He told the young activists they had to get out the vote for Democrats in the fall.
Then Steve Ayscue -- a paid CCDC consultant -- took the floor with a bearded, flame-haired man few had seen before. The latter was Geoff Mackler, dispatched from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to lead freshman Rep. John Adler's re-election campaign. Ayscue and Mackler had a plan to ensure Adler's victory. They just needed volunteers.
Internal numbers-crunching showed the difference between Adler and his Republican opponent -- then undetermined -- would hover around 5 percent. To give Adler an edge, Ayscue had recruited a then-unidentified man to run as a third-party candidate.
That candidate would act as a conservative spoiler to confuse voters and pull votes from Adler's eventual Republican challenger. But first he had to get on the ballot. With the filing deadline just weeks away, CCDC needed volunteers to hit the streets and collect signatures -- fast.
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