More controversies for embattled GOP Chairman

A political fundraising firm owned by the wife of GOP State Chaiman Tom Wilson is raising money for James “Sonny” McCullough, a Republican State Senate candidate in the second district. McCullough, the Mayor of Egg Harbor Township, and Assembly Minority Whip Frank Blee are facing off for the GOP Senate nomination to replace Bill Gormley. Gormley is leaving the Senate on February 15. Congressman Frank LoBiondo is hosting a $500-per-person fundraiser for McCullough on February 19, and Turnkey Productions is running the event. The firm’s website lists Wilson’s wife, Lysa Israel, as a partner. This is the second contested State Senate primary where someone close to Wilson has taken a paid role. Todd Riffle, who works for full-time for Wilson as Communications and Research Director, is also doing opposition research for Assemblyman Guy Gregg, who is challenging longtime State Senator Robert Littell in the GOP primary. An ELEC report shows a $2500 consulting fee was paid to Riffle last December and sent to him at a political consulting firm run by David Murray. Despite a vote of confidence given by county GOP leaders last week, Wilson’s re-election in June is less than secure. He has declined comment on requests to return his share of consulting fees he received from the Burlington County Bridge Authority after his former partner, Robert Stears, pleded guilty to overbilling the public agency by hundreds of thousands of dollars. Wilson’s active support of John McCain’s presidential campaign has also been critcized by some party leaders who believe he had agreed to remain neutral when he campaigned for the post after the 2004 election.

More controversies for embattled GOP Chairman