Yesterday, a lot of progressive folks got email claiming to be from Bernie Sanders, with his name in the From field. As you see below, the email purports to be an earnest communique from Bernie, criticizing the legal work of his NJ campaign chair Asm John Wisniewski, who has a law practice and is running for governor. If you think it looks real, it’s because it was designed to. But it’s fake.
The faker is James Devine, who’s done this sort of thing before (I’ve been a victim of his, but not the only one). I challenged him on this last night in a series of private messages. And, just like he did when he misrepresented me, he dived deep into self-justification and denial. The level of his deception is much higher when who he’s faking is Bernie Sanders and not me. And the stakes much higher, because he’s monkeying with a goddamn Governor’s election. Yup – he doesn’t tell you his hit job on Wisniewski’s on behalf of Lisa McCormick (his wife? dunno), who you’ve probably never heard of, or only when he started to promote her for governor.
So, who is this guy? Well, his website’s stupendously self-aggrandizing. I stopped reading after “masterful Democratic Party campaign strategist” who’s “at the center of of political activity in New Jersey.” For a more objective view, I followed his site’s link to his Wikipedia page. But it’s been removed by Wikipedia admins. Reasons? They’re cited: “Peacock puffery.” “Ridiculous level of COI/POV.” (Conflict of Interest/Point of View). “Completely non-notable political consultant and journalist.” A quick Google search turns up some pretty dubious history.
No beef. Listen, I don’t say any of this in defense of Wiz (who can defend himself), or against Lisa McCormick (who I never heard of). I never mentioned Devine misrepresenting me (and also DFA) here at BJ, because I had to fix that damage years ago. But goddamn it, I was a NJ delegate for Bernie, so I’m going to get his back, as others are doing today. James Devine has no standing to represent Bernie Sanders, and never did.
Check it out:
- Email says it’s from Bernie Sanders (it isn’t). Most people will skim past the email address next to Bernie’s name (which isn’t Bernie’s and I’ve blacked it out; it’s one of Devine’s).
- Email uses the pronoun “I,” which most readers will – following who the email’s “from Bernie Sanders” – assume is Sanders
- Subject field – “Sanders has not endorsed Wisniewski” is technically true, but written in such a way to suggest that Wiz is lying about endorsement (Sanders hasn’t endorsed anyone yet)
- Devine claims the email’s clean because he “signs his name” at the bottom – but you’ve already been led to believe it’s from Bernie, and that’s at the top, and in Bernie’s red-white-blue logo, which I’d be surprised if Devine is legally allowed to use
- There is no “NJ for Bernie” which Devine claims to represent. And he never represented Sanders’ campaign, or delegates. He’s making that up, too. His fraudulent little email’s below: