Tag Archives: Charlie Black

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

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 SEVEN: MY LOVELY ASSISTANTS / LICENSE TO ILL PART II / MIRROR MAZE

After the miserable loss of Paladino in the governor’s race, there was an unhappy division between him and his staff. Wayne Barrett’s “Carl Paladino: The Dirty Details in His Campaign Filings” would detail the payouts, sometimes surprisingly large, to some of Stone’s associates. Two of Dianne Thorne’s companies, D. J. Thorne Inc. and Sea-Odyssey Group LLC, would receive over $84,000. Thorne was the scheduler for the New York candidate, though she worked throughout the campaign from a Miami Beach suite. Andrew Miller, her stepson who worked as Kristin Davis’s campaign manager, would be paid nearly $17000 by the Paladino campaign for prep work. With the campaign over, many staffers would express upset about not being paid150.

“I would have expected a nice thank-you from Carl for all the hard work I had contributed, but instead I got screwed,” Tim Suereth would complain. Suereth, as already said, is Thorne’s husband, and served as manager of internal operations. Paladino allegedly refused to reimburse him for $6,300 in expenses. “There are a lot of people who didn’t get paid, and for many of the people who got paid, it took a while, and some did not get full payment,” said Suereth. They included a videographer on the campaign, who billed for a little over $14,000 and was paid a little over $9000. Michael Johns, the man who’d brought in Andries Holst to the Angola affair (see part three and “Angola, Namibia, South Africa, and a Tea Party Leader”), was hired as a liaison with the Tea Party. He was not reimbursed for $8000 in fees. “I’m not sure I could explain their position in not paying this, it was so illogical and incomprehensible,” said Johns. “I’ve gotten the sense this problem is very widespread,” Johns analyzed. “It’s a widespread, systematic decision to not live up to specified terms.” Michael Caputo said he was owed about $38000 in fees. Suereth would allege that Paladino had reduced their pay retroactively, a violation of labor codes151. “Everyone who deserved to be paid was paid,” argued Paladino. Both Johns and Suereth would threaten to sue. “My campaign owes nothing to Michael Caputo or his band of parasitic malcontents against whom we have defenses, offsets or counterclaims,” wrote Paladino in a public letter. “None were employees. All were independent contractors on nebulous oral agreements made without authority by Caputo. Their plan was to see what they could rip off before they get caught.”152

Russ Thompson, credited sometimes as a Paladino advisor and sometimes as his driver, would second this opinion. “Michael Johns? Holy crap I cannot believe what he was paid and for what?,” wrote Thompson on the freerepublic board. “He would call me and all he would do is bitch, moan and complain about everything and saying he should have been brought in earlier.” He makes mention of Andrew Miller, Dianne, and Tim. “Tim? He was known as Tim Smith in the campaign, his wife is Diane [sic] Thorne who was in charge of scheduling who also worked for most of her years with Roger Stone,” he writes in the same post. “They were paid incredible amounts of money. Brought in by Caputo they were told of their salaries before Carl was informed of what they would be paid. Their son was brought in at the beginning of it all and was driving Carl a couple times and the campaign was charged 800 bucks a day, plus hotel stays.” He was not happy at all with Suereth. “Tim was hired early on, he drove once and scared the crap out of Carl with his erratic driving,” he writes. A Republican campaign which appeared to be a slow motion trainwreck from its onset, with the opening revelation that Paladino had cheerfully forwarded pictures of a woman having sex with a horse, was supposedly destroyed by the Republican establishment. “I moved in to the drivers seat and continued for 35,000 miles until the republican hacks came in at the primary and worked to get me and the tea party out..They took over and drove the campaign in to the ground. Put Carl in situations some think to blow his chances of winning. The republicans do not like Carl and worked to keep him out including many big name hacks that are all about protecting their kingdoms.”153

Reading these opposing accounts, I have the same question I have with many campaigns that Stone is involved in. Who, is grifting who? A veteran consultant in Reid Pillifant’s “Paladino’s Boys” suggests that the candidate who vowed to spend $10 million of his $150 million real estate fortune might be a mark to be preyed on by his campaign team. His campaign manager, Michael Caputo, would deny this. “The people who think that have never met Carl Paladino. No one has ever taken Carl Paladino for a ride,” Caputo would say. “Carl knows where every cent in this campaign is going.” This claim, of course, took place before Paladino refused to pay for the expenses of many of his campaign workers154.

Wayne Barrett relates in “Carl Paladino: The Dirty Details in His Campaign Filings” several excerpts from Whores, the book by Larry Klayman, Stone’s lawyer at the time of the Enquirer scandal, a pest who subpoenaed officials and requested documents in his endless investigations against the Clinton administration, and a failed Florida Senate candidate in 2004, who hired Stone and his associates for the race, and looks upon them now as a gang of thieves. A certain couple, Tim Suereth and Dianne Thorne, show up as well, but as almost always, her first name is mis-spelled. “Commissioning the husband of his secretary Diane [sic] to find space,” writes Klayman. “Roger leased the entire upper floor of a dilapidated building, right above a dry cleaner. Perhaps I should have taken note of that as an omen. I didn’t realize then that Roger and company were taking me to the cleaners.” Stone brought in Tony Fabrizio, a pollster often used by both Stone and Donald Trump. Klayman thought the campaign staff were a bunch of misfits. Stone barely seemed to be working on the campaign, according to Klayman. The lawyer often found him “sitting in an outdoor café salivating at the cavalcade of bodies, both male and female, marching up and down Lincoln Road”. Klayman would let Stone and his associates go during the campaign, and after it was over, Klayman “had a campaign debt of several hundred thousand dollars, much of it on my own lines of credit.” During the first meeting between Klayman, Fabrizio, and Stone, the consultant would say, “Isn’t this great? I feel like Hyman Roth.” Klayman would sometimes ask Stone about his slightly less than competent staff. “This,” Stone would reply, “is beneath you.”155 Klayman would be sued for $60 000 by Fabrizio for a commissioned poll that was never paid for. Stone had a claim for $83 000. Klayman disputed the over $200 000 he owed in bills for political services156.

Dianne Thorne and her husband, Timothy Jay Suereth, show up on the Klayman campaign, the Paladino campaign, many Roger Stoe campaigns. They are constantly in the background of his ventures. One cannot help but sometimes see Stone’s life sliding into gothic, with the muscular Stone and his beautiful raven haired Cuban wife mirrored in the well-built Suereth and the raven haired ex-model Dianne Thorne. One remembers that long ago personal ad which damaged Stone’s career, and the line describing Nydia Stone’s wants; super hot babe has a special weakness for in-shape guys in uniform, all military. Tim Suereth is ex-military. Dianne Thorne could be a younger sister of Nydia Stone. There is the obvious salacious mystery: how well, you wonder, do Roger and Nydia Stone know Tim Suereth and Dianne Thorne?

Thorne, as said, worked as a treasurer on Committee to Take Back Our Judiciary, and she was there in the prelude to the Trump non-campaign in 2000. A year before the Paladino campaign, Stone, Thorne, and Suereth were involved in a campaign in Ohio. In 2009, Ohio would put forth Issue 3, a constitutional amendment allowing for the construction of casinos in Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Toledo. Art Schlichter, a former Ohio State quarterback and gambling addict would come out against Issue 3. “I signed for $1 million and immediately blew it on gambling,” he said of his first season with the Colts. He would end up spending over a decade in over forty prisons for a number of charges, including theft157. In the past three years he’d been clean and helping out other gambling addicts. Then, we reach this part of the story, “OSU star, gambling addict campaigns against Issue 3” by Brad Dicken:

He said he and his mother, with whom he lives, wanted to fight Issue 3 because it doesn’t offer any way to help gamblers. To do so, they founded Families Against Issue 3 a few weeks ago.

Schlichter and another member of the group, Tim Suereth, have been on the road since the group’s inception, but they haven’t had much contact with other casino opponents.

Families Against Issue 3 was funded by TruthPAC, which in turn was funded by MTR Gaming, which owns a horse track and casino in West Virginia, and any casinos built in Ohio would be competition. In the past, MTR had supported efforts to expand gambling in Ohio. During the election, Families Against Issue 3 would refuse to identify the source of their funding. TruthPAC spokesperson Sandy Theis would deny funding Families Against Issue 3 during the election, but acknowledge that the two groups work together158. “Carl Paladino: The Dirty Details in His Campaign Filings” by Wayne Barrett would go in-depth into the various financial details of both the Paladino campaign and the TruthPAC committee. TruthPAC would give out over $67 000 to Caputo Public Relations Inc., a since dissolved company of Michael Caputo. Caputo’s wife would get two payments of $5000. A company owned by Dianne Thorne got $15 000, while Andrew Miller got over $3000. Tim Suereth got over $20 0000159. In the end, close to $60 million dollars was spent for and against issue 3, almost entirely by rival gaming interests. Those who planned to develop casinos in Ohio ended up spending over $47 million dollars in favor of issue 3. MTR gaming spent over $11 million against. Traiditional anti-gambling groups were almost entirely absent from the fight. “It was Casino A versus Casino B,” said David Zanotti of the Ohio Roundtable. “The race was won before it began.”160

It was around this time that Dianne Thorne and Tim Suereth began work on a truly heroic act of charity. In 2008, they would found the charity Veterans Retreat, which would help get veterans active again by having them participate “in inspirational, educational and challenging recreational activities.” Suereth holds a pilot’s license, and Veterans Retreat worked in co-ordination with a flying service (pilotjourney.com), to give qualified veterans an experience of hands-on flight instruction. Veterans Retreat co-ordinated trips for veterans involving flight instruction, fishing trips, and a racetrack. In 2009, they would hold a raffle for their oceanside condo; tickets were a hundred dollars apiece, and if they sold five thousand or more, the raffle would be for the condo. They sold 767 tickets, and would split the pot with the winner, William Geary. They got $30 850 and so did Geary. Veterans Retreat would be incorporated in 2008, the raffle took place in 2009, with a Daily News story on Geary being given the cheque published on June 21, 2009: “City worker wins in raffle – gives part of windfall to vets” by Stephanie Gaskell. The headline stemmed from a generous action of Geary’s, giving Suereth and Thorne a cheque for $2500 to help soldiers injured in Afghanistan and Iraq. “They’re fighting a dangerous war over there,” said Geary. “I can do my part.” Said Suereth, “I didn’t expect that.”161

Roger Stone Tim Sureath

Roger Stone Tim Suereth Dianne Thorne

(from the appearances of Tim Suereth and Dianne Thorne on TV, one promoting the raffle, “CBS News”, and another after the raffle, “CBS News Coverage of Raffle Drawing”; Suereth’s name is mispelled in the first.)

Geary Suereth Thorne

(Raffle winner William Geary with Tim Suereth and Dianne Thorne; photo copyright Daily News.)

This was, without doubt, a heroic act of charity. There is one detail I came across, however, that reminded me again of how ignorant I am of many things, especially Florida law. In the March 3, 2009 article “Couple raffles off their Miami Beach condo to help wounded war veterans” by Stephanie Gaskell on the raffle desscribes Veterans Retreat as a charity: “In 2005, Suereth and his wife, Diane Thorne [sic], started Veterans Retreat, a charity group that takes wounded vets on fishing trips.” This I take as a slight mix-up – Veterans Retreat wasn’t started in 2005, but in 2008, when it was incorporated. In 2006, however, Thorne and Suereth started Sea Odyssey Group LLC, a for-profit company involved in yacht chartering. This company gets a mention in an incongruous moment when Paladino disputes his campaign expenses: “Caputo retained Tim Suereth, who we knew as Tim Smith, without authority for $12,000/mo as a driver and general utility person until I discovered that bills from a company named Sea Odessey were from him.” I have no idea who is in the right in the dispute between Paladino and his campaign workers over payment, but what I cannot understand is why a New York campaign for governor would be billed for the expenses of a yacht chartering company. Anyway, the main point is that “Couple raffles off their Miami Beach condo to help wounded war veterans” refers to Veterans Retreat as a charity. “City worker wins in raffle – gives part of windfall to vets,” from later in 2009, refers again to Veterans Retreat as a charity: “The charity didn’t sell enough tickets to cover the value of the $350,000 condo, so instead it split the raffle money with Geary. Each got $30,850.” “Airwork: Honoring the Sacrifice” by Tom Benenson, from Flying Magazine, also refers to Veterans Retreat as a 501(c)(3) organization, a charity: “A 501(c)(3) organization established to show appreciation to wounded veterans is Veterans Retreat (VR).”162 Here is where my ignorance of Florida law comes in; my ignorance, as well as the way everything becomes poisoned with suspicion, when you look at things associated with Roger Stone. Veterans Retreat is incorporated in November 2008 as a not for profit corporation. Then, in February 20, 2009, Veterams Retreat, Inc, files an annual report as a for profit corporation. The February 20 filing precedes the Daily News articles and the article in Flying magazine, which is dated October 16, 2009. In 2010, another for profit corporation annual report filed for Veterans Retreat. In 2011, one more for profit corporation annual report filed. In 2012, presumably because it didn’t file a report, Veterans Retreat was dissolved. Here I demonstrate my abysmal ignorance of Florida law: why is a charity group filing a for profit corporation annual report, three years in a row, with the state of Florida?163

After the failure of the Paladino campaign, Suereth and Thorne are back in Florida, where they make a few notable appearances. We turn, again, to Wayne Barrett, who highlights another Florida New York connection in “Carl Paladino vs. The Tea Party: No Love Lost”. Barrett spends some time on the fringe parties of New York state that have often played pivotal roles – that Giuliani’s win was possible through the New York Liberal party while Pataki’s victory over Mario Cuomo in 1994 was due in part to the State Conservative Party – before moving on to the contradiction that Paladino won the nomination through Tea Party support at the very same time that his campaign manager, Michael Caputo, was fighting to get rid of a tea party in Florida. He was involved in a lawsuit against the Florida Tea Party that was costing him $20 000 a month, money that he claimed was coming out of his own pocket. The rival tea party group in Florida, that Caputo was backing and which had filed suit against the Florida Tea Party, was the South Florida Tea Party, led by Everett Wilkinson. When Barrett asked Wilkinson about Roger Stone’s role in the affair, Wilkinson rushed off the phone. Wilkinson also claimed to have never met Caputo, that their relationship was entirely by phone. The relationship between Wilkinson and Caputo was set up through a “mutual friend”, who Wilkinson declined to identify. When asked how Caputo had the money to pay $20 000 a month in legal bills, Wilkinson said, “I don’t know. He makes money, he’s a professional consultant.”164

What happens next is one of the stranger episodes in recent American politics. I will try to give an honest and concise summary, but I am still not entirely sure what took place. We either have the passionately real attacking the synthetic imitation, or something like one of those movies where a double agent is pursued by someone who themselves is a double agent, someone whose actual purpose is directly at odds with their outward appearance – The Departed, Infernal Affairs, No Way Out, Blade Runner – the metaphor is imperfect, but you get the idea.

The Florida Tea Party (also known as the TEA Party of Florida – TEA is the obvious acronym Taxed Enough Already), as opposed to the South Florida Tea Party was also an actual political party, a party that might have a name on the ballot. Randy Wilkinson (no relation to Everett Wilkinson, as far as I can tell) would win the post of Polk County commissioner running on the Florida Tea Party ticket. This was announced in “Florida candidate becomes first officeholder with Tea Party affiliation, but analysts say media exaggerates third party” by Alex Pappas. “We’re excited,” said Fred O’Neal, founder of the Florida Tea Party. “Our first officeholder. We’re excited.” Pappas would follow up his initial article with a piece qualifying it, “Floridians debate – and sue – to determine who’s a real Tea Partier”: “Randy Wilkinson is running for Congress as a third party candidate on the Florida Tea Party ticket — but don’t be fooled, some Tea Partiers in the state say, because that political party is a sham.” This was further elaborated on in “The Florida tea party conspiracy theory” by John Frank: “Republicans see a conspiracy theory: a number of the tea party candidates are former Democrats, some appear financially strapped to pay the $1,800 filing and others are filing to run in districts far away from their listed address.” Before founding the Florida Tea Party, O’Neal was a registered democrat. Attention focused on Florida Tea Party candidate Victoria Torres, who had worked as a pollster for Democrat Alan Grayson. Torres has incorporated her polling firm, Public Opinion Strategies Inc, under a name that shared the same name as a very large, very prominent Republican polling firm, Public Opinion Strategies of Alexandria, Virginia. A Roll Call piece by Nathan L. Gonzales, “Link Between Grayson, Tea Party Questioned” would note that Grayson appeared to use three different pollsters in the same election cycle – his principal pollster, Dr. Jim Kitchens, Middleton Market Research, and Public Opinion Strategies Inc., – and that this was highly unusual in a congressional candidate165.

Another Florida Tea Party candidate, Peggy Dunmire, would end up running in Grayson’s own district in the 2010 race. “Brew-ha-ha? Tea Party could help Grayson win re-election” by Mark Schlueb would point to the possible consequences of this. “As a third-party candidate and political newcomer with scant campaign funding, Dunmire has little chance of winning,” wrote Schlueb. “But with a spot on the ballot listed under the Florida Tea Party mantle, she could attract votes from disaffected conservatives — votes that would otherwise likely go to the Republican candidate.” Dan Fanelli, one of seven Republicans vying for his party’s nomination to go against Grayson in the general, also identified the problem with Dunmire and a second conservative party on the ticket: “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that it would split the conservative vote and weaken the Republican Party so that Grayson would have more of a shot at winning.”166

Neither founder of the Florida Tea Party, Fred O’Neal or Doug Guetzloe, had an entirely clean past. While O’Neal had been a registered Democrat, Guetzloe had a long history as a conservative radio host and anti-tax activist, founding the group Ax the Tax, in 1982. The definitive piece on Guetzloe was probably the Orlando Sentinel‘s “A man for all political seasons” by Mark Schlueb, an invaluable piece of local reporting. Ax the Tax was an anti-tax activist group, yet it also picked up several allegations that its opposition to a tax was negotiable. Guetzloe was an anti-tax activist, but he was also a political consultant and lobbyist. Executives at the Orlando Magic would claim that they paid Guetzloe $100,000 in 2001 and $100,000 in 2006 to keep him from attacking plans for a new arena. Guetzloe mobilized anti-tax opposition to the building of a new convention center in Osceola County, at the same time that he was being paid $87,000 by Gaylord Palms Resort which wanted to build a competing facility. Charles Clayton, a real estate developer, would tell the Sentinel that he had paid Guetzloe to drop his opposition to an increased sales tax in schools. The chairman of a school-tax campaign would also allege that Guetzloe had asked him for $20 000 to stay out of the fight. In 2004, officials of Florida’s Maitland County would release faxes and emails where Guetzloe’s lawyer wrote that Guetzloe would drop his challenge to a new Maitland City Hall and public safety building if he was paid $30 000. Who was Guetzloe’s lawyer? Guetzloe’s lawyer was Fred O’Neal167.

O’Neal would register the name Tea Party of Florida, and then contact at least two other Tea Party groups, both of whom opposed O’Neal’s registration of the name, and demand that they stop using the Tea Party name. Everett Wilkinson would warn other conservative activists that Guetzloe and O’Neal were trying to hijack their movement. Caputo and Wilkinson would, as said, sue the Florida Tea Party. O’Neal would countersue for defamation. Caputo, he would allege, is trying to “drive a wedge between us and other Tea Party groups.” Both parties would eventually drop their respective suits. Alan Grayson would lose the 2010 election in Florida’s 8th Congressional district, with an over forty thousand vote divide between himself and Republican Daniel Webster. Peg Dunmire of the Florida Tea Party ticket would pick up over eight thousand votes, over 3% of the vote. On May 21, 2012, Doug Guetzloe would be sentenced to fifteen months in jail for failing to pay his taxes, and would arrive at prison on October 23, 2012. Grayson would return to the House in 2012 after he won election in Florida’s 9th Congressional district168.

There was the possible narrative that this was the “actual” tea party, the South Florida Tea Party, versus an ersatz group, the Florida Tea Party, which was set up for its own ends, or that things were more complicated than that. A profile of the South Florida Tea Party leader, Terrence McCoy’s “Everett Wilkinson: Tea Party Extremist, Media Darling” from the Miami New Times, describes a radical who claims that the federal government has already built hundreds of concentration camps for dissidents, who claims that Barack Obama will help bring about a second civil war, but is also looked on with suspicion by other conservative activists in Florida. He would claim in an interview with New Times that he came from Michigan and set up a successful construction business in Florida. New Times would find no record of Wilkinson owning a business in Florida, ever. “I’m not going to talk about personal stuff,” replied Wilkinson, “period.” The tea party was supposedly an insurrectionary movement against the established order, yet according to Wilkinson, his tea party rallies were organized with the help of Sid Dinerstein, the Palm Beach County Republican chairman who’d backed Mary McCory during her legal troubles. In fact, Dinerstein would claim to be the one who founded the tea party in Florida and that Wilkinson was just a guy who helped. We have a paradox, but perhaps an expected one: the ruling order sets up its own insurrectionary party to the ruling order. Wilkinson’s twitter handle was @teapartyczar. Danita Kilcullen, chairwoman of the Fort Lauderdale Tea Party, would say that he called her up and said, “Anyone who’s in the Tea Party in Florida is under the South Florida Tea Party. We’re heading this up.” But, Kilcullen said, “I didn’t know him from Adam.” Pam Wohlschlegel, the former Palm Beach County Tea Party chairwoman, would say she didn’t know anyone who took Wilkinson seriously. “Five prominent party activists interviewed by New Times all agreed,” wrote the paper, “Wilkinson is pure bluster.”169

There was another detail that stood out in “Everett Wilkinson: Tea Party Extremist, Media Darling”: Wilkinson had organized a rally in Boca Raton for Donald Trump, though he came up short $6000 for security, with Trump having to cover expenses. Trump, as already shown, often had Roger Stone as a consultant, and Caputo would do political work for Trump as well. There was another, perhaps related development, with Wilkinson and the South Florida Tea Party. “Supposed Tea Party Leaders Support Resorts World Miami Casino” by Kyle Munzenreider, again in the Miami New Times, would point out the surprising support of two Tea Party organizations in favor of Genting, a gaming company, building a casino in Florida. The writer found this surprising given that the tea party drew so much support from evangelicals and other religious conservatives170. Of the two Tea Party groups in favor of the Genting casino, one was Wilkinson’s South Florida Tea Party, with Wilkinson explaining “Why I Support the Resort Casinos in South Florida”, and I now give lengthy excerpt:

I have to admit that I was less than thrilled when I received an invitation to attend the unveiling of destination casino resort in Miami last September. My initial thoughts were that I had received the invitation by mistake as I am neither a gambler nor a proponent of gambling. After a quick Internet search and few phone calls, I decided to attend as a representative of the tea party and see the fiscal impact. Specifically I was looking for taxes and government involvement and any taint of a monopoly.

Once I arrived, my preconceived notions quickly disappear. The company was rolling out an incredible, beautiful resort, not a ugly cheap casino. The architecture was iconic, Genting, the developers, had also taken great lengths to invite all members of the community to participate in the roll out of a world class resort casino. I noticed African Americans, Dominicans, Haitians, small business people and both Republicans and Democrats. I can’t begin to applaud the level professional presentation and attention to details. The actual design which resembled giant sails or sea shells was the most unique breathtaking design I have for a casino! I would be proud to have such a beautiful building in South Florida.

Putting back my fiscal conservative hat, I started to dig into the financials and impact to the economy. I started by following the money. To pass a casino bill we must replace about $1 [b]illion now guarantee[d] to the state by the Seminoles under their gaming compact. Three casinos in Dade and Broward would help fill that hole but it requires the inclusion of the seven parimutuel facilities in Dade and Broward that already have slots and cards. These parimutuels must be included in the bill to legalize gaming and given the same table games and tax rate to generate more revenue for the state.

Without the parimutuels the three casino in South Florida would have to gross more than the entire Las Vegas strip at a 10% tax rate to replace the Indian revenues. These facilities in combination with the three casinos proposed by Rep Erick Fresen will likely far surpass the $1B from the Indians. They must fill the hole.

My final thoughts on the proposed resort would be described as optimistic. The resort would have an enormous positive impact financially and for jobs in Miami and South Florida. The resort would create an estimated 5000 new jobs at a temporary facility, 25,000 jobs at the permanent facility, and 10,000 construction jobs (it would be 20,000 if this was a big Union state–and half of them would be working!) I started to think of it as a resort that had gambling versus a Las Vegas casino. It was apparent that all my preconceived notions about Genting were wrong. Although the current legislation is far from perfect, I believe that any legislator that is opposed to building resort casinos which will create thousands of jobs in South Florida should be given the title of “Job Killing Czar”. The Tea Party will be watching this bill closely and hold legislators accountable in November.

The other tea party group to support the Genting casino was Tea Party Miami, whose chairperson was a certain very beautiful, very raven haired, very former model out of Australia, who had worked as a scheduler for a candidate for New York governor while working out of a suite on Miami Beach:

“After careful consideration and debate, Tea Party Miami has endorsed Genting’s Casino Destination Resort proposal and efforts by Rep. Erik Fresen to legalize three casinos in Miami-Dade and/or Broward Counties,” said Diane J. Thorne [sic], Chairwoman of Tea Party Miami. “The Fresen proposal fosters competition and will create a boom of economic growth Miami sorely needs.”

“We in the Tea Party are fiscal conservatives, not social conservatives,” said Thorne. “The Fresen proposal makes good financial sense for Miami and for Florida,” she said. Thorne said her organization had received no contributions from any casino gaming company including Genting and that they would not accept any casino company money.

Munzenreider would note the lack of previous activity on the part of Thorne with regards to a casino, and that the largest part of the Miami Tea Party’s website was devoted to the Genting casino. “Very curious,” wrote Munzenreider. “Why or how this woman decided to speak for the entire Tea Party, we’re not entirely sure.” Genting had contributed over $300 000 to the Florida Republican Party, but despite this, a month after the endorsements from the Thorne and Wilkinson tea party groups, the legislature decided to delay its vote on Genting’s Miami resort project171. Note that in Wilkinson’s piece, the assumption is made that the casino run by the Seminole tribe would disappear: “To pass a casino bill we must replace about $1 [b]illion now guarantee[d] to the state by the Seminoles under their gaming compact.” The casinos of the indian tribes are, as we’ve already seen by Donald Trump’s appearance before congress, a competitive threat to non-indian casinos. Stone, in a 2010 interview with the local Miami news show, “The Shark Tank”, would be explicit in his fierce opposition to the Seminole casino. Then governor Charlie Crist had just granted the Seminoles the right to table games like blackjack in their casinos, after which the Florida Supreme Court struck down the compact arguing that Crist had overstepped his authority. The legislature would eventually approve the compact. The interview took place after the supreme court decision. “They are clearly operating illegally,” said Stone of the Seminoles. “The answer is not complicated. Surround every one of their casinos with Florida state patrolmen. And no cars go in. Or out. Till the indians are ready to negotiate. That is our sovereign territory. They are running games that are illegal in the state of Florida.”172 Later, he would say, “It is time for someone to take authority in the state of Florida, as millions of dollars are being stolen from the state of Florida.” Not that he was against gambling in Florida. “I was against Indian casinos. Indians pay no taxes,” explained Roger Stone, the man who once had interests in casinos that might be built on the territory of the Buena Vista Miwoks and the Lytton Pomo band. “Casinos for Florida? Let the People Decide” was a Stone Huffington Post piece written after the casino bill was withdrawn from the legislature. “Disney, the Florida Chamber of Commerce, South Florida Pari-mutuels, and the Seminole Indians were joined by some greedy Las Vegas Casino companies to block this proposal.” Further on, he made this observation: “Ironically, Walt Disney World, the pari-mutuels, and the Seminole Indian Tribe have been the fiercest and most outspoken opponents of legal, regulated gaming coming to Florida.” Ironically, the very man who wrote this, Roger Stone, had led the opposition to Ohio gaming on behalf of casino interests. Stone had a solution: make the Genting casino a ballot initiative, and let the people decide173.

Stone’s associates would make one more notable appearance in Florida politics, the 2012 Broward county sheriff’s race between Al Lamberti and Scott Israel. Lamberti had taken over the sheriff’s office from a legendary Florida figure, Ken Jenne, who’d gone to jail for tax evasion, after falsifying his tax returns and secretly accepting thousands of dollars in return for contracts with the sheriff’s office. Jenne is one of those fascinating characters whose impact on a state is extraordinary, yet who are unknown outside of it. This profile is too long already for us to enter that labyrinth, so we can simply say: Ken Jenne was once a very powerful man in Florida. After leaving jail, he would go to work for Scott Rothstein, who had hired a number of Broward police officers for off-duty security work. When Lamberti ran against Scott Israel in 2008 for sheriff, Rothstein backed Lamberti, and it’s believed that Stone was involved in the campaign against Israel174. Stone himself would say of the campaign, “I agreed to help appointed Sheriff Al Lamberti at a private meeting in the projection room of Rothstein’s home in which Lamberti Aides, Tom Wheeler and David Benjamin, asked for my help. ‘We’re cops,’ said Wheeler. ‘We don’t know anything about getting elected.'”175 Ads by Israel against Lamberti would accuse him of having the dirty trickster Florida election thieves in his corner: “Al Lamberti took campaign money from a convicted drug smuggler and is using the same Bush hatchetmen who tried to steal the 2000 election”176. On the Broward Beat website, Buddy Nevins’ piece, “Roger Stone Had Key Role In Lamberti’s Win”, has a comment by “Andrew Miller”: “Stone spoke to Lamberti’s consultant in Tally 3 time s day. The excecution of Stone’s ideas was flawless,” said “Miller”. “Stone also convindenced [sic] the group around Lamberti to seek Gay support for his record and crack down on hate crimes.” Haters were told to stand down. “The Hidden hand of STONE”177.

By 2012, Rothstein was in jail, and Scott Israel was once again running against Lamberti for sheriff. Jenne had been for Israel over Lamberti in 2008, and he was for Israel again. Stone’s associates, meanwhile, now appeared to be working for Israel instead of Lamberti. In the democratic primary for sheriff, Israel was up against another candidate, Louis Granteed. During the race for the democratic candidate for sheriff, voters would receive the following robocall, an endorsement of a democratic candidate by Tea Party Miami:

Hello, I’m calling for Tea Party Miami, one of the largest and most active Tea Party organizations in South Florida. We recommend conservative law and order Democrat Louie Granteed for Broward County Sheriff. Louie Granteed is a tough no-nonsense cop who won’t kowtow to minorities, civil liberties groups or good government types.Louie Granteed will crack down on illegal immigrants in Broward County. Please remember that Tea Party Miami recommends Louie Granteed for Broward County Sheriff. Paid for by Tea Party Miami 501C4 Organization.

Dianne Thorne would deny involvement in the robocall178. Tea Party Miami wasn’t the only group to endorse Granteed; so had the South Florida Tea Party, an endorsement from its head, Everett Wilkinson. Here is the text from the South Florida Tea Party endorsement on their website, “SOUTH FLORIDA TEA PARTY RECOMMENDS GRANTEED FOR BROWARD COUNTY SHERIFF August 11, 2012 – 11:32pm” (archived):

The South Florida Tea Party, the largest and most active tea party organization in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County.

“We recommend Louis Granteed for Sheriff in the August 14th Democratic Primary for Broward County Sheriff” said Everett Dirksen Wilkinson, the South Florida Tea Party Chairman.

“We applaud Asst. Hollywood Police Chief for his refusal to pander to the ultra-liberal Broward County Chapter of the Women’s Political Caucas by seeking their support” said Wilkinson

“Louis Granteed says he will be tough on crime” said Wilkinson

Four years ago we recommended Republican Al Lamberti for Broward County Sheriff. Now Lamberti’s public relations office has a bigger budget than the Vice President of the United States. We have grave reservations about recommending Lamberti in November unless Scott Israel is the Democratic nominee.

If the Democrats nominate Granteed , Broward voters will have choice between two law and order conservatives- Lou Granteed and Al Lamberti.

We have here the obvious echoes of the potential head of the BIA, Tim Martin, receiving a letter from Donald Trump, of the $200 contribution of Pete McCloskey from the Young Socialists Alliance, of people in New Hampshire getting phone calls from a “Harlem for Muskie Committee”. Granteed would reject the Tea Party endorsement. Israel won the nomination over Granteed. In the general race, robocalls would let voters in the highly democratic area know that the South Florida Tea Party had endorsed Lamberti. Lamberti would denouce the calls. Everett Wilkinson would insist that the endorsement was sincere. During the race between Israel and Lamberti, Andrew Miller would donate over $120 000 to Taxpayers for Integrity in Government, a pro-Scott Israel group. The chairman of Taxpayers for Integrity in Government was Todd Wilder, Ken Jenne’s deputy when he was sheriff. Tim Suereth and Andrew Miller would also incorporate two non-profit groups in 2011, Oracle Outreach and the Benjamin Franklin Institute. Both had the specific purpose “to educate the public about social and political issues,” which almost inevitably means they were designed to promote a political message, but what their objectives were, I have no idea. Lamberti would be defeated, and Israel would be elected. A week after the election, Ken Jenne would be invited to the Broward Sheriff’s Office. Roger Stone would be seen with Scott Israel. During the summer of 2013, Scott Israel would make several hires for the Broward Sheriff’s Office: Todd Wilder of Taxpayers for Integrity, Michael Colapietro, who had co-written The Man Who Killed JFK with a political consultant named Roger Stone, and a beautiful raven haired former Australian and former model named Dianne Thorne179.

There is one final fascinating tangent in the sheriff’s race that I only came across this week. In its spending on the race, Taxpayers for Integrity in Government lists $21 000 in expenditures to Cornerstone Management Partners and Cornerstone Managment LLC at the address 17 Westminster Gate in Bergenfield, New Jersey. Florida Citizens United, another pro-Scott Israel political group spent $225 000 on Cornerstone Managment LLC, address 779 Downing Street, Teaneck, New Jersey. It would also spend $62 000 on The Rutherford Group, an entity the same address, 17 Westminster Gate in Bergenfield, New Jersey, as Cornerstone Management Partners and Cornerstone Managment LLC. Florida Citizens United would be the answer to the question posed by Michael Mayo, “Sheriff’s race: Who’s funding anti-Lamberti slime ads?” The only other expenditures for Florida Citizens United are a few for $25.00 or less to the Chase Bank – the rest are in the tens of thousands to Cornerstone Management LLC and The Rutherford Group for advertising. That the expenditures were to Cornerstone Management makes things a lot easier, because Cornerstone Managment was a firm well-known and infamous, headed up by someone who called himself a “protégé of Roger Stone”: Elnatan Rudolph180

The first incident I came across involving Cornerstone Management was a complaint filed over robocalls made during the election for mayor in 2011 of Miami-Dade County. The contest was between Carlos Giminez and Julio Robaina; the robocalls were made to attack Robaina181:

We aren’t Hialeah. Nor do we want to be. Hialeah mayor and millionaire developer Julio Robaina wants us to trust him. He wants to be mayor. We can’t trust Hialeah’s Robaina. Irresponsible development, traffic congestion and noise, backroom deals and illegal gambling — is that what we want in our neighborhood? Of course not. We aren’t Hialeah. Nor do we want to be. Let’s stop Hialeah’s Robaina from importing his brand of shady politics to our neighborhood. Let’s stop career politician Robaina.

The complaint mentioned that according to financial reports, over $60 000 was paid by the Giminez campaign to Cornerstone. According to the complaint, a search was conducted and no legally registered corporate entity by the name of Cornerstone Partners and matching its address could be found. Attempts to contact Cornerstone at its address and phone number went unanswered. Though the complaint focuses on the Corner stone expenditures possibly violating election laws – the political committee that paid for the calls did not have sufficient funds on hand for payment or they used funds within five days of an election – there is clear and obvious anger over the attempt to tar Robaina as more ethnic, more Hialeah – which also means more shady, more criminal. The complaint would cite a previous mailer campaign from the year before, again put together by Cornerstone, that also played the ethnic card. Then, it was the Florida Attorney General’s race between Pam Bondi and Dan Gelber. The Committee for Florida Education, chaired by Elnatan Rudolph, would produce two fliers attacking Gelber182. One was a wanted poster, “WANTED: For Crimes Against Jewish Education…Voting ‘No’ On Funding For Jewish Schools,” the other was “Dan Gelber: On The Record Against Scholarships To Help Our Needy Children Attend Jewish Schools.” In “Group claims Gelber is against scholarships for Jewish schools”, Politifact would give the ads a rating of “Pants on Fire”. Gelber had been critical of the Florida voucher program and had never mentioned jewish schools, or schools of any specific faith, in his criticisms. It reminded you of that moment from Rick Perlstein’s Nixonland, the ads that appeared in Miami Jewish newspapers, “Muskie, Why Won’t You Consider a Jew as a Vice President?”, though it also reminded you of a more recent event, completely forgotten. It was the race for insurance commissioner in Jacksonville, Florida, and the democratic incumbent, Bill Nelson, was suddenly attacked by the Committee for Justice for Holocaust Victims, which ran vicious ads over the fact that Nelson had approved a loan syndication agreement that involved Swiss banks. That the syndication agreement was made before any actions were ever taken against the Swiss banks for denying holocaust survivors access to their accounts was irrelevant, that no holocaust survivors’ group had ever heard of this committee was irrelevant as well, because the committee was formed entirely to attack a candidate, and not for any purpose of social justice. All the people behind the committee cannot be confirmed, but the top two officers of the committee can be: J. Curtis Herge, the lawyer for NCPAC who Stone met while at CREEP and Dominic DelPapa, a public relations man who, the Florida Times-Union would report, “works for GOP political strategist Roger Stone”183.

10 10 27 Dan Gelber Wanted Poster 650px 10 10 28 Adjusted Dan Gelber flier 1 650px

(the very large actual size versions of the fliers are available on Google Drive: the Dan Gelber “Wanted” flier and the “Against Scholarships for Needy Children” flier)

Cornerstone was used in both the Paladino campaign and the anti-gambling Ohio TruthPAC campaign, receiving $12 500 for the first, and $228 250 for the second. In Chris Bragg’s “Michael Cohen And Elnatan Rudolph: NY Staffers, Well-Paid Consultants, NJ Candidates” from City & State, the most in-depth examination of Rudolph, which also profiled his childhood friend and fellow consultant, Michael Cohen, we hear from Michael Caputo that Rudolph’s connection to Paladino was through Roger Stone. “He’s part of the whole Stone gang,” and mentions that Rudolph worked with Stone on a Russian election campaign184. Neither Cohen nor Rudolph co-operated with the piece, which was written before the two major scandals involving Rudolph would break.

The first came out in March of 2012, and involved the Bergen Regional Medical Center. Bergen County, as said, is where Cornerstone Management is located. The main part of the scandal was that major repairs to the hospital, such as the installation of a new elevator, were never made, with the hospital billed for repairs that were never made, and equipment that was never installed. Hospital officials and the elevator repair companies were charged with conspiring to defraud the state agency with responsibility for the Bergen Regional Medical Center, the Bergen County Improvement Authority (BCIA). The BCIA was headed up by Ed Hynes, his deputy was Elnatan Rudolph, and the lawsuit filed over the Medical Center fraud also alleges that Hynes and Rudolph double billed for repairs to the hospital. “We’re talking about fraud, we’re talking about a conspiracy and we’re talking about a lot of money, at least hundreds of thousands of dollars,” said Thomas H. Bruinooge, general counsel for the BCIA. “These were major irregularities. We’re not going to stop until we get to the bottom of all of it.”

This was not the first major scandal to involve the BCIA. That would be the fraud investigation where it was revealed that the head of the BCIA had conspired with employees of Residential Mortgage to fake pay stubs, tax documents and rental leases, as well as convincing BCIA employees to lie. This was all done with the intent of creating the fiction that some loan applicants of the Residential Mortgage Corporation received substantial salaries as employees from the BCIA when they didn’t work there at all. Roland O’Malley was chairman of the BCIA as well as co-owner of the the Residential Mortgage Corporation, and he got two years in prison after pleading guilty to one count fraud, which was a pretty good deal, since he’d been indicted on sixty eight counts. The fraud took place between 2006 and 2009, while Rudolph was deputy director of BCIA between 2007 and 2009. The suit over such things as the non-installation of the elevator would also allege that Rudolph’s $95 000 a year deputyship was a no show job. A spokeswoman for the Bergen Regional Medical Center said the lawsuit’s allegations were false185.

The second scandal involved campaign contributions, kickbacks, Rudolph’s firm, and had already resulted in the indictment of one man on nine counts of tax evasion and fraud. It allegedly took place in 2010, involved a political consultant named Melvin Lowe and New York’s Democratic Senate Campaign Committee (DSCC), and it began like this (United States of America v. Melvin E. Lowe, specific page 5):

a. On or about June 7, 2010, MELVIN E. LOWE, the defendant, sent an email to an individual who worked on the staff of a person identified herein as Senator #1, then a New York State Senator, stating in part that Vendor #1 “does low price printing.” This staff member forwarded this email to an official at the DSCC (the “DSCC Official”) on the same day;

b. On or about June 8, 2010, the DSCC Official caused the DSCC’s bank in New York City to send by wire transfer $50,000 to Vendor #1’s bank account in New Jersey. An internal DSCC document identified the purpose of the payment as “printing.” Internal DSCC documents further identified the transaction as “non-SD.” Individuals employed at the DSCC at the time of the transaction have informed me that “non-SD” means that the expense did not relate to any particular New York State Senate district; and

c. On or about June 16, 2010, the DSCC Official caused the DSCC’s bank in New York City to wire an additional $50,000 to Vendor #1’s bank account in New Jersey. The internal DSCC document authorizing that payment identified the purpose of the payment as “balance of previous invoice.”

I go to Chris Bragg’s “Feds charge Senate Dems’ operative” for a plain-spoken summary of what took place here:

The complaint refers to an unnamed political consultant “Vendor #1” that appears to be Cornerstone Management Partners, which is owned by political operative Elnatan Rudolph. “Vendor #1” is said to have helped Mr. Lowe and an unnamed political consultant bilk $100,000 from the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee without providing any actual services.

The $100 000 that the DSCC sent to Vendor #1 in two installments was intended for printing. Vendor #1 did not produce campaign mail, but instead sent $27 500 to a consulting firm owned by Lowe, $20 000 to “a person identified herein as Political Consultant #1, a political consultant based in New York City who has served as a staff member to elected officials in New York City”. $47 500 was later sent to Lowe’s company while Vendor #1 kept $5000. “Political Consultant #1” does not appear to be anybody mentioned in this series of posts, let alone its title character. The criminal complaint tells us “Political Consultant #1 did not know who Vendor #1 was and had done no work for Vendor #1” (United States of America v. Melvin E. Lowe, specific page 7). In his profile of Michael Cohen and Elnatan Rudolph, Chris Bragg tries to speak to Cohen but is unable to. Bragg speaks to Danielle, Cohen’s wife, but she’s unable to convince her husband to talk to the reporter. Michael Cohen and Elnatan Rudolph, as said, were best friends- “They used to be,” says Danielle Cohen in the final line of “NY Staffers, Well-Paid Consultants, NJ Candidates”, “but when Mike found out about all the crap Elnatan was doing, that stopped.”186

POSTSCRIPT (21/07/2014): On July 3rd, Bob Norman would report that Dianne Thorne had resigned from the Broward Sheriff’s Office, “BSO employee resigns as questions arise regarding her qualifications”:

Now we’ve learned that the $68,000-a-year Thorne, who’d been promoted to become an assistant to Israel’s chief of staff, has abruptly resigned citing a new opportunity in the private sector.

But there’s more to the story. Thorne’s resignation coincides with Norman’s investigation of her BSO application.

Norman learned that Thorne claimed to have a bachelor’s degree, which is required under the job description, from a school in Australia. But she couldn’t provide any proof of it, claiming in an email that the school had shut down.

In a follow-up piece, “After resignation, BSO political hiring at issue”, Norman would hit pay dirt and reveal a bombshell in the background of Thorne’s husband, Timothy Suereth:

In her June 27 resignation letter, Thorne didn’t mention the degree, only that she had an offer in the private sector that she “could not turn down.” But her education was only the start of the questions about Thorne. The BSO background investigation also found that she had reported no earnings to the Internal Revenue Service for the years 2006-2011, despite the fact in her BSO application she listed salaries of $84,000 for those years. As it happens her former boss, Roger Stone, faces a $1.5 million tax lien from the IRS for failing to pay income taxes. Thorne has no such liens.

It appears that Thorne often accepted her compensation from private companies she started, including one called the Sea-Odyssey Group, which she owned with a man named Timothy Suereth. Thorne and Suereth were also partners in a company she listed on her BSO application, Veterans Retreat. A quick check on Suereth would have revealed that he was a convicted felon immigrant smuggler — as well as Thorne’s husband.

In 2001, Suereth was caught by the Lighthouse Point police marine unit on the Hillsboro Inlet in a 25-foot Anacapri cabin cruiser that appeared to be sinking, according to federal court records. When they asked Suereth how much water he was taking in on the sinking vessel, he replied that he wasn’t taking on any water and told them all was okay. The officers contacted Sea Tow anyway, and the company’s captain entered the cuddy cabin to find “people packed in there like sardines.” It turned out there was 19 illegal immigrants crammed into the boat — 17 of them Haitians. Suereth was charged with conspiracy to commit illegal alien smuggling and federal investigators learned he was involved in a shadowy smuggling network between the Bahamas and South Florida.

Suereth pleaded guilty and began cooperating with the feds on a major narcotics smuggling investigation.

“[Suereth] has participated in numerous undercover meetings and recorded phone conversations with the lead target of the investigation which has allowed the government to identify the participants as well as the methods used by the target narcotics traffickers,” wrote federal prosecutors in court documents asking for leniency in Suereth’s sentence.

POSTSCRIPT (31/05/2015): Only by chance did I come across a story by Christine Stapleton, “‘Tea party’ protest against proposed land deal mostly actors” (paywall), which I reached via “Faux Democracy and the Tea Party: How Far Back Does It Go?” by Pam Martens and Russ Martens). The article was published April 2, 2015, and some of the players already mentioned here – the Tea Party of Miami, headed by Dianne Thorne, and Everett Wilkinson. I bold their mentions:

More than 50 actors from a Broward County acting group were paid $75 each to protest outside the South Florida Water Management District on Thursday about a controversial land deal they knew little about.

The protest was called by the Tea Party of Miami and Florida Citizens Against Waste, a recently formed group that has no contact information on its website and is not registered to do business in Florida.

But the vast majority of the people holding signs saying “Stop the land grab” were actors who had responded to a post on the Facebook page of the Broward Acting Group. The March 31 post by Karen Donohue sought 40 protesters to “stand behind a fence, holding banners or signs that will be provided.”

“This couldn’t be any easier … the only down side is an early start for West Palm Beach location,” Donohue wrote. “That is why we are paying so well!! So, if you are casted don’t show up late.”

According to Donohue’s post, the actors would be paid cash and no breakfast would be provided. The protesters gathered outside the district’s headquarters in suburban West Palm Beach just before the 9 a.m. monthly meeting of the Water Resource Advisory Committee.

Some actors did not know who has paying for their services or specifics of the cause. Others declined to comment when asked. None spoke during the public comment portion of the meeting. Donohue did not return phone calls or messages on her Facebook page.

Also at the protest Thursday was Everett Wilkinson, chairman of the South Florida Tea Party, who said he did not know who had hired the protesters.

But he did speak about the issue that the Tea Party of Miami cited as the reason for the protest in an email sent Monday — the purchase of 46,800 acres of land south of Lake Okeechobee that environmentalists want the district to make from U.S. Sugar for an estimated $500 million.

“This has basically turned into a billion dollar boondoggle,” Wilkinson said of the land deal. “We’re here to stop wasteful spending.”

Florida Citizens Against Waste also is urging opponents of the deal to sign a petition on its website, http://www.stopthelandgrab.org. The website was registered on March 14, two days after about 70 environmentalists wearing costumes and carrying signs protested outside the district headquarters. Then more than 100 spoke in favor of the land purchase during the public comment portion of the district’s governing board meeting.

A video featuring the actors in the protest (footage of the ersatz crowd runs from 1:07 to 1:40):

The ersatz crowd story would also get coverage on Fusion (“A Tea Party ‘protest’ against an Everglades land agreement was mostly made up of actors” by Rob Wile) and DailyKos (“‘Tea party’ holds protest against Everglades conservation. There’s just one problem…” by “FaithGradner”); Florida Citizens Against Waste, the group behind the petition and the faux protest, was unregistered at the office of the Florida Secretary of State. Only one member affiliated with the group, Nicholas John Kakanis, was mentioned in “New organization opposes $500 million Everglades land purchase” by Phil Ammann:

“Everglades restoration and protection are high priorities for all Floridians,” says Miami resident Nicholas John Kakanis, one of the founders of Florida Citizens Against Waste. “Taxpayers, farmers, businesses and water managers have devoted more than two decades and $10 billion in a cooperative and massive effort to restore a precious resource, and that effort is working.”

At the time of this postcript, I have been unable to find any connection between Kakanis and Roger Stone or his associates. I excerpt a section from “The Ego Behind the Ego in a Trump Gamble” by Jan Hoffman, a brief profile of Stone in the New York Times, when Donald Trump, Stone’s occasional client, flirted with running for president on the Reform Party ticket. The relevant part is bolded:

This is, after all, the corporate and political fixer who, at 19, was an entry-level dirty trickster for Richard M. Nixon; whose 30th birthday party was given at the “21” Club by Roy Cohn; who consulted on campaigns for Ronald Reagan, George Bush and countless lesser Republicans; and who cites, among his shining moments, his successful $27 million strategy for the United States Sugar Corporation to defeat a penny-per-pound tax on sugar to help restore the Everglades.

“It was a superb program to tell the voters why not to vote for it,” he fondly recalled. “‘How do you know the money will really go to the Everglades? These politicians in Tallahassee, you can’t trust them.'”

The whois for stopthelandgrab.org shows that it was registered through Domains by Proxy, LLC, a service used for hiding the name of the registrant. Pending further investigation, I close with one detail left out of this original post, but which I think is relevant here – that Tim Suereth, not what I would call a radical left political activist of any kind, once registered the following domain names: occupy-miami.com, occypy-miami.net, occupy-miami.org. Information is taken from whois archive site, whoisology. A screenshot featuring the listing:

Tim Suereth was registrant of Occupy-Miami.com

POSTSCRIPT (05/04/2017):

At the time of the last postscript, I was unable to find any connection between Nicholas John Kakanis and Stone; Kakanis, it turns out, is an aide of Stone, and his driver. He is mentioned in this story, part of a turbulent plotline too complicated to write about now, “Trump Advisor Claims Hit & Run “Could Be” Russian Hacking Scandal Retaliation” by Jim DeFede:

CBS4 News also spoke to the driver of the car, John Kakanis, who works as an aide to Stone on his book tour. He said Stone was in the passenger seat of the car at the time of the accident. He said he can’t recall if he told the deputy that Stone was in the car.

Stone would claim that his car had been “T-boned” by a malicious driver who intended to kill him:

Stone was on his way to Orlando to promote his latest book on Trump when the accident occurred.

“Out of nowhere we were T-boned essentially by a late model 4-door what I’m now told was a Pontiac,” he said.

Stone said he was a passenger in the car and that the airbags deployed on his side and prevented him from being more seriously injured.

Two years earlier, he had claimed his car had been “T-boned” in exactly the same circumstances:

(On April 10th, 2015, this post underwent another session of copy editing.)

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

FOOTNOTES

150 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.

One of the same Thorne companies that appear on the Paladino filings comes in for $15,000 in Ohio, as does stepson Andrew Miller for $3,200. In addition to Miller, Terrence Cronin, also listed at a St. Peters address, collected $1,500. Even Thorne’s husband Tim Suereth, a Florida real estate broker, was paid $20,171. Two Stone companies from Florida that don’t appear on the Paladino filings walked away with over $200,000.

151 From “Paladino campaign reneges on debts” by James Heaney:

Carl Paladino’s campaign stiffed about a dozen consultants, vendors and staff members for some $130,000 in salaries, fees and expenses, according to numerous veterans of his failed gubernatorial bid.

They are pressing for payment from a campaign committee, Paladino for the People, that is deep in debt. Public records show the committee has a balance of only $5,305 and debts of $6.1 million, most of them loans from the candidate.

“I would have expected a nice thank-you from Carl for all the hard work I had contributed, but instead I got screwed,” said Tim Suereth, who first served as manager of internal operations and later as an unpaid volunteer.

While the campaign paid him $31,912 in salary, the millionaire businessman through direct correspondence has refused to reimburse him for $6,300 in expenses, Suereth said.

Michael Johns, who crisscrossed the state for two months as the campaign’s director of Tea Party outreach, said the campaign has refused to reimburse him for about $8,000 in expenses. Johns is a former White House speechwriter under President George H.W. Bush and a national Tea Party leader.

“I’m not sure I could explain their position in not paying this, it was so illogical and incomprehensible,” Johns said.

“I’ve gotten the sense this problem is very widespread,” Johns said of the unpaid bills. “It’s a widespread, systematic decision to not live up to specified terms.”

Michael R. Caputo, who was Paladino’s high-visibility campaign manager, said he is owed about $38,000 in fees, but declined to comment further for this story.

Suereth said his $12,000 monthly salary was cut to $8,000 in April, then to $6,000 in May, and that many other staff members also saw their pay unilaterally reduced.

“Carl then made the cut retroactive from the last time anyone had gotten paid, which was a month behind, effectively shorting us all again,” Suereth said.

“Cutting salaries retroactively is unconscionable and probably illegal.”

A spokesperson for the state Department of Labor said “it is illegal to reduce pay retroactively.”

While some of those owed money sound resigned to never getting paid, Suereth and Johns, of the Tea Party, said they intend to pursue the matter.

“It’s a black-and-white issue. I had terms that were not lived up to,” Johns said. “I’m at the point where the filing of a lawsuit is probable.”

152 The letter Paladino sent out in reply to the piece on his campaign debts is quoted in full in “Paladino vs. the Buffalo News” by Geoff Kelly:

The March 12, 2011 the Buffalo News front-page headline story “Paladino campaign reneges on debts” was apparently more important to its spineless publisher, editor and reporter than the tragic nuclear meltdown in Japan. The unsubstantiated, libelous and defamatory lies and fabrications illustrating the malicious and hostile intent of the News will not go unanswered.

My campaign owes nothing to Michael Caputo or his band of parasitic malcontents against whom we have defenses, offsets or counterclaims. None were employees. All were independent contractors on nebulous oral agreements made without authority by Caputo. Their plan was to see what they could rip off before they get caught.

Michael Johns was retained to study and produce a get-out-the vote plan utilizing Tea Party volunteers. He conspired to change the terms of his oral contract and got caught. He was paid in advance over $18,000 for two months of services and expenses. His bill for $8,000 is more than offset by our claim for services and work product never rendered.

Caputo retained Tim Suereth, who we knew as Tim Smith, without authority for $12,000/mo as a driver and general utility person until I discovered that bills from a company named Sea Odessey were from him. We paid him $31,912.23 for two and one half months work. He only drove me 2 or 3 times before I recognized that he was reckless. His wife was our relentless scheduler/jack of all trades who did a great job for us. Suereth’s claim for expenses of $6,300 pales against our claim for amounts paid fraudulently including the cost of moving Caputo’s pleasure boat from Florida to Albany.

It’s the same basic story for the rest. People with legitimate campaign obligations were paid in full. The scam artists can sue us. The News is not our judge and jury.

The News let itself be used in what is obviously an attempt at blackmail.

My companies and I pay all our legitimate bills.

153 From the Free Republic board, “Paladino campaign reneges on debts”:

To: SubGeniusX

Tim? He was known as Tim Smith in the campaign, his wife is Diane Thorne who was in charge of scheduling who also worked for most of her years with Roger Stone. They were paid incredible amounts of money. Brought in by Caputo they were told of their salaries before Carl was informed of what they would be paid. Their son was brought in at the beginning of it all and was driving Carl a couple times and the campaign was charged 800 bucks a day, plus hotel stays. When Carl had to sign paychecks is only when he found out what these people were getting paid, he got angry, as did I…. They were all from Florida not from here, we had plenty of people from here willing to volunteer and or work for the campaign for much less money and to be honest could have done a better job.

They were all told if they wanted to continue working for the campaign it would be for much less money. They had a choice and some stayed on at a lesser salary. Tim was hired early on, he drove once and scared the crap out of Carl with his erratic driving. I moved in to the drivers seat and continued for 35,000 miles until the republican hacks came in at the primary and worked to get me and the tea party out. They took over and drove the campaign in to the ground. Put Carl in situations some think to blow his chances of winning. The republicans do not like Carl and worked to keep him out including many big name hacks that are all about protecting their kingdoms.

Michael Johns? Holy crap I cannot believe what he was paid and for what? He was suppose to report to me, he was never around. He was doing what I started out doing but I was more involved in the senior staff and the running of the campaign. He wrote a couple speeches and did some research. When I needed him he was no where to be found. He would call me and all he would do is bitch, moan and complain about everything and saying he should have been brought in earlier. He was supposed to put together a report working with another person with all the tea party, 9-12 groups etal and report back to us. I never got the final report. I was hearing from the person he was supposed to be working with saying he was no where to be found.

In any campaign you are going to find disgruntled people who think they are the only ones that can do a particular job, they have egos that will make you sick to be honest. But for Heaney to search out only these people really tells me that the Buffalo News is only out to GET Carl. Of course Carl is in their face with the billboard on the 190, the articles he is writing about them and sending to thousands. They hate him and will do everything possible to take him down and destroy the support he has here. After all he took 70% of the vote in WNY…

Heaney is an ass, if he had called me as he should have, he would have gotten an earful and the truth. But there will be no truth in any of their articles.

10 posted on 03/13/2011 10:03:58 AM PDT by The Mayor (Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is Liberty!)

“The Mayor” is above board and clear that he is Rus Thompson, such as this post:

To: Mrs.Nooseman; ST.LOUIE1; Billie; dutchess; DollyCali; GodBlessUSA; Mrs Mayor; Mama_Bear; …

The radio interview I did is now online at WBEN…

http://eod.liquidviewer.com/wben-od/wben/20061205_thompson.wma

If that doesn’t work right for you go to http://www.wben.com/ and there is a link to it, it just has my name for the title. Rus Thompson

19 posted on 12/05/2006 5:42:07 AM PST by The Mayor ( http://albanysinsanity.com/)

154 “Paladino’s Boys” by Reid Pillifant:

“With those emails out there, he’s clearly unelectable,” said one veteran consultant, who speculated that the team that’s having so much fun fighting alongside Mr. Paladino might also be taking the wealthy developer–who has pledged to spend $10 million of his $150 million fortune –for a ride.

“The people who think that have never met Carl Paladino. No one has ever taken Carl Paladino for a ride,” said Mr. Caputo, whose firm has billed more than $350,000 for what he says are a variety of services. “Carl knows where every cent in this campaign is going.”

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

A rather famous right-winger, Larry Klayman, published a book last year called Whores, subtitled “Why and How I Came to Fight the Establishment.” The founder of Judicial Watch, the leading anti-Clinton advocacy group in the 90s, Klayman ran for senate in Florida in 2004 and hired Stone to run the campaign in May 2003. He calls the crew Stone brought in the Dirty Dozen, and some of the names should send a chill up Carl Paladino’s spine.

For starters, Klayman refers to Caputo as “a frequently well-lubricated press secretary who had once worked for Boris Yelstsin.”

Then there’s Dianne Thorne. “Commissioning the husband of his secretary Diane (sic) to find space,” wrote Klayman, “Roger leased the entire upper floor of a dilapidated building, right above a dry cleaner. Perhaps I should have taken note of that as an omen. I didn’t realize then that Roger and company were taking me to the cleaners.”

Next Klayman went to Roger’s Miami villa and met a pollster Roger hired, Tony Fabrizio, who’s on the Paladino tab now and has billed $104,200 so far in this campaign. Klayman’s starkest memory of the evening was sitting on the dock with Roger overlooking Biscayne Bay and hearing his campaign manager declare: “Isn’t this great? I feel like Hyman Roth.” Fabrizio runs a company that’s still called Fabrizio McLaughlin but the McLaughlin part of it has split off, and McLaughlin Associates did the TruthPAC campaign. Stone has long been associated with both Fabrizio and John McLaughlin.

Stone’s words to Klayman may ring some alarms for Paladino as well. When Klayman raised questions about the staff, which he said “acted like a bunch of misfits” (exactly the description Caputo later offered of the Paladino team), Roger said: “This is beneath you.” The same happened when Roger picked the office space, which happened to be near Roger’s suite on the same road. Roger also explained that “he would have to keep a low profile” because Klayman was not the candidate favored by the Bushes and “he was not favored by the Bushes either,” though in fact all Stone was doing across the country in his Indian gaming self-promotion was marketing his Bush ties.

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.”

156 From “Senate candidate sued for campaign debt” (UPI):

MIAMI, June 9 (UPI) — MIAMI, June 9 (UPI) — A Senate candidate and former head of a conservative watchdog organization has been sued in Miami for failing to pay his bills.

Larry Klayman was sued by the Republican polling firm of Fabrizio, McLaughlin & Associates for reneging on a promise to pay for a $60,000 survey of Florida voters, The Miami Herald reported Wednesday.

He is also in danger of being sued for other debts.

Klayman’s federal campaign documents said he is disputing $211,690 in services provided by seven firms, including high-powered Republican consultants, a lawyer and a landlord.

The largest debt is $83,000, allegedly owned to campaign consultant Roger Stone.

157 From “OSU star, gambling addict campaigns against Issue 3” by Brad Dicken:

ELYRIA – Art Schlichter knows a lot about gambling.

That’s why the former Ohio State quarterback whose professional football career was destroyed by his crippling gambling addiction said he is crisscrossing the state telling anyone who will listen that Issue 3 is a bad idea.

The proposed constitutional amendment would allow the construction of casinos in Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Toledo. Its backers say it will create 34,000 new jobs and boost the state’s sagging economy.

Throughout his career, Schlichter said he was addicted to gambling, specifically betting on sports and on horses.

“I signed for $1 million and immediately blew it on gambling,” he said of his first season with the Colts.

Schlichter said he spent time in 44 prisons or jails for a total of about 10 years on a variety of charges, including theft.

Since his latest release in 2006, he said he’s been clean and working to help others deal with gambling addiction.

158 From “Anti-Casino Ad Draws Criticism From Issue 3 Supporters, Opponents” by Patrick Preston:

TruthPAC spokesperson Sandy Theis denied funding Families Against Issue 3, but acknowledged the two groups work together. NBC4 called and emailed Families Against Issue 3 five times on Monday to give the group an opportunity identify its funding sources. They received our messages and replied briefly by email, but chose not respond with a statement.

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

This time, in Ohio, Stone was working for Jeffrey Jacobs and MTR Gaming, the big buck backer of something called TruthPAC, which led the fight against the casino ballot issue. Jacobs owns a Columbus racetrack and a West Virginia casino threatened by the Ohio measure. Not only is Stone fungible on gaming issues, he’s never too picky about his politics either. Jacobs’ ties to Ohio Democratic Governor Ted Strickland were so strong that Strickland’s treasurer was Truth Pac’s treasurer, and Stone had to share the strategic workload for TruthPAC with the media adviser for the Ohio House’s Democratic caucus.

So guess who’s on the TruthPAC payroll for $67,701? Caputo Public Relations Inc. at its Florida address (appropriately enough, no Inc. is used on the Paladino filing). State officials actually dissolved the company while Caputo was working for TruthPAC, with two payments totaling $21,500 made after its dissolution. In addition to the payments to the Caputo company, TruthPAC gave $5,000 to Caputo’s wife Maryna, who he married that June and took on a tugboat honeymoon that lasted months. On August 15, after his boat broke down, Caputo blogged: “Now we’re headed to Cleveland to await the repair and win a campaign!”

One of the same Thorne companies that appear on the Paladino filings comes in for $15,000 in Ohio, as does stepson Andrew Miller for $3,200. In addition to Miller, Terrence Cronin, also listed at a St. Peters address, collected $1,500. Even Thorne’s husband Tim Suereth, a Florida real estate broker, was paid $20,171. Two Stone companies from Florida that don’t appear on the Paladino filings walked away with over $200,000.

160 From “Casino backers gambled $47.2M on Ohio election” by Jim Provance:

COLUMBUS – The battle over Las Vegas-style casino gambling on Ohio’s ballot last month became a massive, high-stakes game with casino backers spending $47.2 million to convince voters to approve the measure.

That’s more than $28 each for the 1,663,149 votes cast in favor of Issue 3.

Campaign finance filings show that opponents spent $11.7 million in an attempt to defeat the issue – $7.92 for each of the nearly 1.5 million votes cast against the measure.

The vast majority of spending came from just a handful of gambling interests on both sides that either had a direct stake in Issue 3, wanted to protect their turf from Issue 3, or wanted to be invited to Issue 3’s exclusive table.

There was virtually no media presence from traditional anti-gambling groups.

“Every dollar we had went into strategy,” said David Zanotti, spokesman for the staunch anti-gambling Ohio Roundtable.

“We were there, but what did happen, when it came to media, is there was no anti-casino message. It was Casino A versus Casino B, so voters ignored the whole thing. The race was won before it began.”

161 The details on Veterans Retreat are taken from “Airwork: Honoring the Sacrifice” by Tom Benenson:

Veterans Retreat (veteransretreat.com [site is inactive, but available on archive.org])

A 501(c)(3) organization established to show appreciation to wounded veterans is Veterans Retreat (VR). Tim Suereth, president and founder of Veterans Retreat, says the organization aims to help wounded vets get active again by having them participate in inspirational, educational and challenging recreational activities.

Suereth, the son of a decorated Navy fighter pilot, enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1984 at age 17. It was his experiences as a “Navy brat” and his own active duty service that influenced him to found the Veterans Retreat. Always fascinated by flight, Suereth holds a commercial pilot certificate.

Among the challenges and educational courses offered by VR is Introduction to Aviation and Flight Training.

“We intend to inspire others by introducing them to aviation and the thrill of flying,” he says.

The course is offered free to qualified veterans who are interested in flying. In coordination with Pilot Journey (pilotjourney.com), VR will make its aviation courses available throughout the country, at airports near the veterans.

The curriculum of the aviation course includes a ground school class that lasts approximately three hours. Students get a complete overview of the flight instruction process, and each student gets a logbook with an entry for at least one hour of flight time. The vets are also provided information for earning a pilots license or pursuing other aviation options, either for fun or to build a career.

Although VR is capable of offering introduction-to-flight training at FBOs around the country, Suereth says he’d like to bring the veterans to Miami when possible. “They can bring their wives or husbands and make it a weekend vacation of flight training and bonding.”

The GI Bill for education is available to the veterans, and VR plans a link on its website to help the men and women pursue their pilots licenses through the GI Bill. Suereth says if they attend colleges or universities that offer aviation curriculum, they might qualify for 100 percent of the cost.

Word of the VR program has been spreading through the Army’s Wounded Warrior Program (AW2) advocates. An advocate in Tennessee heard of what VR was doing and asked if one of her soldiers could attend. This experience led to six other soldiers from Tennessee signing up for the aviation program, and other state advocates have contacted VR to include their group members.

From “Couple raffles off their Miami Beach condo to help wounded war veterans” by Stephanie Gaskell:

Buy a $100 raffle ticket and you could win a $350,000 condo in Miami Beach.

Sound too good to be true?

A Florida couple is raffling of their waterfront condo and using the proceeds to pay the mortgage – and help wounded veterans.

“We had planned on selling it a couple years ago, but the market started to fall apart,” said Tim Suereth, a 42-year old Army veteran working as a realtor in Miami.

In 2005, Suereth and his wife, Diane Thorne, started Veterans Retreat, a charity group that takes wounded vets on fishing trips.

“City worker wins in raffle – gives part of windfall to vets” by Stephanie Gaskell:

A city employee from Brooklyn won $30,000 in a raffle to benefit injured veterans – and promptly gave some of his payout to the wounded warriors.

William Geary, a 52-year-old engineer with the Citywide Administrative Services Department, bought two $100 tickets for a chance to win a waterfront condo in Miami owned by Veterans Retreat, a Florida-based group that provides fishing and sailing trips for wounded vets.

The charity didn’t sell enough tickets to cover the value of the $350,000 condo, so instead it split the raffle money with Geary. Each got $30,850.

Geary was presented with a check during a ceremony at the Soldiers’, Sailors’, Marines’, Coast Guard and Airmen’s Club in midtown on Friday. He then gave Veterans Retreat founders Tim Suereth and Dianne Thorne a check for $2,500 to help soldiers injured in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“They’re fighting a dangerous war over there,” Geary said. “I can do my part.”

Suereth was shocked at Geary’s generosity – and vowed to hold a fishing trip in New York this summer in Geary’s name.

Veterans Retreat have a series of videos promoting their trips, “Deep Sea Fishing”, “Sailing Instruction”, and “Bondurant Professional Driving”.

162 From “Couple raffles off their Miami Beach condo to help wounded war veterans” by Stephanie Gaskell:

“We had planned on selling it a couple years ago, but the market started to fall apart,” said Tim Suereth, a 42-year old Army veteran working as a realtor in Miami.

In 2005, Suereth and his wife, Diane Thorne, started Veterans Retreat, a charity group that takes wounded vets on fishing trips.

From “Airwork: Honoring the Sacrifice” by Tom Benenson:

Veterans Retreat (veteransretreat.com [site is inactive, but available on archive.org])

A 501(c)(3) organization established to show appreciation to wounded veterans is Veterans Retreat (VR). Tim Suereth, president and founder of Veterans Retreat, says the organization aims to help wounded vets get active again by having them participate in inspirational, educational and challenging recreational activities.

The detail on Sea Odyssey LLC in the letter from Paladino to the Buffalo News, “Paladino vs. the Buffalo News” by Geoff Kelly:

Caputo retained Tim Suereth, who we knew as Tim Smith, without authority for $12,000/mo as a driver and general utility person until I discovered that bills from a company named Sea Odessey were from him. We paid him $31,912.23 for two and one half months work. He only drove me 2 or 3 times before I recognized that he was reckless. His wife was our relentless scheduler/jack of all trades who did a great job for us. Suereth’s claim for expenses of $6,300 pales against our claim for amounts paid fraudulently including the cost of moving Caputo’s pleasure boat from Florida to Albany.

From the incorporation of Sea Odyssey LLC, downloaded from the entry for Sea Odyssey LLC, taken from the Florida Department of State Division of Corporations:

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

163 From the documents of Veterans Retreat, downloaded from the entry for Veterans Retreat, taken from the Florida Department of State Division of Corporations:

The 2008 incorporating Veterans Retreat as a non-profit:

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

The subsequent paperwork where Veterans Retreat is listed as a for profit corporation:

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

164 From “Carl Paladino vs. The Tea Party: No Love Lost” by Wayne Barrett:

What’s surprising is that even as Paladino lays claim to Tea Party support, he’s paid no political price for actually disqualifying the only party carrying that name that had to chance to appear on this year’s ballot. And his campaign manager Caputo has been deeply embroiled for months in a similar legal effort to destroy the Florida Tea Party (FTP), or at least the group that was first to lay legal claim to the name. In fact, Caputo told the Sunshine News in July, while manning the fort in Paladinoland, that he was putting $20,000 a month into a lawsuit against the Florida Tea Party, insisting the money was coming “out of my own pocket.”

That was also when Everett Wilkinson, the leader of the South Florida Tea Party and the plaintiff in the lawsuit against the FTP that Caputo is funding, told the Washington Post that his group supported the recent federal court decision invalidating the ban on gay marriage. Wilkinson told the Post that his group includes “several hundred” supporters who are gay, making this an odd alliance in Paladinoland. The FTP actually registered with the Florida Division of Elections in August 2009, and the lawsuit, ballyhooed in a Caputo press release, was filed a year later.

Wilkinson rushed off the phone when we asked about Roger Stone’s possible role, but he testified at a deposition that he doesn’t know Stone. Oddly enough, he says he’s never met Caputo either, though they talk on the phone every “couple of days.” The young activist told the Voice that his phone relationship with Caputo, which began in January, was arranged by “a mutual friend” he declined to identify. Wilkinson testified that he couldn’t recall if he called Caputo first or Caputo called him, saying only that he receives no bills from the lawyers representing him in the case. He calls Caputo his “consultant” though they have no “formal agreement.” Asked how Caputo is financing the case, Wilkinson said to the Voice: “I don’t know. He makes money, he’s a professional consultant.”

165 From “The Florida tea party conspiracy theory” by John Frank:

A number of the tea party candidates we called referred us to Fred O’Neal, the head of the party. (Though remember there is a dispute about this, too.) O’Neal, a registered Democrat before becoming a tea party member, said the GOP theory is ridiculous. He said he is just following through on his promise to recruit challengers for Republican lawmakers who supported the SunRail project in the December special session.

One of the candidates is Victoria Torres, a 51-year-old Orlando resident who filed to run in District 51, currently held by Democrat Janet Long, who lives in Seminole in Pinellas County.

From “Link Between Grayson, Tea Party Questioned” by Nathan L. Gonzales:

One of Rep. Alan Grayson’s pollsters is running for the state House in Florida as a Tea Party candidate, fueling Republican suspicions that the Democratic Congressman is using a newly formed third party to boost his own re-election bid.

On Friday, Victoria Torres, 44, of Orlando qualified to run as a Tea Party candidate in state House district 51 in the last hours of the qualifying period.

A call to Torres was returned by Nick Egoroff, communications director for the Florida Tea Party, who described Torres as a “quasi-paralegal assistant who works in a law office.” But apparently, Torres is also a pollster.

According to records from the Florida Department of State office, Torres incorporated Public Opinion Strategies Inc. in December 2008. In the first quarter of this year, Grayson’s campaign made two payments to her firm, totaling $11,000, for polling and survey expenses.

The name of Torres’ company is curious, considering Alexandria, Va.-based Public Opinion Strategies is one of the largest and best-known Republican polling firms in the country. Egoroff declined to say if Torres has worked for any other clients, and her company doesn’t appear to have a website.

A spokesman for Grayson confirmed that Public Opinion Strategies Inc. is one of three pollsters the Congressman has employed. Dr. Jim Kitchens is Grayson’s principal pollster, but his campaign also uses Middleton Market Research. The use of multiple pollsters simultaneously in the same cycle is highly uncommon for a Congressional candidate.

166 “Brew-ha-ha? Tea Party could help Grayson win re-election” by Mark Schlueb:

In less than two years, freshman Democrat U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson has built a national reputation as a bare-knuckle brawler whom conservatives love to hate, an unapologetic supporter of health-care reform and government regulation.

But come Election Day, he stands to gain from an unlikely source: the Florida Tea Party.

The fledgling Florida Tea Party has put forward Peg Dunmire against Grayson in the race for Florida’s 8th Congressional District. Grayson, Dunmire and whichever Republican wins that party’s August primary will face off in the November general election.

As a third-party candidate and political newcomer with scant campaign funding, Dunmire has little chance of winning. But with a spot on the ballot listed under the Florida Tea Party mantle, she could attract votes from disaffected conservatives — votes that would otherwise likely go to the Republican candidate.

“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that it would split the conservative vote and weaken the Republican Party so that Grayson would have more of a shot at winning,” said Dan Fanelli, one of seven Republicans seeking the party nomination to run against Grayson.

167 From “A man for all political seasons” by Mark Schleub:

With a sharp sense of humor, an acerbic tongue and a populist message, Guetzloe has built Ax the Tax into a small but highly motivated grass-roots force. Under his leadership, its loose and ever-changing band of believers in at least eight counties has fought new taxes to pay for environmental lands, schools and roads as well as plans for light rail, commuter rail and more. There have been high-profile successes, such as the 2003 defeat of the Mobility 20/20 sales-tax increase for transportation, and high-profile losses, such as the education tax approved by voters a year earlier.

Orlando Magic executives said Thursday that they paid Guetzloe $100,000 in 2001 and another $100,000 in 2006 to keep him from attacking plans for a new basketball arena, performing-arts center and renovated Florida Citrus Bowl. Hotelier Harris Rosen, who opposes the use of tourist-tax money for the projects, had rebuffed Guetzloe’s offer to fight on his side for $20,000, Rosen’s attorney said.

Guetzloe faces 14 misdemeanor counts for failing to include a political designation on a Winter Park mailer in March. Records show that a state attorney’s investigator theorized that payments totaling $471,250 from the law firm of Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed in 2005 and 2006 were tied to the law firm’s representation of land developers pushing controversial projects in Winter Park and Winter Garden. But the records do not indicate that there was anything illegal about the payments, nor do they accuse the law firm of sponsoring the mailer.

Guetzloe’s anti-tax crusaders mobilized last year to convince Osceola County taxpayers that a county convention center was a bad deal while his consulting firm was being paid more than $87,000 by the Gaylord Palms Resort, which was pushing its own plan for a competing facility.

Guetzloe attacked the proposed Mobility 20/20 transportation tax in 2003, saying the plan would put tolls on Interstate 4. But not long after the proposal’s defeat, the toll-road agency began paying him as a consultant to gauge future opposition to possible toll increases. He collected $107,500 since 2004 and produced a two-page report.

168 The data from the 2010 and 2012 elections involving Grayson is taken from the wikipedia entries for Florida’s 8th Congressional District and 9th Congressional District.

From “Floridians debate – and sue – to determine who’s a real Tea Partier” by Alex Pappas:

“Sorry, but the Tea Party political party you are writing about is not a part of the authentic Tea Party movement,” said Michael R. Caputo, who runs a public relations firm in Florida in an e-mail to The Daily Caller. “The party is a sham; you were duped.”

Fred O’Neal, founder of the Florida Tea Party, said he is now filing suit on Wednesday against the activists who are suing him. Caputo, he said, is one of a number of Republicans who are trying to “drive a wedge between us and other Tea Party groups.”

Critics of Wilkinson’s political party say the party’s founders — O’Neal, Doug Guetzloe and Nick Egoroff — “want revenge,” according to McClellan. Guetzloe, he said, is a political consultant who was banned from the GOP with a history of political trickery who saw the Tea Party movement as an opportunity to perhaps make money.

McClellan leads a group of about 33 plaintiffs who are suing the Florida Tea Party over their usage of the name. He said that since the third party was registered, local grassroots groups were told not to use the phrase “Tea Party” without the political party’s permission. On December 6, that trial is set to begin in U.S. District Court in West Palm Beach.

O’Neal said he never said the local groups could no longer use the Tea Party name: “We never made that kind of threat, but they got it out there, so everyone thinks we’re the bad guys.”

O’Neal’s soon-to-be filed complaint, obtained by The Daily Caller, lists Guetzloe as the plaintiff. Defendants listed are Cheryl Matchett, Everett Wilkinson, Michael Cuputo and Tim McClellan. The suit alleges Guetzloe suffered emotional distress, defamation and loss of income over the Tea Party fiasco. O’Neal said the suit “pretty well ties up the motivations of why they’re criticizing us.”

Articles on Doug Guetzloe’s conviction and his arrival at prison are “Guetzloe sentenced to 15 months in tax case” by Amy Pavuk and “Doug Guetzloe arrives at federal prison to serve sentence”.

169 From “Everett Wilkinson: Tea Party Extremist, Media Darling” by Terrence McCoy:

Which is exactly what gets left out of the column inches. Wilkinson, 34, was there when Florida’s Tea Party was founded on tax day in 2009. Since then, however, he’s been involved in controversy and lawsuits so extensive that the Tea Party Fort Lauderdale plasters a message at the bottom of its letters: We’re “not in any way affiliated… with Everett Wilkinson, or any of his organizations that come and go.”

What’s more, big media either don’t now about or don’t bother with his out-there conspiracy theories and fringe extremism. This he saves for news releases. According to a perfunctory Wilkinson email, President Barack Obama will soon take away everyone’s guns, spiraling the nation into a civil war that will spur the United Nations to send in “peacekeeping troops.”

And he claims the Federal Emergency Management Agency has built more than 800 “concentration camps” all over the country to detain and silence any political dissident opposing the emerging socialistic, “if not fascist,” control over the nation. The government “is gearing up for civil war,” Wilkinson says.

So we sat down with Wilkinson last week, and he told us his story while cocooned in a large black suit and drinking cinnamon coffee. He grew up in rural Michigan, an hour west of Detroit, in a whitewashed township called Leslie. His parents divorced when he was young, and his mom raised and later homeschooled him. He hopped between Western Michigan University and Jackson Community College before finally obtaining a degree from an online university. Wilkinson arrived in Florida when he was 26 and opened a construction company he claims did “very well.” (A survey of state business records shows no evidence that Wilkinson ever owned a business in Florida. When asked about this, Wilkinson said, “I’m not going to talk about personal stuff, period.”)

Wilkinson says he didn’t enjoy the work, however, and was soon seized with a new passion: conservative activism. On February 19, 2009, Rick Santelli went on CNBC and delivered his now-iconic shelling of President Obama and the federal stimulus, saying he was planning a Chicago “tea party” in July. “I saw the video later that day and thought, ‘We can’t wait for July. It needs to be now.'” So Wilkinson dialed his acquaintance Sid Dinerstein, then the Palm Beach County Republican chairman. Dinerstein called his buddies, and they all organized a rally in downtown West Palm Beach.

“On April 15, 2009, we had 2,500 people,” says Dinerstein, recalling the first time he saw Floridians step into Colonial garb and bellow indignation. “And we also had [then-Florida House Speaker] Marco Rubio.”

Across the country, more than 1 million people had protested. Though Wilkinson says today he conceived the Tea Party, his specific role isn’t clear. Dinerstein claims to be the one who founded the Tea Party movement in Florida, and Wilkinson was just a “young guy” who helped.

After Wilkinson incorporated the South Florida Tea Party as a nonprofit on April 20, 2009 — one of the many Tea Party organizations with which he is affiliated — he started working the phones. “He called me and said, ‘Anyone who’s in the Tea Party in Florida is under the South Florida Tea Party. We’re heading this up,'” recalls Danita Kilcullen, Fort Lauderdale Tea Party chairwoman. “And I didn’t know him from Adam.”

But that tenacity got him noticed. In October 2009, Wilkinson materialized on MSNBC’s Hardball With Chris Matthews. Next came CNN, and soon Wilkinson had launched a Twitter handle: @teapartyczar.

In January 2010, Wilkinson filed a federal lawsuit, which was later dropped, against the Florida TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party, alleging it had misappropriated the name tea. Its chairman, Doug Guetzloe, then sued Wilkinson in state court for defamation; those claims too were dropped. In separate litigation, Wilkinson was sued in 2011 for breach of contract and paid a woman named Susan Smith of Palm Beach County $1,251 after she accused him of “lies” and “procrastination” that impeded her fundraising efforts, according to Sunshine State News.

That same year, Wilkinson organized a local rally for Donald Trump in Boca Raton but came up short $6,000 in security fees, and Trump had to cover the event’s expenses. (Wilkinson says he hadn’t expected so high a bill.)

And it’s likely, for all his national clout, he doesn’t have much of a following. Wilkinson told New Times last November that he has as many as 40,000 followers, but Pam Wohlschlegel, the former Palm Beach County Tea Party chairwoman, said she doesn’t know anyone anywhere who takes Wilkinson seriously.

Nick Egoroff, a Tea Party activist in Orlando, called Wilkinson a “has-been.” Five prominent party activists interviewed by New Times all agreed: Wilkinson is pure bluster.

170 From “Supposed Tea Party Leaders Support Resorts World Miami Casino” by Kyle Munzenrieder:

Recent research seems to suggest that the Tea Party is just the old, trusty religious right wrapped up in a shiny new package. Apparently, South Florida Tea Partiers didn’t get the memo. Two Tea Party leaders in the area, which neither appear to be very powerful, have voiced their public support for Genting’s Resorts World Miami project, including its casino. This, despite the fact banning gambling was a major plank of the religious right’s agenda.

Thorne says her group has 23,000 members, but its website lists no other officers. A Google search on Thorne also reveals little previous activity in the Tea Party. In fact, the largest section of their website is a page supporting the casino. Very curious. Why or how this woman decided to speak for the entire Tea Party, we’re not entirely sure.

That Caputo does work for Trump is obvious from the recent story “Astorino gambit deepens state GOP intrigue on candidacy for governor” by Robert J. McCarthy:

Now it’s Donald J. Trump’s move.

The billionaire real estate developer told The Buffalo News last week that he would end his gubernatorial bid should Astorino announce, but his supporters say Trump continues to build support among county chairmen across the state and refuses to flinch following Astorino’s latest maneuvers.

“It’s going to take a lot more than Rob Astorino walking across the street to open a bank account to stop Donald Trump from trouncing him,” said Michael R. Caputo, the East Aurora political consultant working on the Trump effort. “Donald Trump is starting to get an air of inevitability, and Rob Astorino is having trouble getting any air at all.”

Caputo said Tuesday that Trump continues to contact leaders of Republican organizations around the state and that “well over half” are committed to him.

Trump said he remains uninterested in wooing delegates at the Republican State Convention, even saying he would drop out should Astorino formally declare.

But Caputo said he sees a Trump nomination as a “fait accompli” long before party leaders meet in May.

171 An account of the failure to pass the Genting bill is relayed in “Genting-Backed Casino Bill Stalls in Florida Legislature” by Michael C. Bender.

172 From a transcript of “The Shark Tank”, taken from a two part interview on youtube (part one and part two):

JAVIER MANJARRES
Let me ask you a question: we spoke last time about the issue of the Seminoles. You want to speak about that?

STONE
I guess my real point here is, the governor’s race, in Florida between Alex Sink and Bill McCallum, and I’m supporting Bill McCallum, a good conservative, neither one of these campaigns is setting the world on fire. There’s not enough no-doze in the state to keep people awake during this race. Arguing about who has a stronger connection to the banking industry, Bill McCallum or Alex Sink, is not much of a contest. I mean, I do know this, since we’re sitting in Rothstein’s favorite watering hole, it’s important to know this: after John McCain left, lost the election, Rothstein gave money to Nancy Pelosi, he gave money to Harry Reid, he gave money to the Florida democratic party, he gave money to Alex Sink, he changed his stripes. So I would say, democratic moneymen Scott Rothstein is in the Miami-Dade detention center because he switched, before he was busted. And I think he is as big a problem for the democrats, as he is for Charlie Crist.

My only point about the Seminoles are: the Seminole casinos do not have a legal compact with the state of Florida. They continue to run slot machines which they are entitled to, but have no compact for, illegally. They continue to run blackjack, illegally. They continue to net millions and millions of dollars, and pay the state of Florida, nothing. WHO WILL CLOSE THEM DOWN? Alex Sink? Or Bill McCallum? Believe me, FDLE can close them down. Their sovereign territory is surrounded by our sovereign territory. Who has the courage to get the money, and close them down? Alex Sink, or Bill McCallum? That’s what I would like to see.

MANJARRES
(înaudible)

STONE
That’s an argument. He’s the governor’s lawyer, in essence. And what his authority is, is unclear. He has asked the national gaming commission to close them down. They have taken no steps. They are clearly operating illegally. The answer is not complicated. Surround every one of their casinos with Florida state patrolmen. And no cars go in. Or out. Till the indians are ready to negotiate. That is our sovereign territory. They are running games that are illegal in the state of Florida. All it takes is a governor with guts, and will. Will that be Bill McCallum, or will it be Alex Sink, remains to be seen.

MANJARRES
How did it get to this point? I don’t understand…

STONE
Well, here’s how, because Charlie Crist negotiated…let’s take it from the beginning. George Lemieux negotiated on behalf of the state of Florida. During the time of that negotiation, the Seminole Indians gave a million dollars to the state party, who gave at least three hundred fifty thousand of it to George Lemieux. So the Seminole Indians bought the negotiator. And that’s a fact. And by the way, I welcome a lawsuit if that’s not a fact. Secondarily, Charlie Crist and George Lemieux signed a compact with the indians that not only required the indians to pay the lowest percentage of income for slot machines of any of the eighteen states that conduct indian gaming, but also gave the indians blackjack, a game not legal in Florida for anyone else. The indians immediately opened their slot machines, and they opened their blackjack parlors. The Florida state supreme court voided that compact, and at that time, the indians refused to close and remained open till that time. Florida state supreme court voided that compact for two reasons: it had not been approved by Marco Rubio and the legislature, and it had not been approved, and included a game, blackjack, which is illegal in Florida, which Charlie Crist, and the little frenchman [chief of staff Scott Lemieux], had no authority to give the indians. Now: the legislature has refused to consider amendments to that compact which would allow the indians these illegal games and the indians continue to run them, illegally. It is time for someone to take authority in the state of Florida, as millions of dollars are being stolen from the state of Florida. Let me say it again: the Seminoles are not permitted to run those games, without a compact, with the state of Florida. They’re illegal. And this time they pay the state of Florida.

173 From “Casinos for Florida? Let the People Decide” by Roger Stone:

Disney, the Florida Chamber of Commerce, South Florida Pari-mutuels, and the Seminole Indians were joined by some greedy Las Vegas Casino companies to block this proposal. Passage of the so-called Destination Casino Resorts bill would have generated billions in revenues for the state’s strained and under-funded operating budget and produced thousands of jobs for local job-seekers. Some estimates indicate that 40% of South Florida’s unemployed workers could find work once the destination resorts proposal was passed.

Ironically, Walt Disney World, the pari-mutuels, and the Seminole Indian Tribe have been the fiercest and most outspoken opponents of legal, regulated gaming coming to Florida. Whose ox is being gored?

174 It is impossible to go into any detail on Ken Jenne’s life and career, but two well-written, well-research pieces are “The Sheriff’s Criminal Association” by Bob Norman and “The Plot To Depose King Jenne” by Roger Williams. A piece on Jenne’s employment by Rothstein is “Jenne Oversaw FLPD and Security for Rothstein; Rosenfeldt Hit for Campaign Cash” by Bob Norman:

So what did former Broward County Sheriff Ken Jenne actually do for Scott Rothstein after he went to work at his law firm one week after leaving prison in fall 2008?

Well, among other projects, it turns out that Jenne was overseeing the Fort Lauderdale police detail, trying to develop an ambitious security firm, and overseeing an in-house investigative unit at the Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler firm staffed by former federal agents, according to sources.

Think about that for a second. A man pulling off one of the great Ponzi schemes in Florida history had Jenne, a disgraced sheriff and felon, overseeing active Fort Lauderdale police officers to protect him. It’s just so Rothstein.

175 From “Rothstein Accomplice Still On Lam” by Roger Stone:

I agreed to help appointed Sheriff Al Lamberti at a private meeting in the projection room of Rothstein’s home in which Lamberti Aides, Tom Wheeler and David Benjamin, asked for my help. “We’re cops,” said Wheeler. “We don’t know anything about getting elected.” Rothstein arranged for a contribution from his partner Tony Bova to a pro-Lamberti electioneering campaign committee. I believe that contribution to be perfectly legal. Democrat Scott Israel should have been an easy victor in the 6-1 Democratic County which Obama carried by a record 350,000 votes. Imagine my shock when days before the election RRA lawyers Stuart Rosenfeldt and David Boden contributed $160,000 to an electioneering campaign supporting Democrat Scott Israel. I am certain the money was a pass through from Rothstein as neither lawyer has that kind of wealth.

176 Stills from the ad which is on youtube, “Scott Israel Ad”, dealing with Bush hatchetmen:

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

177 From the comments of “Roger Stone Had Key Role In Lamberti’s Win” by Buddy Nevins:

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

178 From “Update: Trickster Roger Stone Denies Role In Smear; Granteed Rejects Tea Party Support” by Buddy Nevins:

Stone denied the report on WPLG-TV’s Channel 10’s blog that he ran the Tea Party of Miami, which was responsible for the robo calls against Democrat Louis Granteed.

“I am up to my hips in (Libertarian nominee) Governor Gary Johnson’s Campaign for President working to make sure he is on the ballot in 50 states,” Stone e-mailed Browardbeat.com “He will be. I am not too focused on local Broward politics.”

The robo call stated:

“Hello, I’m calling for Tea Party Miami, one of the largest and most active Tea Party organizations in South Florida. We recommend conservative law and order Democrat Louie Granteed for Broward County Sheriff. Louie Granteed is a tough no-nonsense cop who won’t kowtow to minorities, civil liberties groups or good government types.Louie Granteed will crack down on illegal immigrants in Broward County. Please remember that Tea Party Miami recommends Louie Granteed for Broward County Sheriff. Paid for by Tea Party Miami 501C4 Organization”

The e-mail sent to me is here:

(Addressed to the Channel 10 blogger. Name and private e-mail removed.)

I am contacting you regarding your post that a girlfriend brought to my attention.

Although I was one of the founders of Tea Party Miami, I am no longer a member nor have any association. I resigned over a year ago.

I resigned to join the campaign of Gov. Gary Johnson and now work as the scheduler of the Libertarian Party VP candidate Judge Jim Gray.

Eric Wolfgang Von Tausch was elected Chairman when I resigned.

I am a long time professional associate of Roger Stone but it is sexist to suggest that I do not have my own opinions and activities.

I know nothing about Mr. Granteed but I don’t like what I have read–mostly written by you.

Did you not write ………

“The truth is that Granteed was a key figure and one-time defendant in a sexual harassment claim made a former female police officer in the early 1990s that led to a six-figure settlement against the city.

And the truth is that convicted Hollywood cop Kevin Companion told an undercover FBI agent that if he got in trouble Granteed would bail him out of it.”

The guy sounds like a real creep. I would never vote for him. If I was still on the board I would have voted against recommending him.

Please print a clarification.

Sincerely

Dianne J. Thorne

From the same piece is Granteed rejecting the Tea Party endorsement:

Meanwhile late Saturday, Granteed rejected the Miami Tea Party’s endorsement in this statement:

Louie Granteed Denounces Support from Miami Tea Party Organization

FORT LAUDERDALE—Today, Louie Granteed, Democrat for Broward county Sheriff, denounces the alleged support from the Miami Tea party. He issued the following statement.

Scott Israel and his supporters have lowered themselves to such a low standard. This is the type of Karl Rove tactic that one would expect from a closet republican like Scott Israel. I have not been endorsed or supported by any tea party organizations as I share the values and beliefs of the Democratic party. I support all of our communities in Broward and as your next Sheriff I will work to keep every corner of Broward safe. This is just an attempt by a desperate campaign to distract voters from the real issues that Broward residents truly care about such as the economy, diversity, public safety, juvenile crime prevention programs and making Broward a better place to live and work. My record of proven leadership and commitment to the community speaks for itself.”

179 From “Tea Party: Sheriff endorsement not dirty trick” (no credited writer):

An upset voter called yesterday to say she’d gotten a robocall from the South Florida Tea Party endorsing Republican Sheriff Al Lamberti.

It was enough to make her re-think her vote.

But Lamberti said he’s the victim of a dirty trick, just as primary sheriff’s candidate Louis Granteed was in August.

Voters might recall a series of phone messages in the Democratic primary between Granteed and Scott Israel. Granteed was endorsed in a prank robocall by the Miami Tea Party. Then came the call from “George W. Bush” talking about what a great guy Granteed is. Well, Granteed lost.

Now the Tea Party is heaping its love on Lamberti.

Lamberti denounced the endorsement calls.

“It’s highly suspicious, and probably a dirty trick,” Lamberti said. “The group doesn’t exist. When you call them back, there’s no answer. … I don’t think this is a real organization.”

The South Florida Tea Party, meanwhile, didn’t appreciate being described as non-existent. They’re not the same group that endorsed Granteed, and chairman Everett Wilkinson said this one’s for real.

Wilkinson said: “We did endorse Al Lamberti because he is the conservative and best represents the tea party core values. He has been very supportive of conservatives in Broward and is well know for his fiscal policies. Lamberti even promotes this on his website. Lastly, we are only making calls to Republican and Independent voters. I am confused how this could hurt him as he is a Republican. What does Roger Stone have to do with this?”

From “Hidden owner of ‘news’ site gave $120,000 to group that paid sheriff’s campaign manager” by Dan Christensen, which also points out that Miller runs the Broward Bugle, ostensibly a news site, which promotes whatever political candidates that Stone and associates are involved with:

The registered owner of an online Broward “news” operation contributed over $120,000 to a political group that made payments to a firm owned by Sheriff Scott Israel’s campaign manager, Amy Rose, and to her husband.

Andrew James Miller, 29, gave the money to Taxpayers for Integrity in Government last August, amid Israel’s successful bid to unseat then-Sheriff Al Lamberti, election records show.

Miller is a protégé of flamboyant South Florida-based political consultant and prospective gubernatorial candidate, Roger Stone. Miller describes himself on his Twitter page as a “political pirate, provocateur, street fighter.”

The donations can also be found in the Florida Campaign Finance Data Base for Taxpayers for Integrity in Government, Inc.:

2012 F3 08/02/2012 100,000.00 MILLER ANDREW JAMES
2012 F3 08/09/2012 10,100.00 MILLER ANDREW JAMES
2012 G1 08/10/2012 10,100.00 MILLER ANDREW JAMES

The donation for $100 000 is easily one of the largest made to the commitee, far larger than that of the multi-national coporations. Miller lists his profession as “business consultant”.

For example, here is the contribution from Genting to Taxpayers for Integrity in Government, Inc.:

2012 Q1 01/13/2012 10,000.00 GENTING NEW YORK LLC

Here is the contribution from Disney:

2012 F1 06/18/2012 10,000.00 DISNEY WORLDWIDE SERVICES, INC

From the paperwork for Oracle Outreach, taken the Oracle Outreach entry at the Florida Department of State Division of Corporations:

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

From the paperwork for the Benjamin Franklin Institute entry at the Florida Department of State Division of Corporations:

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

180 The expenditures of Florida Citizens United is taken from the Florida Campaign Finance Data Base:

2012 G4 10/24/2012 150,000.00 CORNERSTONE MANAGEMENT LLC 779 DOWNING STREET TEANECK, NJ 07666
2012 G4 10/24/2012 70,000.00 CORNERSTONE MANAGEMENT LLC 779 DOWNING STREET TEANECK, NJ 33102
2012 Q4 11/05/2012 62,000.00 THE RUTHERFORD GROUP 17 WESTMINSTER GATE BERGENFIELD, NJ 07621
2012 Q4 11/05/2012 25.00 CHASE BANK 12201 CORAL WAY MIAMI, FL 33178
2012 Q4 11/05/2012 15.00 CHASE BANK 12201 CORAL WAY MIAMI, FL 33178
2012 Q4 11/05/2012 15.00 CHASE BANK 12201 CORAL WAY MIAMI, FL 33178
2012 Q4 11/14/2012 5,000.00 CORNERSTONE MANAGEMENT 779 DOWNING STREET TEANECK, NJ 07666
2012 Q4 11/14/2012 25.00 CHASE BANK 12201 CORAL WAY MIAMI, FL 33178
2012 Q4 11/16/2012 0.25 CHASE BANK 12201 CORAL WAY MIAMI, FL 33178

From “Anatomy of the Gelber Attack: From Amway to Huizenga” by Bob Norman:

The ad was funded through a state 527 committee that itself was funded a quarter million dollars by a federal organization called the American Federation for Children. That group is aiming these kinds of scurrilous attacks against Democratic Jewish candidates in several races.

The chairman of the state committee is Elnatan Rudolph, a former Teaneck N.J., councilman and, get this, a “self-described protégé of Roger Stone.” Yes the same former dirty trickster Roger Stone who got his start in the Nixon campaign and served as Scott Rothstein’s political guru before the Ponzi schemer’s implosion last year.

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

Broward Sheriff Scott Israel plucked two more people from the world of politics and hired them at Broward Sheriff’s Office.

One is associated with renowned political dirty-trickster Roger Stone. The other was chief of staff for former Sheriff Ken Jenne, whose fall from grace ended in a prison sentence.

Newly hired as of May 13 is Dianne Thorne, the former executive assistant to Stone, who will make $60,398 as a community affairs specialist II, the BSO public information office said.

Stone, as we reported a time or two here, was involved in the sheriff’s race. It’s always hard to tell which side Stone is on; sometimes, he’s on both sides. In the first Scott Israel versus Al Lamberti matchup, Stone was working for Scott Rothstein, then-attorney, to help get Lamberti elected. (Rothstein’s in prison now, the area’s biggest Ponzi criminal).

On to Wilder. Wilder’s name was once synonymous with the Ken Jenne administration. He lives in Tallahassee now, where he’s swimming in the political world with a consulting business.

BSO gave him a contract worth $60,000 a year, I confirmed late yesterday. I’ll post the contract shortly.

Ken Jenne going to the Broward Sheriff’s office is described in “Sheriff Scott Israel’s Massive Blunder” by Buddy Nevins, while the meeting between Israel and Stone is described in “Sheriff-elect Israel spotted with Roger Stone” by Brittany Wallman.

181 From “Re: Complaint Against Campaign Of Miami-Dade County Mayoral Candidate Carlos Gimenez, “committee For Honest Government,” And “common Sense Now!”” (hosted at the Miami Herald):

As part of the Miami-Dade County Mayoral campaign, a series of “ROBO calls” were generated during the weekend prior to the election of May 24, 2011. The ROBO calls were designed and intended as an attack on Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina, and to advance the Carlos Gimenez Mayoral campaign. One of the ROBO calls is particularly offensive, designed to appeal to and incite prejudice toward Hispanics, and advocates as follows:

We aren’t Hialeah. Nor do we want to be. Hialeah mayor and millionaire developer Julio Robaina wants us to trust him. He wants to be mayor. We can’t trust Hialeah’s Robaina. Irresponsible development, traffic congestion and noise, backroom deals and illegal gambling — is that what we want in our neighborhood? Of course not. We aren’t Hialeah. Nor do we want to be. Let’s stop Hialeah’s Robaina from importing his brand of shady politics to our neighborhood. Let’s stop career politician Robaina.

182 From “Re: Complaint Against Campaign Of Miami-Dade County Mayoral Candidate Carlos Gimenez, “committee For Honest Government,” And “common Sense Now!”” (hosted at the Miami Herald), on the offensive nature of the call:

Miami-Dade County residents received this ROBO during the weekend of May 20th. As a resident, Zoo Miami director Ron Magill was so offended that he sent an unsolicited e-mail about this offensive ROBO call to the Julio Robaina Mayoral campaign.

From “Re: Complaint Against Campaign Of Miami-Dade County Mayoral Candidate Carlos Gimenez, “committee For Honest Government,” And “common Sense Now!””, illustrating the secretive quality of PACs like Cornerstone:

A written request was sent by Federal Express to Cornerstone Management Partners to the New Jersey address (a single family home) listed on the financial reports, asking the recipient to contact us. Despite repeated efforts, no one from Cornerstone Management Partners responded to inquiries about the ROBO calls and to the payer of such calls.

Election finance databases were researched, disclosing that “Cornerstone Management Partners,” with a Teaneck, New Jersey address participated in other campaign activities in Florida during the past eighteen months, mainly through electioneering committees. Particularly interesting is that activities of an electioneering committee employing “Cornerstone Management Partners,” were responsible for an attack piece (a publication) during last year’s elections similar in kind to the offensive “ROBO call” referenced in this letter. The particular attack piece contained similar ethnic undertones and was directed against Dan Gelber, then Candidate for Attorney General of Florida, labeling him as “Toxic to Jewish Education.”

On how the funding of the call may have violated election laws:

If the reports of the unnamed The Miami Herald reporter are accurate and, in fact, the Committee for Honest Government paid for the calls, this raises serious questions. The call is either a violation of Florida Statutes Section 106.11(4) which requires that all expenditures or expenses by a political committee be done only when there are “sufficient funds on deposit” in the political committee’s bank account (they showed approximately $289 as of May 19th, insufficient for the calls they made); or a violation of Florida Statutes Section 106.08(4), which prohibits the use of any funds received by a political committee within five days of an election (such funds can only be used after the election). The latter section would have been violated if the Committee for Honest Government used funds donated after May 19th for the calls.

183 From “Group claims Gelber is against scholarships for Jewish schools”:

For this Truth-O-Meter, we will research, is Gelber “on the record against scholarships to help our needy children attend Jewish private schools?”

Let’s note at the start that the state and the mailer call these “scholarships” though they are often referred to as vouchers. And Gelber has been a firm opponent of vouchers ever since they appeared in Florida 10 years ago.

Now a look at the newspaper clips the mailer cited:

  • “This program needs major reformation. It’s an embarrassment.” St. Petersburg Times, Sept. 24, 2003. The article was about the state education commissioner at the time, Jim Horne, calling for an investigation into the Silver Archer foundation after about $400,000 in voucher money went missing. The article doesn’t quote Gelber on his views on missing vouchers money, but here is his full quote: “I don’t want to prejudge Silver Archer — I don’t know what they did — but this program was an invitation for fraud waste and abuse. This program needs major reformation. It’s an embarrassment.” This article doesn’t support the claim in the ad — it just shows Gelber was concerned about fraud.
  • “Floridians want us to fix public schools not push some right wing agenda to privatize schools.” Gelber was quoted in the Miami Herald Feb. 16, 2006, in an article about Bush calling for a constitutional amendment on private school vouchers about a month after the Florida Supreme Court tossed out the state’s first voucher program as unconstitutional.

Gelber disputes the claim because he said it portrays him as voting for something specific to Jewish schools, while the vouchers apply to private schools in general.

“There was no vote on Jewish schools,” said Gelber in an interview. “I don’t support the voucher program.”

Our ruling

We say no, that’s not a fact. While Gelber has repeatedly voted against and criticized vouchers for any students, he has no record at all of voting against Jewish education, and it’s a crass twist of logic to claim otherwise. Characterizing his long opposition to the voucher program as a direct vote against needy Jewish children is flat-out wrong. We rate this claim Pants on Fire.

From “Race for insurance commissioner gets even uglier” by Bruce Bryant-Friedland on the Jacksonville smear:

Just when a nasty race for the Florida insurance commissioner’s job seemed to be settling into a steady, ugly affair, it sank to a new, astonishingly low level.

A Washington, D.C.-based group with the earnest-sounding name of the Committee for Justice for Holocaust Victims ran vicious newspaper ads at the end of July attacking Insurance Commissioner Bill Nelson, a Democrat, for being insensitive to Holocaust victims.

But on further digging, it appears that the committee is a Republican front group.

Two of the Holocaust committee’s top officers, Dominic DelPapa, a public relations man, and J. Curtis Herge, a Virginia attorney, are closely connected to national Republican groups, The Tampa Tribune reported.

DelPapa works for GOP political strategist Roger Stone, and Herge is the registered agent for political action committees representing Oliver North, George Bush, the Republican Party and other conservative causes, the newspaper reported.

Officials in other groups representing Holocaust victims knew nothing about the committee, which was founded in February.

“Never heard of them,” said Max Liebman, the treasurer of the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors, a New York City-based umbrella organization representing an estimated 120,000 survivors living in the United States.

And Rabbi Israel Singer of the World Jewish Congress, which has spearheaded the effort to recover survivor assets from Swiss and European financial institutions, told the Tampa paper, “These guys are way out of our orbit.”

At issue is Nelson’s approval of contracts with bank syndicates that included two large Swiss banks.

Union Bank of Switzerland and Credit Suisse are accused of denying Holocaust survivors and their family members access to their accounts after World War II, thereby stealing their money.

In 1995 and in February 1997, Nelson signed off on a loan syndication agreement negotiated by the autonomous state-created homeowner insurer of last resort, the Joint Underwriting Association.

Those loan deals assured the Underwriting Association the ability to borrow up to $1.5 billion to pay homeowner claims in the event of a Hurricane Andrew-like storm.

But when Nelson signed off on the syndicate in February 1997, no state banking or insurance regulator in the nation had taken any formal action against either the Swiss banks or European insurers.

New York officials first took action in October 1997, eight months after the loan syndication had been signed.

184 From “Michael Cohen And Elnatan Rudolph: NY Staffers, Well-Paid Consultants, NJ Candidates” by Chris Bragg:

According to Michael Caputo, Paladino’s spokesman, Rudolph was connected with Paladino’s campaign by Roger Stone, who is an informal advisor to Paladino and worked for the Senate Republican Campaign Committee last election cycle.

“He’s part of the whole Stone gang,” Caputo said, adding that Stone and Rudolph had worked on a campaign together in Russia.

185 From “Fraud alleged at Bergen Regional Medical Center” by Jeff Pillets, Mary Jo Layton And John C. Ensslin:

An elevator-repair project at Bergen Regional Medical Center became fodder for fraud, conspiracy and a coverup that cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars, a Bergen County agency alleged in court papers Wednesday.

The documents, an amendment to a lawsuit filed in federal civil court last month, allege the private operator of the hospital and three people associated with that firm conspired with two elevator-repair companies to defraud the agency, the Bergen County Improvement Authority.

The documents also allege former BCIA director Ed Hynes and his assistant signed off on paperwork that allowed the agency to be double-billed for a series of repairs at the Paramus hospital.

Earlier this year, the court papers say, the county discovered that some elevator equipment that should have been installed in 2007 was sitting on a loading dock at the hospital. Other equipment that was never installed had been returned to the manufacturer but hastily brought back to the hospital in recent weeks after the county began asking questions, the suit said.

At least one elevator that was never repaired has remained out of order for several years, according to the suit.

Hynes, who retired as the BCIA’s executive director in 2010, could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

His assistant, Elnatan Rudolph, who also is no longer employed by BCIA, told a reporter Wednesday: “This is the first time I’m hearing about this.” When read some of the allegations, Rudolph said, “I can’t comment on something I haven’t seen.”

Rudolph, the suit claims, had a $95,000-a-year “no show” job at the BCIA.

A spokeswoman for Bergen Regional Medical Center LP, the private operator of the medical center, said the allegations in the lawsuit are false.

From “Michael Cohen And Elnatan Rudolph: NY Staffers, Well-Paid Consultants, NJ Candidates” by Chris Bragg:

The son of Bruce Rudolph, the New York City Department of Design and Construction director, Elnatan won election to the Teaneck Town Council in mid-2006 at the age of 25 with the support of the Bergen County Party boss, Joseph Ferriero. Then, in January 2007, Ferriero got the then-25-year-old a $95,000-a-year job as the deputy director of the Bergen County Improvement Authority, which Rudolph held while on the Teaneck Council. (Ferriero has since been forced to step down as party boss after a mail-fraud conviction.)

As a councilman, Rudolph was involved in several minor controversies in Teaneck—including questions raised about whether the timeline of his votes in Brooklyn posed problems for his eligibility—and narrowly lost his Council re-election bid in 2008.

The local U.S. Attorney opened an investigation into the Bergen County Improvement Authority this summer, with the co-owner of a New Jersey mortgage company and one of his employees both admitting to colluding with the authority’s chairman to commit mortgage wire fraud.

According to their pleas, the authority staff was also complicit in pulling off a scheme to defraud banks and mortgage lenders, which occurred between 2006 and 2009. Rudolph was deputy director of the authority between early 2007 and early 2009. The chair of the authority has resigned, but no one from the authority has yet been charged with a crime.

The details of O’Malley’s dual role is taken from the indictment, United States of America v. Ronald J. O’Malley and Laura-Jean Arvelo:

A. Defendant RONALD J. O’MALLEY was a resident of Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, and a co-owner and principal of Diversified Financial Group d/b/a Residential Mortgage Corporation (“Residential Mortgage”), with offices in Ridgewood, New Jersey. Residential Mortgage was a mortgage brokerage business that assisted individual borrowers in applying for and receiving mortgage and other loans from various lenders, including financial institutions, in connection with the purchase or refinancing of real estate properties.

B. Defendant O’MALLEY also served as the Chairman and a Commissioner of the Bergen County Improvement Authority (the “BCIA”), with officers in Hackensack, New Jersey. The BCIA was an independent public agency created by the Bergen County Board of Chosen Freeholders and authorized by New Jersey law to make loans to governmental units, entities, and persons for the planning, design, construction, and acquisition of public facilities in Bergen County.

186 From “Michael Cohen And Elnatan Rudolph: NY Staffers, Well-Paid Consultants, NJ Candidates” by Chris Bragg:

Cohen’s wife tried unsuccessfully to get Michael Cohen to speak with the reporter on the phone. A verbal confrontation ensued between Cohen’s opponent and Cohen’s wife, with charges flying back and forth.

Several minutes afterward, Danielle Cohen got up to leave—but not before refuting one of the points she had overheard about Cohen and Rudolph’s outside business interests.

Danielle Cohen made clear that Michael Cohen and Elnatan Rudolph are no longer best friends.

“They used to be,” she said, “but when Mike found out about all the crap Elnatan was doing, that stopped.”

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

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 SIX: FORGED IDENTITIES /
THE FALL OF LUCIFER / CLOWN CAR

At the beginning of the new century, Roger Stone had whatever metaphor you want – a lot of fires burning, chainsaws in the air, hands in people’s pockets. He had his casino investments, his involvement with the BIA, and, having left BMS&K in the mid-90s, he was with a new lobby shop, Ikon Public Affairs. It cast a far smaller shadow than BMS&K, and it was even more difficult to find any material on the place, but a few things could be picked out. That Ikon was paid $1.8 million by Miami-Dade County to defeat a state proposal that might have eroded county autonomy gets mention in several of the stories dealing with Mary McCarty, the Committee to Take Back Our Judiciary, and Stone’s connections with the two. Ikon Public Affairs would also get mention in “The great American pork barrel: Washington streamlines the means of corruption” by Ken Silverstein, on the ways in which a legislative bill is manipulated, tweaked, and stuffed with earmarks in the service of industry. Among the moments of lobbying finesse described, Night Vision wins a $1.25 million earmark through the efforts of Ikon Public Affairs. Arlen Specter, along with Rick Santorum, announce that Night Vision had won the defense contract. “These projects, key to our nation’s defense, will be invaluable in our continuing war against terror,” says Specter. Night Vision paid Ikon $60 000 for its services. Ikon would donate a little over $13 000 to the Specter campaign. William Grube, Night Vision’s then president, gave $8000 to Specter. Craig Snyder, another founding member of Ikon, was Specter’s former chief of staff. In 1996, before he joined Dole’s campaign and was fired after his involvement in a sex scandal, Stone had headed up Arlen Specter’s short-lived presidential campaign. Ikon would contribute $9000 to Santorum’s campaign. Ikon partner Kevin Roy had served six years on Rick Santorum’s staff115.

In 2004, there were two incidents involving Arlen Specter’s campaign which felt eerily similar to those long ago Nixon dirty tricks. Specter was facing a hard fight in the Republican primary against a more conservative challenger, Pat Toomey. Snyder assembled a PAC called Pennsylvanians for Honest Politics, which put together a radio ad that attacked Toomey for failing, during an interview on Hardball with Chris Matthews, to call for criminal sanctions against a woman who gets an abortion. “Somebody who claims to be on our side had the opportunity to say abortion is murder,” screeched the ad. “Instead of showing the nation real pro-life leadership, Toomey shrunk like a frightened turtle.” Specter would pull off a narrow win, doing far better in conservative counties than expected. Then, in the general state election, yard signs began appearing that declared “Kerry & Specter: for Working Families.” Pennsylvania is a majority Democrat state, Specter was a Republican (though a moderate one, who would, in his last term in office switch party affiliation), and Kerry had not endorsed Specter. The signs were set up by a group called the Philadelphia Education Project. A number of the people involved in the Philadelphia Education Project – a New York consultant named Steve Pigeon, a lawyer named Paul Rolf Jensen who would also work on a Barack Obama birth certificate lawsuit – were Stone associates. Stone would be described as a former partner in Ikon, though Snyder would say that he and Stone hadn’t worked together in three years. Specter’s campaign manager would deny knowing about either effort116.

The most interesting piece of reading related to Ikon isn’t journalism, but a lawsuit. It was Mattie Lolavar versus Fernando de Santibanes (Lolavar v. de Santibanes), along with Roger Stone, other Ikon associates, and another infamous consultant, Dick Morris. According to the suit, Lolavar and her own firm, Triumph Communications, were brought in to work with Ikon on two contracts. The first involved Argentine President Fernando de la Rua’s visit to the United States in June 2000. The second was a year long contract to improve the image of Fernando de Santibañes, the Secretary of Intelligence of Argentina. The following is an excerpt from the suit alleging the nature of the contract work, and what would cause the rupture between Lolavar and Ikon:

Pursuant to this second contract, Miss Lolavar went to Argentina in August 2000 to assist de Santibañes with preparations for his testimony in Argentine congressional hearings inquiring into allegations that he and the Argentine intelligence agency, known as SIDE, were responsible for bribing various Argentine senators in exchange for political support.

Morris and Stone assigned other tasks to Miss Lolavar while she was in Argentina. Among other acts, they instructed her to contact SIDE and obtain a list of journalists who accepted bribes from that organization in order to harm the credibility of those same journalists in reporting on a bribery scandal surrounding de Santibañes and President de la Rua, as well as requiring her to spread false information to the press concerning de la Rua’s political opponent, Dr. Carlos Menem.

A request that occasioned controversy between Miss Lolavar and the defendants was Morris and Stone’s request that she serve as an intermediary in an anonymous wire transfer of funds to an official in Israel. These funds were to be paid to secure intelligence files from the Israeli government to assist de la Rua’s political domestic disputes with Menem, and to imply a corrupt relationship between Menem and George W. Bush, who was then running against Albert Gore for the United States presidency. These files were to be altered by Miss Lolavar to appear to be SIDE documents.

When the defendants became concerned that this plot would be discovered and traced back to them, they ordered Miss Lolavar to orchestrate a press response to blame Vice President Gore for the dissemination of the documents, since it was known to them that the Gore campaign had been attempting to connect Menem with the Bush campaign.

When Miss Lolavar refused to cooperate with these demands, the defendants undertook a series of reprisals. First, they refused to pay her fees under the contract until she executed the wire transfers. Additionally, they made a number of false defamatory statements concerning her, including that she was anti-Semitic, that her efforts to disclose these transactions were the result of a political bribe by Menem’s Peronist Party, and that she forged the correspondence that was evidence of the defendants’ wrongdoing.

The suit would be dismissed on grounds of jurisdiction – that Santibanes had insufficient contacts in Virginia to subject him to a lawsuit filed in Virginia. Judgement would be upheld on appeal. In an affidavit, Santibanes would deny ever having met Lolavar except on a single social occasion117.

Lolavar was herself one of the fascinating shadow characters of politics. There she is, in a MarketWatch story, “Chavez ouster bodes well for oil: Venezuela exports likely to rise as strike ends” by Carolyn Pritchard, on the overthrow of Hugo Chavez by the country’s military, as a “president of international business communications and strategies firm Triumph Communications Group and former consultant to the government of Argentina.” Says Lolavar: “Politically, this was bound to happen. I think Chavez was losing ground not only internationally but within his own constituency.” Her statements are the usual empty pro-free market easy reading quotes that you expect from this kind of business story. “This is going to refocus the verticalization of trade toward Latin America, especially in oil and energy,” she says. And: “Knowing the situation in Middle East and looking at Iraq,” she says. “I think the U.S. will do everything possible to help Venezuela, if need be.” How could they do this? Well, by helping Venezuela privatize its oil companies118. More interesting was the editorial in the Washington Times from June 30, 2007, “A new strategy for Iran”. “A new strategy is needed to effectuate regime change in Iran,” it began:

Success is plausible through one of two means: Either hope for an internal rupture fueled by economic hardship; or, encourage an indigenous revolt with a covert promise of military support. Skeptics of regime change in Iran based on the failures in Iraq and Afghanistan are wrong. In contrast to the latter, Iran’s history, culture, and constitutional experience provide fertile soil for a regime change in 2007.

The editorial was not under the name of Mattie Lolavar, but Mattie Fein. The editorial credited Mattie Fein as founder and president of the Institute for Persian Studies. “New Iran Regime-Change Think Tank Opens in DC” by Spencer Ackerman had an interview with Mattie Lolavar, but now she was Mahtaub Hojjati, a well-connected government and business consultant trying out for the role of revolutionary provocateur. The Institute for Persian Studies only had a humble web site, but its goals weren’t humble at all. They wished to shape the government of Iran after regime change. Hojjati wanted to put forth a constitution, a blueprint, to have people say “this is the plan”, and the plan would be Lolavar’s, I mean, Hojjati’s:

“We have to be able to have people say, ‘this is the plan.’ They don’t know what happens in Iran after the regime falls,” Hojjati says. That’s where the IPS comes in. Over the next few months, Hojjati intends to unveil a constitution promising democracy and the total separation of Islam from the public sphere, so that Iranians will have a blueprint for what comes after the mullahs. “It’s going to fill a void,” she says. “Right now, no one’s saying anything further than ‘regime change.'” It’s a deliberate response to the compounded mistakes of Iraq and Afghanistan, both of which suffered from uncertainty over what political structure followed the destruction of the Saddam and Taliban regimes.

The Institute for Persian Studies would soon disappear. Hojjati would run, as Mattie Fein, against Jane Harman. She would lose badly. Her campaign ad would place great emphasis on Harman’s supposed appeasement of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The ad, a take-off on Young Frankenstein with Harman as Frau Blucher, ends with Harman declaring Ahmadinejad her boyfriend119.

Mahtaub “Mattie” Hojjati was sometimes well-connected government and business consultant Mattie Fein because of her marriage to well-connected GOP lobbyist Bruce Fein, another fascinating obscurity of D.C. Easily the best overview of his career is “Libertarian Bum Fights” by Mark Ames. Bruce Fein was someone who took unrelenting hard-right positions in foreign and domestic policy for nearly thirty years. Fein fought for Bob Jones University to get taxpayer subsidies despite its segregationist policies. He was opposed to affirmative action. He was opposed to the Americans with Disabilities Act. He was in favor of mandatory drug testing and against Miranda rights. He felt national security easily trumped free speech; he attacked journalists who refused to name their sources as part of the Valerie Plame investigation. When Time reporter Marc Cooper and NBC’s Tim Russert were subpoenaed as part of the Plame investigation, they refused to name sources on the grouds that that was a violation of a free press. That defense, wrote Bruce Fein, relied on the idea “that confidential sources are indispensable to investigative journalism. But the assertion is dubious,” according to his Washington Times editorial “Losing sight of free press aims”, “and in any event should bow in a narrow category of cases where the sources themselves are government officials implicated in national security crimes.” The editorial in the New York Times, “A Tight Plug on Intelligence Leaks” was written during the 1987 Iran-contra scandal, when the executive sold arms to Iran to fund a weapons buy for the Nicaragua contras, a secret sale to avoid congressional oversight and legislation which forbid the U.S. arming the contras. The editorial did not argue for more congressional oversight, but less: “a lean, muscular Joint Congressional Intelligence Committee” to replace “the separate and cumbersome House and Senate intelligence committees to oversee the intelligence community.” The problem was not executive overreach, but congressional leaks. “By sharply curtailing the likelihood of leaks, a joint intelligence committee would encourage the executive branch to be more forthright with Congress and would help rebuild foreigners’ trust in our intelligence community,” he writes. “Congressmen opposing such commendable results shoulder a heavy burden.” The editorial “Terrorism’s murky origins”, again in the Washington Times, made clear that he was a full-throated supporter of the war on terror: “the best way to handcuff terrorism is by killing, capturing and punishing terrorists period, with no commas, semicolons or question marks.” The editorial’s conclusion was equally blunt: “Since reasoning is futile, killing, capturing and punishing is the only moral answer to the terrorism wickedness.” This, I should emphasize, was not written in the days after September 11th, when the city’s ashes inflamed an uncontrolled fury, but on June 21st, 2004120.

At some point, something in Fein changed. In June, 2007, he would write the opinion piece, “Impeach Cheney” for Slate. Suddenly, executive overreach was a problem. “In grasping and exercising presidential powers,” goes the Slate piece, “Cheney has dulled political accountability and concocted theories for evading the law and Constitution that would have embarrassed King George III.” Fein had argued for death, punishment, capture, without “commas, semicolons or question marks,” and now suddenly this was a problem. The Slate piece is outraged at commaless, semicolonless, unquestioned pursuit of the war on terror: “The vice president initiated kidnappings, secret detentions, and torture in Eastern European prisons of suspected international terrorists.” Now, the problem wasn’t those who published leaks, but those who tried to punish them. Confidential sources are indispensable to investigative journalism. “Cheney scorns freedom of speech and of the press,” writes Fein in Slate. “He urges application of the Espionage Act to prosecute journalists who expose national security abuses, for example, secret prisons in Eastern Europe or the NSA’s warrantless surveillance program.” Fein would act as “senior legal adviser” on Ron Paul’s 2012 campaign. Fein would lecture college campuses throughout the United States alongside Glenn Greenwald on a “Civil Liberties College Tour.” Both Mahtaub Fein and Bruce Fein worked for the Lichfield Group, which might be a lobbying shop, or an “image-management firm”, since image-management firms don’t have to register, while lobbyists do. The Lichfield Group would boast on its about page of their “high level connections with the Department of Justice, the Department of State, and the Central Intelligence Agency,” which made sense if you were trying to set up a post-regime change government in Iran, but less so if you agreed with the isolationist policies of Ron Paul. This about text would eventually be scrapped, and replaced with an “under construction” page121.

This was an interesting, but near invisible, association of Stone’s. Another linking from this time would end up being far more visible, far more melodramatic, the kind of thing that you’re certain will inevitably be made into a movie. In 2007, he would co-found a consulting group that worked to further the goals of the law firm run by the consulting group’s partner, a Florida attorney named Scott Rothstein. This essay goes off on various necessary tangents, but to give the Rothstein story anything like its deserved due would mean spinning out an entire novel, so this will be only the smallest of essentials. Rothstein made it big in Miami, and he made it fast. He’d spent over $20 million on homes. For every mood, he had a car: a Mercedes, a Rolls-Royce, an Escalade, and a Ferrari. If he needed to know the time, he had a Patek Philippe, but he could also look at a Harry Winston, an Unwerk, and a Rolex. He owned a steakhouse. His wealth was unreal, because…it was! With the consulting arm of the firm, Rothstein said, he wanted to put together a very powerful government relations and crisis public relations group. “I wanted the best political strategist and the best crisis PR guy in the business,” said Rothstein of Stone. “He fears nothing, but he’s ethical and tough.” When it came to being ethical and tough, Rothstein was a little of column b, and a zero in column a. “This is where the evil happens,” he’d joke, as he got behind the massive table of his law office. “This is where the evil happens,” he jokes, is the choice of verb by the excellent writer, Bob Norman, of that Rothstein profile, “Rise of Fort Lauderdale attorney Scott Rothstein”, but after it all came down, when Norman would write different pieces, of Rothstein on the run from the law, of him having to act as a federal informant in a desperate attempt to shorten his sentence, perhaps that line requires a verb which implies more sincerity. Rothstein was running a massive ponzi scheme, involving fake shares in massive payouts from litigation, one which involved him buying controlling shares in banks and faking judge’s orders to keep it going. Stone joined up with Rothstein in 2007. By late 2009, it was all over, with Rothstein fleeing the country, then returning, FBI agents surrounding the law firm, then seizing over forty boxes of evidence. He’d been running the scheme since 2005. He would end up getting a half-century in jail. His beautiful wife would try hiding some of the expensive jewelry that he’d bought her, and the court was trying to seize. She’d go to jail as well122.

When Matt Labash tries to describe what motivates so many of Stone’s schemes, he reaches for some tiresome metaphysicality. Stone does things out of irony, because he’s deeply invested in the joke. Stone, however, stresses in his memoir that he pulls his political tricks only if it gets his candidate votes, or depresses votes of the other guy. I think Stone is quite sincere here, and the Labash piece is filled with obfuscations on this point, reveling in the image of cynicism, while too cowardly to actually look at the cynicism straight on, whether it’s ballot security in New Jersey, installing your picks at the BIA, or funding a front organization to call an Indian tribe a bunch of drug dealers. I take Stone at his word. His actions are entirely pragmatic. He does things for tangible reasons. To get votes, to destroy a career, to get on television, and perhaps most of all, because he needs to get paid, because he needs money. After the fall of Rothstein, we would perhaps see how badly Roger Stone needed money.

The Toobin piece describes the lifestyle of Stone and his wife in the 1980s, when BMS&K were helping out Ferdinand Marcos and Jonas Savimbi, as lavish. They threw huge, noisy parties for no reason, like Calvin Coolidge’s birthday. In the Labash piece, Stone is chauffeured in a Jaguar, and owns four others. In the Toobin piece, Stone is chauffeured in a Jaguar and owns three others123. More recent pieces give no mention of how many Jaguars Stone owns. The best, most insightful documents on things going wrong, bad wrong, real wrong, in Stone’s life aren’t in any journalism, but the public documents of Miami-Dade county. There’s a mortgage taken out on his waterfront home on Biscaya Drive for a little over a million dollars from the Washington Mutual Bank, made on September 4, 2002. On December 16, 2003, another mortgage is taken out from Washington Mutual Bank again for a little over a million dollars. Then, a mortgage is signed with First National Bank of Arizona for a little over two million dollars on April 15, 2005. Then, in January 2008, a notice of foreclosure on this real estate, followed by a notice of indenture124. “Greetings!,” Nydia Bertran would write at the end of 2009 on her Facebook wall. “We have moved and finally settled in with our 5 hounds into a newly remodeled home that fits our life and budget much better!”125 In June of 2008, Stone would move out of his 40 Central Park South apartment, complaining that it was because they’d raised his $7000 a month rent by 35% in retaliation for a threatening phone call made to Eliot Spitzer’s father, a call which sounded just like his voice, which was traced to his apartment phone, and which he blamed on his landlord. He would later apologize to his landlord with a two page letter. “They wanted me out of their building,” Stone said, referring to his landlord’s real estate company. No mention was made in the New York Sun piece about this event, “Roger Stone Says MTA Chief Raised His Rent Due to Feud” by Jacob Gershman, on the foreclosure of Stone’s Florida mansion126.

In 2008, Scott Rothstein’s business had not gone bust yet – that would only happen in 2009. In that year, shortly before Rothstein fled the country, there would be a tax lien on Stone for over $400 000, for 2006. The next year there would be liens of close to $290 000 for 2007, and over $650 000 for 2008. A few days later, same year, a lien filed for close to $126 000 for 2009. In 2010, Stone would get very upset when the Post would blast the headline, “Roger Stone, adviser to Carl Paladino, owes $400,000 in taxes” (archived), on the trickster’s 2006 lien. “What Fred is well aware of and didn’t report,” Stone would bellow out from the Stone Zone blog post “Dicking Fred Dicker”, “is that the matter is in dispute and an appeal has been filed with a hearing scheduled in 90 days!” Stone would also allege that Dicker was a pompous bully with no friends, no influence, and read by a few downmarket readers. Stone’s tax matters appeared to remain in dispute into 2012, with a tax lien filed for close to $134 000 for 2010. In 2013, a tax lien was filed for near $12 000 for 2011127. Maybe someone celebrated one birthday for Rutherford B. Hayes too many. As said, in Matt Labash’s 2007 profile, Roger Stone owns five jaguars. In the 2008 Toobin piece, he owns four Jaguars. In “Steve Berke: Comedian for Miami Beach mayor”, from March 2011, profiling Stone as he manages a youtube comedian trying out for mayor of South Beach, Tim Efrink writes, “Today, the mansion has been sold, and if Stone drove to lunch, his car is inconspicuous.” Stone, however, insists that he’s not broke. “Like a lot of Floridians, I have debt,” he says in the piece. “But I also have plenty of income.”128

The casinos connected to Indian tribes did not quite work out as expected. In 2005, Rhonda Morningstar Pope would take over the Buena Vista Rancheria of the Miwok Indians, while Donnamarie Potts, the leader backed by Roger Stone, Scott Reed, and the Cascade Entertainment Group, would step down. Though Pope first contested leadership of the tribe to avoid casinos on their territory, she ultimately conceded to a deal with Thomas Wilmot, a shopping mall developer heavily involved in casino building on Indian land. “I had to make some accommodation to achieve my goal of protecting the land,” said Pope. “I had to be realistic. I couldn’t just get a second and third job to finance my legal fees.” Originally, she tried to have the casino not be on the actual land of the tribe, but eventually had to concede to it being built on the Miwoks’ territory129. The Lytton casino project, which was going to be the third biggest casino in the United States, with more slot machines than any casino in Vegas, would face a bill by Dianne Feinstein which would delay the project for years through bureaucratic process, requiring further approvals. Two senators would voice strong opposition, the same two senators linked to the Night Vision earmark, Rick Santorum and Arlen Specter. However, John McCain, then chairman of the U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee, would give his support to the bill. The project would be abandoned. The Paucatuck Eastern Pequots, who had been funded by Donald Trump in their attempts at federal recognition, would be forced to merge with a separate faction, the Eastern Pequots, in order to gain this recognition. The Eastern Pequots had also been fighting for federal recognition, and they had been funded in their attempts by golf course developer David A. Rosow. The newly merged Eastern Pequots would abandon Trump and pick Rosow as their backer. There will be, Trump threatened, “very large, huge litigation.” Trump would sue the Eastern Pequots. In October, 2010, the federal recognition of the Eastern Pequots and the Schaghticokes, the tribe that had hired Paul Manafort, would be rescinded130. On the site Brief Wit, May 10, 2010, in the interview “Roger & Me”, Ross Gottesman would ask Roger Stone, “Why are you for prostitution, but were against casinos and expanded gambling in the state?”, Stone would reply, “I was against Indian casinos. Indians pay no taxes. Letting anyone have a casino based on the color of their skin I have a problem with.” He continued: “The whole Indian gaming thing is a scam. It doesn’t filter down to individual Indians. It goes to a bunch of crooks at the top.”131

Whether because of his passion for the ironic, or the combination of tax liens and halting of revenue from ponzi scheming lawyers and future casino projects, Roger Stone then got involved in one of the more ridiculous and vile episodes of his life, the 2010 New York gubernatorial election. “I have to admit that this Stone saga even shocks me, as familiar as I am with his four-decade career,” wrote Wayne Barrett in “The (Roger) Stone Around Carl Paladino’s Neck” 132. Stone would run former madame Kristin Davis’s candidacy for the Libertarian party ticket; many of his associates, however, would be working on the Republican party ticket of Carl Paladino. Dianne Thorne, who worked as the treasurer for the Committee to Take Back Our Judiciary, the Florida committee fronted by Mary McCarty and formed to pressure the Florida Supreme Court to vote in favor of Bush, worked as Paladino’s scheduler. Thorne is an enigmatic and interesting character who was involved in a number of Stone ventures. She is a raven haired former model from Australia, often mentioned as Stone’s assistant, though in Dana Milbank’s book on the 2000 campaigns, Smash Mouth: Two Years In The Gutter With Al Gore And George W. Bush, she is also mentioned as Trump’s advance woman – the person in charge of wrangling and prepping journalists133.

In the Labash piece, Stone is chauffeured around by A-Mill, a “23-year-old driver/computer whiz/all-around Boy Friday.” As usual, with Stone, we get the color that keep bringing reporters back to him: A-Mill looks like he’d fight as a featherweight, but Stone says looks can be deceiving. One late night, when they were walking across a strip-club parking lot together, two large gentlemen tried to mug them. A-Mill reached into his boot, pulled out a blade, and slashed one of them across the face, causing both assailants to run. ‘Watch this guy,’ says Stone. ‘He’s a killer.'” A-Mill is most likely Andrew Miller, Dianne Thorne’s stepson, who would work as Kristin Davis’s campaign manager, for free, while he was also paid $17,000 by the Paladino campaign, for “advance work and logistics.” Also with Paladino was Dianne Thorne’s husband, Tim Suereth, who had also worked on a number of Stone projects. There was Michael Johns, a speechwriter for Paladino who also had worked at the Heritage Institute praising Jonas Savimbi and criticizing Nelson Mandela as a communist. The incident involving BMS&K client Savimbi, where chemical weapons were supposedly discovered in Angola, has already been mentioned. It was Johns who brought Andries Holst, the film-maker who’d supposedly filmed evidence of chemical weapons use, to Washington to meet various officials such as Jesse Helms134.

Paladino’s campaign manager wasn’t Stone, but Michael Caputo, Stone’s former driver and another all-round occasional Stone associate. It was Caputo who handled the press for Stone when the National Enquirer swinger story broke. Stone was second only to Caputo’s father on his speed dial. Caputo was a military veteran who’d been a speechwriter for Jack Kemp, and the Communications Director for the Council for Inter-American Security in Washington, which meant that he was involved in civic and military public affairs programs in Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica in support of Reagan foreign policy initiatives, which was either sinister or nebulous, depending on how you read it. “Publicists of the Damned” which detailed BMS&K’s work for Savimbi, Mobutu, Ferdinand Marcos, and others, would also describe the difficulties of one lobbyist trying to refurbish the image of El Salvador’s Alfredo Cristiani (specific page 58). “All we heard over and over was that he was a puppet of the death squads, a creature of millionaire coffee growers,” the lobbyist complains. The article mentions why Cristiani carried this around: “That unfortunate reputation is due in part to the fact that Cristiani was the candidate of the right-wing ARENA party, which was founded by death-squad mastermind Roberto D’Aubisson and supported by millionaire coffee growers.” Caputo would help to run the 1989 campaign for Cristiani to give him the semblance of an actual election. Three journalists were killed during this election, one of them when a military helicopter strafed a car clearly marked with a PRESS sign. After the election, there was an incident where six Jesuit priests, suspected of collusion with the country’s rebels, were killed. High level members of the military were blamed by Cristiani for the killings. Twenty years later, two human rights organizations, The Association for Human Rights in Spain (APDHE) and the Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA), would file suit, charging Cristiani with responsibility for the murders135.

Caputo would also work in Russia in 1996 for the election of Boris Yeltsin. He would show up in The Exile, the infamous Russian paper co-founded by Mark Ames and Matt Taibbi, under “Who Tolls The Bell?”, a list of journalists the paper especially despised. “Any way you look at it,” wrote “Field Marshal von Paulus” (I have no idea who’s behind the pseudonym) about the 1996 Russian election, “the campaign was totally illegal and anti-democratic, and Caputo played a huge role in it.” The heart of the animus is Caputo’s involvement in this political race: “This guy was the spin doctor behind Yeltsin’s reelection campaign in 96. As if subjecting Russia to the horror of that post-quadruple bypass pig shaking it with a Rostov pop band wasn’t bad enough, greaseball Caputo gets to brag at Beltway cocktail parties that Jeff Goldblum played him in Spinning Boris.” But Goldblum didn’t play him in Boris, Caputo isn’t even a character in the movie, Goldblum plays Caputo’s boss, a go for the jugular political consultant named George Gorton.

Like Roger Stone, Gorton was a veteran of CREEP, who would go on to work as a top consultant, helping Pete Wilson, governor of California, win re-election by pushing Proposition 187, the ballot initiative that prohibited illegal aliens from using education, health and social services in the state. Stone had paid for Sedan Chair II to infiltrate various Democratic campaigns, and Stone had recommended that CREEP hire Theodore Brill to spy on various student groups. Gorton oversaw Brill, and paid him from his own pocket, so that his compensation wouldn’t come from campaign expenses. When Watergate broke, the revelation of student spying came out as well. “GW Student Spied for GOP,” was the Woodward-Bernstein headline (I cannot find this piece on-line; however, the excerpt from All the President’s Men, “The Quaker Plot” focuses on Brill). “Spying is a funny way to describe” what Brill did, Gorton said at the time. What exactly was it Brill was paid for, then? “It was a part of my job to know what all of youth was thinking,” Gorton explained. Gorton’s fellow CREEP staffers would hand him pages that were folded in half that he would give his signature to. Because they were folded in half, he couldn’t see what he was signing off on, and thereby could admit to no knowledge in court or elsewhere of what he’d just authorized. After a short post-Watergate exile, Gorton would become a very successful political consultant136. Time magazine would put Gorton and others on the cover for their work in Yeltsin’s election (“Yanks to the Rescue” is the cover, “Rescuing Boris” by Michael Kramer is the story inside), but perhaps the Time writer was being spun more than the Russians. Yeltsin’s Russian consultants ridiculed the way that American consultants, who they felt had played a marginal role, placed themselves at the center of everything 137. “Russia needs democracy…. I would be remiss in my duty to mankind if I didn’t use every political consulting trick I could think of to keep what I felt was a great evil from returning to mankind,” Gorton would say at the time to the Sacramento Bee. His hindsight view was more brutally realistic. “My guy was drunk, corrupt. It was bad vs. evil,” he’d say138. “von Paulus” also has Michael Caputo’s company reaping a fortune in the millions through a deal with GazProm media in 2001. This is either very wrong, or he blew through the money quickly. A piece run during the Paladino campaign has him grateful for Roger Stone giving him some work and a place to sleep after a nasty divorce and a financial meltdown in 2003139. So, in 2010, Michael Caputo was Carl Paladino’s campaign manager.

The candidacy of Kristin Davis was perceived as one more salvo in Roger Stone’s vendetta against former governor Eliot Spitzer. Stone had been working, in 2007, for New York Senate majority leader Joseph Bruno on a $20,000 a month contract. Bruno was in a long, poisonous fight with Spitzer, and the dirty trickster had been brought in to help. The dirty trick he came up with was cruel, stupid, obvious. To harass Spitzer’s father, an elderly man with Parkinson’s, with a threatening message left on his answering machine:

This is a message for Bernard Spitzer. You will be subpoenaed to testify before the Senate committee on investigation on your shady campaign loans. You will be compelled by the Senate sergeant at arms, if you resist, you will be arrested and brought to Albany – and there’s not a goddamn thing your phony, psycho piece of shit son can do about it. Bernie, your phony loans are about to catch up with you. You will be forced to tell the truth. The fact that your son is a pathological liar will be known to all.

(A clip which compares the audio on the call to Bernard Spitzer, and the audio of Roger Stone on part two of a “Shark Tank” interview.)

“I have been accused of a lot of things but being dumb is not one of them,” said Stone in response to the allegation that he made the phone call. “I don’t deny that the phone number is mine but fabricating my voice would be exceedingly easy. Give me a fucking break. This is the ultimate dirty trick and the kind of terror tactic Spitzer used in the Attorney General’s Office.” He would say that he was at the play Frost/Nixon the night the call was made, though there was no performance that evening. Again, this is Stone: “I have been accused of a lot of things but being dumb is not one of them.” Here is one of Stone’s clients, on the affair: “They caught Roger red-handed lying,” said Donald Trump. “What he did was ridiculous and stupid.” Stone would be fired by Bruno140. When the scandal broke that Eliot Spitzer had paid money for escort services, Stone would allege that he played a key role in the scandal by sending a letter to the FBI after speaking to an escort in a Miami club who’d had Spitzer as a client. The FBI would explicitly state that they never received any such letter. Kristin Davis was a convicted madam who alleged she had provided escorts for Spitzer, dozens maybe hundreds of times, and that Spitzer was abusive to women – but the New York Attorney General had confiscated her records when she was charged, and they showed no evidence of Spitzer ever having been one of her clients. When Alex Gibney dispassionately presented all this in Client 9, his documentary based on the well-researched book of Peter Elkind, Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer, Stone would refer to Gibney as “Leni Riefenstahl” on TV141. It didn’t matter that there was nothing connecting Spitzer to Kristin Davis; the evidence didn’t matter. By running Davis, Stone had a means to throw slimy allegations throughout the election season.

As said, Paladino was running for the Republican nomination, and Kristin Davis was running for the libertarian ticket. According to Stone, he had no connection to the Paladino campaign, though his close associate, Michael Caputo was running it, his assistant Dianne Thorne was on it, as was Michael Johns, the man who’d played a role in the Angolan chemical weapons incident involving BMS&K, as well as Tim Suereth, Thorne’s husband, who’d work alongside Stone before and after this campaign. Thorne’s stepson, Andrew Miller, would get paid for work on the Paladino campaign before shifting over to Kristin Davis. Stone would say that Paladino came to him for campaign advice on the outset, and that he’d help pick out his campaign staff. There were other intersections. When Paladino’s campaign kicked off at the Elliott Square Building in Buffalo, New York, Stone was there on the scene. A month before the election, attorney Lora Como, a campaign aide of Paladino’s , would allege that she’d been assaulted by Stone while they were at his Chelsea apartment. “He threw me to the ground and bruised my ribs. He was hostile and menacing and I wanted him arrested for assault and I went to the police,” alleged Como. Stone would acknowledge a disagreement with Como and that they were together at his apartment, but had a different version of events. He’d asked her to leave, and she’d gotten upset, he said. “I completely reject her assertion that I ever hit her or abused her in any physical way,” he said. In the article reporting the incident, “Assault claim vs. Carl’s aide Stone” by Fred Dicker, Stone was now referred to as a key campaign adviser of Paladino142. “The Kristin Davis Post-Election Party: Pretty Much What You’d Expect” by Brianna Strange, reported that Stone was at Davis’s election night party, along with Miller, still her campaign manager143.

Davis was running for the Libertarian ticket against Warren Redlich, a town board member and traffic lawyer. In April, at the beginning of the campaign, Stone would exchange a series of emails with Redlich. Much of the emails consist of Stone trying to pressure Redlich to step aside, so that Davis could be on the ticket for governor. If Redlich didn’t step aside, Davis wouldn’t attend the party convention, and then Stone and Davis might set up their own party, filing suit over Redlich’s use of the Libertarian Party name. A few representative emails are below; paragraph spacing has been added for improved readability, but no other alterations have been made. The full emails are available at Capitol Confidential‘s “E-mails show Stone strategizing for Paladino” (archived) by Jimmy Vielkind:

Me [Warren Redlich], 10:31 am:

Can we just talk at the LPNY convention? We can talk Friday evening or Saturday morning, before anything of substance happens at the convention.

My schedule this week is pretty crazy. Had a trial yesterday, going to court near Binghamton tomorrow, etc.

W

Stone, 10:43 am: Warren

No- that is too late- unless we can reach some accomodation [sic] Kristin wont be attending the convention. A convention where a candidate isnt given a list of eleigible [sic] voters and where a poll tax of $25 is paid to vote isnt very legitimate.

In that case we’d prefer to petition on our own party onto the ballot [sic]- litigate over the word LIBERTARIAN- plenty of case-law.

Sure u can win the nomination on Saturday. How will you get 50,000 votes without money or publicity. I suggest a broader effort.

I too am busy. Let me know if you are available to talk by phone.

R

Me [Warren Redlich], 4:05 pm:

I’m a trial lawyer. When people threaten to sue me I find it amusing.

My impression is that you want Kristin to have the LP nomination for Governor and you may want me on the slate, perhaps LG or AG.

I don’t think the LPNY is willing to have Kristin in the Governor slot but I don’t speak for them – you’re wasting your time talking to me. If you can get the LPNY to go along with Kristin as the Governor candidate, and you want me on the ticket, I’m willing to consider that.

I do think I’m the better candidate for Governor, and I’m not going to step aside. But if you persuade them, and you still want me on board, I’m open to it.

On the other hand, if Kristin wants to be on the slate with me as the Governor candidate and her as LG or Comptroller, I think they’re more likely to go along with that. But again, I don’t speak for the LPNY. You should talk to them.

My cell is [omitted] if you want to talk.

Warren

The next email, from Stone, is the most interesting. He is a campaign manager for Davis, yet he now offers a deal where if Redlich runs for the Attorney General spot (rather than the governor spot), he can get Redlich to be on Paladino’s petitions and run in the GOP primary. How is it that Stone, who supposedly has no connection with the Paladino campaign, except for giving them advice, is able to offer such a deal?

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

Redlich would then contact Paladino, asking about the offer that Stone had made, and how it was that Stone, a campaign manager for an entirely separate campaign, on an entirely separate party ticket, had the authority to speak for Paladino:

Me [Warren Redlich] (to Paladino), 6:01 pm: Carl,

When we met last week, I did not have the impression that Roger Stone was on your campaign team. As you can see by the exchange below, he is speaking to me as if he has some sway over you – “I could get Paladino to let you ride on…”

It was my impression that you were campaigning as someone different from the usual politicians. If you’re working with Roger Stone, in the way he describes, then you don’t seem that different to me.

I’m big on hunches. My hunch is that he does not speak for you. Some of the things he says here do not fit with things you said to me when we met.

Mainly, I thought you should know that Stone was throwing your name around like he has some control over you. You don’t strike me as someone who is so easily controlled.

My cell is [omitted] if you want to talk. I have a town board meeting tonight at 7:30 pm and it might go long, so tomorrow might be better.
I cc’d Jim, Rus, and Allen on this message because I’ve had some interaction with them over the course of the campaign and I thought they should know what’s going on.

Warren

Stone would hear of this email to Paladino, and his reply would be curt:

Stone, 9:05 pm: Warren- do you really think this is clever ?…you’re out your league- and gentlemen don’t share personal correspondence. You sir, are no gentleman-

R

Redlich would forward the correspondence between himself and Stone to Eric Dondero, a libertarian blogger (his blog was Libertrarian Republican and he gained some prominence due to his attempt to boycott liberals after the Obama re-election, which resulted in interviews such as, “Democrat-Boycotting Libertarian Eric Dondero on Whether He Would Let a Democrat Drown” by Dan Amira), who contacted Stone, who sent another curt email to Redlich:

Stone, 4/21, 5:03 pm: Dondero wont print your leaked correspondence

rookie move asshole

guess CP [Conservative Party] shoved it up your ass, too.

LOSER……..

Redlich would reply:

Me [Warren Redlich], 5:58 pm:

We both know I’m a rookie. What I don’t get is why you’re wasting your time with me.

You are celebrating a tiny victory over a nobody.

If we played basketball, I’d clobber you. But it wouldn’t mean anything because I’m taller, younger and more experienced.

For some reason you’re trying to rub it in. I have no expectation of beating you. You’re supposed to be better at this.

W

However, the supposed master tactician Roger Stone and his candidate, Kristin Davis, would lose to the rookie. Redlich would be on the Libertarian Party ticket, and Kristin Davis would run instead on her own newly created ticket, The Anti-Prohibition Party. During the general race, with Paladino on the Republican ticket, Cuomo on the Democratic, Davis with Anti-Prohibition, and Redlich on the Libertarian, Stone was involved in one of the more vile acts of his life. Redlich had written a blog post on a semi-nude picture of Miley Cyrus that had appeared in Vanity Fair (which was only four years ago, but now feels like an eternity), an intelligent analysis arguing that much of the furor around the picture lay with a contemporary American sensibility, that viewed teenagers as either entirely sexual, or entirely non-sexual. We assume this sensibility to be universal and eternal, when it isn’t – Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet is written about lovers that were the same age as Miley Cyrus. One could disagree with the argument Redlich made, but it was ultimately an argument, not a predatory fantasy, or justification for rape. On October 29th, Capitol Confidential’s Jimmy Vieklind published “I pushed for the Redlich mailer”, about the appearance of a mailer, featuring a photo of Redlich as well as his phone number and home address, which warned that he was a public danger and for people to call the police when they see him:

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

“Everyone who has contacted me about the flyer has been disgusted by it,” wrote Vieklind, “and one reader noted it landed in his mail box the same day as a flyer supporting Kristen Davis, the Anti-Prohibition Party candidate.” Both mailers shared the same postal permit. “It’s an absolute disgrace,” Redlich would say. “Nothing I’ve ever written would qualify me as a sexual predator more than it would qualify William Shakespeare as a sexual predator…I think discussing what I wrote is attacking the victim. The fact that I think the Miley Cyrus story was overblown does not make me a predator, and it’s not even close.” The flier was put out by another mysterious group, People for a Safer New York, of which there was no record144.

Vieklind would contact Roger Stone about the mailer, and though Stone would not take credit for it, he did say he was in contact with People for a Safer New York, that the mailers were accurate, they were legal, he not only supported the mailers, he urged them to do it. “I’ve seen both mailers, I think that they’re both accurate. People for a Safer New York is called a first amendment group,” Stone told Velkind by phone. “I’m in touch with them. Who are they? They’re a first amendment organization I urged them to do this, this is a first amendment issue.”145

“I don’t want this story spread because I have children,” Redlich would say of the mailers. “Let’s be clear about my sick alternative lifestyle: I’ve been married for 15 years, I have two children, I live in suburbia on a cul de sac and my kids go to public school.” Stone to Velkind: “Let’s be very clear: everything here is 100 percent legal, everything here is 100 percent accurate,” he said. “As somebody who has two granddaughters, I really find Redlich’s advocacy and defense of sex with underrate girls disgusting and repugnant, and voters need to know about it prior to voting on Tuesday.”146

Heather Redlich, the candidate’s wife, would write a letter to Capitol Confidential expressing her anguish over the mailer. Capitol Confidential would publish the letter, “Redlich’s wife’s letter to Stone on ‘horrific smear'”. The text of the letter follows:

You have told terrible lies about my husband. You have hurt me and my family. I have suffered anxiety and heartache.

You have made me fear for the safety of my children in our own home. I am the type of person that avoids the limelight. I don’t like when people talk about me but I feel I can be silent no more. So, I will dry my tears and write my own message to New Yorkers:

I have known Warren Redlich for 19 years and have been married to him for 15 years. We have two school-age children. We met in law school, got married shortly after graduation and built a home together. Warren supported me when I decided to pursue a career as a librarian. When I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer during my first pregnancy, he took care of me and our newborn child.

In the years since, we have started a law practice together. We have joined a local Congregation. Warren has volunteered with our Congregation’s Brotherhood. He has given his time to talk to high school students about politics and the law. He has welcomed interns into our law practice and enjoyed being a mentor. He has counseled our clients with mental health problems and assisted those with physical disabilities. I am a member of the Junior League of Albany and have volunteered with our Congregation’s Sisterhood.

Our daily lives involve running a business, driving our kids to after-school activities, going on family outings and eating dinner together. We teach our children to be kind to others. We try to make the world a better place by volunteering and getting involved with our community.

Our friends and neighbors have received these lies in the mail. They know the truth. But for those who do not, I will tell you. Warren has never committed a crime. We do not have a deviant lifestyle. Warren is not perfect but he is a good person, a loyal friend, and a loving husband and father. You do not need to fear Warren.

You should fear those that tell such lies and sling mud. Be leery of those that are afraid of open political debate. Fear those that have trounced the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” As for Mr. Stone and the others behind this horrific smear who speak these evil words, I hope the people of New York will reject your lies and will vote for principled men and women in the election.

I think it is so very easy to fill space when something like this makes you angry, and you must resist this most of all for aesthetic reasons, that nothing is so ugly and dull as a screech, however righteous. My anger has none of the comfort or certainty of an ideological target; I think libertarianism has done great damage to the United States, I want Warren Redlich’s ideology to fail – and yet I am still disgusted that this was done to him. With regard to this vile act, I will only say that there are great artists who can work on an extraordinary variety of canvases, the most vast and the smallest miniatures. Roger Stone, I think, is something like a great artist. He could cause horrific suffering among millions by working with a firm that prolonged a cruel, merciless war in Africa, and he could visit horror on a single family, falsely accusing a father of being a pedophile out of spite that this political rookie had just soundly beaten him in an election. “Color me contrarian, but I will say something I don’t believe another Washington reporter has ever admitted publicly: I like Roger Stone,” writes Matt Labash. “Stone is like a U.S. Army of treachery: He screws more people before 9 A.M. than most people do in a whole day,” writes Matt Labash, admiringly. And when one of those people is Warren Redlich, and the way Roger Stone screws him is to make his life a miserable hell by putting out fliers that he’s a sexual predator, does that fill you with gleeful laughter, Mr. Labash, or does it make you want to throw up?

Paladino’s campaign would be an endless joke. A mass of repellent emails that he forwarded out of amusement, such as an “Obama Inauguration Ceremony” featuring a group of African tribesmen as well as a bestiality video, would show up early on in the race. “With those emails out there, he’s clearly unelectable,” said a veteran political consultant. After stories were published about Paladino’s out of wedlock daughter, the candidate got into a screaming match with veteran political reporter Fred Dicker. “You send another goon to my daughter’s house and I’ll take you out, buddy!” Paladino would deliver a speech where he condemned homosexuality. “I just think my children and your children would be much better off and much more successful getting married and raising a family, and I don’t want them brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid and successful option – it isn’t,” he said. “You’re not an illegal immigrant, are you?” he’d ask during an interview with Fox reporter Ti Hua Chang. Caputo had Andrew Cuomo, the Democratic candidate, followed around by two people in duck costumes, sounding duck calls, as a way of taunting Cuomo for not agreeing to a debate. Caputo alleged that Cuomo aides had warned the ducks, “if you girls don’t get out of here I’m going to shove those duck calls down your throats.” Caputo alleged the encounter was “likely a hate crime since the Cuomo staffer clearly referenced their sexuality in his threat.” Cuomo won an overwhelming win over Paladino, who got 34% of the vote. “Madam Kristin Goes to Albany” by Molly Young describes a press conference held by Davis when she was running on the Anti-Prohibition Party. Seven people showed up, four of them from her campaign. Another was a heckler. “You don’t really think you have a chance, do you?,” he asked147. Neither Redlich nor Davis garnered enough votes for their parties to be placed on future ballots, but once again, the rookie had outdone the veteran strategist. Redlich pulled in 44,761 votes. Davis pulled in 22,000 votes. In a piece on the election, Stone wrote, without irony, that “Davis ran a positive campaign.”148 He took space in this post-election piece to defend the Redlich mailer:

In the closing days of the race a First Amendment group People for Safer New York exposed Redlich’s weird writing defending sex with under aged girls in a carefully lawyered piece of literature that exposed Redlich as Sexual predator in his attitude. Redich can huff and puff all he wants but the claims fall squarely within the bounds of the First Amendment. Liberal reporters found Redlich’s writing acceptable as they saw it a sophisticated, erudite and cosmopolitan. It wasn’t. It was vile. I’m a libertine but I limit myself to consenting adults.

For whatever reason, Stone would eventually take this page down from his site – this content is pulled from the wayback machine archives.

The final irony to these false accusations is that in 2007, the New York Post (“Top GOPers ‘Cult’ Favorites” by Jeane Macintosh) would report that Roger Stone acted as a liaison between a cult-like group named NXIVM and top tier Republicans such as Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno. In 2012, the Times-Union would publish an exhaustively researched piece on NXIVM, comprising “Secrets of NXIVM”, “‘NXIVM is a litigation machine'”, “In Raniere’s shadows”, and “‘Ample evidence’ to justify investigation”, all by James M. Odato and Jennifer Gish. “‘Ample evidence’ to justify investigation”, describes NXIVM as centered around the recruitment and sale of training courses. “I will refrain from calling it a Ponzi scheme, but of course that’s what it is,” says a lawyer in the same piece. That NXIVM has been charged with fraud by former members was not the irony, however, nor that the leader of NXIVM, Keith Raniere, would pay massive fines in several states after he was charged with operating an illegal “chain distributor scheme,” a buying club he’d set up prior to NXIVM called Consumers’ Buyline. The irony is that “In Raniere’s shadows” would include testimony from three women, which allege that Raniere had sex with three underage girls, a twelve year old, and two fifteen year olds. Two of those victims are adult women now, the third, one of the fifteen year olds, committed suicide by the time she was sixteen. Both women are directly interviewed in the piece, and give detailed allegations. A fourth victim alleges that she was raped by Raniere. The impression given is that these were not isolated instances, but part of a larger pattern of abusive behavior. This is the man whose organization Roger Stone acted as a liaison for in 2007. I have found no information on what, if any, mailer he issued afterwards149.

POSTSCRIPT (18/04/2016)

Some underworld schemers keep all their cards tucked tightly away, their secrets still in their heads when they’re finally pushed into the dirt, and no file or paper exists of their nefarious plans; Roger Stone, on the other hand, makes sure to advertise his involvement in whatever modest, often failed, malice he can, and a moment in CBS Miami’s “Meet Roger Stone: Possibly The Most Dangerous Man In Politics” comes as no surprise. Earlier in this post, the long association of Stone and the late Sentator Arlen Specter was mentioned, with the Republican Specter facing a tough 2004 race in majority Democrat Pennsylvania.

Here is the story where I first read of the strange phenomenon taking place there, “Arlen’s spectre: Roger Stone” (archive.org link) by Dave Davies:

Lurking behind those mysterious John Kerry-Arlen Specter yard signs in Northeast Philadelphia is yet another spectre: Notorious national GOP consultant Roger Stone.

A political operative with some ties to Stone told the Daily News last night that the consultant – who chaired Pennsylvania GOP senator Specter’s abortive 1996 presidential bid – had been actively recruiting people to join a group called the Philadelphia Education Project.

An editorial from the time (October 15, 2004), “Switching Sides, Senator? Who’s Behind These Misleading Signs?” (no credited author) gives further details (bolds are my own):

THE SIGNS started popping up overnight in northeast Philadelphia and Lower Merion:

“Kerry & Specter for Working Families”

Huh? Since when did Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry and re-election seeking Republican Sen. Arlen Specter decide to join forces?

Last time we looked, Kerry was stumping hard for Specter’s opponent, Joe Hoeffel. And Specter was running ads of him standing side-by-side with President Bush. So what’s going on with these signs?

After the election, you might want to snag one. You’d have in your hand a genuine piece of underhanded political paraphernalia produced by one of those “shadowy” 527 groups Bush kept harping about during the Swift Boat ad controversy.

Taking credit for the sign is a group called The Philadelphia Education Project. But other than the name, the fact that the project started in Sept. 29, works reportedly out of an empty office at 1500 Market St. on the 12th floor and has two out-of-town political operatives as its manager and treasurer, nothing is known of this group.

The Specter campaign is denying any involvement with the signs. But the Hoeffel campaign thinks that’s hogwash and we tend to agree.

Let’s be clear here. John Kerry wants Joe Hoeffel in the Senate – not Arlen Specter. Someone is trying to deliberately confuse alliances and endorsements in a way that helps Specter in parts of the state that will go strong for Kerry. (Wanna bet you won’t see these signs in central Pennsylvania?)

And there, at 0:45 of “Meet Roger Stone: Possibly The Most Dangerous Man In Politics” we see someone who held on to one of those genuine pieces of “underhanded political paraphernalia”, hanging on their wall alongside a lifetime of political relics:

Roger Stone wall

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

(On April 9th, 2015, this post underwent some mild copy editing.)

FOOTNOTES

115 “The great American pork barrel: Washington streamlines the means of corruption” by Ken Silverstein:

In the case of another winner in last year’s defense-earmarks sweepstakes, Night Vision Equipment Company of Allentown, Pennsylvania, there is not only a suspect but one with motive and means as well: Arlen Specter, the third-ranking Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee. Night Vision won a $1.25 million earmark in the defense bill, funding lobbied for by IKON Public Affairs, to which Night Vision paid $60,000. IKON deployed two lobbyists to work the Night Vision account, Peter Grollman and Craig Snyder, both of whom previously held senior posts on Specter’s staff. Between 2000 and 2004, IKON donated $13,250 to Specter, with $7,250 of that coming directly from Snyder and Grollman. During that same period, Night Vision’s then president, William Grube (along with his wife), kicked in $8,000 to Specter.

From “Donors Gave as Santorum Won Earmarks” by Michael Luo and Mike McIntire:

In some cases, while representatives from the companies that got a grant did not donate to Mr. Santorum, their lobbyists did. Vision Technologies, a company based in Arkansas with a plant in Pennsylvania, hired IKON Public Affairs in 2004 to help it pursue federal money, paying the lobbyists $100,000 over the next two years.

The company received a $3 million federal grant in the defense appropriations bill to develop a video system to monitor machinery aboard gas turbine ships. Two of the lobbyists on the account, Craig Snyder and Peter Grollman, contributed nearly $9,000 total to Mr. Santorum’s leadership PAC and his campaign committee, mostly in 2005.

Snyder’s experience with Arlen Specter is taken from his profile at the IKON Public Affairs bios page:

Craig Snyder is Managing Partner at IKON Public Affairs. With nearly 30 years in public affairs and political communication, Snyder is one of the nation’s leading lobbyists and political campaign consultants. Snyder helped found IKON in 1997 after serving as Chief of Staff to United States Senator Arlen Specter.

Snyder’s career has spanned nearly every facet of public affairs – a candidate for the United States Congress in 1992, Deputy Campaign Chairman for Senator Specter’s 1996 candidacy for the GOP Presidential nomination, Public Policy Specialist with the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia, United States Senate staffer with a “Top Secret” security clearance, and as a political consultant who wins races and awards for effective advertising.

Snyder’s lobbying practice has brought huge victories on behalf of diverse clients. As Senior Lobbyist for Autism Speaks (the nation’s largest advocacy group on behalf of Americans with autism) Snyder lead the legislative efforts which resulted in the Children’s Health Act of 2000 and the Combating Autism Act of 2006. His appropriations work has produced federal funds for clients in defense, transportation, education, healthcare, agriculture, arts and culture, and other areas.

Snyder graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1983 with a degree in Ethics and Political Economy and received his law degree from Temple University in 1988.

Kevin Roy’s experience with Rick Santorum is taken from bio off the same IKON page:

Kevin Roy is a Principal at IKON Public Affairs, having brought to the firm a breadth of experience ranging from senior staffer on Capitol Hill to international accounting and consulting firm professional. This wide-ranging experience allows Kevin to advise clients on their federal affairs with the perspective of one who has managed both federal and private sector concerns.

Prior to joining IKON in January 2007, Kevin spent six and a half years in the Washington office of U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, most recently as Director of Appropriations. With this issue portfolio, Kevin was frequently the primary point of contact for innovative energy and biotechnology companies seeking to partner with the federal government. Kevin devised strategies to integrate private sector capabilities with the needs of the federal government from legislative proposal to executive branch implementation. This experience informs Kevin’s approach to helping IKON’s clients succeed with their federal policy or budgetary initiatives.

Kevin received his B.A. in History from Dickinson College, where he won the Myers Senior Prize for academic excellence by a varsity athlete. Kevin also studied Accounting as part of Deloitte & Touche’s program for Liberal Arts undergraduates at Babson College’s Olin Graduate School of Business. He lives in the Annapolis, MD area with his wife Kimberly and their two children.

116 From Ken Silverstein’s “The great American pork barrel”:

Just months before the defense appropriations bill passed, Snyder helped Specter fight off a fierce primary challenge from Pat Toomey. The electoral hopes of Toomey, who favors a ban on abortion, rested on his trouncing Specter in the state’s conservative heartland, where the senator’s pro-choice politics have made him a pariah. Shortly before the primary vote, Snyder put together a PAC called Pennsylvanians for Honest Politics, which promptly raised $17,750, with one third coming directly from Snyder and Grube. Almost all of that money was spent to produce and air a radio ad that ran in the last few days of the campaign-on just a single Christian station that airs only in conservative areas. The ad savaged Toomey for failing to call, during an interview with Chris Matthews on Hardball, for criminal sanctions against a woman who gets an abortion. “Somebody who claims to be on our side had the opportunity to say abortion is murder,” says the ad’s protagonist. “Instead of showing the nation real pro-life leadership, Toomey shrunk like a frightened turtle.” Specter won by just 17,146 votes out of more than a million ballots cast and did far better in conservative counties than expected.

From “Arlen’s spectre: Roger Stone” (archive.org link) by Dave Davies:

Lurking behind those mysterious John Kerry-Arlen Specter yard signs in Northeast Philadelphia is yet another spectre: Notorious national GOP consultant Roger Stone.

A political operative with some ties to Stone told the Daily News last night that the consultant – who chaired Pennsylvania GOP senator Specter’s abortive 1996 presidential bid – had been actively recruiting people to join a group called the Philadelphia Education Project.

The group’s lawyer – who contacted the Daily News yesterday – is another political operative named Paul Rolf Jensen, who has worked with Stone on several campaigns. Jensen is also known for his efforts to file lawsuits against gay and gay-friendly Presbyterian ministers.

The background of Paul Rolf Jensen is briefly discussed in this piece, “Attorney For Birther Army Doc Is Former GOP Staffer And Anti-Gay Crusader” by Justin Elliott, on his defense of Terrence Lakin, an army doctor who refused to follow orders on the grounds that the president is not an american citizen.

“Kerry-Specter signs were the work of GOP operative” (archive) by Dave Davies:

The mystery of the John Kerry-Arlen Specter lawn signs in Northeast Philadelphia is solved.

They’re indeed the work of national Republican consultant Roger Stone, who has worked with Specter in the past. Specter campaign manager Christopher Nicholas said yesterday that he called Stone last weekend and asked him to put an end to the campaign.

“I made the call Saturday morning,” Nicholas said. “We asked him to stop and he agreed.”

Nicholas said that Specter opposes independent advocacy organizations – so-called 527 groups – and that the campaign knew nothing of the controversial signs until it got calls from the media. Nicholas said he learned of Stone’s involvement from the Daily News.

The signs appeared in Northeast Philadelphia about a week ago, apparently linking Specter, Pennsylvania’s Republican incumbent U.S. senator, with Kerry, the Democratic presidential nominee.

The signs read “Kerry & Specter for Working Families.”

Stone is a former business partner of Craig Snyder, a former Specter aide who formed an independent group last spring to place ads on Christian radio in central Pennsylvania attacking Specter’s primary opponent, U.S. Rep. Pat Toomey, as being soft on abortion.

Snyder said he and Stone, who were partners in Washington-based IKON Public Relations, haven’t worked together for about three years.

117 A summary of the affidavit of Santibanes is appended to the ruling of the Lolavar v. Santibanes suit:

The essential terms of the affidavit follow: FERNANDO de SANTIBAÑES declares pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1746 and under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America that the following is true and correct: 1. I am named as a defendant in the above captioned matter. I make this declaration in support of my motion to dismiss this action for lack of personal jurisdiction in that I did not have any contacts with the Commonwealth of Virginia which would justify this court or the courts of the Commonwealth of Virginia from exercising jurisdiction over me. The facts set forth below refer to all times material to the Motion for Judgment in this action right up until the present. 2. I am a citizen and resident of Argentina. 3. I have never lived, worked or maintained an office in Virginia. 4. I never subscribed to a telephone in Virginia. 5. I have never held any license, including a driver’s license, issued by Virginia. 6. I was not a party to any contract with either of the plaintiffs. 7. I have never owned any real or personal property in Virginia. 8. I have never held any bank accounts or other assets in Virginia. 9. I have never conducted or operated any business in Virginia. 10. I have never had any employees in Virginia. 11. I have never sued anyone or been sued in Virginia. 12. I have never met with the plaintiff Mattie Lolovar in Virginia. The only time I met her was on a social occasion at a friend’s home in New York or Connecticut. I have never had any direct relationship with either of the plaintiffs. I have never directed either of the plaintiffs to perform any work in Virginia or elsewhere. 13. Except on the one social occasion mentioned above, I have never communicated with the plaintiffs or transmitted any money to either of the plaintiffs. 14. I have never communicated in Virginia by telephone, email, fax, letter or otherwise with the plaintiffs or any other defendant.

118 From “Chavez ouster bodes well for oil, analysts say” by Carolyn Pritchard:

“Politically, this was bound to happen. I think Chavez was losing ground not only internationally but within his own constituency,” said Mattie Lolavar, president of international business communications and strategies firm Triumph Communications Group and former consultant to the government of Argentina.

“Knowing the situation in Middle East and looking at Iraq,” said Lolavar, “I think the U.S. will do everything possible to help Venezuela, if need be.” One possibility would be helping state-owned oil companies become privatized.

“This is going to refocus the verticalization of trade toward Latin America, especially in oil and energy,” said Lolavar. She noted that the region is still considered to be one of the most technologically sophisticated in term of oil production and exploration.

119 This ad is directed by Ladd Ehlinger, jr., who inevitably, in this interconnected universe, also puts in an appearance in “Andrew Breitbart: Psychosis in a Political Mask Part Two”.

120 From “Terrorism’s murky origins” by Bruce Fein:

At present, little is known of the circumstances which give birth to terrorists. The periodic reports issued by the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (National Commission), for instance, are bereft of clues for diminishing terrorist recruits. Until this dearth of knowledge is overcome, the best way to handcuff terrorism is by killing, capturing and punishing terrorists period, with no commas, semicolons or question marks. To paraphrase Churchill on democracy, it is a poor counterterrorism policy, except for all others that have been imagined or attempted.

Al Qaeda and brother terrorists and sympathizers live in a demonic intellectual and moral world alien to western civilization. A substantial percentage daftly insists that September 11 was perpetrated by the CIA and Jews. Since reasoning is futile, killing, capturing and punishing is the only moral answer to the terrorism wickedness.

121 From “Impeach Cheney” the Slate essay by Bruce Fein:

Under Dick Cheney, the office of the vice president has been transformed from a tiny acorn into an unprecedented giant oak. In grasping and exercising presidential powers, Cheney has dulled political accountability and concocted theories for evading the law and Constitution that would have embarrassed King George III. The most recent invention we know of is the vice president’s insistence that an executive order governing the handling of classified information in the executive branch does not reach his office because he also serves as president of the Senate. In other words, the vice president is a unique legislative-executive creature standing above and beyond the Constitution. The House judiciary committee should commence an impeachment inquiry. As Alexander Hamilton advised in the Federalist Papers, an impeachable offense is a political crime against the nation. Cheney’s multiple crimes against the Constitution clearly qualify.

The vice president initiated kidnappings, secret detentions, and torture in Eastern European prisons of suspected international terrorists. This lawlessness has been answered in Germany and Italy with criminal charges against CIA operatives or agents. The legal precedent set by Cheney would justify a decision by Russian President Vladimir Putin to kidnap American tourists in Paris and to dispatch them to dungeons in Belarus if they were suspected of Chechen sympathies.

The vice president has maintained that the entire world is a battlefield. Accordingly, he contends that military power may be unleashed to kill or capture any American citizen on American soil if suspected of association or affiliation with al-Qaida. Thus, Mr. Cheney could have ordered the military to kill Jose Padilla with rockets, artillery, or otherwise when he landed at O’Hare Airport in Chicago, because of Padilla’s then-suspected ties to international terrorism.

From “Libertarian Bum Fights” by Mark Ames, whose starting off point is a split between Fein and Glenn Greenwald; Fein was, at the time, the lawyer for Edward Snowden’s father and had made a public warning about Snowden becoming too close to characters such as Greenwald and Assange:

Let’s leave aside the crazy and partly-substantiated basis for their “concern” — a deal Greenwald and WikiLeaks reportedly cut with NBC to arrange an exclusive interview with Snowden in Moscow, which came with either a $1,000,000 price tag demand (according to the Feins) or a $50,000 price tag (according to Greenwald). Whatever their unseemly squabbles over access to a high-value asset like Edward Snowden, what I find more interesting is what all the parties in this squabble share in common: their GOP libertarian politics, and their mutual adoration for celebrity father-son libertarians Ron and Rand Paul: Bruce Fein served as “senior legal advisor” for Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign; Edward Snowden donated to Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign; Julian Assange announced last week that he’s “a big admirer of Ron and Rand Paul”; and although Glenn Greenwald is slightly more coy about it, he too is a longtime defender and promoter of both Ron Paul and Rand Paul and the GOP libertarian politics that they espouse.

The squabbling Edward Snowden suitors share more than their mutual adoration for the Paul dynasty. Last year, Glenn Greenwald and Bruce Fein did two major college campus tours together, one in winter 2012, and another in autumn 2012. The Greenwald-Fein tours were by sponsored by two pro-Ron Paul libertarian outfits: Young Americans for Liberty (YAL), a Ron PaulJugend outfit; and the Future of Freedom Foundation (FFF), a libertarian outfit specializing in publishing far-right “historical revisionism” about who’s really to blame for the Civil War and World War II, along with the usual libertarian drivel attacking public schools, civil rights laws, social welfare programs, and regulations on the tobacco industry.

122 A timeline of the Scott Rothstein story can be found at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, “Timeline: Key dates in the life of attorney Scott Rothstein”. A good quick overview of the case is the accompanying text to an Investigation Discovery program, “Case Profile: Scott Rothstein”. The guilty plea of Kim Wendell, Rothstein’s former wife, to hiding over a million dollars in jewelry from the federal government is described in “Kim Rothstein Will Plead Guilty to Felony Charge” by Chris Joseph. The best journalism, easily, on the Rothstein story is by Bob Norman and is too numerous to give full space to here. They include “Inside the Rothstein Swindle, Part I” and “Inside the Rothstein Swindle, Part II”, an interview with Rothstein when things fell apart, “Pulp Has Sit-Down With Scott Rothstein”, and his series of Kim Wendell, “The Courtship of Kim Rothstein”, “Kimberly Wendell: The Early Days”, “Kimberly Wendell: The Early Days Part II”, and “Kimberly Wendell: The Early Days Part III”. The details on Rothstein’s watches can be found at “Scott Rothstein Ponzi Scheme Watch Collection To Hit Auction Block on July 13”.

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

I am being chauffeured around Miami in one of Stone’s five Jaguars. At the wheel is A-Mill, his 23-year-old driver/computer whiz/all-around Boy Friday. A-Mill looks like he’d fight as a featherweight, but Stone says looks can be deceiving. One late night, when they were walking across a strip-club parking lot together, two large gentlemen tried to mug them. A-Mill reached into his boot, pulled out a blade, and slashed one of them across the face, causing both assailants to run. “Watch this guy,” says Stone. “He’s a killer.”

From Toobin’s “The Dirty Trickster”:

After our lunch, Stone summoned his chauffeur-driven Jaguar-he owned four Jaguars at the time-to take us downtown, so that he could walk me through the events that concluded the Miami recount. On November 21, 2000, the Florida Supreme Court gave Gore an important victory by ruling that the deadline for recounts would be extended to November 26th.

On the lavish life, from “The Dirty Trickster”:

The partners made their money by charging blue-chip corporate clients such as Ronald Perelman’s MacAndrews & Forbes and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. large fees to lobby their former campaign colleagues, many of whom had moved into senior posts in the new Administration. There were also less savory clients-Zaire’s Mobuto Sese Seko, Angola’s UNITA rebels, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos. 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. They threw raucous parties for no reason or for almost no reason, like Calvin Coolidge’s birthday.

124 The documents involving the liens, indenture, and foreclosure of Roger Stone can be found via Miami-Dade public records.

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

125 From her Facebook page:

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

127 From “Roger Stone, adviser to Carl Paladino, owes $400,000 in taxes” (archived) by Brendan Scott and Frederic U. Dicker:

ALBANY — Roger Stone, a key adviser to Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino, owes Uncle Sam more than $400,000 in unpaid taxes, The Post has found.

The Internal Revenue Service filed a $405,035 lien for unpaid income taxes against the consultant — one of politics’ most notorious dirty tricksters — and his wife, Nydia, last fall in Dade County Circuit Court in Florida, records show.

The debt makes Stone the second high-profile Paladino adviser to run afoul of the taxman. Paladino’s campaign manager, Stone protégé Michael Caputo, recently admitted to a federal tax debt topping $52,000, although he says he’s paid back all but $9,302.

A source close to Stone said the nattily dressed operative has been suffering from “widespread money problems” in the wake of the collapse of his partnership with Fort Lauderdale mega-scammer, Scott Rothstein.

“Roger likes to give the appearance that he’s wealthy, but it’s far from the truth,” the source said.

From “Dicking Fred Dicker” by Roger Stone:

In today’s New York Post Fred Dicker reports that my wife and I have a $405,000 tax lien from the IRS which pertains to our 2006 taxes. What Fred is well aware of and didn’t report is that the matter is in dispute and an appeal has been filed with a hearing scheduled in 90 days! Fred never lets the facts get in the way of a good tabloid story.

Generally despised by his colleagues in the Press for his healthy disregard for facts and careful omissions when promoting his agenda, Dicker’s has taken up the cudgel for Democrat Andrew Cuomo in this year’s race for Governor. When I had lunch with Dicker in Miami last year, I was surprised when he punched Andrew up on his speed dial of his cell phone and handed the phone over so Andrew could say hello. The aging Dicker’s influence is over-stated. His popular Albany based radio show is listened to by Albany political insiders but few voters. His newspaper reaches thousands of down-scale New Yorkers very few of whom are voters. As the old media dies, Dicker’s influence dies with it. Fred can dish it but he can’t take it. Notoriously thin-skinned and pompous, he uses the typical tactics of the bully. Few have the belly to stand up to him. Until now.

Excerpted scans from past liens:

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

Roger Stone - Pretty reckless is going straight to hell

128 From “Steve Berke: Comedian for Miami Beach mayor” by Tim Elfrink:

Roger Stone strolls into Oliver’s, his favorite neighborhood joint on West Avenue. His broad face is bronzed, his slightly conical head topped by blondish-white curls, his eyes shaded by hugely oversize round shades. With his prominent ears and thin nose, he bears no small resemblance to Prince Charles.

Yet something is off. Just three years ago, Stone was riding high — a penthouse office in Fort Lauderdale, a waterfront mansion, even a New Yorker cover story by Jeffrey Toobin that lingered on Stone’s wardrobe of more than 100 designer suits and his four chauffeured Jaguars. (Not to mention the tattoo of Richard Nixon’s face on his back.)

Today, the mansion has been sold, and if Stone drove to lunch, his car is inconspicuous. He’s even wearing a blue polo shirt and khakis.

Has Stone fallen on hard times? The public record indicates as much: After getting tangled up with Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein, Stone faces a $400,000 IRS lien and is being sued over a $25,000 credit card bill. And for the first time, he’s throwing his name into a local race in his adopted hometown.

But anyone who takes those facts to mean Stone is broke is dead wrong, he says. “Like a lot of Floridians, I have debt,” he says. “But I also have plenty of income.”

129 From “Feud Over Tribal Control Resolved” by Eric Bailey and Judy Pasternak:

SACRAMENTO — Two women fighting for control of a tiny tribe that plans a 2,000-slot casino in rural Northern California have settled their differences after four years of legal wrangling, ending a dispute that spawned a frenetic Washington lobbying blitz and helped to bring down a Bush administration official.

Rhonda Morningstar Pope — a 34-year-old former bookkeeper and the tribe’s last adult blood heir — is assuming control of the Buena Vista Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians under a legal agreement signed last week. The tribe’s former chairwoman, Donnamarie Potts, has stepped aside, but she and her children remain members.

Potts, who didn’t return calls for comment, was backed by Cascade Entertainment Group, which spent millions in an attempt to build the casino. Her attorney also did not return calls.

Pope, though initially opposed to Indian gambling, eventually joined forces with Thomas Wilmot, a Rochester, N.Y., shopping mall developer now heavily involved with building Indian casinos.

Pope said Tuesday that she was forced by financial need to modify her stand and embrace a Buena Vista casino.

“I had to make some accommodation to achieve my goal of protecting the land,” Pope said, adding: “I had to be realistic. I couldn’t just get a second and third job to finance my legal fees.”

At first, Pope said, she agreed only to join with Wilmot to back a casino on land off the reservation, fearing that a huge gambling hall would desecrate a tiny tribal cemetery and other sacred sites on the reservation. With Wilmot’s backing, a large parcel nearby was bought as a potential casino site.

But with the legal fight dragging on and the federal government frowning on off-reservation casinos, Pope said she eventually decided to embrace the prospect of a gambling hall on the reservation — as long as she retained control over how it was built.

The turning point of the fight is described in “McCain: Process for tribal casino ‘wrong’” by Erica Weiner:

WASHINGTON — Sen. John McCain, the new chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, said Thursday it was wrong to allow the Lytton Band of Pomo Indians to circumvent federal law to build a casino across the bay from San Francisco.

The Arizona Republican promised to hold hearings on a bill by Sen. Dianne Feinstein that would block the 2,500-slot casino, which the tribe plans to build on nonreservation land.

“I think it was wrong the way that this tribe was allowed to do it. I don’t think that’s the proper process,” McCain told reporters outside a press conference. “How do we fix that, I’m not sure.”

The Lytton Band of Pomo Indians got the right to build the casino on the site of a San Pablo card room because of language inserted in a 2000 spending bill by Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., that gave the land special federal trust status. Without Miller’s intervention, the tribe, which has no reservation of its own, would have had to go through a lengthy process of getting federal and state approval.

The legislation by Feinstein, D-Calif., would revoke the special trust status and require the tribe to go through the normal approval process, which can take years.

“Casino in Calif. could pay off for Katz, group” by Nathan Gorenstein and Thomas Fitzgerald describes the prominent support of Rick Santorum and Arlen Specter. I bold “A lobbyist for Katz and the Indians” – perhaps we might make guesses as to who this lobbyist was:

SAN PABLO, Calif. — It’s an imitation Moorish castle, out of place among the fried-chicken joints and taco stands across a bay from San Francisco, 2,800 miles from any polling place in Philadelphia.

But Philadelphia mayoral candidate Sam Katz and his 21 business partners – with a little help from Sens. Arlen Specter and Rick Santorum – are trying to turn the pinkish building into a Las Vegas-style casino for a tiny Indian tribe.

If it works out, the tribe stands to reap millions in profits from slot machines. So do Katz and his Philadelphia-area business partners.

Katz, who has never held public office but has worked as a financial consultant to cities and sports teams, was helping to launch the Florida Panthers’ professional hockey arena in 1996 when he met a Seminole Indian businessman.

That man, in turn, introduced Katz to the Lytton band of Pomo Indians.

The tiny California tribe wanted in on the Indian-gaming boom, and Katz agreed to help.

It took time to find a site that might work. Then the tribe and its backers settled on San Pablo.

In 2001, Reid tried to overturn the Lytton land measure. Feinstein sided with him.

That’s when Katz says he went to Santorum and Specter for help.

Mike Hershey, Santorum’s chief of staff, said, “Our Philly group [of investors] called on our office for help, and we facilitated a conversation with Reid.”

Santorum met privately with Reid, Hershey said, and then Reid met with the Lyttons.

A lobbyist for Katz and the Indians approached Sen. Specter, Katz said.

Specter said he got involved because “these were investors in Pennsylvania. That was my interest. . . . It doesn’t matter to me where their own investment was.”

130 From “Trump Gets Trumped In Eastern Pequot Deal” by Rick Green:

Gambling and hotel tycoon Donald Trump, who spent millions of dollars hoping to develop and manage the state’s next Indian casino, has been dumped by the newly reunited Eastern Pequots, who instead want Southport golf course developer David A. Rosow.

Since last June, when the Eastern Pequots won federal recognition and the right to negotiate to open a casino in Connecticut, Rosow and Trump have been dueling behind the scenes, aligning with different tribal factions.

Both men had separate casino development contracts with tribal factions — Trump with the Paucatuck Eastern Pequots and Rosow with the Eastern Pequots. Under the new united federal tribe, Trump lost out because he was aligned with the smaller of the two Eastern Pequot groups.

The Easterns, whose two factions were united by the federal government last summer into a single tribe, recently announced a unified tribal council made up of nine Eastern Pequots and five Paucatuck Eastern Pequots. In a private vote, the council voted 8-4 in support of Rosow.

Trump told the New London Day last summer he wouldn’t walk away from Connecticut’s lucrative casino market without a fight.

“Nobody will get anything” if the Easterns oust him, Trump said, promising “very large, huge litigation.”

From “Schaghticoke and Eastern Pequot decisions reversed” by Gale Courey Toensing:

KENT, Conn. — In an unprecedented move, the BIA has reversed a pair of positive final determinations, rescinding the federal acknowledgement of two of the oldest Northeastern woodlands American Indian tribes in the country.

On Oct. 12, members of the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation in Kent and those of the Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation in North Stonington received faxes from the agency, announcing its reconsidered final determinations to rescind its decisions to grant either tribe federal acknowledgement.

131 From “Roger & Me. (1 of 2)”:

BW: Why are you for prostitution, but were against casinos and expanded gambling in the state?

RS: No, she’s for casinos.

BW: No, you personally.

RS: I was against Indian casinos. Indians pay no taxes. Letting anyone have a casino based on the color of their skin I have a problem with. The 1988 Indian Gaming Act says that because they were a sovereign nation, because we stole their land, and shot a bunch of them, we [exempt] them.

I’m against that. Where are the African American casinos? We grabbed those guys in Africa and made them come here against their will and made them slaves. Where’s their redress?

The whole Indian gaming thing is a scam. It doesn’t filter down to individual Indians. It goes to a bunch of crooks at the top. I’m in favor of legalized casino gambling in New York.

132 From “The (Roger) Stone Around Carl Paladino’s Neck” by Wayne Barrett:

The overweening and catastrophic power of the Stone/Caputo nexis on Paladino makes what you are about to read a Paladino story, not just another Barrett colonoscopy of Stone, who enjoys them so much he threw us a “half-truth” comment on a recent one. Now that Cuomo has agreed to debate his six opponents, Roger will have at least two candidates on the stage, Paladino and Manhattan Madam Kristin Davis. If Charles Barron proves to be just a stand-in for Al Sharpton, Roger, who orchestrated the Rev’s 2004 presidential campaign, could score a hat-trick.

Should a convicted felon like Davis be allowed to let it all hang out at a gubernatorial debate in a state that’s in a death spiral?

I have to admit that this Stone saga even shocks me, as familiar as I am with his four-decade career, rooted in his wasted youth inside the townhouse of Roy Cohn, the Al Pacino character in HBO’s Angels in America who was New York’s ultimate alleyway fixer and virtually fathered tender Roger in the ’70s and early ’80s.

133 From Smash Mouth, the excerpt mentioning Dianne Thorne (though mis-spelling her first name with a single n) is on google books:

Ridiculing Donald Trump – billionaire, presidential candidate, lounge lizard – has become so easy that it is no longer sporting. Doonesbury recently featured Trump squeezing a busty blonde and reciting his stump speech: “Biggest! Best! Me! It’s unbelievable! Biggest! Mine! Tallest! Biggest! Me!” The New York Times‘s Maureen Dowd described him as a “high-rolling plutocrat,” and the Weekly Standard called him a “Chump on the Stump.”

I have come west determined to be contrary: I will take the developer and his nascent presidential candidacy seriously. It isn’t easy.

First, there’s the problem of Pee-Wee. A Yorkshire terrier of slight proportions, Pee-Wee is the pet of Roger Stone, Trump’s political consultant and Stone’s wife, Nydia. The couple has placed Pee-Wee in a piece of luggage and taken him aboard Trump’s 727 for the California tour. But Pee-Wee proves to be a logistical nightmare for Trump’s Australian advance woman, Diane, who is overwhelmed by a 35-person press contingent. While Diane herds the journalists, the Yorkie escapes from his bag and runs wild on the press bus.

134 A fuller discussion of Michael Johns can be found in the post devoted to this chemical weapons incident, “Angola, Namibia, South Africa, and a Tea Party Leader”.

135 From “Publicists of the Damned (specific page 58)” by Art Levine:

There is a special, grim irony in a former Peace Corps director’s lobbying on behalf of Third World oppressors. Joseph Blatchford, who ran the Peace Corps during the Nixon administration, now works for the firm O’Connor & Hannan. He has faced an uphill battle ever since he signed a $10,000-a-month contract to represent right-wing El Salvadoran president Alfredo “Freddy” Cristiani. “All we heard over and over was that he was a puppet of the death squads, a creature of millionaire coffee growers,” Blatchford says. That unfortunate reputation is due in part to the fact that Cristiani was the candidate of the right-wing ARENA party, which was founded by death-squad mastermind Roberto D’Aubisson and supported by millionaire coffee growers. Blatchford’s challenge: convincing Washington that “Cristiani is a good guy,” even as his government’s military forces continue to gun down civilians.

“3 Journalists Killed, 1 Injured During Election” by Gregory Katz:

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador — Three journalists were killed and another seriously injured in an escalation of violence that marred the Salvadoran presidential election.

The first incident came late Saturday night when Roberto Navas, 30, a photographer for the British news agency Reuters, was shot dead near an air force base in Ilopango, just outside the capital of San Salvador. His colleague, photographer Luis Galdamez, was seriously injured in the attack.

Douglas Farah, president of the El Salvador Press Corps Association, said the two were shot in the back by air force personnel after they identified themselves as journalists and tried to leave a roadblock.

On Election Day, Mauricio Pineda, 26, a sound technician with Salvadoran TV Channel 12, was killed at an army roadblock near the city of San Miguel.

The third journalist to die was Cornelio Lagrow, a photographer with Dutch television, who was shot down in a helicopter while traveling with leftist guerrillas who were caught in a firefight with the army.

When other journalists tried to bring Lagrow to a hospital in a car marked PRESS, the vehicle was strafed by helicopter fire that slowed its progress to the hospital, said Bill Gentile, a Newsweek photographer who tried to rescue Lagrow.

After investigating the killing and meeting with army officials, Farah said he was outraged by the helicopter attack.

“Lagrow was with the rebels and it`s unfortunate that he was caught in a cross fire but that happens,” Farah said. “But for the military to strafe a car that was clearly marked press and force the car to stop while they were rushing to the hospital is murder. He might have lived if he hadn`t had to stop.”

A contemporary report of the killing of the six priests is “Troops Blamed in Killing of Jesuits” by Marjorie Miller:

MEXICO CITY – Salvadoran President Alfredo Cristiani announced Sunday night that members of the government armed forces committed the Nov. 16 slayings of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter at their Central American University residence in San Salvador.

In a nationally televised address, Cristiani said a military board of inquiry has been formed to further investigate the case, which has drawn international condemnation and threats from U.S. Congress members to cut off American aid.

“It has been determined that some elements of the armed forces were involved,” Cristiani said.

The president, however, did not say how many members of the military might be implicated or what rank they hold. He did not offer any specifics.

A source close to the investigation said that 45 members of the elite Atlacatl Battalion have been confined to their quarters and that some of them were called before the new military board to testify on Sunday.

From Caputo’s bio page on his website:

1988
Communications Director for the Council for Inter-American Security in Washington, DC and Central America
Drove civic and military public affairs programs on-the-ground in Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica in support of Reagan’s regional foreign policy initiatives * Advised Alfredo Cristiani in his successful bid for the presidency of El Salvador * Wrote op-ed articles and served as spokesman on more than 150 live radio talk show interviews and debates

The announcement of the suit by the APHDE against Cristiani is at their site, “Suit Against Salvadoran ex-president Cristiani for Jesuit massacre, on eve of SOA protest”. This is the case summary (PDF).

136 From “Who tolls the bell?” by “Field Marshal von Paulus”:

Michael R. Caputo, The Washington Post

Just ‘cuz his name isn’t immediately recognizable doesn’t make Caputo any less evil. This guy was the spin doctor behind Yeltsin’s reelection campaign in 96. As if subjecting Russia to the horror of that post-quadruple bypass pig shaking it with a Rostov pop band wasn’t bad enough, greaseball Caputo gets to brag at Beltway cocktail parties that Jeff Goldblum played him in Spinning Boris. And now the Post handed him a chance to act righteous, condemning Russia as a criminal state! About the oligarchs (whom he has no doubt pulled the trigger on Paul), Caputo says, “Hellbent on getting rich, they have no boundaries. Raised in a communist world devoid of morals, they have no soul.” Yikes! That thar’s some perty strong language. But what about Caputo’s soul?

We remind you that the ’96 elections introduced the criminal concept of “loans-for-shares” to Russia. While Caputo didn’t personally introduce this novel concept that further consolidated power and wealth into the oligarchs hands, he was certainly getting paid by the money it generated. Likewise, the blackout of information about Zhuganov’s campaign might not have been his idea, but it went hand in hand with the avalanche of pro-Yeltsin PR that Caputo and his cohorts launched. Any way you look at it, the campaign was totally illegal and anti-democratic, and Caputo played a huge role in it.

Nor are his sins concentrated on a single event. In ’01, Caputo’s company Rainmaker Interactive signed a contract reportedly worth between $50-$100 million with GazProm Media, which was then in the process of taking over NTV. His mission? To convince folks in DC that the seizure of Russia’s only independent TV station was a legitimate business move and had nothing to do with politics. No boundaries, Michael, no soul? Apparently Russian oligarchs aren’t the only ones hellbent on getting rich. Funny how back then he wasn’t too critical of the “brutal criminals [who] still run amok in Russia, operating with impunity and no fear of prosecution.”

From “From San Diego to Moscow: George Gorton’s Strange and Wild Assignments” by Kelly Bennett:

For Nixon, Gorton oversaw campaign staffers in 38 states. Among his tasks: learn more about antiwar activists that were holding a peace vigil in front of the White House and find out if there were plans for violent protests at the Republican National Convention in Miami.

He paid Theodore Brill, a 20-year-old George Washington University student, $150 a week to go undercover and infiltrate the group. The payments to Brill were reportedly made in cash and checks from Gorton’s personal account and weren’t included in campaign disclosures.

Along the campaign trail, fellow staffers handed Gorton sheets of paper folded in half with his name on the bottom. That way, he could sign them, authorize something, and never know what it was.

Watergate’s dark pall finally spread directly to Gorton in March 1973 when he got a call from Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward.

The front-page story that ran on March 11 titled “GW Student Spied for GOP,” under the famous byline of Woodward and Carl Bernstein named the 25-year-old Gorton as the man who hired and paid a local student to spy on activists.

“Spying is a funny way to describe” what Brill did, Gorton told the Post, but admitted the clandestine operation was the only way to get information on the activists. “It was a part of my job to know what all of youth was thinking,” Gorton tried to convince Woodward.

On Pete Wilson and Proposition 187:

Gorton, Wilson’s political architect, searched for a tough issue to press Brown on, and he found one: immigration. Its manifestation: Wilson’s support for Proposition 187. The initiative, which ran parallel to the governor’s race in 1994, denied social services, health care and education to illegal immigrants. It wasn’t a tough choice, Gorton says; time and again, it was the resounding issue that came out of focus groups.

Wilson’s campaign concocted threatening and dark commercials featuring immigrants crossing the border.

In the end, Gorton orchestrated a remarkable turnaround. Wilson won by 19 percentage points. The feat landed him the MVP award from the American Association of Political Consultants.

That Stone recommended Theodore Brill to CREEP is known through the opening of Jacob Weisberg’s “State of the Art Sleazeball,” excerpted in “A Political Operative’s Career: ‘The Stone Zone’” by Danny Hakim. The links, as noted, are dead; the original profile has disappeared from the web:

Perhaps the most detailed, if negative, account of Mr. Stone’s early years is “State-of-the-Art Sleazebag,” a Dec. 9, 1985, profile in The New Republic by Jacob Weisberg, now the editor of Slate. The profile reports:

He says he became a Republican at age 12, after a neighbor in Norwalk, Conn., gave him a copy of Barry Goldwater”s “Conscience of a Conservative.” Stone was devastated by Goldwater’s defeat, but remained fully devoted to the party, rising through the ranks of youth groups like Teenage Republicans, College Republicans, Young Republicans, and the Young Americans for Freedom. As a 19-year-old student at George Washington University, Stone was the youngest Watergate dirty trickster. On orders from Creep boss Bart Porter, Stone hired Michael McMinoway — known as “Sedan Chair II” — to infiltrate the McGovern campaign and report back. Using the pseudonym “Jason Rainier,” Stone made contributions to the New Hampshire McCloskey campaign in the name of supposed left-wing groups like Young Socialist Alliance. He then sent the receipts along with an anonymous letter to The Manchester Union-Leader. He also recommended that Creep hire a fellow student named Theodore Brill, who was subsequently paid $130 a week to spy on “radical groups.” Stone says the ideas for this “kid stuff” — none of which was actually illegal at the time — emanated from Charles Colson, and that if he had refused to do it, Creep would have fired him and gotten someone else.

137 From “Moscow Journal;The Americans Who Saved Yeltsin (Or Did They?)” by Alessandra Stanley:

The Americans spoke no Russian and had no working experience in Russia. They communicated through a translator. They were paid $250,000. But as they tell it, until they arrived, the Russian campaign was as hopelessly out-of-date as the medieval knights who were bedazzled by modern American know-how in the Mark Twain novel “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.

Georgi A. Satarov, Mr. Yeltsin’s chief political adviser and a veteran of many parliamentary and presidential campaigns, was wryly amused by the consultants’ spin. “We crafted an anti-Communist message without any help from American advisers,” he said. “In fact, we decided on it in January. I myself was involved in that, because we needed to declassify photographs and film footage from the national archives.”

He added, “It’s like saying it would never have occurred to us to use the mass media in our campaign.”

Mr. Satarov, like other top campaign advisers, is well versed in Western campaign techniques, in part thanks to programs and seminars financed by the United States Agency for International Development. He said he had no direct dealings with the American consultants, and was only dimly aware of their existence during the campaign.

138 From “As the World Spins” by Andrew Maxfield and Robert Schlesinger:

The American reporters who covered Yeltsin’s 1996 election were skeptical about the influence these Pete Wilson (“A strong voice for America”) veterans had on the Yeltsin (“I believe. I love. I hope. Boris Yeltsin”) campaign, but Hollywood took notice, and an HBO movie about them is slated for January 1998. If Gorton’s comments to the Sacramento Bee are any indication, it is sure to be dramatic: “Russia needs democracy…. I would be remiss in my duty to mankind if I didn’t use every political consulting trick I could think of to keep what I felt was a great evil from returning to mankind.” Maybe so, but his share of the $250,000 fee didn’t hurt.

From “Battling Oligarchs and Parkinson’s: The Great Resurrections of George Gorton” by Kelly Bennett:

The consultants found that voters were very resistant to change. No matter how bad things were, they feared they could get worse. They preferred very slow change to the risk of sudden change.

And they were afraid of civil unrest if they elected a new government.

“My guy was drunk, corrupt. It was bad vs. evil,” Gorton says.

139 From “Guv’s race: A closer look at Roger, Carl, skeletons and closets (Corrected)*” by Michael Amon:

Caputo said Stone gave him a place to sleep and a job after a nasty divorce and a financial meltdown in 2003.

“If you are his friend, there is nothing he won’t do for you,” Caputo says of Stone. “And if you are his enemy there is nothing he won’t do to you.”

140 From “The Dirty Trickster” by Jeffrey Toobin:

On August 6th, someone whose voice sounded a great deal like Stone’s left a message on the office answering machine of Bernard Spitzer, the governor’s eighty-three-year-old father. The caller referred to a possible investigation of loans made by the elder Spitzer to his son’s campaigns. “If you resist this subpoena, you will be arrested and brought to Albany,” said the caller, who went on, “And there is not a goddam thing your phony, psycho, piece-of-shit son can do about it.” Private detectives hired by Bernard Spitzer traced the call to Stone’s wife’s telephone, but Stone, however implausibly, denied leaving the message. At first, he claimed that on the night of the call he had been attending the Broadway show “Frost/Nixon,” but there was no performance that evening. Stone also suggested that his landlord, a Spitzer supporter, had set him up, or that a standup comedian and impressionist had imitated his voice. As a result of the controversy, Stone had to relinquish his position with the State Senate Republicans.

“They caught Roger red-handed lying,” Donald Trump said. “What he did was ridiculous and stupid. I lost respect for Eliot Spitzer when he didn’t sue Roger Stone for doing that to his father, who is a wonderful man.”

From “Crazy Voicemail to Spitzer’s Dad Traced to GOP Adviser”:

Stone told the Sun he was at the play Frost/Nixon when the call was allegedly made and said, “I have been accused of a lot of things but being dumb is not one of them.” And he told the Post, “I don’t deny that the phone number is mine but fabricating my voice would be exceedingly easy. Give me a f- – -ing break. This is the ultimate dirty trick and the kind of terror tactic Spitzer used in the Attorney General’s Office.”

141 From “Meet the Leader of Eliot Spitzer’s Smear Campaign” by Alex Gibney:

The tale of the Luv Gov’s black socks was originally penned by Roger Stone, the amanuensis of the dark side and perhaps the Republican Party’s best-dressed and most ruthless dirty trickster. He first introduced the hosiery motif in a letter he claims his lawyer — Paul Rolf Jensen — sent to the FBI, as a story heard, second-hand, from an off-work call girl at an “adult-themed club.” (Don’t you just love the detail?)

Problem #1: The FBI never received the letter from Stone. Problem #2: Stone’s letter — dated prior to Spitzer’s downfall — only surfaced after Spitzer’s downfall, leading some to wonder (because of problem #1 and because the address and the name of the agent/addressee were blacked out) if his letter had been back-dated to make it look as though he had sent it before the scandal. Problem #3: Mainstream media outlets all over the world — including the NY Times and the Miami Herald — give credence to the black socks story, even though it was based on a rumor or hallucination originated by Stone.

His latest confection is Kristen Davis, a convicted madam who spent four months in Rikers Island for running a prostitution ring. From his New York apartment, Stone is masterminding her campaign for governor of New York on a pot and prostitution platform. Now, I’m all for that platform. But Stone’s real reason for backing her (my unproven hunch is that the money for her campaign may be coming from Stone’s “wealthy Republicans”) is likely that he can get her to make fallacious claims about Spitzer.

For example, Davis says Spitzer was abusive to her escorts and used her service “dozens, maybe hundreds of times.” Hmmm. Colorful detail. However, the NY District Attorney’s office — who confiscated all of Davis’s records and prosecuted and convicted the experienced madam — says that there is absolutely no evidence that Spitzer ever used Davis’s escorts. If, as Davis says, Spitzer had used her service “hundreds of times,” he would have had to have himself cloned. Spitzer staffers did joke that Spitzer’s temper tantrums marked the appearance of his “evil twin Irwin.” Maybe Irwin wore the black socks in the family.

But importantly for Stone, Davis continues to “confirm” the black socks story. According to her, Spitzer was determined to keep them on for every one of his dates. Sound credible? “No, no, don’t touch my knee-high black socks. They are precious to me!” Not a chance. But the story is so much salacious fun that papers print it anyway. There are 37,500 Google hits for “black socks eliot spitzer.” And outlets like the NY Post and Fox News — ideologically hostile to Spitzer — treat the story as Holy Writ.

Just a few days ago, on Fox’s show “Follow the Money,” the host, rock-jawed former trader Eric Bolling, invited Stone, Ms. Davis, and Curtis Sliwa on an objective “panel” to bash Spitzer on the day his new CNN show appeared. I sensed a set-up and declined to participate, but Peter Elkind gamely agreed, only to be left in the green room because of “technical difficulties,” according to Fox. That meant that there was no one to offer a few facts that might contradict Stone’s pulp fiction. Leave it to Roger, though. Since I wasn’t there, he attacked me anyway, dipping his pen into the old Nazi inkpot, comparing me to “Leni Riefenstahl.”

142 “Assault claim vs. Carl’s aide Stone” by Fred Dicker:

The key campaign adviser to Republican gubernato rial candidate Carl Paladino once attacked and injured an attorney who was working as his aide in what a police source described as a “domestic incident,” the upstate woman has claimed.

The alleged assault by Roger Stone against Lora Como, 40, a former employee of the state Senate, occurred inside his Chelsea apartment last Thanksgiving weekend and left her with bruised ribs, Como told The Post.

Como, who sources said had been involved in a relationship with Stone, said she filed a formal complaint about the alleged assault with the 13th Precinct in Manhattan.

A high-level law-enforcement source confirmed that Como’s “domestic incident” complaint was filed and is retained in Police Department records.

“He threw me to the ground and bruised my ribs. He was hostile and menacing and I wanted him arrested for assault and I went to the police,” said Como, who state payroll records show worked as a Senate research analyst from September 2006 to April 2009.

Stone, who is married, acknowledged that he had a major disagreement with Como at his apartment, but denied her version of the events.

“When I asked [her] to leave she became irate. I completely reject her assertion that I ever hit her or abused her in any physical way,” Stone said.

That Michael Johns was part of the campaign is mentioned in “A campaign as chaotic as its candidate” by Jimmy Vielkind:

This philosophy has dovetailed neatly with the disposition of some of the groups that fueled Paladino’s successful primary effort, like the Tea Party-affiliated groups around the state who have devoured the red meat he’s thrown them and clamored for more. Paladino has been only too happy to oblige: from the start, he had Jennifer Bernstone on staff to coordinate outreach to Tea Party groups. Another coordinator, Michael Johns, was brought in later.

The involvement of Dianne Thorne and Andrew Miller is in “Carl Paladino: The Dirty Details in His Campaign Filings” by Wayne Barrett:

Another Paladino filing is due by the end of the week, but look at what the prior submissions contain:

*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.

The strange double duty of Andrew Miller in both the Kristin Davis and the Carl Paladino campaigns is brought up in a New York Times piece devoted to the strange involvement of Roger Stone in both campaigns, “Opposing Campaigns, With One Unlikely Link” by Danny Hakim:

So why do these two candidates on opposite ends of the political spectrum have so much campaign DNA in common?

There are actually a myriad of overlapping ties between the two campaigns, and they all can be traced back to one man: Roger J. Stone Jr., the flamboyant Republican operative who has a large tattoo of Richard Nixon’s head on his back.

Mr. Stone is working pro bono as Ms. Davis’s campaign strategist, while his longtime assistant, Diane Thorne, is working as Mr. Paladino’s scheduler. Ms. Thorne’s stepson is Andrew Miller, Ms. Davis’s campaign manager. And while working pro bono for Ms. Davis, Mr. Miller was paid nearly $17,000 by the Paladino campaign in the first half of the year, a highly unusual arrangement.

Further, Mr. Paladino hired his campaign manager, Michael Caputo, and his pollster, Tony Fabrizio, at Mr. Stone’s recommendation — Mr. Caputo is a longtime protégé of Mr. Stone who once served as his driver.

Mr. Stone himself has been boosting Mr. Paladino behind the scenes while officially advising Ms. Davis.

“It’s pretty simple; I made an antecedent commitment to help Kristin Davis, but she’s a protest candidate,” Mr. Stone said in an interview. “Paladino on the other hand has a chance to be elected governor, and I’d like to see him win. I support him, and I make no bones about that.”

Later, there would be complaints that Paladino had shortchanged his staffers. Paladino would write a letter giving his perspective that many of the staffers had been scamming him. Here is the letter, published in “Paladino vs. the Buffalo News” by Geoff Kelly:

The March 12, 2011 the Buffalo News front-page headline story “Paladino campaign reneges on debts” was apparently more important to its spineless publisher, editor and reporter than the tragic nuclear meltdown in Japan. The unsubstantiated, libelous and defamatory lies and fabrications illustrating the malicious and hostile intent of the News will not go unanswered.

My campaign owes nothing to Michael Caputo or his band of parasitic malcontents against whom we have defenses, offsets or counterclaims. None were employees. All were independent contractors on nebulous oral agreements made without authority by Caputo. Their plan was to see what they could rip off before they get caught.

Michael Johns was retained to study and produce a get-out-the vote plan utilizing Tea Party volunteers. He conspired to change the terms of his oral contract and got caught. He was paid in advance over $18,000 for two months of services and expenses. His bill for $8,000 is more than offset by our claim for services and work product never rendered.

Caputo retained Tim Suereth, who we knew as Tim Smith, without authority for $12,000/mo as a driver and general utility person until I discovered that bills from a company named Sea Odessey were from him. We paid him $31,912.23 for two and one half months work. He only drove me 2 or 3 times before I recognized that he was reckless. His wife was our relentless scheduler/jack of all trades who did a great job for us. Suereth’s claim for expenses of $6,300 pales against our claim for amounts paid fraudulently including the cost of moving Caputo’s pleasure boat from Florida to Albany.

It’s the same basic story for the rest. People with legitimate campaign obligations were paid in full. The scam artists can sue us. The News is not our judge and jury.

The News let itself be used in what is obviously an attempt at blackmail.

My companies and I pay all our legitimate bills.

143 From “The Kristin Davis Post-Election Party: Pretty Much What You’d Expect” by Brianna Strange:

If you ever played intramural sports or wished you were the quarterback, this is your scene. “I’m the worst candidate because I don’t have anything to lose,” Davis said. A guy wearing a fedora, Andrew Miller, looked like he belonged in South Beach. Miller is Davis’s campaign manager and Roger Stone’s protégé from St. Louis.

Roger Stone waltzed through the door with a busty, redhead who was clad in a tight, high-waisted skirt and a white cap-sleeved shirt. This is Kat. Kat (see Stone at NYC’s Gay Pride Parade) said she is an instructor at a gym. She actually teaches foreplay, but that’s cool, too. Kat mentioned her work on Davis’s campaign. Stone, Miller, Davis and crew work out of Stone’s apartment-cum-office. “I’m just the typist,” Kat giggled.

Kat is Kat ForTra; from “Paladino aide had gay old time” by Brendan Scott:

ALBANY — Maybe it’s a good thing Carl Paladino skipped the Gay Pride Parade — his aide went, and got a real earful!

Roger Stone, a key adviser to the Republican gubernatorial candidate — who called the parade “disgusting” — not only went to the march, but joined in the festivities, doffing his shirt and getting his ear licked by a bosomy, nearly naked babe.

A photo from the event shows a blasé-looking Stone taking his licking from the all-but-topless, body-painted beauty in stride.

Another shot shows Stone returning the favor by closing in to kiss one of the strategically placed rainbow-colored stars on the sparkle-covered mammaries of his fellow marcher, who was identified by the Broward-Palm Beach New Times as “fitness model” Kat ForTra.

144 “I pushed for the Redlich mailer” by Jimmy Vielkind:

Everyone who has contacted me about the flyer has been disgusted by it, and one reader noted it landed in his mail box the same day as a flyer supporting Kristen Davis, the Anti-Prohibition Party candidate. The two mailers share the same postal permit. Redlich was not seeking coverage of this, and we abided by his request to redact his home address.

“It’s an absolute disgrace,” he said. “Nothing I’ve ever written would qualify me as a sexual predator more than it would qualify William Shakespeare as a sexual predatorJI think discussing what I wrote is attacking the victim. The fact that I think the Miley Cyrus story was overblown does not make me a predator, and it’s not even close.”

145 “I pushed for the Redlich mailer” by Jimmy Vielkind:

I asked Roger Stone, a self-avowed political dirty trickster and Davis’ campaign manager, if he knew about the mailer. (The sex predator flier came from a group called “People for a Safer New York” that I can’t find a record for.)

“I’ve seen both mailers, I think that they’re both accurate. People for a Safer New York is called a first amendment group,” Stone told me by phone. “I’m in touch with them. Who are they? They’re a first amendment organization I urged them to do this, this is a first amendment issue.”

He defended the flier, even though he declined to claim credit for it when I asked him. (Or otherwise characterize how heavily involved with this he is.)

“Let’s be very clear: everything here is 100 percent legal, everything here is 100 percent accurate,” Stone said. “As somebody who has two granddaughters, I really find Redlich’s advocacy and defense of sex with underrate girls disgusting and repugnant, and voters need to know about it prior to voting on Tuesday.”

146 “I pushed for the Redlich mailer” by Jimmy Vielkind:

“Let’s be very clear: everything here is 100 percent legal, everything here is 100 percent accurate,” Stone said. “As somebody who has two granddaughters, I really find Redlich’s advocacy and defense of sex with underrate girls disgusting and repugnant, and voters need to know about it prior to voting on Tuesday.”

The exact circulation is not known; Redlich estimates a few hundred went out, and he’s gotten calls from around the state. Redlich said “no comment” about taking legal action.

“I don’t want this story spread because I have children,” Redlich said on the radio. “Let’s be clear about my sick alternative lifestyle: I’ve been married for 15 years, I have two children, I live in suburbia on a cul de sac and my kids go to public school.”

147 An overview of Paladino’s emails can be found in “NY Gubernatorial Candidate Carl Paladino’s Racist and Sexist Email History” (NSFW). On a consultant’s reaction to the Paladino emails, from “Paladino’s Boys” by Reid Pillifant:

And, like Yeltsin, Mr. Paladino brought rather significant personal liabilities to the race–in his case, a series of distasteful emails he had forwarded that include bestiality, the N-word and racist jokes about President Obama.

“With those emails out there, he’s clearly unelectable,” said one veteran consultant, who speculated that the team that’s having so much fun fighting alongside Mr. Paladino might also be taking the wealthy developer–who has pledged to spend $10 million of his $150 million fortune –for a ride.

The details on Paladino’s anti-gay speech and quackquackgate can be found in “Paladino Laces Speech With Antigay Remarks” by Elizabeth A. Harris:

The Republican candidate for governor, Carl P. Paladino, told a gathering in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, on Sunday that children should not be “brainwashed” into thinking that homosexuality was acceptable, and criticized his opponent, Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo, for marching in a gay pride parade earlier this year.

Addressing Orthodox Jewish leaders, Mr. Paladino described his opposition to same-sex marriage.

“I just think my children and your children would be much better off and much more successful getting married and raising a family, and I don’t want them brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid and successful option — it isn’t,” he said, reading from a prepared address, according to a video of the event.

And then, to applause at Congregation Shaarei Chaim, he said: “I didn’t march in the gay parade this year — the gay pride parade this year. My opponent did, and that’s not the example we should be showing our children.” Newsday.com reported that Mr. Paladino’s prepared text had included the sentence: “There is nothing to be proud of in being a dysfunctional homosexual.” But Mr. Paladino omitted the sentence in his speech.

The back-and-forth between the two campaigns took a strange turn late on Sunday, when Mr. Caputo suggested that, on Aug. 20, a Cuomo staff member had referred to two gay male aides to Mr. Paladino as “girls.” The aides were accompanying a Paladino volunteer dressed in a duck costume, and blowing duck calls, to call attention to what the Paladino campaign said was Mr. Cuomo’s habit of ducking issues.

According to Mr. Caputo, the aides were approached by the Cuomo staff member and told: “If you girls don’t get out of here I’m going to shove those duck calls down your throats.”

Mr. Caputo said the encounter was “likely a hate crime since the Cuomo staffer clearly referenced their sexuality in his threat.” The Cuomo campaign did not respond late Sunday.

The classic moment between Paladino and Ti Hua Chang can be found in Wayne Barrett’s “Carl Paladino: The Dirty Details in His Campaign Filings”:

Caputo’s blog post said he was returning to Buffalo to sell insurance with his father, but in fact the Tea Partier and new wife Maryna are trying to start The Roycroft Tea Company, embroiled in litigation over their attempt to sell “high quality organic loose leaf tea” but blessed with a recently granted permit by Buffalo authorities. Maryna used to be Marina Ponomarenko, a Ukrainian beauty he met there in 2007, and on their boating honeymoon in 2009, he reported that she was constantly working on her immigration papers while Caputo piloted her to Paladinoland. The contradictions of personal and public life apparently never hit home with guys like Caputo, who is now piloting the virulently anti-immigrant Paladino. Caputo’s candidate challenged Fox reporter and native American Ti Hua Chang in a recent interview with the question: “You’re not an illegal immigrant, are you?”

The confrontation between Paladino and Dicker is described in “Paladino Unhinged: Smackdown at the Sagamore With Post‘s Fred U. Dicker”:

Michael Caputo, Paladino campaign manager, is heard warning Dicker about the hand. “Fred, fingers don’t belong here.”

It is too late, however. The two are in a school yard stand-off, cameras rolling.

“I have a daughter” shouts Paladino.

“You brought it out,” says Dicker, the hand still waving.

Caputo jumps between them. “Fred, that’s it.” He tries to push the Post reporter away.

“Stay away from me,” barks Fred, his chin jutting towards the candidate, stepping in closer, a classic boxing move to steal a foe’s breathing space. “What evidence do you have?”

Paladino steps back. His finger goes up in warning.

“Do you have the evidence or do you not?” continues Dicker. “He’s the attorney general of the State of New York!”

“Yes and you’re his stalking horse! You’re his bird dog.”

They are circling now, Caputo still trying to push Dicker back.

Now comes the Republican’s tough shot:

“You send another goon to my daughter’s house and I’ll take you out, buddy!”

The nearly empty conference room from “Madam Kristin Goes to Albany” by Molly Young:

At the hotel in Albany, Ms. Davis changed into a skirt suit and 5-inch platform heels with black satin bows. The conference room, with 20 chairs facing a lectern, was empty. Andrew Miller grimly adjusted his tie. At the designated hour only seven people had shown up, four of whom were associated with Ms. Davis’ campaign. One member of the crowd was a heckler who tried to get Ms. Davis to admit that her campaign is a stunt. “You don’t really think you have a chance, do you?” he asked.

“Blood, sweat and tears have gone into this campaign,” she responded.

“But you obviously don’t believe you’re going to win.”

“Every vote for me is a win. It is my hope to get enough votes to add this party to the ballot.”

148 From “Libertarian Payback” (archived) by Roger Stone:

The New York Libertarian Party fell short of the 50,000 votes required for official ballot status again in this years Governor’s race as a direct result of the thuggish and undemocratic tactics used to strong-arm the nomination of Albany Lawyer and perennial candidate Warren Redlich, a non-libertarian, registered Republican and former Green Party Candidate and egomaniac at the Parties convention last spring.

Davis petitioned her way onto the ballot anyway and ran a positive campaign based on a true libertarian agenda; legalization of marijuana, legalization of gay marriage, legalization of casino gambling and decriminalization of Prostitution. Redlich’s response was to call Davis a “whore” in the Albany Times Union.

Davis scored a respectable 22,000 votes- considering the “draw” of the Board of Elections placed her in a different row on the ballot than all but one of the other candidates for Governor. She will be back.

The Libertarians scored 44,761 votes. Just short of the magic 50,000. Pity. Paybacks are a bitch.

149 The Post story is “Top GOPers ‘Cult’ Favorites” by Jeane Macintosh:

Disgraced GOP operative Roger Stone acted as a middleman between a cult-like upstate group and powerful Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, The Post has learned.

Stone was hired by Albany-based executive-training group NXIVM in early 2006, according to sources.

Weeks later, two high-profile NXIVM devotees, Seagram’s heiresses Clare and Sara Bronfman, donated use of their private jet to the state Republican Senate Campaign Committee, records show. The next month, on March 16, the sisters gave $20,000 to the committee.

Stone, who resigned from his Senate gig in August after being accused of making a threatening phone call to Gov. Spitzer’s father, declined comment, as did reps for Bruno.

From “In Raniere’s shadows” by James M. Odato and Jennifer Gish:

One said Raniere told her their union would make her see a blue light.

Another recalled him explaining a threesome would cure the pain of childhood molestation – that she could then start to view sex as just sex.

And in 1984, when a woman objected to 24-year-old Raniere having sex with her underage sister, the woman said Raniere explained her sister’s soul was much older than her biological age. The girl was 15 or 16 at the time. But according to the man who came to view himself as an enlightened being, she was a Buddhist goddess meant to be with him.

Today, two women who had sex with him when they were just girls, the sister of a third underage partner of Raniere’s, and some of Raniere’s former adult lovers have come forward to tell their stories.

They’ve said he is more than just a man with an endless sexual appetite.

They’ve said he needs to be stopped.

One woman, whose name is being withheld for this story, was just a girl in 1990, a 12-year-old with feathered bangs and long blond hair who was trying to adjust to a new life following her parents’ divorce and a move from the country to Clifton Park. Her mother was a saleswoman for Raniere’s members-only buying club, Consumers’ Buyline Inc., and was trying to raise two daughters.

She recalled her mother saying Raniere was “an Einstein.” Consumers’ Buyline, which Raniere ran through the first half of the 1990s after he left a job as a computer programmer for the state Division of Parole, was the kind of place where managers kept late hours and the culture was informal. Raniere would call staff meetings to deliver sometimes tearful, emotional messages. He frequently showed a film about a man who plants seeds in the desert to build a forest. He suggested he was that type of noble cultivator of people.

The girl had braces and bright eyes, liked to climb trees and play with Matchbox cars. Raniere was almost 30 and dressed in business suits. He was spearheading a company that boasted of selling at least 250,000 memberships nationwide.

He was supposed to teach her Latin and algebra. Instead, she said, he told her she hugged like a child, her arms wrapped around him but her hips pushed away.

He taught her to hug the way adults do, pelvis-to-pelvis.

He took her virginity.

In 1984, when Raniere was living in apartments in Troy, he met Gina Melita, a 15-year-old from Cohoes who performed with him in an RPI theater group that included members of the community.

Melita was a precocious girl with an independent streak and a longing to find meaning. Before she met Raniere, she had explored being a born-again Christian. She kept journals and wrote poetryand thought school was holding her back from discovering what life was about.

She and Raniere, then 24, went to arcades together, where he liked to play Pac-Man and a game called Vanguard, in which destroying enemies increases the fuel in the player’s tank. He described himself as a genius and judo champion. She thought it was cool to be with an older, smart guy who might help her graduate from high school early. He took her virginity in a dark room, her T-shirt left flecked with blood. She told him it was painful, yet a short time later, he wanted more.

Gina studied religion and anthropology at the University at Albany and found mentors among her male professors, which her sister said Raniere didn’t like. And in those times Gina tried to break away, Heidi said, one of the women in Raniere’s inner circle would call repeatedly, urging her to return.

When Gina killed herself, she was found with a Buddha medal in her pocket. Only a few days earlier, she had sent a friend a card that said “Never stop believing.”

Toni Natalie was in a good marriage and was raising a young son when Raniere invited her to the Clifton Park headquarters of Consumers’ Buyline because she had become a top seller and had built a large network in the Rochester area.

She was a classic beauty, with long dark hair, a supermodel’s cheekbones and full, wide lips. She was also a high school dropout, who was drawn in by Raniere’s offer to have her head up a new skin care line he was launching called Awaken.

He made Natalie feel smart. He made her feel important.

It took Natalie almost nine years to realize she could never have a normal life with Raniere, that he never would be a dedicated partner who could help raise her son.

But the breakup with Raniere wasn’t a typical one.

In August, Natalie claimed Raniere sexually attacked her before she left him in 1999, according to a court filing. NXIVM’s lawyers called the Natalie claims “scandalous, immaterial, and impertinent.”

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

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

Mark Ames was kind enough to link to this piece in his thorough, and properly acerbic, overview of the association between Roger Stone and Donald Trump, “Behind the scenes of the Donald Trump – Roger Stone show”, and for that we are grateful.

THE WELL DRESSED MAN PART FIVE: LICENSE TO ILL / THE INSIDE MAN

If you’re going to write about Roger Stone, you have to give mention to his most prominent longtime client, Donald Trump. “The Ego Behind the Ego in a Trump Gamble,” by Jan Hoffman, written when Trump made a half-hearted attempt to lead the Reform party for the 2000 election, would point out the shared traits of the two men. A thin skin. Enormous egos. An aversion to shake hands; on the part of Trump, it’s due to an aversion to germs, while Stone avoids it out of an aversion to suffering fools. In 1999, Trump had been Stone’s client for nineteen years, longer than either of their first marriages, or Trump’s second marriage to Marla Maples, the woman who’d broken up his first marriage. It was after attending Stone’s wedding to Nydia Bertran in Las Vegas, that Trump provided one of the endless moments of crass hysteria that make up his life. “I’ll never marry you,” Maples would shout to the pretend billionaire. “I don’t care how much money you make,” she said before flinging a seven karat ring at Trump. They had just done a limo tour of Vegas monuments and watched a Maples appearance on something called “P.S.I. Love You” (the episode “Where There’s a Will, There’s a Dani”). With someone like Trump, you couldn’t help but wonder if they’d had an actual argument, or if it was all to demonstrate that Trump could still buy a seven karat ring. Two years later they were married. Eight years later, when Trump was once again announcing that he was thinking about running for president, they were divorced103.

The point of interest in Stone’s association with Trump was not Trump himself, but the area in which Stone always worked as a lobbyist for Trump, and that was gambling. Though fascinating, this is a subject barely touched on by either the Labash or Toobin profiles. Toobin: “He developed a specialty in ballot initiatives, especially about gaming,” and that’s all. Labash manages to bring up one of the more inflammatory moments in Stone’s career, while at the same time, consciously or unconsciously, to muffle it, making it part of a larger point on how Stone’s actions are moved more by revenge than self-interest:

For instance, after Trump, [this would be his gig consulting for Donald Trump during his try for the Reform Party ticket] he went on to advise the gubernatorial campaign of New York billionaire Tom Golisano. It can be regarded as a revenge fantasy against George Pataki who Stone considers a counterfeit conservative, and whose lobbying commission dinged Stone and Trump for a $250,000 settlement–Trump paid–the largest in state history, for not filing lobbying reports about radio ads attacking the expansion of Indian casino interests. It chafes Stone to this day. He is adamant that the settlement contained no admission of wrongdoing, and says it wasn’t his call, joking that Trump settled because “he’s a pussy.”

Labash, more than a little negligently, does not go into detail about the advertising which provoked the fine, and thereby settles for the usual Roger Stone “colorful drama” rather than the heart of the matter. Trump is a man who makes part of his money through casinos, which puts him in conflict with indian tribes, whose casinos are often in competition with those of any that Trump might want to build, and this conflict between Indian gaming interests and non-Indian gaming interests is one of the more fascinating, and almost entirely unreported, conflicts of the past twenty years.

In 2000, the St. Regis Mohawks of the Catskills, New York, had signed a contract with Park Place Entertainment to build a casino on their territory. A state bill approving the contract was going through the legislature with intensive lobbying on both sides. An excerpt from Enduring Legacies: Native American Treaties and Contemporary Controversies, edited by Bruce Elliott Johansen, gives a good sense of what happened next:

During the lobbying efforts, an advertising campaign accused the St. Regis Mohawks (at Akwesasne) of drug smuggling, money laundering, trafficking in illegal immigrants, and violence. The advertising campaign was conducted under the aegis of the New York Institute for Law and Society. The text of the advertising campaign read, in part: “Are these [St. Regis Mohawks] the kind of neighbors we want? The St. Regis Mohawk record of criminal activity is well documented”

It would soon be discovered that Trump had funneled a hundred and fifty thousand dollars into the previously unknown Institute. A casino in New York state would be competition for Trump’s casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The Institute was headed by a self-described conservative activist, Tom Hunter. Messages left by the New York Post at the Institute’s phone number went unreturned, though a “Joe Smith” who answered the phone said he’d given Hunter the messages. The Institute had been incorporated in Virginia earlier in the year by a man named J. Curtis Herge. Herge had represented Stone affiliated organizations in the past104. Herge had met Stone when he was on CREEP, and he shows up briefly 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.”105 The New York Daily News would report that Roger Stone had developed the Institute’s ads. When you spend over $2000 to lobby legislation, you must register as a lobbyist, which Trump would have to do, if he spent one hundred and fifty thousand dollars on an anti-gambling group. Trump had not registered. He would pay a fine of a quarter of a million dollars to avoid a public hearing. He would publish the following apology as well: “Donald Trump, Roger Stone, Thomas Hunter, on behalf of Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts, Ikon Public Affairs and the New York Institute for Law and Society, respectfully apologize if anyone was misled concerning the production and funding of the lobbying effort.”106 Ikon Public Affairs was the lobbying group founded by Roger Stone after he left BMS&K. It might be asked, if Roger Stone believes this settlement contained no admission of wrongdoing and that it wasn’t his call, why is there an ad that respectfully apologizes for giving offense, and why is Roger Stone’s name on the apology?

Trump already had a controversial and very visible argument with native tribes, and it was about casinos then as well. In December 1993, Trump would testify before Congress on issues related to Indian gaming. “I had a long and boring speech,” he said, “it was politically correct and something that would have gotten me into no trouble whatsoever,” he said, discarding his seven page prepared speech and indulging the world with his remarks. Look, he said, “nobody likes Indians as much as Donald Trump,” but Indian casinos are being infiltrated by gangsters. “There is no way Indians are going to protect themselves from the mob,” he warned. “This is gonna blow.” Yes, he had more to say. “It will be the biggest scandal ever,” Trump went on, “the biggest since Al Capone…An Indian chief is going to tell Joey Killer to please get off his reservation? It’s unbelievable to me.” Finally: “Connecticut is a total disaster over Indian gaming.” His main issue was the massive Foxwoods casino in Connecticut, owned by the Mashantucket Pequots. “They don’t look like Indians to me,” said Trump, of the Pequots. “They don’t look like Indians to Indians.” What, someone asked, do Indians look like? “You know,” he said. “You know.” His appearance was well-received. “In my 19 years here, I don’t know that I’ve heard more irresponsible testimony,” said George Miller, head of the committee conducting the hearing. “Free speech reigns,” Neil Abercrombie, Democratic congressman of Hawaii, would sigh, “no matter how idiotic.” The Pequots were represented by lobby shop Patton Boggs & Blow. Trump had, of course, BMS&K, with the S very visible in the room107.

A not uncommon approach when talking about politics is to ask about a person’s principles, and whether their actions are consistent with their principles. This, I think, is a mistake, especially when talking about people like Trump and Stone. There are only interests. A Connecticut casino was against those interests, but Trump had to express his opposition in terms of the general interest, that Foxwoods would become infiltrated with crime. The same method was used against the St. Regis Mohawks, who didn’t need to be infiltrated by hardcore criminals, they would be painted as hardcore criminals: drug dealers and human traffickers. After the ’93 hearing, and before his opposition of the St. Regis Mohawks, Trump would briefly take an entirely different approach.

In a hearing in 2004 before the House Government Reform Committee, Jeff Benedict, a writer of several books dealing with the problem of sexual assault among professional athletes as well as Without Reservation: How a Controversial Indian Tribe Rose to Power and Built the World’s Largest Casino, a critical look at the Pequots and the Foxwoods casino, would describe what took place next. As with every person and group involved with Indian gaming, you wonder if there’s anyone behind Benedict – but his criticism comes across as sincere, passionate, and all-encompassing. He takes issue with Trump, with the Pequots, with Foxwood, with both the Bush and Clinton administrations, with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) itself, a law “that was supposed to aid Indian tribes has the shameful distinction of instead being a boon to non-Indian millionaires and casino moguls,” rather than impoverished Indian tribes.

From Benedict’s opening statement to the Committee, “Hearing on Transparency in BIA Acknowledgement Process,” a transcript now hosted on Benedict’s own site:

The Bureau of Indian Affairs – the agency with a trust responsibility to aid and look out for the welfare of tribes – has been the enabling partner to the non-Indian financiers and investors that have cashed in on Indian gambling. Initially, casino moguls like Donald Trump attacked the rise of Indian casinos as a fraud. He even testified before the United States Senate and suggested that the Mashantucket Pequots, which operate Foxwoods, the world’s largest casino, may not be true Indians. But Trump and other casino entrepreneurs recognized the writing on the wall and adopted an ‘If you can’t beat them, join them’ approach.

Instead of railing against Foxwoods and the Mashantucket Pequots who operate it, Trump went out and found another group calling itself Pequots. According to court documents, on March 11, 1997, Trump entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to finance the Paucatuck Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation’s bid for federal recognition. The contract between Trump and the Paucatucks states that the two parties would work jointly “to obtain federal recognition for the Paucatucks and to secure the legal rights of the Paucatucks and Trump to operate a tribal gaming facility in the State of Connecticut” that would be managed by Trump. In a five-year-span between 1997 and August 31, 2002, court papers indicate that Trump advanced the Paucatucks $9,192,807.

Put simply, instead of viewing Indian casinos as a threat, the casino industry began to recognize them as an opportunity. Casino operators and those who invest in them realized that IGRA offered them a vehicle to crack into markets across the country that had previously been off limits to casinos. The key was finding a tribal group to sponsor or finance. Suddenly, federal tribal acknowledgment became a bankable proposition for investors.

The Paucatuck Eastern Pequots, a separate tribe from the Mashantucket Pequots who owned Foxwoods, required federal recognition as a tribe in order to get a casino, and Trump was loaning money for this effort. There was another Connecticut tribe, the Schaghticokes, that was attempting the same thing, and this involved an old colleague of Roger Stone’s, the kind of happy cameo of the infamous that makes my heart skip. From Benedict’s testimony before the Committee:

The Schaghticokes have spent more than $500,000 on lobbyists since 1998. But apparently, that does not include monies paid to Paul J. Manafort, who is not registered as a lobbyist for the tribe. He is helping the Schaghticokes and has been described by one of the group’s lobbying firms as someone retained by the investors to provide “valuable strategic advice and counsel.” After Manafort came on board, the BIA reversed its earlier recommendation to deny the Schaghticokes tribal recognition; instead determining that the group should be recognized despite failing to meet the mandatory criteria for recognition.

Manafort’s role remains a mystery, along with any payments, benefits or incentives he may have received for his services. Manafort’s former partner Roger Stone has lobbied for Donald Trump. After assisting the 2000 Bush recount operation in Florida, Stone was selected by President Bush’s transition team to help staff the Interior Department’s BIA [Bureau of Indian Affairs]. Since then he has issued a prospectus to tribes seeking approval from the BIA to build casinos. “We believe that based on our superior political contacts we could win all necessary approvals in a time between 8 and 16 months,” it reads. Reportedly, Stone is projected to receive between $8 million and $13 million from agreements with tribal casino interests.

The name would come up again, under questioning from representative Doug Ose of California. From the “Hearing before the Committee of Government Reform (Serial No. 108-198)”:

Mr. Ose. Now, you mentioned two names. You mentioned a Randall Kaufman and a Paul—-

It wasn’t Randall Kaufman, but Ron Kaufman, and like Stone, he was a veteran of Reagan’s ’80 campaign, the ’84 campaign, and Bush’s ’88 campaign108. Back to the “Hearing before the Committee of Government Reform (Serial No. 108-198)”:

Mr. Benedict. Manafort.
Mr. Ose. How do you spell that?
Mr. Benedict. M-A-N-A-F-O-R-T.
Mr. Ose. Manafort. Is that Charles Manafort? Are Kaufman and Manafort lobbyists?
Mr. Benedict. That is a word you could use, but—-
Mr. Ose. Well, what word would you use?
Mr. Benedict. Power brokers.
Mr. Ose. Based here in Washington?
Mr. Benedict. Based here in Washington.
Mr. Ose. OK. Now, they are power brokers in what sense?
Mr. Benedict. Well, I guess in the crudest sense. There are reasons that one individual can attract a fee of $600,000 to monitor legislation. That is a lot of money to look at what is in the pipeline. I do that for our organization, and I get paid $75,000 a year, and have many other things. And I think what is going on here, Representative Ose, and let us be clear, this is not new to this administration.

There were the Mashantucket Pequots, who owned Foxwoods, and the Eastern Pequots fighting for federal recognition as a tribe whose efforts were funded by Trump and who had Kaufman as an adviser. There was also the Schaghticokes, fighting for federal recognition with Paul Manafort as an adviser and backed with money from tycoon Fred DeLuca, founder of Subway109. This was all taking place in Connecticut, and there were other fights in California. Here is where we might introduce what Roger Stone got in return for his work for Bush in Florida during the 2000 election.

The articles critical in describing what took place are “A Dirty Trickster’s Bush Bonanza” and “Inside Bush’s Indian Bureau” by Wayne Barrett. After the 2000 election, Stone circulated a prospectus, “Indian Gaming Opportunities,” which emphasized Baker asking him for help in Florida. It would say that Stone “was involved in selecting appointees for that department for the present administration.” It made clear Stone’s degree of influence in the Bureau of Indian Affairs: “We believe that based on our superior political contacts we could win all necessary approvals in a time between 8 and 16 months.” One contentious area on which the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) would be dealing was the Buena Vista Miwoks in California. In 2000, the state had passed Proposition 1A, granting a monopoly on casino gambling to the state’s federally recognized tribes, such as the Miwoks. Six months after passage of 1A, Donnamarie Potts, leader of the Buena Vista Miwoks, announced that she was teaming up with Cascade Entertainment Group to build a $100 million dollar casino. Rhonda Morningstar Pope objected to the plan, arguing that it would desecrate a cemetery on the land. Pope believed that she’d been unlawfully excluded from the tribal government, and that she, and not Potts, should be negotiating for the tribe, since she was a Buena Vista Miwok by blood, while Potts is one only by marriage. Donald Trump, in the speech before Congress where he said the Mashantucket Pequots didn’t look Indian, had also mocked the fact that there were only three to four hundred people in the tribe. The Buena Vista Miwoks were made up of six adults and six children. The BIA regional office would rule in Pope’s favor, removing Potts from control, and a few months later construction on the casino was halted. Potts put together a team to contest the decision, a team that included Scott Reed, someone who’d worked on the ’96 Dole campaign, and Reed’s associate, Roger Stone110.

Potts and her team lobbied to have the decision on leadership go straight to Washington, rather than being settled by the regional office. Wayne Smith was deputy director of the BIA, in charge of gaming, and the question was his of whether this decision should stay regional or he should decide it. He asked the head of the Bureau, Neal McCaleb, if he should intervene and McCaleb told him, no, let it stay regional. Scott Reed invited Smith to lunch. Smith said he wouldn’t be getting involved. Smith had once been a partner of Philip Bersinger, as a consultant for non-tribal card rooms. Reed now showed Smith a letter written by Bersinger, on stationary with the letterhead of the old consulting firm, “Bersinger & Smith”. “As for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, no one is better connected than me,” the letter went. The letter also mentioned that Bersinger went on vacations with Smith, and that when Smith was at Sacramento, he stayed at Bersinger’s house. “I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture,” the letter went. These letters, said Reed, could be embarrassing to the Secretary of the Interior. They, said Reed, could be embarrassing to the White House. The preceding is Smith’s version of events; Reed’s version does not differ by much. Smith told him that the Buena Vista leadership issue would be decided in Washington, not regionally. And the warning about the letters, Reed said, was friendly advice. Smith would call Bersinger to tell him that selling their friendship was inappropriate. But: Bersinger was already in contact with the Potts team111.

Bersinger would have two meetings with the Potts team in which he mentioned his closeness to Smith and gave his fee, $25,000 per month, plus expenses. A lawyer for the Potts team asked him to put it in writing. This is all according to a public relations consultant who worked for Cascade Entertainment Group, the gaming company that wanted to build a casino on Buena Vista Miwok land. Bersinger, the consultant said, told them that “only he could solve the problem at the BIA. It was a heavy lift. And worth a lot of money.” The Los Angeles Times obtained a copy of the letter Bersinger wrote to the Potts group. The letter did not mention Smith or fees. It was on his personal stationary, not the stationary of Bersinger & Smith. Bersinger’s services would include advice and “when appropriate, representation before administrative agencies.” Bersinger, through a lawyer, categorically denied what the Potts team alleged he had said. Michael Copperthite, an advisor to members of the Ione tribe, who also had issues pending before the BIA, would get copies of the Bersinger letters, the ones bragging about his friendship with Smith and the “Bersinger & Smith” letterhead. Wayne Smith is “a bad guy”, Stone said to Copperthite. Stone asked Copperthite to get the letters out to the press. Time magazine would do a story on the friendship of Bersinger and Smith: “The Man to See On Indian Affairs?” by Michael Weisskopf. The regional bureau would uphold the decision granting leadership to Pope. That meant the decision could go on to Washington for appeal. Soon after, Wayne Smith, deputy director of the BIA with authority over gambling, would be fired from the Bureau, without official reason112.

It appeared that Stone had taken out Smith. It also appeared that Stone had helped get Neal McCaleb the top spot. His top competitor for the position was an Indian leader named Tim Martin, who would suddenly receive an endorsement letter from Donald Trump. The letter arrived after stories had appeared about Trump secretly funding the ads which accused the St. Regis Mohawks of drug dealing, money laundering, and human trafficking. “I don’t know why Trump did that,” said Martin of the letter, who has never spoken to Trump. “I don’t think he and I have ever been in the same city at the same time.” In 1972, as already said, the candidate most feared to face off in the general election was Edmund Muskie. In New Hampshire, in the time right before the primary, people started getting calls in the middle of the night from a “Harlem for Muskie Committee.” In 1968, Roger Stone would contribute $200 to Democratic candidate Pete McCloskey in the name of the Young Socialist Alliance. He “most certainly did” the Trump letter, Stone would admit. Stone sent notes on Bush-Cheney Presidential Transition Foundation letterhead to tribal leaders, asking that they support McCaleb as head of the BIA113.

Stone’s pick for the three-member National Indian Gaming Commission was Chuck Chomey, and Chomey got on. Scott Reed, Stone’s associate, pressed for Aurene Martin in the No.3 position at BIA, and Martin got it. When Smith was terminated, Martin moved up to deputy. Stone would admit to having a piece in at least three casino deals. His contract with the Miwoks of Buena Vista, whose leadership was disputed between Rhonda Morningstar Pope and Donnamarie Potts, entitled him to a quarter million dollar retainer and seven and a half percent slice from the annual gaming revenue of the future $150 million dollar casino to be built there. Stone had a cut in the future casino of the Enterprise Rancheria. He had a cut in the future casinos of the Lytton Band of Pomo Indians, also in California. Stone allegedly told associates that he would earn four to seven million from the Lytton deal. On August 18th, 2004, governor Arnold Schwarzenegger okayed the San Pablo casino of the Pomo Indians, which, when built, would be the third biggest casino in the United States, with more slot machines than any casino in Vegas114. Roger Stone had just helped elect a president. He was about to become obscenely rich. It would be great if we had some melodramatic twist at this point, and I think we do: things go wrong, bad wrong, really wrong. The brakelines have been cut, and the joyride is now a screaming death dream. The suitcases were somehow switched at the train station, and this one isn’t full of cash. It’s completely empty.

POSTSCRIPT (14/08/2015):

With Trump’s presidential run, and Stone’s exit from the campaign, the consultant – drawn like a pig to shit – gave a flurry of interviews to the press, his first to highborn and highflown luminaries outside of the hard right podcast ghetto in years. It was with one of the those that we get a detailed (though obviously unreliable) description of how Stone and Trump first met. From the podcast Ken Rudin’s Political Junkie, “Episode #89: Should I Stay Or Should I Go?” (from 7:13 to 10:34):

RUDIN
Roger, it’s great to have you on the program.

STONE
Ken, it’s great to be here.

RUDIN
In all the years I’ve been reading about a potential, and now realized, Trump presidential campaign, your name has always been associated with the effort. How long have you known him?

STONE
I actually met Donald Trump in 1979, when I was sent to New York to organize then former governor Ronald Reagan’s campaign for president. And I was given a card file, that belonged to Nancy Reagan, of their friends in New York. Like, a menu. Like, a recipe file. And there were maybe sixty seventy cards in it, the problem was, half the people on those cards were dead. But among the cards was a card for Roy Cohn, the flamboyant and famous New York attorney, who of course I had read about, and knew about, but didn’t of course know.

RUDIN
Joe McCarthy’s former aide.

STONE
Joe McCarthy’s old running mate. And I contacted Cohn, and I told him what I wanted, and he said, “Do you know Fred and Donald Trump?” And I said, “No, I don’t. I only know of them.” “Well,” he said, “Fred’s a great conservative” – in fact, Fred Trump, Donald Trump’s father, was one of the original financiers of the Goldwater campaign – “and you need to meet them. I think they’d be interested.” So, I met Donald’s father, and then I subsequently met him, and they both signed on our finance committee, Donald was very important to our effort a couple of ways, helped us get office space, helped us get phones installed on a faster basis, lent us his plane to file our petitions, to fly our petitions at the very last minute to get on the ballot. And we became fast friends. In 1980, when Reagan was elected, I opened my lobbying practice, Black, Manafort, Stone, and Kelly, lined up most of the dictators of the world we could find [see “Publicists of the Damned” by Art Levine]. Pro-western dictators, of course.

RUDIN
The good ones.

STONE
Dictators are in the eye of the beholder. In any event, he was among my first clients. I handled some currency transaction issues, regarding his casinos. And treasury, new rules they were passing. Handled some FAA building height questions, because some of the skyscrapers he was building, were scraping the sky as far as the federal government was concerned. In other issues, I secured permits to secure the dredging of the harbor in Atlantic City, so he could bring his incredible yacht in. We became very good friends. I’ve wanted him to run for president since 1988, when I arranged for the Portsmouth, New Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, to do a luncheon speech. Where he absolutely wowed them. And it was standing room only, some very enthusiastic friends of mine in New Hampshire organized the very first “Trump for President” or “Draft Trump Committee”, but it was early in his career, he really wasn’t that interested in politics as an avocation, he was more interested in politics as an observer or donor. Then fast forward to 2000, when both he and I were unimpressed with the choice between Al Gore and George W. Bush. Ross Perot, Jesse Ventura, and others – Jesse then the governor – urged him to seek the Reform Party nomination. As you know, Ken, the Reform Party in those days had a federal matching funds, made that nomination attractive. I was the chairman of his exploratory committee, there was actually a straw poll for the Reform Party in Dearborn, Michigan, which Trump won. But in the end, he elected not to make that race.

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

FOOTNOTES

103 From “Angry Marla Hurls Ring at Donald” by Washington Post:

WASHINGTON – Things had seemed to be going so well earlier in the day. There were Donald and Marla at the Willard Hotel on Saturday, basking in the glow of flashbulbs, looking atll warm and lovey at the wedding of a friend

Not seven hours later, the lovebirds were at it again – this time staging one of their infamous histrionic fights in front of transfixed guest in the lobby of the Four Seasons Hotel.

“I’ll never marry you,” Maples reportedly shouted. “I don’t care how much money you make.”

Maples then ripped off her 7.5-karat diamond engagement ring (estimated value $250,000) and flung it at her fiancé. She bolted out the front door, with Trump in hot pursuit.

Trump and Maples were in town to attend the wedding of Republican political consultant Roger Stone to his long-time girlfriend, Nydia Bertran. They arrived at the Willard for the reception an hour after the ceremony and essentially stole the how from the newlyweds.

Trump and Maples appeared happy, held hands and deferred to each other in conversation. She was wearing a red silk suit and made a point of inspecting the bride’s diamond.

Asked how everything was going with their relationship, Maples beamed an said, “Great!”

After the wedding, the couple did a limousine tour of the monuments, returned to the Willard to watch Maples’s guest appearance on “P.S.I. Luv You,” and then headed back out for some additional partying at Desiree. The rest is history.

104 From “Trump $upported Group That Fought Indian Casino Bid” by Fred Dicker:

Megabuilder Donald Trump secretly funneled thousands of dollars to an upstate “institute” that opposed an Indian casino in the Catskills, The Post has learned.

The payments are expected to trigger a widening of the ongoing investigation of Trump by the state Lobbying Commission because the law says the sources of $2,000 or more spent to influence state legislation must be disclosed.

Trump, who owns several New Jersey casinos and fears competition from the Catskills, funneled the money – estimated at “at least tens of thousands of dollars” – to the New York Institute for Law and Society, a virtually unknown organization based in upstate Rome, sources said.

The institute, which lists self-styled “conservative activist” Tom Hunter as its head, sponsored statewide newspaper, television and radio commercials this year opposing Indian gaming operations, which it linked to violence and organized crime.

Repeated attempts over five days to reach Hunter were unsuccessful.

Messages left at the institute went unreturned, though a “Joe Smith” who answered the phone said Hunter had been given the messages.

Roger Stone, a longtime national conservative activist and political consultant, is also being investigated by the Lobbying Commission for his casino-related lobbying efforts on behalf of Trump, a long-time friend.

The Middletown Times Herald-Record newspaper disclosed earlier this year that the New York Institute for Law and Society was incorporated in Delaware by Virginia lawyer J. Curtis Herge, who it said has represented organizations linked to Stone.

A subsequent piece is “State Commission Investigates Trump Effort To Stop Casino” by Richard Penez-Pena.

105 From Dirty Tricks:

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

106 From “Trump Lobby Probe Has N.J. Taking Note” by Joe Mahoney:

In Albany, attorneys for Trump who met with Lobbying Commission officials admitted that the developer bankrolled an anti-Indian casino ad campaign mounted by a group called the New York Institute for Law and Society. Trump, who owns three casinos in Atlantic City, is concerned that competition from an Indian development in the Catskills would drain his New Jersey holdings. Lawyer Edward Wallace said The Donald did not report the expenditure because he did not believe it fit the state’s definition of “lobbying activity.”

However, Wallace conceded that Trump may have waded into a “gray area.” He said he planned to revise Trump’s filing with the lobbying panel to reflect the spending for the attack ads. “I’d rather amend than fight,” said Wallace. Lobbying officials also are delving into the activities of Trump lobbyist Roger Stone, who helped develop the ads. New York defines lobbying as “any attempt to influence the passage or defeat” of any legislation under consideration at the state or local government level. New Jersey sources said the Casino Control Commission frequently penalizes Atlantic City casino operators for questionable out-of-state activities. Last year, the commission zeroed in on the Florida lobbying activities of Bally’s Entertainment, now known as Park Place Entertainment.

The apology by Trump and Stone, is in “Trump makes his apologies to Iroquois” by Jim Adams:

NEW YORK CITY – Donald Trump, the nemesis of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Council, is preparing a $50,000 ad campaign to take it all back.

Trump has agreed to make public apologies in upstate New York media and pay a record $250,000 fine to New York’s Temporary State Commission on Lobbying for his secret funding of anti-Mohawk newspaper ads this spring. The settlement avoids a public hearing before the commission.

Thomas Hunter, president of the institute, admitted in June that he was supported by gaming interests but refused to name Trump directly.

The New York Post reported that the negotiated statement will read: “Donald Trump, Roger Stone, Thomas Hunter, on behalf of Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts, Ikon Public Affairs and the New York Institute for Law and Society, respectfully apologize if anyone was misled concerning the production and funding of the lobbying effort.”

107 From “Trump Criticizes Pequots, Casino” by David Lightman:

“Go up to Connecticut,” Donald Trump told a House subcommittee and its overflow audience Tuesday, “and you look” at the Mashantucket Pequots.

“They don’t look like Indians to me.”

The Pequots operate the Foxwoods Casino and High Stakes Bingo in Ledyard. Trump’s assertion in the Halls of Congress Tuesday — which he broadened to include all Indians who run casinos — was just one more grenade in an hourlong assault on Connecticut, Indians and their casinos that one committee chairman said was the most irresponsible testimony he had heard in nearly two decades in Congress.

Watch out, warned Trump. Organized crime figures are slithering into Indian casinos around the country.

“It will be the biggest scandal ever,” Trump warned, “the biggest since Al Capone … . An Indian chief is going to tell Joey Killer to please get off his reservation? It’s unbelievable to me.”

Much of Trump’s testimony was unbelievable to the committee and other witnesses, including G. Michael Brown, president and chief executive officer of the Foxwoods casino, and Connecticut State Police Lt. Col. Robert Root.

Brown and Root vehemently denied there was a trace of organized crime at Foxwoods, and Brown called Trump’s remarks “racist.” And the idea that tribe members are pocketing such high profits, Brown said, is “totally false.”

“I had a long and boring speech,” he told the panel, “It was politically correct and something that would have gotten me into no trouble whatsoever.”

With that, he offered off-the-cuff remarks about some of the things bugging him lately, such as:

The mob. Forget the Justice Department’s shrug. “Organized crime is rampant. People know it. People talk about it,” Trump insisted. “I wonder what (former FBI director) J. Edgar Hoover would have said about this.”

The presence of the various top tier lobby firms at the hearing is given mention in “Indian Gaming Issues Becoming More Work For Lobbyists” by David Lightman:

WASHINGTON – It’s easy to spot the insiders and outsiders these days in the ever-growing world of Indian gaming.

The scene at a Tuesday hearing by the House Native American Affairs subcommittee, which normally deliberates in a small third-floor room in one of the Capitol’s oldest buildings, told the new tale.

The panel was holding a hearing on how gaming could be better regulated. Inside the packed room were representatives of some of Washington’s most powerful lobbying firms, notably Black Manafort Stone & Kelly and Patton Boggs & Blow.

Roger J. Stone of Black Manafort stood prominently in the front of the room, chatting with his client, developer and casino magnate Donald Trump. Katharine R. Boyce, newly hired by Connecticut’s Mashantucket Pequot tribe, sat with her clients.

108 A brief, recent profile of Kaufman is “Ron Kaufman’s new home” by Jonathan Martin. Kaufman puts in an appearance in an overview of the ’88 Republican convention, “It Seems As Much A Reunion As Convention” by Dorothy Collin.

109 These details are all brought up in the opening statement of Jeff Benedict at the “Hearing on Transparency in BIA Acknowledgement Process”.

110 From “A Dirty Trickster’s Bush Bonanza” by Wayne Barrett:

The Stone prospectus, which is titled “Indian Gaming Opportunities,” contains a bio that features Baker’s “recruiting” of him for the Florida recount and discloses that he “subsequently served on the Presidential Transition” for Interior. It even contends that Stone “was involved in selecting appointees for that department for the present administration.” A brief introduction makes five references to Interior’s role and twice as many to “federal” powers in Indian gaming, concluding, “We believe that based on our superior political contacts we could win all necessary approvals in a time between 8 and 16 months.”

The contrast between Trump’s statements and the Buena Vista Miwoks can be made first, the statement taken from “Trump Criticizes Pequots, Casino” by David Lightman:

“I really don’t believe you understand,” Trump said. There’s big money here, and organized crime wants it.

“I believe this tribe has 300, 400 members (It has 280). Do you think it’s appropriate for 300 [members], who lucked out with a location between New York and Boston, shouldn’t give some of the money out to others?”

Second, from the actual numbers of the Buena Vista Miwoks, from “A Game of Casino Hardball” by Judy Pasternak and Eric Bailey:

A wind-swept little graveyard sits atop a knoll on the Buena Vista rancheria, a quiet resting place in the Sierra foothills for an Indian clan that has neared extinction.

Yet this patch of land with its gnarled oaks and golden grass has been the focus of ferocious machinations on two coasts — a fight cementing California’s status as the hottest front in the nation’s Indian casino wars.

Two years ago, the Buena Vista Miwoks, a band of six adults and six children, announced plans for a gaming hall on their 67-acre rancheria. Competition appeared in the form of a young mother, who claimed the rightful authority to negotiate on the tribe’s behalf.

On the passage of 1A and the possibility of building a casino, “A Game of Casino Hardball” by Judy Pasternak and Eric Bailey:

Six months after passage of Proposition 1A, Buena Vista leader Donnamarie Potts announced that the tribe was teaming up with Cascade Entertainment Group, a Sacramento gaming firm, to build a $100-million casino on its rancheria 30 miles southeast of the state capital. Most of the investors were New York financiers, a Cascade executive said, but he would not identify them.

111 From “A Game of Casino Hardball” by Judy Pasternak and Eric Bailey:

Potts and Cascade lured plenty of big shots to their cause. The consulting team included Reed and Stone and at least 10 others, such as a former University of California regent and legislator; a San Francisco energy lobbyist and former Interior Department official; and several partners in the law firm Gale A. Norton left to become the Interior secretary.

To work Capitol Hill, Potts hired two Democrats, both former BIA appointees under former President Clinton.

“It’s a big fight,” Potts said. “We were losing everything.”

Potts appealed the Central California BIA decision to the BIA regional director in Sacramento. But she was worried about the viewpoint of several officials in the BIA’s regional office who belong to a neighboring tribe, the Ione Band of Miwoks.

The Iones too have buried kin at the Buena Vista graveyard; they also have discussed gaming with potential investors — giving them two reasons to be unhappy about Potts’ progress toward a casino just a country lane away.

Hedging their bets, Potts’ lobbyists pursued another tack. The BIA sometimes allows appeals to go straight to Washington for a judgment. Potts’ counselors set out to make that happen.

The decision fell to Wayne Smith, the deputy director of the BIA. Smith had asked for authority over gambling and land issues when he moved to Washington from Sacramento in August 2001. If I’d known then what I know now,” Smith said, “I’d have taken water issues or energy.”

Smith asked BIA head McCaleb for advice: Should he take control of the Potts-Pope dispute right away and make the decision himself, or should he allow it to go through the usual appeal process at the regional office?

McCaleb said not to intervene. Smith “told me the process was working,” McCaleb said. When he got phone calls from Potts’ lobbyists, he referred them to Smith.

From “A Game of Casino Hardball” by Judy Pasternak and Eric Bailey, on the Bersinger letter:

Reed invited Smith to lunch March 14 at a seafood restaurant on Washington’s K Street, a thoroughfare locally known as Lobbyists’ Gulch.

In Smith’s recounting, he told Reed flat out that he was going to let Potts’ appeals run the regular course. Reed was not happy. The lobbyist’s response was to reach into his coat pocket, drawing out a piece of paper folded in thirds.

“It would look really bad if this got out,” he said.

Smith acted surprised when he read it, Reed recalled. That’s because he was, Smith said.

The paper was a letter to a tribe seeking consulting work. It was signed by Philip Bersinger, who had once been a partner of Smith’s in a now-dissolved consulting business in California for nontribal card rooms. The letter was written on “Bersinger & Smith” stationery. It was one of two in Reed’s possession that invoked Smith’s name to drum up business with tribes in Washington state and California.

Bersinger phrased his qualifications this way: “As for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, no one is better connected than me.” He mentioned his vacations with Smith and that Smith stayed at his home whenever he traveled to Sacramento. “I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture,” Bersinger wrote.

“These letters could embarrass the secretary [of the Interior] and the White House,” Reed told his lunch companion.

In his mind, Smith said, the conversation had turned ominous: “First came the threat, then the blackmail.”

Reed’s account of the lunch is similar but differs on two important points. He said Smith told him the Buena Vista issue would be decided in Washington, as Reed and the rest of the Potts team had hoped. The warning about the letters, Reed said, was merely friendly advice.

Asked about the discrepancy, both men stuck by their stories. Smith said he never told any of Potts’ representatives at any time that he would fast-track the matter to D.C. Reed said Smith “tells you what you want to hear and then does nothing.”

Smith left the restaurant with reason for concern. He was still close to Bersinger, staying at his house during visits to Sacramento — and once allowed him to tag along to a restaurant meeting with Potts and her advisors. He knew that the letter Reed had shown him could cast an ugly light on their relationship.

Smith says he phoned Bersinger and told him that selling their friendship was inappropriate.

But by this time, Bersinger was already engaged with the Potts group.

112 From “A Game of Casino Hardball” by Judy Pasternak and Eric Bailey, the fallout from the Bersinger letter:

Within weeks of Smith’s lecture, Bersinger had two meetings with Potts’ attorney, John Peebles, and Cascade’s president, Russell Pratt. Through his attorney, Bersinger said he didn’t invoke Smith in any way this time. But Potts’ group says Bersinger talked of Smith repeatedly.

“Phil said only he could solve the problem at the BIA. It was a heavy lift. And worth a lot of money,” said Jean Munoz, a public relations consultant who said she was authorized to speak for Peebles and Pratt. Asked how much money, according to Munoz, Bersinger said he had to talk with Smith and get back to them. She said Bersinger claimed to have “a long-standing business plan” with his important pal.

On April 4, Bersinger visited Peebles, indicated he had talked with Smith, then asked for $25,000 a month plus a percentage of casino revenue, Munoz said.

The lawyer asked Bersinger to put it in writing. A copy was obtained by The Times.

Bersinger used his personal stationary and never mentioned Smith or fees. He wrote that he would be available to consult on Potts’ interest in the BIA’s recognition of her tribal leadership. His services, he wrote, would include advice and, “when appropriate, representation before administrative agencies.”

Bersinger’s attorney, Matt Jacobs, says “I categorically deny that he said any” of the statements that Potts’ side attributed to him.

Smith said his old friend “never talked to me. I didn’t know anything about this.”

On May 6, the BIA’s Pacific regional director upheld the original decision in favor of Pope, ruling that Potts was not entitled to lead the Buena Vista tribe. The official window for bringing the decision back to Washington had opened.

Within weeks, Smith was fired.

Smith says he was never given an official reason. His dismissal letter states only that his services were “no longer required.” The FBI and internal Interior investigators had not reached any conclusions. Interior officials refused to comment.

“My friend wrote some … letters, he never lobbied me, and I got fired,” Smith said.

“It doesn’t look good, I don’t deny that, but I never knew what he was up to. And there is no evidence that I did.”

113 From “A Dirty Trickster’s Bush Bonanza” by Wayne Barrett:

Stone also helped by submarining McCaleb’s top competitor, an Indian leader named Tim Martin. A kiss-of-death letter endorsing Martin appeared “out of the blue,” Martin remembers. It was signed by Donald Trump, a client of Stone for 20 years who was all over the media at the time for having funded an anti-Indian advertising campaign in New York while simultaneously trying to do Indian projects in California and Connecticut. “I don’t know why Trump did that,” says Martin, who’d never spoken to Trump. “I don’t think he and I have ever been in the same city at the same time.” Stone says he “most certainly did” the Trump letter, claiming he saved BIA from “even bigger scandals” because Martin was supported by the lobbyists who are the focus of the ongoing Washington Post stories and a future hearing by Senator John McCain.

“It knocked Martin out,” recalls Wayne Smith, the former deputy assistant secretary at BIA who recalls McCaleb attributing the letter to Stone (McCaleb abruptly terminated a Voice interview). The letter reinforced the irony of Stone’s role in the BIA transition, as he and Trump had just been fined $250,000 in October by the New York State Lobbying Commission for Trump’s secret funding of Stone-directed ads blasted by tribal leaders as “racist.” Tying a tribe proposing a casino that would’ve competed with Trump’s Jersey empire to “drug trafficking, money laundering, the mob, violence, and the smuggling of illegal immigrants,” the ads featured pictures of cocaine lines and drug needles.

From Nixonland by Rick Perlstein:

New Hampshire was March 7; as Election Day approached, people started complaining about getting calls in the middle of the night from a “Harlem for Muskie Committee.” (Muskie’s enraged campaign manager, Berl Bernhard, called McGovern’s political director, Frank Mankiewicz, and demanded that they stop; Mankiewicz, enraged, asked Bernhard what the hell he was talking about.) Muskie, the man who’d weeks before been the most popular Democrat in America-outside the noncandidate Ted Kennedy-ended up with 46 percent in New Hampshire instead of the predicted 65.

114 From “A Dirty Trickster’s Bush Bonanza” by Wayne Barrett:

Beyond McCaleb, Stone and Reed pushed other top Bush gaming appointments. “If you are lucky,” says Stone, suggesting he was, “a transition team will sift through a thousand résumés for mid- to low-level positions.” Stone acknowledges a role in eventually installing Chuck Choney on the three-member National Indian Gaming Commission, while Reed and partner John Fluharty urged the hiring of Aurene Martin, who got the No. 3 job at BIA. Interior general counsel William Myers, a former law partner and a friend of Sansonetti now up for a federal appeals judgeship, hardly needed much help from Stone. But Stone told clients like Russell Pratt, the president of Buena Vista’s development company at the time, that he aided Myers’s appointment and had “easy access” to him. Stone now says he meant access through Sansonetti and Myers’s ex-firm.

When Smith was forced out in a June 2002 swirl of controversy, Martin became deputy, even moving up temporarily to McCaleb’s job after his December departure. Coming to BIA from Colorado senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell’s Indian Affairs Committee staff, where Stone has long had well-placed contacts, Martin has been the only fixture at BIA in the first Bush term. At a September 2002 hearing of Campbell’s committee, for example, she made no attempt to defend a decision Smith made against Buena Vista, paving the way for a Stone-conceived corrections bill that passed in 2004 and re-establishes Stone’s tribal chief.

From “Tribe reaches deal for giant San Pablo casino / Schwarzenegger OKs Pomo Indian plan for nation’s third-largest gambling palace” by John M. Hubbell:

The nation’s third-largest gambling emporium — a six- to eight- story casino with up to 5,000 slot machines — would sprout in the heart of San Pablo under terms of a deal between an Indian tribe and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The compact with the Lytton Band of Pomo Indians, expected to be announced this week in Sacramento, would vault the once-landless tribe to the top tier of the nation’s gaming entrepreneurs and generate new revenue for California’s general fund — and it could transform the small, working-class East Bay city.

Meanwhile, the deal would guarantee that no new casino open shop within a 35-mile radius of San Pablo — a critical blow to any other tribe hoping to stake a claim in the core Bay Area market.

The Lytton casino, to be the state’s first in an urban area, is expected to be built within two years on a 9-acre sliver of land where the tribe’s comparatively humble card room now sits, less than a quarter of a mile from Interstate 80.

According to a general outline of the tribe’s plans submitted for federal review, the casino will cover up to 600,000 square feet and will include two gaming floors, six restaurants and bars and entertainment areas. City officials said they expect it to be six to eight stories.

According to Wall Street analysts, the Lytton operation could have more slot machines than any casino in Las Vegas and would be smaller than only two other casinos in the nation — Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn., and Foxwoods Resort Casino in nearby Mashantucket. Those Indian-run casinos have 6, 200 and 6,600 slot machines, respectively.

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

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 FOUR: BALLOT SECURITY / GARDEN STATE / SUNSHINE STATE

Just as Roger Stone makes as little mention as possible of BMS&K, he says relatively little about his first election, that of Tom Kean to the governorship of New Jersey in 1980. This race isn’t even given mention in Labash’s piece, and it only gets a one-sentence nod in Toobin’s: “In 1981, Stone ran his first major campaign on his own, Tom Kean’s race for governor of New Jersey against the Democrat Jim Florio. Kean won in a recount.” In his memoir, Stone gives much space to the election, but his emphasis is on his attempts to get newly elected president Reagan to campaign for Kean, James Baker giving the go-ahead, and Stone working for Bush in Florida as a way of returning the long ago favor. The description of the actual election, which bluntly ignores the surrounding issues that Stone was very familiar with, is one that’s far too short: “Tom Kean was elected Governor by 1200 votes out of 2.2 million cast. Ronald Reagan helped put him over the top.”66 All accounts underserve the Kean-Florio race, which may well have been one of the most important elections of the past thirty years or so, and certainly continued to have an obvious impact on elections thirty years on.

The race would be between James Florio, a Democrat, versus Thomas Kean, a Republican, for governor of New Jersey. The best roadmap I’ve come across on what happened on election day is Republican Ballot Security Programs: Vote Protection or Minority Vote Suppression – or Both? A Report to the Center for Voting Rights & Protection by Chandler Davidson, Tanya Dunlap, Gale Kenny, and Benjamin Wise, specifically the section “CASE 1: The New Jersey Gubernatorial Election and the “National Ballot Security Task Force,” 1981 (page 55)”. The RNC would hire a man named John Kelly to enforce “ballot security”, a program to fight against voter fraud, and Kelly first did so by way of a process now known as voter caging. He mailed off hundreds of thousands of sample ballots to voters in black and latino neighborhoods, then compiled a list of those people whose ballots were returned as undeliverable, then allegedly tried to have them struck from the polls. An outdated address list was used, which meant that names were struck from rolls for the simple reason that people had moved from that address. The struck names were compiled into “challenge lists”, which could be used to challenge the right of someone on the list to cast a vote. The New Jersey Commissioners of Registration refused to accept the lists when they discovered that the address list used was outdated. The RNC insisted that they would continue to enforce a program of ballot security, without the lists67.

Kelly put together a group poll watchers, mainly off-duty police officers, who would be tasked with enforcing ballot security. They patrolled black and latino voting precincts, and they erected signs in those precincts which said the following:

WARNING
THIS AREA IS BEING PATROLLED BY THE
NATIONAL BALLOT
SECURITY TASK FORCE
IT IS A CRIME TO FALSIFY A BALLOT OR TO
VIOLATE ELECTION LAWS
1. IF YOU ARE REGISTERED YOU CANNOT VOTE
2. YOU MUST VOTE IN YOUR OWN NAME.
3. YOU MAY ONLY VOTE ONE TIME
$1,000 Reward for information
leading to arrest and conviction
of person violating New Jersey
election law. Call 800-402-4301.
HONEST VOTE 1981

(Kean election)

The ballot security who were off-duty police officers carried guns and radios. All ballot security officers had armbands which read “National Ballot Security Task Force.” Those who called the 1-800 number on the ballot security signs to find out who had funded the signs and the ballot security were told that “we don’t divulge our clients. We are an organization that works for an honest vote on Election Day.” A judge would eventually order the signs to be taken down at 4pm on voting day for being inherently political. A democratic councilman would report that the voter security task force was “like the Gestapo,” that would demand to see the voter registration books. The task force allegedly questioned voters, refused to allow some voters near the polls, tore down signs advertising democratic candidates, and prevented poll workers from assisting voters. The president of the NAACP in Trenton would say “I saw Gestapo armbands in my polling place, and I won’t tolerate seeing them here in the future.”68

By election night, two networks were calling Democrat Jim Florio the next state governor. Republican Tom Kean was ready to concede, until his campaign manager found that the vote had shifted, with Kean now leading Florio by 1677 votes, less than 1% of the votes cast. Neither man would concede, and then for twenty seven days the ballots were checked and recounted. When Essex County indicated that they were revising their figures, Tom Kean’s political consultant, Roger Stone, would say, “They’re stealing it – we’re just not going to stand for it, just to ‘find’ a precinct like that.” When told that the adjustment favored his client, Stone would say, “We just took a vote here and we think that’s O.K.'” Following the ballot security controversy, John Kelly would disappear from sight. Doubts would surface about his résumé; he’d said he’d gone to Fordham Law school and Notre Dame, and it became very uncertain whether he actually had. It would soon be discovered that he’d been arrested for impersonating a police officer, and that he’d lost a job after twice threatening people with a gun.69.

Four “street leaders” were alleged to have been in charge of ballot security, including Anthony Imperiale, the representative of Newark. When the allegations about ballot security were first made, Imperiale would call them “a prefabricated lie.” Furthermore, “I didn’t drop anyone off wearing armbands. If the Democrats are making charges that I knew about this, then tough crap on them. It’s the Democrats who have a reputation of stealing votes.”70 A day later, he would acknowledge that he was in charge of a ballot security program in Newark. However: who cares? “Who did it intimidate?” asked Imperiale. “No one but fraudulent voters in my opinion. This is sour grapes from Democrats. They don’t know how to take defeat.” With regard to his earlier denial, “I never denied it. It must have been a mistake.” When Imperiale was named in 1984 as a delegate for New Jersey for the Republican convention, mention would be made that he had once referred to Martin Luther King Jr. as “Martin Luther Coon” and once preached armed white self-defense after the 1967 Newark riots71. The closest Roger Stone gets to talking about the ballot security scandal in his memoir is in his mention of Imperiale in the book’s introduction: “I saw Newark vigilante Tony Imperiale beat a black man caught selling drugs senseless.”72 In the profile by Matt Labash, Stone would refer to Malcolm X as his “brother under the skin.”73

For twenty seven days, just as in 2000, things were in stasis. When there was a ribbon cutting ceremony for a new hotel, both Kean and Florio showed up with scissors. Finally, it was over, and Kean was declared the winner. The DNC would file suit against the RNC, Civil Action No. 81-3876, over the ballot security program:

This is an action, arising chiefly from the activities of the defendants’ National Ballot Security Task Force, for declaratory and injunctive relief and damages against the defendants for their efforts to intimidate, threaten and coerce duly qualified black and Hispanic voters from voting and from urging and aiding other black and Hispanic duly qualified persons to vote in the State of New Jersey.

The RNC and DNC would reach a settlement agreement, which among other things would forbid anything like the ballot security group in a polling place.

Ballot security, however, would return again and again as an issue for Republicans74. In 1986, one RNC political director wrote to another RNC political director of the upcoming election in Louisiana and the possible impact of a ballot security program, “I know this race is really important to you. I would guess that this program will eliminate at least 60-80,000 folks from the rolls….If it’s a close race…which I’m assuming it is, this could keep the black vote down considerably.”75 The Republican National Committee would also turn in over sixty thousand voter names to the FBI, in an effort to investigate potential voter fraud. They had no evidence that the names had any involvement in wrongdoing, other than the fact that registered mail sent to their addresses was returned to sender76. In 2008, the RNC would appeal to have the 1982 consent decree modified or abolished. The judge who wrote the original decree was not persuaded, and rejected their arguments77. In 2008, after a long exile from visible political life, John Kelly headed up John McCain’s Catholic outreach78.

Jim Florio would eventually get elected as governor of New Jersey, then be defeated in his re-election bid by Christine Todd Whitman. Shortly after her victory, Whitman’s political consultant, Ed Rollins, who’d headed up Reagan’s 1980 and 1984 campaigns, would share how he pulled off this narrow, upset victory. The campaign had funneled half a million dollars in “walking around money” to keep the vote down in urban, heavily Democratic areas. “We went into black churches and we basically said to ministers who had endorsed Florio, ‘Do you have a special project?’ And they said, “We’ve already endorsed Florio,” Mr. Rollins said. “We said, ‘That’s fine. Don’t get up on the pulpit Sunday and say it’s your moral obligation that you go on Tuesday to vote for Jim Florio.'” They would also keep Democratic political workers away by paying them off. “We said to some of their key workers, ‘How much have they paid you to do your normal duty?'” he said. “Well, we’ll match it. Go home, sit and watch television.”79 Rollins would then turn around and say that he’d only been trolling, just tweaking James Carville, the consultant for Florio. What he’d said was “We went into black churches and we basically said to ministers who had endorsed Florio, ‘Do you have a special project?'”, when what he meant to say was that he’d tell a senior Whitman staffer, Lanna Hooks, “‘Lanna, go back to these people and continue the dialogue and tell them as far as we’re concerned we want to help them. Whatever their favorite charity may be, there are other ways of helping them besides state funding that Florio has, or what have you.’ But I didn’t authorize her to go commit resources and she, as an attorney, wouldn’t ask for that. All I did was give her some suggestions and I said ‘Tell them, if they don’t go up to the pulpit and preach against us on Sunday, we’d be way ahead of the game.'” There’s a difference. Not “Don’t get up on the pulpit Sunday and say it’s your moral obligation that you go on Tuesday to vote for Jim Florio”, but “Tell them, if they don’t go up to the pulpit and preach against us on Sunday, we’d be way ahead of the game.” His statements had not played out as Rollins expected. “My expectation was not that this was going to become a national story, because, obviously, if I thought it was going to be a national story, I would not have taken a gun and put it to my head and blown my career apart as I have done.”80

Just as the chemical weapons in Angola foreshadow what would take place in Iraq, the 1981 New Jersey governor’s election would foreshadow what would take place in Florida in 2000, where Stone achieved his greatest prominence. Voters in the Kean-Florio election would have their names struck because letters mailed to an outdated address list were returned. In Florida, where felons are not allowed to vote, strike lists were made up of names that were similar to any Florida felon’s, with distinguishing middle initials, Jrs. and Srs. ignored. Just as in New Jersey, these strike lists were overwhelmingly African American; the strike lists were ruled illegal and discarded before the New Jersey election, but they were kept in place for the presidential election in Florida. NAACP offices in the state were flooded with calls about people trying to vote and told they couldn’t because they were felons, though they weren’t, who tried to vote, but were told they weren’t on the rolls. “What happened that day – I can’t even put it in words anymore,” said Donna Brazile, Al Gore’s campaign manager. “It was the most painful, dehumanizing, demoralizing thing I’ve ever experienced in my years of organizing.” The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights would hear over thirty hours of testimony of election irregularities from over a hundred witnesses. Their report would make the case that the conduct of the election had violated the voting Rights Act of 196581. Stone, as already said, would refer to Malcolm X as his “brother under the skin.”

Stone’s chapter on his role in the re-count, “Recount 2000,” feels like an unfinished, abbreviated piece of work in every version I have of his memoir. It is spent almost entirely discussing his efforts to get James Baker to help him out with the Kean election, and that this was the reason for helping out in 2000, as a favor returned to Baker, and not out of any affection for the Bush family, who he despises. The conflict between the Bush and Gore campaigns at the time of the Brooks Brothers riot was fairly simple. The Gore campaign had been allowed to conduct a vote recount in four counties, including Miami-Dade. With the current vote totals before the recount favoring Bush by a slim margin, it was in the interests of the Bush campaign to halt any re-count, since any shift in Gore’s favor would create momentum for a wider recount, which might end with Gore winning the state and the election. A shift in Gore’s favor was exactly what was happening during the vote re-count in Miami-Dade when it was halted by a mob82.

Stone’s account of his role in things is given no space in the Labash profile. However, it is perhaps best stated in the Toobin piece:

On November 21, 2000, the Florida Supreme Court gave Gore an important victory by ruling that the deadline for recounts would be extended to November 26th. At that point, the top priority for the Gore forces was to get the recounts up and running, especially in Miami-Dade County, which is the most populous in the state. On the Republican side, according to Stone, “The whole idea behind what they were doing was that there had already been one recount of the votes, so we didn’t want another. The idea was to shut it down, stop the recount here in Miami.” By November 22nd, the recount process had begun, in a conference room on the eighteenth floor of the Stephen P. Clark Government Center, a vast concrete office building on a forlorn plaza in downtown Miami.

The scene in front of the Clark center that morning was volatile-which was, of course, exactly how Stone wanted it. Several thousand mostly pro-Bush protesters had gathered on the sun-baked plaza to insist that the recount be shut down. Early that morning, Perez-Roura, of Radio Mambi, had sent Evilio Cepero, a local activist who sometimes worked for him as a reporter, to broadcast from the scene. Cepero urged Perez-Roura’s listeners to join the protest, addressed the growing crowd with a megaphone, and interviewed supporters, like the local members of Congress Lincoln Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. Many held signs that said “SORE/LOSERMAN.” Others chanted, “Remember Elián!”

“We set up a Winnebago trailer, right over here,” Stone said when we got out of the Jaguar and walked about a block away from the Clark center, on First Street. “I set up my command center there. I had walkie-talkies and cell phones, and I was in touch with our people in the building. Our whole idea was to shut the recount down. That was why we were there. We had the frequency to the Democrats’ walkie-talkies and were listening to their communications, but they were so disorganized that we didn’t learn much that was useful.”

A substantial contingent of young Republican Capitol Hill aides, along with such congressmen as John Sweeney, of New York, who had travelled to Miami, joined in the protest. Thanks to this delegation, the events at the Clark center have come to be known as the “Brooks Brothers riot,” but Stone disputes that characterization. “There was a Brooks Brothers contingent, but the crowd in front of the courthouse was largely Spanish,” he said. “Most of the people there were people that we drew to the scene.”

At one point on November 22nd, Stone said, he heard from an ally in the building that Gore supporters were trying to remove some ballots from the counting room. “One of my pimply-faced contacts said, ‘Two commissioners have taken two or three hundred ballots to the elevator,’ ” Stone said. “I said, ‘O.K., follow them. Half you guys go on the elevator and half go in the stairs.’ Everyone got sucked up in this. They were trying to keep the doors from being closed. Meanwhile, they were trying to take the rest of the ballots into a back room with no windows. I told our guys to stop them-don’t let them close the door! They are trying to keep the door from being closed. There was a lot of screaming and yelling.” (In fact, the Gore official in the elevator, Joe Geller, was carrying a single sample ballot.) The dual scenes of chaos-both inside and outside the building-prompted the recount officials to stop their work. The recount in Miami was never re-started, depriving Gore of his best chance to catch up in the over-all state tally.

Toobin makes clear that Stone’s account is not without discontents. Stone says the Brooks Brothers part of the riot, a group made up almost entirely of people outside of Miami, outside of Florida, who were Republican D.C. staffers flown in to cause a ruckus and stop a recount83, was just a small fraction, and a sizable majority were spanish speaking. This does not correspond with other observers. “There were two or three loud Cubans but most of the people I talked to were white, mostly men, from Oklahoma, Texas, mostly Southern states,” says Sunday Times correspondent Tom Rhodes. “They were talking on cellphones, probably to people nearby, telling them to get in there right away and bring as many people as they could.”84 In the room where the Florida operation was run, conservative journalist Paul Gigot would hear that a large group of Cuban-American activists were about to be unleashed. “One thousand local Cuban Republicans were on the way,” was what was said. One thousand local Cuban Republicans never showed up85. “How the Troops Were Mobilized for the Recount” by Dana Canedy and James Dao, has Republicans defending the mob against charges of the belligerence, without contesting who they were. “A group of out-of-state, paid political operatives came to south Florida in an attempt to stop county-wide recounts,” alleged a Democrat. “They crossed state lines and intimidated the counting in a federal election, which is a violation of the Voting Rights Act.” Emily Miller would reply, “This was not a threatening band of armed thugs.” Miller was a spokesperson for Tom DeLay, then the House majority whip. “They were idealistic, enthusiastic young Republicans who felt they were being shut out, that this was an unfair decision.” One of those in the Brooks Brothers riot was Tom Pyle, policy analyst for Tom DeLay86.

Crowd at Brooks Brothers Riot

Various members of the Brooks Brothers Riot, taken from Unprecedented: The 2000 Presidential Election.

The most visible top level figure on the ground wasn’t Roger Stone, who is never mentioned in contemporary reports of the halting of the Miami-Dade count, but John Sweeney, a Republican representative from New York. When the vote counters decided to move to a room closer to the voting machines so as to speed up the count, Sweeney gave the order, “Shut it down,” according to Gigot, who was in the same room as Sweeney when the order was given. After that, the Brooks Brothers mob pounded the doors and windows of the tally room. “Stop the count. Stop the fraud.” Sweeney was giving these orders, according to eyewitnesses, in a room in the same building where the vote tally was taking place. Stone’s account is also disputed by Brad Blakeman. “I was the guy in charge of the trailer, and I coördinated the Brooks Brothers riot,” says Blakeman in the Toobin piece. “Roger did not have a role that I know of. His wife may have been on the radio, but I never saw or heard from him.” Stone scoffs at such doubts87.

We might see who the Bush Administration considered most valuable for their effort in Florida in 2000. Sweeney would get the nick “Congressman Kickass” from the chief executive, and would be given say over EPA, HUD, and Labor appointments, as well as his pick of the plum committee he wished to sit on, picking Appropriations over Ways & Means88. Sweeney would serve several terms in Congress before once again achieving public visibility by smashing his car into an electrical pole in 2006. He said it was because he was busy fiddling with the car’s CD player. The police did not give him a sobriety test. “Pol Versus Pole,” Michael Tomasky would waggishly report. Later in the year, police would get a 911 call from the Sweeney house. “Female caller stating her husband is knocking her around the house,” the dispatcher wrote. “Then she stated `Here it comes, are you ready?’ and disconnected the call.” Sweeney’s wife, Gayle, would say that he grabbed her around the neck and pushed her around the house. John Sweeney had scratches on his face. Sweeney would lose his seat that year to Kristin Gillibrand. Days before the election, the Sweeneys would deny the reports of the 911 call. Gayle Sweeney would say “I did not need to be protected from John…there were no injuries to me.” John Sweeney would blame Kristin Gillibrand: “In her desire for power, she has tried to ruin my marriage, slander my family.” A year later, Gayle Sweeney would say her statement was coerced by advisers trying to save her husband’s campaign. She said that in the incident where she called 911, she had been pushed into a filing cabinet89. In 2010, Sweeney would be jailed for thirty days over a DUI incident. In 2013, the FEC would file a warning letter asking why he’d failed to pay off his 2006 campaign debts, which totaled over $200 000 dollars90. The day after his election loss in 2006, Sweeney appeared on the cover of Success magazine91.

Brad Blakeman would end up in the Bush inner circle, as a deputy assistant to the President. He would later be placed in charge of Freedom’s Watch, a political action group with strong connections to the administration and hefty funding from Sheldon Adelson. They would buy heavy advertising in support of the surge in Iraq. “I know what I lost,” said a veteran with both legs missing in one of their ads. “I also know if we pull out now, everything I’ve given and sacrificed will mean nothing.” A soldier in another ad, also with both legs missing would say, “I would go back to Iraq if I could, it’s that important because if Iraq isn’t stable it will be a breeding ground for terrorists.” Freedom’s Watch was intended to be a conservative counterpoint to progressive groups like MoveOn.org. It was sued by Larry Klayman for copyright violation of his own group, Freedom Watch, and fell apart after a year due to internal squabbling92. In discussing his movie Recount, about the events in Florida, director Jay Roach would place heavy emphasis on Blakeman’s role. “He was, by his own account,” wrote Roach, “the man at least partly behind “Sore Loserman,” “Surrender Gorethy,” “The Gorinch Who Stole the Election,” and other demonstration characters and stunts that appeared at rallies outside the Florida Supreme Court and outside counting centers throughout the 36 days of the recount.”93

Roach would continue:

Blakeman also said he helped organize the edgier “Brooks Brothers Riot” from his roving RV office in Florida. As you see in the film, this protest took place outside the counting rooms in Miami-Dade County. By most accounts, the shouting and shoving and pounding of fists on the doors and windows succeeded in intimidating the canvassing board, who shut down the recount right after the protests, even though the board had approved the counting earlier.

Fascinatingly for me, Blakeman told us there was a very deliberate effort by the Republicans in Florida to “act more like Democrats,” and to take a page out of the book written by the left-wing protestors in the ’60s who used protests and street theater to inject turmoil and chaos into established political processes to make them look flawed, corrupt, or ridiculous (as with the Democratic Convention in 1968 or the attempts to levitate the Pentagon). Blakeman told us that the Republicans were certain that in 2000, the Democrats would “lie, cheat, and steal” to win the Florida recount. So, to “preserve the victory,” the Republicans this time had to pre-emptively take to the streets and make the recount seem messy, chaotic, and even dangerous to the country. The hope was to prevent the recount from flipping the victory to Gore, and if it did, to make the recount’s results seem illegitimate.

For Blakeman, this meant loud protests during the recounting; bull-horn disruptions that shut down speeches by people like Jesse Jackson and other Democrats during rallies; characters like “Cry-Baby Gore”; and catchy slogans and T-shirts at every possible public event. He told us that for him, what the Democrats and the Florida Supreme Court were trying to do was pure farce, so the only proper response was pure farce. He wanted people to connect hand-counting of votes with utter turmoil and dysfunction, and for him, the wackier the whole process seemed, the better.

In the movie Recount, the other supposed co-ordinator of the Brooks Brothers Riot is mentioned once, when James Baker says with a sinister undertone “Get me Roger Stone.” This quote is carried about like a totem by Stone, a blurb of endorsement at the beginning of his memoir. Stone never appears in the movie, though both Blakeman (played by Christopher Schmidt) and Sweeney (played by Tom Hillmann) do. Stone has been up front in his enjoyment of fame, often quoting Gore Vidal, “Never turn down an opportunity for sex or being on TV.” Stone most often appears on marginal stations, local networks, webcasts you’ve never heard of – “The Daily National”, Miami’s “The Fish Tank”, RT.com, Reason TV – while Blakeman is a mainstay of CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News94. This is not to suggest Stone got nothing out of the debacle in Florida, or that he did nothing there, but his major project may have involved something other than the Brooks Brothers riot, an incident given little or no attention by the press, and entirely omitted from the Labash and Toobin profiles. I will write now of what he was involved in, and delay till the next section the interesting prize he may have got in return.

“Gore made the tragic mistake of only selecting recounts in certain counties,” writes Stone in his memoir. “where he thought he might gain votes instead of all counties.”95 Like I said, this chapter is obviously unfinished, with the end coming abruptly in the next sentence, like a diary entry from a sinking ship: “In fact, Gore would have gained from a statewide recount as African American enclaves in Northern and Central Florida had” It’s an interesting criticism for Stone to make given his work in Florida after the election, work which was witnessed and which carried his name, and rather than attempt an association, Stone tried for a disassociation.

“Republican Group Seeks To Unseat Three Justices” by the excellent Dexter Filkins conveys well what took place. The Florida Supreme Court had ruled against the Bush campaign twice, a 7-0 ruling to allow for a recount of the four counties, and later, a 4-3 ruling for a recount of all undervotes in the state. It was this decision that the federal supreme court would overrule, halting the vote count, and handing the election to Bush. The Filkins piece would note an event now entirely forgotten, the appearance of the Emergency Florida State Supreme Court Project, which sent out over three hundred thousand letters soliciting funds in an effort to unseat those Florida Supreme Court justices who’d been appointed by Democrats – Chief Justice Charles T. Wells, Leander J. Shaw Jr., Harry Lee Anstead – who had voted in unanimity in the first 7-0 decision on the four county recount. The committee had been set up prior to the vote, perhaps as a warning to the justices of the consequences of voting against the Bush campaign. It was headed up by Republican County Commissioner Mary McCarty. Though the Emergency Florida State Supreme Court Project will be the focus here, it should be noted that it was also joined by a second group, Balance the Bench, whose objective was to unseat Harry Anstead, who’d voted with three other justices for a recount of all undervotes. Balance the Bench was founded by Susan Johnson and a Tampa businessman named Sam Rashid96. Emergency Florida State Supreme Court Project was chaired, as said, by Mary McCarty, who ended up being fined by the Florida Election Committee for violating election laws with the political action group. McCarty, however, would insist they had got it wrong. “I didn’t do any of this except sign my name,” insisted McCarty. “This was basically some sort of a scam that was set up that I was used in. I was duped. My name was used, so I have to take the brunt of it.” McCarty insisted that she’d been played, played by someone named-97 Well, reader, who do you think it was?

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

During Mary McCarty’s 2-day hearing, the FEC’s lawyer argued that Roger Stone and Mary McCarty established the “Committee to Take Back Our Judiciary” to pressure the Florida State Supreme Court to rule in favor of then Texas Gov. George W. Bush in his ballot re-count battle with Al Gore. Mary McCarty testified that the Committee began to take shape 6 to 9 days after the Nov. 7th election. The Florida Supreme Court was first asked by Al Gore to order hand re-counts in the decisive Florida race on Nov. 15th.

“This was an attempt to let the Justices know, who were going to eventually decide the presidential election, that they were going to be watched,” Commission Assistant counsel Eric M. Lipman said in his opening arguments. “And it was an attempt to influence what they were going to do.”

According to Judge Hooper’s 36-page order, Roger Stone, through his Washington, D.C.-based firm, “Ikon Public Affairs”, was the real agent behind the campaign in late 2000 and 2001 to defeat the Florida Justices in the 2002 merit retention election. But who, if anyone, was paying Roger Stone and giving him orders remains unclear.

Mary McCarty’s lawbreaking, including findings that she certified the accuracy of a Campaign Treasurer’s report that was “incorrect, false, or incomplete,” accepted excessive contributions and displayed a “reckless disregard” for Florida State Election laws, stemmed from her Chairmanship of the now-defunct “Committee to Take Back Our Judiciary”.

The PAC, which began operating in late November 2000′, but wasn’t legally established until early January 2001, targeted Justices: Harry Lee Anstead, Charles T. Wells, and Justice Leander J. Shaw for defeat in the 2002 merit retention elections. Mary McCarty’s highly publicized “Mad as Hell” letter, mailed to as many as 350,000 conservatives in early December 2000, sought to raise $4.5 million to unseat them.

Florida Election records show that hundreds of people responded to the solicitation letter, which raised a total of about $220,000. That sum included a mysterious $150,000 loan whose origin still hasn’t been determined.

As far as I can tell, the origin of the $150,000 loan has never been discovered. McCarty would, however, be able to give other details:

At her hearing, Mary McCarty testified she was drafted into the presidential re-count battle on the morning after the Nov. 7th Election meltdown in Florida. Top Republicans recruited her to oversee the ballot re-count in Palm Beach County, home of the notorious “butterfly ballot” that confused many voters.

“Members of the Bush-Cheney campaign ‘took up residence in my office’,” she said.

The re-count controversy landed before the Florida Supreme Court the week after the election when Republican Secretary of State Katherine Harris, the Florida co-chair of the Bush-Cheney campaign, refused to grant the request of the Gore-Lieberman campaign for a re-count. On Nov. 21, the Florida State Supreme Court unanimously decided to give Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties more time to finish hand re-counts sought by Al Gore.

Mary McCarty testified that between Nov. 13 and Nov. 16, Roger Stone called her at her home. “He explained to me that people were very, very upset with the way the Florida Supreme Court was conducting itself, and that in Florida we have a merit retention system.”

A few weeks later, on Dec. 8th, the Florida Supreme Court, in a 4-3 ruling, ordered the then-stalled re-count to resume and be extended Floridawide. Four days after that, the U.S. Supreme Court, by a 5-4 vote in Bush v. Al Gore, effectively shut down the re-count, prompting Al Gore to concede the election to Bush.

Mary McCarty testified she previously had met Roger Stone at a campaign fund-raiser for Sen. Arlen Specter, Republican-Pa., and that they had worked together briefly when she considered running for Congress in the late 1990s. So, when Roger Stone told her he was forming a Committee “for the purposes of taking action against the Florida Supreme Court”, which is what Judge Hooper subsequently found, she decided to go along.

Dianne Thorne of Miami Beach, who became the Committee’s Treasurer, testified in a deposition that Roger Stone asked for her help in setting up the Committee’s clerical operation. Dianne Thorne said Roger Stone had contacted her because she used to date his son. The Committee listed as its business address a P.O. Box at a USA Pack & Post on Washington Avenue in Miami Beach.

On Thanksgiving Day 2000, according to Mary McCarty’s testimony, Roger Stone faxed her the text of a fund-raising letter to which she’d agreed to lend her name. Later, Mary McCarty said, Roger Stone and his “Associates” arranged to file all the necessary paperwork to create the “Committee to Take Back Our Judiciary”. The FEC investigators found that the papers sent to the Florida Department of Elections to establish the Committee were sent from the Washington office of Ikon Public Affairs, according to documents in the FEC’s case file.

Mary McCarty testified that the original version of the fund-raising letter she was asked to review did not target specific 3 Florida Supreme Court justices. But, the final version that went out the first week of December did. She said she didn’t approve it, but acknowledged she didn’t object either. “I just decided that I would be held accountable for something that I agreed to get into,” she said. “And wherever it took me, I would just be the one to take the lumps.”

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.”

Everything, everything, related to the $150,000 loan was mysterious, and, as far as I can tell, remain unanswered mysteries to this day:

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.

Though there was the possibility that McCarty would be hit with a fine of $450 000 for her violations, she only got a $2000 penalty, $1000 for filing an incomplete financial report, $1000 for the $150,000 contribution, which was a little over the $500 contribution limit. She still had hefty legal bills of over $50,000, so she set up a legal defense fund, and asked for contributions. Florida Republican Party Chairman Sid Dinerstein would contribute $100 and try to solicit more through his mailing list. “From our perspective, she fought the good fight even though she didn’t cross her T’s and I’s properly,” said Dinerstein98. Two years later, in 2005, McCarty would have to pay a $3750 fine, after she admitted to the Florida Elections Commission that she accepted lobbyist contributions into her legal fund. She was facing re-election that year. “It’s old news and I think the lightness of the sanction is indicative of how minor and technical the offense was,” said Sid Dinerstein. “It’s really a non-issue. Mary’s got some great current issues that are going to work for her. I think she’s going to have a very easy re-election.” Dinerstein would continue: “She is virtually single-handedly responsible for getting Scripps settled from the commission, and the whole county is aware of it, and she will be rewarded for it as she should be.”99 Scripps was a local convention center. Four years later- Well, it’s kindof complicated:

FEDS CHRONICLE DECADE OF FRAUD IN MCCARTYS’ CASE

By TONY DORIS and JENNIFER SORENTRUE

Palm Beach Post Staff Writers

Friday, January 09, 2009

WEST PALM BEACH – For more than a decade, federal prosecutors said Friday, Palm Beach County Commissioner Mary McCarty and her husband profited from manipulating hundreds of millions of dollars worth of public business for their own gain.

Mary and Kevin McCarty’s behind-the-scenes machinations enabled them to sway lucrative bond deals with the county government, the school board, the county’s Housing Finance Authority and the city of Delray Beach, prosecutors said after filing charges against the fallen power couple.

The bond deals involved some of the county’s most important initiatives during the past decade. Among them were the development of The Scripps Research Institute, the county’s ill-fated convention center hotel project and the $100 million initiative to limit building in the Agricultural Reserve. Also implicated are bonds used for Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter and the Old School Square parking garage in Delray Beach.

To cover her tracks, Mary McCarty lied to investigators about gifts and favors she had received from developers and other firms doing business with the county, according to 57 pages of formal charges filed Friday in federal court.

The McCartys’ take from all these efforts, the feds say: at least $300,000.

Their likely penalties include years behind bars, the forfeiture of their ill-gotten gains, public disgrace and the loss of Mary McCarty’s state pension. Once declared felons, the two GOP stalwarts won’t even be allowed to vote.

The scheme of Mary McCarty and her husband, Kevin, involved, among other things, pressuring the city to award the bond work to Kevin’s firm, Bear Stearns – yes, that Bear Stearns. Two of her fellow county commissioners had also been convicted and sentenced to prison. On July 19, 2011, she entered Federal Prison Camp in Bryan, Texas100. “Public trust is a sacred thing, and I violated that trust. And it’s something I’m ashamed of,” she would say in prison. “As I was conducting myself for all these years, I did what I thought was customary and correct,” McCarty would explain. “And if it wasn’t, I would rationalize that it was no big deal. I did a lot of minimizing.” McCarty now had $98,000 in fines that she had to pay off. She had expected to collect a $65,000 a year pension, but that was now gone with her felony conviction. She had expected to retire the year she went to prison. Now, she needed to find work when she got out. “I’m going to hope that there’s some courageous person out there who believes in second chances that’s willing to hire me and give me a second chance,” she said. “I know how government works, local government.”101 On March 25th, 2011, she entered a halfway house. While in prison, McCarty said she would try to get her civil rights restored so she could once again vote102.

On April 10, 2015, this post underwent a session of copy editing, and the gif excerpted from Unprecedented: The 2000 Presidential Election was added.

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

FOOTNOTES

66 From Dirty Tricks:

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

67 From Republican Ballot Security Programs: Vote Protection or Minority Vote Suppression – or Both? A Report to the Center for Voting Rights & Protection (specific page 57) by Chandler Davidson, Tanya Dunlap, Gale Kenny, and Benjamin Wise:

The RNC spent between $75,000 and $80,000 on the New Jersey Ballot Security Program, mostly on the mailings. New Jersey law in 1981 allowed election supervisors to send out sample ballots to registered voters in the year of an election. If a sample ballot was returned by the postal service, the supervisor could re-send the sample ballot, this time marked “Please Forward” and requesting notification of any address change. If sample ballots in the second wave were not returned, these voters’ names could be placed on a “challenge list” and taken to election officials at the polls. In contrast, the New Jersey ballot security team, on its own, sent out postcards using outdated voter registration lists, and sent them only to precincts with a majority of black and Hispanic voters. The 45,000 returned mailings were converted immediately into challenge lists without sending a second mailing. However, two weeks before the election was to begin the New Jersey Commissioners of Registration refused to accept the lists when they discovered they had been compiled using outdated voter information. The RNC nonetheless announced they would continue their efforts to ensure ballot security in the state’s election, without the lists.

68 From Republican Ballot Security Programs: Vote Protection or Minority Vote Suppression – or Both? A Report to the Center for Voting Rights & Protection (specific page 57) by Chandler Davidson, Tanya Dunlap, Gale Kenny, and Benjamin Wise:

The RNC nonetheless announced they would continue their efforts to ensure ballot security in the state’s election, without the lists.

This was primarily done by placing poll-watchers on Election Day (November 3) at voting sites where, according to the chairman of the Republican Committee in Mercer County, “in the past there have been suspicions of voter fraud.” Some of the pollwatchers were lawyers; several others were off-duty police officers who carried guns and two-way radios. All of them wore armbands that read, “National Ballot Security Task Force.”

On the morning of Election Day Angelo J. Genova, a lawyer for the Democratic State Committee, charged that the Republican Party was waging a systematic campaign designed to prevent minorities from voting and sought a court order that the signs be removed. At midday Judge Daniel A. O’Donnell of the State Superior Court in Trenton ordered all the signs taken down, saying they were inherently “political” and didn’t specify who had paid for them. The signs were removed beginning at 4 p.m. on the same day.

One voter, Amy Hammond of Trenton, called the toll-free number repeatedly to ascertain who was in charge of the posters. She was told several times that “we don’t divulge our clients. We are an organization that works for an honest vote on Election Day. We’ve done it in other states. We did it in Indiana, we did Hawaii, we did California, we’ve worked in Nevada.” When Hammond responded that she saw “a guy walking around with a gun” at the polls, she was told that the man “might have been a plainclothes officer assigned there by the county sheriff or something.” A later call to directory assistance revealed that the phone number was registered under the RNC.

Apart from the established facts that the task force put up signs and that some wore armbands and had guns and radios, there were conflicting reports about the actions of the poll-watchers on Election Day. Democratic city councilman Anthony Carrino, from the North Ward of Newark, reported that the task force operated only in about half the precincts in the North Ward, primarily in minority districts. The task force, he maintained, was “like the Gestapo,” and would arrive at polls in groups and demand to examine voter registration books. Kenneth J. Guido, Jr., a lawyer for the DNC, claimed one voter “was physically pulled out of a polling place” by a member of the task force. There were allegations that the task force interrogated voters at the polls, refused to allow certain voters into the polls, removed signs advertising Democratic candidates, and even prevented poll workers from assisting voters. One voter said she did not vote because of the presence and actions of the task force. The president of the NAACP in Trenton claimed, “I saw Gestapo armbands in my polling place, and I won’t tolerate seeing them here in the future.”

69 From “G.O.P. Relieves Security Official In Jersey Voting” by Selwyn Raab:

John A. Kelly, the Republican National Committee official who was in charge of the party’s controversial National Ballot Security Task Force in the New Jersey gubernatorial election, was suspended from his duties yesterday.

Mark T. Braden, counsel to the committee, said in Union, N.J., that Mr. Kelly was “relieved of his duties” with pay until the committee had investigated apparent inaccuracies by Mr. Kelly in a biography he gave to the committee.

The inaccuracies were said to concern information that associated Mr. Kelly with a national police officers’ group and that said he had graduated from the School of Law at Fordham University and the University of Notre Dame.

From “Jersey Inquiry Is Planned On Vote Security Force” by Selwyn Raab:

Mr. Kelly, according to friends, grew up in the Stuyvesant Town section of Manhattan and had been active in Manhattan Republican Party politics.

In 1971, he was the first person in the city to register to vote under a law extending that right to 18-year-olds. Mr. Kelly was arrested in 1976 on charges of impersonating a police officer, but the charge was dismissed. In 1974, he was discharged as a Family Court officer in Manhattan after being charged with having twice threatened persons with a gun.

From “Jersey’s Ballots Impounded With Tiny Margin Wavering” by Richard J. Meislin:

When Mr. Kean began his news conference, a county-by-county canvass of the results showed his lead at 1,090 votes. By the time he finished less than an hour later, an error reported by Middlesex County had diminished his margin to 265.

That lead later grew to 1,158, after Essex County reported that it had failed to include the vote totals for one district and was revising its figures.

The County Clerk, Pat Drake, said, “The figures weren’t turned in last evening; I just got them this afternoon.” Essex County, which voted heavily for Mr. Florio, had reported that its returns were complete Tuesday night. When asked how the error had occurred, Mrs. Drake said, “I don’t know,” but added that she believed another election district was counted twice. The new precinct voted 404 to 23 in Mr. Florio’s favor, but the overall adjustment resulted in an additional edge for Mr. Kean.

When he first heard the news of the adjustment, Roger Stone, Mr. Kean’s political consultant, said, “They’re stealing it – we’re just not going to stand for it, just to ‘find’ a precinct like that. You get so numb, you don’t know whether to be exhilarated or depressed.” After learning that the change in the figures favored his candidate, however, Mr. Stone conferred with his colleagues and said: “We just took a vote here and we think that’s O.K.”

70 From “Imperiale Called A Chief In G.O.P. Poll ‘Security'” by Selwyn Raab:

NEWARK, Nov. 16- The Essex County Prosecutor said today that Assemblyman Anthony Imperiale had been identified as having been in charge of “street operations” for a Republican ballot-security task force in Newark on Election Day.

Mr. Imperiale had previously denied any involvement in the security program, which is being investigated by the Prosecutor, George L. Schneider, following complaints by Democratic Party officials that it intimidated voters in the gubernatorial election on Nov. 3.

Mr. Schneider said Mr. Imperiale’s role in the operation had been disclosed by John A. Kelly, who was the director of the National Ballot Security Task Force in New Jersey. Republican Party officials have said that the task force was created to prevent voting frauds and that no proof of any intimidation of legitimate voters has been presented.

On Nov. 6, Assemblyman Imperiale, a Republican who represents a district in Newark, denied in an interview with The New York Times that he or a security agency that he operates had been involved in the ballot-security program in Newark, He characterized assertions by Democratic Party leaders that he might be involved as “a prefabricated lie.” He insisted that he had had no foreknowledge of the program and had not seen signs put up by the task force warning against illegal voting.

“I’m a state legislator,” he added. “I don’t put up signs. I went to the polls as a legislator in my district, the way I always do. I didn’t drop anyone off wearing armbands. If the Democrats are making charges that I knew about this, then tough crap on them. It’s the Democrats who have a reputation of stealing votes.”

71 From “Imperale Admits G.O.P. ‘Security’ Role” by Selwyn Raab:

NEWARK, Nov. 17- Assemblyman Anthony Imperiale acknowledged today that he was in charge of a Republican ballot-security program in Newark on Election Day. But he said that charges of voter intimidation by Democratic Party leaders were “sour grapes.”

The statewide activities of the program, the National Ballot Security Task Force, in the close gubernatorial election Nov. 3 are under investigation by the Essex County Prosecutor’s office.

Mr. Imperiale, after questioning by the Prosecutor, George L. Schneider, told reporters he had assigned about 35 people on Election Day to guard polling places in Newark and to report to him any possible voting irregularities. The guards, he said, were instructed “not to approach any voters.”

“Who did it intimidate?” Mr. Imperiale said. “No one but fraudulent voters in my opinion. This is sour grapes from Democrats. They don’t know how to take defeat.”

On Nov. 6, Mr. Imperiale, in an interview with The New York Times, said a published report that he was involved in the task force was “a prefabricated lie.” Asked today about his earlier denial, Mr. Imperiale replied: “I never denied it. It must have been a mistake.”

From “Indelicate Delegate”, no credited writer, of The New York Times:

With no contest for their Presidential nomination this year, Republicans have been free to choose their national convention delegates with an eye to broadening President Reagan’s electoral support.

It is hard to see how New Jersey Republicans served that goal by awarding a seat to former State Assemblyman Anthony Imperiale.

Mr. Imperiale, who once publicly referred to Martin Luther King Jr. as “Martin Luther Coon,” began his demagogic political career as a preacher of armed white self-defense following the 1967 Newark riots.

72 From Dirty Tricks:

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

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

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.” “Reagan got the electoral votes in New York State, we saved the country,” Stone says with characteristic understatement. “[More] Carter would’ve been an unmitigated disaster.”

74 From “Civil Action No. 81-3876 Consent Order”, the crucial part of the consent decree is the following, which both the RNC and DNC must comply with:

(a) comply with all applicable state and federal laws protecting the rights of duly qualified citizens to vote for the candidate(s) of their choice;

(b) in the event that they produce or place any signs which are part of ballot security activities, cause said signs to disclose that they are authorized or sponsored by the party committees and any other committees participating with the party committees;

(c) refrain from giving any directions to or permitting their agents or employees to remove or deface any lawfully printed and placed campaign materials or signs;

(d) refrain from giving any directions to or permitting their employees to campaign within restricted polling areas or to interrogate prospective voters as to their qualifications to vote prior to their entry to a polling place;

(e) refrain from undertaking any ballot security activities in polling places or election districts where the racial or ethnic composition of such districts is a factor in the decision to conduct, or the actual conduct of, such activities there and where a purpose or significant effect of such activities is to deter qualified voters from voting; and the conduct of such activities disproportionately in or directed toward districts that have a substantial proportion of racial or ethnic populations shall be considered relevant evidence of the existence of such a factor and purpose;

(f) refrain from having private personnel deputized as law enforcement personnel in connection with ballot security activities.

75 From “G.O.P. Memo Tells Of Black Vote Cut” by Martin Tolchin:

WASHINGTON, Oct. 24- A Federal judge today released a memorandum in which a Republican official said the party’s program to pare the voting rolls in the name of “ballot integrity” “could keep the black vote down considerably” in a Louisiana Senate primary.

The memorandum, prepared by Kris Wolfe, a Middle Western regional director for the Republican National Committee, was sent to Lanny Griffith, the committee’s regional director for the South. It was obtained by the Democratic National Committee in a $10 million lawsuit against the Republican committee over the “ballot integrity” program.

Ms. Wolfe’s memorandum concerned the “ballot integrity” project in Louisiana, in a Senate primary race pitting Representative W. Henson Moore, a Republican, against Representative John B. Breaux, a Democrat. The memo was unsealed by Judge Dickinson R. Debevoise in Newark Federal District Court.

“I would guess that this program will eliminate at least 60-80,000 folks from the rolls,” Ms. Wolfe wrote. “If it’s a close race, which I’m assuming it is, this could keep the black vote down considerably.”

76 From “G.O.P. Turned 60,000 In To FBI” by Nicholas Horrock:

WASHINGTON – The Republican National Committee turned over the names of more than 60,000 registered voters in Louisiana and Indiana to the FBI in an effort to get the government to investigate alleged voter fraud, the chairman said Thursday, despite the fact it had no evidence of wrongdoing by the voters.

In a meeting with reporters, Frank J. Fahrenkopf Jr., the chairman, acknowledged that the only indication that the RNC had that the people named might be involved in wrongdoing was that mail sent to addresses they had listed on voter documents had been returned by the National Postal Service.

He said that the report to the bureau was not made to elicit investigations of the individuals but to encourage a major voter-fraud inquiry by the federal agents.

77 From “The Ballot Cops” by Mariah Blake:

Meanwhile, the RNC has tried to get back into the ballot-­security game. In 2008, the party asked Dickinson Debevoise, the New Jersey federal judge who presided over the two 1980s cases, to abolish or modify the decades-old consent decree barring certain anti-voter fraud activities. The RNC argued that the ban had outlived its purpose, but Debevoise was not persuaded, and denied the RNC’s request. (The party appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, which affirmed Debevoise’s ruling.) “Minority voters continue to overwhelmingly support Democratic candidates,” Debe­voise wrote in his 2009 decision. “As long as that is the case, the RNC and other Republican groups may be tempted to keep qualified minority voters from casting their ballots, especially in light of the razor-thin margin of victory by which many elections have been decided in recent years.”

78 From “Ghosts From the Past” by “The Prowler”:

CATHOLIC BACKREACH
As the White House and Republican National Committee officials begin to transition their political resources to help Sen. John McCain’s run for the presidency, both are looking at how best to support McCain’s campaign. As we reported last week, one focus is rebuilding Catholic outreach. According to RNC insiders, that has put the focus on current RNC outreach co-director John A. Kelly (he was appointed to the post, along with Leonard Leo, of the Federalist Society, by then-RNC director Ken Mehlman).

Since Kelly took over the job, however, the Republican Party has seen its support among Catholics nosedive, and Kelly’s own checkered past is raising questions about the RNC’s seriousness of rebuilding Catholic outreach.

Before becoming head of Catholic outreach, Kelly was better known as the John A. Kelly who back in the early 1980s had served as a low-level RNC aide who was removed from that job, according to the New York Times, for passing himself off as a White House employee of the then newly installed Reagan Administration.

Kelly was moved over to another job at the RNC, working on a ballot security task force for the 1981 New Jersey governor’s race that saw Tom Kean defeat James Florio. That outcome was tainted by Democrat charges that the RNC-backed task force intimidated voters in inner-city areas; a lawsuit was filed against the RNC, and the national party later signed a pledge in federal court promising not to allow such intimidation of Democrat voters again.

Kelly was suspended from his duties by the RNC after questions were raised about his resume, and whether he’d actually worked as a police officer, attended or graduated from Fordham Law School, or attended Notre Dame (he attended Holy Cross Junior College in South Bend, Indiana, graduating in 1972). He later resigned his RNC post.

His biography used for public appearances today says, “In the past, Kelly has been the White House Liaison to the Republican National Committee for political and personnel issues, a political aide to Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush.”

“Everyone deserves a second chance, but Catholic outreach is a disaster right now,” says a former senior Reagan Administration official who dealt with Kelly during his time at the RNC in the early 1980s. “Two thousand six was just a mess for us and 2008 isn’t looking any better.”

79 From “Whitman Funds Went to Curtail Black Turnout” by Richard L. Berke:

Christine Todd Whitman’s campaign made payments to black ministers and Democratic Party workers in exchange for promises not to rally votes for Gov. Jim Florio in the final stages of the New Jersey gubernatorial race, her campaign manager said today.

The manager, Edward J. Rollins, said the campaign funneled about $500,000 in such “walking around money” from the state Republican Party. Those efforts to depress the vote in urban, heavily Democratic areas, he said, were important in Mrs. Whitman’s narrow upset victory.

Speaking to reporters at a breakfast meeting, Mr. Rollins described the payments to ministers as contributions to their “favorite charities.”

“We went into black churches and we basically said to ministers who had endorsed Florio, ‘Do you have a special project?’ And they said, “We’ve already endorsed Florio,” Mr. Rollins said. “We said, ‘That’s fine. Don’t get up on the pulpit Sunday and say it’s your moral obligation that you go on Tuesday to vote for Jim Florio.’ ”

Mr. Rollins said the campaign used a more direct approach to persuade some Democratic political workers to stay home on Election Day. “We said to some of their key workers, ‘How much have they paid you to do your normal duty?’ ” he said. “Well, we’ll match it. Go home, sit and watch television.”

Mr. Rollins said the payments were arranged at lower levels of the campaign. “Those were our community people who obviously knew what they needed to do and where they needed to do it,” he explained.

The actions that Mr. Rollins said were taken by the black ministers fly in the face of generations of activism in black churches. In many communities, black ministers have led drives to get voters registered and in urging them to vote, usually for Democrats.

Mr. Rollins, who volunteered the information at the breakfast this morning, seemed to be arguing, however, that his tactics were well within the hardball traditions of New Jersey politics, particularly in urban areas, where “street money” is often used to stimulate voting.

80 From “Rollins Says He Fabricated Payoff Tale to Irk Foes” by Jerry Gray:

At times expressing bewilderment and at other times turning morbidly plaintive, Edward J. Rollins Jr. spent nearly seven hours today explaining under oath the circumstances that he said led to his assertions about efforts to suppress the urban black vote in the recent governor’s race in New Jersey.

In a rambling soliloquy, Mr. Rollins said it was an effort to get in a dig at his rival political strategist in the race, James Carville, that ultimately led him to boast to Washington reporters about an elaborate election scheme that he now says is a lie.

Nevertheless, he described a strategy meeting several weeks before Election Day with a senior black official in Christine Todd Whitman’s campaign which — except for his insistence that he authorized no official campaign funds — bore a strong resemblance to the operations that he bragged about Nov. 9 and that he has since recanted.

Mr. Rollins said he did tell Lanna Hooks, a co-chairwoman of the Whitman campaign and one of the senior black officials in the Republican candidate’s camp, to “continue a dialogue” with black churches.

“I said, ‘Lanna, go back to these people and continue the dialogue and tell them as far as we’re concerned we want to help them. Whatever their favorite charity may be, there are other ways of helping them besides state funding that Florio has, or what have you.’ But I didn’t authorize her to go commit resources and she, as an attorney, wouldn’t ask for that. All I did was give her some suggestions and I said ‘Tell them, if they don’t go up to the pulpit and preach against us on Sunday, we’d be way ahead of the game.’ “

“My expectation was not that this was going to become a national story, because, obviously, if I thought it was going to be a national story, I would not have taken a gun and put it to my head and blown my career apart as I have done,” Mr. Rollins was quoted as saying in a transcript of his testimony that was provided, with his consent, by the Democratic National Committee.

81 Perhaps one of the best accounts of the disaster in Florida is “The Path To Florida” by David Margolick, Evgenia Peretz, and Michael Shnayerson:

Amid the media frenzy after the election, one story went untold-the one in the footnote that Scalia had asked Ginsburg to delete from her dissent. In fact, thousands of African-Americans in Florida had been stripped of their right to vote.

Adora Obi Nweze, the president of the Florida State Conference of the N.A.A.C.P., went to her polling place and was told she couldn’t vote because she had voted absentee-even though she hadn’t. Cathy Jackson of Broward, who’d been a registered voter since 1996, showed up at the polls and was told she was not on the rolls. After seeing a white woman casting an affidavit ballot, she asked if she could do the same. She was turned down. Donnise DeSouza of Miami was also told that she wasn’t on the rolls. She was moved to the “problem line”; soon thereafter, the polls closed, and she was sent home. Lavonna Lewis was on the rolls. But after waiting in line for hours, the polls closed. She was told to leave, while a white man was allowed to get in line, she says.

U.S. congresswoman Corrine Brown, who was followed into her polling place by a local television crew, was told her ballot had been sent to Washington, D.C., and so she couldn’t vote in Florida. Only after two and a half hours was she allowed to cast her ballot. Brown had registered thousands of students from 10 Florida colleges in the months prior to the election. “We put them on buses,” she says, “took them down to the supervisor’s office. Had them register. When it came time to vote, they were not on the rolls!” Wallace McDonald of Hillsborough County went to the polls and was told he couldn’t vote because he was a felon-even though he wasn’t. The phone lines at the N.A.A.C.P. offices were ringing off the hook with stories like these. “What happened that day-I can’t even put it in words anymore,” says Donna Brazile, Gore’s campaign manager, whose sister was asked for three forms of identification in Seminole County before she was allowed to vote. “It was the most painful, dehumanizing, demoralizing thing I’ve ever experienced in my years of organizing.”

In retrospect, the claims of disenfranchisement were hardly phony. In January and February 2001, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, the highly divided, highly partisan government-appointed group formed in 1957, heard more than 30 hours of damning testimony from more than 100 witnesses. The report, which came out in June of that year, made a strong case that the election violated the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The commissioners duly passed their report up to newly installed attorney general Ashcroft. Little was done.

Throughout Florida, people – many of them black men, such as Willie Steen, a decorated Gulf War veteran – went to the polls and were informed that they couldn’t vote, because they were convicted felons – even though they weren’t.

“The poll worker looked at the computer and said that there was something about me being a felon,” says Steen, who showed up at his polling place in Hillsborough County, young son in tow. Florida is one of just seven states that deny former felons the right to vote, but Steen wasn’t a felon.

“I’ve never been arrested before in my life,” Steen told the woman. A neighbor on line behind him heard the whole exchange. Steen tried to hide his embarrassment and quietly pleaded with the poll worker, How could I have ended up on the list? She couldn’t give him an answer. As the line lengthened, she grew impatient. “She brushed me off and said, ‘Hey, get to the side,'” recalls Steen. The alleged felony, Steen later learned, took place between 1991 and 1993-when he was stationed in the Persian Gulf.

Steen wasn’t the only upstanding black citizen named Willie on the list. So was Willie Dixon, a Tampa youth leader and pastor, and Willie Whiting, a pastor in Tallahassee. In Jacksonville, Roosevelt Cobbs learned through the mail that he, too, was a felon, though he wasn’t. The same thing happened to Roosevelt Lawrence. Throughout the state, scores of innocent people found themselves on the purge list.

The story got little attention at the time. Only Greg Palast, a fringe, old-school investigator, complete with fedora, was on its trail. With a background in racketeering investigation for the government, Palast broke part of the story while the recount was still going on, but he did it in England, in The Observer. None of the mainstream media in the U.S. would touch it. “Stories of black people losing rights is passé, it’s not discussed, no one cares,” says Palast, whose reporting on the subject appears in his 2002 book, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. “A black person accused of being a felon is always guilty.”

How the state ended up with the “felon list” in the first place has its roots in one of the uglier chapters in American history. In 1868, Florida, as a way of keeping former slaves away from the polls, put in its constitution that prisoners would permanently be denied the right to vote unless they were granted clemency by the governor. In those days, and for nearly a hundred years after, a black man looking at a white woman was cause for arrest. The felony clause was just one of many measures taken to keep blacks off the rolls, including literacy tests, poll taxes, and “grandfather clauses,” by which a man could vote only if his grandfather had. All these other methods were effectively ended. But the constitutional provision about former felons remained.

In Florida, there are an estimated 700,000 ex-felons, and 1 in 4 is a black male. Six years ago, Florida state representative Chris Smith, of Fort Lauderdale, sat outside a local Winn-Dixie grocery store trying to get people to register. “A lot of black men that looked like me, around my age, would just walk past me and say, ‘Felony,’ ‘Felony,’ and not even attempt to register to vote,” Smith recalls. Why so many? In the past few years the majority-Republican legislature has upgraded certain misdemeanors to felonies and also created dozens of new felonies that disproportionately affect the urban poor. Intercepting police communications with a ham radio is a felony. So is the cashing of two unemployment checks after the recipient has gotten a new job. State senator Frederica Wilson, like other black lawmakers in Florida, believes these felonies are “aimed at African-American people.”

From the start, there were questions about the felon list. “We were sent this purge list in August of 1998,” says Leon County elections supervisor Ion Sancho, moving feverishly through his cluttered office. “We started sending letters and contacting voters, [saying] that we had evidence that they were potential felons and that they contact us or they were going to be removed from the rolls. Boy, did that cause a firestorm.” One of those letters was sent to Sancho’s friend Rick Johnson, a civil-rights attorney, who was no felon. “Very few felons,” Sancho points out, “are members of the Florida bar.”

Sancho decided to get to the bottom of it. Early in 2000 he sat down with Emmett “Bucky” Mitchell, the Division of Elections’ assistant general counsel, and demanded to know why the list contained so many names of innocent people. “Bucky told me face-to-face that the Division of Elections was working on the problem,” recalls Sancho, “that it was the vendor’s [DBT’s] problem, and that they were telling the vendor to correct it.”

James Lee, chief marketing officer of ChoicePoint, the company that acquired DBT in the spring of 2000, says that the state did just the opposite. “Between the 1998 run and the 1999 run, the office of elections relaxed the criteria from 80 percent to 70 percent name match,” says Lee. “Because after the first year they weren’t getting enough names.”

And so, equipped with a database of felons supplied by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (F.D.L.E.), DBT programmers crouched at their computers and started scooping up names, many of which were only partial matches, from the Florida voter rolls and various other databases. Middle initials didn’t need to be the same; suffixes, such as Jr. and Sr., were ignored. Willie D. Whiting Jr., pastor, was caught because Willie J. Whiting was a felon. First and middle names could be switched around: Deborah Ann, Ann Deborah-same thing. Nicknames were fine-Robert, Bob, Bobby. The spelling of the last name didn’t have to be exact, either. The only thing Willie Steen was guilty of was having a name similar to that of a felon named Willie O’Steen.

DBT project manager Marlene Thorogood expressed concern in a March 1999 e-mail to the Division of Elections that the new parameters might result in “false positives” (i.e., wrongly included people). Bucky Mitchell wrote back, explaining the state’s position: “Obviously, we want to capture more names that possibly aren’t matches and let the [elections] supervisors make a final determination rather than exclude certain matches altogether.” Guilty until proved innocent, in other words.

82 From “The Path To Florida” by David Margolick, Evgenia Peretz, and Michael Shnayerson:

In Miami-Dade that week, a manual recount of undervotes began to produce a striking number of new votes for Gore. There, as in Palm Beach and Broward, fractious Democratic and Republican lawyers were challenging every vote the canvassing board decided. In Miami-Dade, Kendall Coffey, tall and gaunt, was the Democrats’ eyes and ears. As the Gore votes accumulated, he recalls, “panic buttons were being pushed.”

On Wednesday, November 22, the canvassing board made an ill-fated decision to move the counting up from the 18th floor of the Clark Center, where a large number of partisan observers had been able to view it, to the more cloistered 19th floor. Angry shouts rang out, and so began the “Brooks Brothers riot.”

Several dozen people, ostensibly local citizens, began banging on the doors and windows of the room where the tallying was taking place, shouting, “Stop the count! Stop the fraud!” They tried to force themselves into the room and accosted the county Democratic Party chairman, accusing him of stealing a ballot. A subsequent report by The Washington Post would note that most of the rioters were Republican operatives, many of them congressional staffers.

Elections supervisor David Leahy would say that the decision to stop counting undervotes had nothing to do with the protest, only with the realization that the job could not be completed by the Florida Supreme Court’s deadline of November 26. Yet the board had seemed confident, earlier, that it could meet the deadline, and the decision to stop counting occurred within hours of the protest.

83 An overview of who was in the crowd is given in a documentary on the Florida vote and the re-count, Unprecedented: The 2000 Presidential Election:

Roger Stone - Unprecedented The 2000 Presidential Election

Roger Stone - Unprecedented The 2000 Presidential Election

Roger Stone - Unprecedented The 2000 Presidential Election

Roger Stone - Unprecedented The 2000 Presidential Election

Roger Stone - Unprecedented The 2000 Presidential Election

Roger Stone - Unprecedented The 2000 Presidential Election

Roger Stone - Unprecedented The 2000 Presidential Election

84 From “Miami’s rent-a-riot” by John Lantigua:

On the surface, it looked like the good people of Miami at their worst again. Last week’s melee at the county offices here – followed by the local canvassing board’s abrupt cancellation of a hand recount – had all the trademarks of Miami’s notorious tantrum politics. Screaming, shoving, fist-waving, intimidation, ties to Elian Gonzalez and even hints of good ol’ Cuban-American political corruption.

But the fact is that the fracas at Miami’s recount headquarters was engineered and carried out by Republican Party operatives imported from the heartland, far from South Florida. They might have reminded viewers of Elian’s Army – and might even have taken lessons from the Cubans – but, by all accounts, the city’s strident conservative exile community was very much in the minority. As one observer put it: “There were no guayaberas. This crowd looked tweedy. They were from out of town.”

Indeed, all on-the-scene reports coming out now indicate that the Miami protest was carried out by rent-a-rioters flown in by the Republican Party. GOP spokespeople have said that at least 750 Republican activists have been sent into South Florida from around the country to oppose the recount, with the party picking up the tab for a number of them. And last Wednesday, when a gaggle of protesters sprang into action in Miami, those efforts seem to have paid off.

London Sunday Times correspondent Tom Rhodes, who was present during the protest, says he overheard one GOP protester on a cellphone in the midst of that political mosh pit bragging that he had tipped off Bush campaign strategist Karl Rove about the rally. “I just told Rove,” Rhodes overheard. As with the presence of Ross and Pyle, the call demonstrated that these weren’t just protesters lured off the streets by the party, but connected, dyed-in-the-wool party operatives.

“There were two or three loud Cubans but most of the people I talked to were white, mostly men, from Oklahoma, Texas, mostly Southern states,” says Sunday Times correspondent Rhodes. “They were talking on cellphones, probably to people nearby, telling them to get in there right away and bring as many people as they could.”

85 From “Miami’s rent-a-riot” by John Lantigua:

The incident – the ugliest single set piece of the Election 2000 epic and possibly the most decisive one – was set in motion by one imported GOP operative: Rep. John Sweeney, R-N.Y., who from an office in that same county building has led the Miami fight against the recount.

On hearing of the decision to move the vote tally, Sweeney uttered a three-word order to his troops: “Shut it down.” Those words were reported by Paul Gigot, who was in the room with GOP operatives, in his Wall Street Journal column Friday.

Within minutes, some two dozen GOP recount observers and other Bush supporters had begun pounding on the doors and windows of the county elections tallying room on the 19th floor of the building. They demanded to be admitted and chanted, “Stop the count. Stop the fraud.” Television cameras showed the protesters trying to force their way into the room.

According to Gigot, who was with Republican leaders at the protest, the GOP forces also threatened to unleash the vociferous Cuban-American community on the recount workers. “One thousand local Cuban Republicans were on the way,” they said. But they never seemed to materialize.

86 From “Contesting The Vote: The Demonstrators” by Dana Canedy With James Dao:

“A group of out-of-state, paid political operatives came to south Florida in an attempt to stop county-wide recounts,” said Representative Peter Deutsch, a Democrat from Fort Lauderdale. Mr. Deutsch plans to meet with top Justice Department officials to discuss the matter on Tuesday. “They crossed state lines and intimidated the counting in a federal election, which is a violation of the Voting Rights Act,” he said.

But the Republicans have said that the Democrats’ characterizations of the protests were distorted.

“This was not a threatening band of armed thugs,” said Emily Miller, a spokeswoman for Mr. DeLay. “They were idealistic, enthusiastic young Republicans who felt they were being shut out, that this was an unfair decision.”

87 From “The Dirty Trickster” by Jeffrey Toobin:

As is customary with Stone, there is some controversy about his precise role. “I was the guy in charge of the trailer, and I coördinated the Brooks Brothers riot,” Brad Blakeman, a lobbyist and political consultant who worked for Bush in Miami, told me. “Roger did not have a role that I know of. His wife may have been on the radio, but I never saw or heard from him.” Scoffing at Blakeman’s account, Stone asserts that he was in the trailer; he said that he had never heard of Blakeman. (Rule: “Lay low, play dumb, keep moving.”)

88 From “New York’s Bush Boys” by Wayne Barrett:

Also participating in these key appointments-as well as filling top patronage jobs in the regional offices of federal agencies like Housing and Urban Development, Health & Human Services, Labor, Environmental Protection, General Services, Transportation, and Interior-will be the leaders of the state’s GOP congressional delegation. While Orange County Congressman Ben Gilman is the senior member of that delegation and will wield significant clout, the congressman with the best connections to the White House is John Sweeney, whose sliver of a district extends from Hyde Park almost to the Canadian border.

The former executive director of the state party, the 45-year-old Sweeney endeared himself to the Bushes by coordinating much of the recount fight in Florida, orchestrating the demonstrations, for example, at the Miami-Dade canvassing board. Denounced on national television as a “thug” by Alan Dershowitz, the prominent Democratic attorney who represented the victims of the Palm Beach butterfly ballot, Sweeney told the Voice: “Pataki, [state GOP chairman] Bill Powers, and myself have pretty good ties with the Bush people and will serve as voices for the state.”

Sweeney is reportedly focused on EPA, HUD, and Labor appointments, having served as Labor commissioner under Pataki before winning his congressional seat in 1998. Though a junior member of the House, Sweeney was recently given his choice of plum committees, choosing Appropriations over Ways & Means. Another Powers ally, Buffalo Congressman Tom Reynolds, is also highly respected by the Bush team.

89 From “Pol vs. Pole” by Michael Tomasky:

John Sweeney, an upstate Republican congressman, became a national hero to his party when he led the infamous charge on the Miami-Dade elections commissioners by ordering the pro-Bush troops to “shut it down!” Sweeney’s directive inspired that hardened assemblage of GOP Capitol Hill staffers to bang on the election commission’s doors, intimidate the commissioners, and halt the recount.

But more recently, “Shut it down!” has taken on another meaning in Sweeney’s life, ever since the late-January night when his car rammed a utility pole on a rural upstate road. What Sweeney managed to shut down that night was power to the homes of several of his constituents and to the Willard Mountain ski resort, stranding skiers aloft on the chairlifts that relied on the juice that ran through the wires Sweeney’s 2001 Jeep Laredo managed to clip.

The story goes as follows. On the night of January 23, Sweeney was driving away from Willard, where he’d passed the evening skiing. Just before 10 p.m., he lost control of his vehicle and hit the utility pole. He told police he was fidgeting with his CD player. He was not hurt. A woman who lives along the road, Donna English — who happens to be a local Republican councilwoman — came out to offer assistance. A state-police trooper arrived on the scene. Live electrical wires lay strewn across Vly Summit Road. A local volunteer-fire-department chief offered to send a crew to the site to direct traffic, a common enough procedure in rural areas. But the fire chief was told by the state police that no assistance was needed. Instead, it was left to English to direct traffic. For an hour and a half. Sweeney was not charged or ticketed, and power was restored in about eight hours’ time (the ski resort managed to get the people in the chairlift down sooner).

From “Congressman’s wife called police” (archived) by Brendan L. Lyons:

CLIFTON PARK — The wife of U.S. Rep. John Sweeney called police last December to complain her husband was “knocking her around” during a late-night argument at the couple’s home, according to a document obtained last week by the Times Union.

The emergency call to a police dispatcher triggered a visit to the couple’s residence by a state trooper from Clifton Park, who filed a domestic incident report after noting that the congressman had scratches on his face, the document states. No criminal charges were filed.

Gaia M. Sweeney, 36, told a trooper that her husband had grabbed her by the neck and was pushing her around the house, according to the document.

Sweeney’s wife, Gaia, placed the emergency call to a police dispatcher in Saratoga County at 12:55 a.m. on Dec. 2, according to the document.

“Female caller stating her husband is knocking her around the house,” a dispatcher wrote. “Then she stated `Here it comes, are you ready?’ and disconnected the call. Upon call-back, the husband stated no problem … asked the wife if she wanted to talk. Wife (caller) then got on the phone and stated that she’s fine and that she’s drunk. Caller sounded intoxicated. She advised that she was endangered for a moment, but everything is fine.”

From “Sweeney’s wife claims he abused her” (archived) by Kate Gurnett:

Gayle Sweeney, about to confront former U.S. Rep. John Sweeney in a divorce case, claims her husband was often verbally abusive and at times physically abused her during their marriage.

She now concedes that a statement she made on the eve of last fall’s election denying marital abuse was “coerced.”

Mrs. Sweeney, who is staying with friends at locations she wants to keep secret, approached the Times Union on Friday and asked to have her story told. She said she was fearful for her life.

Contacted Saturday, John Sweeney flatly denied any physical abuse of his wife.

At the time, the Times Union had obtained a State Police dispatch report confirming long-standing rumors of a domestic incident. The report indicated that Mrs. Sweeney had phoned State Police in December 2005 to report her husband was “knocking her around.”

In the subsequent news conference outside the home of GOP strategist Tom Slater, John and Gayle Sweeney called the report “a fake.”

Mrs. Sweeney defended her husband then. “I did not need to be protected from John…there were no injuries to me,” she declared at the time.

Sweeney blamed Gillibrand, saying she’d leaked bad information and “in her desire for power, she has tried to ruin my marriage, slander my family.”

In fact, Mrs. Sweeney said Friday, she had been injured in the altercation, to the point where her lips were swollen when Sweeney pushed her into a file cabinet. Political advisers wanted her to deny that there had been a violent incident that night, in a last-ditch attempt to save her husband’s campaign, she said.

90 From “FEC tells Sweeney to get his paperwork in order” by Jordan Carleo-Evangelist:

The Center for Public Integrity reported this morning that former U.S. Rep. John Sweeney has incurred the ire of the Federal Elections Commission – first for trying to close his long-dormant campaign account without settling nearly a quarter-million dollars in outstanding debt and, more recently, failing to file a required third-quarter disclosure report.

Sweeney’s campaign account, for which he is listed as the treasurer, has no cash but owes $223,000 to various vendors – including more than $22,000 to Success Magazine in Clifton Park and nearly $17,700 to X Press Info Solutions in Albany for printing, according to the FEC.

As one commenter notes below, Success Magazine rather memorably featured Sweeney on its cover just days after his defeat at the polls.

91 From “The Sweet Smell of John Sweeney”:

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

92 The rise all fall of Freedom’s Watch is described in two articles, “Big Coffers and a Rising Voice Lift a New Conservative Group” by Don Van Natta Jr. and “Great Expectations for a Conservative Group Seem All but Dashed” by Michael Luo. The filing for Klayman v. Freedom’s Watch, his suit for copyright infringement.

93 From “Recount Revisited (Part 2)”, a discussion between Recount director Jay Roach and Jonathan Chait; the excerpt is entirely Roach:

To respond to your comments, and to show that, although I love comedy, I did not need to inject much additional humor or absurdity to the actual history of this event, here’s a story about one experience from our direct research that ties into what you’re getting at:

Late in pre-production, Danny Strong and I went to Washington, D.C., and interviewed Brad Blakeman, a very charming, intelligent spinmeister in Florida depicted in the film. He was, by his own account, the man at least partly behind “Sore Loserman,” “Surrender Gorethy,” “The Gorinch Who Stole the Election,” and other demonstration characters and stunts that appeared at rallies outside the Florida Supreme Court and outside counting centers throughout the 36 days of the recount. (Tangentially, Blakeman recently started and ran Freedom’s Watch, a group funded by the right to match the left’s MoveOn.org.)

Blakeman also said he helped organize the edgier “Brooks Brothers Riot” from his roving RV office in Florida. As you see in the film, this protest took place outside the counting rooms in Miami-Dade County. By most accounts, the shouting and shoving and pounding of fists on the doors and windows succeeded in intimidating the canvassing board, who shut down the recount right after the protests, even though the board had approved the counting earlier.

Fascinatingly for me, Blakeman told us there was a very deliberate effort by the Republicans in Florida to “act more like Democrats,” and to take a page out of the book written by the left-wing protestors in the ’60s who used protests and street theater to inject turmoil and chaos into established political processes to make them look flawed, corrupt, or ridiculous (as with the Democratic Convention in 1968 or the attempts to levitate the Pentagon). Blakeman told us that the Republicans were certain that in 2000, the Democrats would “lie, cheat, and steal” to win the Florida recount. So, to “preserve the victory,” the Republicans this time had to pre-emptively take to the streets and make the recount seem messy, chaotic, and even dangerous to the country. The hope was to prevent the recount from flipping the victory to Gore, and if it did, to make the recount’s results seem illegitimate.

For Blakeman, this meant loud protests during the recounting; bull-horn disruptions that shut down speeches by people like Jesse Jackson and other Democrats during rallies; characters like “Cry-Baby Gore”; and catchy slogans and T-shirts at every possible public event. He told us that for him, what the Democrats and the Florida Supreme Court were trying to do was pure farce, so the only proper response was pure farce. He wanted people to connect hand-counting of votes with utter turmoil and dysfunction, and for him, the wackier the whole process seemed, the better.

Many of the reporters we spoke to described the streets of Tallahassee during the 36 days of the recount as being remarkably free of left-wing protestors. As the film portrays, evidently, the “establishment” Democrats felt an impartial recount process should be as free of political, partisan disruption as possible. Again, some have admired their restraint, and believed Al Gore, Warren Christopher, and Bill Daley were acting from high principles connected to higher forms of statesmanship. But in contrast to strategies like Blakeman’s, and because they lost, the Democrats’ approach has been described in most of the books and historical articles as weak, or at the very least, mismatched.

When we walked out of this interview with Blakeman, Danny and I were convinced the satirical tone already evident in his script was valid (along with its great drama and edge-of-the-seat suspense), and that history gave us room for even a little more looniness, seeing as it was an actual strategic element in the conflict.

94 Examples of Blakeman on TV: ” David Schuster Laughs Out Loud at GOP Pundit Brad Blakeman” (MSNBC), “The President is like a Vegas Bookie” (MSNBC), “Obama’s New Off-Shore Drilling Plan a Guise to Push for a Massive Climate Change Bill” (FOX), etc.

95 From Dirty Tricks:

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

96 From “New Group Seeks To Have Justices Voted Off Court” by Linda Kleindienst and Brad Hahn:

The Florida Supreme Court has a new antagonist on its back — put there by Republican Palm Beach County Commissioner Mary McCarty.

McCarty has launched a new statewide organization, The Committee to Take Back Our Judiciary, designed to persuade voters to oust Florida’s Supreme Court justices from the bench.

Justices are appointed by the governor, then must face voter approval every six years. No justice has ever been voted off the court, although some have been targeted by organized ouster campaigns.

McCarty sent a fund-raising letter to 350,000 Republican donors across the state this week, asking them to join the effort.

“The court is left-wing, partisan and actively hostile to mainstream ideas and principles. The court doesn’t interpret law — the court writes new laws based on liberal dogma,” McCarty wrote.

No active campaign is planned until closer to the election, she said, but now is the time to raise money because the court is in the spotlight. “Merit retention is something that should be earned, it’s not a gift,” McCarty said.

From “Florida Justice may have a tough campaign in 2002” by Jackie Hallifax:

TALLAHASSEE – Florida voters have never removed a justice from the state Supreme Court. But Florida justices have never before played such a central role in a close presidential race.

In the aftermath of the historic, five-week legal struggle, conservatives long critical of liberal “judicial activism” have a new target: Justice Harry Lee Anstead, who faces voters in two years.

“The spotlight will be on him, I can guarantee it, no doubt about it,” said Republican John Thrasher, a former state House speaker.

Susan Johnson, a Winter Park Republican, voted for Bush and to retain the three justices. She said she got down to their names on the ballot and thought to herself, “I’m sure these guys are fine.”

Johnson said Wednesday she knows how wrong she was.

“This is an extremely liberal court. This is an extremely partisan court. This is an activist bench,” she said.

This week, Johnson formed an organization called Balance to the Bench with Tampa businessman Sam Rashid. The group wants to increase voters’ awareness of judges’ records – and remove Anstead.

“It seems out of balance to me that we have a conservative Legislature, a conservative governor and a conservative Cabinet but an extremely liberal court,” Johnson said.

97 From “Mccarty Could Face $450,000 In Fines” by Prashant Gopal:

Although she was the chairwoman for Take Back Our Judiciary from January to May 2001, McCarty said she never was involved in the group’s finances and didn’t handle any contributions.

McCarty said she didn’t intentionally do anything wrong and has filed a federal court challenge to stop the election commission from fining her.

“I didn’t do any of this except sign my name,” McCarty said of the political committee. “This was basically some sort of a scam that was set up that I was used in. I was duped. My name was used, so I have to take the brunt of it.”

98 From “Mccarty Implores Friends To Help With Legal Bills” by Prashant Gopal:

Now that her year-long battle with the Florida Elections Commission may be over, County Commissioner Mary McCarty is asking friends and donors to help pay her legal bills to the tune of $50,000.

The elections agency slapped McCarty with a $2,000 fine last week for her role as chairwoman of a group that tried to oust justices who sided with Democrat Al Gore during the 2000 presidential recount fight.

Republican Party Chairman Sid Dinerstein said he will contribute $100 to McCarty’s fund and will solicit more through the party’s mailing list.

“From our perspective, she fought the good fight even though she didn’t cross her T’s and I’s properly,” Dinerstein said. “Think of us as friends of Mary and she got caught in something where her legal expenses wound up to be quite extraordinary.”

99 From “Mccarty Oks Fine In Ethics Violation” by Anthony Man:

Palm Beach County Commissioner Mary McCarty has admitted she violated state law by accepting lobbyist contributions to a legal defense fund and agreed to pay a fine to settle the matter.

If the state Ethics Commission approves a proposed settlement signed by McCarty, her lawyer, and Linzie Bogan, an assistant attorney general who acts as a prosecutor before the commission, the commissioner will pay a $3,750 fine.

Sid Dinerstein, chairman of the county Republican Party, disagreed.

“It’s old news and I think the lightness of the sanction is indicative of how minor and technical the offense was,” he said. “It’s really a non-issue. Mary’s got some great current issues that are going to work for her. I think she’s going to have a very easy re-election.

“She is virtually single-handedly responsible for getting Scripps settled from the commission, and the whole county is aware of it, and she will be rewarded for it as she should be,” Dinerstein said.

100 “Mccarty Arrives At Federal Prison” by Brian Haas describes this event.

101 “Behind the razor wire with contrite Mary McCarty” by George Bennett:

“Public trust is a sacred thing, and I violated that trust. And it’s something I’m ashamed of.”

McCarty, 56, was a hard-charging, tough-talking force on the county commission and in local Republican circles for 18 years before resigning in 2009 and pleading guilty to a federal felony count of honest services fraud.

McCarty’s lawyer, in pleading for leniency before her 2009 sentencing, cited “growing concerns” about the honest services fraud law. But McCarty, asked if she thinks the 2010 Supreme Court ruling will affect her case, said, “I don’t think so, but I don’t know. I’ve kind of left it alone.

“It’s something I’m not really interested in pursuing,” she said.

“I did what I did. I’m paying the price for it. I’ve chosen to take responsibility and hope that people will forgive me.”

When she’s out of prison, McCarty’s sentence calls for three years of probation.

She said she will try to get her civil rights restored so she can vote. Asked if she’d ever run for office again, McCarty said: “No, no, no, no. No.”

“I’m going to hope that there’s some courageous person out there who believes in second chances that’s willing to hire me and give me a second chance,” she said.

“I know a lot of people, obviously. I know how government works, local government. I know a lot of resources. I have a great Rolodex. I’ve been known to be a hard worker.”

Whatever she ends up doing, McCarty said she’ll no longer have the “entitled” attitude that contributed to her downfall.

102 “Mary McCarty leaves Texas prison, enters local halfway house” by George Bennett describes this event.

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

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 THREE: WE RULE THE WORLD, OR: BONDAGE AND DOMINATION

Though NCPAC would collapse in the 1980s, and would disappear from memory, it wouldn’t disappear from relevance. Phantom groups which are heavily funded and could kick in the teeth of a candidate are now ubiquitous in elections, federal, state, and local. “A group like ours could lie through its teeth and the candidate it helps stays clean,” as stated by Dolan, is the grounding principle behind something like Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and similar PACs and Super PACs. Rather than letting any associated dirt build up which would stigmatize and cripple the group in future political actions, as happened to NCPAC, now the group is employed during the election period and quickly thrown away, the trail leading to the central source of funding kept as obscure as possible. NCPAC had died, but Roger Stone had moved on long before Terry Dolan was cold in the ground, joining the supercolossus lobbying firm of Black, Manafort, Stone, and Kelly which also included partners Charlie Black, Paul Manafort, and Lee Atwater.

You would think there would be an extraordinary amount written about lobbying firms, especially one of the most powerful such firms of the 1980s. These, after all, are the entities which push, write, and re-write the legislation which cause rivers to be poisoned and allow your children to be shot dead in malls and schools. Yet anyone who looks into the subject will quickly discover how astonishingly little there is, especially relative to their breadth of influence and power. Black, another NCPAC veteran, and Manafort had both played key roles in the Reagan 1980 election. Lee Atwater would be the architect of the 1988 Bush election campaign, forever associated with the creation of his use of the Willie Horton ad to achieve victory. Peter G. Kelly was the sole democrat of the major partners, with past experience in various top positions of the democratic apparatus and the DNC40. There is perhaps only one in-depth article on mercenary lobby shops like this that was written at the time, one so memorably scathing that it was remembered two decades later. “There was a piece in Spy magazine many, many years ago in the 1980s,” said the excellent journalist Ken Silverstein, on an episode of “Democracy Now!” devoted to the tyrant in charge of Equatorial Guinea and his lobbyists, “which was called ‘Voices of the Damned,’ and it was about sort of the most unethical foreign lobbyists, and Charlie Black’s firm was rated the worst of the worst. I mean, you know, it had – Spy magazine used this sort of “bloody hand” ranking, and I think Charlie Black’s firm had “four bloody hand” ranking, which was the highest of any of the firms.”41 This piece was long out of public sight until Spy‘s back issues were uploaded to Google Books, and readers could finally have easy access to Art Levine’s infamous profile, the title not quite “Voices of the Damned”, but “Publicists of the Damned”.

Roger Stone Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

BMS&K were one of several shops profiled in the article, and perhaps because their hands were bloodiest, they were given the regal place of the piece’s final paragraphs. To give the firm fair judgement, I give the full excerpt devoted to them here, from page 62 of “Publicists of the Damned”:

The well-compensated flacks at Black, Manafort stand at the pinnacle of organizational apologism. Name a corrupt despot, and Black, Manafort will name the account: Ferdinand Marcos, $900,000 a year; the now deposed Somalian dictatorship, $450,000; the drug-linked Bahamian government, $800,000. The firm’s involvement in the Bush and Reagan presidential campaigns allows it to promise – and sometimes deliver – special, executive-level rewards to its egregious clients. The partners, particularly Roger Stone, cultivate friendly relationships with reporters by generously supplying them with leaks and political gossip. And the schmoozing works. Once, when asked why he didn’t expose the corruptions of the governments Stone represents, a well-known political reporters said of Stone, “He’s too good a source.”

Sometimes Black, Manafort’s willingness to bend U.S. foreign policy to suit its needs is so great that it doesn’t mind running roughshod over the people its client supposedly represents. For $600,000 a year since 1985, the firm has represented Angola’s thuggish Jonas Savimbi, an alleged witch burner, and his guerilla group UNITA, helping promulgate his “freedom fighter” image and persuading Congress to approve more than $230 million in covert aid to Savimbi’s rebel forces. The cease-fire arranged in Angola last year threatens to reduce UNITA’s need for the heavy-duty lobbying that Black, Manafort has been providing. One former government official believes that the firm’s hawkish congressional lobbying for more military aid slowed down the process by which the cease-fire was achieved. “Black, Manafort played an important part in keeping the Angolan war going,” he says. It did so by forging a coalition of ultraconservative Republicans, anti-Castro Cuban Americans and moderate Democrats who wanted to appear tough on Communism. A conservative congressional aide sympathetic to UNITA charges, “Clearly, Savimbi wanted peace negotiations for a longer time than Black, Manafort wanted negotiations.” The lobbyists, he speculates, made it clear to Savimbi that he would lose right-wing support in Congress if he made too many concessions to Angola’s Marxists. Another Republican staff member says of Black, Manafort, “Their view is, ‘To hell with the facts, fuck the world.'”

One of George Bush’s very first foreign-policy acts was to send a letter when he was president-elect to Savimbi in which he promised continued U.S. support for the rebels – this at a time when hopes for brokering a peace settlement were especially high. The letter was drafted by a member of UNITA’s public-relations team, ex-Black, Manafort vice-president Chris Lehman, a former National Security Council staff member who used his White House contacts to help get the military commitment renewed. In Washington, Lehman and Black, Manafort’s triumph was more awe-inspiring than Savimbi’s. As a rival lobbyist said in the National Journal, “How much value do you put on a letter like the one to Savimbi? Is it worth a million dollars? Of course it is!”

So the war lasted another two years and claimed a few thousand more lives! So what? What counts to a Washington lobbyist is the ability to deliver a tangible victory and spruce up his client’s image.

The efforts of BMS&K in support of Savimbi are one of the few places where some light has been shed, again thanks to Spy magazine and a now forgotten article on a now forgotten incident, “Fooled on the Hill: How some die-hard Cold Warriors and a Belgian con artist tried to change U.S. policy in Africa”, by David Aronson and David Kamp. I already wrote about this astonishing moment at great length in “Angola, Namibia, South Africa, and a Tea Party Leader”, but I return to it briefly here.

In December 1988, Angola’s neighbor, Namibia, was to gain its independence after long being a vassal state of South Africa, with its policy of segregation imposed on Namibia as well. This was done in conjunction with a peace agreement, where Cuba and South Africa agreed to withdraw their own military forces from Angola, forces which had kept that country’s civil war going. Namibia’s dominant party, SWAPO, was allies with the Soviet government. There was a problem, however: Jonas Savimbi, the anti-communist Angolan guerilla fighter was against this. Savimbi was funded and supplied by the United States and South Africa; with Naimbia no longer annexed by South Africa and governed by a party unfriendly to his interests, Savimbi could see how this would constrain his activities and those of UNITA. It should be noted that though Savimbi presented himself as an anti-communist, he was more accurately considered an opportunist, a man who eventually funded his operations through blood diamonds and was wanted for war crimes, killed in his last battle before he could be brought to trial.

A bill was moving through Congress, with passage assured, that would have helped fund UN supervision of the transition of Namibia to independence. In order to derail the independence of Namibia, the senator from North Carolina, Jesse Helms, put a stipulation into the bill where the funding for the UN supervision would be withheld if there were any evidence of the use of chemical weapons by Cubans in Angola. Thanks to the work of Jesse Helms and BMS&K, Bush would sign the bill with the rider. They were also helped out by Andries Holst, a German film-maker who claimed to have recorded the horrors of chemical weapon use in Angola, and Aubin Heynrickx, a toxicologist who would confirm use of such weapons in a published report. Both men were brought in to give their support of the bill’s qualifier by a network that included BSK&H, the conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation, and the conservative think tank the International Freedom Foundation (IFF). The IFF would later be revealed to be a foundation set up by a lobbyist who would end up in infinite disgrace, Jack Abramoff, funded almost entirely by the South African apartheid government to promote messages and policies in favor of the apartheid government. Holst would turn out to be an utter fraud. Heynrickx’s research would be described by other researchers as “a real joke”, and that any student who submitted equivalent work would be kicked out of school. One can see all this, without difficulty, as an ominous foreshadowing of the lead-up to the Iraq war. After the fall of Saddam, in the search for chemical weapons used in war crimes, Heynrickx would show up there as well. To hell with the facts, fuck the world42.

Roger Stone - Pretty reckless is going straight to hell

(Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, Lee Atwater in 1985, photo by Harry Naltchayan, from “GOP trickster Roger Stone defects to Libertarian party” by “The Reliable Source” of the Post.)

Black had been a staff member for Helms, and Helms’ spokesman during this issue was Marc Thiessen, who would go on to work at BMS&K, then work as a speechwriter for president George W. Bush, after which he would publish a book defending the administration’s use of torture43. Though his allies would fight hard for continued U.S. funding for Savimbi, so that he might bring peace to Angola, the rebel leader would lose his American support. There would be elections which he would lose, and whose outcome he would contest, extending the Angolan civil war for nearly another decade. Thousands would die, Savimbi would sometimes burn women for being witches, and Angola would be left a blood-stained wreck, an oasis for guest workers who handled the country’s vast oil resources, and a miserable shanty town for everyone else44. The eyes of Roger Stone, I’ve already noted, are very blue, very unsmiling, and very cold.

BMS&K would survive this without difficulty – no one in America pays attention to a war in Africa – just as they would survive their brief appearance in the 1988 presidential campaign. A DEA report would note that the Bahamanian government of the time was most likely complicit in drug smuggling operations, and that it had hired BMS&K in order to improve its image with the Reagan administration. Critics of the Bahamian government, according to a memo sent from BMS&K to this same Bahamanian government, have been “sowing the seeds that the Government of the Bahamas is a nation for sale, inviting drug czars to use the banking system, that government officials are participating in the drug trafficking, that the Pindling Administration [Lynden Pindling, then head of the government of Bahamas] is about to collapse and much more.” The memo would go on to suggest that “personal relationships [the bolds are my own] between then Secretary of Defense [Caspar] Weinberger and then Attorney General [Ed] Meese could be used to redefine the priorities of the U.S. in its dealings with the Bahamas.”45 Meese, as you remember, is the attorney general who, during his confirmation hearings, couldn’t find the note referring to Roger Stone as a bagman.

The report would go on to make the following blunt criticism:

The role of the U.S. consultants raises troubling questions about conflicts of interest. Narcotics issues are indeed “national security issues.” The Subcommittee believes it is not in the interest of the United States to have former government officials, whether from the Congress or the Executive Branch, who held policy positions dealing with narcotics law enforcement, to use the knowledge they have obtained to work for a foreign government whose officials are implicated, either directly, or indirectly, in the drug trade.

“My staff will not have divided loyalties,” Michael Dukakis would say of the incident, “in a Dukakis White House, the staff will pledge allegiance to only one flag–Old Glory.”46 The attacks would have no effect in the campaign, in contrast to the Bush ads featuring a black rapist used to go after Dukakis as soft on crime. Those ads, as mentioned, were developed by Lee Atwater, occasional associate of BMS&K. One could have issue with the backdoor dealing of BMS&K even if one thought the war on drugs were ridiculous, perhaps especially because one thought it ridiculous. For here were a group of powerful men – Charlie Black, Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, Lee Atwater – helping to elect Reagan to two terms, and Bush to one term, by advertising a tough on drugs, tough on crime approach, which led to many in the United States sentenced in prison for drug possession as a result, and many civilians dying in Panama as an outcome of the invasion to retrieve drug trafficker Manuel Noreiga, all while cutting a deal with a state government to continue in its role in the drug trade while giving it the cover of reform. The very same people who were helping to elect an administration largely on the basis of one policy, getting “tough” on crime, were undercutting it according to their convenience. “I call it hypocrite #1,” says Roger Stone of Eliot Spitzer.

Charlie Black, Roger Stone, and Lee Atwater were probably the most prominent members of BMS&K, but equally interesting as all of them, though far less visible, was Paul Manafort, and he was to be found in a number of notable incidents, the first of which was direct involvement in another scandal that BMS&K would survive without difficulty. It involved the Department of Housing and Urban Development under the Reagan administration, where an independent counsel report would eventually find “a pervasive pattern of criminal behavior” involving officials at the department, who had engaged in influence peddling and blatant favoritism, as well as consultants such as Paul Manafort who did business with the department. The problem lay with federal aid in terms of rent subsidies, mortgage relief, and tax credits picked up for low income housing developments without any competitive bidding, with the housing then flipped and the tax credits re-sold, without any benefit reaching those it was supposed to, only the developers and the consultants who had ins with the department47. One of the most prominent examples was the Seabrook development in New Jersey, where Manafort was directly involved in winning the HUD grant.

The low income housing complex called Seabrook was located in Upper Deerfield Township, New Jersey, and got a $43 million grant made up of rent subsidies and renovation, a grant that its county had never applied for. Nor did they think the rundown complex was worth rehabilitating. It was Victor Cruse, a former deputy housing commissioner of Connecticut, who made the request for low income housing aid. He then hired Paul Manafort, who used his connections at the department to make sure the request got fast tracked, without competitive bids. A small ad was placed in a local paper soliciting such bids, but it was worded so that only the Seabrook complex could qualify for the grant. “To read this ad,” said Charles Schumer, the representative of New York, “you might as well cut out all of the other language and put in this one line: ‘The fix is in.'” The complex was then bought up by CFM Development Corp., one of whose partners was Manafort. Two years after receiving the grant, including rent subsidies, rents had doubled on a complex without sign of repair or rehabilitation. Seabrook was an abyss of row upon row of cinder block barracks, with leaky roofs, exposed wiring, and shoddy construction. As part of the inquiry into the problems at HUD, Manafort would testify before congress. He would bristle at the idea that he’d been involved in influence peddling. “You might call it influence-peddling. I call it lobbying,” he said. “That’s a definitional debate.”48

In a separate incident, a Florida real estate developer, Jeffrey Auslander, would allege that a member of BMS&K would offer him hundreds of thousands of rent subsidies for the Palm Beach area. The giveaway was being made so that representative Paula Hawkins, a Republican senator from Florida, could take credit for the largesse. Charlie Black ran the campaign of Hawkins, and the BMS&K employee that Auslander allegedly spoke to was Russell Cartwright, a former aide to Hawkins. Cartwright, according to Auslander, was very explicit: “We’re trying to get these awards out before the election so Paula Hawkins can take credit for them.” The rent subsidies were approved and issued a day before the Senate election. “It’s a zany story,” Black said in response to these allegations. “This is all nonsense.”49 There was press attention over the intertwining of BMS&K and Hawkins after the discovery of her grant giveaway, but there had already been an unsettling story on the connection between the two during Hawkins’ re-election bid, “D.C.: Where Allies Work Both Sides Of The Corridors” by Ken Cummins. Charlie Black, the piece tells us, was directly managing the re-election campaign of Hawkins, while at the same time, Peter Kelly, the K of BMS&K, was managing the election campaign of Bob Graham, the Democrat going against Hawkins. “I am totally committed to winning the Senate back,” says Kelly. He was raising money in Florida, Louisiana and Vermont, in order to take back the Senate, the same three states where Black, Stone, and Manafort were raising money to keep the Senate in Republican hands50. BMS&K were involved in so many presidential campaigns in 1986, the year of Hawkins’ re-election, that a congressional aide would ask, “Why have primaries for the nomination? Why not have the candidates go over to Black, Manafort & Stone and argue it out?”51

That there was a massive scandal which involved the most wealthy taking advantage of subsidies intended for the most vulnerable and worst off didn’t matter. Black, Manafort, Stone, and Kelly would survive it. Around the time, there was intense bidding among the various lobby shops, BMS&K among them, for the clientship of Mobutu Sese Seko, the kleptocrat mass murderer head of Zaire (now the Congo, again). The competing shops would point out to their potential client that Black, Manafort had been deeply implicated in the housing scandal. “That only shows how important they are!” exclaimed a member of the Mobutu regime. BMS&K won Mobutu as a client. When Roger Stone’s sex scandal broke, one essay discussing it mentions the detail that Stone spent over eight thousand dollars in hair transplants. One could play a pleasant guessing game, of wondering who paid a bigger contribution for that gold clump on top of his head, the dead of Africa or the impoverished of New Jersey52. Shortly after the HUD scandal broke, Charlie Black would take over the Republican National Committee, when the then head, BMS&K associate Lee Atwater fell ill from cancer, and in a moment of mercy to us all, was extinguished from the earth. Of the HUD scandal that was then only part of the recent past, Black would say, “It’s over with; there’s nothing there.” A year after Bush was defeated in election, Black would take part in a Republican event, where he joked about Bill Clinton’s order to the military to admit homosexuals. Black said they’d have to change the Marine Corps lyrics, and add “Don we now our gay apparel.” Oliver North, ultraconservative, Iran-Contra bagman, and another guest at the event, joked about the White House operator not connecting him to the president until he broke into a hard lisp, “Excuthhhhhhhe me!” A senator at the event praised a local congressman’s military service: “Whichever war you were in, I know it was before the Clinton fags-in-the-foxhole.” He went on to mention that the 14th Street bridge, which links northern Virginia to D.C., could maybe be renamed the “Soul Brothers Causeway”, and that it was “the longest bridge in the world because it connects Virginia to Africa.”53 It was Jack Kemp who’d been picked by George H.W. Bush to oversee reforms of the scandal plagued HUD, and it was Kemp who was the vice president on the Republican ticket of 1996. The man overseeing the Republican convention, who coordinated the marionette motions of the candidates as they drowned in colored paper and hoopla was Paul Manafort54.

“If the only thing that is news is controversy, then you are right, there is not a lot of news at this convention,” Manafort would say, and there may not have been a lot of news or controversy at the convention, but there was plenty of things surrounding Manafort that had that potential, though they would only be brought to light much later. In 1993, he and another member of BMS&K, Riva Levinson, would tour Kashmir, the territory and area of long dispute between India and Pakistan. They would conduct interviews in the region by posing as journalists from CNN. Manafort and Levinson denied that they had done such a thing, though the Indian government did lodge a complaint against CNN and a regional journalists’ association passed a resolution condemning the duplicity of Manafort and Levinson55. The interviews were to be used to promote the objectives of a BMS&K client, the Kashmiri American Foundation, and it has only been due to an arrest, indictment, and guilty plea within the past few years that we’ve learned exactly who was behind this foundation.

The Kashmiri American Foundation was started in 1990 by Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai. Fai was born in 1949 in Kashmir, a year after India and Pakistan began fighting over the disputed territory. He became involved with the Jamaat-e-Islami, a local fundamentalist Islamic group before leaving Kashmir for the United States, never to return, his education paid for by the King Faisal Foundation. The criminal complaint against Fai states what took place next, according to a confidential informant, CW-2. “CW-2 told FBI agents that, in approximately 1989, CW-2 was aware of the candidates under consideration to operate the KAC,” where the KAC is the Kashmiri American Foundation, “and that the ISI selected Fai to do so because he had no overt ties to Pakistan.” The ISI is the acronym for the Inter-Services Intelligence Agency, Pakistan’s military intelligence service, their equivalent to the CIA. The complaint continues: “CW-2 said that the ISI created the KAC to propagandize on behalf of the Government of Pakistan with the goal of uniting Kashmir.” Kashmir, as said, is a disputed territory over which India and Pakistan have gone to war. The goal of “uniting Kashmir,” is the goal of unifying Pakistan with Kashmir. The complaint would describe the nature of the message of the KAC: “CW-2 estimated that, of the statements Fai makes, 80 percent are provided by the ISI for Fai to repeat and disseminate verbatim.” Only a fraction of the KAC’s message was Fai’s own: “The other 20 percent of the KAC’s messaging consists of Fai’s own ideas, which have been pre-approved by the ISI but not provided by them.”56 Finally, KAC was a very long-term project; from the criminal complaint “Case No. 1:11MJ558” (page 7):

CW-2 further said that the ISI’s sponsorship and control of the KAC was secret, and that the ISI has been operating Fai for at least the past 25 years. CW-2 identified Fai’s primary supervisor within the ISI as Brigadier Javeed Aziz, who also goes by the nicknames “Rathore” and “Abdullah.” CW-2 also identified a photograph of Javeed Aziz Khan, a retired Brigadier General in the Pakistani Army, as Javeed Aziz, also known as (“aka”) “Rathore.”

ISI influence was not just an allegation of a confidential informant, but the overwhelming conclusion reached by the agent filing the complaint:

Contrary to Fai’s repeated representations to the DOJ and the FBI, the investigation has led me to conclude that Fai has acted at the direction and with the financial support of the Government of Pakistan for more than 20 years. Voluminous evidence independently establishes the essence of what the confidential witnesses told the FBI: that although Fai has some latitude to decide his day-to-day activities, the Government of Pakistan long has directed and funded his lobbying and public relations efforts in the United States.

Fai, in part thanks to the support of BMS&K, would gain access to the highest levels of political power. He was a bipartisan donor, though he gave far more heavily to the Republicans than the Democrats, donating thousands to the Republican National Committee and Dan Burton, the Representative of Indiana who gained greatest prominence through his investigations of the Clinton administration. Burton would speak at KCA events, and in 2007, Fai was given the American Spirit Medal, the highest award from the National Republican Senatorial Committee, for being committed to conservative principles. The money donated by the KCA to Burton and the RNC came via straw donors, who were a front for the actual donor: the Pakistani intelligence service, the ISI57. Another confidential informant, CW-1, relates in the complaint how money was transferred to Fai from the ISI, with the assistance of an accomplice of Fai, Zaheer Ahmad:

CW-1 said Ahmad told him he needed to get money to Fai in the United States, and that Fai would use it for the Kashmir cause and for lobbying. CW-1 said that he was present for a conversation between Ahmad and Ahmad’s accountant in which Ahmad’s accountant told Ahmad that he had received $50,000 from the ISI for Fai. CW-1 said that CW-1 agreed to help Ahmad deliver money to Fai. CW-1 said that, from his initial meeting with Fai until approximately 1998, he helped Ahmad transfer approximately $500,000 to Fai.

CW-l explained that, on two occasions, Ahmad told him how much money Ahmad needed to transfer to Fai. CW-1 then set aside that much cash from his own business in $50 and $100 bills in a brown paper bag, and notified Fai that the money was ready for pickup. Fai then picked up the cash at CW-1 ‘s office. At about the same time, Ahmad generally would wire transfer funds to CW-1 to cover the cash that CW-1 gave to Fai. Occasionally, Ahmad would hold cash or checks to give to CW-1 in Pakistan.

After the second of these transactions, Fai told CW-l that Fai preferred checks to cash because checks appeared more “legitimate” and “safe.” CW-1 then began to send money to Fai via a business acquaintance – – to whom I will refer as “Straw Donor A” – – who agreed to provide checks to Fai in return for CW-1’s cash. My investigation has revealed that Straw Donor A was operating numerous businesses and charities at this time, including a foundation.

CW-l showed me three entries from his personal digital assistant (“PDA”) which identified transactions in which he sent Straw Donor A money which had originated from Ahmad and was to be passed onto Fai. The first two transactions took place on or about May 8, 1997, and represented a sum of$250,000 sent from Ahmad to CW-1, who in tum passed $225,000 on to Straw Donor A for transmission to Fai. The third transaction took place on February 3, 1998, and was a $100,000 transfer to a Swiss bank account belonging to the aforementioned foundation, which Straw Donor A was to pass onto Fai.

In 2005, confidential informant CW-1 began providing information to the FBI about Fai. In 2007, the FBI questioned Fai. In 2010, the New York police pulled Fai over and found $35 000 dollars, all cash, in his car. On 2011, July 19, Fai was arrested for acting as an agent of a foreign principal without registering with the Attorney General. He would plead guilty to conspiracy and tax violations in connection with attempts to conceal the transfer of at least three and a half million dollars from the government of Pakistan to further his lobbying efforts. “Syed Fai today admitted his role in a decades-long scheme to conceal the fact that the government of Pakistan was secretly funding his efforts to influence U.S. policy on Kashmir,” said Assistant Attorney General Monaco. “For the last 20 years, Mr. Fai secretly took millions of dollars from Pakistani intelligence and lied about it to the U.S. government,” said U.S. Attorney MacBride. “As a paid operative of ISI, he did the bidding of his handlers in Pakistan while he met with U.S. elected officials, funded high-profile conferences and promoted the Kashmiri cause to decision-makers in Washington.”58

There is no indication that Fai ever revealed to anyone at BMS&K that ISI was funding his activities. Fai would send a message to his supervisor, “that, as part of a strategy to make it appear that the KAC was a Kashmiri organization run by Kashmiris and financed by Americans – – as agreed by Fai and Abdullah’s predecessors on March 20, 1990 – – no one from the Pakistani Embassy would ever contact the public relations firm.” Whether this “public relations firm” was BMS&K or a separate entity is not made clear in the criminal complaint or any of the stories about the case I have come across – the criminal complaint only refers to a “public relations firm” without naming it. However, this strange episode is made even more interesting when placed next to on-going revelations from last year, that have received almost no attention from the American press.

These revelations involved a french scandal called the Karachi affair, or as we would say in american, Karachigate. It involved the sale by France of Sawari II frigates to Saudi Arabia and Agosta submarines to Pakistan, with commissions from these sales illegally funding the French presidential campaign of Edouard Balladur in 1995. Two men acted as intermediaries to effect the sale, Abdul Rahman El Assir and Ziad Takieddine, and El Assir was good friends with Paul Manafort. The political consultant may end up serving as a crucial proof that these commissions were used as illegal election funds, based on transfers made for his services by Balladur, which involved conducting a poll and drawing up a road map for the campaign. Balladur would eventually decide not to use his services.

My own translation of the Paris Match article, “Un politologue américain au cœur de l’affaire Karachi” by François Labrouillère and David Le Bailly, that places Manafort at the center of things:

AN AMERICAN POLITICAL CONSULTANT AT THE HEART OF THE KARACHI AFFAIR

It appears that Paul Manafort, very discretely, lent his services to the Edouard Balladur campaign in 1995. It was the ex-wife of Ziad Takieddine, the English Nicola Johnson, who, in December 2011, had revealed this. “Ziad had told me that Paul Manafort was giving counsel to the campaign of Balladur.” In reply to the question, who had compensated Manafort for his services, the ex-Mrs. Takieddine had replied, “I imagine El-Assir and Ziad. I think they were the ones who paid.” Ziad Zakkiedine and Abdul Rahman El-Assir are the two Lebanese intermediaries who skimmed tens of millions of euros in illegal commissions linked to arms contracts signed off by the Balladur government. Commissions which, according to the suspicions of the judges, went into financing the presidential campaign of Balladur.

After two years of inquiry, the judge Renaud Van Ruymbeke has identified in Switzerland numerous bank accounts intended to receive these commissions. At least tow of the accounts belong to Abdul Rahman El-Assir. Their investigation has also permitted them to find evidence of several payments to Paul Manafort, confirming the statements of his Takieddine’s ex-wife, Nicola Johnson. On September 22, 1994, El-Assir sent $35 000 to BMS&K, the consulting firm of Manafort. On November 16, 1994, another transfer, this time of $17 000 to BMS&K. On May 22 1995, El-Assir sent $52 000 to Tarrance Group, a group close to Manafort. On August 2nd, 1995, it was $125 017 that was sent to BMS&K. Finally, on August 15 1995, El-Assir paid $125 016 to Paul Manafort.

In total, between September 1994 and August 1995, the consultant and his associates pocketed close to $400 000 from the famous accounts where El-Assir kept the commissions from the Karachi affair. A connection is finally established between the commissions and the Balladur campaign. It has not escaped the police of the DNIF (Division National of Investigations Financial [this is my doing a direct translation of the words that make up the non-english acronym]) that the period of payments to Manafort corresponds to the french presidential campaign in 1995. In the report, the justices write: “Given the payments made by El-Assir to Paul Manafort, one can legitimately find the thesis put forward by Mrs. Takieddine to be credible. In light of the professional life of El-Assir, it is a little shocking that he is making payments to an expert political consultant like Manafort given that in 1995, no American presidential election was taking place.” Contacted by Paris Match, representatives of Edouard Balladur made assurances that they had never done business with Paul Manafort.

On August 2, 2012, Manafort would give testimony to the inquiry. My own translation of the testimony from an article, “Karachi : nouveau boulet pour Balladur” by Violette Lazard, out of Libération:

Everything started, for him, in 1988. One of his friends introduced him to Abdul Rahman el-Assir, an intermediary in weapons sales who had been charged with closing contracts between France, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia, along with Ziad Takieddine, for the Balladur government. Manafort and El-Assir struck up a friendship to the point that Manafort became godfather for el-Assir’s son, while Manafort invited el-Assir to the White House for the swearing in of George H.W. Bush in 1989.

El-Assir would recommend Manafort to his own clients, among them Edouard Balladur, in 1994. The spin doctor accepted, and did his first poll (today, evidence in the judges’ possession), then wrote up a road map on the strategy of the campaign. He explained that he had gone to France to present his work to Balladur’s campaign team. Who was in charge of translation at this conference? Ziad Takieddine himself, who Manafort said he met via El-Assir. Very well paid for his work – two payment transfers of $52 000 (39 000 euros) and $34 975 (26 000 euros) have been found – his strategy did not appear feasible. Manafort explained that he continued to send notes on current events dealing with Edouard Balladur, gave advice, and that he passed this information on through El-Assir and Takieddine. There. The collaboration ended there.

This testimony would conflict with the version of events of the Balladur campaign, whose members claimed not to know Manafort or to have received any counsel from him. It would also conflict with what El-Assir had said earlier, that the payments made to Manafort had nothing to do with the Balladur presidential campaign59. Given that BMS&K were involved in so many things, we have the possibly inevitable coincidence that Manafort is in Kashmir working on behalf of an entity secretly funded by Pakistani intelligence, the same year that he receives payments for political work that come out of sales of military hardware to Pakistan. To give some context, Manafort is in Kashmir making a movie to promote the goals of an ISI front in 1994; he would receive commissions that were skimmed partly from arms sales to Pakistan from 1994 through 1995; in 1996, Manafort would manage a Republican convention where the democratic candidate would be assailed, as usual, for being insufficiently pro-American.

The result of this funding scandal may have had a tragic end. Balladur would lose the election, and Jacques Chirac, upon assuming power, supposedly canceled the kickbacks that top members of the Pakistani military were to receive for agreeing to the sales. In 2002, eleven French submarine engineers and four Pakistanis were killed in a bomb attack in Karachi. This may have been an al-Qaeda attack; or, it may have been a reprisal on the part of members of the Pakistani military upset about the halting of kickbacks. It remains an open investigation60.

Other prominent appearances of alumni of Black, Manafort, Stone, and Kelly are rather rare. There is the death of R. Gregory Stevens, who in his obituary, “The Mystery of Hollywood’s Dead Republican” by David M. Halbfinger and Dennis McDougal, is bluntly described as “a political fixer manipulating elections in backrooms and palaces from Costa Rica to Croatia, Thailand to Togo, South Korea to the former Soviet Union.” He had shrapnel in his leg from either the Middle East or the Balkans, the autopsy would show a mysterious piece of metal in his skull, but he’d also done more conventional, down-home political work, on the 1988 Bush-Quayle campaign. The Bush campaigns of 1988 and 1992 emphasized traditional family values and the administration took a hard line on drugs, culminating in the war to extradite Manuel Noreiga; Stevens was a gay man who had a lifelong cocaine habit. Roger Stone appears in the obit as a now former BMS&K partner, and praises Stevens as a “very engaging, fun guy to talk to” and a “quintessential staff man, very thorough and focused.” It was cocaine and oxycodone that had overwhelmed Stevens’ already diseased heart on February 26, 2005, when he died in someone’s guest bedroom, and it was because that someone was the excellent writer and occasional galactic princess Carrie Fisher, that his death got a prominent place in the Times, and a few other papers61. We may, however, see in this obituary the nature of political amnesia, and the way it brushes past a distant scandal without noticing it. The lines are the following:

Mr. Stevens followed Mr. Lewis into the private sector as his assistant but returned to politics in the Bush-Quayle campaign in 1988. That led to a job as the White House’s liaison to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, where he helped find jobs for political appointees.

He spent three years at HUD, interrupted by a stint back in California at the state Republican party, where he worked on Pete Wilson’s 1990 gubernatorial campaign but made no secret of his desire to get back to Washington.

In 1992, Mr. Stevens, 30, went to work for the Republican lobbying powerhouse of Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly.

This, of course, is significant in the context of the HUD scandal which would touch BMS&K, especially the M. of the partners. The Times obituary makes the obvious point that the abbreviated coverage of Stevens’ death did not do his vivid and fascinating life justice, mentioning that “some newspapers confused him with another political consultant in Washington by the same name,” and this must be Gregory Stevens, also of BMS&K, who also serves as a connecting line between BMS&K and HUD.

That Stevens shows up in “The Hud Scandal: A View From New Jersey” by David Hess. Pierce is Samuel Pierce, the head of HUD, Kean is Tom Kean, the governor of New Jersey, Courter was Jim Courter, the Republican candidate for governor who was trying to succeed Kean, Cruz is Victor Cruz, a former Connecticut housing official and developer, and the following excerpt explains how the grant for federal subsidies for Seabrook, the development that would later be bought by Manafort and Cruz, was brought to attention of public officials:

On Nov. 14, a Black, Manafort aide met with Deborah Gore Dean, Pierce’s executive assistant at HUD, who told the aide that she would need an application from the appropriate housing authority.

Another Black, Manafort employee, Greg Stevens, former chief of staff of New Jersey Gov. Kean and now a member of Courter’s campaign team, introduced Cruz to William Connolly, director of the state housing authority, who agreed to submit the application.

Stevens told state housing officials in 1986 that Seabrook funds had been set aside by HUD. Usually, states and major cities compete for HUD money and, once the money is in hand, seek developers for the projects.

Stevens said in a recent interview that he had not profited from the deal.

Riva Levinson, who would travel with Manafort to Kashmir, where they would allegedly pose as CNN journalists to film footage for possible use in a public relations campaign for the Kashmiri American Council, would also show up again in prominent shadows, a name unknown almost to everyone, but which stood out for the cognoscenti. “Ken Silverstein, can you talk to us about the role of Charlie Black, a chief adviser to John McCain, in terms of his role in Equatorial Guinea?” asked Juan Gonzalez when Silverstein was a guest on Democracy Now!, to talk about the corrupt dictatorship of the oil rich African nation. “Well, his firm had the account for Equatorial Guinea,” replied Silverstein on Black’s role. “I confess I don’t recall what Charlie Black’s own role was. I remember that there was a woman named Riva Levinson who did a lot of work on behalf of Equatorial Guinea” – well, not exactly on behalf of the country – “I think the client actually at the time was an oil company called Trident, which was subsequently bought up, but which had a big stake in Equatorial Guinea.” Then Riva Levinson moved on: “So she was lobbying for the oil companies there. And then Riva Levinson went on to lobby for Ahmed Chalabi, as it turned out, and the Iraqi National Congress.”62 The intersection of BMS&K – sorry, now it’s BKS&H – BKS&H and Chalabi is written about in few places, but it is described in commendable detail in Aram Roston’s The Man Who Pushed America to War: The Extraordinary Life, Adventures, and Obsessions of Ahmad Chalabi.

Levinson then was working for…who was she working for? “It’s very hard to keep track. There have been four or five different names of this firm, because the partners change all the time,” says Silverstein of the former Black, Stone, Manafort & Kelly, which Levinson worked for; Levinson also worked for its later incarnation, with different partners, Black Kelly Scruggs & Healy, though in both cases the Black and Kelly were the same. An entire chapter of The Man Who Pushed America to War, “BKSH: Representing Chalabi” (link goes to excerpted chapter in its entirety on Google Books), describes the relation between the lobbyists and Chalabi. At BMS&K, Levinson had worked the Savimbi and Angola accounts, and at BKS&H, she worked the account of Ahmad Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress, the political organization which would serve as the conduit for much of the flawed and manufactured evidence of chemical weapons in Iraq, and which was originally intended to serve as the future government of the country after the war. “Riva would spend her weekend thinking about ‘How can I get press coverage for the INC next week?'” Black explained, “and then come in on Monday morning and schedule a speech or call reporters to get a speech covered or get Chalabi or the other leaders to get a message out.” The 200K to 300K that BSK&H received to promote the INC was paid not by the INC, but the State Department. The State Department wanted to promote the INC, but couldn’t fund it directly because it wasn’t a legal entity or incorporated anywhere, so it directly paid BSK&H for its work. This was also intended to keep Chalabi within the control of the State Department, though this was an attempt that was doomed to fail, with Chalabi saying and doing whatever he wanted. Given that they were lobbying for the interests of a foreign power, the Iraqi National Congress, BSK&H should have registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act – it was this lack of doing so on the part of Fai and the KCA, who were lobbying on behalf of the state of Pakistan, that is at the heart of Fai’s criminal complaint. However, since BSK&H were being paid by the U.S. government, with U.S. tax dollars, there was no need63. Chalabi would, of course, lobby for a war in Iraq, on the basis that the country had chemical weapons, an eerie reprise of what had already been attempted in Namibia, and this time it was successful.

The introduction to this piece spoke of Stone as two kinds of man, one who is very visible and audible when talking about cuff links, dinner jackets, or how much he hates the Bush family, and who suddenly disappears and says almost nothing about certain subjects, like the lobbying colossus of which he was the fourth horseman. I would think his time at Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly is easily the most fascinating part of his life, and yet this is barely touched on in the profiles by Toobin and Labash. “While Black, Manafort & Stone did work on behalf of blue-chip companies and boutique right-wing causes from the Contras to Angola’s UNITA rebels, what they really did was advise presidential candidates,” is what you get in Labash, and not much more. Toobin is also brief, letting us know only that BMS&K made their money “by charging blue-chip corporate clients such as Ronald Perelman’s MacAndrews & Forbes and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. large fees to lobby their former campaign colleagues, many of whom had moved into senior posts in the new Administration. There were also less savory clients-Zaire’s Mobuto Sese Seko, Angola’s UNITA rebels, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos.” I was truly eager to hear what Stone would say in his memoirs, but was even more disappointed. The only nod to the infamous firm is in the introduction, a summary even less detailed than Toobin’s: “I founded Black Manafort and Stone with friends and Reagan campaign colleagues Charlie Black and Paul Manafort, a firm that became a political / lobbying powerhouse representing Ferdinand Marcos and Jonas Savimbi and the Angolan Freedom Fighters, as well as a host of corporate giants.”64 That’s all, and nothing else. The messy details of Angola, Equitoreal Guinea, the Phillipines, or Zaire are given no mention. We perhaps have here a lesson, that the most interesting and important things are not what a man wants to talk about, but what he makes great effort to avoid talking about. “What I find interesting about Roger is how committed to the joke he is. He moons the establishment for the sheer pleasure of it, with no thought to whether it helps him,” says a friend of Stone’s in the Labash profile. What part of the joke, you wonder, is Angola, and what exactly are we laughing at? “There’s an ironic quality to all of it,” the friend says as well65. You see, BSK&H helped defend mass murderers, kleptocrats, and war criminals, but that’s okay, they were being ironic.

Stone would leave the publicity firm of warlords, blood stained miscreants, and thieving dirt bags in the mid nineties, but he would allow us this opportunity to engage in melodramatic suspense and say: his moment of greatest fame still lay ahead.

(On its initial posting, the links to The Man Who Pushed America to War: The Extraordinary Life, Adventures, and Obsessions of Ahmad Chalabi did not go directly to the relevant text on Google Books. On March 9th, these links were fixed. On April 10th, 2015, this post underwent another session of copy editing.)

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

FOOTNOTES

40 Biographical information is taken from a Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly Public Affairs Company Prospectus, from the late eighties, before the election of George H. W. Bush. The prospectus at the link is in pdf format; for ease of re-transmission of this information, I’ve transcribed the bios:

IV. BIOGRAPHIES OF THE FIRM’S PRINCIPALS

Charles R. Black, Jr.

Mr. Black is a North Carolina attorney who has spent the past fifteen years based in Washington, D.C. He recently served as Senior Strategist to the Reagan/Bush ’84 Re-election Committee. In that role he supervised the 1984 Reagan/Bush campaign plan.

Mr. Black served as Political Director of the Republican National Committee under Chairman Bill Brock (currently the U.S. Secretary of Labor). As Political Director, he developed the strategy that was used in 1978 when Republicans scored a number of upset victories in the United States Senate races. He created the program that was successfully implemented in the 1978 and 1980 legislative races.

Charlie Black served as Political Director of the Reagan for President Committee in 1979 and 1980. Many believe his meticulous organization of the key primary states resulted in President Reagan’s nomination.

Mr. Black has managed or consulted on the campaigns of a number of incumbent members of the United States Senate. His service on Capitol Hill includes appointments with Senate Agriculture Committee chairman Jesse Helms and Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole.

Mr. Black continues to advise the Reagan White House politically on an informal basis.

Paul J. Manafort, Jr.

Mr. Manafort is an attorney who specializes in government and international affairs.

Mr. Manafort was named to the Senior Staff of the Reagan/Bush ’84 Committee as the Political Director for the 1984 GOP Convention in Dallas. Mr. Manafort has served on the Foreign Investment Advisory Committee for the Office of the Special Trade Representative and also served on the Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.

In 1979-80, Mr. Manafort was involved in the Reagan Transition and Presidential Campaign. He was Personnel Director in the Office of Executive Management for the Reagan Transition Government.

During the 1980 campaign, Mr. Manafort developed and managed the campaign strategy for the 15 southern states. In addition, he was Deputy Political Director for all Reagan political activities in all of those states which chose their delegates to the National Convention through conventions – approximately 18 states.

Mr. Manafort practiced law in Washington, D.C., with the law firm of Vorys, Sater, Seymour, and Pease. His specialties included representation before Administrative Agencies and Congressional Committees.

Prior to his practice, Mr. Manafort served as Deputy Director in the Presidential Personnel Office in the Ford White House.

During that time, Mr. Manafort worked very closely with the President Ford Committee. He was Deputy Delegate Coordinator to the Campaign Manager, James A. Baker, III.

In 1978, Mr. Manafort managed James Baker’s campaign for Attorney General of the State of Texas. Mr. Baker’s campaign for Attorney General of the State of Texas. Mr. Baker served as Chief of Staff to President Reagan from 1981 to 1984, and presently serves as Secretary of the Treasury.

Roger J. Stone, Jr.

Roger Stone served as Eastern Regional Campaign Director for the Reagan-Bush ’84 Committee.

In 1980, he served as Northeastern Regional Political Director for President Ronald Reagan and served on the Reagan staff from 1975 to 1976.

Mr. Stone also directed the campaigns of Governor Thomas Kean of New Jersey in 1981 and 1985.

He was a Member of the Executive Committee of the Republican National Committee from 1977 to 1979.

Mr. Stone served on the Capitol Hill staffs of Senator Bob Dole and Congressman Robert Steele (R-CT)

Nicholas A. Panuzio

A former Mayor of Bridgeport, Connecticut, and State Legislator, Mr. Panuzio has been on the Washington scene since 1974. After serving as Commissioner of Public Buildings for the General Services Administration for two years, he opened Panuzio Associates, a Government Relations consulting firm.

Mr. Panuzio is a former Chairman of the Fairfax County Republican Committee, and served as a National Advisor on Urban Affairs for the President Committee. He served on the Republican National Committee Advisory Council on Effective Government. He is chairman of the Urban Affairs Advisory Committee for Congressman Frank Wolf of Virginia.

Mr. Panuzio administered as the Chief Executive of Bridgeport, Connecticut, 4,400 employees and a budget of over $60 million. As Commissioner of Public Buildings for GSA, he was responsible for managing over 19,000 employees and an annual operating budget in excess of $1.5 billion.

Mr. Panuzio has an excellent working relationship with the National League of Cities and the United States Conference of Mayors. He served as Chairman of the Community Development Committee and as a member of the Nominating Committee of the Conference.

During his term of office in Bridgeport he:

  • reorganized city government;
  • created the Bridgeport Economic Development Corporation;
  • served as a member of the Board of the Council of Urban Economic Development
  • created a Senior Citizen Program;
  • served as a member of the Connecticut Resource Recovery Authority; and
  • testified before the President’s Council on Inflation and was one of three Mayors to make final presentation.

He has a long history of working on Urban Policy and was one of twelve people selected by President Reagan to develop his Urban Policy prior to his inauguration.

Peter G. Kelly

Peter Kelly has served as National Treasurer (1979-1981) and National Finance Chairman (1981-1985) of the Democratic National Committee. He is currently National Finance Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and serves as Co-Chairman of Democratic Senate Keytree ’86, a major effort in behalf of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Mr. Kelly is a principal in the Hartford, Connecticut law firm of Updike, Kelly and Spellacy, P.C. He is a member of the Bars of Connecticut, New York, and the District of Columbia.

In addition to his duties as a Democratic Party Officer, Mr. Kelly has served as Chairman of the Democratic Compliance Review Commission (1978-1980), as Co-Chairman of the 1980 Democratic National Convention Credentials Committee and Co-Chairman of the 1984 Democratic Convention Site Selection Committee (1983). He currently serves as a Director and Treasurer of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs and as Chairman of the Center for Democracy, a bipartisan foundation affiliated with Boston University.

Mr. Kelly is a member of several civic boards in Connecticut and Washington D.C., including the Board of Trustees of the Institute of Living, and the Greater Hartford Leadership Program. He is Co-Chair of the National Conference of Christian and Jews, Director of the National Democratic Club and a member of the Board of Regents of Georgetown University.

James C. Healey

Mr. Healey, a veteran of twenty-two years on Capitol Hill, is a 1961 graduate of Georgetown University, holding a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Government. From 1961 to 1962 he attended St. John’s University, New York.

Following his studies and active duty in the United States Army, Mr. Healey served on the staff of the House Committee on Public Works. In 1963, he joined the staff of the House Committee on Public Works. In 1963, he joined the staff of the Clerk of the House where he remained until 1970. During the years 1971 through 1977, Mr. Healey served as Administrative Assistant to Representative Dan Rostenkowski (D-Ill) and in 1981, became Administrative Assistant to the Chief Deputy Majority Whip, House of Representatives.

Immediately prior to joining Black, Manafort and Stone, James Healey served for four years as the Special Assistant to the Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means. He has also served in an unofficial capacity as a foreign affairs advisor to the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives and has accompanied the Speaker on all of his official visits abroad.

Mr. Healey is a former member of the Board of Governors of the Georgetown Alumni Association and is a past President of the Georgetown Alumni Club of Metropolitan Washington.

Russell S. Cartwright

Mr. Cartwright served as Projects Director to U.S. Senator Paula Hawkins (R-Florida) for five years before joining Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly.

As Projects Director, Mr. Cartwright was directly responsible for carrying out the Senator’s initiatives involving federal funds for Florida, for assisting Florida businesses bidding on federal contracts, and for overseeing all applications for federal funds from Florida city governments, corporations and organizations. In this capacity, Mr. Cartwright developed and implemented strategies for obtaining funds for major Florida transportation, airport, port, housing and municipal projects. He also assisted Florida businesses in identifying and utilizing federal programs for capital improvements, plant expansion, community economic development and trade development.

Immediately before joining Senator Hawkins, Mr. Cartwright worked for the National Republican Senatorial Committee and was Press Secretary for a New Hampshire Congressional candidate.

Mr. Cartwright first came to Washington in 1978 as Assistant to the Executive Director of the U.S. Senate Republican Conference under the leadership of U.S. Senator Bob Packwood (R-Oregon). At the Republican Conference, Mr. Cartwright assisted other Republican Senators in carrying out their press operations and he authored and placed Opinion-Editorial pieces for several Senators.

John Donaldson

Prior to joining Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly, John Donaldson served as Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs at the Department of Treasury.

In that capacity, he was responsible for implementing the Department’s legislative program as relates to international legislation, international finance and trade activities. He was primarily responsible for dealing with the authorization appropriations for the International Monetary Fund, the International Development Association, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Interamerican Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and the African Development Bank.

Prior to joining the Department of Treasury, Mr. Donaldson served as the Congressional Liaison Director in the Office of the Secretary for Department of Commerce. He was the principle [sic] staff person responsible for the passage of the Export Trading Company Act of 1982. Additionally, he worked on special projects as related to trade and international tax matters.

Mr. Donaldson has also served in the private sector as the Political Action Coordinator for the Attorneys Congressional Campaign Trust and worked on Capitol Hill for Senator Bob Griffin.

Alvin Paul Drischler

Mr. Drischler, a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, took his M.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton University, where he specialized in American Foreign Policy. He has been actively engaged both as an analyst and a participant in Congressional affairs for ten years.

Mr. Drischler has served as Assistant for NATO Affairs in the U.S. Department of Defense and Research Associates at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London. He was the Director of Research for the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Between 1975 and 1980, Mr. Drischler worked as Legislative Assistant, Director of Legislation, and Executive Assistant to Senator Paul Laxalt of Nevada.

In 1981, Mr. Drischler joined the State Department as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Congressional Affairs, a position which required him to act frequently as the Department of State’s principal legislative officer.

As the bill manager for President Reagan’s foreign assistance legislation, Mr. Drischler guided the foreign assistance bills through Congress, chaired an interagency task force on foreign assistance legislation and acted as the principal adviser on legislative matters having to do with foreign assistance for the Secretary of State and the Under Secretary of State for Security Assistance.

Mr. Drischler is Senior Vice President at Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly.

Matthew C. Freedman

Before joining Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly, Mr. Freedman served as Staff Director in the Office of Public Secretary, Department of State. In this position, he was responsible for developing the action plan and implementation methodologies to heighten public understanding of United States Government policy in Latin America.

Prior to this position, Mr. Freedman worked as the International Development Policy Advisor and Agency Coordinator for Narcotics and Terrorism Control at the Agency for International Development. Additionally, he played a significant role in allocation of budgetary resources to developing countries, in developing the conceptual framework for Lebanon’s reconstruction effort and Grenada’s economic assistance program. He also participated in developing the program strategy to carry out the Jackson Plan, Project Democracy, Caribbean Basin Initiative and Africa Initiative.

He drafted the Agency’s narcotics policy paper and was the official staff representative to the National Bipartisan Commission on Central America (Kissinger Commission), the Secretary’s commission on Security and Economic Assistance (Carlucci Commission) and the President’s Task Force on International Private Enterprise.

Mr. Freedman has served in the Office of Management and Budget an the Department of State’s United States Embassy in Monrovia, Liberia. He was a Ph.D. intern at the National Security Council and assisted in the Office of Public Liaison in 1976.

He holds a Master’s Degree with Honors in International Relations from Georgetown University and has studied at York University, England, the Hague Academy of International Law, the Netherlands, and received an undergraduate degree from Kenyon College. Mr. Freedman has traveled extensively worldwide and has published materials on a variety of issues.

Laurance W. Gay

Mr. Gay has served as a consultant and in top managerial positions in a number of United States Senate and House races in 1980, 1982 and 1984. He was Deputy Director for the Reagan for President Committee for the State of Connecticut in 1980. In 1984, Mr. Gay was Deputy Political Director for the Midwest for the Reagan-Bush Committee.

Mr. Gay has served as Field Producer of the “Small Business Report”, produced by American Pro-Video and Biznet of the United States Chamber of Commerce.

Prior to joining Black, Manafort, Stone & Atwater, Mr. Gay served as an expert consultant to the Director of Public Affairs to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. He was a member of the Under-Secretary’s Task Force to HUD on Enterprise Zones.

A native of Connecticut, Mr. Gay has extensive experience in sales, marketing, management and political consulting.

Jon Keyserling

Jon Keyserling, an attorney specializing in tax and business law, holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of South Carolina and will receive a Master of Laws in Taxation in December, 1986 from Georgetown University. He also holds a B.A. in American Government from the University of Virginia.

Before joining Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly, Mr. Keyserling served as Tax Counsel to Congressman Robert Matsui (D-CA), an influential member of the House Ways and Means Committee, developing policy and analysis of national tax and trade issues addressed by the Committee. Most recently, Mr. Keyserling played a key role in the effort to overhaul the tax code which passed the House of Representatives.

Prior to that time, Mr. Keyserling was Executive Director of the Congressional Textile Caucus of the U.S. House of Representatives. He served as chief liaison between Caucus members and the textile/apparel/fiber industry. In that capacity, he provided expertise to Members of Congress regarding international textile policy and monitoring all appropriate industry related negotiations.

Mr. Keyserling is a member of the American and District of Columbia Bar Associations and the Washington Textile Roundtable. He brings to the firm a vast knowledge of tax, business, and international trade legislation.

Christopher M. Lehman

Mr. Lehman recently joined the firm after ten years of service in the Executive and Legislative Branches of government.

He served in the White House from early 1983 until September 1985 as Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and also as Senior Director for Legislative and Legal Affairs for the National Security Council. In that position, he provided counsel to the President and the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs on various national security issues and coordinated the legislative liaison effort of the White House and the Departments of State, Defense, and the Central Intelligence Agency regarding national security matters.

Mr. Lehman served from 1981 to 1983 as the Director of the Office of Strategic Nuclear Policy at the Department of State. In that regard, he was the principal advisor on matters related to U.S. strategic doctrine, strategic weapons programs, and arms control issues.

Mr. Lehman served as an Associate staff member of the Senate Armed Services Committee from 1976 to 1981 working directly for Senator Harry F. Byrd, Jr. and, subsequently, for Senator John W. Warner.

Mr. Lehman has published widely on foreign policy and national defense issues and holds Masters Degrees in International Security Affairs and in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Mr. Lehman expects to receive a Ph.D. degree from the Fletcher School in 1986.

Riva Levinson

Riva Levinson coordinates public relations and news media activities for Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly. Before joining the firm, Ms. Levinson served as Associate Director of Communications for the Caribbean Council where she developed and implemented public affairs strategies to enhance U.S./Caribbean Basin relations and commerce. Ms. Levinson was personally responsible for orchestrating the First Anniversary Celebration for the Caribbean Basin Initiative.

Prior to this position, Ms. Levinson was an Account Executive with the public affairs firm of Miner and Fraser, Inc. At Miner and Fraser, Ms. Levinson directed projects on both international and domestic issues, with a special focus on Central and Latin America. Her work on improving U.S./Japan relations won her a Silver Anvil Award for excellence in international communications.

Ms. Levinson speaks fluent Spanish and holds a Bachelors Degree in Economics and International Affairs from Tufts University, with additional studies at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and the School of Economics at the University of Barcelona.

R. Scott Pastrick

R. Scott Pastrick was the Assistant Finance Director of the Mondale-Ferraro Presidential Campaign and, previously, the staff director of a Post Office and Civil Service Subcommittee in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Mr. Pastrick served as the Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs at the U.S. Treasury Department for three years under the Carter Administration.

During his tenure at the Treasury Department, Mr. Pastrick developed and executed the legislative strategy which won support fo the Chrysler Corporation loan guarantee. After leaving the Treasury Department, Mr. Pastrick served as a legislative consultant to the Washington law firm of O’Connor and Hannan.

He has played an active role in the past three Democratic Presidential Campaigns, including service as a field consultant in 1976 and 1980.

Mr. Pastrick is a native of Indiana. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Wabash College, Indiana, with graduate studies at George Washington University and Indiana University School of Law.

Linda A. Pinegar

A native of North Carolina, Mrs. Pinegar has over ten years of experience in the political arena. Beginning her career as a citizen’s advocate, she later joined the staff of United States Senator Jesse Helms.

After leaving Capitol Hill, she represented the 500,000 member Retired Officers’ Association as Legislative Counsel and was the first civilian and only woman to ever serve on the professional staff. For the last five years, Mrs. Pinegar was associated with the Air Transport Association, representing the nation’s scheduled airlines as Director of Federal Legislation.

Mrs. Pinegar’s background has provided her with experience in a broad range of issues including transportation, defense, customs, immigration, trade, tourism and the environment. She has also been responsible for Defense, Treasury, Justice, and Commerce appropriations measures.

Some of Mrs. Pinegar’s specific legislative accomplishments include restoration of a $350 million subsidy for military families, which has remained unchallenged for ten years. She has succeeded in restoring multi-million dollar funding cuts in both the Immigration and Customs Service Budgets for each of the last five years. Mrs. Pinegar also secured a $500 million program for the modification of commercial aircraft to increase DOD airlift capability. This resulted in substantial cash outlays to several economically troubled airlines, dramatically improving their cash flow positions.

Recently she won Presidential and Cabinet Council approval of a plan to consolidate the inspection functions of the Immigration and Customs Services. Pending Congressional approval, the plan is expected to facilitate the flow of goods and travelers into the United States, save the taxpayers millions of dollars and alleviate costly delays for visitors and shippers alike.

Mrs. Pinegar has been recognized by The American Businesswomen’s Association, The U.S. Army, The Retired Officers’ Association and other national, state and local civic and political groups for contributions to the political process and the community.

Greg Stevens

Mr. Stevens has extensive experience in state and national politics and policymaking. Prior to joining Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly, Mr. Stevens served as Chief of Staff to Governor Thomas Kean of New Jersey. In this capacity, Mr. Stevens played a major role in developing the successful tax reduction program, economic development program, and environmental safety program that propelled Governor Kean to a landslide reelection in November, 1985.

Mr. Stevens’ experience in politics and government has an emphasis in media and communications. He formerly served as the New Jersey State House correspondent for the Woodbridge News Tribune. He left journalism in 1976 to serve as a press secretary in the New Jersey campaign for President Gerald R. Ford. He is an experienced television and radio producer.

In addition to Governor Kean, Mr. Stevens has worked closely with a number of U.S. Representatives and Senators, including Senator William Cohen of Maine and Congresswoman Olympia Snowe.

Divina K. Westerfield

Ms. Westerfield joined Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly after a two-year tenure in Saudi Arabia. In Saudi Arabia, she practiced international law in Riyadhh with the law firm of Salah Al-Hejailian, a major Middle Eastern firm with both European and American affiliations. She advised major businesses on the operational aspects of doing business in the Kingdom and, specifically, participated in banking, construction, and commercial activities.

Prior to moving to Riyadh, Ms. Westerfield worked as a legal representative for the Indiana State FmHA office on commercial bankruptcy cases and was instrumental in successfully initiating debarment cases against engineering firms.

As a student of Indiana University School of Law – Indianopolis, she clerked for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Indiana, and a major Indianapolis law firm.

Aside from living in the Middle East, Ms. Westerfield also resided in Tokyo, Japan, where she studied language and political science at Waseda University. She received her undergraduate degree from DePauw University.

Ms. Westerfield is a member of the Indiana Bar and the American Bar Association.

41 From the transcript for “African Dictatorships and Double Standards: Where is the International Criticism Over US-Allied Equatorial Guinean Leader Teodoro Obiang?”, audio, video, and full transcript are at the link:

JUAN GONZALEZ: And, Ken Silverstein, can you talk to us about the role of Charlie Black, a chief adviser to John McCain, in terms of his role in Equatorial Guinea?

KEN SILVERSTEIN: Well, his firm had the account for Equatorial Guinea. I confess I don’t recall what Charlie Black’s own role was. I remember that there was a woman named Riva Levinson who did a lot of work on behalf of Equatorial Guinea, and she was affiliated with that firm, but I think the client actually at the time was an oil company called Trident, which was subsequently bought up, but which had a big stake in Equatorial Guinea. So she was lobbying for the oil companies there. And then Riva Levinson went on to lobby for Ahmed Chalabi, as it turned out, and the Iraqi National Congress.

But Charlie Black’s firm – Black, Manafort – it’s had various names over the years, but it has always represented some of the world’s worst dictators. It represented Mobutu in Zaire, Marcos in the Philippines, Jonas Savimbi in Angola, and it did represent at one point directly Equatorial Guinea, as well. There was a piece in Spy magazine many, many years ago in the 1980s, which was called “Voices of the Damned,” and it was about sort of the most unethical foreign lobbyists, and Charlie Black’s firm was rated the worst of the worst. I mean, you know, it had – Spy magazine used this sort of “bloody hand” ranking, and I think Charlie Black’s firm had “four bloody hand” ranking, which was the highest of any of the firms. I mean, and that included, you know – I mean, he outdid someone like Edward von Kloberg, who had represented Saddam Hussein and Ceausescu in Romania and a number of other really horrible regimes. So the fact that Black, Manafort still took the prize really says something.

42 The following is a transcript of “Fooled on the Hill: How some die-hard Cold Warriors and a Belgian con artist tried to change U.S. policy in Africa”, by David Aronson and David Kamp:

FOOLED ON THE HILL

How some die-hard Cold Warriors and a Belgian con artist tried to change U.S. policy in Africa

BY DAVID ARONSON AND DAVID KAMP

Judging from the scene in the stands, we could have been watching a brawl from the Turin-Liverpool match in the 1985 Cup of Champions, or a tilt-screen sequence from the old Batman series, or almost anything except a group of foreign dignitaries attending the inauguration last spring of the president of a new nation. But that’s what it was. On the playing field, with grace and dignity, Sam Nujoma, leader of the South-West Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO), was being sworn in as independent Namibia’s first president. But up in the reviewing stand, elbows were flying like mad. One witness saw Angola’s president José Eduardo dos Santos, “pummeling somebody else’s security guard,” and James Baker, the U.S. secretary of State, eluding a haymaker coming from the direction of the president of Zaire. The Namibians, not yet accustomed to this ceremony, had not provided enough seats in their stadium to accommodate both the visiting dignitaries and their bodyguards; a mad scramble for space quickly devolved into an every-VIP-for-himself melee.

Baker avoided damage; had Senator Jesse Helms been in Baker’s shoes, the escape might not have been so complete. Four months earlier Helms and his right-wing allies had managed to put the United States in the position of disapproving Namibian independence by sneaking a rider to a budget bill through Congress. The rider authorized the president to halt U.S. funding for a United Nations team, called UNTAG, that was overseeing Namibia’s peaceful, carefully negotiated secession from South Africa. As we shall see, the basis of Helms’s legislative gambit was bogus, a fabrication that might have been revealed had Congress administered some rudimentary tests before enacting the bill into law. But no tests were administered, and four months later Jim Baker was in Windhoek, bobbing and weaving, trying to convey the message Hey, Namibia – nothing personal.

Helms, like most of Capitol Hill’s extreme conservatives, never wanted an independent Namibia, a country whose dominant party (SWAPO) is aligned with Moscow. Neither do Helms and his ilk hold much affection for Namibia’s friendly neighbor, Angola, whose Marxist government is backed by Cuba and is fighting a civil war against Jonas Savimbi’s U.S.-supported UNITA (National Union for the Total Independence of Angola) guerillas. In December 1988, Angola, Cuba and South Africa signed an agreement in which Cuba promised to withdraw its troops from Angola by mid-1991 and South Africa agreed to allow Namibia’s independence. This deal was not universally approved; Duncan Sellars, chairman of the conservative International Freedom Foundation (IFF) in Washington, says that after the agreement was signed, right-wingers thought of it as “a sellout of [South Africa-controlled] Namibia and a sellout of UNITA.”

Helms and a platoon of right-wing operatives (the lobbyists at Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly, who represent UNITA, and the think-tankers at the Heritage Foundation and the IFF) coalesced around a piece of legislation – the rider on the budget bill – that would have given President Bush an excuse for withholding Washington’s funding for the UN team in Namibia if any evidence was found that the Cubans were using chemical weapons to support their Marxist pals in Angola. In other words, the bill said that if the Commies misbehaved in Angola, we wouldn’t help pay for Namibia’s transition to independence.

The idea for the bill was born during a trip to Angola in March 1989 by Michael Johns, the Heritage Foundation’s policy analyst for African affairs. There he met Andries Holst, a West German who claimed to be filming a documentary about Cuba’s use of chemical weapons in Angola. Johns brought Holst to Washington, where the German filmmaker was introduced to Helms, State Department officials, lobbyists and other conservatives likely to be moved by his footage, which purported to show the horrors of chemical warfare.

For whatever reason, Holst did not impress, and Helms’s bill foundered. To salvage the effort, the IFF’s Duncan Sellars refocused attention on a scientific report Holst had commissioned from Aubin Heyndrickx, a toxicologist from the University for Ghent in Belgium, which substantiated Holst’s claims. In July, Sellars brought Heyndrickx to Washington to tour the same conservative network Holst had earlier traveled. The difference: Heyndrickx’s opinions carried the heft and credibility of science.

While Heyndrickx held forth, Helms rallied his allies on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to lash the rider to a vital appropriations bill and Black, Manafort’s lobbyists hit the Hill. And son of a gun, with the boost Heyndrickx provided, the plan worked: on November 21, George Bush put his signature on a bill containing the Cuban-chemical-warfare provision.

But what might look like a model of parliamentary maneuvering is more likely an instance of ultraconservative fraud. For as it turns out, Holst is an impostor with no serious journalistic or filmmaking credentials, and Heyndrickx, on whose reports the rider was entirely predicated, is a publicity-seeking showboat. Heyndrickx has visited war zones around the world – Cambodia, Afghanistan, Iran – in search of evidence of chemical warfare and has tended to find it or not depending on who was supplying his funding. He once argued that one of his clients, the Iranian Army, had not used chemical weapons against the Iraqis because “the gases are not in the Koran.”

Heyndrickx’s examination of Holst’s bomb fragments and environmental samples showed that chemical weapons were used. Other chemical-weapons experts – one is tempted to say real chemical-weapons experts – disagree. Finland’s Marjatta Rautio, who is perhaps the world’s preeminent expert in this field, examined Heyndrickx’s data and reports. “I don’t see the connection between the results and the conclusions,” she says. Julian Perry Robinson, senior researcher at the University of Sussex, doubts Heyndrickx’s descriptions of the victims’ medical conditions. And André De Leenheer, Heyndrickx’s overseer at Ghent, is frankly contemptuous. “I’ve been studying everything in detail that has been written,” De Leenheer says of Heyndrickx’s findings. “It’s a real joke.” De Leenheer says he would kick out any student who handed in a similar report.

Heyndrickx does have a champion or two in the scientific community, including Dr. Clair Paley, a British toxicology expert. And according to Duncan Sellars, “The Soviets said his clinical analysis was incredibly accurate…But it’s not a result of a chemical bomb per se; it’s a firebomb.” As it turns out, Sellars’s source for what the Soviets said about Heyndrickx is – Heyndrickx! But curiously, an account of the meeting between Heyndrickx and the Soviet scientists that appeared in Tass indicates that it was not Soviet scientists but – yes! – Heyndrickx himself who suggested that the residue came from a firebomb.

The question arises, how were Washington’s conservatives so sure that Heyndrickx’s work was scientifically sound? Riva Levinson, one of Black, Manafort’s people on the UNITA account, says she cannot personally vouch for the Heyndrickx report. “All I can tell you,” she says, “is that I am not a technical expert on this issue and that other people are, whom I listen to.” She referred us to Margaret Calhoun, a freelance lobbyist who worked for Black, Manafort and UNITA on the Hill last summer. Calhoun shares Levinson’s ignorance of science (“When you talk about chemical formulas, my eyes glaze over”) but says that she checked Heyndrickx out. “Duncan’s probably more of a technical expert in this,” she says. “You should talk to Duncan.”

We did. Sellars told us he had hired no one to check out Heyndrickx’s bomb-site samples but Heyndrickx himself had sent them to the State Department and other agencies. Helms’s aides at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee say that they too relied on the State Department’s analysis of Heyndrickx’s findings. So we asked the State Department whether it could vouch for the report. Gary Crocker, a State Department intelligence officer with expertise in chemical warfare, indicated that the department’s tests for evidence of chemical contamination in Heyndrickx’s samples were negative. In other words, this significant piece of legislation was passed with no credible substantiation whatsoever.

Like the lobbyists, UNITA can’t really say how or whether it confirmed Heyndrickx’s findings. Helder Mondabe, UNITA’s man in Washington, told us he had visited a “university of chemical warfare” in Switzerland to discuss Heyndrickx’s work, but he could not remember the name or location of the university. We called the military attaché to the Swiss embassy in Paris for help; he said that no such university exists, that no such studies are undertaken at any of the Swiss universities. When we called Mondabe a week later to see whether he’d remembered the name of the university, he said no, he still didn’t remember, and Hey, do you guys really have to mention the Swiss university in your article?

Duncan Sellars remains unfazed by his star witness’s impeached authority. “The questions raised have bee arguments attempting to attack his personal credibility,” he says stalwartly. Fortunately, the State Department has wised up. Is Heyndrickx a charlatan? “I have no doubt about that,” says Gary Crocker. “That’s for sure.” But a year ago the findings of an easily debunked professor were regarded as gospel by gullible policymakers, a mistake that could be rectified only by dispatching Jim Baker to Windhoek, just to show the Namibians that we were sorry we had been such soreheards about their independence.

The piece featuring Aubin Heyndrickx from the time of the Iraq war is the following, “In Iraq chemical arms trial, scientists face many burdens of proof”:

For 18 years, Dr. Aubin Heyndrickx has tended the sealed jars containing strands of hair and scraps of clothing he gathered from a dead woman’s body. Collected in Halabja, one of many Kurdish towns in northern Iraq that were attacked with chemical weapons by Saddam Hussein’s army in 1988, they have sat in a blue plastic drum in his lab ever since, waiting.

Now, as prosecutors prepare to try Saddam in Baghdad for genocide against the Kurds, Heyndrickx would like the material to be analyzed. “May I insist these proofs are mentioned at the trial?” the doctor asks.

He is one of a small group of doctors, scientists and Middle East experts who have studied chemical weapons use by Iraq against its Kurdish citizens in the 1980s. Now, they are dusting off evidence and attempting to collect new data in an effort to define the scope of a distant tragedy that is only now to come under scrutiny in court.

Near the very end is a brief reference to his maverick quality:

Because of the lack of hard data and the imprecise testing there is some disagreement about how many people were affected and what chemical compounds were used.

Heyndrickx, somewhat of a maverick in the field, believes that the Iraqi Army also used cyanide and biological toxins, although most other scientists disagree.

Still, he was one of the few Western experts on the ground in Halabja just after the attack, and the samples in his lab – particularly the clothing – could still provide valuable clues if they were properly sealed and stored, Hay said.

43 From the profile for Marc Thiessen at the American Enterprise Institute; I boldface his experience at BMS&K:

Experience

  • Columnist, Washington Post, 2010-present
  • Cofounder, Oval Office Writers, 2009-present
  • Visiting Fellow, Hoover Institution, 2009-2010
  • Senior Speechwriter, Deputy Director of Speechwriting, Chief Speechwriter for President George W. Bush, the White House, 2004-2009
  • Chief Speechwriter for Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Department of Defense, 2001-2004
  • Spokesman and Senior Policy Adviser to Senator Jesse Helms, Senate Foreign Relations Committee, 1995-2001
  • Press Secretary, Huffington for Senate Campaign, 1994
  • Assistant to the President, Empower America, 1993-94
  • Researcher and Deputy Communication Director, Black, Manafort, Stone, and Kelly, 1989-93

44 “Welcome to the World’s Richest Poor Country” by John Kampfner conveys well what Angola is like now:

Aihameselle Mingas beckons me inside his house. He wants to show me his new architect-designed kitchen, with its floor-to-ceiling fridge, and its architect-designed sitting room with its Italian furnishings. Each room has a plasma home-entertainment screen. “Come see the marble. It’s from Brazil,” he says.

I have seen conspicuous consumption in London, Moscow, New York, and Paris, but never a contrast such as this. Outside the high walls of Aihameselle’s house stand two dilapidated tower blocks. The holes in the road resemble lunar craters. Dozens of bored youths stand around, their eyes blank. And the stench. The shit is, literally, floating down the street.

Luanda was built for less than half a million folk. The war drove the population up to four million people, fleeing as the two sides – the communist government backed by the Soviet Union and Cuba, and the rebel UNITA forces supported by America and apartheid South Africa – fought out one of the most vicious conflicts of the Cold War. That is why you have such fast urbanisation. That is why everywhere you look, you see shanties, shacks in fetid and treeless slums that stretch for miles to the horizon. That is why the city suffers power cuts, why traffic doesn’t move and why sanitation has collapsed. When it rains, the polluted Bengo river overflows; the water merges with the garbage-strewn banks, producing yet another bout of cholera.

By night, people party – hard, until dawn. Then, before they return home (drivers have been sleeping in the car park), they gather for one last time to eat fish soup. A popular night-time venue for drink and watching bands play Kuduro music, is Miami. This is a younger, more local and hipper crowd, a far cry from the sad middle-aged men I see at another place down the road, accompanied by their catorzinagas, 14-year-old escorts.

For the rest, life consists of eking out a miserable existence, working on construction sites, if you are lucky, or hawking anything you can find. Life expectancy is 42. Angola has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the world. Three quarters of the population earn less than a dollar a day – the UN definition of absolute poverty. Some 50 per cent of people have no access to clean water; 24 percent of children under 14 are forced to work.

45 A transcript of the “Drugs, Law Enforcement, and Foreign Policy” report dealing with BMS&K and the Bahamas, page 16 in the pdf document:

BAHAMAS SEEKS TO INFLUENCE U.S. POLICYMAKERS

In 1985, the increased public attention to the role of the Bahamas as a base for drug smuggling led that government to seek the advice of a U.S. public relations firm. The firm, Black, Manafort, and Stone, submitted a memorandum to the Bahamian officials suggesting that it could sell the United States government on the importance of the Bahamas to U.S. security. In that memorandum, Black, Manafort suggested that public attention be focused on the demand side of the drug issue, thus diverting attention from the narcotics-related problems on the islands. The Black-Manafort principal assigned to the matter, Matthew Freedman was a former senior State Department official who had handled narcotics issues.

Shortly after the 1984 U.S. election, Black-Manafort advised the Bahamian government that “perception by ‘Official’ Washington will frequently drive the realities which will affect…policy decisions. In this regard, the Government of the Bahamas is operating in a negatively charged atmosphere.”

According to Black-Manafort, the Department of State and the Department of Defense wished to maintain a “solid relationship” with the Pindling Administration, but the DEA and the Department of the Treasury were “active critics.” According to the memorandum, political critics of the Pindling government had been “sowing the seeds that the Government of the Bahamas is a nation for sale, inviting drug czars to use the banking system, that government officials are participating in the drug trafficking, that the Pindling Administration is about to collapse and much more.”

Black-Manafort advised the Bahamian government that it needed to lobby both the Executive and Congressional branches of the United States government, beginning with the National Security Council to mobilize political support for the Bahamas and to focus the Departments of Defense and State so as to “affect Treasury and Justice policy.” The memo went on to suggest that the personal relationships between then Secretary of Defense Weinberger and then Attorney General Meese could be used to redefine the priorities of the U.S. in its dealings with the Bahamas. Black-Manafort was to charge the Bahamas $800,000 per year for representing them on these matters, and the firm was ultimately retained by the Bahamian government.

In addition, a former coordinator of the South Florida Drug Task Force, Admiral Daniel Murphy, who participated in the previously mentioned meeting with Prime Minister Pindling testified that he solicited the Bahamas as a client for his consulting firm, Gray and Company. He was unsuccessful.

The role of the U.S. consultants raises troubling questions about conflicts of interest. Narcotics issues are indeed “national security issues.” The Subcommittee believes it is not in the interest of the United States to have former government officials, whether from the Congress or the Executive Branch, who held policy positions dealing with narcotics law enforcement, to use the knowledge they have obtained to work for a foreign government whose officials are implicated, either directly, or indirectly, in the drug trade.

BAHAMIAN “COOPERATION”

Shortly after the Bahamian government retained U.S. public relations consultants, it suddenly began cooperating on some drug issues on the advice of its consultants. For instance, the government allowed the installation of an aerostat radar, set up joint air and naval operations and allowed U.S. authorities to enter Bahamian territory in hot pursuit of drug traffickers. Yet the cooperation remained far from complete. For example, the government continued to allow foreign nationals arrested for drug smuggling to leave the country after posting bail, and continued to make it difficult for U.S. authorities to participate in the destruction of seized drugs.

The Bahamian willingness to cooperate with interdiction efforts has created a pro-Bahamian constituency in interdiction-related agencies such as the Customs Service. But the increased level of interdiction cooperation has neither cut the amount of cocaine coming into the United States from the Bahamas, nor has it led to the destruction of the major smuggling organizations. Indeed, as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-U.S. Affairs Richard Holwill noted, “…notwithstanding the cooperation, there has been an increase in trafficking.” The Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics Matters and the Administrator of the DEA acknowledged that the Bahamas remains a significant transshipment point.

46 From “Dukakis Steps Up Attack on Bush Camp-Bahamas Ties” by Bob Drogin:

Firing another broadside Saturday, Democratic presidential nominee Michael S. Dukakis stepped up charges that Vice President George Bush relies on top advisers who were “paid agents” of Bahamanian officials suspected of drug profiteering.

Dukakis tried to turn the tables on Republicans who he said had questioned his patriotism in recent weeks.

“My staff will not have divided loyalties,” the Massachusetts governor said. “In a Dukakis White House, the staff will pledge allegiance to only one flag–Old Glory.”

47 Articles that provide a good overview of the HUD scandal include “Areas Most in Need May Be Real HUD Scandal Victims” by Ronald J. Ostrow And William J. Eaton, “HUD Aides Said to Make Millions From $61,000” by William J. Eaton, “Rents Doubled After Project Got Big Subsidy” by William J. Eaton, “The Hud Scandal: A View From New Jersey” by David Hess and S.A. Paolantino, and “Long Inquiry on Abuse in the Housing Department Is Completed” by Michael Janofsky.

48 From “The Hud Scandal: A View From New Jersey” by David Hess and S.A. Paolantino:

WASHINGTON – In the summer of 1987, the leaders of Upper Deerfield Township, N.J., got quite a surprise.

They learned that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development had approved a $43 million grant for the renovation and rent subsidy of 326 housing units in a rundown, 43-year-old apartment complex that had once sheltered agricultural workers in a subdivision called Seabrook.

Since the community, in Cumberland County about 60 miles south of Philadelphia, had neither applied for the project through the state housing authority nor even thought the complex was worth rehabilitating, local officials were mystified.

The Seabrook project will cost taxpayers about $31 million in rent subsidies to low-income tenants over 15 years. And it will generate generous tax credits for the developers who are participating in it.

Seabrook is the brainchild of Victor Cruz, former deputy commissioner of housing in Connecticut, and Paul Manafort, a partner in the high-powered Washington lobbying firm of Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly. Black, Manafort worked in the presidential campaigns of Ronald Reagan and George Bush and since 1987 has been advising Rep. Jim Courter, who won the Republican gubernatorial primary in New Jersey on June 6.

For its services in obtaining HUD approval for Seabrook, the firm received a $326,000 fee from the developers.

In September 1986, Manafort testified, Cruz heard about the Seabrook apartments from another developer and determined that it was probably eligible for consideration as a “mod-rehab” project. The problem, Cruz knew, was how to persuade HUD to select the Seabrook project from among the hundreds of applications from other communities seeking low-income housing aid.

Cruz then reached the well-connected Manafort, offered to go into partnership with him on the project and hired Black, Manafort to intervene with HUD, Manafort testified.

On Nov. 14, a Black, Manafort aide met with Deborah Gore Dean, Pierce’s executive assistant at HUD, who told the aide that she would need an application from the appropriate housing authority.

Another Black, Manafort employee, Greg Stevens, former chief of staff of New Jersey Gov. Kean and now a member of Courter’s campaign team, introduced Cruz to William Connolly, director of the state housing authority, who agreed to submit the application.

Stevens told state housing officials in 1986 that Seabrook funds had been set aside by HUD. Usually, states and major cities compete for HUD money and, once the money is in hand, seek developers for the projects.

The state housing authority advertised in a small local paper inviting bids for the rehabilitation contract on the Seabrook project, but it was so worded, according to subcommittee Chairman Tom Lantos (D., Calif.), that only the Cruz-Manafort plan would qualify.

Rep. Charles E. Schumer (D., N.Y.) chimed in: “To read this ad, you might as well cut out all of the other language and put in this one line: ‘The fix is in.’ “

From “Rents Doubled After Project Got Big Subsidy” by William J. Eaton:

Paul J. Manafort, a former campaign adviser to President Bush who is now a partner in a high-powered lobbying firm, acknowledged in testimony Monday that he has never visited the development, which earned his company a fee of $326,000 for getting Department of Housing and Urban Development approval of the subsidies in 1987.

Manafort, who is also a 20% owner of the development company for the Seabrook units, said that federal tax credits from the project, which constitute an additional form of subsidy, already have been sold to investors for $3.3 million.

Yet the promised rehabilitation is still not finished, and the project still does not have a single permanent occupancy permit from municipal authorities, Manafort and his partner, Victor Cruse, acknowledged.

Under HUD’s moderate rehabilitation program, rent subsidies totaling $31 million will continue for 15 years.

“We played by the rules,” Manafort said in defense of himself and his consulting firm, Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly, and the way it obtained funding for the Seabrook development with the aid of Deborah Gore Dean, once a top assistant to former HUD Secretary Samuel R. Pierce Jr.

However, Lantos challenged Manafort’s insistence that the $4.4 million put into the Seabrook development by the investors represented a sizable risk.

“There was a sweetheart deal with Debbie Dean that was implemented and stands implemented,” Lantos contended. “Nothing could be less risky than this.”

Manafort, who acknowledged that the political clout of his firm had helped get the HUD money for the project that he later joined others in buying, dissented when Weiss termed his operations influence-peddling.

“You might call it influence-peddling. I call it lobbying,” he said. “That’s a definitional debate.”

49 From “Developer tells of deal at H.U.D.” by Philip Shenon:

A Florida housing developer says he will tell Congress that an influential Washington lobbying firm with