of Christian ministries and individual Christian countercult activists who oppose religious sects thought to either partially abide or do not at all abide by the teachings that are written within the Bible. These religious sects are also known among Christians as cults. They are also known as discernment ministries.

17 From National Vaccine Information Center Charitable Solicitations Program Charity Profile Report:

Mailing Address:
C/o Law Offices Of Maureen E. Otis, P.C.
4850 Wright Road, Suite 168
STAFFORD TX 77477

Street Address:
407 Church Street
Suite H
VIENNA VA 22180

The National Vaccination Information Center is described in “The ad that could help fuel a health crisis”, from Salon, by Rahul Parikh:

Among other things, the founders of NVIC seem to suggest vaccines are toxic, full of ingredients that will harm your child, none of which has ever proved to do so. Founded in the 1980s, NVIC is the granddaddy of anti-vaccine groups (though they go to great lengths to claim they are not). In the words of Michael Specter, journalist and author of “Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet and Threatens our Lives,” NVIC is “the most powerful anti-vaccine organization in America, and its relationship with the U.S. government consists almost entirely of opposing federal efforts aimed at vaccinating children.” Taking what NVIC says about vaccines at face value is akin to believing Joe Camel when he tells you that smoking doesn’t cause lung cancer. The ad was created in conjunction with mercola.com, the website of Dr. Joseph Mercola, another anti-vaccinationist who espouses other out-of-step ideas. For more details see his blog on – where else – the Huffington Post.

The NVIC is also mentioned in “Swine Flu Revives Debate About Vaccines” by Jennifer Steinhauer.

18 A good introduction to this group might be “What the heck was that population stabilization ad in last night’s debate all about?” at Talking Points Memo.

19 Bizapedia entry for The Society for Truth and Justice; Find the Data entry for Patriot PAC and Campaignmoney.com information on Patriot PAC.

20 A good introduction to True the Vote can be found in “Who Created the Voter Fraud Myth?” by Jane Mayer.

21 A report on True the Vote activities can be found at ABC News, with their report, “Is True the Vote Intimidating Minority Voters From Going to the Polls?”; the rejection of True the Vote as poll-watchers in Franklin County, Ohio can be found in “Tea party-linked poll watchers rejected in Ohio county”:

“The Franklin County Board of Elections did not allow Election Day polling location observer appointments filed by the True the Vote group,” said board spokesman Ben Pisctelli in a statement. “The appointments were not properly filed and our voting location managers were instructed not to honor any appointment on behalf of the True the Vote group.”

There were charges yesterday that the candidates’ names had either been falsified or merely copied on forms requesting observer status for the True the Vote at several Franklin County polling places. Many are in predominantly African American neighborhoods.

Elections Director William A. Anthony Jr. said the group may be investigated for possibly falsifying documents after today’s election. The forms themselves warn that elections falsification is a fifth-degree felony.

22 From “True the Vote observers barred from Franklin County polling places”:

One person told the elections board that she attended True the Vote training sessions and the observers were instructed to use cameras to intimidate voters when they enter the polling place, record their names on tablet computers and send them to a central location, and attempt to stop questionably qualified voters before they could get to a voting machine.

23 From the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Ruckus on the Right”:

[Jim] Gilchrist and [Chris] Simcox publicly battled for control and camera time during the original Minuteman Project, when Simcox’s high-handed leadership style earned him the sarcastic sobriquet, “The Little Prince.” But following the conclusion of the month-long “citizens border patrol” operation in Arizona last April, the co-founders appeared to arrange an amicable parting and division of the public relations spoils. Gilchrist kept the Minuteman Project name and announced he was handing over “border watch” operations to Simcox, who would manage them as president of a new group, Minuteman Civil Defense Corps.

24 From the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Ruckus on the Right”:

The pivot point on which [Chris] Simcox’s own kind turned against him is his refusal to account for the $1.6 to $1.8 million in private donations he estimates MCDC raised, including $600,000 for the “Minuteman Border Fence,” — a slick fundraising campaign with a stated goal of $55 million. Simcox pledged the money raised by the campaign would go to build a high-tech security barrier along 70 miles of private ranchland on the Arizona border. Mass-mailed MCDC solicitations and full-page color advertisements in The Washington Times since mid-April promoted the Minuteman Border Fence as an “Israeli-style” barrier “based on the fences used in Gaza and the West Bank.” Fundraising illustrations depict a 6-foot trench and coils of concertina wire backed by a 15-foot steel-mesh fence crowned with bulletproof security cameras. Estimated cost: $150 per foot.

Construction began Memorial Day weekend with much fanfare. Since then, MCDC volunteers erected just over two miles of five-strand barbed wire attached to short metal posts. What they built is a standard cattle fence, costing about $1.50 per foot, or about one one-hundredth the cost of the advertised “Israeli-style” barrier.

So far, in other words, the Minuteman Border Fence hasn’t come to much. “It wouldn’t stop a tricycle,” American Border Patrol’s Glenn Spencer posted in a recent online tirade

25 From “Ruckus on the Right”:

At press time, the MCDC had yet to begin constructing the “Israeli-style” fence. Also, [Chris] Simcox has denied all requests by current and former MCDC members and donors as well as journalists to release any MCDC financial records. He will not say where the money is, how much has been spent, or for what, and he lashes out at anyone inside or outside his organization who dares question his honesty or authority. Gary Cole, the MCDC’s former national director of operations, said he was fired last summer for “asking too many questions about the money.”

26 From “Ruckus on the Right”:

In his late July statement, released the same week as The Washington Times story, Simcox claimed “all donations which have been received have been recorded, processed, and banked by a highly reputable and responsible caging company which specializes in nonprofit accountability. Funds are safely and appropriately held in a secured bank account, overseen by a certified public accountant and a lawyer, disbursed by an authorized escrow agent only against approved, invoiced expenses.”

The “highly reputable and responsible” accounting company hired by MCDC to oversee donations is Houston-based American Caging, Inc. Maureen Otis, president of American Caging, released a statement confirming “since the day MCDC was incorporated, my company has acted as the comptroller and escrow agent for MCDC.”

27 From “Border group’s finances a secret” by the Washington Times:

A Texas firm that manages hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations to the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps says it has not been authorized to divulge a detailed accounting of the funds, despite assurances by the MCDC’s top official that it would do so.

Maureen E. Otis — president of American Caging Inc. in Stafford, Texas, an agency hired to collect, deposit and disburse donations to the civilian border-patrol group — told The Washington Times that neither MCDC President Chris Simcox nor the group’s board of directors had given her permission to “disclose any numbers.”

28 Alan Keyes and the Minutemen Morass from the Non-Profit Quarterly:

MCDC, for example, lists one Maureen Otis as its board secretary. Otis is president of a firm called American Caging, sharing MCDC’s address (from its 990), and MCDC paid American Caging $15,202 for “caging fees.”

29 Alan Keyes and the Minutemen Morass from the Non-Profit Quarterly:

Apparently, the Declaration Alliance has been a funnel for resources going to MCDC. The most recent 990 of the Alliance, for example, reports $739,353 in “program services expenditures” in support of MCDC, plus a direct contribution to MCDC of another $112,500. The Web site of MCDC claims that it is a project of the Declaration Alliance, and the first and last MCDC 990 reports $418,493 in revenue (almost $1.2 million less than Simcox’s public estimate of the public support his organization had received), including the Declaration Alliance’s $112,500, but the 990 made no reference to the Declaration Alliance’s other programmatic involvement or its expenditures on behalf of the Minuteman project.

While the Declaration Alliance is a “civic public policy and issues advocacy organization that aggressively defends the Founding principles of the American Republic,” its Web site appears to be more like an Alan Keyes presidential campaign arm. The heading at the top of the page is a link to “Alan Keyes on the 2008 Election,” which redirects to the site of a group called Renew America, another tax-exempt entity founded by Keyes. The Renew America Web site leads with a link to a group called “We Need Alan Keyes for President,” which calls itself a PAC. The Declaration Alliance Web site also devotes a page to Keyes’s share of the vote in the 2000 Republican primaries.

30 From “Ruckus on the Right”:

This omission of design specifics may have been the product of advice [Chris] Simcox received from Diener Consultants, one of the country’s largest right-wing political consulting and fundraising machines. At around the same time Simcox broke off from Gilchrist to form MCDC, he contracted with Diener, which is based in Chicago and led by Phillip Sheldon, son of Traditional Values Coalition founder and vitriolic gay-basher Rev. Louis Sheldon.

From “Border group’s finances a secret” by the Washington Times:

American Caging also handles other clients aligned with MCDC, Mr. Keyes and the Alliance organizations, including Diener Consulting Inc., which serves as the Minuteman group’s public-relations arm, as it did in Mr. Keyes’ unsuccessful presidential and senatorial campaigns; and Renew America, a fundraising organization founded by Mr. Keyes that provides a link for donations to MCDC through Declaration Alliance.

31 From “Ruckus on the Right”:

The younger Sheldon is known for brokering the ghoulish deal in which Response Unlimited, a direct-mail marketing firm, obtained a list of donors to Terry Schiavo’s legal fund from the brain-dead woman’s parents several days before her death in March 2005. Earlier this year, Response Unlimited — “the nation’s best and most comprehensive source of mailing lists for conservative and Christian mailers and telemarketers” — began offering for sale a list of 61,000 Minuteman Civil Defense Corps donors at a price of $120 per thousand names.

32 From “Border group’s finances a secret” by the Washington Times:

Other American Caging clients include Response Unlimited, which makes mailing lists — including the MCDC membership — available to conservative mailers and telemarketers and has an “exclusive contract” with Declaration Foundation; and RightMarch.com, which raised $500,000 for Mr. [Alan] Keyes’ 2004 senatorial campaign and helps raise Minuteman donations through a link on its Web page to Declaration Alliance.

33 From “Ruckus on the Right”:

The “highly reputable and responsible” accounting company hired by MCDC to oversee donations is Houston-based American Caging, Inc. Maureen Otis, president of American Caging, released a statement confirming “since the day MCDC was incorporated, my company has acted as the comptroller and escrow agent for MCDC.” But that may do little to alleviate the concerns of MCDC donors, since American Caging apparently has some trouble keeping its own books in order. The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts office lists the status of American Caging Inc. as “not in good standing” because it “has not satisfied all state tax requirements.”

34 The details involving this split, including the presence of Otis, have almost entirely disappeared from national consciousness six years later. An interview with Gilchrist by Conor Friedersdorf does not bring up Simcox or Otis, and Gilchrist does not bring it up either, at least not explicitly, though he may making implicit reference in his last answer in the published interview. From “Friday Interview: What the Minuteman Project Taught Its Founder”:

Friedersdorf:

What if someone came to you and said, Mr. Gilchrist, I’m starting a grassroots effort on behalf of a cause that’s dear to me. Do you have any advice?

Gilchrist:

Be extremely careful of volunteers who say they want to help you because they’re passionate about your cause. Especially if there is fundraising involved. What I have found is that the same persons will attempt to steal your organization to get access to your money. I’m told that’s commonplace in a lot of activist groups. And be wary of some extremists trying to infiltrate the organization to exploit it for their own philosophical advantage, and ultimately destroying it.

Another group… had a rebellion in its ranks due to the fact that the fundraising company it was using was keeping all the money and not using it to bring people to the border. I think they made about $10 million over three or four years. Apparently not a penny of it got to people on the border. There are various reasons for people to get involved in activism. This is not just the immigration issue. It could be the abortion issue, the religious issue, whatever. Number one, the fundraisers want to make money off it, it’s not about the issue to them. It’s really about making money.

Gilchrist would be fired by his own Minuteman project in 2007, with the issue again missing funds; this episode in described in the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Jim Gilchrist Fired By Minuteman Project” by David Holt:

The Minuteman Project, one of the country’s largest, richest and most influential nativist extremist groups, is in a state of crisis.

Its founder, Jim Gilchrist, was fired in February by members of the group’s board of directors amidst swirling allegations of embezzlement, gross mismanagement and fraud.

35 From the Chicago Tribune, “The business of influence in Washington”:

[Charles] Jarvis took USA Next to a different level when he assumed control in 2001. The board was stocked with influential Republican lobbyists and consultants with strong ties to the GOP congressional leadership and the White House.

A former aide to Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) who also served in the Reagan and Bush administrations, Jarvis was well-positioned for his organization to benefit from Republican control in Washington.

From Talking Points Memo:

You can pick up the story on the United Seniors money mill from this July 2003 consumer bulletin from, of all places, the dreaded AARP.

One thing we learn from the AARP bulletin is that they apparently picked up USANext chief Charlie Jarvis from that notorious Spongebob-basher radical cleric James Dobson. Before he got the USANext gig, Jarvis was an executive vice president of Dobson’s group Focus on the Family.

36 From the Chicago Tribune, “The business of influence in Washington” by Michael Tackett:

United Seniors, the name by which USA Next is formally incorporated in Virginia, was started in 1991 by Richard Viguerie, a longtime conservative and direct-mail specialist.

In its first 10 years, United Seniors was a modest force at most, taking in $8 million to $11 million and spending nearly 50 percent of contributions on fundraising. It relied heavily on direct-mail solicitation of members and whatever larger donations it could attract, and it operated for most of its existence at a deficit.

37 From the Chicago Tribune, “The business of influence in Washington” by Michael Tackett:

In fiscal year 2001, records show, PhRMA gave United Seniors $1.5 million, 100 times the amount it had given the previous year. Pfizer gave $25,000 in each of those two years. PhRMA does not dispute the accuracy of the records.

In the next two years, just as Congress and the White House worked out details for a prescription drug benefit for Medicare, United Seniors received $24.8 million from a single source, records show. A redacted copy of the tax filing obscures the name of the donor, other than the first letter, “P,” in 2003. A $20.1 million donation was reported in 2002 from a single source, but that donor’s name is completely blacked out.

Asked whether PhRMA was the donor, Ken Johnson, a spokesman for the trade group, said, “I’m not confirming it or denying it.”

38 From “Bush’s Secret Stash” by Nicholas Confessore, in the Washington Monthly:

Then there’s the benignly-named United Seniors Association (USA), which serves as a soft-money slush fund for a single GOP-friendly industry: pharmaceuticals. USA claims a nationwide network of more than one million activists, but, just like Progress for America, listed zero income from membership dues in its most recent available tax return.

39 From “Bush’s Secret Stash” by Nicholas Confessore, in the Washington Monthly:

During the 2002 elections, with an “unrestricted educational grant” from the drug industry burning a hole in its pocket, the group [United Seniors Association, or USA Next] spent roughly $14 million–the lion’s share of its budget–on ads defending Republican members of Congress for their votes on a Medicare prescription-drug bill.

40 From “The business of influence in Washington” by Michael Tackett:

Now the group [United Seniors Association, or USA Next] has clawed its way into the Social Security debate with AARP as the primary adversary. To make its case, [Charles] Jarvis has adopted the scorching tactics of negative campaign advertising and employed some of the best practitioners of political dark arts to do it.

His group has benefited from donations and consultant work from operatives and donors associated with the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth campaign against Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry.

“I’m trying to kill, destroy the bad public policy of AARP,” Jarvis said.

41 From Talking Points Memo (though some of the links for this seven year old post are broken, I have included them anyway):

Hmmm … So is USANext, aka United Seniors Association, aka Americans Lobbying Against Rationing of Medical Care, USA, really just a Republican party front operation operating at the behest of Karl Rove?

Well, let’s see.

BBB Wise Giving Alliance, a rating and reporting bureau for public charities and nonprofits, notes that one of United Seniors Association’s (USA) “affiliates” is O’Neill Marketing Company (OMC).

Apparently, it’s a very tight affiliation since both are located at 3900 Jermantown Road, Suite 450. (USA lists Suite 450; OMC lists 450A).

42 From “The business of influence in Washington” by Michael Tackett:

For [Charles] Jarvis, it is a convenient convergence. “I’m very aggressively pro-free-market solutions,” he said in an interview at the group’s office just off Capitol Hill. “I am very aggressively finding people who agreed with our rock `n’ roll free-market approach.”

43 From “The business of influence in Washington” by Michael Tackett:

United Seniors has shown lethal capacity. But its most notorious effort–an ad that showed two photos, one of two men kissing and the other of a soldier, with the not-so-subtle message that AARP supported the gay couple and not the soldier–may also be one that costs it dearly.

The couple in the photo recently sued USA Next and a subcontractor for $25 million, alleging defamation.

44 From “The business of influence in Washington” by Michael Tackett:

The couple in the photo recently sued USA Next and a subcontractor for $25 million, alleging defamation. Jarvis said his only regret is that his subcontractor didn’t get a proper commercial release of the couple’s photo.

45 The Susan Faludi piece, “American Electra: Feminism’s Ritual Matricide” can be found in pdf format on the author’s site; it provides an in-depth examination of the struggle between an older leadership and younger feminists, providing the fascinating context of a century old tension between women of different ages, going back to the division between suffragettes and flappers, the struggle always having the persistent undertone of a fight between mothers and daughters; a short piece on Shelly Mandell introducing Sarah Palin in 2008 can be found at Jezebel: “NOW L.A. President Shelly Mandell Endorses McCain/Palin”.

46 Doug LaFollette, of course, ran unsuccessfully for governor against Scott Walker in the 2012 recall election; that he would be helpful to anti-immigrant forces in a takeover does not imply that he was a knowing participant – it might have been expected, for instance, that he would vote favourably for proposals that ostensibly dealt with the issues of finite resources and an ever expanding population, but were in fact anti-immigrant. This ruckus was brought up when LaFollette ran again in 2006 for secretary of state: “Sierra Club dust-up draws fresh flak” by Bill Lueders. A good overview of the other candidates can be found at “Hostile Takeover: Race, Immigration and the Sierra Club” by the Center for New Community. An article written at the time on the possible takeover of the Sierra Club is “Immigration dispute spawns factions, anger in Sierra Club” in The Seattle Times by Florangela Davila.

47 “John Tanton’s Private Papers Expose More Than 20 Years of Hate” goes into the depth of Tanton’s racist ideas, and “John Tanton’s Network” lists the groups associated with Tanton; both are at Southern Poverty Law Center. The Sierra Club’s election results from 1998 to 2012, showing the gains of the anti-immigrant faction and their eventual defeat can be found in pdf form at their site.

48 From a Reason magazine interview with Roger Stone:

QUESTION:

Should the libertarian party continue to exist?

STONE:

Well, as one who, I think, either helped kill, or killed the Reform party, because I believe they cost us the White House in 1992 and 1996…their lack of any ideology at all…it was a hodgepodge of vegetarians, goldbugs, and a few libertarians, and gun people, and gun control people, there was no consistency there other than people who couldn’t make it in any other party.

49 “The Sex Scandal That Put Bush in the White House” by Wayne Barrett explores the strange and labyrinthine sex scandal involving Pat Buchanan and the reform party. Barrett’s “Sleeping with the GOP: A Bush Covert Operative Takes Over Al Sharpton’s Campaign” is the definitive piece on the strange alliance of Sharpton and Stone. I also heartily recommend Barrett’s other excellent work on Roger Stone, “Carl Paladino: The Dirty Details in His Campaign Filings” and “The (Roger) Stone Around Carl Paladino’s Neck”.

The opening sentence of “Sleeping with the GOP”:

Roger Stone, the longtime Republican dirty-tricks operative who led the mob that shut down the Miami-Dade County recount and helped make George W. Bush president in 2000, is financing, staffing, and orchestrating the presidential campaign of Reverend Al Sharpton.

On Sharpton’s attacks on the front-runner, designed by Stone himself:

While Bush forces like the Club for Growth were buying ads in Iowa assailing then front-runner Howard Dean, Sharpton took center stage at a debate confronting Dean about the absence of blacks in his Vermont cabinet. Stone told the Times that he “helped set the tone and direction” of the Dean attacks, while Charles Halloran, the Sharpton campaign manager installed by Stone, supplied the research. While other Democratic opponents were also attacking Dean, none did it on the advice of a consultant who’s worked in every GOP presidential campaign since his involvement in the Watergate scandals of 1972, including all of the Bush family campaigns.

Halloran works for free on the Sharpton campaign, just as Stone did for Johnson:

Halloran is a capable operative who claims he did advance work in the first Clinton campaign, and that he worked as a consultant in a statewide Democratic race in Georgia and as a volunteer for Al Gore during the recount battle. He has become so close to Stone over the last two years, however, that he stays at Stone’s 40 Central Park South apartment when he’s in New York working for Sharpton. Halloran and his wife celebrated Stone’s 50th birthday with him and his wife last year, and the two operatives talk virtually every day. By his own account, Halloran made so much money in the Golisano and Bermuda campaigns, he has so far worked for Sharpton since September 4 without receiving a single cent in pay.

The Golisano and Bermuda campaigns Halloran was involved in are described briefly:

Halloran was busy anyway with another Stone- arranged assignment-running the parliamentary campaign for the United Bermuda Party, ironically the white-led party seeking to unseat the island’s first black government. Halloran had also managed a Stone-run campaign in New York in 2002, spending nearly $65 million of billionaire Tom Golisano’s money and getting the Independence Party candidate a mere 14 percent of the vote in the gubernatorial race. Stone, whose firm represented the prior Bermuda government, did initial work in the 2003 race there and left, recommending Halloran.

On a possible future attempt to use Sharpton not simply to depress turn-out, but to split the vote:

Stone, whose Miami mob even jostled a visiting Sharpton during the recount, said recently in The American Spectator that if Sharpton were to run “as an independent” in the 2006 Hillary Clinton race, she would be “sunk,” implicitly suggesting that this operation may be a precursor to another Stone-Sharpton mission.

On the Sharpton campaign as part of a larger Bush strategy:

The Washington Post recently reported that the Bush campaign was planning a special advertising campaign targeting black voters, seeking as much as a quarter of the vote, and any Sharpton-connected outrage against the party could either lower black turnout in several key close states, or move votes to Bush. Both were widely reported as the consequences of Sharpton’s anti-Green rhetoric in 2001, [Mark Green, democratic candidate for New York City mayor, beat Fernando Ferrer, the Sharpton backed candidate in a bitter primary race]a result Sharpton celebrated both in his book and at a Bronx victory party on election night.

The attempt by the Sharpton campaign to qualify for matching funds by getting donations from at least twenty states, is notable for the presence of one figure. I bold the significant name:

In fact, the treasurer of the Klayman campaign, Paul Jensen, a top Bush administration transportation official, joined his wife, Pamela, in making $250 donations on December 30 to Sharpton, helping get him over the threshold in a third state. Jensen contributed to Sharpton, who favors a federal law certifying civil unions for homosexuals, even though the lawyer has filed suits in 16 states seeking to defrock Presbyterian ministers who’ve “violated their vows” by ordaining gays.

Jensen shows up again this year as Johnson’s attorney, sueing the FEC for not granting sufficient matching funds. From “Gary Johnson sues FEC for $750k” by Marc Caputo:

Johnson claims that, as a minor-party candidate, he’s entitled to a set amount of funds that are supposed to be distributed by the commission. The amount is set forth in a complicated federal formula that awards public funds to parties based on their candidates’ prior performances in other elections.

The federal law suggests in one place that a candidate such as Johnson “is eligible to receive pre-election payments” only if his party “received at least 5% but less than 25% of the total popular vote” in the prior election. But Johnson’s attorney, Paul Rolf Jensen said that 5 percent threshold doesn’t apply.

Total owed: $747,115.34, Johnson’s suit says.

A brief profile of Jensen, when he was in the news for defending a soldier who refused to follow orders because he did not believe the president was born in the United States, is “Attorney For Birther Army Doc Is Former GOP Staffer And Anti-Gay Crusader” by Justin Elliott.

Another piece, citing Barrett’s excellent work, which re-inforces the idea of Sharpton as a chess piece of a larger game is Joe Conason’s “A GOP trickster rents Al Sharpton “:

To anyone familiar with the buccaneering careers of Al Sharpton and Roger Stone, their convergence in the 2004 presidential campaign is not quite as “unlikely” as the New York Times suggested in a headline last week. Indeed, the alliance between the conservative consultant and the pompadoured preacher makes perfect sense.

Whatever excuse each man offers to justify their embarrassing embrace, Stone certainly serves the Republican party by sustaining and promoting Sharpton. Ever since the reverend announced his candidacy, right-leaning commentators have gleefully predicted that he will pose “a major threat” to the Democrats in 2004.

50 The Libertas Institute web site.

51 The examples of the strangely non-libertarian foreign policy of Gary Johnson are brought up in this blog’s “Conor Friedersdorf: An Almost Irrelevant Man”.

52 One might see evidence of this design in the answers Stone gave in a far too deferential sketch by Mark Warren, “Roger Stone to GOP: Payback’s a Bitch”; my bolds:

[Roger Stone:] “Johnson is polling at 9 percent in Arizona [according to PPP], and it’s all gonna come out of Romney’s hide, and he’s at 6 percent in Wisconsin (according to the Reason poll), which is all out of Obama’s hide. I am helping Gary figure out where to put his emphasis.

We may also see this as the motivation behind Stone’s criticism that Obama did not go far enough in his statements on gay marriage, quoted in a piece by Michael Musto, “Obama Actually Betrayed The Gay Marriage Cause”

That’s what one writer says.

Before you start screaming “foul” en route to resuming your gay-victory celebration, kindly check out the article by Roger Stone.

It makes some points.

“Once Gay Americans are through celebrating President Barack Obama’s ‘personal’ support of Gay marriage equality, they will learn that Obama’s ‘evolution’ changes nothing. Obama’s new position is a bullshit cop-out.

“This comes on the heels of a cynical Obama campaign pirouette where Team Obama trotted out first Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, then Vice President ‘Crazy’ Joe Biden to say they support gay marriage and imply that the President would too–after the election.

“Now, incredibly, Obama says Gay marriage is a state issue. That’s what they used to say about abortion and before that, slavery. Now the President says he believes that gay couples should be able to marry but he doesn’t believe they have a right to do so. Obama would leave the question to the states–in other words–the status quo. This is like saying that public schools ought to be integrated but if the people of Mississippi disagree, well it’s up to them.

“If Obama believes that marriage equality is a constitutionally guaranteed civil right, as former Governor Gary Johnson does, than it can’t be abridged by the states. Forty-four states currently ban gay marriage. Under Obama millions of Americans in most states will continue be denied the right to marry the person of their choice.”

“Barack Obama is playing a cruel and cynical game with peoples lives and happiness. He did nothing to establish that gay marriage is a right yesterday.”

Given how starry eyed Musto has gotten over this pronouncement, it might behoove readers to look at the other side of the balance: that Stone worked as a consultant for the anti-gay fanatic Larry Klayman in his Senate campaign, and that Stone’s close associate is Paul Jensen, who filed suit to defrock presbyterian ministers who’ve been so audacious as to ordain gays, mentioned by Musto’s Village colleague, and definitive Roger Stone chronicler, Wayne Barrett, in “Sleeping with the GOP: A Bush Covert Operative Takes Over Al Sharpton’s Campaign”. If that is not a cruel and cynical game to play with people’s lives and happiness, as well as a rankly hypocritical one, what isn’t?

53 In “Complaint filed with FEC questions Johnson campaign’s use of funds” by Maggie Haberman, the retiring of primary debt is dealt with in one sentence, “Others have raised issues about exactly how Johnson has paid off debt from when he ran for president as a Republican in the primary.”

On the FEC complaint, again from Haberman’s “Complaint”:

A Washington man who’s worked in Republican politics has filed a notarized complaint with the FEC about Libertarian presidential hopeful Gary Johnson’s campaign and the way his consultants have reported expenditures, raising questions about how huge chunks of the campaign’s coffers went to a single entity.

The complaint, viewable here, was filed by Addison Smith, a Republican who was part of the George W. Bush reelection effort in 2004, according to his bio, and is currently a VP at Sphere Consulting.

In addition to the fact that the expenditures aren’t labeled as primary or general election, there are major sums – in some cases as much as 120 percent, when debt is factored in – going to a single entity called Political Advisors, based in Utah. It’s listed in the filings as for a wide variety of things like media buys.

But it’s not clear from the filings exactly what the money was used for, as the FEC demands. For instance, things like campaign travel are lumped in as the same activities as media buys.

Asked to comment on the subtance of the FEC complaint, Johnson campaign counsel Alicia Dearn responded in an email suggesting a political conspiracy.

Dearn did not respond to the questions in the complaint about why the payments were conducted that way – including why debt was suddenly reported in the latest filing.

54 “Johnson Allies Reject Spending Charges” by Rosie Gray:

With just a few weeks before election day and his campaign making no significant progress, an email has begun circulating in libertarian circles accusing campaign manager Ronald Nielson of syphoning nearly 90% of the campaign’s $2 million to his consulting firm and charges Johnson has not paid for any radio or TV ads, direct mail or paid staff.

But the email’s claims are dubious: according to the campaign Johnson has several paid staffers and the campaign has distributed 60,000 yard signs, 165,000 bumper stickers, 670,000 brochures and flyers, and has aired almost 1,000 radio spots. The campaign has also been regularly sending out direct mail to voters and routinely organizes campaign events.

The email, which is signed by an apparently fictional person named Eric Stevens of Twinsburg, Ohio, also implicates Roger Stone, the longtime operative who became an advisor for Johnson earlier this year.

Still, the email does generally point to the fact that much of Johnson’s expenditures are in fact going to firms that appear to be connected to his aides.

According to Federal Election Commission reports, a large portion of the campaign’s disbursements went to “Political Advisors” or “Politcal [sic] Advisors,” with the address of 781 East South Temple Street in Salt Lake City.

No businesses are listed at 781 – but 731 East South Temple Street is the address of the Johnson campaign, according to its website, and also the address of Nielson’s communications firm. A call to the number listed for the building led to a voicemail for Natalie Dicou, a Johnson and Libertarian Party spokeswoman.

The September monthly report, for example, lists “Politcal [sic] Advisors” as receiving $229,563.42, by far the biggest expense that month. In the reports, the Political Advisors expenses are for “Media Buys. Candidate Travel and Advisory Services.” The report doesn’t itemize specific vendors for these services.

55 From “Complaint filed with FEC questions Johnson campaign’s use of funds” by Maggie Haberman:

The complaint, viewable here, was filed by Addison Smith, a Republican who was part of the George W. Bush reelection effort in 2004, according to his bio, and is currently a VP at Sphere Consulting.

Smith declined to comment on why he did the filing when I reached him by phone. A source familiar with the effort said it arose from an exercise with intern training, and Johnson’s filings were used as an example – and they were surprised by what they saw.

Smith doesn’t work for a political campaign and is non-active this cycle, a source close to him said. His firm is represented by Patton Boggs, which employs Mitt Romney’s veteran campaign counsel, Ben Ginsberg, who is an alum of many national efforts, including both the Bush election in 2000 and the reelect. Romney aides said the complaint has nothing to do with them.

56 From “Spoiler Alert! G.O.P. Fighting Libertarian’s Spot on the Ballot” by Jim Rutenberg:

Mr. Stone says he has become so frustrated with the party’s attempts to shut down Mr. Johnson, whom he says he is advising at no charge, that he vowed in an e-mail last month, “Republican blood will run in the streets b4 I am done.”

“Johnson Allies Reject Spending Charges” by Rosie Gray:

Stone, a lifelong Republican, changed his affiliation to Libertarian in February 2012. He became involved with the Johnson campaign in March to help Johnson get federal matching funds, telling BuzzFeed at the time that he was a volunteer.

57 From “Carl Paladino: The Dirty Details in His Campaign Filings” by Wayne Barrett:

*Two companies controlled by Stone’s secretary Dianne Thorne, and registered out of her Miami apartment, have received a total of $84,320 so far from the campaign. The payments started in March, shortly after the campaign also made the first of $17,000 in payments to Thorne’s stepson, Andrew Miller, who listed a St. Peters, Missouri address. Miller was confounded when the Times told him he’d actually appeared on the payroll for four months longer than he was aware. Thorne, down on the beach, was described as Paladino’s “scheduler.” She actually once had a company registered out of the same address called Hype LLC.

*Caputo himself was paid $407,190 in the first six months of the campaign, a remarkable sum for a hired mouth, suggesting that he gets expletive bonuses. Since Stone recommended his former driver Caputo to Paladino, and Caputo and Stone have worked together on and off since the mid-90s (when Caputo handled the press response to Roger’s group-sex scandal), this largesse may not belong exclusively to the lien-laden Caputo. In any event, it was paid to Caputo Public Relations at an East Aurora address, a village near Buffalo. No such company is incorporated in the state, according to the secretary of state’s office. Caputo’s firm does have a website, listed at the address of Caputo’s father’s insurance company, as well as a Florida location. But Florida officials tell the Voice that the state dissolved the company on September 25, 2009 for failing to meet registration requirements. Even junkyards incorporate a petty legal requirement with large tax implications.

*These are hardly the only avenues available to Stone if he was seeking to supplement his charitable good works on Paladino’s behalf. The campaign has adopted the extraordinary new tactic of making major payments to a Paladino family real estate company, which, in turn, pays the wages of unnamed campaign workers. So far, it has hidden $62,278 in payments to this invisible staff, an apparent violation of state laws requiring the actual identities of people paid to work in campaigns. Paladino has also formed his own advertising firm for this campaign, Ellicott Advertising, which was paid $1.8 million by the campaign to do TV and radio ads. These insider deals make it all the easier to conceal Roger rewards.

*Stone simply moved his traveling troupe of “misfits,” as Caputo himself characterized the Paladino crew in an Observer piece, from a 2009 losing effort last November in Ohio. Stone was in Ohio as the “strategic consultant” to an anti-casino campaign, trying to defeat a referendum legalizing casinos in four cities. Having made a fortune in the Indian gaming business, Stone also opposes casinos when a casino interest pays him to, and that’s precisely what he was doing in Ohio. Stone, his onetime top client Donald Trump, and a third party were hit with a record $250,000 fine by the New York lobbying commission in 2000 over their similar effort to kill New York casinos that might compete with Trump’s Atlantic City empire.

58 From “Carl Paladino: The Dirty Details in His Campaign Filings” by Wayne Barrett:

[Larry] Klayman soon discovered that Stone was barely tending to business. He found him “sitting in an outdoor café salivating at the cavalcade of bodies, both male and female, marching up and down Lincoln Road” or in New York, “allegedly attending to his sick father.” By the time Stone and Klayman parted company that fall, “I had a campaign debt of several hundred thousand dollars, much of it on my own lines of credit.”

59 She is listed as media contact on a lot of Gary Johnson materials, such as this announcement, “Libertarian Vp Candidate Judge Jim Gray Calls Vp Debate “Animated Agreement”:

Judge Gray is available for interviews. To schedule, please contact Dianne Thorne, [etc.]

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