Saturday, June 14, 2008

'Sunny place for shady people': GOP slime artist calls Miami home

"THE POLITICAL SCENE about Republican political consultant Roger Stone. Miami Velvet is the leading 'swingers’ club' in Miami, and Roger Stone took the writer there to explain the role he may have played in the fall of Eliot Spitzer, the former governor of New York."

Our own Karl Rove. See "The Dirty Trickster" here. A few passages:

Hank Sheinkopf, the veteran Democratic political consultant, who has known Stone for many years, values his political insights. “He was able to use the Democratic teachings on voter turnout and class warfare and turn it against us,” Sheinkopf told me. “He knew what populism was in reverse. He thought like a Democrat and dressed like a plutocrat. He once said to me, ‘Are you black? Are you Hispanic? Are you gay?’ When I said no, he said, ‘Then why the fuck are you a Democrat? You should be with us.’ ”

* * *

Like Stone, [Roy] Cohn combined conservative politics with an outrĂ© personal life. “Roy was not gay,” Stone told me. “He was a man who liked having sex with men. Gays were weak, effeminate. He always seemed to have these young blond boys around. It just wasn’t discussed. He was interested in power and access. He told me his absolute goal was to die completely broke and owing millions to the I.R.S. He succeeded in that.”

* * *

In the nineties, Stone divorced Ann and married Nydia Bertran, whose father had been a diplomat in pre-Castro Cuba. His wife, whom he invariably refers to as “Mrs. Stone,” had family ties in south Florida, and the couple began spending time in Miami.

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.”

* * *

Stone’s move to Miami seems almost inevitable. The weather facilitates year-round tanning. And the byzantine politics of the city, with anti-Communism at its core, suits Stone’s temperament. “You are at the nexus of Cuban internecine politics, with family rivalries that have carried over from Cuba,” Stone said. “This is the nexus for Colombian politics, also a hotbed for Puerto Rican politics. It’s all going on right here.”

Also see Daily Kos post here.

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