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GOP asks feds to probe NJ Dem’s role in ‘fake’ tea party campaign

By Associated Press
Wednesday, October 13, 2010 9:33 EDT
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Local tea party groups have denounced ‘tea party candidate’ Peter DeStefano

Republicans in New Jersey have asked the Federal Election Commission to investigate Democratic U.S. Rep. John Adler’s campaign.

The state GOP committee says Adler’s campaign helped put a phony tea-party candidate on the ballot to siphon votes from Republican opponent Jon Runyan.

In the complaint, the committee asks the commission to consider whether the Democrats failed to report funds given to tea party candidate Peter DeStefano as in-kind contributions.

The complaint was first reported by the Courier-Post of Cherry Hill.

Democrats with knowledge of the Adler campaign and the [Camden County Democratic Committee (CCDC)] told the Courier-Post that committee staff and volunteers, under the guidance of campaign manager Geoff Mackler and paid consultant Steve Ayscue, collected signatures to get DeStefano on the ballot as a third-party spoiler in the 3rd Congressional District race.

[...]

The complaint argues that based on salaries paid to Ayscue and CCDC staffers Matthew White and William Moen, who would have been obligated to help execute the DeStefano plan, that any significant aid to DeStefano should have been disclosed.

“Should your investigation reveal the facts and news reports accurately describe the work performed for the benefit of DeStefano or that additional work for DeStefano was performed by (paid Adler or CCDC staffers or consultants) . . . compensation (paid to them) constitutes a “contribution’ to DeStefano,” reads the complaint filed by state GOP Chairman Jay Webber.

Local tea party groups have denounced DeStefano’s campaign.

Polls show a tight race between Adler and Runyan in southern New Jersey’s 3rd District.

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Information from: Courier-Post, http://www.courierpostonline.com/

Source: AP News

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