VAN DREW/WHELAN ENDORSE CHRIS CHRISTIE (OR AT LEAST SHOULD)

In view of comments appearing earlier this week in the Press of Atlantic City, Atlantic County Republican Party Chairman Keith Davis today suggested that if Senators Jeff Van Drew and Jim Whelan endorse Senator Steve Sweeney for Senate President because of his opposition to video lottery terminals (?VLTs?) outside of Atlantic City, then Van Drew and Whelan should endorse Chris Christie for Governor.

“Unlike Governor Jon Corzine, Chris Christie is unequivocally opposed to VLTs. Jon Corzine has waffled so much on VLTs that he should look for work at a pancake house after this year?s election,? said Davis. “If Van Drew and Whelan really wanted to put South Jersey?s economy ahead of partisan politics, they would endorse Christie because he is the only candidate for Governor who has consistently stated his unequivocal opposition to video lottery terminals.”

Earlier this year, Chris Christie announced that he would veto any legislation that would allow gaming outside of Atlantic City, including VLTs. Christie said, “We should do nothing to hurt Atlantic City.”[1]

In contrast, Jon Corzine has expressed support for VLTs and urged casino executives in a closed door meeting to consider allowing VLTs at northern New Jersey horse racing tracks. Corzine argues that if surrounding states have slots machines at their race tracks, then New Jersey should follow suit, saying, ?It’s an attractive in concept as a way to raise revenue for the state.”[2]

?This is yet another one of Jon Corzine?s Wall Street schemes and it would be bad for anyone who works in or depends upon Atlantic City for employment,? said Davis.

“Can there really be any argument that Jon Corzine is bad for New Jersey and Atlantic City?” Davis asked. “Only the twisted logic from a Wall Street veteran would actually conclude that since VLTs in other states are hurting Atlantic City casinos then we should allow more VLTs to hurt them more. Corzine even has his own commission looking at the possibilities of VLTs right now.

“Chris Christie understands the benefits casino gaming in Atlantic City provides the entire state: $352 million for senior and disabled programs, including PAAD; $1.8 billion for economic development programs across the state; and over 50,000 people employed directly and indirectly,” Davis said. “Our region will have a strong friend in Trenton when Chris Christie is governor”

?In today?s Press, Jeff Van Drew was quoted as saying ?Sometimes changes can be good. An infusion of new ideas and new visions can benefit the region and the state,? noted Davis. ?I agree with Senator Van Drew. It is time for a change. It?s time for a consistent leader who will stand up for Atlantic City. That?s Chris Christie.?

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[1] ?GOP campaign swing features VLT debate?, The Press of Atlantic City, 5/23/09

2 ?Corzine: Let’s consider VLTs.”, The Press of Atlantic City 7/26/06

?Corzine softens his opposition to VLTs?, The Press of Atlantic City 12/25/06

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