Roger Stone and a Spitzer Controversy [updated]

A new Weekly Standard profile of Roger Stone has a suggestive nugget implying that he is still playing a quietly active role in a broad-based anti-Spitzer coalition:

From the story:

Stone walks everywhere, abhorring cabs because they have lousy air conditioning and "sweating through a suit–that is the worst thing in the world." His brisk gait is interrupted, however, in front of the Harmonie Club on East 60th Street. He stares at it for a while, then smiles.

He tells me that this place could soon become famous.


A little bird has told Stone that Eliot Spitzer’s father, Bernard, is a member. Additionally, so is Dale Hemmerdinger, the landlord Stone profusely apologized to and who also happens to be Spitzer’s choice for chairman of the Metropolitan Transit Authority.

It strikes Stone that a lot of blacks and Hispanics take public transit in New York, and he wonders how it would play if it were to become known that the governor’s pick belongs to a club that excludes them from membership. It seems like the sort of thing that might be troubling at a Hemmerdinger confirmation hearing. And it might be hard for Spitzer to walk away from his nominee, considering his own father belongs to the same club. Maybe nothing will come of it. But it’s weird sometimes, how the news can be going one way, then take a funny bounce.

A month later, it does. Brooklyn assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries writes a letter to Eliot Spitzer, urging him to pull Hemmerdinger’s nomination because he belongs to a predominantly white club, which "sends the wrong signal to the minority community."

UPDATE: A spokesman for Hakeem Jeffries just emailed me to deny the suggestion, made in the Weekly Standard cover story, that Roger Stone tipped him off to the fact that Eliot Spitzer’s dad and nominee to head the MTA were members of the controversial Harmonie Club. From Jeffries’ spokesman Nicholas Moore:

“Assemblyman Jeffries does not know Roger Stone and has never spoken with him about Hemmerdinger, or any other issue. The information that Hemmerdinger was a member of an exclusive social club that Bloomberg resigned from was not presented to the Assemblyman by Roger Stone, or to his knowledge, anyone connected with Roger Stone." Asked how Jeffries first learned about the issue of Hemmerdinger’s membership in the club, Moore declined further comment.

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