By Max Pizarro | July 16th, 2010 - 12:04pm
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Peter DeStefano doesn't care if his 3rd Congressional District independent Tea Party candidacy musses the hair of Republican Jon Runyan.

"I've lost faith in the Republicans," announced DeStefano, who says he recently switched from GOP to independent.

"I lost faith when I watched Justin Murphy (the independent Republican candidate in the June 8th Primary) get smeared by a dirty football player."

The remark is a swipe at Runyan, retired from the National Football League as an offensive lineman.

"He hung up his helmet and cleats and and said, 'I think I'll become a politician,'" said DeStefano, a self-professed fierce Reagan Republican who claims he was offended by Runyan's lack of knowledge on conservative issues at a Tea Party event during the primary.

Born in Philadelphia and raised in South Jersey, the small businessman reserves his most severe ire for Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco), who he sees as a boss for U.S. Rep. John Adler (D-Cherry Hill), and an utterly unsalvagable Democratic Party.

"I despise Nancy Pelosi, she forgot about the Constitution," said DeStefano. "We have a Pelosi Democrat in Adler and a Rockefeller Republican in Runyan. Me, I'm just a regular Joe, an average guy. I frame pictures for a living. I'm the framer that's going to save the framework of the Constitution.

"The way I look at this, I'm running a grassroots campaign - not much money, no - no, no money, not a lot of money right now, my son's helping me with social networking - we just got our social networking in place. A lot of people are encouraging me, telling me to run because of the place I have in the community. Everyone knows me. People are fed up with politicians, so it's the perfect storm for a candidate like me. I'm already at 12% in Adler's poll."

Ultra-conservative. Believes in the Bible. Pro-life.

Meanwhile, "To me, you put blue and red together and you get purple. Jon Runyan's a purple Republican," DeStefano said.

For all the freewheeling Gerry Cooney-style rhetoric, he knows the first question insiders are going to punch him with is the following: doesn't he think his hard-right campaign will hurt Runyan and help his arch enemies Pelosi and Adler?

"I'm working for myself," DeStefano said. "People are discrediting me. Let them think what they want to think. The voters will decide.

"I challenged Mr. Runyan to a debate at a Tea Party event," he added. "I tried to get in on the Michael Smerconish debate. I ended up listening and taking notes at home. I want to get in there and talk about what's happening in New Jersey. I'm a Steve Lonegan candidate. He's the real deal. I pattern myself on him."

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: August 29th

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Op-Ed

White House’s Tuition Challenge Being Met in NJ

By MICHAEL W. KLEIN In his weekly radio address on August 16, President Obama challenged colleges “to do their part to bring down costs” and lighten the tuition burden on students.  The state colleges and universities in New Jersey have... Read More >

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My Republican Hillary Clinton Experience    There is a veritable plethora of reportage in print, internet, television and radio media speculating as to whether Hillary Clinton will seek the Democratic... more »
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(Asbury Park, NJ) -- There's a word for someone who says one thing and does another: hypocrite.  There's no shortage of 'em in Trenton -- from ... more »
 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

"Christie’s method for coping with scandal has been more complicated. In January, the seemingly-local issue of lane closings on the George Washington Bridge, which created a massive traffic jam in the Hudson River town of Fort Lee, became one of national interest when it was revealed that one of Christie’s closest staffers had ordered them—for what looked like political retribution against a Democratic mayor. The scandal was quickly dubbed 'Bridgegate,' and unfortunately for Christie, it played into his reputation as a bully. Christie's response was to act unlike himself: humble." - Olivia Nuzzi

- The Daily Beast

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