The Republican fixer and the Manhattan Madam will be signing autographs at the local adult entertainment emporium this weekend. Here’s a crash course in why that matters.
Republican political operative Roger Stone and “Manhattan Madam” Kristin Davis, two of New York’s most notorious denizens, have entered the limelight yet again — and this time, it’s happening right here in Richmond, VA. On Saturday, May 4 at 8 PM the two will be featured at Paper Moon’s Southside location to sign autographs and pose for photos.
The purpose of the appearance is unclear; Stone, President Trump’s former campaign advisor, was indicted in January on seven counts of obstruction, perjury, witness tampering, and making false statements. All of the charges stemmed from his interactions related to the release of stolen Democratic Party emails by WikiLeaks. He plead not guilty to all charges and was released on a $250,000 bond. He remains free awaiting a federal hearing in November of this year, but as pointed out by The Daily Beast, the legal proceedings have already left Stone broke and desperate for quick cash.
Stone has since been finding ways to peddle all sorts of personal-brand paraphernalia, from unisex ‘Roger Stone Did Nothing Wrong’ T-shirts, in exchange for which he’s charging $33 (in case you thought Kanye wasn’t bad enough), to straight-up begging on his website for supporters to donate to his legal defense fund. According to his defense fund’s website, his legal expenses are projected to cost upwards of $2 million, meaning Stone either has to sell over 60 thousand T-shirts, or find other ways to make money.
While making appearances at strip clubs for self-promotion purposes is hardly a new thing, at least for those, like Davis, connected to the adult-entertainment industry, Stone has been known to attract the violent, ultra-right wing Proud Boys to his events. Footage and various reports have shown Stone participating in their rites, hiring them as security. and participating in the group’s videos — even referring to himself with the Proud Boys catch-phrase “Western chauvinist.” Stone denies membership within the group.
Despite concern that his appearance could incite violence, Paper Moon projects director Mike Dickinson, who reportedly helped book Stone, told the Daily Beast that Stone was “a professional,” and he doesn’t expect violence to break out from his appearance. Dickinson recently told a conservative radio show he wanted to “deport” the anti-fascists who oppose Stone’s appearance.
Dickinson declined to tell the Daily Beast how much Paper Moon is paying Stone.
Let’s just say he’s getting paid a nice amount,” Dickinson said.
Davis, a close friend and associate to Stone, voluntarily testified before Congress last August, stating she had no knowledge of any collusion with Russia.
Davis and Stone have been friends since 2008; they met on a New York radio show following her release from Rikers, where she served several months for money laundering and running a high-end prostitution ring between 2003 and 2008. Davis, having began her career working at a hedge fund, was first asked to acquire escorts for her bosses. Her client list eventually grew to include New York’s rich and famous, including then-Governor Eliot Spitzer.
Stone, whose enmity toward Spitzer went far beyond standard party politics, hinted on a conservative radio show in December 2007 that Spitzer wouldn’t make it through the end of his term. Stone made a similar prediction in August 2016, a month before WikiLeaks released Hillary Clinton campaign chair John Podesta’s hacked emails, stating it would soon be Podesta’s “time in the barrel.”
Stone remained involved with Davis during her run for Governor of New York in 2010, and her run (against Spitzer, among others) for state comptroller in 2013 on the Libertarian ticket. Stone even managed her campaign during the latter race. In the same era, Davis developed websites for Stone, including StoneColdTruth.com and StoneOnStyle.com.
In 2013, Davis was convicted for selling prescription drugs to an FBI informant, ultimately spending two years in prison. Stone kept tabs on her until her release in May 2016. After she was released from a halfway house, she moved into Stone’s apartment on 71st Street in New York in February 2017. The two shared the duplex until Stone’s arrest in January.
Stone’s entry into the political dark arts began in earnest on the 1972 Nixon campaign, pitting political opponents against one another and spying rival candidates. In 1975, he founded the National Conservative Political Action Committee, which, for reference, Time magazine characterized in 1979 as one of the three most important ultra-conservative organizations in existence.
NCPAC became one of the first groups to circumvent contribution limits of the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) by exploiting loopholes in a 1976 federal ruling. From there, the group went on to provide council and organize successful campaigns, including the 1980 election of President Ronald Reagan and the 1988 election of President George H.W. Bush. NCPAC Chairman and co-founder Terry Dolan once boasted to the Washington Post, “A group like ours could lie through its teeth, and the candidate it helps stays clean.”
Stone has since primarily worked with Trump, both on his 2000 third-party campaign for the presidency, and most recently in 2015. He’s also made appearances on several conservative talk shows including the notorious, now-canceled InfoWars, and was the subject of a recent Netflix documentary, Get Me Roger Stone.
Together, the two make a dirty batch, two scoundrels that decided to appear together for no particular reason besides to make some cash. It could be a red herring to draw attention away from the Mueller investigation’s fallout, or maybe a way for Davis to promote her new salon. Or perhaps it’s just a seedy excuse for further self-indulgence.
And we Richmonders are expected to attend out of some kind of ironic engagement. Personally, I’m not interested — but if you are, feel free to pay the $25 ticket price and take boozy photos, exchange xenophobic jokes with the Proud Boys, and get your MAGA on with the two until 3 AM. Hell, maybe Stone will give lap dances.
To check out Davis’ reintegration into normal society and putting the past behind her, check out her instagram @ManhattanMadam. It’s a hoot.