Tag Archives: Elnatan Rudolph

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.”

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,