Tag Archives: Scott Rothstein

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

ROGER STONE:

PRETTY RECKLESS IS GOING STRAIGHT TO HELL

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

PART SEVEN PART EIGHT PART NINE PART TEN

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

THE WELL DRESSED MAN PART SEVEN: MY LOVELY ASSISTANTS / LICENSE TO ILL PART II / MIRROR MAZE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Roger Stone Tim Sureath

Roger Stone Tim Suereth Dianne Thorne

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

Geary Suereth Thorne

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tim Suereth was registrant of Occupy-Miami.com

POSTSCRIPT (05/04/2017):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ROGER STONE:

PRETTY RECKLESS IS GOING STRAIGHT TO HELL

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

PART SEVEN PART EIGHT PART NINE PART TEN

FOOTNOTES

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Cutting salaries retroactively is unconscionable and probably illegal.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My companies and I pay all our legitimate bills.

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

To: SubGeniusX

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The radio interview I did is now online at WBEN…

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

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

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

154 “Paladino’s Boys” by Reid Pillifant:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Klayman soon discovered that Stone was barely tending to business. He found him “sitting in an outdoor café salivating at the cavalcade of bodies, both male and female, marching up and down Lincoln Road” or in New York, “allegedly attending to his sick father.” By the time Stone and Klayman parted company that fall, “I had a campaign debt of several hundred thousand dollars, much of it on my own lines of credit.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ELYRIA – Art Schlichter knows a lot about gambling.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sound too good to be true?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

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

The 2008 incorporating Veterans Retreat as a non-profit:

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

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

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now it’s Donald J. Trump’s move.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MANJARRES
(înaudible)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

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

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

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

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

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

The robo call stated:

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

The e-mail sent to me is here:

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

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

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

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

Eric Wolfgang Von Tausch was elected Chairman when I resigned.

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

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

Did you not write ………

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

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

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

Please print a clarification.

Sincerely

Dianne J. Thorne

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

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

Louie Granteed Denounces Support from Miami Tea Party Organization

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now the Tea Party is heaping its love on Lamberti.

Lamberti denounced the endorsement calls.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is the contribution from Disney:

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

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

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

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

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now a look at the newspaper clips the mailer cited:

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

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

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

Our ruling

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ROGER STONE:

PRETTY RECKLESS IS GOING STRAIGHT TO HELL

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

PART SEVEN PART EIGHT PART NINE PART TEN

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

THE WELL DRESSED MAN PART SIX: FORGED IDENTITIES /
THE FALL OF LUCIFER / CLOWN CAR

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Me [Warren Redlich], 10:31 am:

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

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

W

Stone, 10:43 am: Warren

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

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

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

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

R

Me [Warren Redlich], 4:05 pm:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Warren

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

R

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Warren

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

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

R

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

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

rookie move asshole

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

LOSER……..

Redlich would reply:

Me [Warren Redlich], 5:58 pm:

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

You are celebrating a tiny victory over a nobody.

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

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

W

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

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

POSTSCRIPT (18/04/2016)

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Kerry & Specter for Working Families”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Roger Stone wall

ROGER STONE:

PRETTY RECKLESS IS GOING STRAIGHT TO HELL

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

PART SEVEN PART EIGHT PART NINE PART TEN

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

FOOTNOTES

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From Toobin’s “The Dirty Trickster”:

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

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

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

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

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

125 From her Facebook page:

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

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

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

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

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

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

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

From “Dicking Fred Dicker” by Roger Stone:

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

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

Excerpted scans from past liens:

Roger Stone - Pretty reckless is going straight to hell

Roger Stone - Pretty reckless is going straight to hell

Roger Stone - Pretty reckless is going straight to hell

Roger Stone - Pretty reckless is going straight to hell

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

131 From “Roger & Me. (1 of 2)”:

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

RS: No, she’s for casinos.

BW: No, you personally.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From Caputo’s bio page on his website:

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

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

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

Michael R. Caputo, The Washington Post

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On Pete Wilson and Proposition 187:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

140 From “The Dirty Trickster” by Jeffrey Toobin:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My companies and I pay all our legitimate bills.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I have a daughter” shouts Paladino.

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

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

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

Paladino steps back. His finger goes up in warning.

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

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

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

Now comes the Republican’s tough shot:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

They’ve said he needs to be stopped.

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

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

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

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

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

He took her virginity.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ROGER STONE:

PRETTY RECKLESS IS GOING STRAIGHT TO HELL

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

PART SEVEN PART EIGHT PART NINE PART TEN

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It would soon be discovered that Trump had funneled a hundred and fifty thousand dollars into the previously unknown Institute. A casino in New York state would be competition for Trump’s casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The Institute was headed by a self-described conservative activist, Tom Hunter. Messages left by the New York Post at the Institute’s phone number went unreturned, though a “Joe Smith” who answered the phone said he’d given Hunter the messages. The Institute had been incorporated in Virginia earlier in the year by a man named J. Curtis Herge. Herge had represented Stone affiliated organizations in the past104. Herge had met Stone when he was on CREEP, and he shows up briefly in Stone’s memoir: “In 1972 I was assigned to work for J. Curtis Herge, an affable and capable attorney from Nixon, Mudge, Rose, Gutherie and Alexander, Nixon’s starchy Wall Street firm. Herge had done advance work for Nixon in 1968 and 1970.”105 The New York Daily News would report that Roger Stone had developed the Institute’s ads. When you spend over $2000 to lobby legislation, you must register as a lobbyist, which Trump would have to do, if he spent one hundred and fifty thousand dollars on an anti-gambling group. Trump had not registered. He would pay a fine of a quarter of a million dollars to avoid a public hearing. He would publish the following apology as well: “Donald Trump, Roger Stone, Thomas Hunter, on behalf of Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts, Ikon Public Affairs and the New York Institute for Law and Society, respectfully apologize if anyone was misled concerning the production and funding of the lobbying effort.”106 Ikon Public Affairs was the lobbying group founded by Roger Stone after he left BMS&K. It might be asked, if Roger Stone believes this settlement contained no admission of wrongdoing and that it wasn’t his call, why is there an ad that respectfully apologizes for giving offense, and why is Roger Stone’s name on the apology?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There were the Mashantucket Pequots, who owned Foxwoods, and the Eastern Pequots fighting for federal recognition as a tribe whose efforts were funded by Trump and who had Kaufman as an adviser. There was also the Schaghticokes, fighting for federal recognition with Paul Manafort as an adviser and backed with money from tycoon Fred DeLuca, founder of Subway109. This was all taking place in Connecticut, and there were other fights in California. Here is where we might introduce what Roger Stone got in return for his work for Bush in Florida during the 2000 election.

The articles critical in describing what took place are “A Dirty Trickster’s Bush Bonanza” and “Inside Bush’s Indian Bureau” by Wayne Barrett. After the 2000 election, Stone circulated a prospectus, “Indian Gaming Opportunities,” which emphasized Baker asking him for help in Florida. It would say that Stone “was involved in selecting appointees for that department for the present administration.” It made clear Stone’s degree of influence in the Bureau of Indian Affairs: “We believe that based on our superior political contacts we could win all necessary approvals in a time between 8 and 16 months.” One contentious area on which the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) would be dealing was the Buena Vista Miwoks in California. In 2000, the state had passed Proposition 1A, granting a monopoly on casino gambling to the state’s federally recognized tribes, such as the Miwoks. Six months after passage of 1A, Donnamarie Potts, leader of the Buena Vista Miwoks, announced that she was teaming up with Cascade Entertainment Group to build a $100 million dollar casino. Rhonda Morningstar Pope objected to the plan, arguing that it would desecrate a cemetery on the land. Pope believed that she’d been unlawfully excluded from the tribal government, and that she, and not Potts, should be negotiating for the tribe, since she was a Buena Vista Miwok by blood, while Potts is one only by marriage. Donald Trump, in the speech before Congress where he said the Mashantucket Pequots didn’t look Indian, had also mocked the fact that there were only three to four hundred people in the tribe. The Buena Vista Miwoks were made up of six adults and six children. The BIA regional office would rule in Pope’s favor, removing Potts from control, and a few months later construction on the casino was halted. Potts put together a team to contest the decision, a team that included Scott Reed, someone who’d worked on the ’96 Dole campaign, and Reed’s associate, Roger Stone110.

Potts and her team lobbied to have the decision on leadership go straight to Washington, rather than being settled by the regional office. Wayne Smith was deputy director of the BIA, in charge of gaming, and the question was his of whether this decision should stay regional or he should decide it. He asked the head of the Bureau, Neal McCaleb, if he should intervene and McCaleb told him, no, let it stay regional. Scott Reed invited Smith to lunch. Smith said he wouldn’t be getting involved. Smith had once been a partner of Philip Bersinger, as a consultant for non-tribal card rooms. Reed now showed Smith a letter written by Bersinger, on stationary with the letterhead of the old consulting firm, “Bersinger & Smith”. “As for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, no one is better connected than me,” the letter went. The letter also mentioned that Bersinger went on vacations with Smith, and that when Smith was at Sacramento, he stayed at Bersinger’s house. “I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture,” the letter went. These letters, said Reed, could be embarrassing to the Secretary of the Interior. They, said Reed, could be embarrassing to the White House. The preceding is Smith’s version of events; Reed’s version does not differ by much. Smith told him that the Buena Vista leadership issue would be decided in Washington, not regionally. And the warning about the letters, Reed said, was friendly advice. Smith would call Bersinger to tell him that selling their friendship was inappropriate. But: Bersinger was already in contact with the Potts team111.

Bersinger would have two meetings with the Potts team in which he mentioned his closeness to Smith and gave his fee, $25,000 per month, plus expenses. A lawyer for the Potts team asked him to put it in writing. This is all according to a public relations consultant who worked for Cascade Entertainment Group, the gaming company that wanted to build a casino on Buena Vista Miwok land. Bersinger, the consultant said, told them that “only he could solve the problem at the BIA. It was a heavy lift. And worth a lot of money.” The Los Angeles Times obtained a copy of the letter Bersinger wrote to the Potts group. The letter did not mention Smith or fees. It was on his personal stationary, not the stationary of Bersinger & Smith. Bersinger’s services would include advice and “when appropriate, representation before administrative agencies.” Bersinger, through a lawyer, categorically denied what the Potts team alleged he had said. Michael Copperthite, an advisor to members of the Ione tribe, who also had issues pending before the BIA, would get copies of the Bersinger letters, the ones bragging about his friendship with Smith and the “Bersinger & Smith” letterhead. Wayne Smith is “a bad guy”, Stone said to Copperthite. Stone asked Copperthite to get the letters out to the press. Time magazine would do a story on the friendship of Bersinger and Smith: “The Man to See On Indian Affairs?” by Michael Weisskopf. The regional bureau would uphold the decision granting leadership to Pope. That meant the decision could go on to Washington for appeal. Soon after, Wayne Smith, deputy director of the BIA with authority over gambling, would be fired from the Bureau, without official reason112.

It appeared that Stone had taken out Smith. It also appeared that Stone had helped get Neal McCaleb the top spot. His top competitor for the position was an Indian leader named Tim Martin, who would suddenly receive an endorsement letter from Donald Trump. The letter arrived after stories had appeared about Trump secretly funding the ads which accused the St. Regis Mohawks of drug dealing, money laundering, and human trafficking. “I don’t know why Trump did that,” said Martin of the letter, who has never spoken to Trump. “I don’t think he and I have ever been in the same city at the same time.” In 1972, as already said, the candidate most feared to face off in the general election was Edmund Muskie. In New Hampshire, in the time right before the primary, people started getting calls in the middle of the night from a “Harlem for Muskie Committee.” In 1968, Roger Stone would contribute $200 to Democratic candidate Pete McCloskey in the name of the Young Socialist Alliance. He “most certainly did” the Trump letter, Stone would admit. Stone sent notes on Bush-Cheney Presidential Transition Foundation letterhead to tribal leaders, asking that they support McCaleb as head of the BIA113.

Stone’s pick for the three-member National Indian Gaming Commission was Chuck Chomey, and Chomey got on. Scott Reed, Stone’s associate, pressed for Aurene Martin in the No.3 position at BIA, and Martin got it. When Smith was terminated, Martin moved up to deputy. Stone would admit to having a piece in at least three casino deals. His contract with the Miwoks of Buena Vista, whose leadership was disputed between Rhonda Morningstar Pope and Donnamarie Potts, entitled him to a quarter million dollar retainer and seven and a half percent slice from the annual gaming revenue of the future $150 million dollar casino to be built there. Stone had a cut in the future casino of the Enterprise Rancheria. He had a cut in the future casinos of the Lytton Band of Pomo Indians, also in California. Stone allegedly told associates that he would earn four to seven million from the Lytton deal. On August 18th, 2004, governor Arnold Schwarzenegger okayed the San Pablo casino of the Pomo Indians, which, when built, would be the third biggest casino in the United States, with more slot machines than any casino in Vegas114. Roger Stone had just helped elect a president. He was about to become obscenely rich. It would be great if we had some melodramatic twist at this point, and I think we do: things go wrong, bad wrong, really wrong. The brakelines have been cut, and the joyride is now a screaming death dream. The suitcases were somehow switched at the train station, and this one isn’t full of cash. It’s completely empty.

POSTSCRIPT (14/08/2015):

With Trump’s presidential run, and Stone’s exit from the campaign, the consultant – drawn like a pig to shit – gave a flurry of interviews to the press, his first to highborn and highflown luminaries outside of the hard right podcast ghetto in years. It was with one of the those that we get a detailed (though obviously unreliable) description of how Stone and Trump first met. From the podcast Ken Rudin’s Political Junkie, “Episode #89: Should I Stay Or Should I Go?” (from 7:13 to 10:34):

RUDIN
Roger, it’s great to have you on the program.

STONE
Ken, it’s great to be here.

RUDIN
In all the years I’ve been reading about a potential, and now realized, Trump presidential campaign, your name has always been associated with the effort. How long have you known him?

STONE
I actually met Donald Trump in 1979, when I was sent to New York to organize then former governor Ronald Reagan’s campaign for president. And I was given a card file, that belonged to Nancy Reagan, of their friends in New York. Like, a menu. Like, a recipe file. And there were maybe sixty seventy cards in it, the problem was, half the people on those cards were dead. But among the cards was a card for Roy Cohn, the flamboyant and famous New York attorney, who of course I had read about, and knew about, but didn’t of course know.

RUDIN
Joe McCarthy’s former aide.

STONE
Joe McCarthy’s old running mate. And I contacted Cohn, and I told him what I wanted, and he said, “Do you know Fred and Donald Trump?” And I said, “No, I don’t. I only know of them.” “Well,” he said, “Fred’s a great conservative” – in fact, Fred Trump, Donald Trump’s father, was one of the original financiers of the Goldwater campaign – “and you need to meet them. I think they’d be interested.” So, I met Donald’s father, and then I subsequently met him, and they both signed on our finance committee, Donald was very important to our effort a couple of ways, helped us get office space, helped us get phones installed on a faster basis, lent us his plane to file our petitions, to fly our petitions at the very last minute to get on the ballot. And we became fast friends. In 1980, when Reagan was elected, I opened my lobbying practice, Black, Manafort, Stone, and Kelly, lined up most of the dictators of the world we could find [see “Publicists of the Damned” by Art Levine]. Pro-western dictators, of course.

RUDIN
The good ones.

STONE
Dictators are in the eye of the beholder. In any event, he was among my first clients. I handled some currency transaction issues, regarding his casinos. And treasury, new rules they were passing. Handled some FAA building height questions, because some of the skyscrapers he was building, were scraping the sky as far as the federal government was concerned. In other issues, I secured permits to secure the dredging of the harbor in Atlantic City, so he could bring his incredible yacht in. We became very good friends. I’ve wanted him to run for president since 1988, when I arranged for the Portsmouth, New Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, to do a luncheon speech. Where he absolutely wowed them. And it was standing room only, some very enthusiastic friends of mine in New Hampshire organized the very first “Trump for President” or “Draft Trump Committee”, but it was early in his career, he really wasn’t that interested in politics as an avocation, he was more interested in politics as an observer or donor. Then fast forward to 2000, when both he and I were unimpressed with the choice between Al Gore and George W. Bush. Ross Perot, Jesse Ventura, and others – Jesse then the governor – urged him to seek the Reform Party nomination. As you know, Ken, the Reform Party in those days had a federal matching funds, made that nomination attractive. I was the chairman of his exploratory committee, there was actually a straw poll for the Reform Party in Dearborn, Michigan, which Trump won. But in the end, he elected not to make that race.

ROGER STONE:

PRETTY RECKLESS IS GOING STRAIGHT TO HELL

PART ONE PART TWO PART THREE PART FOUR PART FIVE PART SIX

PART SEVEN PART EIGHT PART NINE PART TEN

FOOTNOTES

103 From “Angry Marla Hurls Ring at Donald” by Washington Post:

WASHINGTON – Things had seemed to be going so well earlier in the day. There were Donald and Marla at the Willard Hotel on Saturday, basking in the glow of flashbulbs, looking atll warm and lovey at the wedding of a friend

Not seven hours later, the lovebirds were at it again – this time staging one of their infamous histrionic fights in front of transfixed guest in the lobby of the Four Seasons Hotel.

“I’ll never marry you,” Maples reportedly shouted. “I don’t care how much money you make.”

Maples then ripped off her 7.5-karat diamond engagement ring (estimated value $250,000) and flung it at her fiancé. She bolted out the front door, with Trump in hot pursuit.

Trump and Maples were in town to attend the wedding of Republican political consultant Roger Stone to his long-time girlfriend, Nydia Bertran. They arrived at the Willard for the reception an hour after the ceremony and essentially stole the how from the newlyweds.

Trump and Maples appeared happy, held hands and deferred to each other in conversation. She was wearing a red silk suit and made a point of inspecting the bride’s diamond.

Asked how everything was going with their relationship, Maples beamed an said, “Great!”

After the wedding, the couple did a limousine tour of the monuments, returned to the Willard to watch Maples’s guest appearance on “P.S.I. Luv You,” and then headed back out for some additional partying at Desiree. The rest is history.

104 From “Trump $upported Group That Fought Indian Casino Bid” by Fred Dicker:

Megabuilder Donald Trump secretly funneled thousands of dollars to an upstate “institute” that opposed an Indian casino in the Catskills, The Post has learned.

The payments are expected to trigger a widening of the ongoing investigation of Trump by the state Lobbying Commission because the law says the sources of $2,000 or more spent to influence state legislation must be disclosed.

Trump, who owns several New Jersey casinos and fears competition from the Catskills, funneled the money – estimated at “at least tens of thousands of dollars” – to the New York Institute for Law and Society, a virtually unknown organization based in upstate Rome, sources said.

The institute, which lists self-styled “conservative activist” Tom Hunter as its head, sponsored statewide newspaper, television and radio commercials this year opposing Indian gaming operations, which it linked to violence and organized crime.

Repeated attempts over five days to reach Hunter were unsuccessful.

Messages left at the institute went unreturned, though a “Joe Smith” who answered the phone said Hunter had been given the messages.

Roger Stone, a longtime national conservative activist and political consultant, is also being investigated by the Lobbying Commission for his casino-related lobbying efforts on behalf of Trump, a long-time friend.

The Middletown Times Herald-Record newspaper disclosed earlier this year that the New York Institute for Law and Society was incorporated in Delaware by Virginia lawyer J. Curtis Herge, who it said has represented organizations linked to Stone.

A subsequent piece is “State Commission Investigates Trump Effort To Stop Casino” by Richard Penez-Pena.

105 From Dirty Tricks:

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

106 From “Trump Lobby Probe Has N.J. Taking Note” by Joe Mahoney:

In Albany, attorneys for Trump who met with Lobbying Commission officials admitted that the developer bankrolled an anti-Indian casino ad campaign mounted by a group called the New York Institute for Law and Society. Trump, who owns three casinos in Atlantic City, is concerned that competition from an Indian development in the Catskills would drain his New Jersey holdings. Lawyer Edward Wallace said The Donald did not report the expenditure because he did not believe it fit the state’s definition of “lobbying activity.”

However, Wallace conceded that Trump may have waded into a “gray area.” He said he planned to revise Trump’s filing with the lobbying panel to reflect the spending for the attack ads. “I’d rather amend than fight,” said Wallace. Lobbying officials also are delving into the activities of Trump lobbyist Roger Stone, who helped develop the ads. New York defines lobbying as “any attempt to influence the passage or defeat” of any legislation under consideration at the state or local government level. New Jersey sources said the Casino Control Commission frequently penalizes Atlantic City casino operators for questionable out-of-state activities. Last year, the commission zeroed in on the Florida lobbying activities of Bally’s Entertainment, now known as Park Place Entertainment.

The apology by Trump and Stone, is in “Trump makes his apologies to Iroquois” by Jim Adams:

NEW YORK CITY – Donald Trump, the nemesis of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Council, is preparing a $50,000 ad campaign to take it all back.

Trump has agreed to make public apologies in upstate New York media and pay a record $250,000 fine to New York’s Temporary State Commission on Lobbying for his secret funding of anti-Mohawk newspaper ads this spring. The settlement avoids a public hearing before the commission.

Thomas Hunter, president of the institute, admitted in June that he was supported by gaming interests but refused to name Trump directly.

The New York Post reported that the negotiated statement will read: “Donald Trump, Roger Stone, Thomas Hunter, on behalf of Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts, Ikon Public Affairs and the New York Institute for Law and Society, respectfully apologize if anyone was misled concerning the production and funding of the lobbying effort.”

107 From “Trump Criticizes Pequots, Casino” by David Lightman:

“Go up to Connecticut,” Donald Trump told a House subcommittee and its overflow audience Tuesday, “and you look” at the Mashantucket Pequots.

“They don’t look like Indians to me.”

The Pequots operate the Foxwoods Casino and High Stakes Bingo in Ledyard. Trump’s assertion in the Halls of Congress Tuesday — which he broadened to include all Indians who run casinos — was just one more grenade in an hourlong assault on Connecticut, Indians and their casinos that one committee chairman said was the most irresponsible testimony he had heard in nearly two decades in Congress.

Watch out, warned Trump. Organized crime figures are slithering into Indian casinos around the country.

“It will be the biggest scandal ever,” Trump warned, “the biggest since Al Capone … . An Indian chief is going to tell Joey Killer to please get off his reservation? It’s unbelievable to me.”

Much of Trump’s testimony was unbelievable to the committee and other witnesses, including G. Michael Brown, president and chief executive officer of the Foxwoods casino, and Connecticut State Police Lt. Col. Robert Root.

Brown and Root vehemently denied there was a trace of organized crime at Foxwoods, and Brown called Trump’s remarks “racist.” And the idea that tribe members are pocketing such high profits, Brown said, is “totally false.”

“I had a long and boring speech,” he told the panel, “It was politically correct and something that would have gotten me into no trouble whatsoever.”

With that, he offered off-the-cuff remarks about some of the things bugging him lately, such as:

The mob. Forget the Justice Department’s shrug. “Organized crime is rampant. People know it. People talk about it,” Trump insisted. “I wonder what (former FBI director) J. Edgar Hoover would have said about this.”

The presence of the various top tier lobby firms at the hearing is given mention in “Indian Gaming Issues Becoming More Work For Lobbyists” by David Lightman:

WASHINGTON – It’s easy to spot the insiders and outsiders these days in the ever-growing world of Indian gaming.

The scene at a Tuesday hearing by the House Native American Affairs subcommittee, which normally deliberates in a small third-floor room in one of the Capitol’s oldest buildings, told the new tale.

The panel was holding a hearing on how gaming could be better regulated. Inside the packed room were representatives of some of Washington’s most powerful lobbying firms, notably Black Manafort Stone & Kelly and Patton Boggs & Blow.

Roger J. Stone of Black Manafort stood prominently in the front of the room, chatting with his client, developer and casino magnate Donald Trump. Katharine R. Boyce, newly hired by Connecticut’s Mashantucket Pequot tribe, sat with her clients.

108 A brief, recent profile of Kaufman is “Ron Kaufman’s new home” by Jonathan Martin. Kaufman puts in an appearance in an overview of the ’88 Republican convention, “It Seems As Much A Reunion As Convention” by Dorothy Collin.

109 These details are all brought up in the opening statement of Jeff Benedict at the “Hearing on Transparency in BIA Acknowledgement Process”.

110 From “A Dirty Trickster’s Bush Bonanza” by Wayne Barrett:

The Stone prospectus, which is titled “Indian Gaming Opportunities,” contains a bio that features Baker’s “recruiting” of him for the Florida recount and discloses that he “subsequently served on the Presidential Transition” for Interior. It even contends that Stone “was involved in selecting appointees for that department for the present administration.” A brief introduction makes five references to Interior’s role and twice as many to “federal” powers in Indian gaming, concluding, “We believe that based on our superior political contacts we could win all necessary approvals in a time between 8 and 16 months.”

The contrast between Trump’s statements and the Buena Vista Miwoks can be made first, the statement taken from “Trump Criticizes Pequots, Casino” by David Lightman:

“I really don’t believe you understand,” Trump said. There’s big money here, and organized crime wants it.

“I believe this tribe has 300, 400 members (It has 280). Do you think it’s appropriate for 300 [members], who lucked out with a location between New York and Boston, shouldn’t give some of the money out to others?”

Second, from the actual numbers of the Buena Vista Miwoks, from “A Game of Casino Hardball” by Judy Pasternak and Eric Bailey:

A wind-swept little graveyard sits atop a knoll on the Buena Vista rancheria, a quiet resting place in the Sierra foothills for an Indian clan that has neared extinction.

Yet this patch of land with its gnarled oaks and golden grass has been the focus of ferocious machinations on two coasts — a fight cementing California’s status as the hottest front in the nation’s Indian casino wars.

Two years ago, the Buena Vista Miwoks, a band of six adults and six children, announced plans for a gaming hall on their 67-acre rancheria. Competition appeared in the form of a young mother, who claimed the rightful authority to negotiate on the tribe’s behalf.

On the passage of 1A and the possibility of building a casino, “A Game of Casino Hardball” by Judy Pasternak and Eric Bailey:

Six months after passage of Proposition 1A, Buena Vista leader Donnamarie Potts announced that the tribe was teaming up with Cascade Entertainment Group, a Sacramento gaming firm, to build a $100-million casino on its rancheria 30 miles southeast of the state capital. Most of the investors were New York financiers, a Cascade executive said, but he would not identify them.

111 From “A Game of Casino Hardball” by Judy Pasternak and Eric Bailey:

Potts and Cascade lured plenty of big shots to their cause. The consulting team included Reed and Stone and at least 10 others, such as a former University of California regent and legislator; a San Francisco energy lobbyist and former Interior Department official; and several partners in the law firm Gale A. Norton left to become the Interior secretary.

To work Capitol Hill, Potts hired two Democrats, both former BIA appointees under former President Clinton.

“It’s a big fight,” Potts said. “We were losing everything.”

Potts appealed the Central California BIA decision to the BIA regional director in Sacramento. But she was worried about the viewpoint of several officials in the BIA’s regional office who belong to a neighboring tribe, the Ione Band of Miwoks.

The Iones too have buried kin at the Buena Vista graveyard; they also have discussed gaming with potential investors — giving them two reasons to be unhappy about Potts’ progress toward a casino just a country lane away.

Hedging their bets, Potts’ lobbyists pursued another tack. The BIA sometimes allows appeals to go straight to Washington for a judgment. Potts’ counselors set out to make that happen.

The decision fell to Wayne Smith, the deputy director of the BIA. Smith had asked for authority over gambling and land issues when he moved to Washington from Sacramento in August 2001. If I’d known then what I know now,” Smith said, “I’d have taken water issues or energy.”

Smith asked BIA head McCaleb for advice: Should he take control of the Potts-Pope dispute right away and make the decision himself, or should he allow it to go through the usual appeal process at the regional office?

McCaleb said not to intervene. Smith “told me the process was working,” McCaleb said. When he got phone calls from Potts’ lobbyists, he referred them to Smith.

From “A Game of Casino Hardball” by Judy Pasternak and Eric Bailey, on the Bersinger letter:

Reed invited Smith to lunch March 14 at a seafood restaurant on Washington’s K Street, a thoroughfare locally known as Lobbyists’ Gulch.

In Smith’s recounting, he told Reed flat out that he was going to let Potts’ appeals run the regular course. Reed was not happy. The lobbyist’s response was to reach into his coat pocket, drawing out a piece of paper folded in thirds.

“It would look really bad if this got out,” he said.

Smith acted surprised when he read it, Reed recalled. That’s because he was, Smith said.

The paper was a letter to a tribe seeking consulting work. It was signed by Philip Bersinger, who had once been a partner of Smith’s in a now-dissolved consulting business in California for nontribal card rooms. The letter was written on “Bersinger & Smith” stationery. It was one of two in Reed’s possession that invoked Smith’s name to drum up business with tribes in Washington state and California.

Bersinger phrased his qualifications this way: “As for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, no one is better connected than me.” He mentioned his vacations with Smith and that Smith stayed at his home whenever he traveled to Sacramento. “I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture,” Bersinger wrote.

“These letters could embarrass the secretary [of the Interior] and the White House,” Reed told his lunch companion.

In his mind, Smith said, the conversation had turned ominous: “First came the threat, then the blackmail.”

Reed’s account of the lunch is similar but differs on two important points. He said Smith told him the Buena Vista issue would be decided in Washington, as Reed and the rest of the Potts team had hoped. The warning about the letters, Reed said, was merely friendly advice.

Asked about the discrepancy, both men stuck by their stories. Smith said he never told any of Potts’ representatives at any time that he would fast-track the matter to D.C. Reed said Smith “tells you what you want to hear and then does nothing.”

Smith left the restaurant with reason for concern. He was still close to Bersinger, staying at his house during visits to Sacramento — and once allowed him to tag along to a restaurant meeting with Potts and her advisors. He knew that the letter Reed had shown him could cast an ugly light on their relationship.

Smith says he phoned Bersinger and told him that selling their friendship was inappropriate.

But by this time, Bersinger was already engaged with the Potts group.

112 From “A Game of Casino Hardball” by Judy Pasternak and Eric Bailey, the fallout from the Bersinger letter:

Within weeks of Smith’s lecture, Bersinger had two meetings with Potts’ attorney, John Peebles, and Cascade’s president, Russell Pratt. Through his attorney, Bersinger said he didn’t invoke Smith in any way this time. But Potts’ group says Bersinger talked of Smith repeatedly.

“Phil said only he could solve the problem at the BIA. It was a heavy lift. And worth a lot of money,” said Jean Munoz, a public relations consultant who said she was authorized to speak for Peebles and Pratt. Asked how much money, according to Munoz, Bersinger said he had to talk with Smith and get back to them. She said Bersinger claimed to have “a long-standing business plan” with his important pal.

On April 4, Bersinger visited Peebles, indicated he had talked with Smith, then asked for $25,000 a month plus a percentage of casino revenue, Munoz said.

The lawyer asked Bersinger to put it in writing. A copy was obtained by The Times.

Bersinger used his personal stationary and never mentioned Smith or fees. He wrote that he would be available to consult on Potts’ interest in the BIA’s recognition of her tribal leadership. His services, he wrote, would include advice and, “when appropriate, representation before administrative agencies.”

Bersinger’s attorney, Matt Jacobs, says “I categorically deny that he said any” of the statements that Potts’ side attributed to him.

Smith said his old friend “never talked to me. I didn’t know anything about this.”

On May 6, the BIA’s Pacific regional director upheld the original decision in favor of Pope, ruling that Potts was not entitled to lead the Buena Vista tribe. The official window for bringing the decision back to Washington had opened.

Within weeks, Smith was fired.

Smith says he was never given an official reason. His dismissal letter states only that his services were “no longer required.” The FBI and internal Interior investigators had not reached any conclusions. Interior officials refused to comment.

“My friend wrote some … letters, he never lobbied me, and I got fired,” Smith said.

“It doesn’t look good, I don’t deny that, but I never knew what he was up to. And there is no evidence that I did.”

113 From “A Dirty Trickster’s Bush Bonanza” by Wayne Barrett:

Stone also helped by submarining McCaleb’s top competitor, an Indian leader named Tim Martin. A kiss-of-death letter endorsing Martin appeared “out of the blue,” Martin remembers. It was signed by Donald Trump, a client of Stone for 20 years who was all over the media at the time for having funded an anti-Indian advertising campaign in New York while simultaneously trying to do Indian projects in California and Connecticut. “I don’t know why Trump did that,” says Martin, who’d never spoken to Trump. “I don’t think he and I have ever been in the same city at the same time.” Stone says he “most certainly did” the Trump letter, claiming he saved BIA from “even bigger scandals” because Martin was supported by the lobbyists who are the focus of the ongoing Washington Post stories and a future hearing by Senator John McCain.

“It knocked Martin out,” recalls Wayne Smith, the former deputy assistant secretary at BIA who recalls McCaleb attributing the letter to Stone (McCaleb abruptly terminated a Voice interview). The letter reinforced the irony of Stone’s role in the BIA transition, as he and Trump had just been fined $250,000 in October by the New York State Lobbying Commission for Trump’s secret funding of Stone-directed ads blasted by tribal leaders as “racist.” Tying a tribe proposing a casino that would’ve competed with Trump’s Jersey empire to “drug trafficking, money laundering, the mob, violence, and the smuggling of illegal immigrants,” the ads featured pictures of cocaine lines and drug needles.

From Nixonland by Rick Perlstein:

New Hampshire was March 7; as Election Day approached, people started complaining about getting calls in the middle of the night from a “Harlem for Muskie Committee.” (Muskie’s enraged campaign manager, Berl Bernhard, called McGovern’s political director, Frank Mankiewicz, and demanded that they stop; Mankiewicz, enraged, asked Bernhard what the hell he was talking about.) Muskie, the man who’d weeks before been the most popular Democrat in America-outside the noncandidate Ted Kennedy-ended up with 46 percent in New Hampshire instead of the predicted 65.

114 From “A Dirty Trickster’s Bush Bonanza” by Wayne Barrett:

Beyond McCaleb, Stone and Reed pushed other top Bush gaming appointments. “If you are lucky,” says Stone, suggesting he was, “a transition team will sift through a thousand résumés for mid- to low-level positions.” Stone acknowledges a role in eventually installing Chuck Choney on the three-member National Indian Gaming Commission, while Reed and partner John Fluharty urged the hiring of Aurene Martin, who got the No. 3 job at BIA. Interior general counsel William Myers, a former law partner and a friend of Sansonetti now up for a federal appeals judgeship, hardly needed much help from Stone. But Stone told clients like Russell Pratt, the president of Buena Vista’s development company at the time, that he aided Myers’s appointment and had “easy access” to him. Stone now says he meant access through Sansonetti and Myers’s ex-firm.

When Smith was forced out in a June 2002 swirl of controversy, Martin became deputy, even moving up temporarily to McCaleb’s job after his December departure. Coming to BIA from Colorado senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell’s Indian Affairs Committee staff, where Stone has long had well-placed contacts, Martin has been the only fixture at BIA in the first Bush term. At a September 2002 hearing of Campbell’s committee, for example, she made no attempt to defend a decision Smith made against Buena Vista, paving the way for a Stone-conceived corrections bill that passed in 2004 and re-establishes Stone’s tribal chief.

From “Tribe reaches deal for giant San Pablo casino / Schwarzenegger OKs Pomo Indian plan for nation’s third-largest gambling palace” by John M. Hubbell:

The nation’s third-largest gambling emporium — a six- to eight- story casino with up to 5,000 slot machines — would sprout in the heart of San Pablo under terms of a deal between an Indian tribe and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The compact with the Lytton Band of Pomo Indians, expected to be announced this week in Sacramento, would vault the once-landless tribe to the top tier of the nation’s gaming entrepreneurs and generate new revenue for California’s general fund — and it could transform the small, working-class East Bay city.

Meanwhile, the deal would guarantee that no new casino open shop within a 35-mile radius of San Pablo — a critical blow to any other tribe hoping to stake a claim in the core Bay Area market.

The Lytton casino, to be the state’s first in an urban area, is expected to be built within two years on a 9-acre sliver of land where the tribe’s comparatively humble card room now sits, less than a quarter of a mile from Interstate 80.

According to a general outline of the tribe’s plans submitted for federal review, the casino will cover up to 600,000 square feet and will include two gaming floors, six restaurants and bars and entertainment areas. City officials said they expect it to be six to eight stories.

According to Wall Street analysts, the Lytton operation could have more slot machines than any casino in Las Vegas and would be smaller than only two other casinos in the nation — Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn., and Foxwoods Resort Casino in nearby Mashantucket. Those Indian-run casinos have 6, 200 and 6,600 slot machines, respectively.

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Roger Stone: Pretty Reckless Is Going Straight To Hell Part Four

ROGER STONE:

PRETTY RECKLESS IS GOING STRAIGHT TO HELL

PART ONE PART TWO PART THREE PART FOUR PART FIVE PART SIX

PART SEVEN PART EIGHT PART NINE PART TEN

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

THE WELL DRESSED MAN PART FOUR: BALLOT SECURITY / GARDEN STATE / SUNSHINE STATE

Just as Roger Stone makes as little mention as possible of BMS&K, he says relatively little about his first election, that of Tom Kean to the governorship of New Jersey in 1980. This race isn’t even given mention in Labash’s piece, and it only gets a one-sentence nod in Toobin’s: “In 1981, Stone ran his first major campaign on his own, Tom Kean’s race for governor of New Jersey against the Democrat Jim Florio. Kean won in a recount.” In his memoir, Stone gives much space to the election, but his emphasis is on his attempts to get newly elected president Reagan to campaign for Kean, James Baker giving the go-ahead, and Stone working for Bush in Florida as a way of returning the long ago favor. The description of the actual election, which bluntly ignores the surrounding issues that Stone was very familiar with, is one that’s far too short: “Tom Kean was elected Governor by 1200 votes out of 2.2 million cast. Ronald Reagan helped put him over the top.”66 All accounts underserve the Kean-Florio race, which may well have been one of the most important elections of the past thirty years or so, and certainly continued to have an obvious impact on elections thirty years on.

The race would be between James Florio, a Democrat, versus Thomas Kean, a Republican, for governor of New Jersey. The best roadmap I’ve come across on what happened on election day is Republican Ballot Security Programs: Vote Protection or Minority Vote Suppression – or Both? A Report to the Center for Voting Rights & Protection by Chandler Davidson, Tanya Dunlap, Gale Kenny, and Benjamin Wise, specifically the section “CASE 1: The New Jersey Gubernatorial Election and the “National Ballot Security Task Force,” 1981 (page 55)”. The RNC would hire a man named John Kelly to enforce “ballot security”, a program to fight against voter fraud, and Kelly first did so by way of a process now known as voter caging. He mailed off hundreds of thousands of sample ballots to voters in black and latino neighborhoods, then compiled a list of those people whose ballots were returned as undeliverable, then allegedly tried to have them struck from the polls. An outdated address list was used, which meant that names were struck from rolls for the simple reason that people had moved from that address. The struck names were compiled into “challenge lists”, which could be used to challenge the right of someone on the list to cast a vote. The New Jersey Commissioners of Registration refused to accept the lists when they discovered that the address list used was outdated. The RNC insisted that they would continue to enforce a program of ballot security, without the lists67.

Kelly put together a group poll watchers, mainly off-duty police officers, who would be tasked with enforcing ballot security. They patrolled black and latino voting precincts, and they erected signs in those precincts which said the following:

WARNING
THIS AREA IS BEING PATROLLED BY THE
NATIONAL BALLOT
SECURITY TASK FORCE
IT IS A CRIME TO FALSIFY A BALLOT OR TO
VIOLATE ELECTION LAWS
1. IF YOU ARE REGISTERED YOU CANNOT VOTE
2. YOU MUST VOTE IN YOUR OWN NAME.
3. YOU MAY ONLY VOTE ONE TIME
$1,000 Reward for information
leading to arrest and conviction
of person violating New Jersey
election law. Call 800-402-4301.
HONEST VOTE 1981

(Kean election)

The ballot security who were off-duty police officers carried guns and radios. All ballot security officers had armbands which read “National Ballot Security Task Force.” Those who called the 1-800 number on the ballot security signs to find out who had funded the signs and the ballot security were told that “we don’t divulge our clients. We are an organization that works for an honest vote on Election Day.” A judge would eventually order the signs to be taken down at 4pm on voting day for being inherently political. A democratic councilman would report that the voter security task force was “like the Gestapo,” that would demand to see the voter registration books. The task force allegedly questioned voters, refused to allow some voters near the polls, tore down signs advertising democratic candidates, and prevented poll workers from assisting voters. The president of the NAACP in Trenton would say “I saw Gestapo armbands in my polling place, and I won’t tolerate seeing them here in the future.”68

By election night, two networks were calling Democrat Jim Florio the next state governor. Republican Tom Kean was ready to concede, until his campaign manager found that the vote had shifted, with Kean now leading Florio by 1677 votes, less than 1% of the votes cast. Neither man would concede, and then for twenty seven days the ballots were checked and recounted. When Essex County indicated that they were revising their figures, Tom Kean’s political consultant, Roger Stone, would say, “They’re stealing it – we’re just not going to stand for it, just to ‘find’ a precinct like that.” When told that the adjustment favored his client, Stone would say, “We just took a vote here and we think that’s O.K.'” Following the ballot security controversy, John Kelly would disappear from sight. Doubts would surface about his résumé; he’d said he’d gone to Fordham Law school and Notre Dame, and it became very uncertain whether he actually had. It would soon be discovered that he’d been arrested for impersonating a police officer, and that he’d lost a job after twice threatening people with a gun.69.

Four “street leaders” were alleged to have been in charge of ballot security, including Anthony Imperiale, the representative of Newark. When the allegations about ballot security were first made, Imperiale would call them “a prefabricated lie.” Furthermore, “I didn’t drop anyone off wearing armbands. If the Democrats are making charges that I knew about this, then tough crap on them. It’s the Democrats who have a reputation of stealing votes.”70 A day later, he would acknowledge that he was in charge of a ballot security program in Newark. However: who cares? “Who did it intimidate?” asked Imperiale. “No one but fraudulent voters in my opinion. This is sour grapes from Democrats. They don’t know how to take defeat.” With regard to his earlier denial, “I never denied it. It must have been a mistake.” When Imperiale was named in 1984 as a delegate for New Jersey for the Republican convention, mention would be made that he had once referred to Martin Luther King Jr. as “Martin Luther Coon” and once preached armed white self-defense after the 1967 Newark riots71. The closest Roger Stone gets to talking about the ballot security scandal in his memoir is in his mention of Imperiale in the book’s introduction: “I saw Newark vigilante Tony Imperiale beat a black man caught selling drugs senseless.”72 In the profile by Matt Labash, Stone would refer to Malcolm X as his “brother under the skin.”73

For twenty seven days, just as in 2000, things were in stasis. When there was a ribbon cutting ceremony for a new hotel, both Kean and Florio showed up with scissors. Finally, it was over, and Kean was declared the winner. The DNC would file suit against the RNC, Civil Action No. 81-3876, over the ballot security program:

This is an action, arising chiefly from the activities of the defendants’ National Ballot Security Task Force, for declaratory and injunctive relief and damages against the defendants for their efforts to intimidate, threaten and coerce duly qualified black and Hispanic voters from voting and from urging and aiding other black and Hispanic duly qualified persons to vote in the State of New Jersey.

The RNC and DNC would reach a settlement agreement, which among other things would forbid anything like the ballot security group in a polling place.

Ballot security, however, would return again and again as an issue for Republicans74. In 1986, one RNC political director wrote to another RNC political director of the upcoming election in Louisiana and the possible impact of a ballot security program, “I know this race is really important to you. I would guess that this program will eliminate at least 60-80,000 folks from the rolls….If it’s a close race…which I’m assuming it is, this could keep the black vote down considerably.”75 The Republican National Committee would also turn in over sixty thousand voter names to the FBI, in an effort to investigate potential voter fraud. They had no evidence that the names had any involvement in wrongdoing, other than the fact that registered mail sent to their addresses was returned to sender76. In 2008, the RNC would appeal to have the 1982 consent decree modified or abolished. The judge who wrote the original decree was not persuaded, and rejected their arguments77. In 2008, after a long exile from visible political life, John Kelly headed up John McCain’s Catholic outreach78.

Jim Florio would eventually get elected as governor of New Jersey, then be defeated in his re-election bid by Christine Todd Whitman. Shortly after her victory, Whitman’s political consultant, Ed Rollins, who’d headed up Reagan’s 1980 and 1984 campaigns, would share how he pulled off this narrow, upset victory. The campaign had funneled half a million dollars in “walking around money” to keep the vote down in urban, heavily Democratic areas. “We went into black churches and we basically said to ministers who had endorsed Florio, ‘Do you have a special project?’ And they said, “We’ve already endorsed Florio,” Mr. Rollins said. “We said, ‘That’s fine. Don’t get up on the pulpit Sunday and say it’s your moral obligation that you go on Tuesday to vote for Jim Florio.'” They would also keep Democratic political workers away by paying them off. “We said to some of their key workers, ‘How much have they paid you to do your normal duty?'” he said. “Well, we’ll match it. Go home, sit and watch television.”79 Rollins would then turn around and say that he’d only been trolling, just tweaking James Carville, the consultant for Florio. What he’d said was “We went into black churches and we basically said to ministers who had endorsed Florio, ‘Do you have a special project?'”, when what he meant to say was that he’d tell a senior Whitman staffer, Lanna Hooks, “‘Lanna, go back to these people and continue the dialogue and tell them as far as we’re concerned we want to help them. Whatever their favorite charity may be, there are other ways of helping them besides state funding that Florio has, or what have you.’ But I didn’t authorize her to go commit resources and she, as an attorney, wouldn’t ask for that. All I did was give her some suggestions and I said ‘Tell them, if they don’t go up to the pulpit and preach against us on Sunday, we’d be way ahead of the game.'” There’s a difference. Not “Don’t get up on the pulpit Sunday and say it’s your moral obligation that you go on Tuesday to vote for Jim Florio”, but “Tell them, if they don’t go up to the pulpit and preach against us on Sunday, we’d be way ahead of the game.” His statements had not played out as Rollins expected. “My expectation was not that this was going to become a national story, because, obviously, if I thought it was going to be a national story, I would not have taken a gun and put it to my head and blown my career apart as I have done.”80

Just as the chemical weapons in Angola foreshadow what would take place in Iraq, the 1981 New Jersey governor’s election would foreshadow what would take place in Florida in 2000, where Stone achieved his greatest prominence. Voters in the Kean-Florio election would have their names struck because letters mailed to an outdated address list were returned. In Florida, where felons are not allowed to vote, strike lists were made up of names that were similar to any Florida felon’s, with distinguishing middle initials, Jrs. and Srs. ignored. Just as in New Jersey, these strike lists were overwhelmingly African American; the strike lists were ruled illegal and discarded before the New Jersey election, but they were kept in place for the presidential election in Florida. NAACP offices in the state were flooded with calls about people trying to vote and told they couldn’t because they were felons, though they weren’t, who tried to vote, but were told they weren’t on the rolls. “What happened that day – I can’t even put it in words anymore,” said Donna Brazile, Al Gore’s campaign manager. “It was the most painful, dehumanizing, demoralizing thing I’ve ever experienced in my years of organizing.” The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights would hear over thirty hours of testimony of election irregularities from over a hundred witnesses. Their report would make the case that the conduct of the election had violated the voting Rights Act of 196581. Stone, as already said, would refer to Malcolm X as his “brother under the skin.”

Stone’s chapter on his role in the re-count, “Recount 2000,” feels like an unfinished, abbreviated piece of work in every version I have of his memoir. It is spent almost entirely discussing his efforts to get James Baker to help him out with the Kean election, and that this was the reason for helping out in 2000, as a favor returned to Baker, and not out of any affection for the Bush family, who he despises. The conflict between the Bush and Gore campaigns at the time of the Brooks Brothers riot was fairly simple. The Gore campaign had been allowed to conduct a vote recount in four counties, including Miami-Dade. With the current vote totals before the recount favoring Bush by a slim margin, it was in the interests of the Bush campaign to halt any re-count, since any shift in Gore’s favor would create momentum for a wider recount, which might end with Gore winning the state and the election. A shift in Gore’s favor was exactly what was happening during the vote re-count in Miami-Dade when it was halted by a mob82.

Stone’s account of his role in things is given no space in the Labash profile. However, it is perhaps best stated in the Toobin piece:

On November 21, 2000, the Florida Supreme Court gave Gore an important victory by ruling that the deadline for recounts would be extended to November 26th. At that point, the top priority for the Gore forces was to get the recounts up and running, especially in Miami-Dade County, which is the most populous in the state. On the Republican side, according to Stone, “The whole idea behind what they were doing was that there had already been one recount of the votes, so we didn’t want another. The idea was to shut it down, stop the recount here in Miami.” By November 22nd, the recount process had begun, in a conference room on the eighteenth floor of the Stephen P. Clark Government Center, a vast concrete office building on a forlorn plaza in downtown Miami.

The scene in front of the Clark center that morning was volatile-which was, of course, exactly how Stone wanted it. Several thousand mostly pro-Bush protesters had gathered on the sun-baked plaza to insist that the recount be shut down. Early that morning, Perez-Roura, of Radio Mambi, had sent Evilio Cepero, a local activist who sometimes worked for him as a reporter, to broadcast from the scene. Cepero urged Perez-Roura’s listeners to join the protest, addressed the growing crowd with a megaphone, and interviewed supporters, like the local members of Congress Lincoln Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. Many held signs that said “SORE/LOSERMAN.” Others chanted, “Remember Elián!”

“We set up a Winnebago trailer, right over here,” Stone said when we got out of the Jaguar and walked about a block away from the Clark center, on First Street. “I set up my command center there. I had walkie-talkies and cell phones, and I was in touch with our people in the building. Our whole idea was to shut the recount down. That was why we were there. We had the frequency to the Democrats’ walkie-talkies and were listening to their communications, but they were so disorganized that we didn’t learn much that was useful.”

A substantial contingent of young Republican Capitol Hill aides, along with such congressmen as John Sweeney, of New York, who had travelled to Miami, joined in the protest. Thanks to this delegation, the events at the Clark center have come to be known as the “Brooks Brothers riot,” but Stone disputes that characterization. “There was a Brooks Brothers contingent, but the crowd in front of the courthouse was largely Spanish,” he said. “Most of the people there were people that we drew to the scene.”

At one point on November 22nd, Stone said, he heard from an ally in the building that Gore supporters were trying to remove some ballots from the counting room. “One of my pimply-faced contacts said, ‘Two commissioners have taken two or three hundred ballots to the elevator,’ ” Stone said. “I said, ‘O.K., follow them. Half you guys go on the elevator and half go in the stairs.’ Everyone got sucked up in this. They were trying to keep the doors from being closed. Meanwhile, they were trying to take the rest of the ballots into a back room with no windows. I told our guys to stop them-don’t let them close the door! They are trying to keep the door from being closed. There was a lot of screaming and yelling.” (In fact, the Gore official in the elevator, Joe Geller, was carrying a single sample ballot.) The dual scenes of chaos-both inside and outside the building-prompted the recount officials to stop their work. The recount in Miami was never re-started, depriving Gore of his best chance to catch up in the over-all state tally.

Toobin makes clear that Stone’s account is not without discontents. Stone says the Brooks Brothers part of the riot, a group made up almost entirely of people outside of Miami, outside of Florida, who were Republican D.C. staffers flown in to cause a ruckus and stop a recount83, was just a small fraction, and a sizable majority were spanish speaking. This does not correspond with other observers. “There were two or three loud Cubans but most of the people I talked to were white, mostly men, from Oklahoma, Texas, mostly Southern states,” says Sunday Times correspondent Tom Rhodes. “They were talking on cellphones, probably to people nearby, telling them to get in there right away and bring as many people as they could.”84 In the room where the Florida operation was run, conservative journalist Paul Gigot would hear that a large group of Cuban-American activists were about to be unleashed. “One thousand local Cuban Republicans were on the way,” was what was said. One thousand local Cuban Republicans never showed up85. “How the Troops Were Mobilized for the Recount” by Dana Canedy and James Dao, has Republicans defending the mob against charges of the belligerence, without contesting who they were. “A group of out-of-state, paid political operatives came to south Florida in an attempt to stop county-wide recounts,” alleged a Democrat. “They crossed state lines and intimidated the counting in a federal election, which is a violation of the Voting Rights Act.” Emily Miller would reply, “This was not a threatening band of armed thugs.” Miller was a spokesperson for Tom DeLay, then the House majority whip. “They were idealistic, enthusiastic young Republicans who felt they were being shut out, that this was an unfair decision.” One of those in the Brooks Brothers riot was Tom Pyle, policy analyst for Tom DeLay86.

Crowd at Brooks Brothers Riot

Various members of the Brooks Brothers Riot, taken from Unprecedented: The 2000 Presidential Election.

The most visible top level figure on the ground wasn’t Roger Stone, who is never mentioned in contemporary reports of the halting of the Miami-Dade count, but John Sweeney, a Republican representative from New York. When the vote counters decided to move to a room closer to the voting machines so as to speed up the count, Sweeney gave the order, “Shut it down,” according to Gigot, who was in the same room as Sweeney when the order was given. After that, the Brooks Brothers mob pounded the doors and windows of the tally room. “Stop the count. Stop the fraud.” Sweeney was giving these orders, according to eyewitnesses, in a room in the same building where the vote tally was taking place. Stone’s account is also disputed by Brad Blakeman. “I was the guy in charge of the trailer, and I coördinated the Brooks Brothers riot,” says Blakeman in the Toobin piece. “Roger did not have a role that I know of. His wife may have been on the radio, but I never saw or heard from him.” Stone scoffs at such doubts87.

We might see who the Bush Administration considered most valuable for their effort in Florida in 2000. Sweeney would get the nick “Congressman Kickass” from the chief executive, and would be given say over EPA, HUD, and Labor appointments, as well as his pick of the plum committee he wished to sit on, picking Appropriations over Ways & Means88. Sweeney would serve several terms in Congress before once again achieving public visibility by smashing his car into an electrical pole in 2006. He said it was because he was busy fiddling with the car’s CD player. The police did not give him a sobriety test. “Pol Versus Pole,” Michael Tomasky would waggishly report. Later in the year, police would get a 911 call from the Sweeney house. “Female caller stating her husband is knocking her around the house,” the dispatcher wrote. “Then she stated `Here it comes, are you ready?’ and disconnected the call.” Sweeney’s wife, Gayle, would say that he grabbed her around the neck and pushed her around the house. John Sweeney had scratches on his face. Sweeney would lose his seat that year to Kristin Gillibrand. Days before the election, the Sweeneys would deny the reports of the 911 call. Gayle Sweeney would say “I did not need to be protected from John…there were no injuries to me.” John Sweeney would blame Kristin Gillibrand: “In her desire for power, she has tried to ruin my marriage, slander my family.” A year later, Gayle Sweeney would say her statement was coerced by advisers trying to save her husband’s campaign. She said that in the incident where she called 911, she had been pushed into a filing cabinet89. In 2010, Sweeney would be jailed for thirty days over a DUI incident. In 2013, the FEC would file a warning letter asking why he’d failed to pay off his 2006 campaign debts, which totaled over $200 000 dollars90. The day after his election loss in 2006, Sweeney appeared on the cover of Success magazine91.

Brad Blakeman would end up in the Bush inner circle, as a deputy assistant to the President. He would later be placed in charge of Freedom’s Watch, a political action group with strong connections to the administration and hefty funding from Sheldon Adelson. They would buy heavy advertising in support of the surge in Iraq. “I know what I lost,” said a veteran with both legs missing in one of their ads. “I also know if we pull out now, everything I’ve given and sacrificed will mean nothing.” A soldier in another ad, also with both legs missing would say, “I would go back to Iraq if I could, it’s that important because if Iraq isn’t stable it will be a breeding ground for terrorists.” Freedom’s Watch was intended to be a conservative counterpoint to progressive groups like MoveOn.org. It was sued by Larry Klayman for copyright violation of his own group, Freedom Watch, and fell apart after a year due to internal squabbling92. In discussing his movie Recount, about the events in Florida, director Jay Roach would place heavy emphasis on Blakeman’s role. “He was, by his own account,” wrote Roach, “the man at least partly behind “Sore Loserman,” “Surrender Gorethy,” “The Gorinch Who Stole the Election,” and other demonstration characters and stunts that appeared at rallies outside the Florida Supreme Court and outside counting centers throughout the 36 days of the recount.”93

Roach would continue:

Blakeman also said he helped organize the edgier “Brooks Brothers Riot” from his roving RV office in Florida. As you see in the film, this protest took place outside the counting rooms in Miami-Dade County. By most accounts, the shouting and shoving and pounding of fists on the doors and windows succeeded in intimidating the canvassing board, who shut down the recount right after the protests, even though the board had approved the counting earlier.

Fascinatingly for me, Blakeman told us there was a very deliberate effort by the Republicans in Florida to “act more like Democrats,” and to take a page out of the book written by the left-wing protestors in the ’60s who used protests and street theater to inject turmoil and chaos into established political processes to make them look flawed, corrupt, or ridiculous (as with the Democratic Convention in 1968 or the attempts to levitate the Pentagon). Blakeman told us that the Republicans were certain that in 2000, the Democrats would “lie, cheat, and steal” to win the Florida recount. So, to “preserve the victory,” the Republicans this time had to pre-emptively take to the streets and make the recount seem messy, chaotic, and even dangerous to the country. The hope was to prevent the recount from flipping the victory to Gore, and if it did, to make the recount’s results seem illegitimate.

For Blakeman, this meant loud protests during the recounting; bull-horn disruptions that shut down speeches by people like Jesse Jackson and other Democrats during rallies; characters like “Cry-Baby Gore”; and catchy slogans and T-shirts at every possible public event. He told us that for him, what the Democrats and the Florida Supreme Court were trying to do was pure farce, so the only proper response was pure farce. He wanted people to connect hand-counting of votes with utter turmoil and dysfunction, and for him, the wackier the whole process seemed, the better.

In the movie Recount, the other supposed co-ordinator of the Brooks Brothers Riot is mentioned once, when James Baker says with a sinister undertone “Get me Roger Stone.” This quote is carried about like a totem by Stone, a blurb of endorsement at the beginning of his memoir. Stone never appears in the movie, though both Blakeman (played by Christopher Schmidt) and Sweeney (played by Tom Hillmann) do. Stone has been up front in his enjoyment of fame, often quoting Gore Vidal, “Never turn down an opportunity for sex or being on TV.” Stone most often appears on marginal stations, local networks, webcasts you’ve never heard of – “The Daily National”, Miami’s “The Fish Tank”, RT.com, Reason TV – while Blakeman is a mainstay of CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News94. This is not to suggest Stone got nothing out of the debacle in Florida, or that he did nothing there, but his major project may have involved something other than the Brooks Brothers riot, an incident given little or no attention by the press, and entirely omitted from the Labash and Toobin profiles. I will write now of what he was involved in, and delay till the next section the interesting prize he may have got in return.

“Gore made the tragic mistake of only selecting recounts in certain counties,” writes Stone in his memoir. “where he thought he might gain votes instead of all counties.”95 Like I said, this chapter is obviously unfinished, with the end coming abruptly in the next sentence, like a diary entry from a sinking ship: “In fact, Gore would have gained from a statewide recount as African American enclaves in Northern and Central Florida had” It’s an interesting criticism for Stone to make given his work in Florida after the election, work which was witnessed and which carried his name, and rather than attempt an association, Stone tried for a disassociation.

“Republican Group Seeks To Unseat Three Justices” by the excellent Dexter Filkins conveys well what took place. The Florida Supreme Court had ruled against the Bush campaign twice, a 7-0 ruling to allow for a recount of the four counties, and later, a 4-3 ruling for a recount of all undervotes in the state. It was this decision that the federal supreme court would overrule, halting the vote count, and handing the election to Bush. The Filkins piece would note an event now entirely forgotten, the appearance of the Emergency Florida State Supreme Court Project, which sent out over three hundred thousand letters soliciting funds in an effort to unseat those Florida Supreme Court justices who’d been appointed by Democrats – Chief Justice Charles T. Wells, Leander J. Shaw Jr., Harry Lee Anstead – who had voted in unanimity in the first 7-0 decision on the four county recount. The committee had been set up prior to the vote, perhaps as a warning to the justices of the consequences of voting against the Bush campaign. It was headed up by Republican County Commissioner Mary McCarty. Though the Emergency Florida State Supreme Court Project will be the focus here, it should be noted that it was also joined by a second group, Balance the Bench, whose objective was to unseat Harry Anstead, who’d voted with three other justices for a recount of all undervotes. Balance the Bench was founded by Susan Johnson and a Tampa businessman named Sam Rashid96. Emergency Florida State Supreme Court Project was chaired, as said, by Mary McCarty, who ended up being fined by the Florida Election Committee for violating election laws with the political action group. McCarty, however, would insist they had got it wrong. “I didn’t do any of this except sign my name,” insisted McCarty. “This was basically some sort of a scam that was set up that I was used in. I was duped. My name was used, so I have to take the brunt of it.” McCarty insisted that she’d been played, played by someone named-97 Well, reader, who do you think it was?

From “Election Law: Supreme Plot” (archived) by Dan Christianson, from Daily Business Review, July 10, 2003:

During Mary McCarty’s 2-day hearing, the FEC’s lawyer argued that Roger Stone and Mary McCarty established the “Committee to Take Back Our Judiciary” to pressure the Florida State Supreme Court to rule in favor of then Texas Gov. George W. Bush in his ballot re-count battle with Al Gore. Mary McCarty testified that the Committee began to take shape 6 to 9 days after the Nov. 7th election. The Florida Supreme Court was first asked by Al Gore to order hand re-counts in the decisive Florida race on Nov. 15th.

“This was an attempt to let the Justices know, who were going to eventually decide the presidential election, that they were going to be watched,” Commission Assistant counsel Eric M. Lipman said in his opening arguments. “And it was an attempt to influence what they were going to do.”

According to Judge Hooper’s 36-page order, Roger Stone, through his Washington, D.C.-based firm, “Ikon Public Affairs”, was the real agent behind the campaign in late 2000 and 2001 to defeat the Florida Justices in the 2002 merit retention election. But who, if anyone, was paying Roger Stone and giving him orders remains unclear.

Mary McCarty’s lawbreaking, including findings that she certified the accuracy of a Campaign Treasurer’s report that was “incorrect, false, or incomplete,” accepted excessive contributions and displayed a “reckless disregard” for Florida State Election laws, stemmed from her Chairmanship of the now-defunct “Committee to Take Back Our Judiciary”.

The PAC, which began operating in late November 2000′, but wasn’t legally established until early January 2001, targeted Justices: Harry Lee Anstead, Charles T. Wells, and Justice Leander J. Shaw for defeat in the 2002 merit retention elections. Mary McCarty’s highly publicized “Mad as Hell” letter, mailed to as many as 350,000 conservatives in early December 2000, sought to raise $4.5 million to unseat them.

Florida Election records show that hundreds of people responded to the solicitation letter, which raised a total of about $220,000. That sum included a mysterious $150,000 loan whose origin still hasn’t been determined.

As far as I can tell, the origin of the $150,000 loan has never been discovered. McCarty would, however, be able to give other details:

At her hearing, Mary McCarty testified she was drafted into the presidential re-count battle on the morning after the Nov. 7th Election meltdown in Florida. Top Republicans recruited her to oversee the ballot re-count in Palm Beach County, home of the notorious “butterfly ballot” that confused many voters.

“Members of the Bush-Cheney campaign ‘took up residence in my office’,” she said.

The re-count controversy landed before the Florida Supreme Court the week after the election when Republican Secretary of State Katherine Harris, the Florida co-chair of the Bush-Cheney campaign, refused to grant the request of the Gore-Lieberman campaign for a re-count. On Nov. 21, the Florida State Supreme Court unanimously decided to give Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties more time to finish hand re-counts sought by Al Gore.

Mary McCarty testified that between Nov. 13 and Nov. 16, Roger Stone called her at her home. “He explained to me that people were very, very upset with the way the Florida Supreme Court was conducting itself, and that in Florida we have a merit retention system.”

A few weeks later, on Dec. 8th, the Florida Supreme Court, in a 4-3 ruling, ordered the then-stalled re-count to resume and be extended Floridawide. Four days after that, the U.S. Supreme Court, by a 5-4 vote in Bush v. Al Gore, effectively shut down the re-count, prompting Al Gore to concede the election to Bush.

Mary McCarty testified she previously had met Roger Stone at a campaign fund-raiser for Sen. Arlen Specter, Republican-Pa., and that they had worked together briefly when she considered running for Congress in the late 1990s. So, when Roger Stone told her he was forming a Committee “for the purposes of taking action against the Florida Supreme Court”, which is what Judge Hooper subsequently found, she decided to go along.

Dianne Thorne of Miami Beach, who became the Committee’s Treasurer, testified in a deposition that Roger Stone asked for her help in setting up the Committee’s clerical operation. Dianne Thorne said Roger Stone had contacted her because she used to date his son. The Committee listed as its business address a P.O. Box at a USA Pack & Post on Washington Avenue in Miami Beach.

On Thanksgiving Day 2000, according to Mary McCarty’s testimony, Roger Stone faxed her the text of a fund-raising letter to which she’d agreed to lend her name. Later, Mary McCarty said, Roger Stone and his “Associates” arranged to file all the necessary paperwork to create the “Committee to Take Back Our Judiciary”. The FEC investigators found that the papers sent to the Florida Department of Elections to establish the Committee were sent from the Washington office of Ikon Public Affairs, according to documents in the FEC’s case file.

Mary McCarty testified that the original version of the fund-raising letter she was asked to review did not target specific 3 Florida Supreme Court justices. But, the final version that went out the first week of December did. She said she didn’t approve it, but acknowledged she didn’t object either. “I just decided that I would be held accountable for something that I agreed to get into,” she said. “And wherever it took me, I would just be the one to take the lumps.”

Mary McCarty’s “Dear Friend” letter was shrill. “Were you as outraged by the Florida Supreme Court’s efforts to highjack [sic] the presidency for Al Gore as I was?” the letter asked. “It was an outrageous, arrogant power-grab by a left-wing court which is stuck in the liberal 60s…We must raise at least $4.5 million by the ‘Vote No’ campaign to organize Florida voters to reject the retention of these three liberal Supreme Court justices.”

Everything, everything, related to the $150,000 loan was mysterious, and, as far as I can tell, remain unanswered mysteries to this day:

The direct mail fund-raising campaign cost $150,000. According to Judge Hooper, Roger Stone came up with the money that Committee campaign records later listed as a “loan” from an Alexandria, Va.-based firm called Creative Marketing. The mailing address reported by the Committee for Creative Marketing was the same as that of the Stone Group, a fund-raising and marketing firm owned by Roger Stone’s ex-wife, conservative Republican activist Ann Stone. Investigators could find no company by the name of Creative Marketing.

Mary McCarty said Roger Stone told her he and his partner, Craig Snyder, would be personally responsible for repaying the $150,000 that funded the “Dear Friend” mass mailing.

There were also questions about who the money went to. Judge Hooper found that Roger Stone “or his Organization” actually paid the $150,000 not to Creative Marketing but to a Virginia company called Unique Graphics and Design, which, according to Virginia State corporate records, had as its principals Ann Stone and Lora Lynn Jones. The Committee subsequently paid Unique Graphics an additional $50,000 in May 2001 for purposes that remain unclear.

Last November, Lora Lynn Jones testified in a deposition that it was Roger Stone who hired Unique Graphics for the Florida work, gave her “marching orders,” and was responsible for paying the tab for the fund-raising letter. Lora Jones said she asked for and received the entire $150,000 payment by wire, in advance, because Roger Stone had “burned” her once before on a job.

Neither Hooper nor the FEC determined why the Committee listed “Creative Marketing” rather than “Unique Graphics” as the recipient of the payments. In another anomaly, a Daily Business Review examination of Virginia State corporate records found that “Unique Graphics” was NOT a legal entity when the two payments of $150,000 and $50,000 were made and received. The company’s charter was terminated in 1994, and the firm was purged from the state’s records in 1999.

And despite state records showing that Ann Stone was a principal of “Unique Graphics”, Lora Jones said she was the sole owner and employee. She also said, however, that she was a longtime employee of the Stone Group.

Though there was the possibility that McCarty would be hit with a fine of $450 000 for her violations, she only got a $2000 penalty, $1000 for filing an incomplete financial report, $1000 for the $150,000 contribution, which was a little over the $500 contribution limit. She still had hefty legal bills of over $50,000, so she set up a legal defense fund, and asked for contributions. Florida Republican Party Chairman Sid Dinerstein would contribute $100 and try to solicit more through his mailing list. “From our perspective, she fought the good fight even though she didn’t cross her T’s and I’s properly,” said Dinerstein98. Two years later, in 2005, McCarty would have to pay a $3750 fine, after she admitted to the Florida Elections Commission that she accepted lobbyist contributions into her legal fund. She was facing re-election that year. “It’s old news and I think the lightness of the sanction is indicative of how minor and technical the offense was,” said Sid Dinerstein. “It’s really a non-issue. Mary’s got some great current issues that are going to work for her. I think she’s going to have a very easy re-election.” Dinerstein would continue: “She is virtually single-handedly responsible for getting Scripps settled from the commission, and the whole county is aware of it, and she will be rewarded for it as she should be.”99 Scripps was a local convention center. Four years later- Well, it’s kindof complicated:

FEDS CHRONICLE DECADE OF FRAUD IN MCCARTYS’ CASE

By TONY DORIS and JENNIFER SORENTRUE

Palm Beach Post Staff Writers

Friday, January 09, 2009

WEST PALM BEACH – For more than a decade, federal prosecutors said Friday, Palm Beach County Commissioner Mary McCarty and her husband profited from manipulating hundreds of millions of dollars worth of public business for their own gain.

Mary and Kevin McCarty’s behind-the-scenes machinations enabled them to sway lucrative bond deals with the county government, the school board, the county’s Housing Finance Authority and the city of Delray Beach, prosecutors said after filing charges against the fallen power couple.

The bond deals involved some of the county’s most important initiatives during the past decade. Among them were the development of The Scripps Research Institute, the county’s ill-fated convention center hotel project and the $100 million initiative to limit building in the Agricultural Reserve. Also implicated are bonds used for Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter and the Old School Square parking garage in Delray Beach.

To cover her tracks, Mary McCarty lied to investigators about gifts and favors she had received from developers and other firms doing business with the county, according to 57 pages of formal charges filed Friday in federal court.

The McCartys’ take from all these efforts, the feds say: at least $300,000.

Their likely penalties include years behind bars, the forfeiture of their ill-gotten gains, public disgrace and the loss of Mary McCarty’s state pension. Once declared felons, the two GOP stalwarts won’t even be allowed to vote.

The scheme of Mary McCarty and her husband, Kevin, involved, among other things, pressuring the city to award the bond work to Kevin’s firm, Bear Stearns – yes, that Bear Stearns. Two of her fellow county commissioners had also been convicted and sentenced to prison. On July 19, 2011, she entered Federal Prison Camp in Bryan, Texas100. “Public trust is a sacred thing, and I violated that trust. And it’s something I’m ashamed of,” she would say in prison. “As I was conducting myself for all these years, I did what I thought was customary and correct,” McCarty would explain. “And if it wasn’t, I would rationalize that it was no big deal. I did a lot of minimizing.” McCarty now had $98,000 in fines that she had to pay off. She had expected to collect a $65,000 a year pension, but that was now gone with her felony conviction. She had expected to retire the year she went to prison. Now, she needed to find work when she got out. “I’m going to hope that there’s some courageous person out there who believes in second chances that’s willing to hire me and give me a second chance,” she said. “I know how government works, local government.”101 On March 25th, 2011, she entered a halfway house. While in prison, McCarty said she would try to get her civil rights restored so she could once again vote102.

On April 10, 2015, this post underwent a session of copy editing, and the gif excerpted from Unprecedented: The 2000 Presidential Election was added.

ROGER STONE:

PRETTY RECKLESS IS GOING STRAIGHT TO HELL

PART ONE PART TWO PART THREE PART FOUR PART FIVE PART SIX

PART SEVEN PART EIGHT PART NINE PART TEN

FOOTNOTES

66 From Dirty Tricks:

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

67 From Republican Ballot Security Programs: Vote Protection or Minority Vote Suppression – or Both? A Report to the Center for Voting Rights & Protection (specific page 57) by Chandler Davidson, Tanya Dunlap, Gale Kenny, and Benjamin Wise:

The RNC spent between $75,000 and $80,000 on the New Jersey Ballot Security Program, mostly on the mailings. New Jersey law in 1981 allowed election supervisors to send out sample ballots to registered voters in the year of an election. If a sample ballot was returned by the postal service, the supervisor could re-send the sample ballot, this time marked “Please Forward” and requesting notification of any address change. If sample ballots in the second wave were not returned, these voters’ names could be placed on a “challenge list” and taken to election officials at the polls. In contrast, the New Jersey ballot security team, on its own, sent out postcards using outdated voter registration lists, and sent them only to precincts with a majority of black and Hispanic voters. The 45,000 returned mailings were converted immediately into challenge lists without sending a second mailing. However, two weeks before the election was to begin the New Jersey Commissioners of Registration refused to accept the lists when they discovered they had been compiled using outdated voter information. The RNC nonetheless announced they would continue their efforts to ensure ballot security in the state’s election, without the lists.

68 From Republican Ballot Security Programs: Vote Protection or Minority Vote Suppression – or Both? A Report to the Center for Voting Rights & Protection (specific page 57) by Chandler Davidson, Tanya Dunlap, Gale Kenny, and Benjamin Wise:

The RNC nonetheless announced they would continue their efforts to ensure ballot security in the state’s election, without the lists.

This was primarily done by placing poll-watchers on Election Day (November 3) at voting sites where, according to the chairman of the Republican Committee in Mercer County, “in the past there have been suspicions of voter fraud.” Some of the pollwatchers were lawyers; several others were off-duty police officers who carried guns and two-way radios. All of them wore armbands that read, “National Ballot Security Task Force.”

On the morning of Election Day Angelo J. Genova, a lawyer for the Democratic State Committee, charged that the Republican Party was waging a systematic campaign designed to prevent minorities from voting and sought a court order that the signs be removed. At midday Judge Daniel A. O’Donnell of the State Superior Court in Trenton ordered all the signs taken down, saying they were inherently “political” and didn’t specify who had paid for them. The signs were removed beginning at 4 p.m. on the same day.

One voter, Amy Hammond of Trenton, called the toll-free number repeatedly to ascertain who was in charge of the posters. She was told several times that “we don’t divulge our clients. We are an organization that works for an honest vote on Election Day. We’ve done it in other states. We did it in Indiana, we did Hawaii, we did California, we’ve worked in Nevada.” When Hammond responded that she saw “a guy walking around with a gun” at the polls, she was told that the man “might have been a plainclothes officer assigned there by the county sheriff or something.” A later call to directory assistance revealed that the phone number was registered under the RNC.

Apart from the established facts that the task force put up signs and that some wore armbands and had guns and radios, there were conflicting reports about the actions of the poll-watchers on Election Day. Democratic city councilman Anthony Carrino, from the North Ward of Newark, reported that the task force operated only in about half the precincts in the North Ward, primarily in minority districts. The task force, he maintained, was “like the Gestapo,” and would arrive at polls in groups and demand to examine voter registration books. Kenneth J. Guido, Jr., a lawyer for the DNC, claimed one voter “was physically pulled out of a polling place” by a member of the task force. There were allegations that the task force interrogated voters at the polls, refused to allow certain voters into the polls, removed signs advertising Democratic candidates, and even prevented poll workers from assisting voters. One voter said she did not vote because of the presence and actions of the task force. The president of the NAACP in Trenton claimed, “I saw Gestapo armbands in my polling place, and I won’t tolerate seeing them here in the future.”

69 From “G.O.P. Relieves Security Official In Jersey Voting” by Selwyn Raab:

John A. Kelly, the Republican National Committee official who was in charge of the party’s controversial National Ballot Security Task Force in the New Jersey gubernatorial election, was suspended from his duties yesterday.

Mark T. Braden, counsel to the committee, said in Union, N.J., that Mr. Kelly was “relieved of his duties” with pay until the committee had investigated apparent inaccuracies by Mr. Kelly in a biography he gave to the committee.

The inaccuracies were said to concern information that associated Mr. Kelly with a national police officers’ group and that said he had graduated from the School of Law at Fordham University and the University of Notre Dame.

From “Jersey Inquiry Is Planned On Vote Security Force” by Selwyn Raab:

Mr. Kelly, according to friends, grew up in the Stuyvesant Town section of Manhattan and had been active in Manhattan Republican Party politics.

In 1971, he was the first person in the city to register to vote under a law extending that right to 18-year-olds. Mr. Kelly was arrested in 1976 on charges of impersonating a police officer, but the charge was dismissed. In 1974, he was discharged as a Family Court officer in Manhattan after being charged with having twice threatened persons with a gun.

From “Jersey’s Ballots Impounded With Tiny Margin Wavering” by Richard J. Meislin:

When Mr. Kean began his news conference, a county-by-county canvass of the results showed his lead at 1,090 votes. By the time he finished less than an hour later, an error reported by Middlesex County had diminished his margin to 265.

That lead later grew to 1,158, after Essex County reported that it had failed to include the vote totals for one district and was revising its figures.

The County Clerk, Pat Drake, said, “The figures weren’t turned in last evening; I just got them this afternoon.” Essex County, which voted heavily for Mr. Florio, had reported that its returns were complete Tuesday night. When asked how the error had occurred, Mrs. Drake said, “I don’t know,” but added that she believed another election district was counted twice. The new precinct voted 404 to 23 in Mr. Florio’s favor, but the overall adjustment resulted in an additional edge for Mr. Kean.

When he first heard the news of the adjustment, Roger Stone, Mr. Kean’s political consultant, said, “They’re stealing it – we’re just not going to stand for it, just to ‘find’ a precinct like that. You get so numb, you don’t know whether to be exhilarated or depressed.” After learning that the change in the figures favored his candidate, however, Mr. Stone conferred with his colleagues and said: “We just took a vote here and we think that’s O.K.”

70 From “Imperiale Called A Chief In G.O.P. Poll ‘Security'” by Selwyn Raab:

NEWARK, Nov. 16- The Essex County Prosecutor said today that Assemblyman Anthony Imperiale had been identified as having been in charge of “street operations” for a Republican ballot-security task force in Newark on Election Day.

Mr. Imperiale had previously denied any involvement in the security program, which is being investigated by the Prosecutor, George L. Schneider, following complaints by Democratic Party officials that it intimidated voters in the gubernatorial election on Nov. 3.

Mr. Schneider said Mr. Imperiale’s role in the operation had been disclosed by John A. Kelly, who was the director of the National Ballot Security Task Force in New Jersey. Republican Party officials have said that the task force was created to prevent voting frauds and that no proof of any intimidation of legitimate voters has been presented.

On Nov. 6, Assemblyman Imperiale, a Republican who represents a district in Newark, denied in an interview with The New York Times that he or a security agency that he operates had been involved in the ballot-security program in Newark, He characterized assertions by Democratic Party leaders that he might be involved as “a prefabricated lie.” He insisted that he had had no foreknowledge of the program and had not seen signs put up by the task force warning against illegal voting.

“I’m a state legislator,” he added. “I don’t put up signs. I went to the polls as a legislator in my district, the way I always do. I didn’t drop anyone off wearing armbands. If the Democrats are making charges that I knew about this, then tough crap on them. It’s the Democrats who have a reputation of stealing votes.”

71 From “Imperale Admits G.O.P. ‘Security’ Role” by Selwyn Raab:

NEWARK, Nov. 17- Assemblyman Anthony Imperiale acknowledged today that he was in charge of a Republican ballot-security program in Newark on Election Day. But he said that charges of voter intimidation by Democratic Party leaders were “sour grapes.”

The statewide activities of the program, the National Ballot Security Task Force, in the close gubernatorial election Nov. 3 are under investigation by the Essex County Prosecutor’s office.

Mr. Imperiale, after questioning by the Prosecutor, George L. Schneider, told reporters he had assigned about 35 people on Election Day to guard polling places in Newark and to report to him any possible voting irregularities. The guards, he said, were instructed “not to approach any voters.”

“Who did it intimidate?” Mr. Imperiale said. “No one but fraudulent voters in my opinion. This is sour grapes from Democrats. They don’t know how to take defeat.”

On Nov. 6, Mr. Imperiale, in an interview with The New York Times, said a published report that he was involved in the task force was “a prefabricated lie.” Asked today about his earlier denial, Mr. Imperiale replied: “I never denied it. It must have been a mistake.”

From “Indelicate Delegate”, no credited writer, of The New York Times:

With no contest for their Presidential nomination this year, Republicans have been free to choose their national convention delegates with an eye to broadening President Reagan’s electoral support.

It is hard to see how New Jersey Republicans served that goal by awarding a seat to former State Assemblyman Anthony Imperiale.

Mr. Imperiale, who once publicly referred to Martin Luther King Jr. as “Martin Luther Coon,” began his demagogic political career as a preacher of armed white self-defense following the 1967 Newark riots.

72 From Dirty Tricks:

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

73 From “Roger Stone, Political Animal” by Matt Labash:

I ask him how he feels about this in retrospect. He seems to feel pretty good–now that certain statutes of limitations are up. He cites one of Stone’s Rules, by way of Malcolm X, his “brother under the skin”: “By any means necessary.” “Reagan got the electoral votes in New York State, we saved the country,” Stone says with characteristic understatement. “[More] Carter would’ve been an unmitigated disaster.”

74 From “Civil Action No. 81-3876 Consent Order”, the crucial part of the consent decree is the following, which both the RNC and DNC must comply with:

(a) comply with all applicable state and federal laws protecting the rights of duly qualified citizens to vote for the candidate(s) of their choice;

(b) in the event that they produce or place any signs which are part of ballot security activities, cause said signs to disclose that they are authorized or sponsored by the party committees and any other committees participating with the party committees;

(c) refrain from giving any directions to or permitting their agents or employees to remove or deface any lawfully printed and placed campaign materials or signs;

(d) refrain from giving any directions to or permitting their employees to campaign within restricted polling areas or to interrogate prospective voters as to their qualifications to vote prior to their entry to a polling place;

(e) refrain from undertaking any ballot security activities in polling places or election districts where the racial or ethnic composition of such districts is a factor in the decision to conduct, or the actual conduct of, such activities there and where a purpose or significant effect of such activities is to deter qualified voters from voting; and the conduct of such activities disproportionately in or directed toward districts that have a substantial proportion of racial or ethnic populations shall be considered relevant evidence of the existence of such a factor and purpose;

(f) refrain from having private personnel deputized as law enforcement personnel in connection with ballot security activities.

75 From “G.O.P. Memo Tells Of Black Vote Cut” by Martin Tolchin:

WASHINGTON, Oct. 24- A Federal judge today released a memorandum in which a Republican official said the party’s program to pare the voting rolls in the name of “ballot integrity” “could keep the black vote down considerably” in a Louisiana Senate primary.

The memorandum, prepared by Kris Wolfe, a Middle Western regional director for the Republican National Committee, was sent to Lanny Griffith, the committee’s regional director for the South. It was obtained by the Democratic National Committee in a $10 million lawsuit against the Republican committee over the “ballot integrity” program.

Ms. Wolfe’s memorandum concerned the “ballot integrity” project in Louisiana, in a Senate primary race pitting Representative W. Henson Moore, a Republican, against Representative John B. Breaux, a Democrat. The memo was unsealed by Judge Dickinson R. Debevoise in Newark Federal District Court.

“I would guess that this program will eliminate at least 60-80,000 folks from the rolls,” Ms. Wolfe wrote. “If it’s a close race, which I’m assuming it is, this could keep the black vote down considerably.”

76 From “G.O.P. Turned 60,000 In To FBI” by Nicholas Horrock:

WASHINGTON – The Republican National Committee turned over the names of more than 60,000 registered voters in Louisiana and Indiana to the FBI in an effort to get the government to investigate alleged voter fraud, the chairman said Thursday, despite the fact it had no evidence of wrongdoing by the voters.

In a meeting with reporters, Frank J. Fahrenkopf Jr., the chairman, acknowledged that the only indication that the RNC had that the people named might be involved in wrongdoing was that mail sent to addresses they had listed on voter documents had been returned by the National Postal Service.

He said that the report to the bureau was not made to elicit investigations of the individuals but to encourage a major voter-fraud inquiry by the federal agents.

77 From “The Ballot Cops” by Mariah Blake:

Meanwhile, the RNC has tried to get back into the ballot-­security game. In 2008, the party asked Dickinson Debevoise, the New Jersey federal judge who presided over the two 1980s cases, to abolish or modify the decades-old consent decree barring certain anti-voter fraud activities. The RNC argued that the ban had outlived its purpose, but Debevoise was not persuaded, and denied the RNC’s request. (The party appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, which affirmed Debevoise’s ruling.) “Minority voters continue to overwhelmingly support Democratic candidates,” Debe­voise wrote in his 2009 decision. “As long as that is the case, the RNC and other Republican groups may be tempted to keep qualified minority voters from casting their ballots, especially in light of the razor-thin margin of victory by which many elections have been decided in recent years.”

78 From “Ghosts From the Past” by “The Prowler”:

CATHOLIC BACKREACH
As the White House and Republican National Committee officials begin to transition their political resources to help Sen. John McCain’s run for the presidency, both are looking at how best to support McCain’s campaign. As we reported last week, one focus is rebuilding Catholic outreach. According to RNC insiders, that has put the focus on current RNC outreach co-director John A. Kelly (he was appointed to the post, along with Leonard Leo, of the Federalist Society, by then-RNC director Ken Mehlman).

Since Kelly took over the job, however, the Republican Party has seen its support among Catholics nosedive, and Kelly’s own checkered past is raising questions about the RNC’s seriousness of rebuilding Catholic outreach.

Before becoming head of Catholic outreach, Kelly was better known as the John A. Kelly who back in the early 1980s had served as a low-level RNC aide who was removed from that job, according to the New York Times, for passing himself off as a White House employee of the then newly installed Reagan Administration.

Kelly was moved over to another job at the RNC, working on a ballot security task force for the 1981 New Jersey governor’s race that saw Tom Kean defeat James Florio. That outcome was tainted by Democrat charges that the RNC-backed task force intimidated voters in inner-city areas; a lawsuit was filed against the RNC, and the national party later signed a pledge in federal court promising not to allow such intimidation of Democrat voters again.

Kelly was suspended from his duties by the RNC after questions were raised about his resume, and whether he’d actually worked as a police officer, attended or graduated from Fordham Law School, or attended Notre Dame (he attended Holy Cross Junior College in South Bend, Indiana, graduating in 1972). He later resigned his RNC post.

His biography used for public appearances today says, “In the past, Kelly has been the White House Liaison to the Republican National Committee for political and personnel issues, a political aide to Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush.”

“Everyone deserves a second chance, but Catholic outreach is a disaster right now,” says a former senior Reagan Administration official who dealt with Kelly during his time at the RNC in the early 1980s. “Two thousand six was just a mess for us and 2008 isn’t looking any better.”

79 From “Whitman Funds Went to Curtail Black Turnout” by Richard L. Berke:

Christine Todd Whitman’s campaign made payments to black ministers and Democratic Party workers in exchange for promises not to rally votes for Gov. Jim Florio in the final stages of the New Jersey gubernatorial race, her campaign manager said today.

The manager, Edward J. Rollins, said the campaign funneled about $500,000 in such “walking around money” from the state Republican Party. Those efforts to depress the vote in urban, heavily Democratic areas, he said, were important in Mrs. Whitman’s narrow upset victory.

Speaking to reporters at a breakfast meeting, Mr. Rollins described the payments to ministers as contributions to their “favorite charities.”

“We went into black churches and we basically said to ministers who had endorsed Florio, ‘Do you have a special project?’ And they said, “We’ve already endorsed Florio,” Mr. Rollins said. “We said, ‘That’s fine. Don’t get up on the pulpit Sunday and say it’s your moral obligation that you go on Tuesday to vote for Jim Florio.’ ”

Mr. Rollins said the campaign used a more direct approach to persuade some Democratic political workers to stay home on Election Day. “We said to some of their key workers, ‘How much have they paid you to do your normal duty?’ ” he said. “Well, we’ll match it. Go home, sit and watch television.”

Mr. Rollins said the payments were arranged at lower levels of the campaign. “Those were our community people who obviously knew what they needed to do and where they needed to do it,” he explained.

The actions that Mr. Rollins said were taken by the black ministers fly in the face of generations of activism in black churches. In many communities, black ministers have led drives to get voters registered and in urging them to vote, usually for Democrats.

Mr. Rollins, who volunteered the information at the breakfast this morning, seemed to be arguing, however, that his tactics were well within the hardball traditions of New Jersey politics, particularly in urban areas, where “street money” is often used to stimulate voting.

80 From “Rollins Says He Fabricated Payoff Tale to Irk Foes” by Jerry Gray:

At times expressing bewilderment and at other times turning morbidly plaintive, Edward J. Rollins Jr. spent nearly seven hours today explaining under oath the circumstances that he said led to his assertions about efforts to suppress the urban black vote in the recent governor’s race in New Jersey.

In a rambling soliloquy, Mr. Rollins said it was an effort to get in a dig at his rival political strategist in the race, James Carville, that ultimately led him to boast to Washington reporters about an elaborate election scheme that he now says is a lie.

Nevertheless, he described a strategy meeting several weeks before Election Day with a senior black official in Christine Todd Whitman’s campaign which — except for his insistence that he authorized no official campaign funds — bore a strong resemblance to the operations that he bragged about Nov. 9 and that he has since recanted.

Mr. Rollins said he did tell Lanna Hooks, a co-chairwoman of the Whitman campaign and one of the senior black officials in the Republican candidate’s camp, to “continue a dialogue” with black churches.

“I said, ‘Lanna, go back to these people and continue the dialogue and tell them as far as we’re concerned we want to help them. Whatever their favorite charity may be, there are other ways of helping them besides state funding that Florio has, or what have you.’ But I didn’t authorize her to go commit resources and she, as an attorney, wouldn’t ask for that. All I did was give her some suggestions and I said ‘Tell them, if they don’t go up to the pulpit and preach against us on Sunday, we’d be way ahead of the game.’ “

“My expectation was not that this was going to become a national story, because, obviously, if I thought it was going to be a national story, I would not have taken a gun and put it to my head and blown my career apart as I have done,” Mr. Rollins was quoted as saying in a transcript of his testimony that was provided, with his consent, by the Democratic National Committee.

81 Perhaps one of the best accounts of the disaster in Florida is “The Path To Florida” by David Margolick, Evgenia Peretz, and Michael Shnayerson:

Amid the media frenzy after the election, one story went untold-the one in the footnote that Scalia had asked Ginsburg to delete from her dissent. In fact, thousands of African-Americans in Florida had been stripped of their right to vote.

Adora Obi Nweze, the president of the Florida State Conference of the N.A.A.C.P., went to her polling place and was told she couldn’t vote because she had voted absentee-even though she hadn’t. Cathy Jackson of Broward, who’d been a registered voter since 1996, showed up at the polls and was told she was not on the rolls. After seeing a white woman casting an affidavit ballot, she asked if she could do the same. She was turned down. Donnise DeSouza of Miami was also told that she wasn’t on the rolls. She was moved to the “problem line”; soon thereafter, the polls closed, and she was sent home. Lavonna Lewis was on the rolls. But after waiting in line for hours, the polls closed. She was told to leave, while a white man was allowed to get in line, she says.

U.S. congresswoman Corrine Brown, who was followed into her polling place by a local television crew, was told her ballot had been sent to Washington, D.C., and so she couldn’t vote in Florida. Only after two and a half hours was she allowed to cast her ballot. Brown had registered thousands of students from 10 Florida colleges in the months prior to the election. “We put them on buses,” she says, “took them down to the supervisor’s office. Had them register. When it came time to vote, they were not on the rolls!” Wallace McDonald of Hillsborough County went to the polls and was told he couldn’t vote because he was a felon-even though he wasn’t. The phone lines at the N.A.A.C.P. offices were ringing off the hook with stories like these. “What happened that day-I can’t even put it in words anymore,” says Donna Brazile, Gore’s campaign manager, whose sister was asked for three forms of identification in Seminole County before she was allowed to vote. “It was the most painful, dehumanizing, demoralizing thing I’ve ever experienced in my years of organizing.”

In retrospect, the claims of disenfranchisement were hardly phony. In January and February 2001, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, the highly divided, highly partisan government-appointed group formed in 1957, heard more than 30 hours of damning testimony from more than 100 witnesses. The report, which came out in June of that year, made a strong case that the election violated the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The commissioners duly passed their report up to newly installed attorney general Ashcroft. Little was done.

Throughout Florida, people – many of them black men, such as Willie Steen, a decorated Gulf War veteran – went to the polls and were informed that they couldn’t vote, because they were convicted felons – even though they weren’t.

“The poll worker looked at the computer and said that there was something about me being a felon,” says Steen, who showed up at his polling place in Hillsborough County, young son in tow. Florida is one of just seven states that deny former felons the right to vote, but Steen wasn’t a felon.

“I’ve never been arrested before in my life,” Steen told the woman. A neighbor on line behind him heard the whole exchange. Steen tried to hide his embarrassment and quietly pleaded with the poll worker, How could I have ended up on the list? She couldn’t give him an answer. As the line lengthened, she grew impatient. “She brushed me off and said, ‘Hey, get to the side,'” recalls Steen. The alleged felony, Steen later learned, took place between 1991 and 1993-when he was stationed in the Persian Gulf.

Steen wasn’t the only upstanding black citizen named Willie on the list. So was Willie Dixon, a Tampa youth leader and pastor, and Willie Whiting, a pastor in Tallahassee. In Jacksonville, Roosevelt Cobbs learned through the mail that he, too, was a felon, though he wasn’t. The same thing happened to Roosevelt Lawrence. Throughout the state, scores of innocent people found themselves on the purge list.

The story got little attention at the time. Only Greg Palast, a fringe, old-school investigator, complete with fedora, was on its trail. With a background in racketeering investigation for the government, Palast broke part of the story while the recount was still going on, but he did it in England, in The Observer. None of the mainstream media in the U.S. would touch it. “Stories of black people losing rights is passé, it’s not discussed, no one cares,” says Palast, whose reporting on the subject appears in his 2002 book, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. “A black person accused of being a felon is always guilty.”

How the state ended up with the “felon list” in the first place has its roots in one of the uglier chapters in American history. In 1868, Florida, as a way of keeping former slaves away from the polls, put in its constitution that prisoners would permanently be denied the right to vote unless they were granted clemency by the governor. In those days, and for nearly a hundred years after, a black man looking at a white woman was cause for arrest. The felony clause was just one of many measures taken to keep blacks off the rolls, including literacy tests, poll taxes, and “grandfather clauses,” by which a man could vote only if his grandfather had. All these other methods were effectively ended. But the constitutional provision about former felons remained.

In Florida, there are an estimated 700,000 ex-felons, and 1 in 4 is a black male. Six years ago, Florida state representative Chris Smith, of Fort Lauderdale, sat outside a local Winn-Dixie grocery store trying to get people to register. “A lot of black men that looked like me, around my age, would just walk past me and say, ‘Felony,’ ‘Felony,’ and not even attempt to register to vote,” Smith recalls. Why so many? In the past few years the majority-Republican legislature has upgraded certain misdemeanors to felonies and also created dozens of new felonies that disproportionately affect the urban poor. Intercepting police communications with a ham radio is a felony. So is the cashing of two unemployment checks after the recipient has gotten a new job. State senator Frederica Wilson, like other black lawmakers in Florida, believes these felonies are “aimed at African-American people.”

From the start, there were questions about the felon list. “We were sent this purge list in August of 1998,” says Leon County elections supervisor Ion Sancho, moving feverishly through his cluttered office. “We started sending letters and contacting voters, [saying] that we had evidence that they were potential felons and that they contact us or they were going to be removed from the rolls. Boy, did that cause a firestorm.” One of those letters was sent to Sancho’s friend Rick Johnson, a civil-rights attorney, who was no felon. “Very few felons,” Sancho points out, “are members of the Florida bar.”

Sancho decided to get to the bottom of it. Early in 2000 he sat down with Emmett “Bucky” Mitchell, the Division of Elections’ assistant general counsel, and demanded to know why the list contained so many names of innocent people. “Bucky told me face-to-face that the Division of Elections was working on the problem,” recalls Sancho, “that it was the vendor’s [DBT’s] problem, and that they were telling the vendor to correct it.”

James Lee, chief marketing officer of ChoicePoint, the company that acquired DBT in the spring of 2000, says that the state did just the opposite. “Between the 1998 run and the 1999 run, the office of elections relaxed the criteria from 80 percent to 70 percent name match,” says Lee. “Because after the first year they weren’t getting enough names.”

And so, equipped with a database of felons supplied by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (F.D.L.E.), DBT programmers crouched at their computers and started scooping up names, many of which were only partial matches, from the Florida voter rolls and various other databases. Middle initials didn’t need to be the same; suffixes, such as Jr. and Sr., were ignored. Willie D. Whiting Jr., pastor, was caught because Willie J. Whiting was a felon. First and middle names could be switched around: Deborah Ann, Ann Deborah-same thing. Nicknames were fine-Robert, Bob, Bobby. The spelling of the last name didn’t have to be exact, either. The only thing Willie Steen was guilty of was having a name similar to that of a felon named Willie O’Steen.

DBT project manager Marlene Thorogood expressed concern in a March 1999 e-mail to the Division of Elections that the new parameters might result in “false positives” (i.e., wrongly included people). Bucky Mitchell wrote back, explaining the state’s position: “Obviously, we want to capture more names that possibly aren’t matches and let the [elections] supervisors make a final determination rather than exclude certain matches altogether.” Guilty until proved innocent, in other words.

82 From “The Path To Florida” by David Margolick, Evgenia Peretz, and Michael Shnayerson:

In Miami-Dade that week, a manual recount of undervotes began to produce a striking number of new votes for Gore. There, as in Palm Beach and Broward, fractious Democratic and Republican lawyers were challenging every vote the canvassing board decided. In Miami-Dade, Kendall Coffey, tall and gaunt, was the Democrats’ eyes and ears. As the Gore votes accumulated, he recalls, “panic buttons were being pushed.”

On Wednesday, November 22, the canvassing board made an ill-fated decision to move the counting up from the 18th floor of the Clark Center, where a large number of partisan observers had been able to view it, to the more cloistered 19th floor. Angry shouts rang out, and so began the “Brooks Brothers riot.”

Several dozen people, ostensibly local citizens, began banging on the doors and windows of the room where the tallying was taking place, shouting, “Stop the count! Stop the fraud!” They tried to force themselves into the room and accosted the county Democratic Party chairman, accusing him of stealing a ballot. A subsequent report by The Washington Post would note that most of the rioters were Republican operatives, many of them congressional staffers.

Elections supervisor David Leahy would say that the decision to stop counting undervotes had nothing to do with the protest, only with the realization that the job could not be completed by the Florida Supreme Court’s deadline of November 26. Yet the board had seemed confident, earlier, that it could meet the deadline, and the decision to stop counting occurred within hours of the protest.

83 An overview of who was in the crowd is given in a documentary on the Florida vote and the re-count, Unprecedented: The 2000 Presidential Election:

Roger Stone - Unprecedented The 2000 Presidential Election

Roger Stone - Unprecedented The 2000 Presidential Election

Roger Stone - Unprecedented The 2000 Presidential Election

Roger Stone - Unprecedented The 2000 Presidential Election

Roger Stone - Unprecedented The 2000 Presidential Election

Roger Stone - Unprecedented The 2000 Presidential Election

Roger Stone - Unprecedented The 2000 Presidential Election

84 From “Miami’s rent-a-riot” by John Lantigua:

On the surface, it looked like the good people of Miami at their worst again. Last week’s melee at the county offices here – followed by the local canvassing board’s abrupt cancellation of a hand recount – had all the trademarks of Miami’s notorious tantrum politics. Screaming, shoving, fist-waving, intimidation, ties to Elian Gonzalez and even hints of good ol’ Cuban-American political corruption.

But the fact is that the fracas at Miami’s recount headquarters was engineered and carried out by Republican Party operatives imported from the heartland, far from South Florida. They might have reminded viewers of Elian’s Army – and might even have taken lessons from the Cubans – but, by all accounts, the city’s strident conservative exile community was very much in the minority. As one observer put it: “There were no guayaberas. This crowd looked tweedy. They were from out of town.”

Indeed, all on-the-scene reports coming out now indicate that the Miami protest was carried out by rent-a-rioters flown in by the Republican Party. GOP spokespeople have said that at least 750 Republican activists have been sent into South Florida from around the country to oppose the recount, with the party picking up the tab for a number of them. And last Wednesday, when a gaggle of protesters sprang into action in Miami, those efforts seem to have paid off.

London Sunday Times correspondent Tom Rhodes, who was present during the protest, says he overheard one GOP protester on a cellphone in the midst of that political mosh pit bragging that he had tipped off Bush campaign strategist Karl Rove about the rally. “I just told Rove,” Rhodes overheard. As with the presence of Ross and Pyle, the call demonstrated that these weren’t just protesters lured off the streets by the party, but connected, dyed-in-the-wool party operatives.

“There were two or three loud Cubans but most of the people I talked to were white, mostly men, from Oklahoma, Texas, mostly Southern states,” says Sunday Times correspondent Rhodes. “They were talking on cellphones, probably to people nearby, telling them to get in there right away and bring as many people as they could.”

85 From “Miami’s rent-a-riot” by John Lantigua:

The incident – the ugliest single set piece of the Election 2000 epic and possibly the most decisive one – was set in motion by one imported GOP operative: Rep. John Sweeney, R-N.Y., who from an office in that same county building has led the Miami fight against the recount.

On hearing of the decision to move the vote tally, Sweeney uttered a three-word order to his troops: “Shut it down.” Those words were reported by Paul Gigot, who was in the room with GOP operatives, in his Wall Street Journal column Friday.

Within minutes, some two dozen GOP recount observers and other Bush supporters had begun pounding on the doors and windows of the county elections tallying room on the 19th floor of the building. They demanded to be admitted and chanted, “Stop the count. Stop the fraud.” Television cameras showed the protesters trying to force their way into the room.

According to Gigot, who was with Republican leaders at the protest, the GOP forces also threatened to unleash the vociferous Cuban-American community on the recount workers. “One thousand local Cuban Republicans were on the way,” they said. But they never seemed to materialize.

86 From “Contesting The Vote: The Demonstrators” by Dana Canedy With James Dao:

“A group of out-of-state, paid political operatives came to south Florida in an attempt to stop county-wide recounts,” said Representative Peter Deutsch, a Democrat from Fort Lauderdale. Mr. Deutsch plans to meet with top Justice Department officials to discuss the matter on Tuesday. “They crossed state lines and intimidated the counting in a federal election, which is a violation of the Voting Rights Act,” he said.

But the Republicans have said that the Democrats’ characterizations of the protests were distorted.

“This was not a threatening band of armed thugs,” said Emily Miller, a spokeswoman for Mr. DeLay. “They were idealistic, enthusiastic young Republicans who felt they were being shut out, that this was an unfair decision.”

87 From “The Dirty Trickster” by Jeffrey Toobin:

As is customary with Stone, there is some controversy about his precise role. “I was the guy in charge of the trailer, and I coördinated the Brooks Brothers riot,” Brad Blakeman, a lobbyist and political consultant who worked for Bush in Miami, told me. “Roger did not have a role that I know of. His wife may have been on the radio, but I never saw or heard from him.” Scoffing at Blakeman’s account, Stone asserts that he was in the trailer; he said that he had never heard of Blakeman. (Rule: “Lay low, play dumb, keep moving.”)

88 From “New York’s Bush Boys” by Wayne Barrett:

Also participating in these key appointments-as well as filling top patronage jobs in the regional offices of federal agencies like Housing and Urban Development, Health & Human Services, Labor, Environmental Protection, General Services, Transportation, and Interior-will be the leaders of the state’s GOP congressional delegation. While Orange County Congressman Ben Gilman is the senior member of that delegation and will wield significant clout, the congressman with the best connections to the White House is John Sweeney, whose sliver of a district extends from Hyde Park almost to the Canadian border.

The former executive director of the state party, the 45-year-old Sweeney endeared himself to the Bushes by coordinating much of the recount fight in Florida, orchestrating the demonstrations, for example, at the Miami-Dade canvassing board. Denounced on national television as a “thug” by Alan Dershowitz, the prominent Democratic attorney who represented the victims of the Palm Beach butterfly ballot, Sweeney told the Voice: “Pataki, [state GOP chairman] Bill Powers, and myself have pretty good ties with the Bush people and will serve as voices for the state.”

Sweeney is reportedly focused on EPA, HUD, and Labor appointments, having served as Labor commissioner under Pataki before winning his congressional seat in 1998. Though a junior member of the House, Sweeney was recently given his choice of plum committees, choosing Appropriations over Ways & Means. Another Powers ally, Buffalo Congressman Tom Reynolds, is also highly respected by the Bush team.

89 From “Pol vs. Pole” by Michael Tomasky:

John Sweeney, an upstate Republican congressman, became a national hero to his party when he led the infamous charge on the Miami-Dade elections commissioners by ordering the pro-Bush troops to “shut it down!” Sweeney’s directive inspired that hardened assemblage of GOP Capitol Hill staffers to bang on the election commission’s doors, intimidate the commissioners, and halt the recount.

But more recently, “Shut it down!” has taken on another meaning in Sweeney’s life, ever since the late-January night when his car rammed a utility pole on a rural upstate road. What Sweeney managed to shut down that night was power to the homes of several of his constituents and to the Willard Mountain ski resort, stranding skiers aloft on the chairlifts that relied on the juice that ran through the wires Sweeney’s 2001 Jeep Laredo managed to clip.

The story goes as follows. On the night of January 23, Sweeney was driving away from Willard, where he’d passed the evening skiing. Just before 10 p.m., he lost control of his vehicle and hit the utility pole. He told police he was fidgeting with his CD player. He was not hurt. A woman who lives along the road, Donna English — who happens to be a local Republican councilwoman — came out to offer assistance. A state-police trooper arrived on the scene. Live electrical wires lay strewn across Vly Summit Road. A local volunteer-fire-department chief offered to send a crew to the site to direct traffic, a common enough procedure in rural areas. But the fire chief was told by the state police that no assistance was needed. Instead, it was left to English to direct traffic. For an hour and a half. Sweeney was not charged or ticketed, and power was restored in about eight hours’ time (the ski resort managed to get the people in the chairlift down sooner).

From “Congressman’s wife called police” (archived) by Brendan L. Lyons:

CLIFTON PARK — The wife of U.S. Rep. John Sweeney called police last December to complain her husband was “knocking her around” during a late-night argument at the couple’s home, according to a document obtained last week by the Times Union.

The emergency call to a police dispatcher triggered a visit to the couple’s residence by a state trooper from Clifton Park, who filed a domestic incident report after noting that the congressman had scratches on his face, the document states. No criminal charges were filed.

Gaia M. Sweeney, 36, told a trooper that her husband had grabbed her by the neck and was pushing her around the house, according to the document.

Sweeney’s wife, Gaia, placed the emergency call to a police dispatcher in Saratoga County at 12:55 a.m. on Dec. 2, according to the document.

“Female caller stating her husband is knocking her around the house,” a dispatcher wrote. “Then she stated `Here it comes, are you ready?’ and disconnected the call. Upon call-back, the husband stated no problem … asked the wife if she wanted to talk. Wife (caller) then got on the phone and stated that she’s fine and that she’s drunk. Caller sounded intoxicated. She advised that she was endangered for a moment, but everything is fine.”

From “Sweeney’s wife claims he abused her” (archived) by Kate Gurnett:

Gayle Sweeney, about to confront former U.S. Rep. John Sweeney in a divorce case, claims her husband was often verbally abusive and at times physically abused her during their marriage.

She now concedes that a statement she made on the eve of last fall’s election denying marital abuse was “coerced.”

Mrs. Sweeney, who is staying with friends at locations she wants to keep secret, approached the Times Union on Friday and asked to have her story told. She said she was fearful for her life.

Contacted Saturday, John Sweeney flatly denied any physical abuse of his wife.

At the time, the Times Union had obtained a State Police dispatch report confirming long-standing rumors of a domestic incident. The report indicated that Mrs. Sweeney had phoned State Police in December 2005 to report her husband was “knocking her around.”

In the subsequent news conference outside the home of GOP strategist Tom Slater, John and Gayle Sweeney called the report “a fake.”

Mrs. Sweeney defended her husband then. “I did not need to be protected from John…there were no injuries to me,” she declared at the time.

Sweeney blamed Gillibrand, saying she’d leaked bad information and “in her desire for power, she has tried to ruin my marriage, slander my family.”

In fact, Mrs. Sweeney said Friday, she had been injured in the altercation, to the point where her lips were swollen when Sweeney pushed her into a file cabinet. Political advisers wanted her to deny that there had been a violent incident that night, in a last-ditch attempt to save her husband’s campaign, she said.

90 From “FEC tells Sweeney to get his paperwork in order” by Jordan Carleo-Evangelist:

The Center for Public Integrity reported this morning that former U.S. Rep. John Sweeney has incurred the ire of the Federal Elections Commission – first for trying to close his long-dormant campaign account without settling nearly a quarter-million dollars in outstanding debt and, more recently, failing to file a required third-quarter disclosure report.

Sweeney’s campaign account, for which he is listed as the treasurer, has no cash but owes $223,000 to various vendors – including more than $22,000 to Success Magazine in Clifton Park and nearly $17,700 to X Press Info Solutions in Albany for printing, according to the FEC.

As one commenter notes below, Success Magazine rather memorably featured Sweeney on its cover just days after his defeat at the polls.

91 From “The Sweet Smell of John Sweeney”:

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

92 The rise all fall of Freedom’s Watch is described in two articles, “Big Coffers and a Rising Voice Lift a New Conservative Group” by Don Van Natta Jr. and “Great Expectations for a Conservative Group Seem All but Dashed” by Michael Luo. The filing for Klayman v. Freedom’s Watch, his suit for copyright infringement.

93 From “Recount Revisited (Part 2)”, a discussion between Recount director Jay Roach and Jonathan Chait; the excerpt is entirely Roach:

To respond to your comments, and to show that, although I love comedy, I did not need to inject much additional humor or absurdity to the actual history of this event, here’s a story about one experience from our direct research that ties into what you’re getting at:

Late in pre-production, Danny Strong and I went to Washington, D.C., and interviewed Brad Blakeman, a very charming, intelligent spinmeister in Florida depicted in the film. He was, by his own account, the man at least partly behind “Sore Loserman,” “Surrender Gorethy,” “The Gorinch Who Stole the Election,” and other demonstration characters and stunts that appeared at rallies outside the Florida Supreme Court and outside counting centers throughout the 36 days of the recount. (Tangentially, Blakeman recently started and ran Freedom’s Watch, a group funded by the right to match the left’s MoveOn.org.)

Blakeman also said he helped organize the edgier “Brooks Brothers Riot” from his roving RV office in Florida. As you see in the film, this protest took place outside the counting rooms in Miami-Dade County. By most accounts, the shouting and shoving and pounding of fists on the doors and windows succeeded in intimidating the canvassing board, who shut down the recount right after the protests, even though the board had approved the counting earlier.

Fascinatingly for me, Blakeman told us there was a very deliberate effort by the Republicans in Florida to “act more like Democrats,” and to take a page out of the book written by the left-wing protestors in the ’60s who used protests and street theater to inject turmoil and chaos into established political processes to make them look flawed, corrupt, or ridiculous (as with the Democratic Convention in 1968 or the attempts to levitate the Pentagon). Blakeman told us that the Republicans were certain that in 2000, the Democrats would “lie, cheat, and steal” to win the Florida recount. So, to “preserve the victory,” the Republicans this time had to pre-emptively take to the streets and make the recount seem messy, chaotic, and even dangerous to the country. The hope was to prevent the recount from flipping the victory to Gore, and if it did, to make the recount’s results seem illegitimate.

For Blakeman, this meant loud protests during the recounting; bull-horn disruptions that shut down speeches by people like Jesse Jackson and other Democrats during rallies; characters like “Cry-Baby Gore”; and catchy slogans and T-shirts at every possible public event. He told us that for him, what the Democrats and the Florida Supreme Court were trying to do was pure farce, so the only proper response was pure farce. He wanted people to connect hand-counting of votes with utter turmoil and dysfunction, and for him, the wackier the whole process seemed, the better.

Many of the reporters we spoke to described the streets of Tallahassee during the 36 days of the recount as being remarkably free of left-wing protestors. As the film portrays, evidently, the “establishment” Democrats felt an impartial recount process should be as free of political, partisan disruption as possible. Again, some have admired their restraint, and believed Al Gore, Warren Christopher, and Bill Daley were acting from high principles connected to higher forms of statesmanship. But in contrast to strategies like Blakeman’s, and because they lost, the Democrats’ approach has been described in most of the books and historical articles as weak, or at the very least, mismatched.

When we walked out of this interview with Blakeman, Danny and I were convinced the satirical tone already evident in his script was valid (along with its great drama and edge-of-the-seat suspense), and that history gave us room for even a little more looniness, seeing as it was an actual strategic element in the conflict.

94 Examples of Blakeman on TV: ” David Schuster Laughs Out Loud at GOP Pundit Brad Blakeman” (MSNBC), “The President is like a Vegas Bookie” (MSNBC), “Obama’s New Off-Shore Drilling Plan a Guise to Push for a Massive Climate Change Bill” (FOX), etc.

95 From Dirty Tricks:

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

96 From “New Group Seeks To Have Justices Voted Off Court” by Linda Kleindienst and Brad Hahn:

The Florida Supreme Court has a new antagonist on its back — put there by Republican Palm Beach County Commissioner Mary McCarty.

McCarty has launched a new statewide organization, The Committee to Take Back Our Judiciary, designed to persuade voters to oust Florida’s Supreme Court justices from the bench.

Justices are appointed by the governor, then must face voter approval every six years. No justice has ever been voted off the court, although some have been targeted by organized ouster campaigns.

McCarty sent a fund-raising letter to 350,000 Republican donors across the state this week, asking them to join the effort.

“The court is left-wing, partisan and actively hostile to mainstream ideas and principles. The court doesn’t interpret law — the court writes new laws based on liberal dogma,” McCarty wrote.

No active campaign is planned until closer to the election, she said, but now is the time to raise money because the court is in the spotlight. “Merit retention is something that should be earned, it’s not a gift,” McCarty said.

From “Florida Justice may have a tough campaign in 2002” by Jackie Hallifax:

TALLAHASSEE – Florida voters have never removed a justice from the state Supreme Court. But Florida justices have never before played such a central role in a close presidential race.

In the aftermath of the historic, five-week legal struggle, conservatives long critical of liberal “judicial activism” have a new target: Justice Harry Lee Anstead, who faces voters in two years.

“The spotlight will be on him, I can guarantee it, no doubt about it,” said Republican John Thrasher, a former state House speaker.

Susan Johnson, a Winter Park Republican, voted for Bush and to retain the three justices. She said she got down to their names on the ballot and thought to herself, “I’m sure these guys are fine.”

Johnson said Wednesday she knows how wrong she was.

“This is an extremely liberal court. This is an extremely partisan court. This is an activist bench,” she said.

This week, Johnson formed an organization called Balance to the Bench with Tampa businessman Sam Rashid. The group wants to increase voters’ awareness of judges’ records – and remove Anstead.

“It seems out of balance to me that we have a conservative Legislature, a conservative governor and a conservative Cabinet but an extremely liberal court,” Johnson said.

97 From “Mccarty Could Face $450,000 In Fines” by Prashant Gopal:

Although she was the chairwoman for Take Back Our Judiciary from January to May 2001, McCarty said she never was involved in the group’s finances and didn’t handle any contributions.

McCarty said she didn’t intentionally do anything wrong and has filed a federal court challenge to stop the election commission from fining her.

“I didn’t do any of this except sign my name,” McCarty said of the political committee. “This was basically some sort of a scam that was set up that I was used in. I was duped. My name was used, so I have to take the brunt of it.”

98 From “Mccarty Implores Friends To Help With Legal Bills” by Prashant Gopal:

Now that her year-long battle with the Florida Elections Commission may be over, County Commissioner Mary McCarty is asking friends and donors to help pay her legal bills to the tune of $50,000.

The elections agency slapped McCarty with a $2,000 fine last week for her role as chairwoman of a group that tried to oust justices who sided with Democrat Al Gore during the 2000 presidential recount fight.

Republican Party Chairman Sid Dinerstein said he will contribute $100 to McCarty’s fund and will solicit more through the party’s mailing list.

“From our perspective, she fought the good fight even though she didn’t cross her T’s and I’s properly,” Dinerstein said. “Think of us as friends of Mary and she got caught in something where her legal expenses wound up to be quite extraordinary.”

99 From “Mccarty Oks Fine In Ethics Violation” by Anthony Man:

Palm Beach County Commissioner Mary McCarty has admitted she violated state law by accepting lobbyist contributions to a legal defense fund and agreed to pay a fine to settle the matter.

If the state Ethics Commission approves a proposed settlement signed by McCarty, her lawyer, and Linzie Bogan, an assistant attorney general who acts as a prosecutor before the commission, the commissioner will pay a $3,750 fine.

Sid Dinerstein, chairman of the county Republican Party, disagreed.

“It’s old news and I think the lightness of the sanction is indicative of how minor and technical the offense was,” he said. “It’s really a non-issue. Mary’s got some great current issues that are going to work for her. I think she’s going to have a very easy re-election.

“She is virtually single-handedly responsible for getting Scripps settled from the commission, and the whole county is aware of it, and she will be rewarded for it as she should be,” Dinerstein said.

100 “Mccarty Arrives At Federal Prison” by Brian Haas describes this event.

101 “Behind the razor wire with contrite Mary McCarty” by George Bennett:

“Public trust is a sacred thing, and I violated that trust. And it’s something I’m ashamed of.”

McCarty, 56, was a hard-charging, tough-talking force on the county commission and in local Republican circles for 18 years before resigning in 2009 and pleading guilty to a federal felony count of honest services fraud.

McCarty’s lawyer, in pleading for leniency before her 2009 sentencing, cited “growing concerns” about the honest services fraud law. But McCarty, asked if she thinks the 2010 Supreme Court ruling will affect her case, said, “I don’t think so, but I don’t know. I’ve kind of left it alone.

“It’s something I’m not really interested in pursuing,” she said.

“I did what I did. I’m paying the price for it. I’ve chosen to take responsibility and hope that people will forgive me.”

When she’s out of prison, McCarty’s sentence calls for three years of probation.

She said she will try to get her civil rights restored so she can vote. Asked if she’d ever run for office again, McCarty said: “No, no, no, no. No.”

“I’m going to hope that there’s some courageous person out there who believes in second chances that’s willing to hire me and give me a second chance,” she said.

“I know a lot of people, obviously. I know how government works, local government. I know a lot of resources. I have a great Rolodex. I’ve been known to be a hard worker.”

Whatever she ends up doing, McCarty said she’ll no longer have the “entitled” attitude that contributed to her downfall.

102 “Mary McCarty leaves Texas prison, enters local halfway house” by George Bennett describes this event.

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Roger Stone: Pretty Reckless Is Going Straight To Hell Part Three

ROGER STONE:

PRETTY RECKLESS IS GOING STRAIGHT TO HELL

PART ONE PART TWO PART THREE PART FOUR PART FIVE PART SIX

PART SEVEN PART EIGHT PART NINE PART TEN

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

THE WELL DRESSED MAN PART THREE: WE RULE THE WORLD, OR: BONDAGE AND DOMINATION

Though NCPAC would collapse in the 1980s, and would disappear from memory, it wouldn’t disappear from relevance. Phantom groups which are heavily funded and could kick in the teeth of a candidate are now ubiquitous in elections, federal, state, and local. “A group like ours could lie through its teeth and the candidate it helps stays clean,” as stated by Dolan, is the grounding principle behind something like Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and similar PACs and Super PACs. Rather than letting any associated dirt build up which would stigmatize and cripple the group in future political actions, as happened to NCPAC, now the group is employed during the election period and quickly thrown away, the trail leading to the central source of funding kept as obscure as possible. NCPAC had died, but Roger Stone had moved on long before Terry Dolan was cold in the ground, joining the supercolossus lobbying firm of Black, Manafort, Stone, and Kelly which also included partners Charlie Black, Paul Manafort, and Lee Atwater.

You would think there would be an extraordinary amount written about lobbying firms, especially one of the most powerful such firms of the 1980s. These, after all, are the entities which push, write, and re-write the legislation which cause rivers to be poisoned and allow your children to be shot dead in malls and schools. Yet anyone who looks into the subject will quickly discover how astonishingly little there is, especially relative to their breadth of influence and power. Black, another NCPAC veteran, and Manafort had both played key roles in the Reagan 1980 election. Lee Atwater would be the architect of the 1988 Bush election campaign, forever associated with the creation of his use of the Willie Horton ad to achieve victory. Peter G. Kelly was the sole democrat of the major partners, with past experience in various top positions of the democratic apparatus and the DNC40. There is perhaps only one in-depth article on mercenary lobby shops like this that was written at the time, one so memorably scathing that it was remembered two decades later. “There was a piece in Spy magazine many, many years ago in the 1980s,” said the excellent journalist Ken Silverstein, on an episode of “Democracy Now!” devoted to the tyrant in charge of Equatorial Guinea and his lobbyists, “which was called ‘Voices of the Damned,’ and it was about sort of the most unethical foreign lobbyists, and Charlie Black’s firm was rated the worst of the worst. I mean, you know, it had – Spy magazine used this sort of “bloody hand” ranking, and I think Charlie Black’s firm had “four bloody hand” ranking, which was the highest of any of the firms.”41 This piece was long out of public sight until Spy‘s back issues were uploaded to Google Books, and readers could finally have easy access to Art Levine’s infamous profile, the title not quite “Voices of the Damned”, but “Publicists of the Damned”.

Roger Stone Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

BMS&K were one of several shops profiled in the article, and perhaps because their hands were bloodiest, they were given the regal place of the piece’s final paragraphs. To give the firm fair judgement, I give the full excerpt devoted to them here, from page 62 of “Publicists of the Damned”:

The well-compensated flacks at Black, Manafort stand at the pinnacle of organizational apologism. Name a corrupt despot, and Black, Manafort will name the account: Ferdinand Marcos, $900,000 a year; the now deposed Somalian dictatorship, $450,000; the drug-linked Bahamian government, $800,000. The firm’s involvement in the Bush and Reagan presidential campaigns allows it to promise – and sometimes deliver – special, executive-level rewards to its egregious clients. The partners, particularly Roger Stone, cultivate friendly relationships with reporters by generously supplying them with leaks and political gossip. And the schmoozing works. Once, when asked why he didn’t expose the corruptions of the governments Stone represents, a well-known political reporters said of Stone, “He’s too good a source.”

Sometimes Black, Manafort’s willingness to bend U.S. foreign policy to suit its needs is so great that it doesn’t mind running roughshod over the people its client supposedly represents. For $600,000 a year since 1985, the firm has represented Angola’s thuggish Jonas Savimbi, an alleged witch burner, and his guerilla group UNITA, helping promulgate his “freedom fighter” image and persuading Congress to approve more than $230 million in covert aid to Savimbi’s rebel forces. The cease-fire arranged in Angola last year threatens to reduce UNITA’s need for the heavy-duty lobbying that Black, Manafort has been providing. One former government official believes that the firm’s hawkish congressional lobbying for more military aid slowed down the process by which the cease-fire was achieved. “Black, Manafort played an important part in keeping the Angolan war going,” he says. It did so by forging a coalition of ultraconservative Republicans, anti-Castro Cuban Americans and moderate Democrats who wanted to appear tough on Communism. A conservative congressional aide sympathetic to UNITA charges, “Clearly, Savimbi wanted peace negotiations for a longer time than Black, Manafort wanted negotiations.” The lobbyists, he speculates, made it clear to Savimbi that he would lose right-wing support in Congress if he made too many concessions to Angola’s Marxists. Another Republican staff member says of Black, Manafort, “Their view is, ‘To hell with the facts, fuck the world.'”

One of George Bush’s very first foreign-policy acts was to send a letter when he was president-elect to Savimbi in which he promised continued U.S. support for the rebels – this at a time when hopes for brokering a peace settlement were especially high. The letter was drafted by a member of UNITA’s public-relations team, ex-Black, Manafort vice-president Chris Lehman, a former National Security Council staff member who used his White House contacts to help get the military commitment renewed. In Washington, Lehman and Black, Manafort’s triumph was more awe-inspiring than Savimbi’s. As a rival lobbyist said in the National Journal, “How much value do you put on a letter like the one to Savimbi? Is it worth a million dollars? Of course it is!”

So the war lasted another two years and claimed a few thousand more lives! So what? What counts to a Washington lobbyist is the ability to deliver a tangible victory and spruce up his client’s image.

The efforts of BMS&K in support of Savimbi are one of the few places where some light has been shed, again thanks to Spy magazine and a now forgotten article on a now forgotten incident, “Fooled on the Hill: How some die-hard Cold Warriors and a Belgian con artist tried to change U.S. policy in Africa”, by David Aronson and David Kamp. I already wrote about this astonishing moment at great length in “Angola, Namibia, South Africa, and a Tea Party Leader”, but I return to it briefly here.

In December 1988, Angola’s neighbor, Namibia, was to gain its independence after long being a vassal state of South Africa, with its policy of segregation imposed on Namibia as well. This was done in conjunction with a peace agreement, where Cuba and South Africa agreed to withdraw their own military forces from Angola, forces which had kept that country’s civil war going. Namibia’s dominant party, SWAPO, was allies with the Soviet government. There was a problem, however: Jonas Savimbi, the anti-communist Angolan guerilla fighter was against this. Savimbi was funded and supplied by the United States and South Africa; with Naimbia no longer annexed by South Africa and governed by a party unfriendly to his interests, Savimbi could see how this would constrain his activities and those of UNITA. It should be noted that though Savimbi presented himself as an anti-communist, he was more accurately considered an opportunist, a man who eventually funded his operations through blood diamonds and was wanted for war crimes, killed in his last battle before he could be brought to trial.

A bill was moving through Congress, with passage assured, that would have helped fund UN supervision of the transition of Namibia to independence. In order to derail the independence of Namibia, the senator from North Carolina, Jesse Helms, put a stipulation into the bill where the funding for the UN supervision would be withheld if there were any evidence of the use of chemical weapons by Cubans in Angola. Thanks to the work of Jesse Helms and BMS&K, Bush would sign the bill with the rider. They were also helped out by Andries Holst, a German film-maker who claimed to have recorded the horrors of chemical weapon use in Angola, and Aubin Heynrickx, a toxicologist who would confirm use of such weapons in a published report. Both men were brought in to give their support of the bill’s qualifier by a network that included BSK&H, the conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation, and the conservative think tank the International Freedom Foundation (IFF). The IFF would later be revealed to be a foundation set up by a lobbyist who would end up in infinite disgrace, Jack Abramoff, funded almost entirely by the South African apartheid government to promote messages and policies in favor of the apartheid government. Holst would turn out to be an utter fraud. Heynrickx’s research would be described by other researchers as “a real joke”, and that any student who submitted equivalent work would be kicked out of school. One can see all this, without difficulty, as an ominous foreshadowing of the lead-up to the Iraq war. After the fall of Saddam, in the search for chemical weapons used in war crimes, Heynrickx would show up there as well. To hell with the facts, fuck the world42.

Roger Stone - Pretty reckless is going straight to hell

(Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, Lee Atwater in 1985, photo by Harry Naltchayan, from “GOP trickster Roger Stone defects to Libertarian party” by “The Reliable Source” of the Post.)

Black had been a staff member for Helms, and Helms’ spokesman during this issue was Marc Thiessen, who would go on to work at BMS&K, then work as a speechwriter for president George W. Bush, after which he would publish a book defending the administration’s use of torture43. Though his allies would fight hard for continued U.S. funding for Savimbi, so that he might bring peace to Angola, the rebel leader would lose his American support. There would be elections which he would lose, and whose outcome he would contest, extending the Angolan civil war for nearly another decade. Thousands would die, Savimbi would sometimes burn women for being witches, and Angola would be left a blood-stained wreck, an oasis for guest workers who handled the country’s vast oil resources, and a miserable shanty town for everyone else44. The eyes of Roger Stone, I’ve already noted, are very blue, very unsmiling, and very cold.

BMS&K would survive this without difficulty – no one in America pays attention to a war in Africa – just as they would survive their brief appearance in the 1988 presidential campaign. A DEA report would note that the Bahamanian government of the time was most likely complicit in drug smuggling operations, and that it had hired BMS&K in order to improve its image with the Reagan administration. Critics of the Bahamian government, according to a memo sent from BMS&K to this same Bahamanian government, have been “sowing the seeds that the Government of the Bahamas is a nation for sale, inviting drug czars to use the banking system, that government officials are participating in the drug trafficking, that the Pindling Administration [Lynden Pindling, then head of the government of Bahamas] is about to collapse and much more.” The memo would go on to suggest that “personal relationships [the bolds are my own] between then Secretary of Defense [Caspar] Weinberger and then Attorney General [Ed] Meese could be used to redefine the priorities of the U.S. in its dealings with the Bahamas.”45 Meese, as you remember, is the attorney general who, during his confirmation hearings, couldn’t find the note referring to Roger Stone as a bagman.

The report would go on to make the following blunt criticism:

The role of the U.S. consultants raises troubling questions about conflicts of interest. Narcotics issues are indeed “national security issues.” The Subcommittee believes it is not in the interest of the United States to have former government officials, whether from the Congress or the Executive Branch, who held policy positions dealing with narcotics law enforcement, to use the knowledge they have obtained to work for a foreign government whose officials are implicated, either directly, or indirectly, in the drug trade.

“My staff will not have divided loyalties,” Michael Dukakis would say of the incident, “in a Dukakis White House, the staff will pledge allegiance to only one flag–Old Glory.”46 The attacks would have no effect in the campaign, in contrast to the Bush ads featuring a black rapist used to go after Dukakis as soft on crime. Those ads, as mentioned, were developed by Lee Atwater, occasional associate of BMS&K. One could have issue with the backdoor dealing of BMS&K even if one thought the war on drugs were ridiculous, perhaps especially because one thought it ridiculous. For here were a group of powerful men – Charlie Black, Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, Lee Atwater – helping to elect Reagan to two terms, and Bush to one term, by advertising a tough on drugs, tough on crime approach, which led to many in the United States sentenced in prison for drug possession as a result, and many civilians dying in Panama as an outcome of the invasion to retrieve drug trafficker Manuel Noreiga, all while cutting a deal with a state government to continue in its role in the drug trade while giving it the cover of reform. The very same people who were helping to elect an administration largely on the basis of one policy, getting “tough” on crime, were undercutting it according to their convenience. “I call it hypocrite #1,” says Roger Stone of Eliot Spitzer.

Charlie Black, Roger Stone, and Lee Atwater were probably the most prominent members of BMS&K, but equally interesting as all of them, though far less visible, was Paul Manafort, and he was to be found in a number of notable incidents, the first of which was direct involvement in another scandal that BMS&K would survive without difficulty. It involved the Department of Housing and Urban Development under the Reagan administration, where an independent counsel report would eventually find “a pervasive pattern of criminal behavior” involving officials at the department, who had engaged in influence peddling and blatant favoritism, as well as consultants such as Paul Manafort who did business with the department. The problem lay with federal aid in terms of rent subsidies, mortgage relief, and tax credits picked up for low income housing developments without any competitive bidding, with the housing then flipped and the tax credits re-sold, without any benefit reaching those it was supposed to, only the developers and the consultants who had ins with the department47. One of the most prominent examples was the Seabrook development in New Jersey, where Manafort was directly involved in winning the HUD grant.

The low income housing complex called Seabrook was located in Upper Deerfield Township, New Jersey, and got a $43 million grant made up of rent subsidies and renovation, a grant that its county had never applied for. Nor did they think the rundown complex was worth rehabilitating. It was Victor Cruse, a former deputy housing commissioner of Connecticut, who made the request for low income housing aid. He then hired Paul Manafort, who used his connections at the department to make sure the request got fast tracked, without competitive bids. A small ad was placed in a local paper soliciting such bids, but it was worded so that only the Seabrook complex could qualify for the grant. “To read this ad,” said Charles Schumer, the representative of New York, “you might as well cut out all of the other language and put in this one line: ‘The fix is in.'” The complex was then bought up by CFM Development Corp., one of whose partners was Manafort. Two years after receiving the grant, including rent subsidies, rents had doubled on a complex without sign of repair or rehabilitation. Seabrook was an abyss of row upon row of cinder block barracks, with leaky roofs, exposed wiring, and shoddy construction. As part of the inquiry into the problems at HUD, Manafort would testify before congress. He would bristle at the idea that he’d been involved in influence peddling. “You might call it influence-peddling. I call it lobbying,” he said. “That’s a definitional debate.”48

In a separate incident, a Florida real estate developer, Jeffrey Auslander, would allege that a member of BMS&K would offer him hundreds of thousands of rent subsidies for the Palm Beach area. The giveaway was being made so that representative Paula Hawkins, a Republican senator from Florida, could take credit for the largesse. Charlie Black ran the campaign of Hawkins, and the BMS&K employee that Auslander allegedly spoke to was Russell Cartwright, a former aide to Hawkins. Cartwright, according to Auslander, was very explicit: “We’re trying to get these awards out before the election so Paula Hawkins can take credit for them.” The rent subsidies were approved and issued a day before the Senate election. “It’s a zany story,” Black said in response to these allegations. “This is all nonsense.”49 There was press attention over the intertwining of BMS&K and Hawkins after the discovery of her grant giveaway, but there had already been an unsettling story on the connection between the two during Hawkins’ re-election bid, “D.C.: Where Allies Work Both Sides Of The Corridors” by Ken Cummins. Charlie Black, the piece tells us, was directly managing the re-election campaign of Hawkins, while at the same time, Peter Kelly, the K of BMS&K, was managing the election campaign of Bob Graham, the Democrat going against Hawkins. “I am totally committed to winning the Senate back,” says Kelly. He was raising money in Florida, Louisiana and Vermont, in order to take back the Senate, the same three states where Black, Stone, and Manafort were raising money to keep the Senate in Republican hands50. BMS&K were involved in so many presidential campaigns in 1986, the year of Hawkins’ re-election, that a congressional aide would ask, “Why have primaries for the nomination? Why not have the candidates go over to Black, Manafort & Stone and argue it out?”51

That there was a massive scandal which involved the most wealthy taking advantage of subsidies intended for the most vulnerable and worst off didn’t matter. Black, Manafort, Stone, and Kelly would survive it. Around the time, there was intense bidding among the various lobby shops, BMS&K among them, for the clientship of Mobutu Sese Seko, the kleptocrat mass murderer head of Zaire (now the Congo, again). The competing shops would point out to their potential client that Black, Manafort had been deeply implicated in the housing scandal. “That only shows how important they are!” exclaimed a member of the Mobutu regime. BMS&K won Mobutu as a client. When Roger Stone’s sex scandal broke, one essay discussing it mentions the detail that Stone spent over eight thousand dollars in hair transplants. One could play a pleasant guessing game, of wondering who paid a bigger contribution for that gold clump on top of his head, the dead of Africa or the impoverished of New Jersey52. Shortly after the HUD scandal broke, Charlie Black would take over the Republican National Committee, when the then head, BMS&K associate Lee Atwater fell ill from cancer, and in a moment of mercy to us all, was extinguished from the earth. Of the HUD scandal that was then only part of the recent past, Black would say, “It’s over with; there’s nothing there.” A year after Bush was defeated in election, Black would take part in a Republican event, where he joked about Bill Clinton’s order to the military to admit homosexuals. Black said they’d have to change the Marine Corps lyrics, and add “Don we now our gay apparel.” Oliver North, ultraconservative, Iran-Contra bagman, and another guest at the event, joked about the White House operator not connecting him to the president until he broke into a hard lisp, “Excuthhhhhhhe me!” A senator at the event praised a local congressman’s military service: “Whichever war you were in, I know it was before the Clinton fags-in-the-foxhole.” He went on to mention that the 14th Street bridge, which links northern Virginia to D.C., could maybe be renamed the “Soul Brothers Causeway”, and that it was “the longest bridge in the world because it connects Virginia to Africa.”53 It was Jack Kemp who’d been picked by George H.W. Bush to oversee reforms of the scandal plagued HUD, and it was Kemp who was the vice president on the Republican ticket of 1996. The man overseeing the Republican convention, who coordinated the marionette motions of the candidates as they drowned in colored paper and hoopla was Paul Manafort54.

“If the only thing that is news is controversy, then you are right, there is not a lot of news at this convention,” Manafort would say, and there may not have been a lot of news or controversy at the convention, but there was plenty of things surrounding Manafort that had that potential, though they would only be brought to light much later. In 1993, he and another member of BMS&K, Riva Levinson, would tour Kashmir, the territory and area of long dispute between India and Pakistan. They would conduct interviews in the region by posing as journalists from CNN. Manafort and Levinson denied that they had done such a thing, though the Indian government did lodge a complaint against CNN and a regional journalists’ association passed a resolution condemning the duplicity of Manafort and Levinson55. The interviews were to be used to promote the objectives of a BMS&K client, the Kashmiri American Foundation, and it has only been due to an arrest, indictment, and guilty plea within the past few years that we’ve learned exactly who was behind this foundation.

The Kashmiri American Foundation was started in 1990 by Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai. Fai was born in 1949 in Kashmir, a year after India and Pakistan began fighting over the disputed territory. He became involved with the Jamaat-e-Islami, a local fundamentalist Islamic group before leaving Kashmir for the United States, never to return, his education paid for by the King Faisal Foundation. The criminal complaint against Fai states what took place next, according to a confidential informant, CW-2. “CW-2 told FBI agents that, in approximately 1989, CW-2 was aware of the candidates under consideration to operate the KAC,” where the KAC is the Kashmiri American Foundation, “and that the ISI selected Fai to do so because he had no overt ties to Pakistan.” The ISI is the acronym for the Inter-Services Intelligence Agency, Pakistan’s military intelligence service, their equivalent to the CIA. The complaint continues: “CW-2 said that the ISI created the KAC to propagandize on behalf of the Government of Pakistan with the goal of uniting Kashmir.” Kashmir, as said, is a disputed territory over which India and Pakistan have gone to war. The goal of “uniting Kashmir,” is the goal of unifying Pakistan with Kashmir. The complaint would describe the nature of the message of the KAC: “CW-2 estimated that, of the statements Fai makes, 80 percent are provided by the ISI for Fai to repeat and disseminate verbatim.” Only a fraction of the KAC’s message was Fai’s own: “The other 20 percent of the KAC’s messaging consists of Fai’s own ideas, which have been pre-approved by the ISI but not provided by them.”56 Finally, KAC was a very long-term project; from the criminal complaint “Case No. 1:11MJ558” (page 7):

CW-2 further said that the ISI’s sponsorship and control of the KAC was secret, and that the ISI has been operating Fai for at least the past 25 years. CW-2 identified Fai’s primary supervisor within the ISI as Brigadier Javeed Aziz, who also goes by the nicknames “Rathore” and “Abdullah.” CW-2 also identified a photograph of Javeed Aziz Khan, a retired Brigadier General in the Pakistani Army, as Javeed Aziz, also known as (“aka”) “Rathore.”

ISI influence was not just an allegation of a confidential informant, but the overwhelming conclusion reached by the agent filing the complaint:

Contrary to Fai’s repeated representations to the DOJ and the FBI, the investigation has led me to conclude that Fai has acted at the direction and with the financial support of the Government of Pakistan for more than 20 years. Voluminous evidence independently establishes the essence of what the confidential witnesses told the FBI: that although Fai has some latitude to decide his day-to-day activities, the Government of Pakistan long has directed and funded his lobbying and public relations efforts in the United States.

Fai, in part thanks to the support of BMS&K, would gain access to the highest levels of political power. He was a bipartisan donor, though he gave far more heavily to the Republicans than the Democrats, donating thousands to the Republican National Committee and Dan Burton, the Representative of Indiana who gained greatest prominence through his investigations of the Clinton administration. Burton would speak at KCA events, and in 2007, Fai was given the American Spirit Medal, the highest award from the National Republican Senatorial Committee, for being committed to conservative principles. The money donated by the KCA to Burton and the RNC came via straw donors, who were a front for the actual donor: the Pakistani intelligence service, the ISI57. Another confidential informant, CW-1, relates in the complaint how money was transferred to Fai from the ISI, with the assistance of an accomplice of Fai, Zaheer Ahmad:

CW-1 said Ahmad told him he needed to get money to Fai in the United States, and that Fai would use it for the Kashmir cause and for lobbying. CW-1 said that he was present for a conversation between Ahmad and Ahmad’s accountant in which Ahmad’s accountant told Ahmad that he had received $50,000 from the ISI for Fai. CW-1 said that CW-1 agreed to help Ahmad deliver money to Fai. CW-1 said that, from his initial meeting with Fai until approximately 1998, he helped Ahmad transfer approximately $500,000 to Fai.

CW-l explained that, on two occasions, Ahmad told him how much money Ahmad needed to transfer to Fai. CW-1 then set aside that much cash from his own business in $50 and $100 bills in a brown paper bag, and notified Fai that the money was ready for pickup. Fai then picked up the cash at CW-1 ‘s office. At about the same time, Ahmad generally would wire transfer funds to CW-1 to cover the cash that CW-1 gave to Fai. Occasionally, Ahmad would hold cash or checks to give to CW-1 in Pakistan.

After the second of these transactions, Fai told CW-l that Fai preferred checks to cash because checks appeared more “legitimate” and “safe.” CW-1 then began to send money to Fai via a business acquaintance – – to whom I will refer as “Straw Donor A” – – who agreed to provide checks to Fai in return for CW-1’s cash. My investigation has revealed that Straw Donor A was operating numerous businesses and charities at this time, including a foundation.

CW-l showed me three entries from his personal digital assistant (“PDA”) which identified transactions in which he sent Straw Donor A money which had originated from Ahmad and was to be passed onto Fai. The first two transactions took place on or about May 8, 1997, and represented a sum of$250,000 sent from Ahmad to CW-1, who in tum passed $225,000 on to Straw Donor A for transmission to Fai. The third transaction took place on February 3, 1998, and was a $100,000 transfer to a Swiss bank account belonging to the aforementioned foundation, which Straw Donor A was to pass onto Fai.

In 2005, confidential informant CW-1 began providing information to the FBI about Fai. In 2007, the FBI questioned Fai. In 2010, the New York police pulled Fai over and found $35 000 dollars, all cash, in his car. On 2011, July 19, Fai was arrested for acting as an agent of a foreign principal without registering with the Attorney General. He would plead guilty to conspiracy and tax violations in connection with attempts to conceal the transfer of at least three and a half million dollars from the government of Pakistan to further his lobbying efforts. “Syed Fai today admitted his role in a decades-long scheme to conceal the fact that the government of Pakistan was secretly funding his efforts to influence U.S. policy on Kashmir,” said Assistant Attorney General Monaco. “For the last 20 years, Mr. Fai secretly took millions of dollars from Pakistani intelligence and lied about it to the U.S. government,” said U.S. Attorney MacBride. “As a paid operative of ISI, he did the bidding of his handlers in Pakistan while he met with U.S. elected officials, funded high-profile conferences and promoted the Kashmiri cause to decision-makers in Washington.”58

There is no indication that Fai ever revealed to anyone at BMS&K that ISI was funding his activities. Fai would send a message to his supervisor, “that, as part of a strategy to make it appear that the KAC was a Kashmiri organization run by Kashmiris and financed by Americans – – as agreed by Fai and Abdullah’s predecessors on March 20, 1990 – – no one from the Pakistani Embassy would ever contact the public relations firm.” Whether this “public relations firm” was BMS&K or a separate entity is not made clear in the criminal complaint or any of the stories about the case I have come across – the criminal complaint only refers to a “public relations firm” without naming it. However, this strange episode is made even more interesting when placed next to on-going revelations from last year, that have received almost no attention from the American press.

These revelations involved a french scandal called the Karachi affair, or as we would say in american, Karachigate. It involved the sale by France of Sawari II frigates to Saudi Arabia and Agosta submarines to Pakistan, with commissions from these sales illegally funding the French presidential campaign of Edouard Balladur in 1995. Two men acted as intermediaries to effect the sale, Abdul Rahman El Assir and Ziad Takieddine, and El Assir was good friends with Paul Manafort. The political consultant may end up serving as a crucial proof that these commissions were used as illegal election funds, based on transfers made for his services by Balladur, which involved conducting a poll and drawing up a road map for the campaign. Balladur would eventually decide not to use his services.

My own translation of the Paris Match article, “Un politologue américain au cœur de l’affaire Karachi” by François Labrouillère and David Le Bailly, that places Manafort at the center of things:

AN AMERICAN POLITICAL CONSULTANT AT THE HEART OF THE KARACHI AFFAIR

It appears that Paul Manafort, very discretely, lent his services to the Edouard Balladur campaign in 1995. It was the ex-wife of Ziad Takieddine, the English Nicola Johnson, who, in December 2011, had revealed this. “Ziad had told me that Paul Manafort was giving counsel to the campaign of Balladur.” In reply to the question, who had compensated Manafort for his services, the ex-Mrs. Takieddine had replied, “I imagine El-Assir and Ziad. I think they were the ones who paid.” Ziad Zakkiedine and Abdul Rahman El-Assir are the two Lebanese intermediaries who skimmed tens of millions of euros in illegal commissions linked to arms contracts signed off by the Balladur government. Commissions which, according to the suspicions of the judges, went into financing the presidential campaign of Balladur.

After two years of inquiry, the judge Renaud Van Ruymbeke has identified in Switzerland numerous bank accounts intended to receive these commissions. At least tow of the accounts belong to Abdul Rahman El-Assir. Their investigation has also permitted them to find evidence of several payments to Paul Manafort, confirming the statements of his Takieddine’s ex-wife, Nicola Johnson. On September 22, 1994, El-Assir sent $35 000 to BMS&K, the consulting firm of Manafort. On November 16, 1994, another transfer, this time of $17 000 to BMS&K. On May 22 1995, El-Assir sent $52 000 to Tarrance Group, a group close to Manafort. On August 2nd, 1995, it was $125 017 that was sent to BMS&K. Finally, on August 15 1995, El-Assir paid $125 016 to Paul Manafort.

In total, between September 1994 and August 1995, the consultant and his associates pocketed close to $400 000 from the famous accounts where El-Assir kept the commissions from the Karachi affair. A connection is finally established between the commissions and the Balladur campaign. It has not escaped the police of the DNIF (Division National of Investigations Financial [this is my doing a direct translation of the words that make up the non-english acronym]) that the period of payments to Manafort corresponds to the french presidential campaign in 1995. In the report, the justices write: “Given the payments made by El-Assir to Paul Manafort, one can legitimately find the thesis put forward by Mrs. Takieddine to be credible. In light of the professional life of El-Assir, it is a little shocking that he is making payments to an expert political consultant like Manafort given that in 1995, no American presidential election was taking place.” Contacted by Paris Match, representatives of Edouard Balladur made assurances that they had never done business with Paul Manafort.

On August 2, 2012, Manafort would give testimony to the inquiry. My own translation of the testimony from an article, “Karachi : nouveau boulet pour Balladur” by Violette Lazard, out of Libération:

Everything started, for him, in 1988. One of his friends introduced him to Abdul Rahman el-Assir, an intermediary in weapons sales who had been charged with closing contracts between France, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia, along with Ziad Takieddine, for the Balladur government. Manafort and El-Assir struck up a friendship to the point that Manafort became godfather for el-Assir’s son, while Manafort invited el-Assir to the White House for the swearing in of George H.W. Bush in 1989.

El-Assir would recommend Manafort to his own clients, among them Edouard Balladur, in 1994. The spin doctor accepted, and did his first poll (today, evidence in the judges’ possession), then wrote up a road map on the strategy of the campaign. He explained that he had gone to France to present his work to Balladur’s campaign team. Who was in charge of translation at this conference? Ziad Takieddine himself, who Manafort said he met via El-Assir. Very well paid for his work – two payment transfers of $52 000 (39 000 euros) and $34 975 (26 000 euros) have been found – his strategy did not appear feasible. Manafort explained that he continued to send notes on current events dealing with Edouard Balladur, gave advice, and that he passed this information on through El-Assir and Takieddine. There. The collaboration ended there.

This testimony would conflict with the version of events of the Balladur campaign, whose members claimed not to know Manafort or to have received any counsel from him. It would also conflict with what El-Assir had said earlier, that the payments made to Manafort had nothing to do with the Balladur presidential campaign59. Given that BMS&K were involved in so many things, we have the possibly inevitable coincidence that Manafort is in Kashmir working on behalf of an entity secretly funded by Pakistani intelligence, the same year that he receives payments for political work that come out of sales of military hardware to Pakistan. To give some context, Manafort is in Kashmir making a movie to promote the goals of an ISI front in 1994; he would receive commissions that were skimmed partly from arms sales to Pakistan from 1994 through 1995; in 1996, Manafort would manage a Republican convention where the democratic candidate would be assailed, as usual, for being insufficiently pro-American.

The result of this funding scandal may have had a tragic end. Balladur would lose the election, and Jacques Chirac, upon assuming power, supposedly canceled the kickbacks that top members of the Pakistani military were to receive for agreeing to the sales. In 2002, eleven French submarine engineers and four Pakistanis were killed in a bomb attack in Karachi. This may have been an al-Qaeda attack; or, it may have been a reprisal on the part of members of the Pakistani military upset about the halting of kickbacks. It remains an open investigation60.

Other prominent appearances of alumni of Black, Manafort, Stone, and Kelly are rather rare. There is the death of R. Gregory Stevens, who in his obituary, “The Mystery of Hollywood’s Dead Republican” by David M. Halbfinger and Dennis McDougal, is bluntly described as “a political fixer manipulating elections in backrooms and palaces from Costa Rica to Croatia, Thailand to Togo, South Korea to the former Soviet Union.” He had shrapnel in his leg from either the Middle East or the Balkans, the autopsy would show a mysterious piece of metal in his skull, but he’d also done more conventional, down-home political work, on the 1988 Bush-Quayle campaign. The Bush campaigns of 1988 and 1992 emphasized traditional family values and the administration took a hard line on drugs, culminating in the war to extradite Manuel Noreiga; Stevens was a gay man who had a lifelong cocaine habit. Roger Stone appears in the obit as a now former BMS&K partner, and praises Stevens as a “very engaging, fun guy to talk to” and a “quintessential staff man, very thorough and focused.” It was cocaine and oxycodone that had overwhelmed Stevens’ already diseased heart on February 26, 2005, when he died in someone’s guest bedroom, and it was because that someone was the excellent writer and occasional galactic princess Carrie Fisher, that his death got a prominent place in the Times, and a few other papers61. We may, however, see in this obituary the nature of political amnesia, and the way it brushes past a distant scandal without noticing it. The lines are the following:

Mr. Stevens followed Mr. Lewis into the private sector as his assistant but returned to politics in the Bush-Quayle campaign in 1988. That led to a job as the White House’s liaison to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, where he helped find jobs for political appointees.

He spent three years at HUD, interrupted by a stint back in California at the state Republican party, where he worked on Pete Wilson’s 1990 gubernatorial campaign but made no secret of his desire to get back to Washington.

In 1992, Mr. Stevens, 30, went to work for the Republican lobbying powerhouse of Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly.

This, of course, is significant in the context of the HUD scandal which would touch BMS&K, especially the M. of the partners. The Times obituary makes the obvious point that the abbreviated coverage of Stevens’ death did not do his vivid and fascinating life justice, mentioning that “some newspapers confused him with another political consultant in Washington by the same name,” and this must be Gregory Stevens, also of BMS&K, who also serves as a connecting line between BMS&K and HUD.

That Stevens shows up in “The Hud Scandal: A View From New Jersey” by David Hess. Pierce is Samuel Pierce, the head of HUD, Kean is Tom Kean, the governor of New Jersey, Courter was Jim Courter, the Republican candidate for governor who was trying to succeed Kean, Cruz is Victor Cruz, a former Connecticut housing official and developer, and the following excerpt explains how the grant for federal subsidies for Seabrook, the development that would later be bought by Manafort and Cruz, was brought to attention of public officials:

On Nov. 14, a Black, Manafort aide met with Deborah Gore Dean, Pierce’s executive assistant at HUD, who told the aide that she would need an application from the appropriate housing authority.

Another Black, Manafort employee, Greg Stevens, former chief of staff of New Jersey Gov. Kean and now a member of Courter’s campaign team, introduced Cruz to William Connolly, director of the state housing authority, who agreed to submit the application.

Stevens told state housing officials in 1986 that Seabrook funds had been set aside by HUD. Usually, states and major cities compete for HUD money and, once the money is in hand, seek developers for the projects.

Stevens said in a recent interview that he had not profited from the deal.

Riva Levinson, who would travel with Manafort to Kashmir, where they would allegedly pose as CNN journalists to film footage for possible use in a public relations campaign for the Kashmiri American Council, would also show up again in prominent shadows, a name unknown almost to everyone, but which stood out for the cognoscenti. “Ken Silverstein, can you talk to us about the role of Charlie Black, a chief adviser to John McCain, in terms of his role in Equatorial Guinea?” asked Juan Gonzalez when Silverstein was a guest on Democracy Now!, to talk about the corrupt dictatorship of the oil rich African nation. “Well, his firm had the account for Equatorial Guinea,” replied Silverstein on Black’s role. “I confess I don’t recall what Charlie Black’s own role was. I remember that there was a woman named Riva Levinson who did a lot of work on behalf of Equatorial Guinea” – well, not exactly on behalf of the country – “I think the client actually at the time was an oil company called Trident, which was subsequently bought up, but which had a big stake in Equatorial Guinea.” Then Riva Levinson moved on: “So she was lobbying for the oil companies there. And then Riva Levinson went on to lobby for Ahmed Chalabi, as it turned out, and the Iraqi National Congress.”62 The intersection of BMS&K – sorry, now it’s BKS&H – BKS&H and Chalabi is written about in few places, but it is described in commendable detail in Aram Roston’s The Man Who Pushed America to War: The Extraordinary Life, Adventures, and Obsessions of Ahmad Chalabi.

Levinson then was working for…who was she working for? “It’s very hard to keep track. There have been four or five different names of this firm, because the partners change all the time,” says Silverstein of the former Black, Stone, Manafort & Kelly, which Levinson worked for; Levinson also worked for its later incarnation, with different partners, Black Kelly Scruggs & Healy, though in both cases the Black and Kelly were the same. An entire chapter of The Man Who Pushed America to War, “BKSH: Representing Chalabi” (link goes to excerpted chapter in its entirety on Google Books), describes the relation between the lobbyists and Chalabi. At BMS&K, Levinson had worked the Savimbi and Angola accounts, and at BKS&H, she worked the account of Ahmad Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress, the political organization which would serve as the conduit for much of the flawed and manufactured evidence of chemical weapons in Iraq, and which was originally intended to serve as the future government of the country after the war. “Riva would spend her weekend thinking about ‘How can I get press coverage for the INC next week?'” Black explained, “and then come in on Monday morning and schedule a speech or call reporters to get a speech covered or get Chalabi or the other leaders to get a message out.” The 200K to 300K that BSK&H received to promote the INC was paid not by the INC, but the State Department. The State Department wanted to promote the INC, but couldn’t fund it directly because it wasn’t a legal entity or incorporated anywhere, so it directly paid BSK&H for its work. This was also intended to keep Chalabi within the control of the State Department, though this was an attempt that was doomed to fail, with Chalabi saying and doing whatever he wanted. Given that they were lobbying for the interests of a foreign power, the Iraqi National Congress, BSK&H should have registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act – it was this lack of doing so on the part of Fai and the KCA, who were lobbying on behalf of the state of Pakistan, that is at the heart of Fai’s criminal complaint. However, since BSK&H were being paid by the U.S. government, with U.S. tax dollars, there was no need63. Chalabi would, of course, lobby for a war in Iraq, on the basis that the country had chemical weapons, an eerie reprise of what had already been attempted in Namibia, and this time it was successful.

The introduction to this piece spoke of Stone as two kinds of man, one who is very visible and audible when talking about cuff links, dinner jackets, or how much he hates the Bush family, and who suddenly disappears and says almost nothing about certain subjects, like the lobbying colossus of which he was the fourth horseman. I would think his time at Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly is easily the most fascinating part of his life, and yet this is barely touched on in the profiles by Toobin and Labash. “While Black, Manafort & Stone did work on behalf of blue-chip companies and boutique right-wing causes from the Contras to Angola’s UNITA rebels, what they really did was advise presidential candidates,” is what you get in Labash, and not much more. Toobin is also brief, letting us know only that BMS&K made their money “by charging blue-chip corporate clients such as Ronald Perelman’s MacAndrews & Forbes and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. large fees to lobby their former campaign colleagues, many of whom had moved into senior posts in the new Administration. There were also less savory clients-Zaire’s Mobuto Sese Seko, Angola’s UNITA rebels, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos.” I was truly eager to hear what Stone would say in his memoirs, but was even more disappointed. The only nod to the infamous firm is in the introduction, a summary even less detailed than Toobin’s: “I founded Black Manafort and Stone with friends and Reagan campaign colleagues Charlie Black and Paul Manafort, a firm that became a political / lobbying powerhouse representing Ferdinand Marcos and Jonas Savimbi and the Angolan Freedom Fighters, as well as a host of corporate giants.”64 That’s all, and nothing else. The messy details of Angola, Equitoreal Guinea, the Phillipines, or Zaire are given no mention. We perhaps have here a lesson, that the most interesting and important things are not what a man wants to talk about, but what he makes great effort to avoid talking about. “What I find interesting about Roger is how committed to the joke he is. He moons the establishment for the sheer pleasure of it, with no thought to whether it helps him,” says a friend of Stone’s in the Labash profile. What part of the joke, you wonder, is Angola, and what exactly are we laughing at? “There’s an ironic quality to all of it,” the friend says as well65. You see, BSK&H helped defend mass murderers, kleptocrats, and war criminals, but that’s okay, they were being ironic.

Stone would leave the publicity firm of warlords, blood stained miscreants, and thieving dirt bags in the mid nineties, but he would allow us this opportunity to engage in melodramatic suspense and say: his moment of greatest fame still lay ahead.

(On its initial posting, the links to The Man Who Pushed America to War: The Extraordinary Life, Adventures, and Obsessions of Ahmad Chalabi did not go directly to the relevant text on Google Books. On March 9th, these links were fixed. On April 10th, 2015, this post underwent another session of copy editing.)

ROGER STONE:

PRETTY RECKLESS IS GOING STRAIGHT TO HELL

PART ONE PART TWO PART THREE PART FOUR PART FIVE PART SIX

PART SEVEN PART EIGHT PART NINE PART TEN

FOOTNOTES

40 Biographical information is taken from a Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly Public Affairs Company Prospectus, from the late eighties, before the election of George H. W. Bush. The prospectus at the link is in pdf format; for ease of re-transmission of this information, I’ve transcribed the bios:

IV. BIOGRAPHIES OF THE FIRM’S PRINCIPALS

Charles R. Black, Jr.

Mr. Black is a North Carolina attorney who has spent the past fifteen years based in Washington, D.C. He recently served as Senior Strategist to the Reagan/Bush ’84 Re-election Committee. In that role he supervised the 1984 Reagan/Bush campaign plan.

Mr. Black served as Political Director of the Republican National Committee under Chairman Bill Brock (currently the U.S. Secretary of Labor). As Political Director, he developed the strategy that was used in 1978 when Republicans scored a number of upset victories in the United States Senate races. He created the program that was successfully implemented in the 1978 and 1980 legislative races.

Charlie Black served as Political Director of the Reagan for President Committee in 1979 and 1980. Many believe his meticulous organization of the key primary states resulted in President Reagan’s nomination.

Mr. Black has managed or consulted on the campaigns of a number of incumbent members of the United States Senate. His service on Capitol Hill includes appointments with Senate Agriculture Committee chairman Jesse Helms and Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole.

Mr. Black continues to advise the Reagan White House politically on an informal basis.

Paul J. Manafort, Jr.

Mr. Manafort is an attorney who specializes in government and international affairs.

Mr. Manafort was named to the Senior Staff of the Reagan/Bush ’84 Committee as the Political Director for the 1984 GOP Convention in Dallas. Mr. Manafort has served on the Foreign Investment Advisory Committee for the Office of the Special Trade Representative and also served on the Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.

In 1979-80, Mr. Manafort was involved in the Reagan Transition and Presidential Campaign. He was Personnel Director in the Office of Executive Management for the Reagan Transition Government.

During the 1980 campaign, Mr. Manafort developed and managed the campaign strategy for the 15 southern states. In addition, he was Deputy Political Director for all Reagan political activities in all of those states which chose their delegates to the National Convention through conventions – approximately 18 states.

Mr. Manafort practiced law in Washington, D.C., with the law firm of Vorys, Sater, Seymour, and Pease. His specialties included representation before Administrative Agencies and Congressional Committees.

Prior to his practice, Mr. Manafort served as Deputy Director in the Presidential Personnel Office in the Ford White House.

During that time, Mr. Manafort worked very closely with the President Ford Committee. He was Deputy Delegate Coordinator to the Campaign Manager, James A. Baker, III.

In 1978, Mr. Manafort managed James Baker’s campaign for Attorney General of the State of Texas. Mr. Baker’s campaign for Attorney General of the State of Texas. Mr. Baker served as Chief of Staff to President Reagan from 1981 to 1984, and presently serves as Secretary of the Treasury.

Roger J. Stone, Jr.

Roger Stone served as Eastern Regional Campaign Director for the Reagan-Bush ’84 Committee.

In 1980, he served as Northeastern Regional Political Director for President Ronald Reagan and served on the Reagan staff from 1975 to 1976.

Mr. Stone also directed the campaigns of Governor Thomas Kean of New Jersey in 1981 and 1985.

He was a Member of the Executive Committee of the Republican National Committee from 1977 to 1979.

Mr. Stone served on the Capitol Hill staffs of Senator Bob Dole and Congressman Robert Steele (R-CT)

Nicholas A. Panuzio

A former Mayor of Bridgeport, Connecticut, and State Legislator, Mr. Panuzio has been on the Washington scene since 1974. After serving as Commissioner of Public Buildings for the General Services Administration for two years, he opened Panuzio Associates, a Government Relations consulting firm.

Mr. Panuzio is a former Chairman of the Fairfax County Republican Committee, and served as a National Advisor on Urban Affairs for the President Committee. He served on the Republican National Committee Advisory Council on Effective Government. He is chairman of the Urban Affairs Advisory Committee for Congressman Frank Wolf of Virginia.

Mr. Panuzio administered as the Chief Executive of Bridgeport, Connecticut, 4,400 employees and a budget of over $60 million. As Commissioner of Public Buildings for GSA, he was responsible for managing over 19,000 employees and an annual operating budget in excess of $1.5 billion.

Mr. Panuzio has an excellent working relationship with the National League of Cities and the United States Conference of Mayors. He served as Chairman of the Community Development Committee and as a member of the Nominating Committee of the Conference.

During his term of office in Bridgeport he:

  • reorganized city government;
  • created the Bridgeport Economic Development Corporation;
  • served as a member of the Board of the Council of Urban Economic Development
  • created a Senior Citizen Program;
  • served as a member of the Connecticut Resource Recovery Authority; and
  • testified before the President’s Council on Inflation and was one of three Mayors to make final presentation.

He has a long history of working on Urban Policy and was one of twelve people selected by President Reagan to develop his Urban Policy prior to his inauguration.

Peter G. Kelly

Peter Kelly has served as National Treasurer (1979-1981) and National Finance Chairman (1981-1985) of the Democratic National Committee. He is currently National Finance Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and serves as Co-Chairman of Democratic Senate Keytree ’86, a major effort in behalf of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Mr. Kelly is a principal in the Hartford, Connecticut law firm of Updike, Kelly and Spellacy, P.C. He is a member of the Bars of Connecticut, New York, and the District of Columbia.

In addition to his duties as a Democratic Party Officer, Mr. Kelly has served as Chairman of the Democratic Compliance Review Commission (1978-1980), as Co-Chairman of the 1980 Democratic National Convention Credentials Committee and Co-Chairman of the 1984 Democratic Convention Site Selection Committee (1983). He currently serves as a Director and Treasurer of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs and as Chairman of the Center for Democracy, a bipartisan foundation affiliated with Boston University.

Mr. Kelly is a member of several civic boards in Connecticut and Washington D.C., including the Board of Trustees of the Institute of Living, and the Greater Hartford Leadership Program. He is Co-Chair of the National Conference of Christian and Jews, Director of the National Democratic Club and a member of the Board of Regents of Georgetown University.

James C. Healey

Mr. Healey, a veteran of twenty-two years on Capitol Hill, is a 1961 graduate of Georgetown University, holding a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Government. From 1961 to 1962 he attended St. John’s University, New York.

Following his studies and active duty in the United States Army, Mr. Healey served on the staff of the House Committee on Public Works. In 1963, he joined the staff of the House Committee on Public Works. In 1963, he joined the staff of the Clerk of the House where he remained until 1970. During the years 1971 through 1977, Mr. Healey served as Administrative Assistant to Representative Dan Rostenkowski (D-Ill) and in 1981, became Administrative Assistant to the Chief Deputy Majority Whip, House of Representatives.

Immediately prior to joining Black, Manafort and Stone, James Healey served for four years as the Special Assistant to the Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means. He has also served in an unofficial capacity as a foreign affairs advisor to the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives and has accompanied the Speaker on all of his official visits abroad.

Mr. Healey is a former member of the Board of Governors of the Georgetown Alumni Association and is a past President of the Georgetown Alumni Club of Metropolitan Washington.

Russell S. Cartwright

Mr. Cartwright served as Projects Director to U.S. Senator Paula Hawkins (R-Florida) for five years before joining Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly.

As Projects Director, Mr. Cartwright was directly responsible for carrying out the Senator’s initiatives involving federal funds for Florida, for assisting Florida businesses bidding on federal contracts, and for overseeing all applications for federal funds from Florida city governments, corporations and organizations. In this capacity, Mr. Cartwright developed and implemented strategies for obtaining funds for major Florida transportation, airport, port, housing and municipal projects. He also assisted Florida businesses in identifying and utilizing federal programs for capital improvements, plant expansion, community economic development and trade development.

Immediately before joining Senator Hawkins, Mr. Cartwright worked for the National Republican Senatorial Committee and was Press Secretary for a New Hampshire Congressional candidate.

Mr. Cartwright first came to Washington in 1978 as Assistant to the Executive Director of the U.S. Senate Republican Conference under the leadership of U.S. Senator Bob Packwood (R-Oregon). At the Republican Conference, Mr. Cartwright assisted other Republican Senators in carrying out their press operations and he authored and placed Opinion-Editorial pieces for several Senators.

John Donaldson

Prior to joining Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly, John Donaldson served as Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs at the Department of Treasury.

In that capacity, he was responsible for implementing the Department’s legislative program as relates to international legislation, international finance and trade activities. He was primarily responsible for dealing with the authorization appropriations for the International Monetary Fund, the International Development Association, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Interamerican Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and the African Development Bank.

Prior to joining the Department of Treasury, Mr. Donaldson served as the Congressional Liaison Director in the Office of the Secretary for Department of Commerce. He was the principle [sic] staff person responsible for the passage of the Export Trading Company Act of 1982. Additionally, he worked on special projects as related to trade and international tax matters.

Mr. Donaldson has also served in the private sector as the Political Action Coordinator for the Attorneys Congressional Campaign Trust and worked on Capitol Hill for Senator Bob Griffin.

Alvin Paul Drischler

Mr. Drischler, a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, took his M.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton University, where he specialized in American Foreign Policy. He has been actively engaged both as an analyst and a participant in Congressional affairs for ten years.

Mr. Drischler has served as Assistant for NATO Affairs in the U.S. Department of Defense and Research Associates at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London. He was the Director of Research for the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Between 1975 and 1980, Mr. Drischler worked as Legislative Assistant, Director of Legislation, and Executive Assistant to Senator Paul Laxalt of Nevada.

In 1981, Mr. Drischler joined the State Department as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Congressional Affairs, a position which required him to act frequently as the Department of State’s principal legislative officer.

As the bill manager for President Reagan’s foreign assistance legislation, Mr. Drischler guided the foreign assistance bills through Congress, chaired an interagency task force on foreign assistance legislation and acted as the principal adviser on legislative matters having to do with foreign assistance for the Secretary of State and the Under Secretary of State for Security Assistance.

Mr. Drischler is Senior Vice President at Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly.

Matthew C. Freedman

Before joining Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly, Mr. Freedman served as Staff Director in the Office of Public Secretary, Department of State. In this position, he was responsible for developing the action plan and implementation methodologies to heighten public understanding of United States Government policy in Latin America.

Prior to this position, Mr. Freedman worked as the International Development Policy Advisor and Agency Coordinator for Narcotics and Terrorism Control at the Agency for International Development. Additionally, he played a significant role in allocation of budgetary resources to developing countries, in developing the conceptual framework for Lebanon’s reconstruction effort and Grenada’s economic assistance program. He also participated in developing the program strategy to carry out the Jackson Plan, Project Democracy, Caribbean Basin Initiative and Africa Initiative.

He drafted the Agency’s narcotics policy paper and was the official staff representative to the National Bipartisan Commission on Central America (Kissinger Commission), the Secretary’s commission on Security and Economic Assistance (Carlucci Commission) and the President’s Task Force on International Private Enterprise.

Mr. Freedman has served in the Office of Management and Budget an the Department of State’s United States Embassy in Monrovia, Liberia. He was a Ph.D. intern at the National Security Council and assisted in the Office of Public Liaison in 1976.

He holds a Master’s Degree with Honors in International Relations from Georgetown University and has studied at York University, England, the Hague Academy of International Law, the Netherlands, and received an undergraduate degree from Kenyon College. Mr. Freedman has traveled extensively worldwide and has published materials on a variety of issues.

Laurance W. Gay

Mr. Gay has served as a consultant and in top managerial positions in a number of United States Senate and House races in 1980, 1982 and 1984. He was Deputy Director for the Reagan for President Committee for the State of Connecticut in 1980. In 1984, Mr. Gay was Deputy Political Director for the Midwest for the Reagan-Bush Committee.

Mr. Gay has served as Field Producer of the “Small Business Report”, produced by American Pro-Video and Biznet of the United States Chamber of Commerce.

Prior to joining Black, Manafort, Stone & Atwater, Mr. Gay served as an expert consultant to the Director of Public Affairs to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. He was a member of the Under-Secretary’s Task Force to HUD on Enterprise Zones.

A native of Connecticut, Mr. Gay has extensive experience in sales, marketing, management and political consulting.

Jon Keyserling

Jon Keyserling, an attorney specializing in tax and business law, holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of South Carolina and will receive a Master of Laws in Taxation in December, 1986 from Georgetown University. He also holds a B.A. in American Government from the University of Virginia.

Before joining Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly, Mr. Keyserling served as Tax Counsel to Congressman Robert Matsui (D-CA), an influential member of the House Ways and Means Committee, developing policy and analysis of national tax and trade issues addressed by the Committee. Most recently, Mr. Keyserling played a key role in the effort to overhaul the tax code which passed the House of Representatives.

Prior to that time, Mr. Keyserling was Executive Director of the Congressional Textile Caucus of the U.S. House of Representatives. He served as chief liaison between Caucus members and the textile/apparel/fiber industry. In that capacity, he provided expertise to Members of Congress regarding international textile policy and monitoring all appropriate industry related negotiations.

Mr. Keyserling is a member of the American and District of Columbia Bar Associations and the Washington Textile Roundtable. He brings to the firm a vast knowledge of tax, business, and international trade legislation.

Christopher M. Lehman

Mr. Lehman recently joined the firm after ten years of service in the Executive and Legislative Branches of government.

He served in the White House from early 1983 until September 1985 as Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and also as Senior Director for Legislative and Legal Affairs for the National Security Council. In that position, he provided counsel to the President and the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs on various national security issues and coordinated the legislative liaison effort of the White House and the Departments of State, Defense, and the Central Intelligence Agency regarding national security matters.

Mr. Lehman served from 1981 to 1983 as the Director of the Office of Strategic Nuclear Policy at the Department of State. In that regard, he was the principal advisor on matters related to U.S. strategic doctrine, strategic weapons programs, and arms control issues.

Mr. Lehman served as an Associate staff member of the Senate Armed Services Committee from 1976 to 1981 working directly for Senator Harry F. Byrd, Jr. and, subsequently, for Senator John W. Warner.

Mr. Lehman has published widely on foreign policy and national defense issues and holds Masters Degrees in International Security Affairs and in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Mr. Lehman expects to receive a Ph.D. degree from the Fletcher School in 1986.

Riva Levinson

Riva Levinson coordinates public relations and news media activities for Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly. Before joining the firm, Ms. Levinson served as Associate Director of Communications for the Caribbean Council where she developed and implemented public affairs strategies to enhance U.S./Caribbean Basin relations and commerce. Ms. Levinson was personally responsible for orchestrating the First Anniversary Celebration for the Caribbean Basin Initiative.

Prior to this position, Ms. Levinson was an Account Executive with the public affairs firm of Miner and Fraser, Inc. At Miner and Fraser, Ms. Levinson directed projects on both international and domestic issues, with a special focus on Central and Latin America. Her work on improving U.S./Japan relations won her a Silver Anvil Award for excellence in international communications.

Ms. Levinson speaks fluent Spanish and holds a Bachelors Degree in Economics and International Affairs from Tufts University, with additional studies at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and the School of Economics at the University of Barcelona.

R. Scott Pastrick

R. Scott Pastrick was the Assistant Finance Director of the Mondale-Ferraro Presidential Campaign and, previously, the staff director of a Post Office and Civil Service Subcommittee in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Mr. Pastrick served as the Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs at the U.S. Treasury Department for three years under the Carter Administration.

During his tenure at the Treasury Department, Mr. Pastrick developed and executed the legislative strategy which won support fo the Chrysler Corporation loan guarantee. After leaving the Treasury Department, Mr. Pastrick served as a legislative consultant to the Washington law firm of O’Connor and Hannan.

He has played an active role in the past three Democratic Presidential Campaigns, including service as a field consultant in 1976 and 1980.

Mr. Pastrick is a native of Indiana. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Wabash College, Indiana, with graduate studies at George Washington University and Indiana University School of Law.

Linda A. Pinegar

A native of North Carolina, Mrs. Pinegar has over ten years of experience in the political arena. Beginning her career as a citizen’s advocate, she later joined the staff of United States Senator Jesse Helms.

After leaving Capitol Hill, she represented the 500,000 member Retired Officers’ Association as Legislative Counsel and was the first civilian and only woman to ever serve on the professional staff. For the last five years, Mrs. Pinegar was associated with the Air Transport Association, representing the nation’s scheduled airlines as Director of Federal Legislation.

Mrs. Pinegar’s background has provided her with experience in a broad range of issues including transportation, defense, customs, immigration, trade, tourism and the environment. She has also been responsible for Defense, Treasury, Justice, and Commerce appropriations measures.

Some of Mrs. Pinegar’s specific legislative accomplishments include restoration of a $350 million subsidy for military families, which has remained unchallenged for ten years. She has succeeded in restoring multi-million dollar funding cuts in both the Immigration and Customs Service Budgets for each of the last five years. Mrs. Pinegar also secured a $500 million program for the modification of commercial aircraft to increase DOD airlift capability. This resulted in substantial cash outlays to several economically troubled airlines, dramatically improving their cash flow positions.

Recently she won Presidential and Cabinet Council approval of a plan to consolidate the inspection functions of the Immigration and Customs Services. Pending Congressional approval, the plan is expected to facilitate the flow of goods and travelers into the United States, save the taxpayers millions of dollars and alleviate costly delays for visitors and shippers alike.

Mrs. Pinegar has been recognized by The American Businesswomen’s Association, The U.S. Army, The Retired Officers’ Association and other national, state and local civic and political groups for contributions to the political process and the community.

Greg Stevens

Mr. Stevens has extensive experience in state and national politics and policymaking. Prior to joining Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly, Mr. Stevens served as Chief of Staff to Governor Thomas Kean of New Jersey. In this capacity, Mr. Stevens played a major role in developing the successful tax reduction program, economic development program, and environmental safety program that propelled Governor Kean to a landslide reelection in November, 1985.

Mr. Stevens’ experience in politics and government has an emphasis in media and communications. He formerly served as the New Jersey State House correspondent for the Woodbridge News Tribune. He left journalism in 1976 to serve as a press secretary in the New Jersey campaign for President Gerald R. Ford. He is an experienced television and radio producer.

In addition to Governor Kean, Mr. Stevens has worked closely with a number of U.S. Representatives and Senators, including Senator William Cohen of Maine and Congresswoman Olympia Snowe.

Divina K. Westerfield

Ms. Westerfield joined Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly after a two-year tenure in Saudi Arabia. In Saudi Arabia, she practiced international law in Riyadhh with the law firm of Salah Al-Hejailian, a major Middle Eastern firm with both European and American affiliations. She advised major businesses on the operational aspects of doing business in the Kingdom and, specifically, participated in banking, construction, and commercial activities.

Prior to moving to Riyadh, Ms. Westerfield worked as a legal representative for the Indiana State FmHA office on commercial bankruptcy cases and was instrumental in successfully initiating debarment cases against engineering firms.

As a student of Indiana University School of Law – Indianopolis, she clerked for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Indiana, and a major Indianapolis law firm.

Aside from living in the Middle East, Ms. Westerfield also resided in Tokyo, Japan, where she studied language and political science at Waseda University. She received her undergraduate degree from DePauw University.

Ms. Westerfield is a member of the Indiana Bar and the American Bar Association.

41 From the transcript for “African Dictatorships and Double Standards: Where is the International Criticism Over US-Allied Equatorial Guinean Leader Teodoro Obiang?”, audio, video, and full transcript are at the link:

JUAN GONZALEZ: And, Ken Silverstein, can you talk to us about the role of Charlie Black, a chief adviser to John McCain, in terms of his role in Equatorial Guinea?

KEN SILVERSTEIN: Well, his firm had the account for Equatorial Guinea. I confess I don’t recall what Charlie Black’s own role was. I remember that there was a woman named Riva Levinson who did a lot of work on behalf of Equatorial Guinea, and she was affiliated with that firm, but I think the client actually at the time was an oil company called Trident, which was subsequently bought up, but which had a big stake in Equatorial Guinea. So she was lobbying for the oil companies there. And then Riva Levinson went on to lobby for Ahmed Chalabi, as it turned out, and the Iraqi National Congress.

But Charlie Black’s firm – Black, Manafort – it’s had various names over the years, but it has always represented some of the world’s worst dictators. It represented Mobutu in Zaire, Marcos in the Philippines, Jonas Savimbi in Angola, and it did represent at one point directly Equatorial Guinea, as well. There was a piece in Spy magazine many, many years ago in the 1980s, which was called “Voices of the Damned,” and it was about sort of the most unethical foreign lobbyists, and Charlie Black’s firm was rated the worst of the worst. I mean, you know, it had – Spy magazine used this sort of “bloody hand” ranking, and I think Charlie Black’s firm had “four bloody hand” ranking, which was the highest of any of the firms. I mean, and that included, you know – I mean, he outdid someone like Edward von Kloberg, who had represented Saddam Hussein and Ceausescu in Romania and a number of other really horrible regimes. So the fact that Black, Manafort still took the prize really says something.

42 The following is a transcript of “Fooled on the Hill: How some die-hard Cold Warriors and a Belgian con artist tried to change U.S. policy in Africa”, by David Aronson and David Kamp:

FOOLED ON THE HILL

How some die-hard Cold Warriors and a Belgian con artist tried to change U.S. policy in Africa

BY DAVID ARONSON AND DAVID KAMP

Judging from the scene in the stands, we could have been watching a brawl from the Turin-Liverpool match in the 1985 Cup of Champions, or a tilt-screen sequence from the old Batman series, or almost anything except a group of foreign dignitaries attending the inauguration last spring of the president of a new nation. But that’s what it was. On the playing field, with grace and dignity, Sam Nujoma, leader of the South-West Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO), was being sworn in as independent Namibia’s first president. But up in the reviewing stand, elbows were flying like mad. One witness saw Angola’s president José Eduardo dos Santos, “pummeling somebody else’s security guard,” and James Baker, the U.S. secretary of State, eluding a haymaker coming from the direction of the president of Zaire. The Namibians, not yet accustomed to this ceremony, had not provided enough seats in their stadium to accommodate both the visiting dignitaries and their bodyguards; a mad scramble for space quickly devolved into an every-VIP-for-himself melee.

Baker avoided damage; had Senator Jesse Helms been in Baker’s shoes, the escape might not have been so complete. Four months earlier Helms and his right-wing allies had managed to put the United States in the position of disapproving Namibian independence by sneaking a rider to a budget bill through Congress. The rider authorized the president to halt U.S. funding for a United Nations team, called UNTAG, that was overseeing Namibia’s peaceful, carefully negotiated secession from South Africa. As we shall see, the basis of Helms’s legislative gambit was bogus, a fabrication that might have been revealed had Congress administered some rudimentary tests before enacting the bill into law. But no tests were administered, and four months later Jim Baker was in Windhoek, bobbing and weaving, trying to convey the message Hey, Namibia – nothing personal.

Helms, like most of Capitol Hill’s extreme conservatives, never wanted an independent Namibia, a country whose dominant party (SWAPO) is aligned with Moscow. Neither do Helms and his ilk hold much affection for Namibia’s friendly neighbor, Angola, whose Marxist government is backed by Cuba and is fighting a civil war against Jonas Savimbi’s U.S.-supported UNITA (National Union for the Total Independence of Angola) guerillas. In December 1988, Angola, Cuba and South Africa signed an agreement in which Cuba promised to withdraw its troops from Angola by mid-1991 and South Africa agreed to allow Namibia’s independence. This deal was not universally approved; Duncan Sellars, chairman of the conservative International Freedom Foundation (IFF) in Washington, says that after the agreement was signed, right-wingers thought of it as “a sellout of [South Africa-controlled] Namibia and a sellout of UNITA.”

Helms and a platoon of right-wing operatives (the lobbyists at Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly, who represent UNITA, and the think-tankers at the Heritage Foundation and the IFF) coalesced around a piece of legislation – the rider on the budget bill – that would have given President Bush an excuse for withholding Washington’s funding for the UN team in Namibia if any evidence was found that the Cubans were using chemical weapons to support their Marxist pals in Angola. In other words, the bill said that if the Commies misbehaved in Angola, we wouldn’t help pay for Namibia’s transition to independence.

The idea for the bill was born during a trip to Angola in March 1989 by Michael Johns, the Heritage Foundation’s policy analyst for African affairs. There he met Andries Holst, a West German who claimed to be filming a documentary about Cuba’s use of chemical weapons in Angola. Johns brought Holst to Washington, where the German filmmaker was introduced to Helms, State Department officials, lobbyists and other conservatives likely to be moved by his footage, which purported to show the horrors of chemical warfare.

For whatever reason, Holst did not impress, and Helms’s bill foundered. To salvage the effort, the IFF’s Duncan Sellars refocused attention on a scientific report Holst had commissioned from Aubin Heyndrickx, a toxicologist from the University for Ghent in Belgium, which substantiated Holst’s claims. In July, Sellars brought Heyndrickx to Washington to tour the same conservative network Holst had earlier traveled. The difference: Heyndrickx’s opinions carried the heft and credibility of science.

While Heyndrickx held forth, Helms rallied his allies on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to lash the rider to a vital appropriations bill and Black, Manafort’s lobbyists hit the Hill. And son of a gun, with the boost Heyndrickx provided, the plan worked: on November 21, George Bush put his signature on a bill containing the Cuban-chemical-warfare provision.

But what might look like a model of parliamentary maneuvering is more likely an instance of ultraconservative fraud. For as it turns out, Holst is an impostor with no serious journalistic or filmmaking credentials, and Heyndrickx, on whose reports the rider was entirely predicated, is a publicity-seeking showboat. Heyndrickx has visited war zones around the world – Cambodia, Afghanistan, Iran – in search of evidence of chemical warfare and has tended to find it or not depending on who was supplying his funding. He once argued that one of his clients, the Iranian Army, had not used chemical weapons against the Iraqis because “the gases are not in the Koran.”

Heyndrickx’s examination of Holst’s bomb fragments and environmental samples showed that chemical weapons were used. Other chemical-weapons experts – one is tempted to say real chemical-weapons experts – disagree. Finland’s Marjatta Rautio, who is perhaps the world’s preeminent expert in this field, examined Heyndrickx’s data and reports. “I don’t see the connection between the results and the conclusions,” she says. Julian Perry Robinson, senior researcher at the University of Sussex, doubts Heyndrickx’s descriptions of the victims’ medical conditions. And André De Leenheer, Heyndrickx’s overseer at Ghent, is frankly contemptuous. “I’ve been studying everything in detail that has been written,” De Leenheer says of Heyndrickx’s findings. “It’s a real joke.” De Leenheer says he would kick out any student who handed in a similar report.

Heyndrickx does have a champion or two in the scientific community, including Dr. Clair Paley, a British toxicology expert. And according to Duncan Sellars, “The Soviets said his clinical analysis was incredibly accurate…But it’s not a result of a chemical bomb per se; it’s a firebomb.” As it turns out, Sellars’s source for what the Soviets said about Heyndrickx is – Heyndrickx! But curiously, an account of the meeting between Heyndrickx and the Soviet scientists that appeared in Tass indicates that it was not Soviet scientists but – yes! – Heyndrickx himself who suggested that the residue came from a firebomb.

The question arises, how were Washington’s conservatives so sure that Heyndrickx’s work was scientifically sound? Riva Levinson, one of Black, Manafort’s people on the UNITA account, says she cannot personally vouch for the Heyndrickx report. “All I can tell you,” she says, “is that I am not a technical expert on this issue and that other people are, whom I listen to.” She referred us to Margaret Calhoun, a freelance lobbyist who worked for Black, Manafort and UNITA on the Hill last summer. Calhoun shares Levinson’s ignorance of science (“When you talk about chemical formulas, my eyes glaze over”) but says that she checked Heyndrickx out. “Duncan’s probably more of a technical expert in this,” she says. “You should talk to Duncan.”

We did. Sellars told us he had hired no one to check out Heyndrickx’s bomb-site samples but Heyndrickx himself had sent them to the State Department and other agencies. Helms’s aides at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee say that they too relied on the State Department’s analysis of Heyndrickx’s findings. So we asked the State Department whether it could vouch for the report. Gary Crocker, a State Department intelligence officer with expertise in chemical warfare, indicated that the department’s tests for evidence of chemical contamination in Heyndrickx’s samples were negative. In other words, this significant piece of legislation was passed with no credible substantiation whatsoever.

Like the lobbyists, UNITA can’t really say how or whether it confirmed Heyndrickx’s findings. Helder Mondabe, UNITA’s man in Washington, told us he had visited a “university of chemical warfare” in Switzerland to discuss Heyndrickx’s work, but he could not remember the name or location of the university. We called the military attaché to the Swiss embassy in Paris for help; he said that no such university exists, that no such studies are undertaken at any of the Swiss universities. When we called Mondabe a week later to see whether he’d remembered the name of the university, he said no, he still didn’t remember, and Hey, do you guys really have to mention the Swiss university in your article?

Duncan Sellars remains unfazed by his star witness’s impeached authority. “The questions raised have bee arguments attempting to attack his personal credibility,” he says stalwartly. Fortunately, the State Department has wised up. Is Heyndrickx a charlatan? “I have no doubt about that,” says Gary Crocker. “That’s for sure.” But a year ago the findings of an easily debunked professor were regarded as gospel by gullible policymakers, a mistake that could be rectified only by dispatching Jim Baker to Windhoek, just to show the Namibians that we were sorry we had been such soreheards about their independence.

The piece featuring Aubin Heyndrickx from the time of the Iraq war is the following, “In Iraq chemical arms trial, scientists face many burdens of proof”:

For 18 years, Dr. Aubin Heyndrickx has tended the sealed jars containing strands of hair and scraps of clothing he gathered from a dead woman’s body. Collected in Halabja, one of many Kurdish towns in northern Iraq that were attacked with chemical weapons by Saddam Hussein’s army in 1988, they have sat in a blue plastic drum in his lab ever since, waiting.

Now, as prosecutors prepare to try Saddam in Baghdad for genocide against the Kurds, Heyndrickx would like the material to be analyzed. “May I insist these proofs are mentioned at the trial?” the doctor asks.

He is one of a small group of doctors, scientists and Middle East experts who have studied chemical weapons use by Iraq against its Kurdish citizens in the 1980s. Now, they are dusting off evidence and attempting to collect new data in an effort to define the scope of a distant tragedy that is only now to come under scrutiny in court.

Near the very end is a brief reference to his maverick quality:

Because of the lack of hard data and the imprecise testing there is some disagreement about how many people were affected and what chemical compounds were used.

Heyndrickx, somewhat of a maverick in the field, believes that the Iraqi Army also used cyanide and biological toxins, although most other scientists disagree.

Still, he was one of the few Western experts on the ground in Halabja just after the attack, and the samples in his lab – particularly the clothing – could still provide valuable clues if they were properly sealed and stored, Hay said.

43 From the profile for Marc Thiessen at the American Enterprise Institute; I boldface his experience at BMS&K:

Experience

  • Columnist, Washington Post, 2010-present
  • Cofounder, Oval Office Writers, 2009-present
  • Visiting Fellow, Hoover Institution, 2009-2010
  • Senior Speechwriter, Deputy Director of Speechwriting, Chief Speechwriter for President George W. Bush, the White House, 2004-2009
  • Chief Speechwriter for Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Department of Defense, 2001-2004
  • Spokesman and Senior Policy Adviser to Senator Jesse Helms, Senate Foreign Relations Committee, 1995-2001
  • Press Secretary, Huffington for Senate Campaign, 1994
  • Assistant to the President, Empower America, 1993-94
  • Researcher and Deputy Communication Director, Black, Manafort, Stone, and Kelly, 1989-93

44 “Welcome to the World’s Richest Poor Country” by John Kampfner conveys well what Angola is like now:

Aihameselle Mingas beckons me inside his house. He wants to show me his new architect-designed kitchen, with its floor-to-ceiling fridge, and its architect-designed sitting room with its Italian furnishings. Each room has a plasma home-entertainment screen. “Come see the marble. It’s from Brazil,” he says.

I have seen conspicuous consumption in London, Moscow, New York, and Paris, but never a contrast such as this. Outside the high walls of Aihameselle’s house stand two dilapidated tower blocks. The holes in the road resemble lunar craters. Dozens of bored youths stand around, their eyes blank. And the stench. The shit is, literally, floating down the street.

Luanda was built for less than half a million folk. The war drove the population up to four million people, fleeing as the two sides – the communist government backed by the Soviet Union and Cuba, and the rebel UNITA forces supported by America and apartheid South Africa – fought out one of the most vicious conflicts of the Cold War. That is why you have such fast urbanisation. That is why everywhere you look, you see shanties, shacks in fetid and treeless slums that stretch for miles to the horizon. That is why the city suffers power cuts, why traffic doesn’t move and why sanitation has collapsed. When it rains, the polluted Bengo river overflows; the water merges with the garbage-strewn banks, producing yet another bout of cholera.

By night, people party – hard, until dawn. Then, before they return home (drivers have been sleeping in the car park), they gather for one last time to eat fish soup. A popular night-time venue for drink and watching bands play Kuduro music, is Miami. This is a younger, more local and hipper crowd, a far cry from the sad middle-aged men I see at another place down the road, accompanied by their catorzinagas, 14-year-old escorts.

For the rest, life consists of eking out a miserable existence, working on construction sites, if you are lucky, or hawking anything you can find. Life expectancy is 42. Angola has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the world. Three quarters of the population earn less than a dollar a day – the UN definition of absolute poverty. Some 50 per cent of people have no access to clean water; 24 percent of children under 14 are forced to work.

45 A transcript of the “Drugs, Law Enforcement, and Foreign Policy” report dealing with BMS&K and the Bahamas, page 16 in the pdf document:

BAHAMAS SEEKS TO INFLUENCE U.S. POLICYMAKERS

In 1985, the increased public attention to the role of the Bahamas as a base for drug smuggling led that government to seek the advice of a U.S. public relations firm. The firm, Black, Manafort, and Stone, submitted a memorandum to the Bahamian officials suggesting that it could sell the United States government on the importance of the Bahamas to U.S. security. In that memorandum, Black, Manafort suggested that public attention be focused on the demand side of the drug issue, thus diverting attention from the narcotics-related problems on the islands. The Black-Manafort principal assigned to the matter, Matthew Freedman was a former senior State Department official who had handled narcotics issues.

Shortly after the 1984 U.S. election, Black-Manafort advised the Bahamian government that “perception by ‘Official’ Washington will frequently drive the realities which will affect…policy decisions. In this regard, the Government of the Bahamas is operating in a negatively charged atmosphere.”

According to Black-Manafort, the Department of State and the Department of Defense wished to maintain a “solid relationship” with the Pindling Administration, but the DEA and the Department of the Treasury were “active critics.” According to the memorandum, political critics of the Pindling government had been “sowing the seeds that the Government of the Bahamas is a nation for sale, inviting drug czars to use the banking system, that government officials are participating in the drug trafficking, that the Pindling Administration is about to collapse and much more.”

Black-Manafort advised the Bahamian government that it needed to lobby both the Executive and Congressional branches of the United States government, beginning with the National Security Council to mobilize political support for the Bahamas and to focus the Departments of Defense and State so as to “affect Treasury and Justice policy.” The memo went on to suggest that the personal relationships between then Secretary of Defense Weinberger and then Attorney General Meese could be used to redefine the priorities of the U.S. in its dealings with the Bahamas. Black-Manafort was to charge the Bahamas $800,000 per year for representing them on these matters, and the firm was ultimately retained by the Bahamian government.

In addition, a former coordinator of the South Florida Drug Task Force, Admiral Daniel Murphy, who participated in the previously mentioned meeting with Prime Minister Pindling testified that he solicited the Bahamas as a client for his consulting firm, Gray and Company. He was unsuccessful.

The role of the U.S. consultants raises troubling questions about conflicts of interest. Narcotics issues are indeed “national security issues.” The Subcommittee believes it is not in the interest of the United States to have former government officials, whether from the Congress or the Executive Branch, who held policy positions dealing with narcotics law enforcement, to use the knowledge they have obtained to work for a foreign government whose officials are implicated, either directly, or indirectly, in the drug trade.

BAHAMIAN “COOPERATION”

Shortly after the Bahamian government retained U.S. public relations consultants, it suddenly began cooperating on some drug issues on the advice of its consultants. For instance, the government allowed the installation of an aerostat radar, set up joint air and naval operations and allowed U.S. authorities to enter Bahamian territory in hot pursuit of drug traffickers. Yet the cooperation remained far from complete. For example, the government continued to allow foreign nationals arrested for drug smuggling to leave the country after posting bail, and continued to make it difficult for U.S. authorities to participate in the destruction of seized drugs.

The Bahamian willingness to cooperate with interdiction efforts has created a pro-Bahamian constituency in interdiction-related agencies such as the Customs Service. But the increased level of interdiction cooperation has neither cut the amount of cocaine coming into the United States from the Bahamas, nor has it led to the destruction of the major smuggling organizations. Indeed, as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-U.S. Affairs Richard Holwill noted, “…notwithstanding the cooperation, there has been an increase in trafficking.” The Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics Matters and the Administrator of the DEA acknowledged that the Bahamas remains a significant transshipment point.

46 From “Dukakis Steps Up Attack on Bush Camp-Bahamas Ties” by Bob Drogin:

Firing another broadside Saturday, Democratic presidential nominee Michael S. Dukakis stepped up charges that Vice President George Bush relies on top advisers who were “paid agents” of Bahamanian officials suspected of drug profiteering.

Dukakis tried to turn the tables on Republicans who he said had questioned his patriotism in recent weeks.

“My staff will not have divided loyalties,” the Massachusetts governor said. “In a Dukakis White House, the staff will pledge allegiance to only one flag–Old Glory.”

47 Articles that provide a good overview of the HUD scandal include “Areas Most in Need May Be Real HUD Scandal Victims” by Ronald J. Ostrow And William J. Eaton, “HUD Aides Said to Make Millions From $61,000” by William J. Eaton, “Rents Doubled After Project Got Big Subsidy” by William J. Eaton, “The Hud Scandal: A View From New Jersey” by David Hess and S.A. Paolantino, and “Long Inquiry on Abuse in the Housing Department Is Completed” by Michael Janofsky.

48 From “The Hud Scandal: A View From New Jersey” by David Hess and S.A. Paolantino:

WASHINGTON – In the summer of 1987, the leaders of Upper Deerfield Township, N.J., got quite a surprise.

They learned that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development had approved a $43 million grant for the renovation and rent subsidy of 326 housing units in a rundown, 43-year-old apartment complex that had once sheltered agricultural workers in a subdivision called Seabrook.

Since the community, in Cumberland County about 60 miles south of Philadelphia, had neither applied for the project through the state housing authority nor even thought the complex was worth rehabilitating, local officials were mystified.

The Seabrook project will cost taxpayers about $31 million in rent subsidies to low-income tenants over 15 years. And it will generate generous tax credits for the developers who are participating in it.

Seabrook is the brainchild of Victor Cruz, former deputy commissioner of housing in Connecticut, and Paul Manafort, a partner in the high-powered Washington lobbying firm of Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly. Black, Manafort worked in the presidential campaigns of Ronald Reagan and George Bush and since 1987 has been advising Rep. Jim Courter, who won the Republican gubernatorial primary in New Jersey on June 6.

For its services in obtaining HUD approval for Seabrook, the firm received a $326,000 fee from the developers.

In September 1986, Manafort testified, Cruz heard about the Seabrook apartments from another developer and determined that it was probably eligible for consideration as a “mod-rehab” project. The problem, Cruz knew, was how to persuade HUD to select the Seabrook project from among the hundreds of applications from other communities seeking low-income housing aid.

Cruz then reached the well-connected Manafort, offered to go into partnership with him on the project and hired Black, Manafort to intervene with HUD, Manafort testified.

On Nov. 14, a Black, Manafort aide met with Deborah Gore Dean, Pierce’s executive assistant at HUD, who told the aide that she would need an application from the appropriate housing authority.

Another Black, Manafort employee, Greg Stevens, former chief of staff of New Jersey Gov. Kean and now a member of Courter’s campaign team, introduced Cruz to William Connolly, director of the state housing authority, who agreed to submit the application.

Stevens told state housing officials in 1986 that Seabrook funds had been set aside by HUD. Usually, states and major cities compete for HUD money and, once the money is in hand, seek developers for the projects.

The state housing authority advertised in a small local paper inviting bids for the rehabilitation contract on the Seabrook project, but it was so worded, according to subcommittee Chairman Tom Lantos (D., Calif.), that only the Cruz-Manafort plan would qualify.

Rep. Charles E. Schumer (D., N.Y.) chimed in: “To read this ad, you might as well cut out all of the other language and put in this one line: ‘The fix is in.’ “

From “Rents Doubled After Project Got Big Subsidy” by William J. Eaton:

Paul J. Manafort, a former campaign adviser to President Bush who is now a partner in a high-powered lobbying firm, acknowledged in testimony Monday that he has never visited the development, which earned his company a fee of $326,000 for getting Department of Housing and Urban Development approval of the subsidies in 1987.

Manafort, who is also a 20% owner of the development company for the Seabrook units, said that federal tax credits from the project, which constitute an additional form of subsidy, already have been sold to investors for $3.3 million.

Yet the promised rehabilitation is still not finished, and the project still does not have a single permanent occupancy permit from municipal authorities, Manafort and his partner, Victor Cruse, acknowledged.

Under HUD’s moderate rehabilitation program, rent subsidies totaling $31 million will continue for 15 years.

“We played by the rules,” Manafort said in defense of himself and his consulting firm, Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly, and the way it obtained funding for the Seabrook development with the aid of Deborah Gore Dean, once a top assistant to former HUD Secretary Samuel R. Pierce Jr.

However, Lantos challenged Manafort’s insistence that the $4.4 million put into the Seabrook development by the investors represented a sizable risk.

“There was a sweetheart deal with Debbie Dean that was implemented and stands implemented,” Lantos contended. “Nothing could be less risky than this.”

Manafort, who acknowledged that the political clout of his firm had helped get the HUD money for the project that he later joined others in buying, dissented when Weiss termed his operations influence-peddling.

“You might call it influence-peddling. I call it lobbying,” he said. “That’s a definitional debate.”

49 From “Developer tells of deal at H.U.D.” by Philip Shenon:

A Florida housing developer says he will tell Congress that an influential Washington lobbying firm with close ties to the national Republican Party boasted of its ability to obtain Federal housing grants to win support for the 1986 re-election campaign of Senator Paula Hawkins of Florida.

The developer, Jeffrey H. Auslander, is to testify before a House subcommittee next month about his dealings with the lobbying firm, Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly.

The House panel, the Government Operations Subcommittee on Employment and Housing, is investigating political manipulation of Federal housing programs during the Reagan Administration. Charles Black, a partner at Black, Manafort, ran the campaign of Senator Hawkins, a Republican, which ended with her defeat in November 1986.

Mr. Auslander said the employee, Russell Cartwright, a former Senate aide to Mrs. Hawkins, ”came right out and said, ‘We’re trying to get these awards out before the election so Paula Hawkins can take credit for them.’ ”

Mr. Auslander said he had agreed to the deal, which entailed his paying a fee to Black, Manafort. The rent subsidies for the area were later approved by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. H.U.D. documents show that rent subsidies for rehabilitation of 91 low-income apartments in West Palm Beach were issued on Nov. 3, 1986, the day before the Senate election. Mr. Auslander received some of them.

Mr. Black, speaking on behalf of Mr. Cartwright and the firm, said Mr. Auslander’s account was mistaken. ”It’s a zany story,” Mr. Black said in an interview, asserting that Black, Manafort ”never did anything” at H.U.D. in seeking support for Mrs. Hawkins’s re-election campaign. ”This is all nonsense,” he said of Mr. Auslander’s allegations. Long Ties to G.O.P. Black, Manafort has long-standing ties to the Republican Party. Lee Atwater, the Republican national chairman, who was the manager of George Bush’s 1988 Presidential campaign, has been associated with the firm for years, and a number of partners worked in close advisory roles to the Bush campaign.

50 From “D.C.: Where Allies Work Both Sides Of The Corridors” by Ken Cummins:

The appearance of former national Democratic finance chairman Peter Kelly at last Tuesday`s $1,000-a-head Georgetown fund-raiser for Gov. Bob Graham`s Senate campaign seemed more than a bit unusual.

Kelly is the newest partner in Black, Manafort, Stone and Kelly, the Washington political consulting firm whose senior partners, all staunch conservative Republicans, want to keep Graham as far away from the Senate as possible. Charlie Black, one of the firm`s three founders, is managing the re-election campaign of Sen. Paula Hawkins, the GOP incumbent Graham hopes to replace.

But the situation gets even more complicated upon closer inspection. Kelly is raising money for Graham and 19 other Democrats in Senate races across the country this year because “I am totally committed to winning the Senate back.” He says, “it`s in the cards” that Graham will be in the Senate next January.

Black is just as committed to keeping the Senate under Republican control. He and partners Paul Manafort, Roger Stone and Lee Atwater are managing Republican Senate campaigns in Florida, Louisiana and Vermont to help keep a Senate Republican majority for at least two more years. In all three states, Kelly is raising money on the other side in hopes of destroying his patners` dream.

51 From “Roger Stone, Political Animal” by Matt Labash:

While Black, Manafort & Stone did work on behalf of blue-chip companies and boutique right-wing causes from the Contras to Angola’s UNITA rebels, what they really did was advise presidential candidates. They worked on so many campaigns that in 1986 (when Stone was working with Jack Kemp), a congressional aide remarked to a Time reporter, “Why have primaries for the nomination? Why not have the candidates go over to Black, Manafort & Stone and argue it out?”

52 From “Publicists of the Damned”, specific page 55:

As it turns out, Black, Manafort’s underhandedness was actually an attractive selling point to the Zairians. During the intense pitching for Mobutu’s account, several rival lobbying firms pointed out that Black, Manafort was embroiled in the HUD scandal and had admitted to receiving $326,000 in consulting fees in connection with a dubious housing project. But the accompanying wave of hostile press and congressional denunciations didn’t deter the Zairians one whit. “That only shows how important they are!”

From “Sex on the Hill: the US scandal that still pays off” by Rupert Cornwell:

Mr Stone holds up his hands in studied outrage, at the work of some “sick, disgruntled person” out to smear him, while Mr Dole, desperate to preserve at least his “character” edge over the President, has swiftly and completely severed his links – whatever they were in the first place – with Mr Stone. That, however, is where the damage is likely to end. Like Dick Morris, Roger Stone, a body-building fanatic who has spent $8,000 (pounds 5,000) on hair transplants, revels in infamy. Back in 1985, the New Republic ran a profile on him entitled “State-Of-The-Art Sleazeball,” and its delighted subject sent copies to all his friends. Now he’s on the Internet. Can a book contract be far behind? More pertinently, should anyone be surprised?

53 From “G.O.P. Speakers at Dinner In Virginia Irk Minorities” by B. Drummond Ayres Jr.:

Mr. North, whose role in the Iran-contra affair led to his dismissal from President Ronald Reagan’s National Security Council staff, is considering a run for Senate in the state. At the banquet, he and Mr. Black, a former national chairman of the Republican Party, cracked jokes in after-dinner remarks that made light of President Clinton’s order to the military to admit homosexuals. Both confirmed they had told the jokes after an article appeared in The Washington Post today, but they insisted their remarks were aimed at Mr. Clinton, not at homosexuals.

Mr. Black said at one point that Mr. Clinton had wanted to include the words, “Don we now our gay apparel,” in the Marine Corps hymn.

“It was all done in good humor, not to offend,” Mr. Black said today when asked about his speech and other remarks made at the banquet. “I deeply regret any event that would allow the party to be seen as intolerant because that’s not a fair portrayal of the event.”

Mr. North’s remarks included a line about how he had repeatedly tried to place a telephone call to Mr. Clinton but could not get through until he lisped to the operator, “Excuse me!”

The banquet joke that had racial overtones was told by a state Senator from Northern Virginia, Warren E. Barry. He began his remarks with a comment about “the Clinton fags-in-the-foxhole” policy and then began to joke about how Mr. Parris, when he was in Congress, seemed to be constantly at odds with the officials of the District of Columbia, who are mostly black.

He recalled that Mr. Parris had once called a bridge leading from Washington to Virginia “the longest bridge in the world because it connects Virginia to Africa.” He went on, with a laugh, to say Mr. Parris sought to rename the bridge “Soul Brothers Causeway.”

54 From “Convention Boss Gives GOP a Lift From the Wings” by James Rainey:

Paul J. Manafort Jr.–a longtime Washington lawyer, lobbyist and campaign strategist–is the man credited by many with keeping Republicans on point and on time at a national convention that is generally agreed to be the most tightly managed ever.

Manafort’s cool manner and exquisitely fitted suits mirror the careful tailoring that Republicans say has boosted presidential nominee Bob Dole’s popularity. Journalists, however, complain that the same man has left them bereft of news and drama.

An example of Jack Kemp taking over HUD and dealing with the mess that Paul Manafort was partly involved in is “Kemp to Cancel HUD Program Tied to Abuse” by Douglas Jehl:

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Jack Kemp on Thursday announced his intention to cancel a loan-guarantee program whose benefits have gone in substantial measure to clients of politically well-connected consultants.

Among the consultants listed by HUD are two former high-ranking officials of the department and the wife of a former staff member of Ronald Reagan’s White House.

The program, designed to insure private loans obtained by small companies that sought to develop unused land for housing and commercial activities, had become “riddled with abuse,” the department said.

Of the 58 developers who had obtained loan insurance under the program since 1977, 25 have since defaulted, HUD said. It estimated the cost to the government at $90 million.

In a prepared statement, the department said that Kemp was canceling the program because of “the enormity of the losses incurred, high patterns of abuse and the failure of the program to benefit the needy.” It is known as the Title X Land Development Mortgage Insurance Program.

55 From “Public-Relations Ethics Questioned as Some Agents Pose as Journalists” by Jim Drinkard:

WASHINGTON – Late last year, two lobbyists from a top Washington firm teamed with a camera crew to get interviews in India’s volatile Kashmir region. The Indian government says they were posing as journalists with Cable News Network.

The two, Paul Manafort and Riva Levinson, arrived in India on tourist visas that gave no hint they were working for the Kashmiri American Foundation, a group New Delhi views as a front for rival Pakistan.

Manafort and Levinson, of the firm Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly, deny they posed as CNN reporters, and a colleague said their footage was never used.

But the Indian government publicly protested and formally notified CNN’s Atlanta headquarters. Network officials say they have no reason to doubt the episode occurred, and a regional journalists’ association passed a resolution deploring it.

56 From the criminal complaint “Case No. 1:11MJ558” (page 6):

15. Another confidential witness(CW-2) has provided information to the FBI over a long period and proved reliable. CW-2 has known Fai and officials of the Government of Pakistan for years. Last year, CW-2 told FBI agents that, in approximately 1989, CW-2 was aware of the candidates under consideration to operate the KAC and that the lSI selected Fai to do so because he had no overt ties to Pakistan. CW-2 said that the lSI created the KAC to propagandize on behalf of the Government of Pakistan with the goal of uniting Kashmir. CW-2 estimated that, of the statements Fai makes, 80 percent are provided by the lSI for Fai to repeat and disseminate verbatim. The other 20 percent of the KAC’s messaging consists of Fai’s own ideas, which have been pre-approved by the lSI but not provided by them.

57 From “The Man Behind Pakistan Spy Agency’s Plot to Influence Washington” by Kim Barker, Habiba Nosheen, and Raheel Khursheed:

Fai’s most significant relationship was with Dan Burton. In 2004, Fai testified in front of Burton’s subcommittee hearing [26] on human rights abuses in Kashmir. Burton introduced him personally, saying, “I’ve known Dr. Fai for a long time.”

In 2007, Fai was given the American Spirit Medal, the highest award from the National Republican Senatorial Committee, for being committed to conservative principles.

58 From “The Man Behind Pakistan Spy Agency’s Plot to Influence Washington” by Kim Barker, Habiba Nosheen, and Raheel Khursheed:

The FBI first questioned Fai in 2007 but seemed to step up its scrutiny in 2010.

That March, the Justice Department sent Fai a letter, telling him that the Indian press had reported that he was a Pakistani agent, and if so, he needed to register with the department as a foreign agent. Fai responded after several weeks, denying he was an agent of
Pakistan.

Three months later, New York police pulled Fai over and found $35,000 in cash in his car. Fai claimed the money was from a man
identified by the FBI as “Straw Donor B.”

59 From “Karachi : nouveau boulet pour Balladur” by Violette Lazard (my translation):

Even El-Assir could not remember anything when interrogated by the justices in November, 2012.

“I insist on the fact that my payments to Paul Manafort, to his family, and to the firm of Davs-Manafort [the justices estimate approximately $380 000 were sent to Manafort from the accounts of El-Assir between September 1994 and August 1995], had nothing to do with the political campaign of Edouard Balladur.” Only Ziad Takieddine, now in prison for two months, remembers things the way Manafort does.

60 From “Briton in divorce with French arms broker husband could hold key to ‘Karachi affair'” by Henry Samuel:

Mr Takieddine acknowledges receiving payment from a sale of frigates to Saudi Arabia, a contract authorised in 1994 by Mr Sarkozy. Documents obtained by Mediapart suggest he received €91 million between 1997 and 1998. France also signed a deal that year to sell three submarines to Pakistan. Several witnesses have told the magistrates that Mr Takieddine was imposed by the Balladur camp as an intermediary. He denies any role.

In May 2002, 11 French submarine engineers and four Pakistanis were killed in a bomb attack in Karachi, blamed on al-Qaeda terrorists. But a separate investigation is under way into whether it was a revenge attack by disgruntled officials for the non-payment of sweeteners.

61 From “The Mystery of Hollywood’s Dead Republican” by David M. Halbfinger and Dennis McDougal:

On the morning of Saturday, Feb. 26, a day before the Academy Awards, the actress Carrie Fisher woke up in her Beverly Hills home next to the lifeless body of a gay Republican political operative named R. Gregory Stevens.

Thus ended one of the more improbable friendships that Hollywood and Washington have known – and a globe-trotting, adventurous, but ultimately debilitating existence that might be fodder for a Tinseltown thriller, if it only had a satisfying resolution.

Before its abrupt end, Mr. Stevens’s journey had taken him from the beaches of San Clemente, Calif., and the slopes of Sun Valley, Idaho, all the way up the Republican ranks to a job in the first Bush White House at age 26. And it launched him on a jet-setting career as a political fixer manipulating elections in backrooms and palaces from Costa Rica to Croatia, Thailand to Togo, South Korea to the former Soviet Union.

Along the way, he survived disease in Africa and shrapnel in a leg in either the Middle East or the Balkans, depending on whom you believe, and he somehow acquired a mysterious piece of metal – this an autopsy confirmed – in the back of his skull.

His life ceased, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner’s report, when the cocaine and the prescription narcotic oxycodone in Mr. Stevens’s system overwhelmed his already enlarged and diseased heart. Ms. Fisher, upon hearing from a doctor friend of the coroner’s conclusions, sounded comforted to learn that toxicology levels indicated Mr. Stevens might not have been noticeably high when he arrived in Los Angeles. “I would’ve seen it if he was on a lot of drugs,” she said on Tuesday. “I know what that looks like. That’s the thing that killed me: I thought, how did I miss this?”

His taste for cocaine – acquired at age 18, his brother Grant, a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon, told investigators – may have had something to do with those troubles.

62 From “African Dictatorships and Double Standards Transcript”:

JUAN GONZALEZ: And, Ken Silverstein, can you talk to us about the role of Charlie Black, a chief adviser to John McCain, in terms of his role in Equatorial Guinea?

KEN SILVERSTEIN: Well, his firm had the account for Equatorial Guinea. I confess I don’t recall what Charlie Black’s own role was. I remember that there was a woman named Riva Levinson who did a lot of work on behalf of Equatorial Guinea, and she was affiliated with that firm, but I think the client actually at the time was an oil company called Trident, which was subsequently bought up, but which had a big stake in Equatorial Guinea. So she was lobbying for the oil companies there. And then Riva Levinson went on to lobby for Ahmed Chalabi, as it turned out, and the Iraqi National Congress.

But Charlie Black’s firm – Black, Manafort – it’s had various names over the years, but it has always represented some of the world’s worst dictators. It represented Mobutu in Zaire, Marcos in the Philippines, Jonas Savimbi in Angola, and it did represent at one point directly Equatorial Guinea, as well. There was a piece in Spy magazine many, many years ago in the 1980s, which was called “Voices of the Damned,” and it was about sort of the most unethical foreign lobbyists, and Charlie Black’s firm was rated the worst of the worst. I mean, you know, it had – Spy magazine used this sort of “bloody hand” ranking, and I think Charlie Black’s firm had “four bloody hand” ranking, which was the highest of any of the firms. I mean, and that included, you know – I mean, he outdid someone like Edward von Kloberg, who had represented Saddam Hussein and Ceausescu in Romania and a number of other really horrible regimes. So the fact that Black, Manafort still took the prize really says something.

Von Kloberg was another lobbyist of the damned, who would end up committing suicide by jumping from a castle. Two profiles of him after his death are “Fall of the House Of von Kloberg” and “Edward von Kloberg III, Lobbyist for Many Dictators, Dies at 63”.

63 FromThe Man Who Pushed America to War, “BKSH: Representing Chalabi” (link goes to quoted section, this is the link to the full excerpted chapter):

Normally, before campaigning on behalf of a foreign interest (which, after all, was what Chalabi was), the agent would register under the Justice Department’s Foreign Agents Registration Act. That’s required whenever someone represents a foreign interest in a “political or quasi-political” way. Examples include groups that at times had been allied with Chalabi, like Talabani’s Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and Barzani’s Kurdish Democratic Party. But since BKSH was paid by U.S. taxpayer funds through the State Department, it never registered as a foreign agent. Since it was not technically a “lobbbyist” for Chalabi either, even though it was a lobbying firm, it never registered at Capitol Hill either, which would be the norm for a lobbyist. Although the transaction was not classified or secret, journalists, legislators, and the American public weren’t told about it.

64 From “Roger Stone, Political Animal” by Matt Labash:

In the 1980s, Stone and his old friends Charles Black and Paul Manafort hung out their shingle–later to be joined by other skilled knife-fighters like the late Lee Atwater. Stone was often rivals with Atwater, though he affectionately cites his rules: “‘Lie low, play dumb, and keep moving.’ As opposed to mine, which are ‘Admit nothing, deny everything, launch counterattack.’ Often called the Three Corollaries.”

While Black, Manafort & Stone did work on behalf of blue-chip companies and boutique right-wing causes from the Contras to Angola’s UNITA rebels, what they really did was advise presidential candidates. They worked on so many campaigns that in 1986 (when Stone was working with Jack Kemp), a congressional aide remarked to a Time reporter, “Why have primaries for the nomination? Why not have the candidates go over to Black, Manafort & Stone and argue it out?”

From “The Dirty Trickster” by Jeffrey Toobin:

Stone did not enter the government after Reagan won the election. Instead, he started a political-consulting and lobbying firm with several co-workers from the campaign. The name of the operation went through several iterations, but it was perhaps best known as Black, Manafort, Stone & Atwater, the latter being Lee Atwater, who had worked briefly in the Reagan White House’s political office. The partners made their money by charging blue-chip corporate clients such as Ronald Perelman’s MacAndrews & Forbes and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. large fees to lobby their former campaign colleagues, many of whom had moved into senior posts in the new Administration. There were also less savory clients-Zaire’s Mobuto Sese Seko, Angola’s UNITA rebels, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos. Stone and his wife at the time, Ann, became famous for their lavish life style, which included a chauffeur-driven Mercedes and tailor-made clothes. They threw raucous parties for no reason or for almost no reason, like Calvin Coolidge’s birthday.

From Dirty Tricks:

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

65 From “Roger Stone, Political Animal” by Matt Labash:

One of Stone’s friends, who’s known him professionally for a decade, tells me: “What I find interesting about Roger is how committed to the joke he is. He moons the establishment for the sheer pleasure of it, with no thought to whether it helps him. Obviously most of the time it doesn’t and maybe he cares–I’ll bet he has mixed feelings–but he doesn’t stop. Notice how he’s willfully, self-consciously downmarket: Trump, Sharpton, the dyed hair and horseshoe pinky ring. There’s an ironic quality to all of it.

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Roger Stone: Pretty Reckless Is Going Straight To Hell Part Two

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 TWO: HYPOCRISIES

After the apocalypse of Watergate, Stone had two noteworthy jobs. He would work as a driver for Bob Dole, who, he tells us, was “angry and horny”. More importantly, he would join the National Conservative Political Action Committee (NCPAC), a group made up of veterans of Barry Goldwater’s failed presidential campaign, which would score electoral wins by flooding a race with negative advertising that could not be tied to the candidate that it was intended to help out. “Groups like ours,” said Terry Dolan, a founding member of NCPAC and its most important player, “are potentially very dangerous to the political process. We could be a menace, yes. Ten independent expenditure groups, for example, could amass this great amount of money and defeat the point of accountability in politics. We could say whatever we want about an opponent of a Senator Smith and the senator wouldn’t have to say anything. A group like ours could lie through its teeth and the candidate it helps stays clean.”21 They would help Ron Paul win his first election in Texas; they would take down John Culver of Iowa, George McGovern of South Dakota, Frank Church of Idaho, and Birch Bayh of Indiana. It was not about ideology, it was about you winning and the other guy losing. “We want people to hate Birch Bayh without even knowing why,” explained Dolan22.

NCPAC would help score all these victories, as well as the big one, the Republican win of the presidency in 1980. It was for its activities in the presidential election that the FEC would reprimand NCPAC for not disclosing the names of some of those who donated over $200 to the political committee, and for not explaining how it paid off some of its debts23. It would sue NCPAC for exceeding the spending limits of independent expenditures for its activities in the 1984 election, and the case went to the Supreme Court. NCPAC won, on the basis that such limits were limits on its freedom of speech24. NCPAC would soon collapse, due to newer conservative political PACs competing for donor dollars, a dwelling on bygone issues like the Panama Canal, the foulness of its name now being used against any candidate that relied on their services, and the death of its most crucial member. Terry Dolan was a devout Catholic, the best man at Stone’s first wedding, and a gay man who kept his orientation hidden from almost all of the world, and who died of AIDS in 198725. Anthony Dolan, a brother who was a speechwriter for Reagan and who would go on to serve two terms in the Bush administration, was furious when the Washington Post‘s obit mentioned that his brother died of AIDS (“Cofounder of NCPAC John (Terry) Dolan Dies” by Bart Barnes), and in a follow-up piece, “The Cautious Closet of the Gay Conservative” by Elizabeth Castor, that Terry Dolan was gay, though he denied both details of his life. Anthony Dolan would go on to spend $5000 to buy a two page ad in the Washington Times to counter what he saw as a cruel lie. “The Post’s story, as it stands, was a fraud upon the public,” argued the two pager. “The greatest and most malicious falsehood in this story was its entire thrust, its basis: the claim that my brother lived and died a homosexual,” the ad text claimed. “The truth – which I believe the Post editors did not want to print or even hear about because it destroyed the pro-gay bias they sought to promote through this story – was my brother’s deep religious conversion and his complete and total rejection of homosexuality as immoral.”26

“Those of us who were close to him,” writes Stone in his memoir, “knew that he had generally avoided gay bashing as part of the New Right agenda and his libertarian sensibilities really favored maximum personal freedom and privacy rights.”27 This was a point open to question. I occasionally read recent pieces by Christopher Hitchens and find them empty and repellent; when I read “The Hate That Dare Not Speak its Name”, however, I am reminded again of why his reputation is so formidable, and why I once enjoyed his work so much. I am tempted to transcribe the whole thing, but I give only delicate excerpts, including one that gives brief mention of Roger Stone:

On 22 May 1985 Anthony Dolan, the President’s chief speechwriter, took two full pages, at $2,800 each, in the Reverend Sun Myung Moon’s Washington Times. He devoted this space to a long, confused diatribe about homosexuality in American politics and journalism. At certain points in his essay, he posed as the very model of tolerance and fair-mindedness, insisting that he did not ‘countenance unfair discrimination or unkindness shown toward homosexuals.’ At other points, he reverted to the traditional conservative style, saying that ‘homosexual intrigue’ in the newsroom of the Washington Post was so intense that ‘poor Ben Bradlee has no one on whom he dares turn his back.’ Referring to a recent feature story in the Post, Dolan added: ‘Only if the story was vital to some issue of critical importance to the public should a man who had been dead for many months be dragged from his grave.’ The purport of Dolan’s article was the insistence, unusual for a family values conservative, that homosexuality is a private grief and nobody’s business except that of the immediate family. The readers of the loyalist Washington Times are confused enough as it is these days. Why, they may have had time to ask, does the President’s principal scriptwriter go on so much about the fags? And, having decided to do so, why does he seem to be of two minds about them? Two reasons suggest themselves for Dolan’s perturbation. The first is the recent death of his brother, Terry. The second is the existence – still awaiting honest acknowledgement – of a gay coterie among Ronald Reagan’s bizarre network of lucre, guns, and Contras.

Terry Dolan was gay, and he died of AIDS. He died after a short but intense lifetime of ultra-conservative guerilla theatre, during which he co-founded the National Conservative Political Action Committee (NCPAC) and helped to create the alliance between the Goldwater right and the blue-collar fundamentalists. It was Dolan’s complicated life and AIDS-related death that, after considerable hesitation, the Post had featured. Carl ‘Spitz’ Channell is gay, and was one of Terry Dolan’s political and personal protégés. Together they organized and raised funds for many ‘negative campaigns’ against liberal incumbents in Congress; and together they crafted a many pieces of venomous right-wing direct mail.

Is the homosexuality of Dolan and Channell of the least consequence? It isn’t, I suppose, if you can overlook the following:

  • Channell gave a “sizable contribution” to Bert Hurlbut, a man whose name I have not made up. Hurlbut is one of those people cast in life as a “Texas businessman”. In addition to being a Contra fancier, he runs what he calls “an organization to oppose the homosexual expansion.” It was to this organization that Channell made his contribution. Hurlbut’s plainspoken view is that “if AIDS had not come along to more or less do it for us, we would have been really in the middle of a vigorous opposition to what the homosexuals were doing to the moral structure of the country.” Thus did Channell put flowers on his friend Terry’s grave.
  • Terry Dolan founded NCPAC with Charles Black and Roger Stone. In the 1984 Texas Senate race, Black was a consultant to Phil Gramm’s successful run against Lloyd Doggett. As Black put it, “Doggett got the endorsement of the big gay PAC in San Antonio. That wasn’t unusual, but then we got on to the fact that the gays had a male strip show at some bar and Doggett takes that money. That became a matter of his judgement, so we rolled it out there.” [This quote is taken from “Partners in Political PR Firm Typify Republican New Breed” by Thomas B. Edsall, a Washington Post profile of Black, Manafort & Stone.]

It’s one thing to be gay. But Terry Dolan belonged, as Channell does, to that special group of closet homosexuals who delight in joining the gay-bashing pack.

I interrupt this excerpt to note a significant detail in what follows; the Morton Blackwell who gives lavish endorsement to a virulently homophobic book, is the same Blackwell who was involved in the hiring of Sedan Chair II, aka Michael McMinoway, to work as a mole in various Democratic campaigns.

Their friends and relatives often help to keep up this unpleasing pretense. Anthony Dolan we have already met, claiming special exemption from publicity for his brother. His sister, Maiselle Shortley, worked at the White House for Morton Blackwell, special assistant to the President for public liaison. Blackwell gave lavish endorsement to a book called The Homosexual Network, offered by the Conservative Book Club. Its author, Father Enrique Rueda, says “homosexuality is a manifestation of the sinful condition that affects mankind and each man, and homosexual behavior is gravely sinful by the very nature of reality.”

Even in his purchased essay, Dolan sought to deflect blame for the publicity on to “a certain former Congressman and a deeply committed partisan of homosexuality.” He was referring to Robert Bauman, the Maryland extremist whose career came to a sudden end seven years ago in the Chesapeake Bar in downtown DC, when he was busted by the FBI he had once so much adored for solicitng young male hustlers. No individual in politics had fought against homosexuality – his own and other people’s – as strenuously as he did. And while Bauman flourished – as chair of Young Americans for Freedom, as one of the leading Reagan-team gadflies in the House, and as the darling of the New Right – Washington was his. Once he was caught, no conservative would take his phone calls. Bauman’s most recent offense, in the eyes of Anthony Dolan, was to have helped organize (Bauman denies this) a memorial service for Terry.

Why does the right torture itself about homosexuality? The flagellation is partly a consequence of the overlap between extreme conservatives and the more traditional wing of the Roman Catholic Church. Then there is the self-protection – honesty means loss of power, so gays on the right toe the line and gay-bash. Bauman tells of sabotaging a Maryland fair-housing bill because it prohibited discrimination against homosexuals. And Terry Dolan mailed out a NCPAC fund-raising letter (he did object to it, later) that said: “Our nation’s moral fiber is being weakened by the growing homosexual movement.”

The issue of hypocrisy is there in Dolan’s life, as well as Stone’s28. Roger Stone deals with this thorny issue by insisting the thorns aren’t there. I repeat again what is written in his memoir: Dolan, Stone wrote, “generally avoided gay bashing” (the italics are mine), “his libertarian sensibilities really favored maximum personal freedom and privacy rights.” When an organization you helped found and in which you are the prime mover sends out a fund-raising letter with the virulent statement “Our nation’s moral fiber is being weakened by the growing homosexual movement,” that claim is seemingly destroyed.

Stone’s argument for why his own outré sexual activities should have continued to be veiled from the public is to demand a similar veil for similar reasons – though he seemingly worked for family values politicians, he wasn’t in the family values business. “When that whole thing hit the fan in 1996 [his own sex scandal], the reason I gave a blanket denial was that my grandparents were still alive,” he would say. “I’m not guilty of hypocrisy. I’m a libertarian and a libertine.”29 He would continue this line in his memoir. “Since I am not a public office holder or a candidate for public office,” he writes, “I don’t think my personal sexual conduct is anyone’s business. In view of the fact that I have never advocated a “family values” strategy for my candidates there is no hypocrisy on my part.”30 As opposed to Eliot Spitzer, the governor he claims to have helped oust, who he insistently accuses of hypocrisy. “This is someone who pushed for tougher penalties for men who go to prostitutes at the same time that he was patronizing them,” Stone would say on Fox Business, the channel nobody watches, “I call it hypocrite #1.” There were some people who simply weren’t in a position to render judgement: “I don’t get why this guy has the moral authority to comment on any subject”31

We might revisit the details of Stone’s disgrace for reasons of enlightenment and titillation. During the summer of 1996, when Bob Dole was running against Bill Clinton for the presidency, the National Enquirer broke the story that Stone and his second wife, a beautiful raven haired daughter of a Cuban exile who’d once served in the Castro government32, placed ads in Florida swingers’ magazines and on websites, that they were a “Hot, insatiable lady and her handsome body builder husband” who were looking for “3some/4some action.” Since this was 1996, the Enquirer had to include this helpful piece of information: “A website is a place on the internet where computer users who pay a fee can post any pictures and text they want. Then anyone who visits the Internet can access the website.”33

A later Enquirer piece on Hollywood S & M club The Vault would give an overview of its past celebrity guests. As was to be expected, Madonna, that whore, was there. She showed up in a long list of glitterati anecdotes, such as: Roseanne telling one of her bodyguards, “Go get a whip and crack that guy on the butt with it”; revealing that a Brady Bunch cast member and her drag queen friends “watched a scene involving a guy in a cage. Someone had a monkey and [the Brady Bunch cast member] stayed for a while because she was concerned about the monkey”; it eventually gave mention to the Stones. “Roger and Nikki [Nydia Stone] were our customers for a long time,” said one of the club’s managers. “They were heavy duty swingers and ran ads on the Internet and in many sex publications. They were heavy players.”34 Neither Enquirer story had the reporter actually at a swingers club while the Stones were there. For that, you had to go back to a piece by Scott Barancik, published in the Washington City Paper in December 1995, months before the Enquirer story broke, “D.C. Swings!: Couples meet for cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and blowjobs at a Washington restaurant”. This piece would be mentioned by David Carr after the Enquirer story was published and Stone fired from the Dole campaign, in “The Post Buries a Bombshell”.

“Bombshell” would begin by asking why, if Clinton’s sexual foibles were worthy of public scrutiny, the Post decided not to run a story from a woman claiming to be Dole’s mistress during his first marriage. It would go on to mention that while Roger Stone was busy claiming that the Enquirer swinger story was a result of fraud and mistaken identity, he had shown up with his wife at a club called The Edge for its “Dungeon Night” dance, a mostly gay event involving circle jerks and blowjobs. The Stones only looked on. “We danced. We went home. Big deal,” Stone would say, when asked about the event. “Bombshell” would then mention that a buff couple who show up at the D.C. club Capitol Couples in “D.C. Swings!” were Roger and Nydia Stone as well. No couple by those names appear in “D.C. Swings!”, but there is Jack, handsome and fit in leather pants, and Ariel, exquisitely squeezed into a black dress, the uncrowned royalty of the club, who look on the lumpen, middle aged open minded mass with disapproval. “I met Roger and Nikki there on an evening that ended up in an orgy,” a Capitol Couples patron in the Enquirer piece says. “Nikki was pretty and looked very fit. She had on a wild black dress that showed plenty of her breasts. He wore leather pants.” The patron added that they made it plain “they thought there were slim pickings available, like the crowd wasn’t up to their standard.” Jack has icy, smileless blue eyes, and the eyes of Roger Stone are very blue, very icy, and very smileless. Jack sees an attractive white woman. “She’s probably slept with every black man here,” Jack shares with the writer, and the writer continues, “apparently that’s some kind of problem for him.” The woman ends up giving a blowjob to the dreadlocked DJ. Jack introduces the writer to Harlan, a smiling congressional lobbyist. Harlan gropes one woman while his wife has a deep kiss with another one. Ariel watches the porno on the club’s large screen TV, and gives discerning commentary. “Well,” she says, “you can tell this woman’s never taken it in the behind.” Jack and Ariel leave, and most of the erotic energy of the club leaves as well35.

That we have the names of Jack and Ariel in this story instead of Roger and Nikki is perhaps explained by Carr in “Bombshell”. The Enquirer would ask Barancik to confirm that the photos they had matched the couple he’d met at the club. Though Barancik was unable to make the confirmation, his name would leak out anyway, and he was wrongly thought to be the source of the Enquirer story by the Stones. Barancik would be threatened with legal action by Stones’ then lawyer, Larry Klayman, the man who would file endless lawsuits against the Clinton administration. Barancik would retain his own lawyer and sign an affidavit saying that he wasn’t the source for the Enquirer revelations. Roger Stone would wave the affidavit on “Good Morning America” as a demonstration that the whole story was a hoax36. Years later, he would admit that the story was true. “I issued stout denials of the contents of the article,” he writes in his memoir, “largely because all four of my old-school grandparents were still alive and couldn’t have handled the truth.” And, of course, a sex scandal involving him was of no relevance, anyway: “In view of the fact that I have never advocated a “family values” strategy for my candidates there is no hypocrisy on my part.” A direct quote from the original Enquirer story: “Ironically, Stone ‘is one of the advisers who’ve urged Dole and other Republican politicians to emphasize family values and integrity,’ a Washington insider revealed.” “He is honest about his dishonesty,” claims Matt Labash about Stone37. Are you so sure about that?

Stone and NCPAC would help to elect, then re-elect the Reagan administration, and, just as he did in Watergate, Stone makes a brief cameo in the confirmation hearings of the Reagan attorney general, Edwin Meese. The hearings were difficult ones, uncovering various entanglements, such as Meese not disclosing a $15,000 interest free loan to the committee, and Stone’s name arose during one of the difficult moments. Apparently, somehow, Meese had gotten hold of internal documents from within the Carter campaign outlining voter strategy. From “Senator wants Meese name withdrawn”:

WASHINGTON (UPI) – At least one senator is urging Edwin Meese to ask President Reagan to withdraw his nomination as attorney general, and others say there still are “significant questions” about Meese’s financial dealings.

Sen. Howard Metzenbaum, D-Ohio, Meese’s leading critic on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Wednesday revelations that Meese did not disclose a $15,000 interest-free loan as required by law demonstrate the White House counselor “does not meet the criteria of integrity” needed to be the nation’s top law enforcement officer.

The $15,000 loan revealed Wednesday was made to Meese’s wife, Ursula, by Edwin Thomas, Meese’s friend. Shortly after that, Thomas got a job as Meese’s aide on Reagan’s staff. He has since been appointed by Reagan to another federal job.

Other members of the committee, which has been conducting Meese’s confirmation hearings, said they also were concerned about Meese’s finances, an Army promotion and memos from President Carter’s 1980 re-election campaign found in Meese’s files.

Later Wednesday, Metzenbaum released another set of documents showing Meese may have contradicted himself in statements to House investigators about whether he recalls receiving a 1980 Carter campaign memo outlining black voter strategy.

While investigators in a November 1983 report said Meese “recalls the memo,” he said last month in a sworn affidavit, “I do not recall seeing it in 1980.”

The documents show Meese repeatedly told House investigators “I do not recall” and “I do not know the source” when confronted with at least 16 documents found in his files containing tips or documents from the Carter camp. Meese was chief of staff of Reagan’s 1980 campaign.

The new documents, among other things, also disclose that a memo of a 1980 phone message to Meese from political consultant Roger Stone was found by House investigators last year in Meese’s files but now is missing.

Stone is Northeast regional political director for the 1984 Reagan-Bush campaign, the same post he held on Reagan’s 1980 campaign.

Another piece, “Meese Assistant Unable To Find Requested Data”, by Stuart Taylor Jr. would elaborate on the note:

WASHINGTON, March 14– An aide to Edwin Meese 3d, the Presidential counselor, has said that he cannot find a document requested by Congressional investigators, according to materials made public today by a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The missing document from Mr. Meese’s 1980 Reagan campaign files consisted of a handwritten note stating: “Roger Stone bagman for paid informant in McGovern campaign, kept his mouth shut so they can’t touch him, a Congressional investigator said in a statement released today. The investigator said the note also indicated that Mr. Stone had called Mr. Meese “on 5/ 29 and 6/4.”

Mr. Stone, identified in a Senate report as a minor figure in the Watergate scandal, when he 19 years old, was a political director for the Eastern region in the 1980 Reagan-Bush campaign and is serving in a somewhat similar position in the President’s current campaign.

It was not clear from the materials released today who wrote the note, what the writer meant by the “bagman” reference, or whether Mr. Meese spoke to Mr. Stone.

A Congressional investigator, James F. Wiggins of the General Accounting Office, said he had read the missing document and transcribed it verbatim Nov. 18, while he was going through hundreds of documents in Mr. Meese’s 1980 campaign files.

Another G.A.O. investigator, Francis M. Doyal, said he had later asked John Richardson, a Meese aide, for a copy of the document and information about who wrote it and what it meant, but that “Mr. Richardson has informed me that he has been unable to locate the note.”

According to the Senate Watergate Committee’s report in 1974, Mr. Stone worked in the 1972 Nixon re-election campaign in an operation called “Sedan Chair II,” arranging to pay an infiltrator to gather information from Democratic campaign organizations and perform political pranks.

Mr. Stone said today that the document apparently referred to a telephone call he had placed to Mr. Meese in 1980, but that “I’m as baffled about this as anyone else” and that he had “no idea” what the note meant. He said he knew nothing about any effort to infiltrate the Carter campaign.

In an interview earlier this year, Mr. Stone said he had done nothing illegal in the Watergate affair.

In his written statement about the missing Roger Stone document, Mr. Wiggins said he had found it “in a collection of loose notes and messages” in files identified as those of Mr. Meese from the 1980 campaign, which he inspected in the Old Executive Office Building under an agreement between the subcommittee and Mr. Meese.

Mr. Doyal said in a separate statement that he had also looked at the document. He said that “in an interview with Mr. Meese on November 21, 1983 he agreed to find the note and determine, if possible, who had written the note and what it meant.” But he said that after repeated inquiries about the matter and three conversations with Mr. Richardson, the Meese aide “has informed me that he has been unable to locate the note.”

Mr. Doyal went on to say that he had discussed the matter with Mr. Stone, who “stated that it is quite possible that he called Mr. Meese as the telephone messages would indicate.”

He went on to say: “Stone also stated that he had in fact been involved in what has become known as ‘Watergate’ and did wire money to an informant. Mr. Stone stated that he was 19 years of age at the time. Additionally, Mr. Stone stated that the note was the most negative statement of his role that he has ever heard. He stated that he would not have described himself that way and does not know who might do so.”

According to testimony cited in the Watergate report, Mr. Stone, while a young worker in Mr. Nixon’s 1972 campaign, agreed to pay $1,500 a month to one Michael W. McMinoway in 1972 to “infiltrate the Democratic organizations.”

Mr. McMinoway reported to Mr. Stone regularly while working in and spying on the organizations of George McGovern, Edmund Muskie and Hubert H. Humphrey during the primary elections, the report said.

Meese and Stone do not intersect simply in this issue of political intrigue, but on political attitudes towards sexual license. Stone incessantly describes himself as a “libertarian and a libertine,” a libertarian and a libertine who also helped put Reagan and Meese into power. It was under Meese that the justice department created the National Obscenity Enforcement Unit, which attempted to impose small town morality on the entire nation, through Project Wormwood and Project Postporn. Wormwood went after Southern California’s hardcore porn industry by having justice agents order porn videos to be delivered to dummy addresses in conservative communities in places like Alabama, Arkansas, and Oklahoma, and those who delivered the films were then indicted for interstate transportation of obscene material. “We always used to worry about being extorted by the mob,” said one producer, “Then all of a sudden it was the federal government hitting us up for money.” Postporn was a similar project, going after mail-order companies of sexually explicit materials, including The Joy of Sex, by ordering the material from various locations in the United States, then burying the mail order company with multiple prosecutions. The idea was not to secure a conviction, but to make the cost of defense so expensive as to force the company to close.

However, some refused to go along with the game, and showed more spine than Roger Stone ever did in his life. Philip Harvey, one distributor who was targeted, was to have his warehouse raided. Local FBI agents refused to take part, and instead postal inspectors had to be brought in, more than a few of whom were reluctant to be pulled into this mess. Harvey refused to be pushed down. “There comes a point in life,” said Harvey, “when you simply have to say enough is enough.” He would go to trial. One of the pieces of evidence was a video with an orgy scene featuring porn star Vanessa Del Rio. We have here another tangent with Stone’s life. “After entering the sexual underground through the nexis of politics,” the political consultant shares with us in his memoir, “I went down on Vanessa Del Rio and fucked porn star Nina Hartley.” Half of the jurors were born-again Christians, and one was a minister’s son. Philip Harvey would be found not guilty38.

Wormwood was a failure. Postporn was a failure. Edwin Meese would end up resigning from his position as Attorney General in disgrace, over issues of improper influence. A company named Wedtech may have used bribes and pay-offs to obtain government loans and contracts, and some of those bribes and pay-offs were intertwined with Meese. Due to government rules encouraging minority ownership of small business, and Wedtech falling under these auspices, the company was able to make non-competitive bids on contracts, which made it easier to pull off its graft. Five days before the celebration of the first Martin Luther King, Jr. day, Meese would attack affirmative action, saying that King would have been opposed to it because of his vision of a color-blind society39. What you did or said in one moment had no consequence or connection with what you did or said in the next moment. Again, this is Stone in his memoir: “In view of the fact that I have never advocated a “family values” strategy for my candidates there is no hypocrisy on my part.” Here, again, is a sentence from the Enquirer exposé that broke his sex scandal: “Ironically, Stone ‘is one of the advisers who’ve urged Dole and other Republican politicians to emphasize family values and integrity,’ a Washington insider revealed.”

(Originally, the “Senator wants Meese name withdrawn” linked to the Adirondack Enterprise; on April 18th 2014, I discovered that this link was broken, and it was linked to the Logansport Pharos-Tribune edition of the story at the newspapers.com archive. On April 10th, 2015, this post underwent another session of copy editing. On May 22, 2015, a link to the “Hollywood stars visit The Vault sex club” article was switched to its wayback machine version, since geocities ceased to exist. On August 12, 2015, a link was added to the Thomas Edsall piece featuring the quote about Lloyd Doggett by Charlie Black. On December 24, 2015, a link was added to Terry Dolan’s WaPo obit and the link to the follow-up piece was switched from the highbeam archive to WaPo – this content was available only by paying for the article at WaPo at the time of this post’s initial publication.)

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

21 From “The Legacy of Terry Dolan: A Demented Political Process Dominated By Corporate Cash” by Bill Berkowitz:

Before he flamed out, Terry Dolan’s fingerprints were all over the formative years of what was then called The New Right. As co-founder – in 1975 — and chairman of the National Conservative Political Action Committee (NCPAC), he was one of the pioneers of direct mail solicitations, the modern political attack ad, and independent expenditure groups.

“Groups like ours,” Dolan presciently explained to the Washington Post in 1980, “are potentially very dangerous to the political process. We could be a menace, yes. Ten independent expenditure groups, for example, could amass this great amount of money and defeat the point of accountability in politics. We could say whatever we want about an opponent of a Senator Smith and the senator wouldn’t have to say anything. A group like ours could lie through its teeth and the candidate it helps stays clean.” Dolan later back-peddled by saying that he wasn’t describing NCPAC’s tactics so much as he was talking about a hypothetical situation.

The quote about Dole being angry and horny from Dirty Tricks:

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless going straight to hell

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless going straight to hell

22 From “NCPAC’s Waterloo” by Chuck Lane:

Before 1980, a “hit list” was something only rival Mafia families worried about. But when the National Conservative Political Action Committee (NCPAC) adapted the concept to U.S. Senate races by targeting liberal Democrats for an onslaught of negative media advertising, “hit list” joined the American political lexicon for good. And the committee’s sharpshooters hit their marks with stunning accuracy– NCPAC-backed conservatives handily defeated progressive stalwarts like George McGovern, Frank Church and Birch Bayh. The chilling words of NCPAC chief Terry Dolan–“we want people to hate Birch Bayh without even knowing why”–conveyed an unmistakable message to jittery liberals: the age of political mind control had arrived.

23 From “MUR (Matters Under Review) 1294#page=6”, “MUR (Matters Under Review) 1294 (specific page 6)”:

This matter was initiated by the Federal Election Commission (hereinafter “the Commission”), pursuant to information ascertained in the normal course of carrying out its supervisory responsibilities, and after having found probable cause to believe the National Conservative Political Action Committee (“Respondent” or “the Committee”) violated:

1. 2 U.S.C. § 434 (b)(3)(A) by failing to disclose the identification of persons whose contributions to the Committee exceeded an aggregate of $200 within the calendar year;

2. 2 U.S.C. § 434 (b)(8) by failing to disclose the circumstances and conditions under which debts were extinguished for less than their reported amounts; and

3. 2 U.S.C. § 434 (b)(1) by failing to properly disclose the amount of cash on hand for calendar years 1979 and 1980.

NOW THEREFORE, the Commission and Respondent, having duly entered into conciliation pursuant to 2 U.S.C. § 437g (a)(4)(A)(i) do hereby agree as follows:

I. The Commission has jurisdiction over the Respondent and the subject matter of this proceeding.

II. Respondent has had a reasonable opportunity to demonstrate that no action should be taken in this matter.

24 This would be FEC v. NCPAC.

25 From “The Legacy of Terry Dolan: A Demented Political Process Dominated By Corporate Cash” by Bill Berkowitz:

Before the Super PAC fundraising groups, before Karl Rove, before Frank Luntz’s linguistic somersaults, before the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, before Fox News, and even before the closeted Senator Larry Craig’s wandering bathroom leg and Ted Haggard’s drug and sex scandal, there was John Terrence “Terry” Dolan.

Twenty-five years ago, Dolan died of AIDS. If you don’t recognize the name, that’s probably because you probably weren’t sniffing around the entrails of the Republican Party’s political machine during the late 1970s and early-to-mid 1980s.

26 The excerpts from the Washington Post ad are taken from an article of the time, “Speechwriter Attacks Washington Post” by The Associated Press. Details such as the $5000 paid for the ad are from “Reagan speechwriter attacks Post story” by Donald M. Rothberg. That Anthony Dolan served two terms in the Bush administration can be gleaned from his editorial on the experience in the Wall Street Journal, “A Decade of Trial”. That this Anthony R. Dolan is the same Anthony Dolan that is the brother of Terry Dolan can be gleaned from the editorial’s credit, which identifies him as Reagan’s former chief speechwriter, the same title he holds in “Reagan speechwriter attacks Post story”.¸

27 From Dirty Tricks:

Roger Stone - Pretty reckless is going straight to hell

28 Christopher Hitchens was not the only one to note the hypocrisy of Dolan; And the Band Played on by Randy Shilts features two appearances by Dolan:

As Larry Kramer shrugged on his heavy winter coat and stalked out of the agency chief’s home in Bethesda, he wondered when the deception would end. Just days before, he had met one of the nation’s most influential closet cases at a cocktail party in Washington. Larry immediately recognized Terry Dolan when he arrived at the party. The millions Dolan raised for his National Conservative Political Action Committee had been almost solely responsible for electing the New Right senators who tipped the balance of Senate power to Republicans in 1980. And in the 1980 presidential race, he had raised $10 million for Ronald Reagan. Dolan’s brother was now a White House speech writer.

The advertising that the committee sponsored sometimes chastised Democrats for coddling homosexuals. Terry Dolan, however, was fresh from an affair with a staff epidemiologist from the New York City Health Department, Larry knew, and was thoroughly enjoying the gay life his political fund-raising sought to squash. With characteristic reserve, Larry threw a drink in Dolan’s face.

“How dare you come here?” Larry screamed. “You take the best from our world and then do all those hateful things against us. You should be ashamed.

The second appearance:

[Journalist] Larry Bush was wading through a crowd of gay Republicans who had sponsored a party for the eve of the Republican National Convention when he recognized Terry Dolan across the room. Dolan was the New Right fund-raising genius whose National Conservative Political Action Committee had raised over $10 million for Ronald Reagan’s reelection campaign.

Publicly, Dolan distanced himself from the gay rights movement. Privately, Bush knew, Dolan took advantage of the more comfortable gay life-style that the movement had created. Dolan regularly appeared in Washington gay bars, and he vacationed at the gay Russian River resort area north of San Francisco. Bush couldn’t resist goading Dolan about the Reagan administration’s miserable response to the AIDS epidemic.

“We’ve been able to stop a lot of negative things,” Dolan answered. “It’s a real horror show, some of the things that have been suggested.”

“Are we talking quarantine?” Bush asked, alluding to the rumors that the administration might seek to intern everyone harboring AIDS antibodies.

Dolan got nervous.

“I’m not at liberty to discuss any of the details,” he said.

“Are we talking tattoos?”

“I can’t talk about it,” Dolan said and then he excused himself.

29 From Toobin’s “Dirty Trickster”:

Stone served as a senior consultant to Bob Dole’s 1996 campaign for President, but that assignment ended in a characteristic conflagration. The National Enquirer, in a story headlined “Top Dole Aide Caught in Group-Sex Ring,” reported that the Stones had apparently run personal ads in a magazine called Local Swing Fever and on a Web site that had been set up with Nydia’s credit card. “Hot, insatiable lady and her handsome body builder husband, experienced swingers, seek similar couples or exceptional muscular . . . single men,” the ad on the Web site stated. The ads sought athletes and military men, while discouraging overweight candidates, and included photographs of the Stones. At the time, Stone claimed that he had been set up by a “very sick individual,” but he was forced to resign from Dole’s campaign. Stone acknowledged to me that the ads were authentic. “When that whole thing hit the fan in 1996, the reason I gave a blanket denial was that my grandparents were still alive,” he said. “I’m not guilty of hypocrisy. I’m a libertarian and a libertine.”

30 From Dirty Tricks:

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

31 From the opening of “Premiere Episode of Follow the Money: Bolling Targets Eliot Spitzer! “ (youtube link):

BOLLING
The FBI received a tip from my next guest, let’s bring in Republican political consultant Roger Stone, featured in the Eliot Spitzer documentary, Client 9. Thanks for joining us, sir. So you say that you were informed by a prostitute that she was also selling services to none other than the former governor of New York, at the time the governor of New York, Eliot Spitzer. Is that right?

STONE
Well, first of all let’s go back to your list. Eliot Spitzer is someone who broke federal money laundering laws by concealing his payments to call girls; who transported the prostitute across five state lines to have sex with her, which, in 2009 in New York state, a Supreme Court justice, a Republican, went to prison for; this is the chief law enforcement officer of the state of New York who tipped off his favorite brothel ahead of a federal bust; this is someone who pushed for tougher penalties for men who go to prostitutes at the same time that he was patronizing them. I call it hypocrite #1. In this particular case, yes. I learned about his foibles from a woman in Miami who was a prostitute, who was a call girl, who said she had narrowly missed an opportunity to do business with him as it were. I don’t know what they’re thinking over at CNN, but I don’t get why this guy has the moral authority to comment on any subject.

32 A possible picture of Nydia Bertran, at the age of eleven as part of a goodwill mission to the United States on the part of the newly installed Castro government.

The picture’s caption:

WAP-022519-2/25/59-WASHINGTON: Pony Tail hair styles are displayed by Captain Rafael Ochoa, of the Cuban rebel army and Nydia Bertran, 11, a daughter of a Cuban Embassy Employe [sic] at the embassy 2/25. Ochoa is one of 10 Cuban army men who are in this country to try to win back American tourism to their country, now that peace has returned. The beard and long hair are symbols of the revolution among rebel leader Fidel Castro’s men.

Rafael Ochoa and Nydia Bertran

33 A scan of the original Enquirer piece:

Roger Stone National Enquirer

A transcript from the Enquirer piece:

TOP DOLE AIDE CAUGHT IN SEX RING

by David Wright and Melinda Chait

While Bob Dole campaigns on the “moral crisis in America” issue, one of his top advisers has been caught in a sleazy scandal – he and his wife frequent a group-sex club and post notices on the Internet and in swingers’ magazines seeking others to join them in orgies!

An ENQUIRER investigation has ripped the lid off the raunchy lifestyle of Roger Stone, a political strategist who has also worked in high positions for Presidents Nixon, Reagan and Bush.

Stone, 43, has an office at the Dole for President Campaign Headquarters in Washington, D.C., and helped convince Dole to choose Jack Kemp as his running mate.

Ironically, Stone “is one of the advisers who’ve urged Dole and other Republican politicians to emphasize family values and integrity,” a Washington insider revealed.

But Stone and his ex-model wife Nydia, known as Nikki, have a secret life that’s suffering its own moral crisis:

  • THEY POSTED an ad on their Internet “website” – which features a revealing picture of Nikki – inviting couples or single men to join them for sex.
  • THE SAME PICTURE appears in a notice in a Florida swingers’ magazine, which describes the Stones as a “hot, athletic, attractive couple.”
  • THE COUPLE solicit sex partners in as many as 70 swingers’ magazines across the country.
  • NIKKI invited men in uniform to take part in sex games with her and Roger during the Republican convention in San Diego.
  • STONE and his 49-year-old wife have visited a sex club where an orgy unfolded around them.

Stone has denied that he and his wife posted the Internet ads, claiming they’re the work of a person once close to Nikki. The ENQUIRER has confirmed that bills for the website were sent to the Stones’ home and paid for by Nikki’s credit card!

A website is a place on the internet where computer users who pay a fee can post any pictures and text they want. Then anyone who visits the Internet can access the website.

The Stones’ website invited visitors who were interested in group sex to respond to “BebeDD” – Nikki’s computer “screen name” – at a post office box in Washington, D.C.

The website was placed in operation last March and has been accessed thousands of times, our investigation reveals

In addition, numerous other postings were sent by BebeDD to an Internet message board called “sex.swingers.”

One posting says “Super hot babe needs real men…in San Diego. Will be visiting with my husband…and want men for 3-some action.”

Another reads: “Super hot babe with 40-24-36 body has a special weakness for in-shape guys in uniform Marines, Navy, Army, Coast Guard, all military.”

The postings also invite people to visit BebeDD’s website to view her photo.

That same photo turns up in “South Florida Direct Contact Swingers,” an adult publication in South Florida, along with an ad that reads in part: “Hot, former model seeks exceptional, in shape, muscular…studs for threesomes with herself and attractive body builder husband.”

And one couple took them up on their offer. “My girlfriend and I met with Roger and Nikki Stone after responding to their ad in a swingers’ magazine,” a swinger disclosed.

“They told us: ‘We participate in group sex all the time. It is our game to meet a couple or a single – there is no difference to us. If we need to fly somewhere to meet a couple we will.’

“‘Then Stone and his wife asked us to have sex with them. Roger told us: ‘We are turned on. We would like to play with you.’ “It was all very civilized over a nice dinner.”

The swinger provided a Miami phone number that Stone had given him. When The ENQUIRER called that number a man answered and volunteered that he was Nikki’s cousin, and that Nikki and Roger often stay at this home.

What’s more, late last year Stone and his wife were spotted at Capitol Couples, a Washington club that bills itself as a place for “duos desirous of other couples.”

“I met Roger and Nikki there on an evening that ended up in an orgy,” said a club patron.

“There were about 75 to 100 people gathered. A very hard-core porno movie was showing on a screen above them. Suddenly zippers were dropping all over the place.

“Nikki was pretty and looked very fit. She had on a wild black dress that showed plenty of her breasts. He wore leather pants.

“They made it clear they were swingers. She was very open about sex, while he couldn’t take his eyes off what was happening in the room.

“But they also made it plain they thought there were slim pickings available, like the crowd wasn’t up to their standard. They finally left without ever joining in any of the sexual activities.”

In an exclusive ENQUIRER interview from his posh Washington home, Stone – who’s been married to Nikki for five years – denied he has visited swingers’ clubs. And he blamed the internet postings on a person once close to Nikki who’s out to get the couple.

“Nikki was a hand and face model for seven years so there’s an enormous amount of photographic material of her,” he said.

The Republican bigwig did confirm that the post office box listed on the website is his, but claims that the person he blames obtained that post office box number.

And he said the message board postings were also the work of a “very sick individual.”

But the Washington mover [and] shaker admits he made no [attempt?] to contact the police regarding [the] postings because he said he [did not] think they could do anything [about] the problem.

Stone’s attorney Edward [Fitz]patrick told The ENQUI[RER], “The Stones are not respon[sible] for advertisements and pos[tings] on the Internet. Somebody [] to get just what we’re go[] now.”

But a spokesman for the [Inter]net service that handles the [Be]beDD website confirmed that [bills] for the site were sent to [Stone’s] home address.

Stone’s attorney Fitzp[atrick] said: “Whoever put the website

Here is the text from Roger and Nikki Stone’s website. Language inappropriate for a family publication has been blacked out:

BebeDD is a knockout!

Seeks 3some/4some action

Hot, insatiable lady and her handsome body builder husband, experienced swingers, seek similar couples or exceptional muscular ——- single men.

BebeDD is outrageously attractive with a 40DD-24-36 figure, violet eyes and a voracious sexual appetite. Rock is 6 ft. 195 muscular build; lean ——-

We travel coast to coast and can [meet in] DC, Miami, NY City, LA or San Die[go].

We are fit, educated, clean, [hip,] discrete, drug-free, sincere, friend[ly,] and tested negative. We expect the [same.]

We are not interested in ext[ensive] correspondence, computer chat o[r people] who are unsure. No smokers, [fatties, or] phonies please.

We are 100% real and ready for [action.]

Send photos and phone to: ([number] deleted)

Remember, No photo = No Response

34 From “REVEALED! THE STARS’ SECRET SEX CLUB”:

Madonna: “She was a regular,” says Marini. “When she first came in in ’92, The Vault was not celebrity-oriented. She would come in dressed low-key, wearing a baseball hat and sweats. Nobody paid attention to her. She was an observer and her viewing preference seemed to be homosexual acts – guys getting it on with guys and girls getting it on with girls. If it was men doing it to each other, she preferred young guys, particularly Latin men.

“Once, two mistresses were whipping a guy and they turned to her while she watched and asked if she desired to make a request. She did – and the women started getting it on together while stepping on the man as they performed.

“When she got the idea to publish her book ‘SEX,’ Madonna arranged a shoot at The Vault and used a guy named Lucifer, our head of security, in many of the photos.

“Right after the book was released, she did a video at The Vault for a song called ‘Erotica.’ Then she mentioned the club during an appearance on ‘The Arsenio Hall Show,’ and business exploded for us. From that point on it was a celebrity madhouse.”

Roseanne: The famous sitcom star was another celeb who was tossed out of the club, Marini says. “Roseanne popped up on a Thursday night with two bodyguards and her behavior was atrocious,” he recalls. “She was loud and obnoxious. There were a couple of scenes going on and Roseanne was mocking everybody and making off-color remarks.

“She was telling her bodyguards things like, ‘Go get a whip and crack that guy on the butt with it.’ Some patrons like to observe these scenes only, others like to participate, but Roseanne was just interfering. We decided not to tolerate any more and eventually bounced her out.”

“Brady Bunch’s” Susan Olsen: “She came in at 3:30 in the morning with two drag queen friends,” Marini says. “They watched a scene involving a guy in a cage. Someone had a monkey and she stayed for a while because she was concerned about the monkey. Then they left.”

Big time political strategist Roger Stone and his wife Nikki: The former Bob Dole adviser and his wife were swingers and The Vault was a favorite haunt.

“Roger and Nikki were our customers for a long time,” Marini says. “They were heavy duty swingers and ran ads on the Internet and in many sex publications. They were heavy players.”

Roger was one of the top advisers who urged Dole and other Republican politicians to emphasize family values and integrity.

“Regardless of his status in politics, Roger never came to the club in disguise,” Marini recalls. “He looked like a Ken doll. He was tall, blond, handsome and muscular and his wife was curvaceous and very sexy. She would wear leather bras and tantalizing outfits and he would wear collars, chaps and a leather vest with no shirt underneath.”

Then in 1996, an ENQUIRER investigation revealed that Roger and his wife frequented group sex clubs and engaged in group sex orgies. In two blockbuster articles, we published evidence, including a shocking ad the couple had placed in a swingers’ magazine soliciting lovers for group sex, a handwritten note arranging a sexual encounter, and revealing photos from sex magazines of Roger and Nikki barechested.

Hours after The ENQUIRER story hit the stands, it was picked up by dailies around the country – and Dole’s campaign ended its association with Roger Stone.

35 From “The Post Buries a Bombshell”:

Is Bob Dole’s alleged mistress news? The leadership at the Washington Post doesn’t think so. Investigative reporter Charles Babcock recently wrote a story based on an interview with a woman who said she was Dole’s mistress back during his first marriage. After a lot of discussion, the Post decided to sit on the story. The leadership at the paper apparently figured that because Dole hadn’t touched the forbidden third rail of President Clinton’s conflicted sexual history or come close to the incumbent in the polls, there was no point in besmirching Dole’s years of public service just as he is on his way out the door.

Given his protests, it was a surprise to hear that Roger and darling Nikki showed up on Oct. 12 at a local bar called The Edge for its “Dungeon Dance,” a festive, mostly gay event that included a roomful of S&M hardware along with ambient circle jerks and blowjobs. It’s a hip scene if you swing that way. A person in attendance said the Stones did not participate in any of the public sexual activity, merely chatting and dancing for a while before they left.

The Post’s Reliable Source got wind of the Stones’ night on the town and called Stone on it. “We danced. We went home. Big deal,” he responded.

From “D.C. Swings!” by Scott Barancik:

After circling the room, we finally mark a spot, grin fleetingly at the neighboring couples, and sit. It’s 20 minutes before Karyn, realizing that her white companion is riven with performance anxiety, bolts from her seat and introduces herself to a woman whose outfit she admires. Minutes later, she waves at me to come join her and Ariel, who is exquisitely squeezed into a black dress about six inches short of her circumference.

We’re joined by Ariel’s husband, Jack. Handsome and fit in black leather pants, he scans the room with icy, smileless blue eyes, like a panther on the prowl. The couple live in the District, but they prefer to swing in Southern California or Florida, where body-consciousness and the hot sun make for better-looking couples. Still, they’ve belonged to Capitol Couples for years, including when it was anchored in a restaurant just a garter’s toss from the White House.

Jack points out an attractive young white woman in an impossibly short skirt. “She’s probably slept with every black man here,” he tells me-apparently that’s some kind of problem for him. Separately, Ariel makes a similar comment to Karyn. Later, I spot the same young woman in the dreadlocked DJ’s booth. She slowly lowers herself toward the floor until her head sinks below his waistline, out of our sight. A giant smile breaks over his face.

Ariel’s attention wanders to the video screen, where an actress is parting her rear for the camera. “Well,” she says good-naturedly, gauging the actress’s degree of pucker, “you can tell this woman’s never taken it in the behind.” A moment later, as I watch Ariel watch the video, I have an epiphany: I’ve seen her come-hither photo posted on a local adult electronic bulletin board.

36 From “The Post Buries a Bombshell”:

Stone employed other, less subtle measures to keep the lid on. One of the sources for the Enquirer was Scott Barancik, a local writer who free-lances for Washington City Paper. Barancik did a story about Capitol Couples for City Paper last year, in which he met a buff couple who introduced themselves as Roger and Nikki. On Sept. 9, the Enquirer called Barancik and offered him $1,000 to compare a photo they had with his memory of the couple he had met at the club. Barancik told the Enquirer that he could not say with certainty that its picture matched the man he had met at Capitol Couples. When the story ran, his name leaked, and he was promptly threatened with legal action by Stone’s lawyer, Larry Klayman, in part because the Stones erroneously believed Barancik was the original source of the story. Barancik retained a lawyer and agreed to sign an affidavit saying that he had not positively identified Stone for the Enquirer in exchange for a written agreement not to sue him. Stone immediately began parading the affidavit-including an appearance on Good Morning America-to suggest that the whole story was a hoax.

37 From Dirty Tricks:

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

38 All of the points about the woefully unreported National Obscenity Enforcement Unit, and their Projects Postporn and Wormwood come from Eric Schlosser’s invaluable Reefer Madness. I include here a large excerpt of the relevant text because skeptics may think that I might have finessed the facts into fantasy, that this could not have taken place. Yet it did:

The Supreme Court’s ruling on obscenity in 1973, which gave local communities the power to enforce their own standards of decency, had originally been intended to protect conservative districts from the looser morality of liberal ones. The National Obscenity Enforcement Unit tried to use the ruling to achieve a very different aim, attempting to impose the morality of conservative towns on the rest of the nation. The unit commissioned studies to discover where juries in the United States were most likely to vote for obscenity convictions – and then it sought the indictment of national distributors, under federal law, in those districts. H. Robert Showers, the head of the unit, was a former assistant U.S. attorney from North Carolina. He thought Playboy fit the legal definition of obscenity, hoped to rid the nation of soft-core porn, as well as hard-core material, and often signed his official correspondence “Yours Truly in Christ.”

With Project Wormwood, the Reagan Justice Department targeted Southern California’s major producers of hard-core videos. Instead of indicting them in California, where juries were unlikely to convict them, the government sent federal agents from Arkansas, Alabama, Oklahoma, and Florida to a porn industry convention, posing as video store owners. These agents sought out hard-core producers and solicited their products. When hard-core videos arrived by mail at the phony stores in conservative communities – such as Tallahassee, Florida; Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Aberdeen, Mobile, and Birmingham, Alabama – federal prosecutors indicted the California porn companies for interstate transportation of obscene material. Dozens of hard-core producers and distributors were indicted in this way. Wormwood failed, however, to destroy the adult film industry. Through plea bargains and the intervention of sympathetic federal judges, most of the defendants received short sentences and/or large fines. “We always used to worry about being extorted by the mob,” one hard-core producer told me, while discussing Wormwood, “Then all of a sudden it was the federal government hitting us up for money.”

Project Postporn was aimed at mail-order companies that sold sexually explicit material. The basic strategy was outlined by a CDL attorney in 1983, then described at greater length two years later by Brent Ward, one of Utah’s U.S. attorneys, in a memo to Attorney General Meese. Ward argued that mail-order companies should be hit with “multiple prosecutions (either simultaneous or successive) in all levels of government in may locations.” He thought that a single company should face as many as thirty-five different criminal prosecutions at once, all over the United States. The idea, as later adopted by the Justice Department, was not to secure a conviction through an obscenity trial, but to mount so many prosecutions at once that a mail-order company would be forced out of business simply by the cost of mounting a defense. The federal government had almost unlimited resources for such a fight; mail-order companies did not. The U.S. Attorney’s Manual permitted such multiple-district prosecutions only in unusual situations, but it discouraged the strategy because of its “unfairness” to the defendant. At the direction of Assistant Attorney General William Weld, the Justice Department later rewrote its manual and “encouraged” multiple prosecutions in obscenity cases.

On May 29, 1986, Philip Harvey’s warehouse in North Carolina was raided by approximately thirty federal and state law enforcement agents, including at least one federal agent from Utah. PHE’s employees were kept in the building all day for questioning, and their personal belongings were searched. Harvey was caught completely by surprise. Members of the Christian Action League of North Carolina had been ordering Adam & Eve catalogues for years and then complaining to federal officials. But the FBI had investigated Harvey’s company in 1984 and had determined that nothing it sold was obscene. Indeed, local FBI agents refused to participate in the raid on Harvey’s warehouse. U.S. postal inspectors were recruited instead, some of them joining the investigation with reluctance.

When Harvey’s attorneys, John Mintz and Wade Smith (a former FBI administrator), met with federal prosecutors from Utah and North Carolina to explore a possible plea bargain, they were told that as part of any deal, Harvey would have to stop selling hard-core and soft-core videos. He would have to stop selling books like The Joy of Sex. Although financially secure and engaged in meaningful, nonprofit work, Harvey wouldn’t accept that sort of deal. He refused to be bullied by the government. “There comes a point in life,” Harvey later recalled, “when you simply have to say enough is enough.”

Carl Fox, the district attorney in Orange County, North Carolina, thought that prosecuting Philip Harvey for obscenity would be a waste of time and taxpayer money. But George Hunt, the district attorney in neighboring Alamance County, disagreed and indicted Harvey on eight counts of disseminating obscene material under state law. Federal prosecutors assisted Hunt’s prosecution. If Hunt could prove that Harvey’s merchandise violated the community standards of his own state, obscenity convictions might be easier to obtain elsewhere. In March, 1987, Harvey went on trial in Alamance County. Half of the jurors were born-again Christians, and one was a minister’s son. The prosecution showed hard-core videos in the courtroom, including a lengthy orgy scene that featured porn star Vanessa Del Rio. Harvey’s attorney argued that this material appealed to a healthy, not a prurient, interest in sex. He introduced no evidence in Harvey’s defense. The jury deliberated for five minutes an then found Harvey not guilty on all counts. “It just seems like the government is trying too hard to regulate what we look at,” Robert West, the foreman of the jury, told the Greensboro News and Record. Support from the local community gave Harvey a tremendous boost, but his troubles were far from over. “We must regain momentum after the Adam & Eve verdict,” one U.S. attorney in North Carolina wrote to his staff, “and come with as many indictments as possible.”

From Dirty Tricks:

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

39 From “The Roots of Ed Meese” by Kate Coleman:

In 1981, in a speech before the California Peace Officers Assn., he called the American Civil Liberties Union a “criminals’ lobby.” At Christmas time in 1983, he said he had seen no “authoritative” evidence of a serious hunger problem in America, and that some people go to soup kitchens “because the food is free, and that’s easier than paying for it.” This year, five days before Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday was first celebrated as a federal holiday, Meese invoked the slain civil-rights leader’s name in attacking affirmative action. King, said Meese, would have opposed affirmative action as a violation of his ideal “colorblind” society.

Articles on the Wedtech scandal are “Prosecutor to Probe Meese Links to Wedtech Scandal” by Associated Press and “Wedtech Scandal Gets Messier and Messier” by Clifford D. May. A contemporary editorial on Meese’s resignation is “In Resigning As Attorney General, Edwin Meese Did Nation A Favor”.

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Roger Stone: Pretty Reckless Is Going Straight To Hell Part One

(Originally, this was to be part of a profile of Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein; like so many of my areas of interest, more and more toxins filled this needle, till it cried out, “Release me!” and demanded a space of its own. The Rothstein profile will come later, soon. Everyone who writes about Roger Stone in any kind of depth is indebted to the work of Wayne Barrett, and I am as well. Anyone who wonders what journalism must be like in the future must look to what Wayne Barrett has done in the past. The post title is a smudged borrowing of Taylor Momsen’s band and their tour name.)

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 Nixon Administration was characterized by, among other things, fragmentation. What the Nixon men thought was unconnected to what they said. What they said was unconnected to what they did. What they did or said they were doing at one moment was unconnected to what they did or said they were doing the next moment. And when they were driven from office, they left behind them not one but several unconnected records of themselves.

–Johnathan Schell, The Time of Illusion

THE WELL DRESSED MAN: AN INTRODUCTION

He was a very visible man, and a very invisible man. Where most of the political class wore office casual, he sported suits with ties and pocket squares – ties and pocket squares, by the way, should never match. It was one more piece of fashion advice he was happy to give out, sometimes in an occasional column in the Daily Caller: “There are a few things a true gentleman cannot live without. The black silk knitted square-bottom tie is just such an indispensable item.”1 The clothes added a note of sinister formality to his sinister informality. When his occasional client and occasional friend, Donald Trump, was on the Tonight Show, then host Jay Leno spotted him in his gangster pin stripes. “Hey Donald,” said Leno, “you brought your bookie.”2 He had a tattoo of Nixon on his back, and at one time he thought of putting another tat above it, Olde English script that said “Republican Gangsta”3.

Roger Stone – political consultant, bon vivant, sleazemeister, bottom feeder, scumbag – may well represent, or once represented, an obvious and necessary step, political sleaze as a spectacle to be observed, like fire breathing and bear baiting, rather than for political purpose itself. He is something like Kim Kardashian, who plays the various parts that the entertainment industrial complex might demand of an actress, such as posing nude and constantly appearing on TV, without the inconvenience of acting in-between. He reminds you of a point made in Chuck Klosterman’s piece, “What Happens When People Stop Being Polite”, an essay about the MTV series “The Real World”, that the show is a success because it transforms malleable personalities into archetypes4. There are far more important, more powerful political consultants who cut a less interesting, less vivid profile than Stone’s. He does not present a malleable character so much as an archetype of sleaze, something as consistent in texture as an oil slick. His physical presence embodies his sensibility, just as a cartoon succinctly does, a cajoling muscle bound body bursting through an expensive suit, with a wiseacre head poking out of the carapace, sporting a nasty grin and synthetic hair. “I’m here. Who needs to be spun?” Stone would announce to writer Matt Labash in 2000, when Donald Trump would bait the world with the possibility of running for president. “The naked cynicism at the heart of it,” Labash would write, led him to an epiphany: “I like Roger Stone.” The query, “Who needs to be spun?” was made on the Trump tour bus, A Touch of Class, all of which added a fitting note to the moment, just as fitting as “who wants a blowjob?” called out from a gold plated jacuzzi5.

This uber-sleaziness, the strip clubs, the dirty tricks, the sexual swinging, is what comes through in two of the three pieces written about Stone at the height of his public prominence, both by fine writers, “The Dirty Trickster” by Jeffrey Toobin, and “Roger Stone, Political Animal” by Labash. The third member of this trinity, “State of the Art Sleazeball” by Jacob Weisberg, is a ghost, impossible now to find on the web, and it perhaps is the most crucial [In August 2016, Slate would kindly re-print this article with a new intro by Weisberg: “State of the Art Sleazeball”]. “Trickster” and “Animal” are both linked on Stone’s site, and “Animal” is even hosted on there. Stone would even name Labash his favorite working journalist6. “Animal” is from 2007, “Trickster” from 2008, and “Sleazeball” from 1985, and I can only wonder at what was in there, because though it was written nearly thirty years ago, something in it discomforted and bothered Stone in a way that the later profiles did not. When Weisberg (now the head of the Slate Group, the publisher of Slate) would hire Stone’s nemesis Eliot Spitzer for a column, Stone would have this to say, nearly twenty five years later, in “Eliot Spitzer At Slate”:

That Spitzer would be hired by Slate Editor Jacob Weisberg only figures. Weisberg has little regard for facts, having written the first major hit-piece on me for the New Republic some 30 years ago and having failed to kill the king. The piece was both intellectually and factually dishonest. The hit-job was on orders of then – New Republic Editor Michael Kinsley who’s sexual advances I must have spurned as we were friendly prior to this unprovoked attack on me (although I have no memory of having done so.)

Weisberg and Spitzer. Scum attracts scum.

Nearly thirty years later, when Weisberg would review Gabriel Sherman’s The Loudest Voice in the Room, Stone would tweet: “@JacobWeisberg? is that talentless little prick still around?”7

As said, I can only speculate at what might be in the Weisberg piece, but I think it points to the problem of separating sleazy spectacle from sleazy substance, that the sleaze becomes viewed as only spectacle, as only for show. We are shown the dirt on the fingers, without bothering to look at the dirt under the fingernails. The spectacle distorts what is actually there, much as it might in other places. Though she might appear as nude as Kim Kardashian, an actress may well have phenomenal talent. The cruelties of the “Real World” star may be a distortion, an exaggeration that might be dismissed – but those same star’s cruelties in, as they say, the real world, are very real and very cruel. These are the invisible parts of the very visible Roger Stone, the parts not talked about in the Toobin and Labash pieces. Though I am a fragile and delicate insect, and the hide of Roger Stone is very rough and thick, perhaps something in what follows will sting something like “State of the Art Sleazeball”. I should emphasize that this piece is the result of my own dangerous curiosity, and not because any of my advances have been spurned by Stone. I don’t think I find him very attractive or charming; to my mind, he resembles a dish of french fries that have been cooked a little too long, and with far too much oil.

THE WELL DRESSED MAN PART ONE:

THE TIME OF ILLUSION / BREAKING IN

The major co-ordinates of Stone’s life are well-known and given mention even in the briefest of bios: worked on CREEP (Nixon’s Committee to Re-elect the President), was in brief exile during Watergate, worked the northeast for Reagan’s election and re-election, helped get Tom Kean elected Republican governor of New Jersey by a razor thin margin, became a member of uberlobbyist firm Black, Manafort, Stone, and Kelly, worked on the 1996 Dole campaign until the National Enquirer published a long piece on ads he and his wife had placed on a swinger website looking for sex partners, another brief exile, the organizer of the 2000 Brooks Brothers riot, where a group of republican operatives stopped a Miami Dade vote count that was going in Gore’s favor, then a consultant on various sundry candidates, including Al Sharpton, Tom Golisano and Larry Klayman. He was very publicly fired by one of his clients, New York Senate head Joe Bruno, after a phone call was made to the father of then governor, Eliot Spitzer, a phone call full of threat, venom, and rage, which sounded uncannily like Stone. This was another well known x-y point, as was what followed, with Stone claiming to be the source for the FBI of Spitzer’s hook-ups with prostitutes. Stone would work as a consultant for Kristin Davis when she tried for the libertarian candidate for governor, and Davis was a madam who claimed that Spitzer had been one of her clients. Through it all, he often worked as a consultant for Donald Trump, though he was briefly put outside the friendzone after the Spitzer phone call. “Roger is a stone-cold loser,” Trump would tell Toobin for his profile. “What he did was ridiculous and stupid. I lost respect for Eliot Spitzer when he didn’t sue Roger Stone for doing that to his father, who is a wonderful man.”8 His second to last major moment was to dramatically leave the Republican party and work for libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson. His last was to publish The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ, which argues that the Texas veep used very old school means to make it into the executive suite.

It is perhaps thanks to the last event, that I was gifted with a small discovery during my research for this piece. It was after reading Lawrence Wright’s insightful memoir, In the New World: Growing Up with America from the Sixties to the Eighties, that I learned of the deep shame that many Texans, and many from Dallas, felt years after the Kennedy assassination, that they were seen as complicit in the murder. Whatever mixture of feelings the state might have towards Johnson, to accuse a Texan who ascended to the highest office in the country of brutal murder was perhaps something verboten, an intolerable spit in the face. I say this because someone, whether for this vengeance, or because someone didn’t get paid, or another motive – perhaps Stone himself in a misguided attempt at self-promotion – placed draft copies of Stone’s memoirs (as well as a book called Stone’s Rules, a compendium of wisdom that perhaps thankfully avoids the witticism of Roger’s Rules) on a very public, very legal document sharing site. There are no markers or insignia on the documents that you would expect from a hacker, and the documents in the uploaded group were exclusively Stone’s, not a mash of stuff from a publisher. These memoir drafts sound very much like Stone’s voice, and they appear to be too thorough, too full of obscure details known only to Stone or a Stone aficionado, to be a forgery – if it is a forgery, it is one that corresponds in every way to the details Stone has presented so far of his life, and with the minute details of recent political history. There is, I think, a very important and practical reason for giving light to selected parts of the book: given that Stone has accused a man, Lyndon Baines Johnson, of contract murder in one book, there are portions of this book that can be used to refute the charges.

This memoir is both interesting and a disappointment. Stone gives us, once again, the salacious details he thinks we want, or that he feels comfortable giving us, rather than the truly squalid fascinating guts of the matter. “The first and last time I ever snorted cocaine was off a women’s ass in a downstairs bathroom stall at Studio 54,” is one detail we’re supposedly dying to hear9. Basketball legend Wilt Chamberlain endorses Nixon in exchange for “all the white pussy he can eat.” The campaign hires prostitutes, but many working girls refuse, because Chamberlain is so sizable it’ll be painful. Stone closes the anecdote with a quote from Nixon, “A political mistake is like a fart – sometimes you just have to step away from it.”10 After Watergate, Stone is in charge of the various regional directors for Reagan’s 1976 try for the Republican nomination, and he fucks the girl who’s in charge of the southwest. A few days later, he finds it incredibly painful when he urinates. He and the southwest director argue over who gave the other gonorrhea. They’re stuck with each other as bedmates while Reagan loses the nomination to Ford11. He bangs a Nixon secretary who got rolled by just about everybody in the Nixon White House. A deputy of vice president Spiro Agnew “had allegedly bent her over the hood of his sports car and banged her in the office parking garage.”12 Dirty tricks of the bedroom kind, it is made clear, are intertwined with dirty tricks of the political kind; a Nixon deputy lets Stone know that he might be of use for “after hours work,” the body politic kind, and Stone gives us the vital detail: “I had an immediate erection.”13

It’s this sort of anecdote that gets Stone labeled as colorful, and though I’m not unreceptive to them, they really aren’t the most interesting things he could be writing about. I went through his book looking to see what he had to say about areas I’ll try and give some space to here, such as his time at Nixon’s CREEP (a collection of very dirty tricksters), the election of Tom Kean, the candidacy of Al Sharpton, his time at Black, Manafort, Stone – especially his time at Black, Manafort, Stone – the political dirtiness over the bedroom dirtiness, and came away more than a little disappointed. You feel like you’re dealing with someone who hacked into a top movie studio executive’s computer and bragged about the nude selfies he bagged when all you want to see is the studio’s real dirty business, their second set of books. There is one passage, however, which really gives up the goods, and I quote it here:

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

I don’t think Stone ever says what policy he is for in this memoir, and he might well consider a focus on policy a distraction. There is only winning and losing an election, and five methods for achieving a victory recur again and again in races that Stone is involved with, four methods that create a mirror maze of confusion, misdirection, and elimination. The first is through association, by having a candidate receive an endorsement from a person or group who potential supporters of the candidate are predisposed to view as an opponent, or through association with something unquestionably malevolent made via protesters, pamphlets, or other means funded by Stone’s campaign but without any fingerprints. The second is by having a group, funded by allied interests, oppose a candidate or policy due to some larger moral principle that everyone can agree on – the issue is not candidate A versus B, but opposition to crime, gambling, or child abuse. The third is the smear, saying your opponent is corrupt, weak, racist, a rapist, a murderer, a pedophile, always helpfully done not through you, the opponent on which this tar might stick, but through a phantom proxy. This last is used very, very often by Stone. The fourth, and one of the most effective, is through fragmentation of the vote. There is, say, overwhelming support for candidate A, who will raise the minimum wage, versus candidate B, who won’t. You split this overwhelming vote by funding another candidate, who wants to raise the minimum wage even higher, and who chastises candidate A for compromising their principles and being beholden to business interests for not asking for a higher wage. Through a vote split, candidate B, the one who says he believes the condition of workers must be improved, but not through easy sounding solutions like a higher minimum wage, scores a victory. At the same time, you make great efforts to keep the votes for your own candidate or issue from being fragmented. The fifth is vote suppression, of black and latino voters, who tend to poll democrat. The first four have been employed in elections that Stone has been involved in, with Stone often taking credit. The fifth has been employed alongside Stone’s efforts, though perhaps without the collusion of Stone.

All three were used in the first major race that Stone was involved in, the 1972 presidential election. When he was ten years old, Stone remembered he had a tarot card reading where he was told he would meet a leader who would change his life, and Stone would later say this leader could be only one man, a man he would become enraptured by, make into his idol, and whose face he would ink into the skin on his back14. In 1972, he would help to get this life changing leader, Richard Nixon, re-elected. Every method, except voter suppression, were put to use by Nixon and the Nixon group Stone worked for, CREEP, the Committee to Re-elect the President.

The repellent ugliness of most of these tactics has been forgotten, and so I’m grateful to Rick Perlstein’s Nixonland for recording them. Black protesters suddenly showed up in front of the hotel room of democratic candidate Edmund Muskie, calling him racist for having said that a Democratic ticket with a black running mate couldn’t get elected. An ad suddenly appeared in a Miami Beach Jewish newspaper: “Muskie, Why Won’t You Consider a Jew as a Vice President?” Muskie hadn’t excluded the possibility. Flyers appeared in Jewish neighborhoods: “Remember the Warsaw Ghetto…Vote Right on March 14.” Muskie was of Polish descent15. A letter was sent to a New Hampshire paper, filled with outrage at what happened when Muskie had been asked how he could understand the problems of minorities given the lack of minorities in Maine, Muskie’s home state. A Muskie aide had supposedly replied that they did have minorities in Maine, the very same minority that was there in New Hampshire: “Not blacks, but we have Canucks.” Muskie had supposedly laughed16. The next day, Muskie’s wife was indicted in an editorial in the same paper of telling dirty jokes to reporters, and having two cocktails before dinner. Something in all this broke Muskie, and when the candidate defended his wife in front of television cameras, he began to weep17. Muskie’s tears destroyed his candidacy. Muskie was a target, but all the Democratic candidates were targets. Two hundred dollars was donated to Pete McCloskey by the Young Socialist Alliance, the receipt for the donation helpfully sent to a right-wing news editor. A mole, code named Sedan Chair II, was hired to go inside the Herbert Humphrey campaign and relay strategic information18.

It would eventually be established with certainty that the man who’d written the “Canucks” letter, the man who’d hired the black protesters in front of Muskie’s hotel room, was Donald Segretti, who handled a secret, separate black ops campaign team for CREEP. The man who’d actually sent the letter to McCloskey, who’d hired the Sedan Chair II mole, was a nineteen year old operative named Roger Stone. It was because of this that he makes a brief appearance in the Watergate testimony.

From “Hearings before the Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities of the United States Senate June 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, and 14, 1973” (page 499 on pdf and the actual document). Reisner is Robert Reisner, former administrative assistant to Jeb Magruder, the head of CREEP; Thompson is Fred Dalton Thompson, occasional senator, occasional actor, and one-time candidate for the president, in 2008:

MR. THOMPSON
Did the receipts – do you recall any names of, or any amounts to individuals who were receiving money from Mr. Porter’s safe?

MR. REISNER
Well, I can remember that there were, in addition to Mr. Liddy – now, Mr. Liddy was – it was Mr. Porter that indicated to me that Mr. Liddy was receiving money. There was an individual who was referred to by a code name and that ode name was “Sedan Chair” and that that individual was-

MR. THOMPSON
Sedan Chair? Two words?

MR. REISNER
Yes. I believe it was actually “Sedan Chair 2.”

MR. THOMPSON
Was there a Sedan Chair 1?

MR. REISNER
I do not know. I do not know. Perhaps there was. There was also an individual who worked for Mr. Porter named Roger Stone, who I believe received money. And there may have been other individuals.

But to my recollection, which is a little bit vague on this, there was not a regular disbursement, with those exceptions.

MR. THOMPSON
Who was Sedan Chair?

MR. REISNER
I do not know. I know that – well, I mean, I have sort of a general circumstantial understanding of who I think Sedan Chair was.

MR. THOMPSON
Tell us about it.

MR. REISNER
I will come as close as I can.

MR. THOMPSON
Tell us about it.

MR. REISNER
Subsequent to that, after I learned that there was such an individual, I think I was more alert to the name and I did see a memo in April, I believe, or perhaps May, that purported to be a report from another campaign committee. I believe it was the Humphrey committee. I do not know for a fact who Sedan Chair was. It could have been someone who just simply had his disagreement with the Humphrey committee and wished to report on some of their activities.

MR. THOMPSON
It was someone in the Humphrey committee, from what you can tell?

MR. REISNER
From what I can tell, I mean it purported to be.

Stone would elaborate in his own memoir:

Roger Stone - Pretty reckless is going straight to hell

Roger Stone - Pretty reckless is going straight to hell

Sedan Chair II was Michael W. McMinoway, and he would testify before the Watergate Committee that he worked as a campaign spy between February until July 1972 within three Democratic campaigns, Muskie in Wisconsin, Humphrey in Pennsylvania and California, and McGovern at the Democratic National Convention. He would be contacted by a man named Jason Rainier, who said he represented a group of concerned citizens, and he would pay him $1,500 a month for undercover work. Jason Rainier would turn out to be Roger Stone – incidentally, there is a twitter handle Jason Rainier (jrainier88), most of whose tweets are re-tweets of Stone’s. Another incidentally is that McMinoway would say in his testimony that two women who met with a McGovern delegate were prostitutes, though despite Stone’s claims, he made no mention of such activity in connection to Humphrey. He offered no proof as to why he believed the women with the McGovern delegate were prostitutes19.

There were methods of misdirection, and there was also use of the most powerful method, vote fragmentation. Edmund Muskie was the candidate considered to be the most formidable opponent against Nixon, and so focus was given to weaken and destroy the candidate in order that Nixon might face someone he might easily beat, George McGovern, in the general election. In his memoir, Stone gives an account of his attempt to split Muskie’s catholic vote by bringing a conservative catholic democrat into the race, Los Angeles mayor Sam Yorty:

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

Hunter Thompson would puzzle over why Yorty was in the race and describe the impact he thought Yorty would have on the race, the very impact intended by Nixon and his henchmen, in his seminal work, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72:

With McCarthy skulking around, Muskie can’t afford anything but a thumping win over McGovern in that primary. But Mad Sam is up there too, and even Muskie’s local handlers concede Yorty at least 15 percent of the Democratic vote, due to his freakish alliance with the neo-Nazi publisher of New Hampshire’s only big newspaper, the Manchester Union-Leader.

The Mayor of Los Angeles has never bothered to explain the twisted reasoning behind his candidacy in New Hampshire, but every vote he gets there will come off Muskie’s pile, not McGovern’s. Which means that McGovern, already sitting on 20 to 25 percent of the vote, could zap Muskie’s whole trip by picking up another 10 to 15 percent in a last-minute rush.

That Muskie was seen as the only Democrat who could beat Nixon is emphasized in a conversation with superlawyer Edward Bennett Williams, Thompson’s seatmate during a plane trip to a San Francisco football game. Williams would gain even greater prominence a few years later, when he was counsel for the Democratic National Committee in their lawsuit against CREEP after the Watergate break-in:

We spent the rest of the flight arguing politics. He is backing Muskie, and as he talked I got the feeling that he thought he was already at a point where, sooner or later, we would all be. “Ed’s a good man,” he said. “He’s honest. I respect the guy.” Then he stabbed the padded seat arm between us two or three times with his forefinger. “But the main reason I’m working for him,” he said, “is that he’s the only guy we have who can beat Nixon.” He stabbed the arm again. “If Nixon wins again, we’re in real trouble.” He picked up his drink, then saw it was empty and put it down again. “That’s the real issue this time,” he said. “Beating Nixon. It’s hard to even guess how much damage those bastards will do if they get in for another four years.”

Were George Wallace, the segregationist governor, to run on a third party ticket in 1972, he would end up splitting votes with Nixon, possibly throwing the election to the democrats. If Wallace hadn’t been running in the general in 1968, thought Nixon, he would have had a landslide. It would be very helpful if Wallace were to instead run for the democratic nomination, avoiding a vote split among republicans and creating further discord among the democrats. This very thing took place, not through the influence of Stone, Segretti, or CREEP, but perhaps a far more powerful man than any of them. In the summer of 1971, Wallace was on a flight from Key Biscayne to Alabama with other southern governors and president Nixon. Though Wallace had stolen a landslide from Nixon in ’68, had perhaps nearly taken away the whole enchilada from him, Wallace and Nixon were very friendly when the plane touched down. A few days later, Wallace would tell an associate, “I’m tired of those kooks in the third-party business. I’m thinking of going back into the Democratic Party.” Wallace had a brother, and that brother had tax fraud problems that a grand jury was investigating. A few months after his plane meeting with Nixon, the grand jury was dissolved. Later the same year, the Justice Department announced that Alabama’s civil rights enforcement plan is “a much better plan than many states.”

John Mitchell would give ten thousand dollars to a disaffected Wallace supporter who, through a group called Committee Against Forced Busing, would deploy members of the American Nazi party to convince members of the party Wallace ran with in ’68, the American Independent Party, to change their registration to democrat, supposedly so they could vote for Wallace in the California Democratic primary, but for the actual purpose of getting American Independent Party registration down enough to keep the party off the general election ballot. In January, 1972, Dan Rather asked Nixon about the threat of a Wallace candidacy, and Nixon gave a strange reply. Nixon grinned that Wallace wasn’t a problem for the Republicans, he was a problem for the Democrats. It was a strange reply because Wallace hadn’t yet announced his candidacy as a Democrat20.

All the subterfuge of CREEP would be revealed with Watergate and the collapse of the Nixon presidency. The same secretly funded sabotage operation against democratic candidates involving Segretti and Stone was part of a larger secret sabotage operation against all enemies of the White House. The same funds that kept the dirty tricks of CREEP going also went to hire the plumbers who were trying to locate the source of White House leaks and stop them. The plumbers would go after Daniel Ellsberg, leaker of the Pentagon papers, and break into the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee. This is made clear in an article of the time, “FBI Finds Nixon Aides Sabotaged Democrats” by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, now part of the e-book The Original Watergate Stories:

FBI agents have established that the Watergate bugging incident stemmed from a massive campaign of political spying and sabotage conducted on behalf of President Nixon’s re-election and directed by officials of the White House and the Committee for the Re-election of the President.

The activities, according to information in FBI and Department of Justice files, were aimed at all the major Democratic presidential contenders and – since 1971 – represented a basic strategy of the Nixon re-election effort.

During their Watergate investigation, federal agents established that hundreds of thousands of dollars in Nixon campaign contributions had been set aside to pay for an extensive undercover campaign aimed at discrediting individual Democratic presidential candidates and disrupting their campaigns.

“Intelligence work” is normal during a campaign and is said to be carried out by both political parties. But federal investigators said what they uncovered being done by the Nixon forces is unprecedented in scope and intensity.

They said it included:

Following members of Democratic candidates’ families and assembling dossiers on their personal lives; forging letters and distributing them under the candidates’ letterheads; leaking false and manufactured items to the press; throwing campaign schedules into disarray; seizing confidential campaign files; and investigating the lives of dozens of Democratic campaign workers.

In addition, investigators said the activities included planting provocateurs in the ranks of organizations expected to demonstrate at the Republican and Democratic conventions; and investigating potential donors to the Nixon campaign before their contributions were solicited.

Law enforcement sources said that probably the best example of the sabotage was the fabrication by a White House aide – of a celebrated letter to the editor alleging that Sen. Edmund S. Muskie (D-Maine) condoned a racial slur on Americans of French-Canadian descent as “Canucks.”

The letter was published in the Manchester Union Leader Feb 24, less than two weeks before the New Hampshire primary. It in part triggered Muskie’s politically damaging “crying speech” in front of the newspaper’s office.

The investigators said that a major purpose of the sub rosa activities was to create so much confusion, suspicion and dissension that the Democrats would be incapable of uniting after choosing a presidential nominee.

The FBI’s investigation of the Watergate established that virtually all the acts against the Democrats were financed by a secret, fluctuating $350,000-$700,000 campaign fund that was controlled by former Attorney General John N. Mitchell while he headed the Justice Department. Later, when he served as President Nixon’s campaign manager, Mitchell shared control of the fund with others. The money was kept in a safe in the office of the President’s chief fundraiser, former Secretary of Commerce Maurice Stans.

I have not given any mention of Stone’s origins, that he is part Italian part Hungarian, that his father was a driller and his mother a schoolteacher, that he grew up in rural Westchester County, because I don’t think they are of much relevance or importance. Watergate, with all the treachery, secrecy, and cruel tricks associated with that name, is the true birthplace of Roger Stone. The scandal made him a brief exile, but it did not destroy him. He had only begun his work.

(Originally, this piece described Jacob Weisberg as the editor of Slate; this was corrected to his being the head of the Slate Group on March 4th, 2014. On August 3, 2015, the section referencing Hunter Thompson’s Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail was added.)

ROGER STONE:

PRETTY RECKLESS IS GOING STRAIGHT TO HELL

PART ONE PART TWO PART THREE PART FOUR PART FIVE PART SIX

PART SEVEN PART EIGHT PART NINE PART TEN

FOOTNOTES

1 From “The beauty of the indispensable black knitted tie”:

There are a few things a true gentleman cannot live without. The black silk knitted square-bottom tie is just such an indispensable item. No true gentlemen would be without one. They can be twisted, pulled, knotted and will perform for decades if not forever. Such a tie has saved my life on numerous occasions.

2 From “Chump on the Stump” by Matt Labash:

That night, we follow Trump to a taping of the Jay Leno show in Burbank. As Trump cools his heels in the dressing room before the show, Leno pops in for a visit, and sees Stone in his Bugsy Siegel rig. “Hey Donald,” cracks Leno, “you brought your bookie.” We journalists are briefly permitted into the studio to watch the pre-show festivities. Warm-up comic Bob Perlow plies the crowd with stale jokes and show tunes. Then, spotting Melania in the audience, he insists she come up to the stage, where she is asked to dance seductively while throwing souvenir t-shirts into the audience. Tonight Show staffers claim this is a pre-game tradition, but one suspects they invented it as an excuse to watch Melania gyrate.

3 From the blog Brief Wit, this is from part two of Ross Gottesman’s interview with Stone, “Roger & Me”:

BW: Did the tattoo hurt?

RS: It hurt like a son of a bitch. But I was drunk. I was in California on vacation and I was thinking about it. It took four hours. The worst pain was at the very end, when they did all the shading. But the [second and] real reason I did it? Because it pisses liberals off.

BW: It doesn’t piss me off. I think it’s hilarious.

RS: I’ve been thinking about [what’s next]. There are two possibilities. I’m either going to put Reagan’s head right here [on my lower left ab]. You ever see those tattoos where it looks like he’s ripping through your skin and sticking his head out? Or, I am going to put [above Nixon] on my shoulders in Olde English: “Republican Gangsta.”

4 From “What Happens When People Stop Being Polite” by Chuck Klosterman, from Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs:

It’s been noted that one of the keys to Alfred Hitchcock’s success as a filmmaker was that he didn’t draw characters as much as he drew character types; this is how he normalized the cinematic experience. It’s the same way with The Real World. The show succeeds because it edits malleable personalities into flat, twenty-something archetypes. What interests me is the way those archetypes so quickly became the normal way for people of my generation to behave.

5 From “Roger Stone, Political Animal” by Matt Labash:

But the moment that has most stuck with me came after reporters had just watched Trump dispense invaluable life tips at a Tony Robbins seminar (“Get even. When somebody screws you, screw ’em back–but a lot harder”). Stone mounted the bus, which in Trumpian fashion was named “A Touch of Class,” and announced, “I’m here. Who needs to be spun?”

It was a throwaway line, not even one of the serially quotable Stone’s best, but the naked cynicism at the heart of it might be why his fans in the press corps over the years have called him things like “a state of the art sleaze-ball,” “an extreme rightwing sleazeball,” and the “boastful black prince of Republican sleaze” (the sleaze theme is popular). Color me contrarian, but I will say something I don’t believe another Washington reporter has ever admitted publicly: I like Roger Stone.

6 From “The FishbowlDC Interview With Roger Stone” by Betsy Rothstein:

Who is your favorite working journalist and why? Matt Labash, Weekly Standard, no one does it like him.

7 The tweet:

8 From “The Dirty Trickster” by Jeffrey Toobin:

Over the years, Stone’s relationships with colleagues and clients have been so combustible that his value as a messenger has been compromised. Stone worked for Donald Trump as an occasional lobbyist and as an adviser when Trump considered running for President in 2000. “Roger is a stone-cold loser,” Trump told me. “He always tries taking credit for things he never did.” Like Nixon, Stone is also a great hater-of, among others, the Clintons, Karl Rove, and Spitzer.

“They caught Roger red-handed lying,” Donald Trump said. “What he did was ridiculous and stupid. I lost respect for Eliot Spitzer when he didn’t sue Roger Stone for doing that to his father, who is a wonderful man.”

9 From Dirty Tricks:

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

10 From Dirty Tricks:

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

11 From Dirty Tricks:

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

12 From Dirty Tricks:

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

13 From Dirty Tricks:

Roger Stone - Pretty Reckless is going straight to hell

14 From “The FishbowlDC Interview With Roger Stone” by Betsy Rothstein:

Have you ever had a tarot card reading? Yes. My mother, part Hungarian and very superstitious paid for it – 10 years old – told me I would meet a leader who would change my life (Nixon).

15 From Rick Perlstein’s Nixonland:

The Man from Maine [Edmund Muskie] kept on running into bad luck. Opponents seemed to know what the campaign had planned before some staff did. A stink bomb went off in one of his offices; a mysterious press release went out in Florida that the Muskie campaign was illegally using government-owned typewriters. Ten black picketers paced back and forth on the sidewalk in front of his hotel in Tampa calling him a racist for a comment, back in September, that a Democratic ticket with a black running mate would have a hard time getting elected. An ad appeared in the February 8 issue of a Miami Beach Jewish newspaper: “Muskie, Why Won’t You Consider a Jew as a Vice President?” (Muskie hadn’t said a word on the subject.) Flyers referring to Muskie’s Polish heritage began appearing in Jewish neighborhoods: “Remember the Warsaw Ghetto…Vote Right on March 14.” A memo by his pollster recommending he hold hearings on property taxes in Los Angeles to “take advantage of free TV time” before announcing for the California primary somehow made it to Evans and Novak.

16 From Rick Perlstein’s Nixonland:

The polling in New Hampshire was projecting two-thirds of the vote for Muskie. But cracks in his composure started showing in the face of questions like “Senator, if you get only sixty percent of the vote in New Hampshire, will you consider that a defeat?” He lost more composure in the face of sabotage: false scheduling information kept getting out to the public. Then William Loeb of the Manchester Union Leader, always eager to destroy a liberal, reproduced on his February 24 front page a handwritten, semiliterate letter from someone named Paul Morrison, who said he had met Muskie in Florida and asked how he could understand the problems of black people given the few minorities in Maine. A Muskie aide, the letter related, responded that they did have minorities in Maine: “Not blacks, but we have Canucks”-at which Muskie was reported to have laughed appreciatively.

Canucks, also prevalent in New Hampshire, were French Canadians. Muskie thought of them, evidently, as New England’s niggers.

17 From Rick Perlstein’s Nixonland:

The next day a lacerating front-page editorial in the Union Leader relayed a Newsweek gossip item that feisty Jane Muskie had challenged the press bus to a round of dirty jokes, and preferred not one but two cocktails before dinner.

Muskie had had enough. He arranged for a flatbed truck to serve as his stage for a speech in front of the Union Leader’s redbrick headquarters. At breakfast in their guesthouse in China, Haldeman related to the president what happened next. Snow was streaming down and Muskie was bundled in an overcoat as he picked up a handheld microphone, cameras rolling, determined to prove who was tough:

“By attacking me, and by attacking my wife, he’s proven himself a gutless coward. It’s fortunate for him that he’s not on this platform beside me…”

He paused, looked down; he seemed choked up. Perhaps it was a snowflake lodged in his eye, but Dan Rather on CBS, for one, reported he “began to weep.” David Broder put it in his lead that he said it with “[t]ears streaming down his cheeks.” It became a major news story.

18 From Rick Perlstein’s Nixonland:

Jeb Magruder’s team’s chief operative, Herbert Porter, was the White House scheduling director. One of Porter’s masterpieces was hiring a young aide, Roger Stone, to contribute $200 to Pete McCloskey in the name of the militant homosexual group the Gay Liberation Front and forward the receipt to William Loeb (though Stone, ashamed of any imprecations against his masculinity, chickened out and made the contribution from the Young Socialist Alliance instead).

19 From “GOP’s Campaign Spy Worked Three Camps” by Lawrence Meyer:

Michael W. McMinoway, a political spy for all seasons, told the Senate select Watergate committee yesterday how he provided information for pay on Democratic candidates to the Nixon re-election committee but also provided other Democrats with inside information on the candidates for whom he was working.

In the period that he worked as a spy – from February until July 1972 – McMinoway worked for the Muskie campaign in Wisconsin, the Humphrey campaigns in Pennsylvania and California and for McGovern at the Democratic National Convention.

McMinoway said he was contacted in February by a friend, Martin Blackwell [sic] of Washington, who asked him if he was interested in working in the campaign. When he said he was, McMinoway testified, he was contacted by a man identifying himself as Jason Rainier, later identified as Roger Stone, an employee of the Nixon re-election committee. Stone, McMinoway said, told him that he represented a group of “concerned citizens” interested in the 1972 election.

After agreeing to a salary of $1,500 per month, McMinoway said, he began working for the Muskie campaign in Milwaukee. At the same time, McMinoway told the committee, he contacted the McGovern campaign in Milwaukee.

On one occasion, McMinoway testified, a delegate to the convention visited McGovern campaign manager Gary Hart in the Doral Hotel and then left with two women whom McMinoway described as prostitutes.

Under later questioning by committee vice chairman Sen. Howard H. Baker Jr. (R-Tenn.), McMinoway conceded that he did not know if the women were in fact prostitutes and could not say whether the delegate’s visit to Hart had any relationship to his departure with the women. “He could have met them coming in or going out,” McMinoway said.

20 From Rick Perlstein’s Nixonland:

The most important caper sprang from the president: getting George Wallace to run as a Democrat.

“I don’t want him in,” he had told Mitchell and Haldeman in February of 1971. “We should work this out.” What he didn’t want was Wallace in the general election. If Nixon had won all the antiliberal votes that went to Wallace in 1968, he would have won a punishing landslide instead of a squeaker. He wanted Wallace in the primaries-to divide the Democrats.

It’s hard to reconstruct exactly the steps that led George Wallace to his January announcement in Tallahassee that he was running for the Democratic nomination. He had been on a flight with several other Southern governors and the president from Key Biscayne to Alabama in the summer of 1971; Wallace and Richard Nixon looked suspiciously buddy-buddy after the plane touched down. A few days later Wallace drawled casually to his chief field operator Tom Turnipseed, to Turnipseed’s surprise, “I’m tired of those kooks in the third-party business. I’m thinking of going back into the Democratic Party.” Three months later, Evans and Novak noticed, the grand jury investigating tax-fraud charges against Wallace’s brother Gerald was mysteriously dissolved. Then in November 1971 the Justice Department’s civil rights division announced, suddenly and improbably, that Alabama’s civil rights enforcement plan “is a much better plan than many states’.”

On January 2, 1972, when Dan Rather asked the president whether George Wallace’s apparent preparations for another presidential campaign were “a threat to holding this country together,” Nixon responded with a hint of a grin that Wallace “is not our problem”-he was the Democrats’. That was a gaffe; George Wallace had not yet announced he was running as a Democrat. The press, fortuitously, didn’t notice this-nor another phase of the operation unfolding out in California. John Mitchell funneled $10,000 to a disillusioned Wallace supporter, working under a cover group called the Committee Against Forced Busing, who deployed American Nazi Party members to canvass members of Wallace’s old American Independent Party to convince them to change their registration to Democrat, ostensibly so they could vote for Wallace in the California Democratic primary-but actually to make sure the AIP voter rolls fell below the number that would allow them to run Wallace on the general election ballot.

Wallace would screw the Democrats, Nixon hoped. But he wouldn’t be in the race long enough to screw him.

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