On the day Craig Callaway was sentenced to 40 months on bribery charges, the Democrat leadership in the State Legislature refuses to pass legislation to clean up abuse of the messenger ballot system that Callaway perfected, said Atlantic County Republican Chairman Keith Davis.
?The poster child for abuse of the messenger ballot system is finally behind bars,? said Davis. ?It would be nice if the Democrat Assembly Speaker would now post for a vote an absentee and messenger ballot bill that will truly reform the system.
?The Atlantic County Democrats have benefited so much from the Callaway organization that there is no incentive for Democrat Jim Whelan to lobby for any legislative reform,? said Davis. ?In fact, Whelan amended his own bill to the point where it will have no practical effect at all.?
Davis noted the amended version of Whelan?s A-3245 increased the number of ballots a person can messenger to 10.
?The Callaway Democrats have turned over fistfuls of messenger ballots in one election after another. Even while Callaway sits behind bars, Whelan?s bill will allow the remnants of Callaway?s organization to keep filling out these ballot applications like an assembly line,? said Davis. ?If the image of Craig Callaway in an orange jumpsuit is not enough to convince Speaker Joe Roberts to tear up Whelan?s bill and start over, then there is no hope for real reform.?
Davis said real reform could come about once more light shines on the financial dealings of the Atlantic County Democrats. In fact, the Atlantic County Democrat Committee reported contributing at least $42,472 to the Atlantic City Democrats, headed by Callaway.
?The Election Law Enforcement Commission is looking into the Atlantic City Democrat Committee?s failure to file financial disclosure forms during Callaway?s tenure as chairman,? said Davis. ?Once the public sees the flow of money to Callaway from other Democrats, the Democrats in Trenton won?t have any more excuses to sit on their hands.?