South Jersey Democrats threw a punch at Chris Myers today, just as the third district Republican congressional candidate was getting ready to hold a press conference hitting back at Jack Kelly, his Republican rival for the nomination.
Burlington County Democratic Chairman Rick Perr today slammed Myers as a “pawn” of Republican bosses for accepting money from the “Corrupt Burlington County GOP Machine.”
At issue are two donations that show up in Myers’s Federal Election Commission filings: $2,300 from former Burlington County Republican Chairman Glenn Paulsen, and $2,300 former Burlington County Bridge Commission Chairman J. Garfield DeMarco.
Last year, former lobbyist David Stears pleaded guilty to over-billing the commission $1 million in consulting fees while DeMarco was in charge. During his sentencing hearing, Stears said that local party leaders were in on the scam, and that he was forced to contribute several thousand dollars each month to the local Republican Party, which at the time was controlled by Paulsen.
“Mayor Myers has been masquerading as a reformer while his campaign coffers are flush with cash from corrupt Burlington County GOP political bosses," said Perr. "Mayor Myers can't have his cake and eat it too. He should either return the tainted campaign cash and work to root out the corruption in his backyard, or he should openly embrace Bob Stears, Glenn Paulsen, and Garfield DeMarco as he campaigns across the district."
Although an investigation is said to be ongoing, neither Paulsen nor DeMarco have been charged with a crime.
Perr is an ally of 3rd district Democratic congressional candidate John Adler and South Jersey Democratic powerbroker George Norcross III.
Myers is in his own heated primary race against Kelly, and has a press conference scheduled for 3:00 this afternoon in which he’s expected to hit Kelly on his record of taxpayer-funded jobs. His spokesman, Chris Russell, said that Perr wants Kelly to win the primary because he’d be a weaker candidate against Adler.
“After last year’s crushing defeats, it appears Rick Perr is still searching for relevance,” he said. “Chris Myers is a successful businessman, a decorated combat veteran and the best Republican to beat John Adler in November. Rick Perr knows that, so this press release is nothing more than him doing John Adler’s and George Norcross’s bidding.”