Democratic strategist James J. Devine is considering a lawsuit that would allege that Senator Joseph Cryan and his political operation violated the Ku Klux Klan Act.
That 1871 law prohibits interference with any citizen who is lawfully entitled to vote, from giving support or advocacy in favor of any qualified candidate. Intended to protect Congress members in the South during Reconstruction, the statute protects against conspiracies in response to Klux Klux Klan violence and intimidation.
Cryan allegedly broke that law by abusing the legal process to target Devine, an Elizabeth native who was an advisor to Mayor Chris Bollwage, former Senator Ray Lesniak, the late Councilman Charles W. Harris, Linden Mayor Derek Armstead, Hillside Mayor Joe Menza and the late Charlotte Defilippo, a longtime Union County Democratic chair.
While America’s robust political system allows many things, Cryan crossed the line when he hired lawyers to pressure a web hosting service into disabling Devine’s account, which resulted in taking down websites belonging to New Jersey oldest weekly newspaper and various political campaigns with which the strategic consultant is involved.
“Without as court order, and without a shred of evidence, Joe Cryan bullied people into submission, in an effort to silence critics and deny the public access to the truth about his move out of state, his anti abortion record in the Legislature, his self-enrichment and his alliance with Trump-loving Republicans,” said Devine. “Despicable and cowardly actions like these are unAmerican, but these ‘anything to win’ tactics might backfire and we will seek justice by showing that Joe Cryan violated the Ku Klux Klan Act.”
Devine said it is noteworthy that Cryan violated the Ku Klux Klan Act in furtherance of a campaign against a Black Assemblyman, Jamel Holley of Roselle, who is challenging the incumbent for the Democratic nomination to the Senate in the June 8 primary election.
If Devine is successful, the lawsuit could result in compensatory and punitive damages levied against the Union County lawmaker, who purchased a home in Pennsylvania shortly after his election to the New Jersey Senate four years ago.
The Cryan conspiracy
“A new wave of fascism is inundating the world and Senator Joe Cryan is emblematic of that fascist wave,” said Devine, who explained that Cryan abused his political offices for personal benefit, including more than $257,500 in tax-funded salaries, government jobs for nine of his family members and access to donors and preferred ballot placement that are part of New Jersey’s institutionally corrupt political system.
“Trump’s election resulted in an accelerated assault on democratic institutions, a global increase in authoritarianism, immigrant concentration camps, the starvation of Yemen, and an effort to maintain power by force,” said Devine. “Joe Cryan using very similar tactics on a smaller scale to maintain his power in New Jersey.”
Devine said his websites highlighted the fact that Cryan is endorsed by New Jersey’s largest police union, which last year supported Republican President Donald Trump. Devine said they also exposed Cryan’s long record of opposition to women’s reproductive freedom and privacy rights, including his support for outlawing abortion with limited exceptions and Cryan’s 2010 deciding vote to pass a budget through the Assembly resulting in the shut down of nine Planned Parenthood clinics in New Jersey.
Devine suggested that Cryan appears to be in league with former Republican dirty trickster David Wildstein, who engineered a shut down on the George Washington Bridge intended to create traffic snarls in Fort Lee as retribution against a Democratic mayor who refused to endorse Gov. Chris Christie’s 2013 re-election effort.
Wildstein has published various political news blogs that defame Cryan’s critics and adversaries, including Devine, who was maligned in a series of biased articles that contain false reporting.
Devine said Cryan also inappropriately sought police intervention in an attempt to intimidate the progressive Democrat, who revealed facts that might dissuade voters from re-electing the corrupt politician.
Finally, Devine accused Cryan of initiating an illegal intervention that caused technical service providers to disable web servers that hosted newspaper and political websites, which are protected by the First Amendment.
Cryan’s lawyers falsely alleged that Devine or his clients violated ‘Daniel’s Law’ by exposing the fact that the crooked politician bought a home in Pennsylvania shortly after voters elected him to the New Jersey State Senate.
Devine pointed out that even if ‘Daniel’s Law’ is not entirely unconstitutional, the new statute will not become effective until December, and it could not forbid disclosure of public documents issued by a county clerk in Pennsylvania.
“The noble idea of shielding judges, who have only rarely been subject to criminal retaliation, is a far cry from helping crooked politicians like Joe Cryan hide their betrayal of the public by putting 70 percent of the real estate assets they own outside New Jersey,” said Devine. ” Joe Cryan is a crook who abused the taxpayers by filling his own pockets and abused the power entrusted to him by the electorate by taking truth, justice and freedom away from the people in violation of the Ku Klux Klan Act.”