Did you get this email from “Bernie Sanders”?

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.

djdlogo482x202-1So, 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:

  1. 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).
  2. Email uses the pronoun “I,” which most readers will – following who the email’s “from Bernie Sanders” – assume is Sanders
  3. 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)
  4. 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
  5. 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:




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Comments (8)

  1. ken bank

    I was getting junk emails from Lisa McCormick, I didn’t know who she was other than she was running for Governor, and I unsubscribed from her email list so I haven’t been bothered since. She’s obviously some kind of a whackjob, but in case anybody is interested here’s her website: https://lisamccormick.nationbuilder.com/

  2. Bertin Lefkovic

    I don’t know either Lisa or James well enough to judge either way, but my best sense of the situation is that he has created this fictional campaign in her name and she is allowing him to do it. To call her a whackjob is more than a little harsh.

    I could be wrong, but I think that this article and the ensuing comment that links to the campaign website has the greater potential to benefit his efforts than harm them.

    I think that most Bernie supporters are smart enough to know that this was not a legit e-mail from Bernie and posting the text of the e-mail is giving its content as much if not more exposure than the e-mail itself.

    People like James should be ignored rather than engaged.

    1. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      I agree, Bertin. I’m against calling anybody a whackjob, particularly people I don’t know, and have no reason to disparage. As tied as she may be to Devine, I see no reason why she should be attacked.

  3. Stephen Danley

    I do want to say thanks for putting something up about this — James Devine reached out to both me and my wife at various time over the last few years to try to champion us for office. It was hard to find a write-up about him that he hadn’t written (though that was really evidence enough). This email business is absurd, and deserves to be treated that way.

    1. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      Stephen – The sad thing for me is that James Devine represents himself as ‘progressive,’ which he may be. But especially given how much corruption and outright lying there is in New Jersey politics – and some of it in our party – what I hope to see progressives bring is cleaner, more honest, and more meritorious politics. Methods like Devine’s, which rely on deception and abuse of others’ names and reputations for his own ends, seem anything but progressive to me.

      A total outlier that any progressive I know would reject and distance themselves from.

  4. James Devine

    I suppose you feel better associating yourself with politicians who raise military spending, take bribes, endorse Republicans or made a fortune on Wall Street (then used it to buy an election or two).

    1. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      Good try, James, but you can’t defend a history of misrepresenting yourself as Bernie Sanders, or misrepresenting anybody else including me by self-righteously claiming some sort of purity over others.

      You’ve blown your own credibility with the above. Nobody did it for you.

      1. Bertin Lefkovic

        Amen, Rosi. Jim is the Michael Avenatti of NJ politics.


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