Vince Polistina, Republican candidate for Assembly from Atlantic County, today called on his opponent to pro rate his salary as an Assistant commissioner of Labor and return that portion he received when the state forced the shutdown of the casino industry and threw some 45,000 people out of work last year.
Polistina said the government-forced shutdown of the industry cost workers $9 million in salaries and gratuities, ?money which they will never recover.? In addition, it is estimated that the casinos themselves lost $55 million in revenue, an amount which translates into more than $4 million in tax revenue lost to the state.
?My opponent, Joe Wilkins, served as a high-salaried Assistant Commissioner at the time of the shutdown last year and it seems to me that it is only fair and just that, since the hardworking men and women in the casino industry lost their income for the three day government-imposed shutdown, Wilkins should respond by doing the same,? Polistina said.
The Republican noted the Wilkins is a candidate on a ticket headed by Democrat Assemblyman Jim Whelan who also abandoned the casino employees ?by casting his lot with his Camden County campaign benefactors and forcing a government and industry wide shutdown. Whelan should join with Wilkins in returning his salary for that time period as well.?
?Casino employees were thrown out of work because state government failed them and failed them badly,? Polistina said. ?They lost three days pay and tips because they were innocent victims caught in a political power play between the Governor and the Camden County legislative leadership over the state budget. The $9 million they lost won?t be recouped, but Wilkins and Whelan can certainly do their part by sending three days worth of their salaries back to the State Treasury.?
?It?s appropriate that both Wilkins and Whelan share the ticket since both of them share a lack of concern for the well being of the casino employees,? he said.