Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Roger Stone And The Tedisco Campaign Don't Have Their Stories Straight

When the name "Roger Stone" is mentioned, people take notice, especially in elections where there is no victor days after the ballots have been cast. So when the long-time New Yorker was spotted in upstate New York at Jim Tedisco's headquarters, intrepid (and left leaning) reporters were on the trail. That has made for some very unhappy Republicans.

From The Albany Project:

So Liz, being the dogged reporter that she is, actually started making phone calls to inquire as to just why Roger Stone showed up in NY-20 in the midst of a fiercely contested and oh so close recount and just who he is working for. She didn't have much luck. Also, her inquiry seems to have struck a nerve. Stone insists he has "no formal role" in the recount and that assertions otherwise are "left-wing blog crap" from "paranoid" liberals. [...]

Irene Jay Liu at CapCon goes a bit further and asks both the Tedisco campaign and the NRCC if Stone may be in the district at their behest. Both camps deny it and I'm pretty sure at least one of them is being, shall we say, less than truthful. She even gets a dig in at those of us who pay attention to such goings on as chasing a "white whale" in Stone. But, whatever.

Roger Stone, controversial GOP political consultant and white whale of sorts for New York's liberal bloggers, has been spotted in Upstate New York.

More specifically, the liberal "The Albany Project" alleges that Stone was spotted at the campaign headquarters of GOP 20th congressional candidate Jim Tedisco, which has pro-Murphy blog commenters all in a tizzy.

The Tedisco campaign says, unequivocally, that Stone has no involvement in the campaign. From Tedisco campaign spokesman Tyler Brown via email:

We've had no contact with Mr. Stone and he is not affiliated with the campaign in any capacity.

(He is not a volunteer and he is not on loan from the campaign committees).

Stone has not been retained as a consultant for the campaign by the National Republican Congressional Committee, said spokesman Paul Lindsay.

Let's make this simple. This is Roger Stone and (most likely) his pal Michael Caputo:

This picture was taken minutes after they left Tedisco's HQ. Period. Stone and Caputo may indeed not be technically working for the Tedisco campaign or the NRCC, but for the Tedisco campaign to claim that they have had "no contact" with Stone is simply not true. They know it. Stone knows it. Now you know it.

Unfortunately, as Philip points out, the contradiction in Tedisco and Stone's story is glaring...and it means one of them is lying. The obvious answer is that Tedisco's campaign responded too quickly to press inquiries and lied to cover themselves. So now that presents even more problems. First and foremost, the story continues and takes away Tedisco's ability to create a narrative in the media. Second, it shows that Tedisco and/or members of his campaign are liars. Finally, it robs the Republicans of Stone's ability to do what he is paid to do (whomever is paying him for this), which is to create havoc for the Democratic candidate. If he could do it to Al Gore, then he could certainly try and take on Scott Murphy. Now, thanks to great reporting in and around The Albany Project, that will not be happening.