The Problem With Gary Johnson: Roger Stone

I used to be a fan of Gary Johnson. But it now appears he will seek the Libertarian Party nomination for President, and I’m opposed.

Johnson is the former Governor of New Mexico, and a long-time critic of the drug war. Because of the latter, I featured him on my drug policy reform website, Repeal.NET.

Early in the current presidential campaign, I saw Johnson as possibly next in line for the Ron Paul movement. As Paul’s support grew and Johnson floundered, I was hopeful that Johnson would endorse Paul and start working on his campaign. Even if Paul doesn’t win, this would have set the stage for Johnson to be the movement’s candidate in 2016. Johnson’s 1-2% could make a minor difference for the Paul campaign in the early states, especially New Hampshire.

Instead Johnson chose a different path. While he has said positive things about the Paul candidacy, he has not made an overt endorsement. To the contrary the small amount of support Johnson has is drawn away from Paul. His campaign is not even secretive about it, invoking Ron Paul’s name in its request for contributions on the campaign home page:

Giving money to Gary Johnson’s campaign does not “support Ron Paul.”

So far these are minor grievances. The larger problem with Gary Johnson is his decision to embrace evil, in the person of Roger Stone. In September Stone endorsed Johnson, and Johnson posted the endorsement on his campaign website. A couple weeks ago Johnson told Daily Caller that he is working with Stone. And about a week ago Stone posted an interview with Johnson, a puff piece with softball questions.

So what? Stone website showing covers of articles about him Roger Stone is known for dirty tactics in politics. This was thoroughly covered in a piece in the New Yorker about Stone. He brags about it himself, even posting covers of these portrayals on his website.

He includes such quotes on his About page:

Professional lord of mischief - Weekly Standard

Legendary conservative political hit man - TheHill.com

A dashing, colorful artist of the underhanded - David Brooks, New York Times

Skilled in the dark arts of politics - The Atlantic

Master of right-wing political hit jobs - Politico.com

Is this who you’d want on your team? If you embrace dirty politics, Stone is your man.

In case it’s not obvious or you don’t already know, I’m one of Stone’s victims. I’m certainly not the only one, as the quotes above were all written before my encounter with him. About one year ago, Stone participated in a horrendous and false mailer calling me a “sexual predator”. This was sent to thousands of homes, including to my neighbors and my mother. As Stone surely intended, it got a lot of media attention, including this article in The Daily News. Stone bragged about his role in damaging both me and the Libertarian Party on his blog post, Libertarian Payback.

Gary Johnson’s political problem will not be solved by attacking others. His problem is that he did not do well enough in getting media attention, fundraising, and other things to build up his own name.

His choice of Roger Stone is disturbing because he should know Stone’s reputation. Embracing such a negative figure with such a high profile shows that Johnson does not care about doing what’s right. Evil men like Stone should be shunned by any candidate with decency.

I personally reached out to a number of people involved with the Johnson campaign, to make sure they know who Stone is and why they should disavow him. This has not happened.

Despite my past support of Johnson and my general agreement with him on many issues, I cannot accept a candidate who works with Stone, or others like him. I will work to oppose Johnson’s effort to become the LP candidate. Libertarians should recognize that Stone tried to subvert the LP nomination process in New York in 2010, and then attacked the party when he failed.

–Update– Adding emphasis to the Stone-Johnson connection, Stone wrote an article today supporting Johnson in the Daily Caller.

8 Comments

  1. Warren,
    can you elaborate on the whole “Stone participated in a horrendous and false mailer calling me a “sexual predator”.” Is there a link to a previous post about this?

    I honestly don’t know who this Stone guy is, but like any good insider he probably wants it that way.

    What’s your thoughts on Jesse Ventura as an LP prez or VP candidate?

    -Chad

  2. Warren,
    I would like to become the Vice President of the United States of America and the BEST advisor ever so that we can have a Renaissance at this time. My qualifications are prodigious.
    Please let me know to whom I can send a RESUME to leave NO DOUBT about my intentions and my Qualifications.
    Yours truly,
    David Frisko Teacher
    DBA: “America’s Teacher”

  3. Thanks for the link. I’m surprised I didn’t get one of those mailers as I live in your neighborhood (I think). Can you prove Roger Stone was behind them?

    It’s such a ridiculous strawman argument that it’s laughable. It’s too bad whoever put it out didn’t put their names on it so we could all mock them for their stupidity.

    If I ran for governor they’d probably call me an alcoholic. lol!

  4. I think this is an overreaction, Warren. Ron Paul has gotten lots of horrible endorsements, and I’m not just talking about the David Duke stuff. Maybe it’s different, since Ron Paul’s running as a Republican and is sort of obligated to accept those horrible endorsements, but an endorsement’s just an endorsement. :-P

    I’d much rather have Johnson over Ventura. He’s interesting, but libertarians need to move away from the Alex Jones image.

  5. Johnson just assured himself of defeat because Roger Stone is fundamentally incompetent at his profession. He is a narcissist of the worst degree. He is an utter failure and should live out the rest of his days in ignominy.

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