When calling for Burlington County Democratic Chairman Rick Perr to resign today, his fellow Democrats seized on a quote from Burlington County Republican spokesman Chris Russell to distance the larger party from Perr and former treasurer Jeff Meyer.
"As we suspected from the beginning, it appears the New Frontier PAC was nothing more than a front for Rick Perr and Jeff Meyer to conduct a pay-to-play scheme," Russell told the Burlington County Times in a story published yesterday.
Pointing to the quote, Democratic Freeholder Chris Brown called the scandal “the actions of two people… not the actions of the Democratic Party.”
The county’s Democratic vice-chairwoman, Alice Furia, said “I agree with the Republicans’ assessment of who’s to blame, and it’s two individuals: Rick Perr and Jeff Meyer.”
But Russell – who works for a party that Democrats have spent years attacking as corrupt – said that the quote was not meant to exclude other Democrats.
"Chris Brown is up to his eyeballs in this pay-to-play scandal and his hypocritcal comments to the contrary are a joke. He took more than $20,000 in his campaigns for council and freeholder from the New Frontier PAC. Where was his outrage then? The fact is that Pete Cammarano and Chris Brown are the biggest recpients of New Frontier cash and nothing he can say today changes that," he said.
“Rick Perr and Jeff Meyer ran everything. They raised the money, broke the press releases, ran the headquarters. For anyone to say it’s just these two guy sis ridiculous. They have all pledged allegiance to these guys the whole time,” he said.
The Democrats’ purge of Perr and Meyer comes as they are fighting to take control of the freeholder board, running Mount Holly Councilwoman Kimberly Kersey and Cinnaminson resident Jim Bernard against Republicans Medford Councilwoman Mary Ann O'Brien and Florence Councilman Bruce Garganio for two open seats.
“Kim Kessey and Jim Bernard have the fingerprints of Rick Perr and Jeff Meyer all over them,” said Russell.
Russell was the first person to note the connection between the New Frontier PAC and Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammarano after Cammarano’s arrest on corruption charges last month.
“I don’t think we know the whole story. We’re still trying to dig,” he said. “This story has gone in the last three weeks from them making complete denials to them making excuses.’