BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – When Local 10 investigative reporter Bob Norman confronted the nationally notorious political dirty trickster Roger Stone -- now a top campaign strategist for Sheriff Scott Israel -- about a $1.5 million federal tax lien recently filed against him in Broward County, Stone didn't take it well.
He attacked physically and verbally.
"You smell like alcohol," Stone said to Norman at his door.
Both Norman, who laughed at the assertion as Stone shut his door, and Local 10 photographer Bob Palumbo attest that it wasn't true, but it didn't take long for Stone, who began his political career with Richard Nixon and is a former business partner of Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein, to ramp up one of his patented smear jobs on Norman based on the false allegation.
Later that day, Stone fed his spin to a small Deerfield Beach blog which alleged that Norman "reeked of alcohol" and was "drunken" during his encounter with Stone. He's quoted in the blog post calling Norman a "psycho," among several other loaded names. He also claimed Norman "snapped" and that he "accosted" his wife.
The video shows that it was Stone who lashed out at the camera and his wife, who tried to hit him with a car cover for his Jaguar.
After a letter from a Local 10 attorney, the blog post was taken down and retracted, but Stone does much of his name calling in Broward on the Broward Bugle, a campaign and propaganda website for Israel that he founded in 2012 with current BSO general counsel Ron Gunzburger.
Today it's published by long-time Stone cohort Andrew Miller, whose stepmom Dianne Thorne and fiancée Jen Hobbs have been hired by Israel to work at BSO, with Thorne rising to the title of assistant to Israel's chief of staff.
Miller also gave a mysterious $120,000 contribution to a PAC supporting Israel in the 2012 campaign. Norman went to Miller's shuttered working class home in Margate that he owns with Hobbs to ask him where he got that money. No one answered the door, but Miller tried to make the visit to his house by Norman into a sex crime on the sheriff-tied Bugle. Hobbs drew up fake police sketch of Norman and Miller claimed Norman was a "peeping Tom" who was wanted by the police -- all of it false, though the blog post did get the attention of the Margate Police Department.
Israel declined an interview request to talk about his association with Stone, the use of a campaign website by Stone and the hiring of Stone's cohorts with taxpayers' money.
Stone has a long track record in dirty tricks, having practiced what he at times calls the "dark arts" of politics with the likes of the late GOP operative Lee Atwater and infamous Joseph McCarthy attorney Roy Cohn.
Former New York Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Warren Redlich got a crash course in Stone's brand of politics in 2010. At the time, Stone was overseeing the campaign of convicted prostitute Madam Kristin Davis, who recently pleaded guilty to dealing in prescription pills. Stone was involved in issuing a bogus "sex predator alert" mailer on Redlich that was sent to his neighbors and his town saying he was "sick twisted pervert" and urging people to call the police if they saw him near a school. Redlich, who has since moved to Boca Raton, is a family man with no criminal record and is now suing Stone for defamation.
"This was designed to punish me, to punish my wife, to punish my family," Redlich said. "The dark side of politics is lying and particularly smearing other people, other candidates. We talk about Roger Stone, that's his specialty... He brags about being evil."