These days, veteran GOP dirty trickster Roger Stone and longtime Hillary Clinton foe David Bossie are on the same side, helping GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump. Bossie was recently named deputy campaign manager for the Trump campaign, and Stone, who used to be a paid adviser to the celebrity mogul, is a fierce surrogate for Trump in the media. But the two have not always been allies. Several years ago, they battled in court over a misogynistic political group Stone had formed to bash Clinton.
At one point in 2008, while Hillary Clinton was first running for president, Stone was sitting in a bar conducting an informal focus group about the former first lady and hatched a toxic and offensive idea for thwarting her. He filed some paperwork with the IRS and created an independent political group called Citizens United Not Timid—also known as CUNT. He recruited Jeff Jones, a DJ-bartender from Miami who went by the name of Noodles (not to be confused with this DJ Noodles), to serve as its chairman. Stone’s group set up a couple of websites, including WhatIsHillary.com, which featured a logo designed to look like a woman’s crotch. Its main mission was to sell T-shirts with this image and the words, “To educate the public about what Hillary Clinton really is.”
The group’s work is one example in a long list of misogynistic attacks on Clinton, dating back to Bill Clinton’s first campaign for the presidency in 1992. And in the current presidential campaign, Trump has suggested Clinton doesn’t have “a presidential look,” claimed she lacks “stamina,” and accused her of “shouting” when she speaks forcefully (apparently with encouragement from Stone himself). Citizens United Not Timid’s brashness now seems like a warm-up for the 2016 campaign
Not long after its unveiling, the organization heard from another anti-Clinton outfit that might normally be an ally: Citizens United, the conservative advocacy group that was then run by Bossie. The group was annoyed that Stone’s organization had copied the name of the long-established organization. While Citizens United had spent years attacking Hillary, often hitting similarly misogynistic notes, Stone’s work apparently crossed the line.
Citizens United sent Stone a letter, accusing him of deliberately appropriating its name and trying to capitalize on the publicity surrounding Citizen United’s forthcoming release of the Hillary: The Movie, the histrionic anti-Clinton docudrama that led to the landmark Supreme Court case opening the floodgates to money in politics. Citizens United demanded that Stone give up the group’s name immediately and take down CUNT’s websites. Stone refused, so Citizen Union sued him, DJ Noodles, and CUNT in federal court in Florida, accusing them of deceptive trade practices, unfair competition, and trademark infringement. The complaint alleged that the group’s “sole business appears to be to use its trade name—and specifically the vulgar acronym formed from its trade name—to slur Hillary Clinton, to sell and distribute T -shirts bearing a vulgar and obscene logo and to collect names of those who are similarly inclined to characterize Ms. Clinton.” Citizens United complained that Stone’s appropriation of its name would confuse potential donors and tarnish its reputation.
In response, Stone—who recently published a book accusing the Clintons of waging a “war on women”—argued that CUNT was a constitutionally protected expression of free speech. He argued in a court filing that his group was created to educate the public about a “well known public figure,” not to make money or to sell stuff for traditional commercial purposes. He said the name was chosen after “conducting a survey of like-minded people regarding what they thought of a certain public figure. Specifically, we asked a significant number of people to describe the particular public figure in one word. While the word ‘bitch’ came up most often, we were unable to come up with a name for the organization based thereon.”
After a brief flurry of legal filings, Stone capitulated two months after the suit was filed and agreed to change the name. He came up with a new one that all parties could accept. CUNT, the acronym, would live on, so long as Stone dropped the “United” and the full name of his group would be Citizens Uniformly Not Timid. With all that behind them, Bossie and Stone are now both important foot soldiers in Trump’s sometimes misogynistic crusade against Hillary Clinton.