Via Shawn Russell at Dailykos, former Republican dirty trickster Roger Stone claims to have learned from “sources” that Mitt Romney picked Paul Ryan as his VP at the behest of David Koch, who promised in return to donate another $100 million to the Romney/Ryan cause. Stone writes at his blog The Stone Zone:
I’ve waited a few days to lay out my analysis of the selection of Paul Ryan for the VP slot on the Romney ticket. Unlike politicos like Dick Morris who bad-mouths the selection privately and shills for it publicly, I’ll tell you what I really think. My sources tell me David Koch played a key role in Ryan’s selection and that Koch’s wife Julia had been quietly lobbying for Ryan. The selection was cemented at the July 22nd fundraiser Koch held for Romney at the former’s sumptuous Hamptons estate.
Koch pledged $100 million more to C-4 and Super PAC efforts for Romney for Ryan’s selection.
It sounds like a conspiracy theory, but even Joe Conason has weighed in on it. According to Conason:
Any such transaction would represent a serious violation of federal election laws and perhaps other statutes, aside from the ethical and character implications for all concerned. Although Stone is not the most reputable figure, to put it mildly, he has been a Republican insider, with access to the party’s top figures, over four decades. His credentials date back to Nixon’s Committee to Reelect The President and continue through the Reagan White House, the hard-fought Bush campaigns, and the Florida fiasco in 2000, when he masterminded the “Brooks Brothers riot” that shut down the Bush-Gore recount in Miami-Dade. Peruse his site and you’ll see his greatest hits and the attention he has drawn from major publications.
I’ve known Roger personally for years and always considered him intelligent and amusing; also extremely dangerous and even erratic. Sometimes I’ve been surprised by how much he knows about the inner-most workings of his party – even when he is clearly persona non grata among the current power elite.
Conason says there is a “ring of candor in Stone’s story.” As Conason notes, Roger Stone may have scores to settle with the Republican Party, which he left early this year to register as a Libertarian. Here is what Stone wrote at the time:
To real conservatives the freedom of the individual is paramount. No one should be able to tell you what you can eat, drink, smoke, or marry, or what kind of gun you can own. We don’t want to be snooped on by an all-knowing big brother government. That is the essence of liberty. The Republican Party has become both a party of big government and also an authoritarian party that would tell us how to live.
That the Republican Party can only produce Mitt Romney, who was an independent during the Reagan-Bush years (and only converted to conservatism after serving one term as governor, never intending to run for re-election while always planning to run for president), Newt Gingrich, a thrice-married egomaniac with delusions of grandeur and Rick Santorum, a religious fanatic, who would tell other people how to live, as presidential candidates proves the GOP may be going the way as the Whigs.
As Conason noted, Stone is a wingnut and unpredictable, but he knows everyone in the Republican Party–he was an insider’s insider. He worked for Nixon’s Committee to Reelect the President (CREEP), and worked in the campaigns of every Republican President since Nixon and served as Senior Adviser to Jack Kemp. Stone was accused of being involved in the Willie Horton ads for Bush I, and he is believed to have been the organizer of the “Brooks Brothers Riot” during the Florida recount in 2000.
In 2008, Stone founded Citizens United Not Timid in 2008. He formed the group in order to slime Hillary Clinton (note the initials in the name), and
it ultimately morphed into the infamous Citizens United.
In his blog post, Stone wrote of his distaste for Paul Ryan’s claim of being a libertarian. He even criticized Ryan’s wardrobe!
The idea of Paul Ryan as a libertarian is a joke. Ryan is a big government, Washington DC Republican who votes to fund foreign interventionism and the erosion of our civil liberties. Ryan began his political career as an acolyte of one of my heroes, Rep. Jack Kemp. Yet Ryan has wandered far from Kemp’s genuine concern about the poor and disadvantaged. Ryan has become more of a faux deficit hawk and less of a pro-growth proponent.
Then there is the question of Ryan’s clothes. I’m not sure if he gets his threads from the Salvation Army or the Goodwill. His suits are too large as are his dress shirts. He appears to be wearing a plastic belt. The Romney team should enlist supply-side guru Larry Kudlow to coach Ryan, not on economics but on how to dress.
It could be that Stone’s admiration for Jack Kemp is at the root of his disgust with Ryan. Ryan claims Kemp as a mentor, but hasn’t really followed his example.
Yes, I know this sounds crazy, but look at all the craziness we’ve seen so far in the 2012 campaign. We have to ask ourselves: after all the dishonesty we have seen from Mitt Shady, can anyone who is paying attention really dismiss Stone’s allegations out of hand?
UPDATE: Roger Stone was not involved in the founding of Citizens United. That organization was founded in 1988 and has been headed by David Bossie since 2000. Thanks to Violet Socks for the correction.