Tea Party groups in New Jersey are outraged over ads that have mysteriously surfaced in support of a supposed Tea Party candidate. The sponsored ads on Google are being served up all over the web, in places like BlogTalkRadio, in support of one Peter DeStefano, and direct viewers to the website of njteapartycoalition.org
The problem is, the NJ Tea Party Coalition
, the owners of that website, did not purchase any such ads.
"I find this ad extremely troubling," Brian Baldwin of the NJ Tea Party Coalition told local press. "We did not authorize this nor are we supporting Mr. DeStefano."
What's worse is that the group - and every Tea Party group in NJ that I've communicated with - has been denouncing DeStefano as a "fake" Tea Party candidate for months now. They've all been complaining about this to the appropriate authorities for some time now. After seeing these latest ads, Tea Party leaders in NJ are urging their members and other like-minded leaders to contact the local election officials
and the Secretary of States' office
to look into DeStefano's candidacy.
After hounding the press about their suspicions, some in the media had taken notice of the Tea Party's claims in NJ. And they agreed.
From the Star-Ledger
this past July:
Something stinks in the 3rd Congressional District race, and it’s not John Runyan’s old, sweaty NFL jersey.
Last week, in the middle of the contentious contest between Runyan, the former pro football player and Republican challenger, and U.S. Rep. John Adler, the Democratic incumbent, a mysterious third candidate suddenly entered the race.
Peter DeStefano, the stumper who has everyone stumped, came out of nowhere. Well, actually, he didn’t. DeStefano’s name first surfaced in an internal poll commissioned by Adler and released to several blogs, the Courier-Post reported.
Who the heck is Peter DeStefano?
Well, that's what Tea Party groups in NJ wanted to know too. Who is Peter DeStefano? Thanks to some diligent media in NJ (yes, some do exist), we know exactly who DeStefano is. It was already confirmed in numerous media reports on October 8th, as was reported here at Big Government
Let's just say he's most definitely NOT a real Tea Party candidate. Simply ask some Democratic staffers.
The Daily Record
in NJ has an update and all the details on the whole dirty story:
On a balmy evening last May, about three dozen members of the South Jersey Young Democrats convened at the Camden County Democratic Committee Headquarters in Cherry Hill. Freeholder Jeffrey Nash warned the assembled crowd of party volunteers and legislative aides that the sour economy would make the coming election season difficult for the Democratic majority.
He told the young activists they had to get out the vote for Democrats in the fall.
Then Steve Ayscue -- a paid CCDC (Camden County Democratic Committee) consultant -- took the floor with a bearded, flame-haired man few had seen before. The latter was Geoff Mackler, dispatched from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to lead freshman Rep. John Adler's re-election campaign.
Ayscue and Mackler had a plan to ensure Adler's victory. They just needed volunteers.
Internal numbers-crunching showed the difference between Adler and his Republican opponent -- then undetermined -- would hover around 5 percent. To give Adler an edge, Ayscue had recruited a then-unidentified man to run as a third-party candidate.
That candidate would act as a conservative spoiler to confuse voters and pull votes from Adler's eventual Republican challenger. But first he had to get on the ballot.
With the filing deadline just weeks away, CCDC needed volunteers to hit the streets and collect signatures -- fast.
Some of the SJYD members were stunned. Others willingly signed on.
By June 8, more than the 100 valid signatures needed were collected and received by the state Division of Elections.
That candidate was Peter DeStefano, a picture framer from Mount Laurel. On Nov. 2, he will appear on the "NJ Tea Party" line on the ballot.
That's right. It's already been confirmed numerous times that DeStefano is NOT a real Tea Party candidate. And as one in NJ who is close with our state Tea Party organization, NJ Tea Parties United
, I can personally confirm the reports. Not a single Tea Party group in NJ has endorsed Peter DeStefano.
Rep. John Adler (D-NJ) has repeatedly denied
any knowledge of such a scheme.
It's one thing to use dirty Democratic tricks to get on the ballot in an effort to siphon votes away from the Republican candidate, former NFL football player Jon Runyan
. But it's another to fraudulently represent yourself as another existing Tea Party organization in online advertising campaigns, even using that group's URL to make it seem as though that group has endorsed your fake candidate.
So, the latest question still remains. Who is fraudulently using the NJ Tea Party Coalition's
website address in Google advertisements?
I'm sure it won't be too hard to track down. After all, Google knows, doesn't it? So does the FEC. Stay tuned ...