It looks like that Gloria Allred's October Surprise is Maureen Stemberg, the woman who divorced the Staples founder a quarter of a century ago in a bitterly fought contest and who seems to try to re-litigate the matter every few years since then.
Ace of Spades located a less than sympathetic 2006 Boston Herald article in which the former Mrs. Stemberg was trying to embarrass her ex husband and his politically ambitious friend Mitt Romney into giving her more money because..... Well just because. (Link is to a posting of the Herald article on a blog. Original is behind a subscription firewall):
Maureen Sullivan Stemberg, ex-wife of Staples founder, sits in her $5,200 a month, 14th-floor, concierge-at-the-door, elegantly furnished Back Bay apartment and tells you she's broke. She can't work. She can't afford a car, her medications, her rent, even the family springer spaniel, J.J., who she just gave away.
She produces doctors notes detailing medical woes: possible lupus, bouts of pneumonia requiring hospitalizations, a history of cancer, petit mal seizures, plus recommendations for thrice weekly psychotherapy and psychiatry. She says her insurance won't cover mental health care.
"I'm going to be out on the street," says Sullivan Stemberg, a tiny, 50-ish woman who alternates between an overanxious recitation of worries, and tears. "I've had a change of circumstances."
And now she wants her ex-husband, Tom Stemberg, whose worth has been estimated at upwards of $150 million, to dramatically increase his support, guarantee health insurance forever and buy her another home in a concierge building. "I'm sicker and thinner every day," she says. "I'm not asking for anything more than he did for his other wife and girlfriend."
It seems that Maureen Staples sold half the Staples stock she received in the property settlement before the company went public. She also seems to have spent most that money on lawyers to further contest the settlement. The comments to a nonpolitical blog where the Herald article was posted back in 2006 under the title Should this wealthy executive's ex wife get more money? are mostly negative.
Ace also seems to think that money is what matters most to Stemberg and Allredin 2012.
I do not see any reason to think the six-years-later version of the story is much different.
I note there were no prior allegations of "juicy stuff" about Romney. Seems to me the Former Mrs. Stemberg's just relitigates the terms of her divorce every few years.
I'm not taking any position on the case of Stemberg v. Stemberg. I'm just asking what the hell on earth this has to do with Mitt Romney, except that he is -- as he was in 2006 -- a convenient catspaw.
It Also Seems To Me... That this is not a political story. It seems to me that the Romney Card has been played simply in hopes of pressuring Romney into pressuring Stemberg.
The blogger who asked "Should this wealthy executive's ex wife get more money?" six years ago noted back then that Stemberg had been busy spreading her story all over the web. At Huffington Post someone using the name Maureen Stemberg has been posting her admiration of Obama, her dislike of the Romneys and "Partner in Crime Mr. Staples" plus disdain for Mormonism. A great many voters have experienced firsthand a bitter, vindictive former spouse who won't let go. They are sorry creatures most people try to avoid. Unless there is a lot more to this latest permutation of the War on Women attack I expect it be draw only slightly more attention than Sandra Fluke's recent appearance on behalf of Obama.
There is another far more pleasant and vastly more significant surprise to talk about this month. Massive crowds have been turning out both to protest Obama's policies and to support Romney/Ryan. Last Sunday afternoon an estimated 5.500 people showed at a "Rally in Support of American Coal Jobs," held just outside the town of Grundy, population 1,100, in poverty stricken Buchanan County in southwestern Virginia.
Will Morefield, who represents the area in the Virginia House of Delegates, called on the crowd to vote in November for leaders who will support coal. "I'm here to tell you that Yes We Can," he said. "Yes We Can correct our mistakes on Election Day."
Mitt's son Matt was in Grundy on behalf of the Romney/Ryan campaign. 5,500 is a good crowd for a noon rally in downtown Chicago. On a beautiful October Sunday afternoon in a rural area it is simply astounding.
Over at Instapundit guest blogger Sarah Hoyt wrote about her attempts on Tuesday to get to Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan's joint appearance at a famous rock music venue, the Red Rocks Amphitheater outside Denver. The amphitheater seats 9.450. The local Fox affiliate estimated the overflow crowd inside at more than 12,000. Here is what Hoyt wrote about what was happening outside.
...we left our home in time to get there just before five under normal conditions. About thirty miles out, the highway became a parking lot, where we got stuck for the next two hours. The freaky thing was the lines extending behind us at least as much. The highway exit was closed, but we're conservatives/libertarians, we find ways. So we went back roads, parked in way outlaying parking lot (for another facility) and tried to walk. Only the people ahead of us were getting turned back at the door, so we all walked back to our cars shouting stuff like "Romney" and " Soon a real president." Look at those pictures and let me tell you, at least that many of us were turned away or prevented from approaching.
Photos are here and a 360 panoramic view here. With a crowd that size Hoyt was on to something when she wrote it looks like they're gonna need a bigger October surprise.