Eliot Spitzer and Roger Stone, Part II

Bump from 3/19 and Update: Roger Stone did drop a dime on Spitzer after all.

Almost four months before Gov. Eliot Spitzer resigned in a sex scandal, a lawyer for Republican political operative Roger Stone sent a letter to the FBI alleging that Spitzer ''used the services of high-priced call girls'' while in Florida.

The letter, dated Nov. 19, said Miami Beach resident Stone learned the information from ''a social contact in an adult-themed club.'' It offered one potentially identifying detail: The man in question hadn't taken off his calf-length black socks ``during the sex act.''

Stone is the Republican operative credited with shutting down the Florida recount effort.

In related news, it turns out Spitzer used his own money to pay his call girls.

Original Post (3/19):

Spitzer Political Foe Predicted His Demise Months Three Months Ago

I don't like conspiracy theories, but this is bothersome. According to Raw Story, Robert Novak recently reported:

Republican political operative Roger Stone, Eliot Spitzer's longtime antagonist, predicted the New York governor's political demise more than three months in advance.

"Eliot Spitzer will not serve out his term as governor of the state of New York," Stone said Dec. 6 on Michael Smerconish's radio talk show on Philadelphia's 1210 WPHT. He gave no details.


Who is Roger Stone? According to the New York Times, a Republican political strategist with a long reputation for being a dirty trickster.

In August, 2007, Stone was forced to resign from his $20k a month job as a top political consultant to New York Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno after it was disclosed he left a threatening voice message at the office of Eliot Spitzer's father.

Mr. Stone, 55, has been a controversial figure in state and national political circles for decades. He cut his political teeth as a teenager in the campaign of Richard M. Nixon, working for the Committee to Re-elect the President, and later was a partner of Lee Atwater, one of the highest-profile political consultants of the 1980s.

Aside from some notable political victories, Mr. Stone has left behind a trail of short-lived campaigns, feuds with former friends and clients, and, above all, rumors of dirty tricks. As he once put it in an interview, “if it rains, it was Stone.”

The message he left on the elder Spitzer's phone:

The phone message left at the office of Bernard Spitzer, who is suffering from Parkinson’s disease, said that Mr. Spitzer, a wealthy real estate developer, would be “compelled by the Senate sergeant-at-arms” to testify about “shady campaign loans” he made to his son during his unsuccessful campaign for attorney general in 1994. (Senate Republicans have said they might investigate those loans.)

The message, left just before 10 p.m. on Aug. 6, went on to say that the elder Spitzer would be “arrested and brought to Albany” if he resisted. It also used profanities in referring to the governor.

The call came from Stone's apartment. He tried to blame the call on a colleague who had access and said wasn't home, but attending a play. Then it turned out the play had no performance that night. More on that here.

The full text of the message was:

"This is a message for Bernard Spitzer. You will be subpoenaed to testify in front of 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 s--- 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."

Stone practically tries to take credit for Spitzer's demise. He told Newsday:

"I didn't make him go to a prostitution ring," Stone told a Newsday columnist Mar. 12. "He did that all on his own." Asked whether he had a hand in Spitzer's woes, Stone said, "No comment."

"I will say I knew it was coming," he added. "That's why I wasn't too upset about the results of the special election," where a Democrat won control of a formerly Republican seat in the State Senate, where the Republicans have a one-vote margin.

[Hat tip to LeftVoice.net]

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  • Display: Sort:
    Stone had his own sex scandal (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Molly Bloom on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 04:15:54 PM EST
    wonder if he is a man with a number? We know the number isn't 9.

    he cant be involved in that (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 04:48:12 PM EST
    he is a republican and that involved women.

    Now Now there must be some hetero (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Molly Bloom on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 04:52:37 PM EST
    sex going on with some Republicans somewhere, virgin births are out...

    well they all have wives (none / 0) (#14)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 04:56:46 PM EST
    if thats what you mean.
    the extracurricular stuff though, thats another more exotic story.

    its really pretty funny (none / 0) (#22)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 05:19:02 PM EST
    he points to a one day bump and then explains in the text that is a tracking poll that averages numbers over several days so it really means nothing.
    but its a great headline isnt it?

    oops (none / 0) (#23)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 05:19:57 PM EST
    that was supposed to go below this comment

    by smott on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 05:10:37 PM EST


    wow (none / 0) (#24)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 05:28:21 PM EST
    Molly and the Capt Howdy raise the discussion to new heights.

    Your insights remind me of what I might hear in one of the local pool halls down south or road houses in upstate New York.

    What a display of intelligence... of good taste... education.... NOT!


    Emily Post has spoken (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 05:31:48 PM EST
    You wouldn't know (1.00 / 1) (#44)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 11:02:34 PM EST
    Emily Post if she was next to you.

    interesting... (5.00 / 0) (#43)
    by kredwyn on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 10:53:53 PM EST
    The pool halls I hang out down here in the south are pretty intelligent. Indeed...one team I was on had at least 4 PhDs (1 physics, 2 other sciences, and me) on it.

    Course it's been a while since I've been in a NY roadhouse. But the last time I was in one, my aunt and I had a pretty good time talking about Kirsten Gillibrand's run for Congress over beer and pool. ;-P



    You obviously hang out in better pool halls (1.00 / 0) (#45)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 11:07:38 PM EST
    than I remember. Perhaps you hang in out in "billard parlors" instead of "pool halls."

    And NY roadhouse do not have pool. Or you may be mistaking "bumper pool" "pool."

    In any event, my note on the nastiness of the referenced blather stands.


    Considering the quality (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by kredwyn on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 11:35:27 PM EST
    of the NY table and cues (metal?!?!), it coulda seconded for bumper pool (haven't shot that game since WVU undergrad). 7 foot beer stained bar tables drive me up a wall.

    It is kinda interesting though...I've has some really fascinating conversations in the different pool halls I shoot in here.

    But then league nights are prolly different than Saturday nights.


    howcome Spitzer knowing this (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by thereyougo on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 04:29:18 PM EST
    didn't cha? Does Spitzer face charges? or what?

    People should be careful, these guys play hardball.

    Roger Stone (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by phat on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 04:55:49 PM EST
    Roger Stone, it figures.


    While (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by tek on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 04:58:15 PM EST
     I don't discount for a moment the possibility that Republicans had something to do with the Spitzer scandal, the fact remains that had Spitzer not done the deed, he would be in the governor's mansion today.

    That said, I still think it's at the least upsetting that the voters turned Spitzer out only to learn that the new governor, and his wife, had been unfaithful with many partners.

    could we just be france (5.00 / 6) (#18)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 04:59:32 PM EST
    where mistresses come to state dinners?
    it would make everything so much easier.

    Oh please! (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by wasabi on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 06:27:53 PM EST
    Yes! That would solve everything.

    Ya got to love the attitudes of the French.
    (At least I do)


    Who is upset... (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by kdog on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 07:00:22 PM EST
    about the Patersons?  

    Spitzer had it coming, whether he was targeted or not.  Good riddance.

    The Patersons had some marital problems and worked it out, as far as I know. That is none of our business, and it's a shame they felt they had to talk about it publicly.


    The voters didn't turn Spitzer out. (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by Iphie on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 12:00:55 AM EST
    He resigned. The voters didn't have anything to do with it, in fact the last time the voters weighed in, almost 70% of us voted for Spitzer. And I don't think there are very many New Yorkers who are all that upset about the revelations about the Paterson's marriage. If anything, people are annoyed that the private workings of their marriage needed to be exposed because there was the very real threat that people were going to try to use the information against Paterson. He didn't break any laws, it was a private matter and I don't think it's any of our business. I am pleased, however, with the way he handled it. He saw a problem on the horizon and he addressed it head-on and with openness which allows him to get back to the problems that actually matter.

    How is it possible that Stone (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by frankly0 on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 05:03:04 PM EST
    could have known, legally, three months in advance that Spitzer was going down?

    Aren't there laws that would prevent such information from being shared with someone like Stone, who presumably had no official capacity in the government's effort to nail Spitzer?

    "legally" (none / 0) (#40)
    by diogenes on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 07:52:36 PM EST
    Don't you think that a perfectly legal private detective would have known all this stuff?  It's just a matter of whether to use it.  They knew about JFK for years and never printed it.

    Those were the good old days. (none / 0) (#54)
    by Joan in VA on Sat Mar 22, 2008 at 08:10:51 PM EST
    I thought he was rumored to have something (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by BarnBabe on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 05:31:36 PM EST
    to do with the Dan Rather set up also. He and his wife. I seem to remember a EPlurius investigation that they suspected it was a Stone operation. Worked for Rove on some things. Maybe others can remember. BUT, he is trouble and usually behind it.

    I believe you are correct (none / 0) (#27)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 05:32:33 PM EST
    he learned at attwater's knee it appears. (none / 0) (#36)
    by hellothere on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 06:42:46 PM EST
    what could the gov have been thinking? he knew they were on his trail and yet!

    There was a rumor... (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by ineedalife on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 06:02:51 PM EST
    bouncing around the internet in 2004 that it was Stone's wife that passed the replica of George Bush's National Guard AWOL memo to Dan Rather's source.

    Huh?? (none / 0) (#47)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 11:17:44 PM EST
     "replica" assumes that a "real" memo existed.

    That has never been proven, except perhaps in your mind.

    The word is "fake."


    and you know all this because? (none / 0) (#64)
    by hellothere on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 11:37:54 AM EST
    from the responses you give, i'd almost conclude you have repub leanings but i know that isn't so.

    Given what we know about (5.00 / 3) (#35)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 06:42:11 PM EST
    the US Attorney's scandal, I don't think that it is conspiratorial to scrutinize the origins of the Spitzer issue, I think it is prudent.

    Prudent in what manner? (none / 0) (#48)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 11:19:33 PM EST
    If the actions do not exist, no one can "tell on" anyone.

    You need a better class of leaders.

    Or smarter followers.


    So you approve of the idea of (5.00 / 3) (#53)
    by inclusiveheart on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 08:56:27 AM EST
    general warrants on a person rather than those that specify a suspected crime?  Fishing expeditions by the government are okay?  Means justifys the ends and all that.  Sometimes I wonder why we even bothered to break with England.

    Because again based on what we know about the politicization of the DOJ, the question of how the Spitzer case got started is a legitimate one to ask - that is if you believe in the founding principles of this democracy.  We are supposed to be prosecuting the crimes not the people.


    keep generalizing (none / 0) (#59)
    by TheRefugee on Sat Mar 22, 2008 at 09:41:37 PM EST
    you think every person who likes to play pool is a moron.  You think all Democrats in elected office are dumb.  You think that all who vote for Democrats are dumb.  

    So let me see if I can extrapolate:  you think only people who eat in 5 stars, swill brandy, smoke cigars, while playing chess are intelligent.  You and yours sit around rationalizing how enlightened conservative politics are when compared against the alternative.  You and yours think that all Republican leaders are beyond reproach--guys like Tom Delay, David Vitter, Cunningham, Packwood, Craig are "better leaders".  So obviously a voter voting for the GOP is a 'smarter follower.'

    I'm not buying it, but I am in the market for a bridge.


    oh you mean like the obama followers? (none / 0) (#65)
    by hellothere on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 11:39:03 AM EST
    huh? all this distain? i wonder what your real beee is? no! actually i don't want to hear it at all.

    Taking down Dem governors - why? (5.00 / 0) (#63)
    by Lora on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 09:58:34 AM EST
    I will repeat my conspiracy theory.  I don't like them either, but let's see if they fit.

    Take down Dem governors.

    Replace them with Repub governors - successful in Alabama; in NY given the Spitzer debacle following Pataki's reign, shouldn't be too hard.

    Appoint Secretaries of State who are willing to insure that Repubs are elected on a national level, whether they are elected or not.  (Florida, Ohio come to mind.)  

    Repubs who adhere to the party line rule the country.

    Far-fetched?  I think not.  

    Let's assume that someone (1.00 / 0) (#29)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 05:44:24 PM EST
    ratted Spitzer besides his bank.

    What does that have to do with anything?

    And I remind you that I don't give a flip about people's private sex lives.

    and most of us agree with you (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by hellothere on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 06:47:25 PM EST
    about private issues. what we are discussing is the destruction of a politican and the strong possibility it was a repub hit machine. you know like the type used against bill clinton.

    So? (1.00 / 0) (#46)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 11:14:41 PM EST
    If Spitzer had honored his marriage vows nothing could have been said. Who "destroyed" him is of interest only to those who want to forgive him, just as it was for Clinton.

    And while it can be argued that the Repubs attacks on Clinton so de-focussed him that he could not pay attention to what the terrorist were doing, the fact remains that he unzipped his fly. Not Monica. And not anyone else.


    so what! i highly recommend (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by hellothere on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 01:36:04 AM EST
    you cool down. it is of interest if spitzer was a poliical hit. darn right it is. i am not interested in spitzer's private life and frankly it isn't your darn business either.

    let me rephrase! it is the public's business (none / 0) (#52)
    by hellothere on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 01:44:15 AM EST
    if it affects his duties. now i find it funny and sad that you are trying to drag an over 10 year scandal out of mothballs. i see, let's continue to attack bill clinton. shame!

    Always Remember (none / 0) (#56)
    by cdalygo on Sat Mar 22, 2008 at 08:29:55 PM EST
    Bill never had to "pay for it."

    Frankly - much like the Kennedys -that's why so many men hate him. (Wisdom passed on by late mother.)

    As for Spitzer, he dug his own grave. Having made a significant part of his career prosecuting others for participating in prostitution rings he was asking for it. I say that not only as an attorney but a human being.


    That will not excuse Roger Stone's role in it. But it's going to take a major housecleaning at DOJ to address that problem.


    It was the Repub congress whose (none / 0) (#66)
    by sallywally on Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 06:28:01 PM EST
    attention to trying to ruin Clinton prevented anyone from doing anything about terrorism. They should have been focusing on that instead, and supporting Clinton as he tried to do it instead of accusing him of wagging the dog.

    This Stone guy... (none / 0) (#39)
    by kdog on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 07:08:16 PM EST
    certainly looks like slime...and to imagine there are Stone-types infested like rats in our political system from sea to shining sea is a scary thought.  The way it's always been I guess.

    Politics...what a business.

    Spitzer destroyed himself though hellothere.  I'm glad that hypocrite is done.


    yup, so true. it wasn't the gov's finest (none / 0) (#42)
    by hellothere on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 08:53:13 PM EST
    hour was it? common sense would tell you to watch your behavior especially if you knew such folks were on your trail.

    Josh ran something on this a while back. He (none / 0) (#3)
    by Angel on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 04:30:03 PM EST
    reported on the phone call to Spitzer's father plus some of the other things going on in the governor's office at that time.  I don't visit that site anymore so I'm not sure if he's got anything else on this or not.  But it does seem kind of a coincidence, huh? Not.

    not to go OT (none / 0) (#9)
    by smott on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 04:51:47 PM EST
    ....but I'm glad I'm not the only one who had to give up TPM and Josh with a heavy sigh. It's just getting sad. Think he'll post the changing poll nbrs in favor of HRC?

    Sorry everybody, back on topic!


    kos headline (fyi) (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 04:54:01 PM EST
    Obama bouncing back

    Well, I mean it's Kos... (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by smott on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 05:10:37 PM EST
    ...and I say that the way I say "well it's Fox..."

    They jumped the shark long ago. Haven't been there in months.

    "We have seen the enemy, and he is us"....


    He did post the recent numbers (none / 0) (#11)
    by Molly Bloom on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 04:53:27 PM EST
    and corrected his own mistake today.

    Josh has gotten a little snarky lately but he's (none / 0) (#15)
    by Angel on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 04:56:47 PM EST
    not a bad person.  He is very intelligent and has really had a good run with his site.  It just seems that over the past 3 or 4 months the site has been overtaken by a lot of foul-mouthed commenters.  I refuse to read that kind of stuff.  If he would rein them in I'd go back.  

    Not to go completely OT here (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by Anne on Sat Mar 22, 2008 at 09:06:55 PM EST
    but I think it takes a real commitment to objectivity to keep a good blog on track and open to all points of view.  Assuming that what you are interested in is spirited and diverse discussion.

    I have left a couple of blogs because they became echo chambers run like junior high school cliques, with new people treated like trespassers for simply going against the prevailing opinion.

    I agree that most of these bloggers are highly intelligent, but you can't lay the current situation all at the feet of the commenters - they are there and barking at trespassers because the blog owner allows it.

    It will be a long time - if ever - before I trust some of these bloggers, who have gone from thoughtful and well-researched and objective writing to the rhetorical version of throwing chum in the water and admiring the feeding frenzy.

    Ugh - no thanks.


    I like Josh but the fish rots from the head down (none / 0) (#57)
    by jerry on Sat Mar 22, 2008 at 08:30:54 PM EST
    The commenters at TPM get encouragement from Andrew Golis who runs the forums, and has made many mistakes with regard to guests, moderation, points of view, and has never apologized or learned from them.

    Golis basically is a young fresh out of school kid who is absolutely 100% politically correct including the whole, it's okay to mock anyone that disagrees with you thing that many of our most politically correct bloggers have.

    If you try to discuss that you're called a concern troll and a not a democrat and blah blah blah.


    For More on Stone (none / 0) (#17)
    by The Maven on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 04:59:03 PM EST
    There are quite a few stories about Stone's shenanigans over at The Albany Project, especially on the "funny business" from last summer relating to his email smear campaigns against Spitzer.

    Maven, (none / 0) (#19)
    by nemo52 on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 05:02:58 PM EST
    are you in Albany?

    Nope. Downstate (none / 0) (#28)
    by The Maven on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 05:42:39 PM EST
    in the big city.  But the TAP crew is spread out all over the state.

    Stone is the one (none / 0) (#4)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 04:41:01 PM EST
    who formed the 527 against Hillary with the unflattering name I can not use here. correct?
    citizens united not something-or-other-starting-with-t

    among many other things (none / 0) (#5)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 04:41:42 PM EST
    he is famous for

    yep (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 04:44:08 PM EST
    The name of Lee Atwater says it all.n/t (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by hairspray on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 05:59:45 PM EST
    He's the (none / 0) (#8)
    by nemo52 on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 04:49:34 PM EST
    one.  And he's been showing up on MSM cable talk shows.  Memory fails, but (Hah!) I want to say MiSogyNBC ---

    Hey everybody! (none / 0) (#30)
    by OxyCon on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 05:55:44 PM EST
    Help me out here (none / 0) (#34)
    by wasabi on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 06:32:58 PM EST
    Did I hear correctly yesterday that if the new Governor or NY is taken down, the majority leader Bruno becomes top dog?

    I don't like them either... (none / 0) (#41)
    by Lora on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 08:38:43 PM EST
    I don't like conspiracy theories

    But if the shoe fits...

    I personally believe (none / 0) (#55)
    by white n az on Sat Mar 22, 2008 at 08:15:09 PM EST
    that this story only furthers the issue that this was a targeted prosecution (assuming that he is prosecuted) and starts to work against the story floated that this investigation started with a bank report on curious funds movement.

    That this was targeted for the purpose of bringing Spitzer down for spearheading the states efforts towards justice against the insane lending practices is her in a blog posting by Greg Palast

    Considering that the 'investigation' closed immediately after Spitzer's Op-Ed in the Washington Post - note the date of this Op-Ed.

    That Roger Stone is a slime bucket is of course well known.

    That Spitzer idiotically participated in this behavior is also now, well known.

    It seems that these two characters are indelibly linked - forever.

    Someone Is Fibbing (none / 0) (#60)
    by squeaky on Sat Mar 22, 2008 at 09:42:34 PM EST
    See, there's a very simple explanation for how federal investigators discovered Eliot Spitzer's secret trysts in hotel rooms with prostitutes. They were merely alerted by a series of suspicious financial transactions and thought it was a bribery case and then just stumbled upon the prostitution ring.


    Yeah, I'm wondering why some slimy political operative is all but managing federal investigations in the Bush Justice Department.


    Now which liar is lying this time?

    You reap what you sow (none / 0) (#61)
    by downtownted on Sat Mar 22, 2008 at 10:25:51 PM EST
    I am just a simple guy but on this I see 2 sitting Democratic governors going down on what appear to be political rather than the kind of hard criminal issues that have come up in the past. Crimes is crimes but as criminal defense folk know the decision to pursue and prosecute is discretional. It looks like the Bungler and his minions have decided to take down Democratic governors where possible.  The problem, of course, is that they are almost all breaking the law. Just planning personal campaign matters on state time is almost always illegal and who doesn't do it.

    Crime is crime. It should be rooted out where found. With a tough enough candidate not a single Republican governor would be left after the first term. When your opponents change the rules, you should remember to play by them.

    When I see this type of (none / 0) (#62)
    by thereyougo on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 02:24:31 AM EST
    thing, I can't understand why Nancy Pelosi would not impeach the pres. There are so many reasons! Hatch act!