I was nauseated by what I learned about Roger Stone when I was writing about kompromat in How I Learned The Facts of Life: Real news vs fake news in a time of plague, injustice, gobsmacking trumpery…and whatever comes next.
So it’s worth repeating here, just in case you believe the worst thing Roger Stone did is negotiate with Julian Assange (another repulsive character) and facilitate Wikileaks in releasing its GRU-hacked Hillary-related emails. (Reminder: there was nothing bad or compromising or…anything negative about Hillary in those hacks but most people who screech, “Emails!!!” didn’t read ’em.)
Here’s the horrible story, direct from my book. (Warning: we’re talking about a false accusation of pedophilia. You know, the kind of thing Putin does.)
In 2010’s campaign for New York State’s governor, the Democrat, Andrew Cuomo, ran against Republican Carl Paladino and won in a landslide.
There were, of course, other candidates. One of them, a lawyer named Warren Redlich, was running as a Libertarian.
I ran across the Redlich case when he filed a defamation lawsuit against Roger Stone over an action he asserted Stone had taken in regard to the 2010 New York State gubernatorial campaign. The allegations were shocking.
New York State Supreme Court Justice Richard F. Braun, who presided over the case, wrote a better digest than I ever could in his 2016 decision not to summarily dismiss the lawsuit against most of the defendants. I’ve bolded the key stuff:
Politics is too often a “dirty business”. The allegations by plaintiff in this action, if true, exemplify that. This is a defamation action seeking a declaration that plaintiff Warren Redlich (Redlich) was libeled particularly by a mailer and in other communications…
Redlich asserts that [Roger] Stone and [Michael] Caputo hatched a scheme involving the publication and circulation of an anonymous, libelous mailer to harm Redlich’s reputation and his candidacy. Redlich alleges that defendants decided to accuse him of being a “sexual predator”, a “public danger”, and a “sick twisted pervert” in the mailer…In October 2010, the mailer was published by being mailed to numerous homes in New York State (Stone said it was reportedly sent to 150,000 households), including in Redlich’s former community, and even his mother received a copy.
One side of the mailer stated in bold type: “Sexual Predator Alert Albany Area”. The statement is repeated on the other side. Beneath the header on that side is Redlich’s photo with the statement:
[“]This man, WARREN REDLICH who resides at [redacted but his address was given on the mailer]. This man constitutes a public danger. He has exhibited irrational behavior. If you encounter this man proceed with caution. Now this sick twisted pervert is advocating his sick views running as a libertine candidate for governor, openly mocking law enforcement. Redlich hopes to win thousands of votes to endorse his sick alternative lifestyle.[“]
Beneath that text, a photo with plaintiff’s name, and the word “PREDATOR” underneath his name, the mailer states: [“]Beware of Warren Redlich! If you see this man near a public school, CALL THE POLICE! If you see this man in your neighborhood, CALL THE POLICE! If you see this man near your family, CALL THE POLICE! [“]
Sit back now and imagine your reaction if something so scurrilous was done to you or to a politician you support.
After a number of years, Redlich lost his defamation case at trial. While the jury found the flyers were indeed defamatory, they did not find Redlich produced evidence putting Stone’s fingers on them.
That, girls and boys, is kompromat.
Did it work?
Well, Redlich was never going to win the gubernatorial election. But at that time in New York State, to get a line on the ballot for the next four election periods, a party must come up with at least 50,000 votes.
Redlich got 48,359 votes. The Libertarian Party did not gain automatic access to the New York State ballot until 2018.
P.S. Michael Caputo, Stone’s co-defendant, was just appointed by Trump to be top public affairs official at Health and Human Services. You know, specifically to handle matters concerning the pandemic.