The New Jersey Republican State Committee has formally requested a criminal investigation into the 3rd Congressional District contest.Sure seems to be a lot of smoke there.
In a letter sent Monday to U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman and Attorney General Paula Dow, state GOP Chairman Jay Webber asks for a probe into "whether any crimes have been committed in connection with the efforts of certain individuals and organizations to have Peter De-Stefano become a candidate for the United States House of Representatives for the 3rd Congressional District of New Jersey."
Rep. John Adler, a freshman Democrat, has denied knowing about a plan to recruit a third-party spoiler in the race against Republican challenger Jon Runyan. But signatures from donors and allies appear on the ballot, including the signature of Adler's former communications aide.
Earlier this month, Democrats involved with the Adler campaign and the Camden County Democratic Committee said Adler consultant Steve Ayscue devised a plan to get DeStefano on the ballot with the help of campaign manager Geoff Mackler.
More than 200 signatures were collected to get DeStefano, previously unknown to any Tea Party groups, on the ballot.So his father doesn't have two nickels to rub together and all of a sudden the kid is bragging about becoming wealthy? Hmmm.
Helping a candidate get on the ballot is legal. But secretly funding or making promises to get a candidate to run may brush against the law.
"In the event Mr. DeStefano or his son were remunerated or promised employment in exchange for becoming a candidate, it is possible that a crime was committed," Webber writes.
DeStefano has a documented history of financial problems, including losing his home to foreclosure and declaring bankruptcy.
The Courier-Post has reported that DeStefano's son, Pete, appeared to brag on his Facebook page about being politically connected and about to become wealthy.
According to federal law, promises of employment or other compensation in exchange for political activity are punishable by a fine or imprisonment of up to one year.More here.
A Stockton College/Zogby poll released last week indicates the DeStefano allegations are helping Runyan. He jumped 10 points among undecided likely voters to 40 percent while Adler was at 37 percent - a difference within the margin of error.
DeStefano has a documented history of financial problems, including losing his home to foreclosure and declaring bankruptcy. Around the time DeStefano"s ballots were filed with the state Division of Elections, his son Pete boasted of being politically connected and in for a payday on his public Facebook page.Looks like the father is just an illiterate as his son.
"One step closer to becoming a self made millionaire," DeStefano wrote on June 8, the day the petitions were filed.
June 9: "Pops is on the ballot! Busines (sic) plan in the works, things are all good!"
June 22: "First rule of politics, its (sic) not what you know but who you know and who you can impress ;-)."
Asked about the Facebook postings during an Oct. 15 press conference, Adler again denied knowledge of the DeStefano effort and insisted his staff was not involved. Later that day, Pete DeStefano's Facebook page was taken offline.
"There's certainly smoke here and we suspect there's fire," said Webber, reached by phone on Monday evening. "The appropriate thing to do in this instance was to ask the proper authorities to look into it."
The elder DeStefano has refused to meet with the Courier-Post since last summer. In an email exchange on Oct. 7, DeStefano wrote, "I became a canidate (sic) of my own free will. No one promised me ANTYING (sic) before, during or for after this campaign.Previously.
"NO one has rewarded me for becoming a canidate (sic)!"