Congressman John Adler's campaign and the Camden County Democratic Committee recruited ""NJ Tea Party'' candidate Peter DeStefano to confuse conservative voters and hurt Adler's Republican challenger this fall, Democratic operatives say.
"The goal was to take 5 percent of (Republican Jon) Runyan's vote,'' said a Democrat with direct knowledge of the Adler campaign and CCDC operations.
"Steve Ayscue designed the plan with Geoff Mackler following his lead.''
Ayscue is a high-profile Democratic consultant who runs the CCDC. Mackler is Adler's campaign manager.
JerseyDemocratic operatives with direct knowledge of the Adler campaign and CCDC operations spoke to the Courier-Post on condition of anonymity because of what they described as ethical qualms with Adler's campaign.
"From the beginning, orders have flowed from Cherry Hill,'' said one Democratic operative, referring to CCDC headquarters at Garden State Pavilions shopping center off Route 70.Adler, who is in a knife-fight with Runyan in the conservative-leaning 3rd district, is aware of the DeStefano plan, Democrats said.