Roger Stone

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Roger Stone
Occupation Political consultant, Republican activist
Nationality American
Subjects Politics of the United States

www.stonezone.com

Roger J. Stone, Jr. (born in 1952 in Norwalk, Connecticut) is an American political consultant,[1] lobbyist and strategist, noted for his use of opposition research, usually for candidates of the Republican Party.[2] He is currently a member of the Libertarian Party.[3]

In 1990 The New York Times described him as a "renowned infighter"[4] and during the 2004 United States Presidential Campaign, CBS News described Stone as a "veteran Republican strategist."[5] In 2008 The Daily Beast described him as a "self-admitted hit man for the GOP."[6]

Life[edit]

Youth and early career[edit]

Born in Norwalk, Connecticut,[7] in 1952[8] Stone grew up in Lewisboro, New York in an Italo-Hungarian family. His mother was a small-town reporter, his father a well driller[9] who owned his own business. He has described his family as middle-class, blue-collar Catholics.[7]

In the first grade, Stone claims, he broke into politics to further John F. Kennedy's presidential campaign: "I remember going through the cafeteria line and telling every kid that Nixon was in favor of school on Saturdays," Stone says. "It was my first political trick."[9] When he was a junior and vice president of the student government at a high school in northern Westchester County, New York, he manipulated the ouster of the president and succeeded him. When he ran for election as president for his senior year, he later said, he "built alliances and put all my serious challengers on my ticket. Then I recruited the most unpopular guy in the school to run against me. You think that's mean? No, it's smart. "[10]

Given a copy of Barry Goldwater's Conscience of a Conservative, Stone became a convert to conservatism as a child and a volunteer in Goldwater's 1964 campaign. (As of 2007, Stone said he was a staunch conservative with libertarian leanings.)[9]

As a student at The George Washington University in 1972, he invited Jeb Magruder to speak at a Young Republicans Club, then successfully hit up Magruder for a job with Richard Nixon's storied Committee to Re-elect the President.[11] Stone's political career began in earnest with activities such as contributing money to a possible rival of Nixon in the name of the Young Socialist Alliance — then slipping the receipt to the Manchester Union-Leader. He also got a spy hired by the Hubert Humphrey campaign who became Humphrey's driver. By day, Stone was officially a scheduler in the Nixon campaign. "By night, I'm trafficking in the black arts. Nixon's people were obsessed with intelligence."[2]

After Nixon won the 1972 presidential election, Stone worked for the administration in the Office of Economic Opportunity. After Nixon resigned, Stone went to work for Bob Dole, then was fired after columnist Jack Anderson publicly identified Stone as a Nixon dirty trickster. In 1976 he worked in Ronald Reagan's campaign for president, and in 1977 became national chairman of the Young Republicans.[2]

Career, 1980-1992[edit]

Stone went on to serve as chief strategist for Governor Tom Kean's campaign for Governor of New Jersey in 1981 and for his re-election campaign in 1985.[8]

Stone, the "keeper of the Nixon flame,"[12] was an adviser to the former President in his post-presidential years, serving as "Nixon's man in Washington."[13] Stone was a protégé of former Connecticut Governor John Davis Lodge, who introduced the young Stone to then former Vice President Nixon in 1967.[14]

John Sears recruited Stone to work in Ronald Reagan's presidential campaign in 1979-80, coordinating the Northeast. Stone said that former McCarthyist Roy Cohn helped him arrange for John B. Anderson to get the nomination of the Liberal Party of New York, a move that would help split the opposition to Reagan in the state. Stone said Cohn gave him a suitcase that Stone avoided opening and, as instructed by Cohn, dropped it off at the office of a lawyer influential in Liberal Party circles. Reagan carried the state with 46 percent of the vote. Speaking after the statute of limitations for bribery had expired, Stone later said, "I paid his law firm. Legal fees. I don't know what he did for the money, but whatever it was, the Liberal party reached its right conclusion out of a matter of principle."[2]

In 1983-84, Stone served as Regional Political Director for the Northeast for Reagan-Bush '84. In addition to his previous portfolio from the 1980 campaign, he was given responsibility for the key swing state of Ohio; Reagan carried every state in Stone's region.

With partners Charlie Black and Paul Manafort, he formed Black, Manafort, and Stone,[15][16] a political consulting firm, described as "instrumental in the success of Ronald Reagan's 1984 campaign." Republican political strategist Lee Atwater later joined the firm in 1985, after serving the #2 position on Reagan-Bush '84.

In 1987-88, Stone served as Senior Adviser to the Jack Kemp for President campaign, which was managed by consulting partner Charlie Black.[17] That same election, his other partners worked for George H.W. Bush (Lee Atwater as campaign manager, and Paul Manafort as director of operations in the fall campaign).[18]

In April 1992, Time alleged that Stone was involved with the controversial Willie Horton advertisements to aid George H. W. Bush's 1988 presidential campaign, which were targeted against Democratic opponent Michael Dukakis.[19] Stone has said that he urged Republican political strategist Lee Atwater not to include Horton in the ad.[8] Stone denied making or distributing the advertisement, and said that was Atwater's doing.[8] However, the actual ads featuring Horton's picture (run originally on CNN) were produced by Americans for Bush / NSPAC (National Security PAC), an independent-expenditure group not controlled or coordinated by Atwater and the Bush campaign. FEC records for NSPAC do not indicate any payments to or affiliation with Stone, and the ads were reported in 1988 and thereafter to have been produced by another consultant.[20]

Stone and his wife Ann found the group Republicans for Choice in 1989.

Career, 1993-2003[edit]

In 1995, Stone was the president of Republican Senator Arlen Specter's campaign for the 1996 Republican Presidential nomination.[21] Specter withdrew early in the campaign season with less than two percent support.

Stone was for many years a lobbyist for Donald Trump on behalf of his casino business [22] and was also involved in opposing expanded casino gambling in New York State, a position that brought him into conflict with Governor George Pataki.[23]

In 1996, Stone resigned from a post as a volunteer spokesman in Robert Dole's campaign for president after The National Enquirer wrote that Stone had placed ads and pictures in racy swingers publications and a website seeking sexual partners for himself and his second wife, Nydia. While he does enjoy frequenting "Miami Velvet," a swingers club in Miami, Stone initially denied the report.[9][10] On the Good Morning America program he said: "An exhaustive investigation now indicates that a domestic employee who I discharged for substance abuse on the second time that we learned that he had a drug problem is the perpetrator who had access to my home, access to my computer, access to my password, access to my postage meter, access to my post-office box key."[9] In a 2008 interview with The New Yorker Stone admitted that the ads were authentic.[24]

Stone claimed Secretary of State James Baker recruited him to oversee the Miami-Dade County recount in the disputed 2000 Presidential election.[8] Stone has been credited with setting up street demonstrations in Florida to protest the recounts held after the 2000 presidential election; he was also accused of organizing the so-called "Brooks Brothers riot" where Republican congressional staff members protested outside an office where ballots were being recounted, a claim Stone denies.[25] The HBO film Recount, about the Florida 2000 controversy, has the Baker character (played by Tom Wilkinson) turning to an aide at a meeting, ordering, "Get me Roger Stone."

In 2002, Stone was associated with the campaign of businessman Thomas Golisano for Governor of New York State.[23]

2004 elections[edit]

During the 2004 US Presidential campaign, Al Sharpton responded to accusations that Stone was working on his campaign, stating "I've been talking to Roger Stone for a long time. That doesn't mean that he's calling the shots for me. Don't forget that Bill Clinton was doing more than talking to Dick Morris" [26] Critics suggested that Stone was only working with Sharpton as a way to undermine the Democratic Party's chances of winning the election. Sharpton denies that Stone had any influence over his campaign.[27]

In the spring and summer of 2004, two 527 groups associated with Stone sent out mailings attacking Winston-Salem City Councilman Vernon Robinson during the primary race. Other mailings from one of the 527 groups promoted then-State Senator Virginia Foxx, who ultimately won the race.[citation needed]

In this election, a blogger accused Stone of responsibility for the "Kerry-Specter" campaign materials that were circulated in Pennsylvania.[28] Such signs were considered controversial because they were seen as an effort to get Democrats who supported Kerry to vote for then Republican Senator Arlen Specter in heavily Democratic Philadelphia.

Career since 2004[edit]

In 2007 Stone, a top adviser at the time to Joseph Bruno (the majority leader of the New York State Senate), was forced to resign by Bruno after allegations that Stone had threatened then gubernatorial candidate Eliot Spitzer.[25] Stone was accused on an episode of Hardball with Chris Matthews on August 22, 2007 of being the voice on an expletive-laden voicemail threatening Bernard Spitzer, father of Eliot, with subpoenas.[29] [30]

Stone has consistently denied the reports. Thereafter, however, he resigned from his position as a consultant to the New York State Senate Republican Campaign Committee, at Bruno's request.[25]

In January 2008, Stone founded Citizens United Not Timid, an anti–Hillary Clinton 527 group with an intentionally obscene acronym.[31][32]

In February 2010, Stone became campaign manager for Kristin Davis, a madam linked with the Eliot Spitzer prostitution scandal, in her bid for the Libertarian Party nomination for Governor of New York in the 2010 election. Stone says that the campaign "is not a hoax, a prank or a publicity stunt. I want to get her a half-million votes."[33] However, he was later spotted at a campaign rally for another gubernatorial candidate, Carl Paladino;[34] of whom Stone has spoken favorably.[35] Stone has admittedly been providing support and advice to both campaigns, on the grounds that the two campaigns have different goals: Davis is seeking to gain permanent ballot access for her party, while Paladino is in the race to win (and is Stone's preferred candidate). As such, Stone does not believe he has a conflict of interest in supporting both candidates.[36] While working for the Davis campaign, he corroborated with a group entitled "People for a Safer New York" to send a flyer labeling Libertarian Party candidate Warren Redlich a "sexual predator" based on a blog post Redlich had made in April 2008.[37] The move backfired, and Davis finished in last place with roughly half the votes Redlich did while Redlich finished with the highest vote total of any Libertarian gubernatorial candidate in the state's history. Stone continues to hold ill will against the Libertarian Party of New York.[38]

Stone is featured in the 2008 award-winning documentary on Lee Atwater, Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story. He was also featured in the 2010 documentary of the Eliot Spitzer prostitution scandal, Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer.

Stone served as the campaign manager for Steve Berke, a comedian, for the City of Miami Beach mayoral office.[39]

Stone endorsed Governor Gary Johnson's presidential campaign in the 2012 Republican primary.[40]

Since 2010, Stone has been an occasional contributor to The Daily Caller, serving as that Web site's "male fashion editor." (Archive of Stone's Daily Caller columns)

On February 15, 2012, Stone announced that he would change his affiliation to the Libertarian Party, predicting a “Libertarian moment” in 2016 and the end of the Republican party.[3][41]

On January 24, 2013, Stone announced he was considering running for Governor of Florida as a Libertarian.[42]

Stone's book, The Man Who Killed Kennedy, written with investigative journalist Mike Colapietro contributing, was released by Skyhorse Publishing November 4, 2013. In the book, on the market in time for the fiftieth anniversary of Kennedy's assassination, Stone asserts that LBJ was behind a conspiracy to kill John Kennedy.[43]

Style and opinions[edit]

Stone's Rules[edit]

According to a 2007 magazine profile of Stone by Matt Labash, the consultant "often sets his pronouncements off with the utterance 'Stone's Rules', signifying listeners that one of his shot-glass commandments is coming down, a pithy dictate uttered with the unbending certitude one usually associates with the Book of Deuteronomy." Examples of Stone's Rules include "Politics with me isn't theater. It's performance art. Sometimes, for its own sake." "Admit nothing, deny everything, launch counterattack."[2]

Personal style and habits[edit]

Stone has long been noted for his "flamboyant personal style" as one New York Times article noted, and Stone has been called "flamboyant" in Newsday and The New York Observer.[44]

The notability of his personal style has extended to his fashion choices. As another article from The New York Times put it, he "has a reputation for sartorial elegance". (The same New York Times article also reported that when Stone stopped wearing socks during "Ronald Reagan's 1980 Presidential campaign, Nancy Reagan fastidiously brought this to her husband's attention.")[45] His flashy style partly involves good food and good clothes. "A dandy by disposition who boasts of having not bought off-the-rack since he was 17 ... [Stone has] taught reporters how to achieve perfect double-dimples underneath their tie knots", according to Labash.[2] Washington journalist Victor Gold has noted Stone's reputation as "one of the capital's smartest dressers."[46]

His longtime tailor is Alan Flusser, author of Style and the Man. A Flusser associate has said Stone knows enough about men's clothing to work in Flusser's establishment. As of 2007, Stone declared single-vent jackets the sign of a "heathen" and flat-front pants an atrocity: "Pants today are like a little church in the valley — no ballroom". Stone says he owns 100 silver-colored neckties and has 100 suits in storage. He despises cowboy boots worn with suits. Fashion stories have been written about him in GQ[2] and Penthouse.

As of 1999, according to a New York Times article that year, "[H]e always wears suspenders, but never red ones. 'People with blond hair do not look good in red,' he said. 'And you shouldn't call them suspenders. It's more accurate to call them braces.'" At that time he was sporting a "silver watch fob, spread-collar shirt and wide-striped double-breasted suit tailored to accentuate his bodybuilder's silhouette". He had only started wearing blue jeans when he met his second wife, he said. He credited his youthful good looks to "decades of following a regimen of Chinese herbs, breathing therapies, tai chi and acupuncture," according to the Times.[10] Others have noted that he wears a diamond pinkie ring in the shape of a horseshoe, in 2007 he had Richard Nixon's face tattooed on his back,[2] he owned five Jaguars as of 2007, and he also owns five Yorkshire Terriers.[2] He has said of himself: "I like English tailoring, I like Italian shoes. I like French wine," he told a reporter for Newsday. "I like vodka martinis with an olive, please. I like to keep physically fit."[47] His office in Florida has been described as a "Hall of Nixonia" with framed pictures, posters and letters associated with Richard Nixon. Exceptions are a poster of a stripper and a photo of him standing by a pool with porn star Nina Hartley, both in bikinis.[2]

Books[edit]

  • The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ Skyhorse Publishing ISBN 1626363137

References[edit]

  1. ^ Warner, Margaret (29 Feb 1996). "Money and the Presidency". NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. PBS. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Labash, Matt (5 Nov 2007). "Roger Stone, Political Animal, ‘Above all, attack, attack, attack — never defend.’". The Weekly Standard. 
  3. ^ a b GOP trickster Roger Stone defects to Libertarian party, Washington Post, The Reliable Source section, February 16, 2012.
  4. ^ Toner, Robin (19 Mar 1990). "The Trouble With Politics: Running vs. Governing: ‘Wars’ Wound Candidates and the Process". The New York Times. 
  5. ^ Murphy, Jarret (13 Oct 2004). "If You Ain't Got That Swing, Any Voters Still Up For Grabs? The Campaigns Seem To Disagree". CBS News. 
  6. ^ Sarlin, Benjamin (20 Nov 2008). "A GOP Dirty Trickster Has Second Thoughts". The Daily Beast. 
  7. ^ a b Edsall, Thomas B. (7 Apr 1985). "Partners in Political PR Firm Typify Republican New Breed". Washington Post. 
  8. ^ a b c d e Toobin, Jeffrey (2 June 2008). "The Dirty Trickster". The New Yorker. 
  9. ^ a b c d e Segal, David (25 Aug 2007). "Mover, Shaker, And Cranky Caller? A GOP Consultant Who Doesn't Mince Words Has Some Explaining to Do". Washington Post. p. C1. 
  10. ^ a b c Hoffman, Jan (18 Nov 1999). "The Ego Behind the Ego in a Trump Gamble". The New York Times. 
  11. ^ Paybarah, Azi (7 Sep 2007). "Roger Stone's Nixon Thing". The New York Observer. 
  12. ^ Dowd, Maureen (21 Dec 1995). "Liberties; Nix ‘Nixon’ — Tricky Pix". The New York Times. 
  13. ^ Pareene (24 Mar 2008). "Roger Stone Knew Guv's Terrible Secret, According to Roger Stone". Gawker.com. 
  14. ^ "Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler bios". 2006. ; see Scott W. Rothstein
  15. ^ Thomas, Evan (3 Mar 1986). "The Slickest Shop in Town". Time. 
  16. ^ Toner, Robin (31 July 1990). "Washington at Work; The New Spokesman for the Republicans: a Tough Player in a Rough Arena". The New York Times. 
  17. ^ The Almanac of 1988 Presidential Politics. Campaign Hotline/American Political Network. 1989. ISBN 0-9621971-0-6. , p. 14
  18. ^ The Almanac of 1988 Presidential Politics. Campaign Hotline/American Political Network. 1989. ISBN 0-9621971-0-6. , p. 5
  19. ^ Michael Kerner (April 20, 1992). "The Political Interest It's Not Going To Be Pretty". Time Magazine. 
  20. ^ The Almanac of 1988 Presidential Politics. Campaign Hotline/American Political Network. 1989. ISBN 0-9621971-0-6. [page needed] page 91
  21. ^ Holmes, Steven A. (10 Nov 1995). "96 Aspirants Filling Breach Left By Powell". The New York Times. 
  22. ^ Duffy, Michael; Cooper, Matthew (20 Sep 1999). "Take my party, please". CNN. 
  23. ^ a b Tomasky, Michael (17 June 2002). "The Right Stuff". New York Metro. 
  24. ^ Toobin, Jeffrey (2 Jun 2008). "The Dirty Trickster". The New Yorker. 
  25. ^ a b c Hakim, Danny; Confessore, Nicholas (23 Aug 2007). "Political Consultant Resigns After Allegations of Threatening Spitzer's Father". The New York Times. 
  26. ^ Ireland, Doug (February 19, 2004). "A Prayer for Rev. Al". LA Weekly. 
  27. ^ Barrett, Wayne; Suh, Jennifer (3 Feb 2004). "Sharpton's Cynical Campaign Choice". The Village Voice. 
  28. ^ Bunch, Will (15 Oct 2004). "Arlen's spectre: Roger Stone". Campaign Extra!. Philadelphia Daily News. 
  29. ^ Barnicle, Mike (23 Aug 2007). "August 22nd transcript". Hardball with Chris Matthews. MSNBC. 
  30. ^ assumed to be Roger Stone (August 2007). Bernard Spitzer's voicemail (MP3) (voicemail). The New York Times. "And there‘s not a goddamn thing your phony, psycho, piece-of-shit son can do about it." 
  31. ^ Labash, Matt (28 Jan 2008). "Making Political Trouble: Roger Stone shows how its done — again". The Weekly Standard. 
  32. ^ "Citizens United Not Timid website". 
  33. ^ "Kristin Davis, alleged Eliot Spitzer madam, to run for New York governor with GOP Roger Stone's help". New York Daily News. February 7, 2010. 
  34. ^ Vielkind, Jimmy (2010-04-06). Hi, Roger!. Capitol Confidential (Albany Times Union). Retrieved 2010-04-06.
  35. ^ Stone, Roger (2010-03-24). "New York GOP Rumble." The Stone Zone. Retrieved 2010-04-06.
  36. ^ Hakim, Danny. Opposing Campaigns, With One Unlikely Link: Roger Stone Plays Role in Two Opposing Campaigns. The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-08-12.
  37. ^ Vielkind, Jimmy (2010-10-29). Stone: I pushed for Redlich mailer. Albany Times-Union. Retrieved 2010-11-01.
  38. ^ Stone, Roger (2010-11-04). Libertarian Payback. StoneZone.com. Retrieved 2010-11-04.
  39. ^ http://www.miaminewtimes.com/2011-03-17/news/steve-berke-comedian-for-miami-beach-mayor/
  40. ^ The STONEzone endorses Gov. Gary Johnson for President
  41. ^ GOP trickster Roger Stone defects to Libertarian party, Washington Post, The Reliable Source section, February 16, 2012.
  42. ^ http://imgur.com/NXV4CcF Possible Gubernatorial Run
  43. ^ http://www.amazon.com/The-Man-Who-Killed-Kennedy/dp/1626363137/ ISBN 978-1626363137
  44. ^ Slackman, Michael, "The 2004 Campaign: The Consultant: Sharpton's Bid Aided by an Unlikely Source", article, The New York Times, January 25, 2004;article headline and date "Old tricks rock Roger Stone's political world." and Google News search results showing quotation from article: "famous GOP consultant Roger Stone Jr. ... the flamboyant Stone ", Newsday, August 23, 2007;Conason, Joe, "Pataki Camp Gets Stoned", opinion column, The New York Observer, October 22, 2002; all accessed April 28, 2008
  45. ^ Taylor, Stuart, and Binder, David, "Washington Talk: Briefing Sockless Strategist", New York Times, August 11, 1988 (The Times reported that when Ronald Reagan asked him about it, "'I told him, "I'm not wearing socks until the Soviets are out of Afghanistan,"' Mr. Stone recalled. 'I had to say something, and that answer seemed acceptable to Governor Reagan.'"), accessed April 28, 2008
  46. ^ Gold, Victor, "Hail to the tie", San Antonio Express-News, February 17, 1994, accessed via newsbank.com subscription website on April 28, 2008
  47. ^ Metz, Andrew, "Golisano's Not-So-Secret Weapon / Adviser lobs political bombs", Newsday, September 23, 2002, accessed via Newsbank.com subscription archive April 28, 2008

External links[edit]