Haystacks Calhoun, the disaffected, has some questions for Whelan, Surace

Haystacks Calhoun asked me to publish the following:

The disaffected, like me, are being told that we shouldn’t be projecting our previous concerns about Magazzu onto Whelan and Surace or the other Ds. However, I have some questions for the Whelan and Surace boosters out there that I would like answered.

1. Why did Whelan second and support a resolution back on 26 February 2009 (Resolution 2009-104) that effectively greenlighted Lou — at least with respect to the county’s code of ethics — to setup his NACo slush fund (“it’s a PAC”, no wait “It’s trade account”…[still waiting for what it really was!])? Furthermore, why weren’t the actual changes to the ethics code’s language included in the resolution or the minutes package? The resolution states only that a “copy attached hereto showing the amendments redlined”. However, there is nothing “attached hereto” on the electronic copy.

2. Why did Whelan sponsor a resolution back on 28 December 2009 (Resolution 2009-706) that would have permitted County Counsel, Brendan Kavanagh, to move from the state’s 401K-like retirement system into the much more lucrative state pension system (PERS)? Only after negative coverage here and in the papers was this effort stopped. [Aside: why are part time attorneys allowed to be in any state run pension system? Why aren’t they treated like all other contractors for the county – paid for services rendered and that’s it?]

3. Why did Whelan campaign on Rainear’s promise to take the Surrogate job at only $75,000 in 2008 and then vote on 24 Nov. 2010 to raise his salary to $107,250 (Resolution 2010-764)? If he was bound by law to give Rainear his full salary upon request (and I think he was), then why did he not at least speak out against Rainear’s flip-flop at the time of the vote? Why did he wait until the local papers ran with this story (one week after the fact and after MWatch ran a piece about it)? Also why is the actual vote [Ayes: Dunkins, Jannarone, Pepitone, Thompson, Whelan; Nays: Magazzu (his explanation: to give Sheppard some “company”), Sheppard] on this resolution missing in the minutes? Resolutions are always accompanied by how the freeholders voted, except in this instance.

4. If the county is — and has been since 2008 — in such dire financial straits that it has to give up on the county manor, library, 4-H and other valuable programs, then why was Whelan, until just recently, in favor of using county funds to build a chapel at the veterans cemetery?

5. If Whelan is more public servant than pol, I ask the following with respect to his campaign’s contributions and disbursements:
a. Why has his campaign accepted almost $12,000 (this number being based only on what is in ELEC so far) from out of County law firms and almost $10,000 from other out of county interests (engineering, IT, insurance companies)?
b. Why did his campaign make contributions (Musso and Jannarone’s campaigns made identical contributions) to Jim Fazzone’s campaign for Burlington mayoral and Gail Cook’s Distict 7 state senate campaigns?
c. Was it a good idea to accept a $1,000 contribution from Bail Bonds of America back on 4 October 2011? Whelan is not the first NJ politician or political organization to accept money from a bail bond company, but, based on my quick search in ELEC, he may be the first Cumberland County politician to do so (at least within the last couple of decades). This reminded me of the Bad News Bears (Tanner Boyle: “Hey Yankees… you can take your apology and your trophy and shove ’em straight up you’re a–!”) and the sponsor plastered on the backs of their uniforms: Chico’s Bail Bonds—“Let Freedom Ring”. In the movie it was funny; this isn’t so funny.

Why shouldn’t we believe that Surace will simply be Edward Salmon’s “in” with the new freeholder board? After all Surace is an associate of Salmon Ventures (as other political types in Cumberland County have been, including D Finch and P Porreca). From January to June 2011 (politics’ version of Spring Training), Salmon gave almost $6,000 to NJ D politicians, including Bill Whelan, Steve Sweeney, Donald Norcross, and John Burzichelli. Salmon also (so far) has ponied up $2,600 to Surace. Michael Zumpino (another frequent campaign donor) of Triad Associates (associated with Salmon Ventures) also gave Surace $1,300. (If history is any guide, they will give plenty more leading up to Election Day.) Some will say that Surace will have to abstain from anything before the freeholders having to do with Salmon. However, the other freeholders will not, and, if the Ds have the majority, I remain suspicious. I and others have written here before about the teacher-turned-politician-turned BPU Commissioner-turned-lobbyist Edward H. Salmon, and I think there is good reason to be concerned about anything or anyone that might give him or his associates more influence with the freeholder board.


9 Responses to Haystacks Calhoun, the disaffected, has some questions for Whelan, Surace

  1. cindy zirkle says:

    why don’t you call Bill yourself? He is amazingly approachable, will answer any questions you may have and then the answers will not be lost or misintrepreted in translation. This kind of posting is exactly why I, personally, do not like people who do not sign their names, see my response to “Guess Who”. It seems to be part of a game or plan to make others look bad in an underhanded way.

  2. WuLi says:

    Hey Cindy,

    I know Haystacks personally, I have met him in recent weeks. With what I know, there is NO WAY he can come out publically, not with the history that Cumberland County has of destroying people and their families. Until certain political appointees are out of power, especially in law enforcement capacity and in the capacity to illegally harass citizens, nobody is safe. unfortunately, Bill is one of the people that helped appoint and hire some of these individuals. until I see positive corrective action, I still believe that nobody is safe.

    What is disconcerting is to see Bill paying a political hack to help commit election fraud – see today’s post on MWatch. This guy has a well-known reputation, and Bill is paying him money to submit fraudulent ballot applications. With Nancy Sungenis, another high ranking CCDO officer in charge of the local election board, it is a good thing that some people were on the ball and caught on to what is happening.

    We both know that many elections in the county hinge on 200 votes – to see over 500 applications delivered in one day, and that 19 were so obviously fraudulent that they were caught immediately, I see another election being thrown by powers that do not believe in the democratic process. Bill Whelan once again disappointed me with his generous payment in support of this fraud.

  3. Calhoun says:

    There is no game plan here to make people look bad. Furthermore, how come no complaints about all of us when we we’re criticizing Lou anonymously, but now that concerns are raised about Whelan the complaints are no good because they’re anonymous? Was there a different standard for Lou than others?

    The statements I make are carefully documented. Based on the information in front of me, Whelan did vote to put Kavanagh into PERS. He did vote to to modify the county’s code of ethics to help Lou out. Whelan did vote to campaign on Rainear’s promise to take only $75K, but then did vote to give him more — a lot more. He did vote in favor of the chapel. His campaign did take in large sums of money from outside interests, and it did contribute to campaigns outside the county. If you don’t believe me, then go to the county’s minutes and the reports at ELEC — it’s all there. How does my anonymity negate what I have written, when it is all carefully documented and verifiable?

    More recent research by Carl has shown that the Whelan campaign and other Ds have been paying some to orchestrate a mail-in ballot campaign to maximize GOTV in D neighborhoods. if this were done in the normal way, it might be OK, but it certainly looks like the mail-in ballot is being used as a form of currency to be redeemed for hamburgers or some other item. If so, that’s terrible, and not something to be condoned. Based on my quick review this afternoon, Carl’s finding’s are legit and should be a concern for all of us. I rather suspect we will be hearing a lot more about Mr. Allen leading up to Election Day.

    I have no interest in calling Bill personally on the phone to get his opinion because that is an off the record opinion. Politicians are masters at blowing smoke up one’s backside when they’re off the record. I want on the record comments. They’re the only ones that count. Simply talking to politicians on the phone (and off the record) gives them exactly what they want — a chance to talk out of both sides of their mouths.

    Last year at a Millville City Commission meeting, David Vanaman stated that what he tells people in private is pretty much the same as he tells people on the record at Commission meetings. He also said that he doesn’t value the opinions of people who don’t do this. I oftentimes don’t agree with Vanaman, but I respect him because he does do exactly that.

    Carl’s comment covers everything else.

  4. Guess-Who says:

    Well, Well, WELL, L{.}{.}K this is NO-GAME being Played, Mrs. Zirkle.

    Holding Our Elected Officials ACCOUNTABLE for their Actions let alone their VOTES is something this County has been missing for some time 🙂
    I am proud of the IDEAS & Things that I have put Forth towards IMPROVING this County of Cumberland, NJ

    I don’t give 2-_ _ _ _ _ what anybody THINKS about Me nor do I care that some find it CUMBERSOME that my NAME is left Anonymously, I am NOT hiding from anyone by using the NAME (Guess-Who) here on MagazzuWatch.

    I have the COPY of the 2008 Campaign (Infomercial) PLEDGE of $75,000 from Doug Rainear, Bill Whelan, Jim Dunkins, J.J. & Bob Austino 🙂

    L{.}{.}K IF u need to SEE the Facts (Promises) from the 2008 Campaign Mrs Zirkle I will Link them up here on MagazzuWatch 🙂

    CHECKS and BALANCE make the County a Better Place

  5. Guess-Who says:

    Mrs. Zirkle here is the 2008 Campaign Promise of $75,000 from the CRUE:

  6. Guess-Who says:

    Try this 1:

  7. Guess-Who says:

    If video doesn’t load, go to you-tube and type Doug Rainear in search 🙂

  8. 2cents says:

    Cindy, not every question needs a face and name attached to it so they can be singled out for personal slander and attacks by the Magazzu crew who do not function in a world with ethics. The questions asked are valid and are of interest to all voters. The Cumberland County Democratic Party should be asking these very questions of itself, instead of trying to unmask and destroy the questioner.
    The core membership still remain Magazzu loyalist who allowed the tyrant to destroy the party and sell out to Camden County. Until the day this group is removed from power, Whelan and the rest of Magazzu’s crew can never be trusted to give a truthful answer to anything. And by extension; any county Democrat suffers the consequences of this distrust because they cower silently along the sidelines because they fear their own party leadership. Trust is earned by actions; not because it is blindly demanded.
    By the way, Bill is not easily approachable unless you are part of his inner-circle, interested in making a campaign contribution, or are agreeing with him. I tried, but he’s just like Magazzu who if the conversation wasn’t going his way always had the excuse he was late for something and that he would “continue the discussion later”. But later never comes. The book has a different cover but I’m afraid the story remains the same.

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