VAN DREW DENIES HAVING VOTED FOR McGREEVEY?S TAX-INCREASING BUDGET

First District Senator Nick Asselta ? responding to Assemblyman Jeff Van Drew?s blatant attempt last week on a radio call-in show once again to mislead the residents of the First District regarding his 2003 vote in favor of then-Governor Jim McGreevey?s tax-increasing budget, and Van Drew?s characterization of the question itself as ?mean-spirited? ? today called on Van Drew to acknowledge his misstatement and apologize to the residents of the First District.

?Jeff Van Drew is running the most negative kind of campaign one can imagine ? he is deliberately misleading his constituents, and then having the gall to dismiss as ?mean-spirited? fact-based questions challenging him on his record,? said Asselta.

?Last Tuesday, during an appearance on Steve Tatz?s radio show on ?Cruisin? 92.1,? a caller asked why Van Drew had voted for Jim McGreevey?s tax-increasing budget, and then had flipped his vote after the Democratic Party?s leadership realized they did not need his vote. His answer was to deny that the incident had ever occurred ? and then he went on to say that the question itself was ?mean-spirited.?

?But as we all know, Jeff Van Drew DID vote for Jim McGreevey?s $400 million dollar tax-increasing budget, and then flipped his vote when his party?s leadership realized his vote was not needed.

?On October 28, 2003, The Press of Atlantic City wrote: ?We have some concerns about Van Drew?s vote on the state budget (he voted in favor of the budget, then switched his vote to ?abstain? after it was clear that the budget had passed) ? Van Drew?s switch on the budget vote is troubling. And the campaign ads touting him as ?the only Democrat to vote against? Gov. James E. McGreevey?s budget are disingenuous, to say the least.?

?So Jeff Van Drew had already been called on the carpet for voting to increase taxes, then flipping his vote, and then not telling the truth about it. You?d think that a politician who?d already been caught once not telling the truth to his constituents would be leery of continuing, at the very least, that particular falsehood. Apparently not ? at least, not in the case of Jeff Van Drew.

?But then, to go on to characterize the question itself as ?mean-spirited? is beyond the pale. I suppose Jeff Van Drew would like to be handed the office he seeks on a silver platter, without ever having to truthfully answer a question from his constituents about his record. But that?s not the way it works. Asking questions of our leaders is as old as the Republic, and the Assemblyman should apologize to the anonymous caller for referring to his question as ?mean-spirited? ? especially since the caller apparently knew more about Van Drew?s actions than he did.?

PARTIAL TRANSCRIPT OF JEFF VAN DREW LIVE APPEARANCE ON STEVE TATZ?S RADIO SHOW ON CRUISIN? 92.1, TUESDAY, JULY 31:

Male Caller: I have a question for Assemblyman Van Drew.

Male Host: Go ahead. Shoot.

Male Caller: Uh, my question is simply, uh, why did you vote for McGreevey?s tax increasing budget and then switch your vote after the votes had been counted and the Democratic leadership realized they didn?t need your vote to pass the budget?

Male Host: Hang on and he will answer your question.

Assemblyman Van Drew: Uh, the answer is I never did that ? I, um, I?m not even familiar with what you?re speaking about to be honest with you ? But I thank you for the question.

Male Host: (LAUGHS) Interesting questions, man. I never heard questions like this before.

Female Host: You?re getting more calls than Valerie Morrison.

Male Host: It?s that season, my man.

Assemblyman Van Drew: It is. It?s a political time of year and what happens during the political time of year is that you get some mean-spirited activity that happens and that?s part of the process ?

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