Atlantic County Republican Chairman Keith Davis expressed dismay and confusion at comments made by Senator Jim Whelan yesterday at a conference on civility in campaigning at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.

?As if it wasn?t preposterous enough for Senator Whelan — who has long mastered the art of negative attack ads with huge sums of campaign cash to back it up — to lecture us on bringing more civility to politics, Whelan offered the following suggestion to eliminate negative campaigning:

?I?d try to get the money out. I don?t know how you do it?.If we can somehow limit the money and we squeeze the money out, I think a lot of this would go away.?

?But just 45 days ago, when asked to respond to Governor Jon Corzine?s call for tougher anti-wheeling measures to limit how much campaign cash political bosses can transfer to each other to pay for negative attack ads, Whelan expressed his opposition to the Press of Atlantic City and said:

?Raise as much as you want. Spend as you want.?

?So on the one hand we have Senator Whelan saying yesterday we should limit the money, but on the other hand he is telling us that politicians should raise as much as they want,? Davis said. ?I think Atlantic County deserves some more consistency from our senator.?

?While Senator Whelan may say he doesn?t know how to squeeze the money out, the truth is we do know how and we?re doing it right here in Atlantic County with a model pay-to-play ordinance that has been hailed by the non-partisan Citizen?s Campaign as the toughest in the entire state,? said Davis.

?If Senator Whelan truly believes what he said yesterday and disavows what he said six weeks ago, then he should immediately pledge his support for state legislation to do for New Jersey what County Executive Dennis Levinson and the Republican Freeholder Board has done for Atlantic County.



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