Tom Ballistreri and Manny Aponte, Republican candidates for at large seats on the Atlantic County Board of Freeholders, said today ?it?s looking more and more like Freeholder Alisa Cooper is up to her old tricks of attempting to conceal the source of her campaign contributions by deliberately delaying accepting the money until the last minute.?

Cooper, they said, submitted a state required report claiming she does not intend to raise more than $3,500 for her campaign.

?Her action fits with the scheme Democrat candidates have followed in Atlantic County to hide from the voters until the last possible moment the fact that they anticipate significant contributions in the tens of thousands of dollars to come into their campaigns from out of county private and political sources — like the Camden County power brokers,? Ballistreri and Aponte said.

?We remind and warn Cooper that this year county candidates are subject to the county?s ban on pay to play as well as strict limits on so-called wheeling of contributions in which money is funneled into the county from outside,? they said. ?If she sticks to past Democrat Party strategy, she runs the risk of violating the county?s ordinance — one enacted with Cooper?s support — and will be subject to complaints filed in municipal court.?

They pointed out that Cooper?s running mate, Sheriff Jim McGettigan, received contributions in his 2007 County Executive campaign in excess of the permissible limits and has been put on notice that unless he returns the excess amount a complaint will be filed against him.

?For Cooper to suggest she intends to raise less than $3,500 for her campaign is ludicrous,? Ballistreri and Aponte said. ?It?s clear she intends to hide the source of her expected and apparently promised campaign cash until the eleventh hour. Why does she find it necessary to conceal the identity of her financial benefactors? Is she embarrassed, or does she fear a political backlash from a public disclosure? Or, is she afraid of revealing herself as a hypocrite for supporting limits on campaign cash while soliciting and accepting contributions in violation of those limits??

?The Democrats have played this game in the past and Cooper appears to be an eager participant in it this year as well,? they said. ?We call on her be honest and come clean; reveal the identities of the people or groups bankrolling her campaign.?



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