Here is Save Jersey’s exclusive video of Governor Chris Christie rallying the troops for Assemblyman Vince Polistina.
Tag: Vince Polistina
State Assemblyman Vince Polistina (R-2) announced today that he won endorsements from NEW JOBS (Business PAC of NJ), the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and the Private Enterprise PAC (PENPAC) as the candidate for Senate best equipped to deal with the economic crisis facing the state and Atlantic County.
Polistina said his background as a successful small businessman, and proven legislative record of supporting policies that promote private sector job growth, were the difference in him earning the endorsement over incumbent Senator Jim Whelan.
“I am honored to sweep all the endorsements for State Senate from organizations whose primary focus is improving the economy and promoting private sector job creation,” said Polistina, who was awarded NFIB’s “Guardian of Small Business Award” for standing with small business owners 100% of the time on critical issues in Trenton. “My background as a small businessman makes me uniquely equipped to address the economic and jobs crisis facing New Jersey, and particularly, Atlantic County and Atlantic City. As Senator, I will continue to lead the fight for policies that cut taxes, reduce spending and shrink the size of government so we can improve our economy and create good-paying jobs.”
Everyone knows liberal Democrat politicians LOVE spending taxpayers’ money.
But the real treat, Save Jerseyans, is when you can catch a liberal elected official on tape ADMITTING IT. Much like observing an exotic endangered species subsisting in its natural habitat, I would imagine. A truly amazing sight to behold! And something definitely worth sharing with all of your friends.
Thank you for providing us with one such truly special moment, Senator Jim Whelan (D-Atlantic):
Tax Reports Cards are in, Save Jerseyans. The independent New Jersey Tax Payers Alliance just issued its 2011 legislative score card for the Senate and Assembly. Here’s how the legislators in my neck of the woods did (ranked by score).
Vince Polistina (R D2) – 100%
John Amodeo (R D2) – 100%
Matt Milam (D D1) – 71%
Jeff Van Drew (D D1) – 63%
Jim Whelan (D D2) – 57%
Nelson Albano (D D1) - 57%
Wow. When I was in high school and college, anything below a 70% was an F.
So we got Polistina & Amodeo acing it, scoring a perfect 100% when it comes to fighting for tax reform. Meanwhile, the Democrats in the area managed one D- and three Fs.
All four of these Democrats have been trying to portray themselves as fiscal conservatives. These miserable scores prove otherwise.
And a big thank you to Assemblymen Amodeo & Polistina for continuing to look out for us!
Users of Facebook are familiar with fake profiles. Most of the time, it’s some creep trying to trick users and steal thier identities. Other times, it’s a marketing gimmick for porn sites.
And in Atlantic County, Jim Whelan’s campaign is creating fake Tea Partier Facebook profiles to trash his opponent, Vince Polistina, on Polistina’s Facebook page, while building Whelan up. It’s the Facebook version of Peter DeStefano. Then Whelan crossed the line by using these false profiles to personally attack Polistina’s wife.
A little background.
Both candidates have Facebook pages. In the spirit of social media, the Polisitina campaign allows anyone to post on their Facebook wall to allow discourse on the race. Polistina even directly answers questions posed by Facebook users. In the spirit of Big Brother, Jim Whelan doesn’t allow anyone to post on his Facebook wall.
Over the past few weeks, however, some strange posts have been made on the Polistina wall. Users with no friends, no pictures and who only “like” tea party Facebook pages started posting Whelan talking points, word for word, on Polistina’s Facebook page. It was obvious that these were fake profiles, created for the sole purpose of making it look like Polistina’s base didn’t support him. Pathetic.
I first dismissed it as an overzealous (and lonely) Whelan supporter. After the Peter DeStefano debacle in 2010, where the DNC supported a fake Tea Party candidate to siphon votes from Jon Runyan, I didn’t think any Democratic candidate would be arrogant enough to try something like that again. So I watched with amusement as the fake profiles repeated Whelan’s lies.
Then on Sunday, it was revealed that these fake profiles were created and administered by the Whelan campaign.
On Sunday, one of the fake profiles (Michael Clark, I believe) commented on a photo on the Polistina Facebook page. The Polistina page started to comment back, and there was a nice back and forth going between the two (the fake user has since been blocked, and per Facebook policy, all of his posts were deleted as a result). Then, all of a sudden, the Whelan Cooper & Tyner page responded as though they were Michael Clark! Whelan’s Facebook page posted the following when a campaign staffer thought they were still logged on as Michael Clark.
Honestly, because I have lived here my entire life and like most people from Atlantic County know Jim to be a man of great integrity. I have not always agreed with everything that he has done but I will never question his character. Now will you answer a voters question about these no bid contracts and a judge raising money for one of your candidates?”
The staffer in charge of the Whelan Facebook effort forgot to switch profiles before commenting and just revealed to the world Whelan was behind all the fake Tea Party profiles! Realizing that, the staffer immediately deleted their comment and thought they had covered it up, but we have an email directly from Facebook, Inc. that proves it existed (Redacted email addresses for privacy reason).
If the Whelan campaign allowed comments, however, then they’d know that the admin of the Facebook gets an email whenever someone leaves a comment that tells them who wrote and what they wrote. Save Jersey has obtained a copy of that email, and can verify that it was the official Whelan Cooper & Tyner Facebook page which made the post, and was behind all the fake profiles and comments.
So Jim Whelan’s campaign is creating fake Tea Party profiles to undermine his opponent AND claim that he is a man of integrity? Using lies and deceit to show he is honorable and trustworthy? Did he learn nothing from Adler & DeStefano? This complete lack of moral character on Whelan’s part shows just how desperate his campaign has become. It’s sad & pathetic.
But Whelan’s campaign was not satisfied just crossing that line. Oh no. This is Jim Whelan we’re talking about here, people. His campaigns make mud look clean. Jim Whelan decided to lap himself and cross the line a 2nd time.
On Friday, one of the fake Tea Party profiles created and controlled by the Whelan campaign posted a vicious personal attack against Vince Polistina’s wife on the Polistina Facebook page (it was immediately taken down). She is not a candidate, she is not running for anything, yet the official policy of Whelan’s campaign is to launch personal attacks on her! While pretending to be grassroots activists from her husband’s side, no less!
Congrats Senator. You managed to hit a new low, even for you. And considering how low you’ve gone before, that’s saying something.
Save Jersey’s Ed Sheppard visited LD2 GOP headquarters over the weekend, an otherwise inconspicuous building located on a main drag in Atlantic County’s populous Egg Harbor Township.
What he found was an office buzzing with volunteers, pulsing with energy, and propelled by the personality of the ticket’s leading man: Assemblyman Vince Polistina (R). Polistina is running hard against an entrenched incumbent who, in turn, is running hard on machine cash. That’s the way it goes in South Jersey! But available polling predicts a very close race, and Polistina himself is buzzing with ideas to shake up the State Senate.
The Polistina Campaign issued this today. Jim Whelan’s pants are on fire!
Egg Harbor Township, October 10, 2011 – Verifying what Vince Polistina and his campaign have been saying for months, the Star-Ledger’s Politifact “Truth-O-Meter” today called Democrat mailers smearing Polistina “outrageous” and said “targeting Polistina for something Whelan is doing” is “not only wrong – it’s hypocritical.”
Polistina demanded Whelan publicly apologize for the ads and call on the Trenton Democrats to cease and desist from their dishonest attacks immediately.
“Jim Whelan needs to be held accountable for the hypocritical smear campaign he and the Trenton Democrats are running against me,” said Polistina. “Whelan’s refusal to even be interviewed by Politifact is consistent with how he’s conducted his entire campaign. Whelan has purposely ducked legitimate questions about how he abused the state pension system in order to line his pockets at taxpayer expense, because he knows it’s all true. Instead, he has gutlessly hid behind negative mailers and television ads that have now been proven false and misleading by an independent third party. His campaign is a disgrace and his days in office are numbered.”
Here is what the Star-Ledger’s Politifact “Truth-O-Meter” is saying about the smear campaign being run against Vince Polistina by the Democrats:
“not only wrong — it’s hypocritical”
“Whelan is doing what the Democrats wrongly accused Polistina of — collecting a government pension on top of “taxpayer-funded salaries.”
“they were targeting Polistina for something Whelan is doing” “The Democratic committee made the accusation against a Republican, despite their candidate collecting a pension on top of two government salaries. That makes the claim outrageous.”
Senators Jeff Van Drew and Jim Whelan have been silent on President Obama’s newest stimulus package, and it is time we hear where they stand on it.
Now I know what you’re thinking: these two aren’t Washington insiders, they’re Trenton insiders, does it matter what they think? Yes, for two reasons.
1-Their master, Senate President Steve Sweeney, came out and praised the plan on his own and 2-the stimulus package contains a tax on turbine (read: propeller) flights that could do serious injury to both Districts 1 & 2 and cost jobs instead of create them.
Thier opponents have wasted no time in coming out against it. Here is District 1′s Dave DeWeese.
“We need a stable economy so people can get back to work, not a massive government spending spree that will raise $1.5 trillion in taxes over the next decade that will only create temporary jobs so that entrenched politicians can try to save their own in the polls. Senator Van Drew should renounce this wasteful economic gimmick that failed once and will fail again.”
And here is Assemblyman Vince Polistina in District 2
“The President’s proposed user fees for turbine aircraft flights would devastate the aviation industry in New Jersey which is just beginning to take flight. With the promise of thousands of quality, high-paying jobs very much a reality with the expansion of our state’s aviation industry, including the development of the NextGen Air Transportation System, we have a golden opportunity for economic growth in South Jersey. This fee would severely ground our efforts.”
“[Assemblyman] John [Amodeo] and I have been working diligently to develop the aviation industry in New Jersey and particularly in our region as it is ripe with job creation opportunities and other economic benefits. Imposing a per flight tax for users of air traffic services will deal a significant blow to these efforts as the industry is currently experiencing tremendous economic difficulties.”
Obama’s proposed turbine flight tax would do a lot of damage to South Jersey’s economy.
In District 1, it would adversely impact the summer tourist industry. Many businesses advertise via sky banners. You’ve all seen them, little single seater airplanes towing a banner over crowded beaches. This tax would directly raise the price of advertising for small shore businesses who are already treading water. And raise the costs of Air Shows. And decrease business at the municipal airports in the district.
This is why one reason why DeWeese has come out against it. Van Drew seems to be ok with all that happening.
In District 2, efforts are being made to make Atlantic County an aviation R&D Mecca, bringing jobs and dollars to the region. This tax would kill that effort. Also, just like in District 1, Atlantic County also has a strong sky banner trade that this tax would hurt, and increase costs for small businesses. Again, this stimulus package will cost jobs in the district.
That’s why Polistina has come out against it. Whelan seems to be ok with all that happening.
So Senators, are you going to come out for or against Obama’s stimulus package? Whhat is more important to you? Saving jobs in your district, or serving your Masters Obama and Sweeney?
You know by know, Save Jerseyans, that there isn’t a better website at either end of the Turnpike for coverage of Election 2011 than The Save Jersey Blog. Would your beloved Blogger-in-Chief ever let you down? Exactly.
Why stop now? Tomorrow morning, we’ll post video of our very own Ed Sheppard’s exclusive chat with Asm. Vince Polistina (R-Egg Harbor Township). Vince is a dear friend of this blog; he’s also a fierce taxpayer advocate in the Assembly, and we fully expect him to be an absolute terror for liberals on the Senate floor. Loretta Weinberg will miss the Governor’s proverbial “bat” when Hurricane Polistina is finished with her caucus. You can take that check and cash it!
So check back in the AM for Ed’s interview. It’ll be a must-see for anyone waiting to see which party controls the Legislature in January.
Few battlegrounds in ‘OPERATION: SAVE THE STATE HOUSE’ are as critical to the cause as New Jersey’s Second Legislative District.
There in the county that Nucky Johnson built, Republicans have a golden opportunity to knock out incumbent Senator Jim Whelan (D-Atlantic City); in so doing, they would tighten the State Senate count and eliminate a key cog in the sprawling South Jersey Democrat Machine. Most insiders continue to tell Save Jersey that LD2 and LD38 remain the NJGOP’s strongest chances for upper chamber pick ups. It’s a very big deal, Save Jerseyans.
That’s why we’ve dispatched the ONLY man suited for the job, our own Ed Sheppard, to assist the war effort and interview LD2′s next state senator and a great friend of Save Jersey, Asm. VINCE POLISTINA (R-Egg Harbor Township).
Check back on Monday for the exclusive video…
In the meantime, are YOU willing to join Ed and help Save LD2 over the weekend?
Yesterday, it was announced that Chris Christie’s pension reforms will save the state $267 million in the FY 2012 budget (despite the savings, Dems still want to raise taxes).
Those are some great savings. Here are the reactions of these savings from Assemblymen John Amodeo and Vince “The Norcross Provision Killer” Polistina.
“This is tremendous news for our taxpayers and our state as a whole. The savings we will realize this year alone shows why reforming our pension and health benefits system was so crucial to our efforts to get property tax rates under control. As we continue to bring costs under control, our economy will continue to grow, resulting in the creation of jobs.”
“Gov. Christie and Republicans fought so hard for this bold reform because we knew it would help ease the burden on local budgets which in turn would provide significant property tax relief for our taxpayers. It’s another piece of the fiscal puzzle that will keep our economy on track towards recovery.”
Today it was announced that the Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Association (FMBA) has endorsed Republican Assemblyman Vince Polistina in the District 2 Senate, mainly because he opposed the “Norcross Provision”, which would have forced children to receive sub-standard care just so South Jersey Democratic boss George Norcross could line his pockets. Incumbent Jim Whelan actively fought for the Norcross Provision.
“I am honored to have the support of these dedicated public servants,” Polistina said. “The firefighters’ endorsement and willingness to get involved with my campaign shows the importance of this race, and how critical it is to elect someone new to the Second District Senate seat.”
In his announcement to Polistina, NJSFMBA President William J. Lavin expressed that his 5,500 members “are in full support of your candidacy and endorse you for New Jersey Senate.” Polistina was the only Republican legislator who publicly fought to preserve the right for health benefits members to seek out of state medical care.
This marks the 2nd Republican challenger in South Jersey the FMBA has endorsed. And just as it was very good news for Republican Dave DeWeese in District 1, so it is for Polistina in District 2. Polistina has been relentless in exposing Jim Whelan’s record. In fact, it is well known that after fighting for the Norcross Provision, Whelan does what Whelan does best and lied, claiming he was always against it despite the proof to the contrary. This endorsement proves that this time, people aren’t buying Whelan’s spin.
This endorsement is important, therefore, because not only will the 5,500 members of the FMBA give Polistina money & volunteers, but it demonstrates that Polistina’s message exposing Whelan’s record, and not Whelan’s lying to distort it, is the message independents are connecting with.
It shows that voters prefer Polistina telling the truth to Whelan’s blatant lies.
“Throughout this campaign, I have pointed out that Jim Whelan has had 25 years in public office to get it right, and he has consistently failed his constituents. Whelan failed to create jobs, cut taxes or rein in reckless spending. Most damning of all, Jim Whelan has gamed the system to line his own pockets at taxpayer expense,” Polistina said. “I am asking for a chance to serve two years to make things better in Atlantic County and in the state. The NJSFMBA believes in my message, my efforts, and my candidacy. I am grateful to have their support.”
See what happens when you tell the truth?
AMODEO AND POLISTINA: OBAMA’S PROPOSED JOB-KILLING PER FLIGHT TAX
Assembly Republican members John Amodeo and Vince Polistina, staunch advocates of making aviation a core industry in South Jersey and throughout the state, today voiced their opposition to job-killing aviation fees proposed by President Obama as a means to deal with the nation’s debt crisis and chronic unemployment.
“The President’s proposed user fees for turbine aircraft flights would devastate the aviation industry in New Jersey which is just beginning to take flight,” explained Amodeo, R-Atlantic. “With the promise of thousands of quality, high-paying jobs very much a reality with the expansion of our state’s aviation industry, including the development of the NextGen Air Transportation System, we have a golden opportunity for economic growth in South Jersey. This fee would severely ground our efforts.”
“You can call it a fee. You can call it a surcharge. It doesn’t matter what label you give it. The bottom line is it’s a tax,” said Polistina, R-Atlantic. “The President is no different than any New Jersey Democrat. Their solution to any fiscal dilemma is a tax.
“John and I have been working diligently to develop the aviation industry in New Jersey and particularly in our region as it is ripe with job creation opportunities and other economic benefits,” he continued. “Imposing a per flight tax for users of air traffic services will deal a significant blow to these efforts as the industry is currently experiencing tremendous economic difficulties.”
The 2nd Legislative District lawmakers noted that not only would the per flight tax impose a significant administrative burden on general aviation operators who currently fund the FAA through a per-gallon tax on fuel, but the proposed tax would also create a costly federal revenue collection bureaucracy.
The Obama administration is proposing a $100 per flight fee on aviation operators who fly in controlled airspace. The revenue generated from the fees would be used to supposedly reduce the national deficit and stimulate employment.
“Taxation as a rationale for stimulating economic growth is just an excuse to tax. It doesn’t work,” stated Amodeo. “Economics 101 teaches us that you can’t tax your way out of a fiscal crisis. Congress has already passed legislation endorsing the per-gallon fuel charges rather than per flight fees. I would hope this proposal is already dead on arrival.”
“This proposal is wrong for so many reasons,” added Polistina. “It’s a job killer that will only create another costly bureaucracy which is the last thing we need.”
The New Jersey Aviation Association and the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Coalition have joined with the nation’s other leading general associations in registering their opposition to the proposed fee.
The Polistina campaign just issued this challenge to Jim Whelan, to finally answer questions about his pension padding, an issue Save Jersey has been covering. As someone who was present during Polistina’s hour long Q & A, I find it reprehensible that Whelan is flat out lying about Vince Polisitina’s government contracts WHILE SIMUTANEOUSLY acting like a chicken and ducking questions about his own nefarious behavior. I’m glad Polistina keeps calling that Foghorn Whelan out on it.
Polistina Challenges Whelan to Stop Ducking Pension Padding Questions
Egg Harbor Township, September 27, 2011 – Senator Jim Whelan needs to stop ducking the growing list questions about his 25-year history of abusing the system and lining his pockets at taxpayer expense with questionable pay raises, pension-padding jobs and a brazen letter begging for pension credit from a job he held 27 years earlier, charged Assemblyman Vince Polistina.
Polistina, who sat down for an hour-long Q&A with members of the press earlier this year and answered every single question they had about his private engineering firm and its public contracts, criticized Whelan for now attacking those contracts with negative mailers, while failing to hold his own sit-down with members of the press to disclose his long history of feeding at the public trough at taxpayer expense.
“Today, I challenge Jim Whelan to sit down at a table with me, members of the press and a video camera, in a neutral location, and allow each candidate to directly question the other about any issue they choose,” said Polistina. “As part of this modified Lincoln-Douglas style format, members of the press would also be able to ask their own questions of each candidate. Senator Whelan owes it Atlantic County voters to put his record under the microscope and allow it to be examined. What’s he afraid of?”
Here are the questions that Whelan has refused to answer for months:
How exactly did Whelan get 25 years in PERS system?
The NJ Division of Pensions reports that Senator Whelan “earned” 25 years in the PERS pension system – 8 years as an Atlantic City Councilman, 12 years as Atlantic City’s Mayor and 1 years with a bogus job in Ventnor. They claim Whelan “purchased” 4 additional years, but refuse to say how he was able to do that. In a recent radio interview, Whelan responded to a question about his pension by saying he somehow purchased credit from his time as a public employee in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania?!?!? Explain how.
Will he forfeit pension credits he “earned” with bogus Ventnor job?
Senator Jim Whelan had a bogus job created for him by his political cronies in Ventnor with the express purpose of padding his taxpayer-funded pension for life. Along with his 20-year career in Atlantic City politics, the Ventnor “job” ultimately “earned” him 25 years in the state pension system. Despite Whelan’s claims to the contrary, very little evidence exists that he did much work while “Secretary to the Mayor” in Ventnor. (Ventnor City Clerk, 7/20/11)
Was Whelan given pension credit he admitted not earning 27 years after the fact?
Senator Jim Whelan sent a letter to the NJ Division of Pension and Benefits in 2005 seeking pension-boosting credit for his employment as an Atlantic City recreation worker in 1978 despite admitting that the job was not pensionable at the time and that his earnings did not meet the salary threshold of $1,500. What prompted him to send a letter to the state quibbling about three dollars, 27 years after that fact?
Does Whelan think it is right to get pay raises while you aren’t even working?
The Atlantic City Board of Education allowed Senator Jim Whelan to treat his consecutive 12-year leave of absence while Mayor from 1990 to 2002, as twelve individual 1-year leaves of absence from his job as a swim instructor in the Atlantic City Schools. The sweetheart deal allowed Whelan’s taxpayer-funded salary to jump from $39,663 when his leave began all the way up to $64,250 when he returned twelve years later. In short, Whelan got a 37% pay raise despite not working one day in the schools during that time, and then another 20% pay raise after just one year back on the job up to $76,905. The stunningly rapid rise got Whelan close to the $81,500 salary he was taking home in his last year as Mayor. The state ultimately ruled that Whelan’s 12-year leave of absence was “one continuous break in service,” and denied his request to use the sweetheart deal to boost his pension.
This was released late Friday afternoon by Assemblyman Vince Polistina. Apparently, Jim Whelan has been trying to take credit for other people’s work.
POLISTINA: WHERE WAS WHELAN?
Assemblyman Vince Polistina, R-Atlantic, issued the statement below in response to Senator Whelan’s comments today on the economy and the jobs package approved Thursday by Senate committees:
“How convenient for Sen. Whelan to get “economic religion” less than two months before an election. Today the Senator stated, ‘Projects such as the NexGen Aviation Research and Technology Park in Egg Harbor Township are bringing thousands of new jobs into the State. We must make the Garden State more business-friendly, so more companies will look here as a place to build their businesses. We must also provide incentives for our residents to obtain education in 21st century industries such as technology, aviation or renewable and alternative energy.’
“As the sponsors of legislation designed to bring permanent, high-paying jobs to New Jersey and, in particular, the South Jersey region, I applaud Sen. Whelan for recognizing the hard work Assemblyman Amodeo and I put forward in helping make aviation a core industry in our state. It’s a shame for our constituents that he didn’t support us in our efforts yet sees fit to try to take credit after the fact.
Sen. Whelan also noted, ‘We must work together to further expand South Jersey’s tourism and wagering economy in Atlantic City. Creating an environment that will encourage businesses to jumpstart development and expansion will create much-needed jobs in the short-term and the long-term.’
“Again, I couldn’t agree more, however, the Senator fails to mention that it was under his watch, during his 25 plus-year tenure as mayor and legislator, that Atlantic City went from being a premier casino and tourist destination to an industry on life support. That is, until Assemblyman Amodeo and I took measures, along with Gov. Christie, to begin reviving the gaming city.
“Trenton Democrats, like Sen. Whelan, certainly know how to follow polling data, but talking about jobs won’t get it done. If he and his party are serious about creating real jobs, they should call the White House and tell President Obama to stop the outlandish spending and borrowing of trillions of dollars with no means to pay for it. That’s the only way to restore confidence and jump start our economy.”
Democrat & Atlantic City Mayor Lorenzo Langford had filed to run as an independent for Senate in District 2, one of the hottest races this November, against Democrat & Senator Jim Whelan and Republican & Assemblyman Vince Polistina. It was announced today that he will not run.
Some pundits had thought that Langford would play a Ross Perot spoiler role for Whelan if he ran. Some pundits thought Langford would only amass a few hundred votes.
Many will say this is a postive for Jim Whelan’s campaign. I personally don’t think so. Both campaigns were assuming/strategizing that he wouldn’t enter, so this really doesn’t affect their plans. It wouldn’t have caused a split in the Atlantic County Democrats because a huge rift is already there between the Whelan and Langford camps; Langford mulling a run was a symptom, not a cause of, the divide. The Whelan campaign was going to have to deal with the divide anyway. The only real positive for Whelan out of all of this is that he can focus all of his mud slinging at Polistina, and since Polistina was already planning for this, nothing changes in the race.
If anything, Polistina, not Whelan, benefits from this. I personally think that if Langford entered the race, he would have gotten about 2,00o votes. But now that he isn’t, I do not believe those votes for “independent” (really a Democrat) go right back into Whelan’s camp. Those 2,000 votes would have been protest votes against Jim Whelan. So with Langford out, those who wanted to protest vote against Jim Whelan will either a) not vote b) vote for him anyway since his name will still be on the ballot or c) vote for Polistina. I conservativly estimate about 1,000 will choose a, 500 b and 500 c. And of course, a few folks who would have donated to Langford will now donate to Polistina.
So the real net effect is, Polistina gets an extra 500 votes and a few extra thousand dollars.
Thursday night, District 2 Senate candidates Jim Whelan and Vince Polistina held a debate. I had a chance to watch it a few times this weekend, and if you don’t have an hour to spare, here are my thoughts.
Coming into this debate, pundits agreed that Polistina’s campaign has been surging while Whelan’s has been floundering. The debate did nothing to reverse that. Polistina won, Whelan lost.
First sign of proof, Jim Whelan was on the defensive for the entire hour. Polistina effectivly kept the pressure on Whelan. He constantly brought up Whelan’s record as Atlantic City mayor and 2nd District Senator. Every failure Polistina brought up, the 2006 4th of July closing of the casinos, the Moody’s credit downgrade of Atlantic City, record unemployment, crime,etc, Whelan only had lame excuses and spin to offer in response. Whelan actually tried to take credit for casino projects, like Revel and Borgata, that he had nothing to do with. Polistina issued the line of the night (in my opinion) when he said that Whelan taking credit for those projects is like the rooster taking credit for the sunrise(around minute 4:00 of the debate).
Whelan had the look and sound of a man grasping for straws. It was the demeanor of a man who knows he is losing. He only tried to go on the offensive twice, and both times failed. Early on he tried to attack Polistina by repeating the lie his campaign has unsuccessfully been trying to spread, saying that the open bid contracts Polistina’s firm had won on merit were no-bid. After the audience laughed at Whelan for trying that, he didn’t try going on the offensive again until his closing statement. That’s when he tried to play the “poor little me/victim” card by claiming he was the innocent victim of attacks on his record. The crowd’s reaction when Polistina reminded Whelan he has run the dirtiest campaigns in Atlantic County history showed that Whelan wasn’t fooling anyone.
You can tell Whelan lost, and that was just from Whelan’s demeanor. It got worse once he opened his mouth.
Throughout the night, Whelan showed how he doesn’t understand basic economic and business principles, how the ideas he does have are the same old ideas that doomed us to begin with, and how his record is so bad that he tried to take credit for other people’s success. Simultaneously, Polistina was showing that he gets it.
When it comes to job creation, Whelan offered two ideas, one for Atlantic City, one for the whole state. To fix Atlantic City, he believes boutique casinos are the answer, while we all know the problem isn’t supply, its demand and the general lousy destination that is currently Atlantic City. Whelan’s solution to the whole problem was to vote for legislation which would let small businesses borrow a maximum of $250,000 at 2% interest if they hire new people (31:00). Polistina, who unlike Whelan has actually worked in the private sector and created jobs, pointed out that program wouldn’t create any jobs. He correctly pointed out businesses are not hiring because they can’t get loans, they aren’t hiring because their sales aren’t growing, and that getting a one time loan WILL NOT spur employment (35:09). Advantage Polistina.
When it came to budgeting, Whelan’s idea was to spend more money and use projected, unrealized surpluses to spend more money. Then, despite the face that NOT re-instating the millionaires tax resulted in an extra $500 million in collected taxex (more than what was projected to be raised if the tax was raised), Whelan called for the tax to be raised (12:15). Polistina, however, showed that when it comes to budgeting, he knows what works and knows that what Whelan proposes doesn’t. He pointed out that Whelan’s ideas about debt and spending DIRECTLY led to Moody’s downgrading Atlantic City’s credit rating, and that those are the same ideas Whelan is now proposing for the state (11:00). Polistina then correctly pointed out that in order to restore fiscal sanity, that state can only spend what it brings in, and has to stop borrowing money for recurring, operational expenses(13:50). Advantage Polistina.
And finally, I have to point out that Jim Whelan actually advocated using eminent domain to revitalize the city (2:45). He actually got up there and said that he wants developers to use the public sector to take away land from any neighbors who are causing developers “trouble”.
Sure that Whelan wouldn’t abuse that at all.
Congrats on your win Vince Polistina!