Friday, August 24, 2007

The Lighter Side of the Republican Party: Roger Stone

Roger Stone is a top Republican strategist. He costs some $20,000 per month. He is what Republicans love: a dirty fighter who (supposedly) leaves no fingerprints. He cut his teeth on Richard Nixon's Committee to Re-Elect the President (or CREEP) and later was a partner of the legendary Lee Atwater.

New York State Republican legislators hired Roger near the end of the legislative session in June. As the N.Y. Times put it on 8/23/07 in their story, "Political Consultant Resigns After Allegations of Threatening Spitzer's Father":

Mr. Stone's reputation for hard-edged political tactics appeared to be a selling point for the Senate Republicans, who after Mr. Spitzer's election last fall were facing an aggressive Democratic governor eager to wipe out the state's last redoubt of Republican strength.


In a closed-door meeting last month, Mr. Stone presented a road map for agressively defending and rebuilding the party. Coinciding with Roger's emergence in Albany were web sites dotting the horizon with harsh accusations against Governor Spitzer. Reporters and others around the capital began receiving e-mail messages from addresses like SpitzerFile.com and NYFacts.net, most of them reprinting newspaper stories critical of Mr. Spitzer or containing political cartoons about him. Those two services are run by Michael Caputo, a Buffalo-area Republican who has worked for Mr. Stone in the past.

The mainstream media (if you called the New York Post "media") then featured stories about how Eliot Spitzer used the entire New York apparatus at his disposal to hound and stalk Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno. Roger must have been pleased as punch. Then something strange happened, which can either be attributed to temporary insanity, being drunk with power or just plain being drunk: Roger decided to call up Eliot's father, an 83-year old man with Parkinson's Disease, and threaten him (anonymously). Just before 10 P.M. on August 6th, a message was left at Bernard Spitzer's Manhattan office that he would be "compelled by the Senate sergeant at arms" to testify about "shady campaign loans" he made to his son during Eliot Spitzer's unsuccessful campaign for attorney general in 1994.

"If you resist this subpoena, you will be arrested and brought to Albany," the message says, according to a transcript given to the New York Times. Bernard Spitzer hired Kroll Associates, the private investigative firm, to trace the message. They found that the number on Bernard's caller ID system linked it to listings under the name of Mr. Stone's wife, Nydia.

Has Roger Stone never heard of Caller ID? Even six-year-olds understand how Caller ID works and that everyone has it. The message continues in a rather uncouth vein: "There is not a goddamn thing your phony, psycho, piece-of-shit son can do about it. Bernie, your phony loans are about to catch up to you. You will be forced to tell the truth and the fact that your son's a pathological liar will be known to all."

Forget about the fact that the Times printed the phrase, "piece-of-shit". Just listen to how Roger tries to repair the damage. Caught with his pants down, he admitted yes it was his number and it was also shared by a Florida law firm for which he does public relations work, Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler. But he denied making the call. He says his apartment building is owned by a prominent Spitzer fundraiser, and suggests that allies of the governor may have given access to his apartment to someone who made the threatening call. As Roger says, "They have unfettered access to my apartment. I am on television constantly. As Gore Vidal said, never pass up the chance to have sex or be on television."

Actually, that part about sex is pretty funny and makes a lovely sidebar. Back in about 1996 Roger was working for Bob Dole as the presidential nominee. The National Enquirer published a salacious expose of Roger and his wife Nydia. It seems they are both swingers and advertise themselves in swingers' magazines and on the internet. Huge headline: "Top Dole Aide In Group Sex Ring". Even though a chunk of his expensive advice urges Republicans to emphasize family values and integrity, he and his ex-model wife Nydia, aka as Nikki, posted an ad on their Internet web site featuring a vavavoom picture of Nikki ("Hot insatiable babe, 40DD-24-36 seeks exceptional [threesomes] with her and her bodybuilder husband...Prefer athletes, bodybuilders, jocks and military.") The Stones solicited 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. The web site has been accessed thousands of times.

Nikki (I mean Nydia) was very helpful during the 2000 Florida recount. GWB enlisted her to rally support among Cuban exiles in Miami (she is of Cuban ancestry). During that jolly time, Roger was also instrumental in organizing the so-called Brooks Brothers Riot (according to Jeffrey Toobin's book "Too Close To Call", about the recount), when hundreds of Republican activist stormed a county election office in Miami and demanded that workers there cease recounting presidential ballots.

Anyway, the day the story about the "anonymous" phone call came out, Bruno fired Roger. Roger continues to insist that H. Dale Hemmerdinger, who owns the building on Central Park South where Roger and "Nikki" live, let unauthorized persons into his apartment. Mr. Hemmerdinger responded, "Roger's off his rocker." No actually he issued a statement, "Stone's allegations about me are untrue."

Roger also said that he had attended a performance of the Broadway play "Frost/Nixon" on the night of the alleged call and could "highly recommend it to Governor Spitzer. It shows you what hubris and lying brings you."

However, a blogger for New York magazine pointed out that the play (like most plays) had no Monday night performances.

Roger's response? "Well, then, I'm mistaken. My wife already reminded me I actually saw the play on a Wednesday. I still recommend the play to the governor."

Although he fired him, Bruno still pays homage to Roger's elaborations: "Roger's statement is that he didn't do it and that somebody got into his apartment and that someone who owns his apartment is a big contributor to Eliot Spitzer."

Case closed!

1 comment:

ja.goldstein said...

Great Post. Film at 11. The republicans should be eliminated as a party untill they have something to contribute again.