The Republican candidates for Atlantic County Freeholder said today that State Sen. Jim Whelan?s political ad supporting their opponents ?is more of the same Trenton insider back scratching that has resulted in higher taxes, more spending, and multi-billion dollar budget deficits.?

?With Whelan taking his hand and leading the way, Democrat Jim Schroeder will head down the same path,? said Republican at large candidates Tom Ballistreri and Manny Aponte. ?Schroeder is already on the record saying that the $6 billion in tax increases he supported are necessary, including raising the state income tax on families making $30,000 a year or more.?

?Whelan?s ad is a thank you note to Schroeder who, as a Trenton lobbyist, directed cash contributions to Whelan?s campaigns,? they said. ?It?s nothing more than two more Trenton insiders trying to impose their tax-raising, free spending ways on Atlantic County.?

?It obviously is difficult for Whelan, Schroeder and Democrat Alisa Cooper to grasp, but Atlantic County, under Republican control of the Board of Freeholders, has remained on solid fiscal ground while state government is enveloped in turmoil and budget deficits,? said District 3 Freeholder Frank Sutton.

?While the state continues to suffer from mismanagement, the county tax rate has been cut for eight consecutive years and is now at it lowest level in history,? he said. ?Moreover, the county enjoys a double ?A ? bond rating in recognition of its fiscal stability, responsibility and prudent debt management — all the qualities lacking in the current Democrat Administration in Trenton.?

?Bringing the Whelan-Schroeder-Cooper mind set and records to the Freeholder Board would be disastrous for the taxpayers,? Sutton said. ?The absolute last thing this county needs is a couple of Trenton insiders trying to impose their policies on it.?

The Republicans noted that Whelan?s ad claims the Democrat candidates share concerns about a secure retirement for people.

?Interestingly enough, the ad never mentions Sheriff Jim McGettigan, a candidate for re-election, perhaps because he already has a secure retirement by collecting a $102,000 salary and a $61,000 a year pension for the job he currently holds,? they said.

?It seems even Jim Whelan is embarrassed by McGettigan?s double dipping at taxpayers expense, particularly when $163,000 a year is well beyond the amount most people can look forward to for a secure future,? they said.



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