McGettigan on pay-to-play

Atlantic County Sheriff and Democratic County Executive candidate James McGettigan took a more subtle approach in his race against Republican incumbent Dennis Levinson today, criticizing him without once mentioning his name.

In a press release, McGettigan pledged his support for pay-to-play reforms under consideration by the Atlantic County Freeholders – reforms that were introduced to the board by Levinson in January. McGettigan had a few to add, however.

"I am thankful to both Republicans and Democrats alike on the Freeholder Board for considering what I’ve been pushing for all along – a comprehensive pay-to-play ban which would include contributions by county auditors,” said McGettigan.

At the top of the list, McGettigan said he wanted to “Hold the County Executive to the same ethical standards as all county officials along with the county’s constitutional row officers.”

McGettigan also suggested several other additions to the bill: adding a three-year ban on employment of any paid county employee with a vendor that did business with the county government; a ban on county employee contributions in county-wide political races; and for the county to post public records on its website, including the salary of all employees.

Levinson responded that these reforms are just one part of a reform package he developed with the Center for Civic Responsibility and gave to the Freeholder Board in January.

“The difference between what McGettigan wants and what I want, is mine is put together by a third party with no interests except good government,” said Levinson. “These are things we’ve been doing all along. All we’re doing is codifying them

Levinson said that McGettigan was trying to take credit for ethical reforms that are taking place under his watch.

“The next time Mr. McGettigan comes up with an original idea will be the first time. This was introduced to the freeholders back in January,” said Levinson. McGettigan on pay-to-play