One of Roger Stone’s sworn enemies from his days as National Chairman of the Young Republicans (YRs) says that the veteran GOP consultant’s conviction in U.S. District Court Friday was “long overdue” after what she called Stone’s “playing dirty tricks in politics for most of his life.”
Margaret “Margie” Cooke of East Lansing, Michigan, a moderate who was at dagger’s ends with Stone during their days as Young Republicans in the 1970’s, spoke to Newsmax a day after Stone was convicted of seven counts of lying to Congress under oath and impeding an investigation.
Asked how she felt that Stone could go to prison for as many as twenty years, Cooke proved the old adage that “YR feuds die hard” by replying: “It would not make me unhappy at all!”
When the YRs met to elect a national chairman in 1977, Cooke recalled, there was still bitterness between her fellow supporters of President Gerald Ford the year before and backers of his near-successful rival on the right, former California Gov. Ronald Reagan.
Cooke vigorously backed fellow Michiganer Ford while Stone had been a Reagan man. But, she insisted, “the opposition to Roger as national chairman had less to do with the ’76 nomination race and more to do with his history playing dirty tricks in politics.”
She specifically cited his making a donation in the name of the “Young Socialist Alliance” in 1972 to President Nixon’s revival for renomination, Rep. Pete McCloskey, R-CA. In addition, Stone had placed a spy in the campaign of Democratic nomination hopeful Hubert Humphrey and the spy later became Humphrey’s driver.
(Virtually all those close to President Nixon, among them then-White House speechwriter Pat Buchanan, say Stone was nowhere near the 37th President or the top echelon of his campaign; the Nixon Foundation says it is a “gross misstatement” to claim that Stone, who quit George Washington University at age 20 to work on Nixon’s re-election, was an adviser or confidant of the President).
Cooke pointed out that when Stone was engaged in his alleged trickery, he did so under the alias “Jason Ranier.” As Young Republicans gathered for their convention in Memphis, Tennessee, opponents of Stone’s brandished lapel buttons reading “Who is Jason Ranier?” (The buttons were the work of Crawford’s fellow moderate from East Lansing, Thomas Klunzinger, who had a button-making machine in his home).
It was in vain. Stone had the votes of an increasingly conservative conclave and, at 24, was elected YR national chairman. (Cooke reminded us that Stone’s campaign manager was future business partner and Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, “who is now in jail himself”).
Cooke never attended any YR meetings at which Stone presided and has not seen him since he became national chairman. Agreeing Stone has gone far in his career, Cooke quickly rejoined: “But now something has happened that was finally able to stop him.”
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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