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Fraud Tea-Party Candidate Looks Like Plant by John Adler & South Jersey Democrats

July 20, 2010

Runyan and Supporter

  

Following an investigative report in yesterday’s Courier-Post that raises serious questions about the candidacy of mystery third-party candidate Peter DeStefano, the campaign of Republican challenger Jon Runyan (NJ-3) charged that DeStefano is a fraudulent, Trojan Horse candidate who ended up on the ballot with significant help from Democrat operatives close to Congressman John Adler and politically active Democrat lawyers in Burlington and Ocean counties in a cynical, underhanded attempt to hijack the tea party movement and split the conservative vote in November.  

 “We always knew that career politician John Adler would literally say or do anything to salvage his career in Congress and keep feeding at the trough,”  

said Runyan General Consultant Chris Russell.   

“But for Adler associates to get caught propping up a fraudulent third-party candidate in an underhanded attempt to hijack the tea party movement and split the Republican vote takes the cake.  The fact that the Adler campaign and leading Democrats refused to talk to the Courier Post about the evidence linking them to Peter DeStefano, and DeStefano himself cancelled all interviews, tells you all you need to know.  This is nothing more than political dirty tricks, and it’s going to backfire on them in a big way.”  

 The Runyan campaign disclosed the following links between Congressman Adler, South Jersey Democrats and fraudulent, so-called “NJ Tea Party” candidate DeStefano:  

  • According to the Courier Post story, not a single Tea Party group in the district – or in New Jersey – had ever heard of DeStefano prior to his inclusion on an internal poll released by the Adler campaign last week showing him at 12% – a poll that numerous experts in the Courier Post story called completely unreliable.

   

“We said from Day 1 that the poll was bogus and not worth the paper it was printed on – and now independent experts have confirmed that,”  

said Russell.   

“It appears that this bogus poll was nothing more than a vehicle created by the Adler campaign to promote the candidacy of Peter DeStefano and give him a talking point for the press.  Based on the initial feedback in the Courier Post article, it looks like the Adler campaign seriously underestimated the intelligence of local tea party activists, who aren’t fooled one bit by this charade.”  

   

  • Marshall Spevak, a paid professional political operative, with close ties to Congressman Adler, the Camden County Democratic Organization and Adler’s pollster, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, signed DeStefano’s nominating petition, as did other members of his family.  The Spevak’s have contributed thousands to Adler’s campaigns for Congress.

   

“Marshall Spevak’s claim in the Courier Post, that he signed DeStefano’s petition because he was mad at Congressman Adler is preposterous,”  

said Russell, who pointed out that Spevak only recently deleted his Facebook links to Adler and his LinkedIn profile detailing his many connections to Adler and South Jersey Dems, and that his family has close ties to Adler personally.   

“Mr. Spevak is a paid political operative who knew full well that a candidate running under the tea party banner in November could only help his old boss by splitting the Republican vote, not hurt him.  Frankly, I wouldn’t doubt if his involvement in this petition drive didn’t go a lot further than just his signature.  Given his grassroots campaign experience it’s more than plausible to believe that Mr. Spevak helped coordinate the petition drive itself.  Don’t you have to wonder how Mr. DeStefano just magically wound up going door-to-door for signatures in Mr. Spevak’s neighborhood?”  

   

  • The Notaries who signed off on Mr. DeStefano’s petitions both appear to be politically active Democrats in Burlington and Ocean counties, respectively.  Leonard Niedermayer contributed to Jon Corzine’s re-election campaign and is a perfect Democrat voter, while his Facebook page contains numerous references bashing House Republicans.  He certainly doesn’t sound much like someone with an active interest in or affinity for Tea Party candidates for Congress.  The other lawyer was Harold Hensel of Toms River.  Also a Democrat, he has contributed campaign funds locally to Democrats in Lakewood.

 “Based on their backgrounds, I don’t see any other logical reason for two politically active Democrat lawyers from opposite ends of the district to help an unknown, self-proclaimed tea party candidate secure a position on the November ballot unless they were intentionally trying to aid Congressman Adler’s campaign,”  

 said Russell, pointing out that notarizing a few petitions isn’t profitable legal work and is largely done by attorneys with a personal and political connection to the candidate.   

“The questions I have are: Did someone instruct them to help Mr. DeStefano?  Were they paid for their work?  If not, then what was their motivation for helping him?  How did Mr. Hensel in Ocean County even meet Mr. DeStefano?  Our campaign, for one, would love to get an answer to these questions.”  

   

  • DeStefano’s own credibility also must be questioned based on the multitude of false information he gave to PolitickerNJ.com during an interview last week – at the same time he was cancelling interviews with the Courier Post.  First, DeStefano’s claim that he tried to gain entry into the debate between Runyan and Adler on the Michael Smerconish Program was flatly refuted by the Smerconish Program in the Courier Post story.  They claim never to have heard of him. 

   

Second, DeStefano also described himself as a lifelong Republican who then switched to Unaffiliated out of frustration with both parties.  That claim is also false, and leaves out a very curious fact that raises even more questions about Mr. DeStefano’s political leanings and motivations for running.  According to official records from the Burlington County Superintendent of Elections, DeStefano registered as a Republican in Burlington County on September 28, 2000.  Then, on April 6, 2010, he officially switched his registration to Democrat.  A Democrat for less than two months, he then switched his registration to Unaffiliated on June 3, 2010.  Shortly thereafter, on June 8, 2010, he filed as a candidate for Congress under the “NJ Tea Party” banner.  Meaning, it was likely that DeStefano was gathering petition signatures to run as a tea party candidate while registered as a Democrat.  

“If Mr. DeStefano hated Nancy Pelosi and John Adler so much, then why did he change his registration from Republican to Democrat earlier this year?  That makes absolutely no sense at all,”  

said Russell.   

“No wonder Mr. DeStefano cancelled his interview with the Courier Post at the last possible moment – he didn’t have enough prep time with Team Adler to keep all his ridiculous stories straight!”  

   

Click on these links to see documents supporting the above charges:  

http://runyanforcongress.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/DeStefano1.pdf
http://runyanforcongress.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/DeStefano2.pdf

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One Comment leave one →
  1. DIANA ROOD permalink
    July 22, 2010 2:18 pm

    We need to be real informed, and not let anyone that isn’t really a Tea partyer split that vote, letting the Democrtats get back in !!!!!!! Diana
    Rood

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