With No Local Support, Whelan Looks to Camden County

?The same Democrat power brokers who bought Jim Whelan his Assembly seat in 2005 and controlled his actions in the Legislature ever since are attempting to replay that scenario in this year?s Senate campaign,? Atlantic County State Sen. James ?Sonny? McCullough charged today.

?Whelan has taken in more than $400,000 from Democrat Party sources, including the corrupt Camden County machine, to finance the major portion of his campaign,? McCullough said. ?They own him and he, if elected, will certainly be expected to remember it was their money that got him there. He?ll once again throw in with his financial backers to the detriment of the people in the Second District.?

Vince Polistina and John Amodeo, the Republican Assembly candidates, said because Whelan was able to raise less than $150,000 from individuals in the Second District, ?it?s an unmistakable sign that he intended from the very outset to rely on his party?s power brokers to buy the Senate seat for him.?

They said Whelan?s voting record in the last two years ?was virtually a unanimous, down the line agreement with his financial benefactors, everything from voting to kill strong ethics laws and campaign finance reforms; weaken a ban on dual office holding; permit corrupt officials to continue to collect a public pension, and allow the practice of pay-to-play in the awarding of government contracts to remain untouched.?

?But, by far his worst act was to align himself with the Camden County Democrats in forcing a budget stalemate that shut down the casino industry and threw 45,000 people out of work,? the three Republicans said. ?The power brokers got their money?s worth from Whelan, while the hardworking men and women in the casino industry lost $9 million worth of paychecks and tips because of it.?

McCullough said the bulk of the Whelan campaign cash comes from individuals associated closely with Camden County boss George Norcross and ?despite Whelan?s assertions that he?s an independent person, Norcross? history reveals that he expects a return on his investment. And, his investment in Whelan is considerable.?

?Whelan in the Senate will stick closely to the party line laid down by Norcross and the Camden County Democrats, just as he?s done in his two years in the Assembly,? McCullough said. ?When the choice is between what benefits the people of Atlantic County and what benefits the Democrats of Camden County, it doesn?t take a genius to figure out what Whelan?s decision will be.?

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