Sunday, December 5, 2021

The Oath-Keeper participated in the Capitol riot. On tuesday he’s on the ballot

Edward Durphy Jr. is a lot of things: a former Marine, a Libertarian who distrusts the Federal Reserve, and an active member of the far-right Oath Guardian militia, who leads the group’s northern New Jersey region and was stationed outside the US Capitol on January 6. attack.

He is also running for the New Jersey State Assembly as a Republican.

More than 20 Oath Keepers have been indicted in connection with the January 6 attack. Prosecutors accused the militia of conspiring to cancel the elections by violating the Capitol and creating plans to transfer “heavy weapons” by boat across the Potomac River to Washington, DC.

Durphy, a 67-year-old technical consultant, said he did not enter the Capitol during the assault and condemned the violence that resulted in several deaths.

But he wholeheartedly supports the ideology of the Oath Keepers, an anti-government group that pledges to uphold and defend their interpretation of the Constitution from all enemies.

The group, whose name derives from their original mission to defy certain government orders, has become an ardent supporter of former President Donald Trump, promoting conspiracy theories of “deep” cliques trying to overthrow him and embracing his relentless lie that the 2020 election was illegitimate. …

Derfi said he traveled to Washington in January to “stop the theft” and protest denied allegations of election fraud.

But he is more than just a minor candidate in the long run for the Legislative Assembly.

He also chairs the Republican committee in Northvale, where he lives, highlighting how right-wing activism is becoming increasingly popular within the GOP – even in a Democratic stronghold like Bergen County, less than 30 miles from Manhattan.

It is known that the “Oath Keepers”, founded more than ten years ago, are recruiting former military and law enforcement officials. But the records of the militia group, leaked after the database breach and passed on to a group known as Widespread Denial of Secrets, opened up a new window for the organization’s ties to current police and government officials.

In New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio said any officer associated with the Oath Keepers should be investigated – and fired.

In Tuesday’s election in New Jersey, a match will take place between Jack Ciatarelli, a Republican, and incumbent Democratic president Philip D. Murphy, one of two governor races in the country. All seats are also on the State Legislature ballot, where Democrats are expected to retain majority control.

Derfi, who garnered 165 signatures to vote and then met no opposition in the primary, called for an end to government oversight of parenting rights, allow families to use taxpayer-funded vouchers to pay for private and parish schools, and cut government agency budgets for 5%.

He has few illusions of a clear victory.

“I’m an oxymoron in government,” he said. “I participate in the vote because no one challenged me. This is a lack of participation among our citizens. “

He is running to represent the liberal district of northern New Jersey, across the Hudson River from New York. Party leaders say the county has more than tripled its registered Democrats than Republicans, making it difficult to find Republicans willing to invest time and money in tough campaigns. (Györdre Pohl, a frequent Republican nominee in the district, called them “kamikaze races.”)

Republican County Chairman Jack Ziza defended Derphy as a “soft conservative,” but said his main trait was much more businesslike: he was the only person willing to run.

“This is a very tough area for Republicans, and Mr. Derfy was, frankly, one of the few to give his name,” Zisa said.

According to an analysis of the hacked ProPublica database, Durphy is one of dozens of oath-keepers across the country who are already in office or running for election, almost all of them Republicans.

Roy Sokoloski, a Republican, participated in the selection process when he was a councilor in Northvale, a town of 5,000 on the northern border with New York State. He and Durphy worship in the same Roman Catholic Church.

“If you don’t know his political background, he’s a good guy,” said Sokoloski, an architect.

But he believes Derphy’s candidacy is an ominous sign for a once formidable party that is trying to stay relevant in a state where there are nearly 1.1 million registered Democrats more than Republicans.

“He’s the worst candidate Republicans could support,” said Sokoloski, who said he had voted against Trump twice and spoke wistfully of a time when GOP leaders focused on issues like high taxes rather than canceling elections.

“If the GOP can only find people like that,” he said, “what does that say about the party?”

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Durphy said he came from New Jersey on January 6 to help with the Oath Keeper security guard. “We weren’t siloviki,” Derfy said. “We were just there with our eyes.”

He said he was close enough to the chaos to be doused with pepper spray, but far enough away not to be caught in the crowd raging across the Capitol.

Brian D. Siknik, a Capitol police officer who grew up in New Jersey and faced an angry mob, died from multiple strokes, which the medical examiner believed were multiple strokes.

“It just turned into something and got out of hand,” Derphy said. “It’s just shameful.”

A supporter of the libertarian Ron Paul, Durphy is open about his involvement with Oath Keepers, which he says he joined in 2009, when it was founded following the election of President Barack Obama.

Durphy is in charge of Operation Oath Keepers in northern New Jersey and said he is responsible for maintaining the e-mail and lists of members of the national group that were included in the documents that were compromised.

His campaign, he said, mostly consisted of attending public events, handing out business cards, and referring people to the candidate’s website he created.

He has little money to spend on his race against Democratic Assembly candidates Shama A. Haider and Ellen J. Park. He and two other Republican candidates for the Legislature said that as a group, they do not expect to spend more than $ 15,800.

Derfi did not receive support from the GOP, and Chiattarelli tried to distance himself from Derfi. “Anyone who defends terrorism or has anything to do with the uprising has no place in our party,” said Chris Russell, Chattarelli campaign strategist.

Darfi said he prefers to keep his savings in precious metals, fearing that paper “paper money” will eventually be devalued. “I have dollars for my wife – we all have to live,” he said. “But I’m saving silver and gold.”

Durphy spent two years in the Marine Corps in non-combat roles. After receiving his GED, he took computer programming courses at the Chubb Institute. He lost the race to Northvale board member last year.

An anti-abortion grandfather of three, he is an ardent Catholic and a fourth-degree member of the Knights of Columbus, a patriotic title.

“I’m not the man-eater hiding behind the fence.” “Oh, here’s one of those Democrats. Let’s jump on them, ”he said.

According to a leaked recording of the call released by Unicorn Riot, an alternative media site, Derphy was in a video conference with Oath Keepers founder Stuart Rhodes and dozens of other members 10 days after the 2020 election. As speakers discussed the upcoming protests in Washington, Durphy can be heard urging people to “show the respect we have for our country and our Constitution.”

“We won’t go there with fistfights unless you know,” he said, his voice trailing off.

“We all tend to overdo it,” he added, “but we still need to maintain this attitude of respect for our flag and our country.”

Instead, the ensuing violence shocked the nation, leading to the arrests of more than 600 people and a congressional investigation into what the FBI called domestic terrorism.

Member of Parliament Valerie Winery Huttle, a Democrat representing Derphy County, said she views his candidacy mainly as an indicator of Trump’s power over the Republican Party, even in liberal bastions such as Bergen County.

Republican strongholds still exist in New Jersey, especially in the northwest countryside and along the Jersey coast. Trump lost 16 percentage points to Joe Biden statewide, but beat him 29 points in Ocean County.

However, Huttle said she was surprised to see such a far-right candidate vying for a spot she held for 15 years.

“I would have figured that out in South Jersey,” said Huttle, who lost the primary race for the state Senate and will leave the Legislature in January. “I don’t get it here.”

Zisa, the chairman of the Republican Party, said it would be inaccurate to invest too much in Derfi’s candidacy.

“We are the Republican Party,” he said. “We are not a party of the Oath Keepers.”

However, he hopes to capitalize on media interest in Derfi’s affiliation with an extremist group. If it boosts turnout, he said, it could lead to added value for Republican candidates in more competitive races.

“It could crowd out the Republican voter,” Zisa said.

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