Atlantic County Republican chairman Keith A. Davis said today that Assemblyman Jim Whelan ?flip-flopped twice in one week on issues crucial to his district, broke his earlier promises and ran out on his constituents in the interest of political expediency.?

Davis said Whelan first agreed to further diluting an already weak bill to limit the use of messenger applications for absentee ballots and, a few days later, withdrew support for a total prohibition on smoking on casino floors.

?Whelan has folded so frequently he?s starting to resemble an origami creation,? Davis said.

?After belatedly recognizing that the unlimited use of messenger applications for absentee ballots was corrupting the electoral process, Whelan sponsored legislation to limit to five the number of applications any one person could obtain,? Davis said. ?Then, when the legislation was the subject of a committee hearing, Whelan quickly retreated and agreed to double the number to ten. In effect, he said the electoral system shouldn?t be compromised, but it was acceptable to compromise the rules governing the system.?

?Whelan?s failure to stand up for an honest system in which citizens can have confidence is appalling,? Davis said. ?His action simply means that corruption can continue and that those engaged in the corruption will have to be a little more creative and work a little harder.?

?His withdrawal of support for a complete smoking ban in casinos directly contradicts his own repeated public statements that he was concerned with the health of casino employees subjected to second hand smoke,? Davis said. ?By supporting a proposal to permit smoking on 25 per cent of a casino floor, Whelan has said that it is acceptable to continue to jeopardize the health of casino employees, just not all of them. After months of promising casino employees he stood with them in their efforts to create a healthy working environment, he ran out on them.?

?His eagerness to cave in on issues as vital as these indicates he believes that principles and beliefs are nothing but a set of suggestions, rather than core values to stand by,? Davis said.

?Political expediency and responding to the wishes of his campaign contributors have a higher priority for Whelan than standing up for his constituents,? Davis said. ?He?s set the tone; we can look forward to more of the same from him and the people of this district will be the worse for it.?

Davis said GOP county headquarters still has a supply of ?Where Was Whelan?? bumper stickers available and they can be obtained on line at or by calling 677-0707.

?Give Whelan?s actions this past week, asking the question on the bumper stickers is even more timely,? he said.

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