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The Family Stone

Admit it: When you read about that fatal mob shooting in Little Italy last winter, you became misty-eyed with nostalgia. In the time it took to mouth fugadaboutit, New York had returned to its glory days of broken windows, subway … Read More

By / August 22, 2007

Admit it: When you read about that fatal mob shooting in Little Italy last winter, you became misty-eyed with nostalgia. In the time it took to mouth fugadaboutit, New York had returned to its glory days of broken windows, subway graffiti, serial killers, and Times Square prostitution — glamorous mayhem. (It took last month's steam pipe explosion to yank us violently off memory lane and back into the haunted wood of sacred terror.)

Fortunately, there are a few staples of Gotham life that never wither or ruin, one being the Tammany style of local politics. Eliot Spitzer must be breathing a sigh of relief today to discover that a storied G.O.P. operative in the behavioral line of Karl Rove and the physical mold of Bob Guccione has made obscene phone calls to Spitzer's dad. And the best part? The operative claims his apartment was the scene of a break-in by a governor supporter, who owns the building and used the phone line to place the call himself, all in a slimeball effort to distract from the wider Albany scandal involving Spitzer's use of state funds to invigilate Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno. The operative's name is Roger J. Stone.

He said his apartment building on Central Park South is owned by H. Dale Hemmerdinger, a fund-raiser for Mr. Spitzer who is the governor’s nominee to be chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and suggested that allies of the governor might have given access to his apartment to someone who made the threatening call. An official at Mr. Hemmerdinger’s company said she was not prepared to comment.

Mr. Stone said: “They have unfettered access to my apartment. I am on television constantly. As Gore Vidal said, never pass up the chance to have sex or be on television.
Putting together a voice tape that sounds like me wouldn’t be hard to do.”

I don't know what's weirder. An excuse like that, or hearing a Republican quote Gore Vidal. Add to this the creeptastic fact that Stone's prior scandal involved sex clubs and X-rated Internet ads, all bought with his credit card and billed to his post office box. Another case of illegal seizure and identity theft, Stone said at the time. Uh-huh. And Mrs. Stone doesn't at all resemble Gozer from Ghostbusters.

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