New Jersey Republican candidate for Governor Phil Rizzo today purchased an advertisement on Facebook claiming he has received the endorsement of the New Jersey Fraternal Order of Police. There’s just one problem, the NJ FOP did not endorse Rizzo and it’s the organization’s policy to not endorse political candidates in primary elections.
“NJFOP does not endorse in primaries,” the organization said today in a statement. The NJFOP also posted on Phil Rizzo’s sponsored Facebook post that it has not officially endorsed him, despite his advertisement on Facebook still running, claiming he has been endorsed. Earlier in the day the Rizzo camp complained about an anonymous meme shared on Facebook asking if Donald Trump should support Hirsh Singh. That meme, a satirical joke sent shockwaves through the GOP swamp, even garnering a response from the former President’s Guy Friday reminding voters that Trump has not yet endorsed any candidates. Singh later said that the fake endorsement was not from his campaign and suspected it was planted by Rizzo’s campaign to make his campaign look bad.
Later in the day, Rizzo promoted a fake-endorsement by the NJ FOP.
“Phil Rizzo your law and order candidate, gets the support and endorsement of the N.J. Fraternal Order of Police and gets an honorary membership to Lodge 168. Welcome to the Fraternity,” Rizzo’s Facebook post and social media sponsored ad read.
Later, after being called out by Republicans questioning the legitimacy of the fake endorsement, Rizzo walked back his endorsement. We spoke today with both the New Jersey F.O.P. and Lodge 168 and learned it was only Lodge 168, based out of Fort Dix who had made Rizzo “an honorary member” of their lodge. It was not an endorsement by Rizzo. Rizzo had not deleted his original claim of a statewide endorsement.
Now, Rizzo is being accused of lying about an endorsement and skirting financial laws regarding elections. The sponsored post was paid for by an individual, “Cara Anne Trentadue” who manages the “Jersey Rizzo” Facebook page. Records show Trentadue is a real estate foreclosure lawyer from St. Augustine, Florida.