Pay-to-play fight in Eighth District

The ethics war continues in the Eighth District, where Democrats called a Republican attack from yesterday hypocritical, pointing to campaign cash the three Republican candidates received from firms since the 1990s.

The Eighth District Democrats issued a press release today that detailed $526,298 in campaign contributions from county vendors to candidates Dawn Addiego, Scott Rudder and Phil Haines and the county and municipal Republican committees that they served under. According to the press release, the firms that donated received over $26 million in county work.

“Our opponents must think the voters of Burlington County are clueless about the pay-to-play deals they’ve benefited from year after year while in power,” said Democratic Assembly candidate Tracy Riley, who’s running for the Assembly with Chris Fifis, on a ticket led by Fran Bodine, an Assemblyman who recently switched from Republican to Democrat. “The sad but hard facts remain: Haines, Addiego and Rudder are the reason why more and more citizens are fed up with the insider deals that are taxing us right out of our homes,” added Riley.

Yesterday, the Republican candidates issued a press release tying Bodine to a pay-to-play controversy in Evesham. Democrats hit back, calling today’s numbers “the tip of the iceberg," as they are still waiting to examine archived 1990s ELEC reports from the Evesham Republican Organization and Burlington County GOP.

Chris Russell, Executive Director of the Burlington County Republican Party, said that the local GOP leadership enacted a competitive contracting policy a year before the state required it, making Burlington County the first to do so.

"Until Tracy Riley and Chris Fifis honestly address Fran Bodine's pension-padding, big-spending career as a Trenton insider and his growing pay-to-play scandal in Evesham, its impossible for anyone to take them seriously on the issue of ethics reform,” said Russell.

  Pay-to-play fight in Eighth District