An order restraining shadowy perennial candidate Lisa McCormick and her controversial life partner, James Devine to stop confusing voters with direct mail that gives their appearance that it’s coming from the Democratic state party will remain in effect until another hearing on Tuesday, Superior Court Judge Alan G. Lesnewich said today.
Devine made an audio appearance in a virtual court hearing today, but McCormick was a no-show despite being ordered to appear.
The New Jersey Democratic State Committee filed a lawsuit against Devine and McCormick alleging that the two are seeking to confuse voters by suggesting that some school board candidates have the backing of top Democratic officials. Gov. Phil Murphy’s photo appears on the mailers and Democrats worry that the two are falsely giving the impression that they represent the state Democratic Party.
Representing himself in a hearing, Devine maintains that he is the owner of NJDems.com New Jersey Democratic Party, but Raj Parikh, an attorney for the state party, told the court that Devine registered the name in 2009 but that it’s been defunct for failing to file reports since 2012.
Devine reported to the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission on Friday that he’s spent $3,088 on the Roselle mailer. Parikh wants to know where the money came from, but Devine didn’t offer anything up.
“For reasons of my own, I informed voters in Roselle that respected Democratic leaders are supporting candidates for various offices, including the Board of Education,” Devine said in a court filing. “I do not need anyone’s permission to tell voters to cast a ballot for them.”
Devine testified that he had permission from those whose names were included.
But Parikh told Lesnewich that one of the Democrats Devine’s mailer represented as endorsing his candidates, former Roselle Mayor Christine Dansereau, said she had never authorized the use of her name.