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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Roger Stone machinations in Florida's U.S. Senate race



Rogerstone Few people took him seriously a couple years back when controversial Republican operative Roger Stone predicted New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer's career would implode. After it did, Stone said he was the one who tipped off authorities to Spitzer's hooker hook-ups.

I didn't take Miami resident Stone especially seriously when he predicted months ago that another Democratic U.S. Senate candidate would emerge and very likely beat Kendrick Meek for the nomination. So when former Miami Mayor Maurice Ferre jumped in, I wondered about his relationship with Stone, who has a reputation for being in the middle of bizarre political theatrics- from the "Brooks Brothers riots" that shut down the Miami-Dade recount in 2000 to the Al Sharpton presidential campaign in 2004.

"Roger Stone is a friend of mine for many, many years, and he has been for many years an adviser...He talked to me about this race about a year ago and said you need to keep an eye on this race,'' said Ferre, who also stressed that Stone is not advising or directly involved in his campaign.

Stone - who has previously worked alongside several of Ferre's Democratic consultants -  said the same thing: "I'm a Republican. I'm not switching sides."  Stone said he backs Charlie Crist, even if it doesn't always seem that way. "Maurice Ferre is a very old friend of mine with whom I have strong regard. I urged him to start looking at this race before Charlie Crist was a canddiate...I have always believed that Democratic nomination could be worth having for a candidate for broad appeal."

So Roger Stone is not practicing his black arts in the U.S. Senate race, got it? But also remember one of Roger Stone's rules: "Admit nothing, deny everything, launch counterattack."

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 2:23pm]


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