Press of Atlantic City ? ?Whelan, who noted he has not yet spoken to Wisniewski, stopped short of supporting a boycott.?
TRENTON ? As reported late last week by the Press of Atlantic City, Senator Jim Whalen has refused to forcefully condemn New Jersey Democratic State Committee Chairman John Wisniewski?s call to boycott the Tropicana Casino in Atlantic City.
Despite the fact that the boycott will have direct negative consequences on hundreds of his hard working constituents, the best that Senator Whelan could offer was a tired line about bringing all sides back to the negotiating table. Not a single word from the Senator about an Assemblyman from Middlesex County using his constituents as pawns in a political game.
?No one is wondering why Democrat State Committee Chairman John Wisniewski has purposefully inserted himself into a labor dispute close to 100 miles away from his district ? it?s pure opportunism and possibly political payback for thousands in contributions,? said NJGOP spokesman Doug Mayer. ?But what a lot of people are wondering is why isn?t Senator Jim Whelan speaking out and protecting his own constituents against an obviously Machiavellian move by a politician playing outside his home base.?
?Is it because Senator Whelan feels obligated to Chairman Wisniewski for the overwhelming support the Democrat machine gave his last reelection campaign? Or maybe it?s because Senator Whelan actually supports the boycott? Either way, it?s time for Senator Whelan to stop hiding behind his empty words and do what he was elected to do. Denounce Chairman Wisniewski and his phony boycott or join him on the picket line. At the very least, the people of the Second District deserve to know where their Senator stands.?
Republicans criticize Middlesex Democrat for ?meddling? in Atlantic City casino labor dispute
Press of Atlantic City
April 13, 2012
ATLANTIC CITY ? A labor dispute involving Tropicana Casino and Resort and its union workers has spread into the political realm, with Republicans sniping at a top New Jersey Democrat for his efforts to organize a boycott of the casino.
One local Republican accused state Assemblyman John Wisniewski , D-Middlesex, of trying to exploit labor unrest for political gain and warned him not to ?meddle? in the internal affairs of the casino and its employees.
?Assemblyman Wisniewski should mind his own business and do his job by focusing on Middlesex County instead of sticking his nose down here,? Atlantic County Republican Chairman Keith Davis said in a statement Friday.
Criticism was also leveled at Wisniewski by the New Jersey Republican Party, which issued a statement saying that Wisniewski has ?gone out of his way to interject himself into an Atlantic County dispute.?
?This is just his latest attempt to score political points all the way from Sayreville,? New Jersey Republican spokesman Doug Mayer said of Wisniewski?s home base.
The dustup started Tuesday, when Wisniewski sent out a statewide email calling on Democrats to boycott Tropicana as long as it remains locked in a contract dispute with Local 54 of UNITE-HERE. Wisniewski pulled out of a speaking engagement at Tropicana this week in a show of solidarity with the union workers.
?No South Jersey Democrat has called for a boycott and instead respects the labor negotiations process,? Davis said. ?Assemblyman Wisniewski should also respect those negotiations instead of getting in the middle of it to score political points.?
State Sen. Jim Whelan, D-Atlantic, whose legislative district includes Atlantic City, urged Tropicana and Local 54 to resume negotiations in hopes of reaching a settlement.
?At this point, what I would encourage is, let?s get the parties back to the table, get a mediator if needed, and get this thing done,? Whelan said.
Whelan, who noted he has not yet spoken to Wisniewski, stopped short of supporting a boycott. He said a boycott would be bad for the Local 54 workers if Tropicana?s business declined and their tips dropped off.