Panter campaign fires back at O’Scanlon

Assemblyman Michael Panter's campaign today said Declan O'Scanlon is not in aposition to render a serious judgement about the record of the two-term Monmouth County Democrat.

O'Scanlon, a Republican councilman from Little Silver who is challenging Panter, issued another war whoop over the weekend about Panter's inability to implement real ethics reform because of the assemblyman's close ties to Speaker Joe Roberts.

"It's absolutely preposterous," responded Dan Reilly, Panter's campaign manager.

ThenReilly went after what he describes as O'Scanlon's eightno-bid contracts as a private consultant tolocal Republican-dominated governing bodiesthat are seeking help with citing cellular telephone towers on public lands.

O'Scanlon says he's the only businessman in the area with thefinesseand know-how to navigate between the telecommunications industry andmunicipalities and actually save taxpayers' money.

Nonsense, saysReilly, who charged O'Scanlon with taking advantage of hispersonal relationship with the mayor of Fair Haven to land ajuicy $45,000 consulting contract.

"He's trying to run a campaign on cuttingspending in Trenton and meanwhile he'sskimming money from the taxpaers as part of a culture ofRepublican cronyism in Monmouth County," said Reilly. "It's just ridiculous."

The drama in this race goes as follows: outspent by his rival, O'Scanlon hits Panter on the Camden-Roberts connection. Panter or his people say he's just taking money from the party, and is it any accident with Bush blowing up the Republicans here that the Democrats can raise more? Then Panter or his people hit O'Scanlon onhis local government contracts. O'Scanlon says his public contracts account for a very small percentage of his annual income, and amounts to public service.

Then he attacks Panter on the hypocrisy of taking money from the machine whilethe lawyer Assemblyman loudly proclaims to be a reformer.

Then the Panter campaign says O'Scanlon's being a hypocrite because ofthe cellphone contract connection and the cycle goes on and on.

This week O'Scanlon is irritated that Panter continues to elude him in his call for a debate. It appeared that the two sides were close to working out a TV appearance Tuesday, but that fell through when the Panter-Amy Mallet campaign cited a scheduling conflict.

Panter campaign fires back at O’Scanlon