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….

Regional Tea Party groups had never heard of DeStefano until the Adler campaign released partial results of an internal poll last summer that indicated he might be a viable third-party spoiler….