Whelan Needs to Explain Tainted Contribution

Atlantic County Republican chairman Keith A. Davis today called on Assemblyman Jim Whelan, Democrat Senate candidate, ?to explain why he accepted a $1,500 campaign contribution from Terry Jacobs, the individual who paid bribes to public officials and went to prison on drug distribution charges.?

?While Jacobs was slipping cash bribes to Atlantic City Council President Craig Callaway with one hand, he was writing a $1,500 campaign check to Jim Whelan with the other,? Davis said.

The chairman said Jacobs contributed to Whelan?s 2005 Assembly campaign during the same time period he was paying $36,000 in bribes to Callaway and another $36,000 in bribes to a Camden City councilman in return for favorable consideration for his construction company in seeking city contracts.

Jacobs, a resident of Pleasantville at the time, later pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine in Gloucester County and was sentenced to Federal prison.

?Whelan has an opportunity here to make a statement about clean campaign financing by offering his rationale for the $1,500 he took from Jacobs,? Davis said.

?I?d also hope that Whelan would explain his silence once Jacobs? criminal activities — both the bribing and narcotics charges — came to light last year,? he added. ?Whelan and the individuals involved in his campaign had to be aware of Jacobs? contribution and the Assemblyman should have acted immediately.?

?Given the nature of Jacobs? narcotics conviction, perhaps Whelan should consider making a $1,500 contribution to the D.A.R.E. program, an anti-drug effort in Atlantic City,? Davis said.

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