ATLANTIC CITY – Council President Marty Small has shot back at Donald Trump’s claims that local leadership has contributed to city’s current financial situation, rather than the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s business dealings in the resort.
“I find it ironic that Donald takes a shot at the Democratic City Council as the downfall of Atlantic City, when his Republican BFF and Vice Presidential Candidate Governor (Chris) Christie’s staff has been in Atlantic City since 2010 and has failed Atlantic City big time,” Small said in a statement Thursday.
On Wednesday, Trump took to social media to attack city leaders and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton before her scheduled speech in front of the shuttered Trump Plaza.
“Ask the Democrat City Council what happened to Atlantic City. Hillary Clinton should ask why the Democrat pols in Atlantic City made all the wrong moves - Convention Center, Airport - and destroyed City,” Trump tweeted. “I made a lot of money in Atlantic City and left 7 years ago, great timing (as all know). Pols made big mistakes, now many bankruptcies.”
Later on Wednesday, Clinton delivered a 30-minute speech, where she speak about Trump’s history in Atlantic City of multiple bankruptcies, stiffing contractors and spurring the loss of hundreds of jobs while pocketing cash for himself.
“What he did here in Atlantic City is exactly what he’ll do if he wins in November,” Clinton said during her speech. “As the people of Atlantic City know, Donald Trump cannot do the job for American workers.”
Since Christie took office the city has had four casinos close, Small said.
Despite the contracting casino economy, local officials continue to put the city’s financial future at risk, said Brian Murray, spokesman for the governor’s office.
“While out-of-state competition forced the casino industry to downsize and Atlantic City’s financial crisis to deepen, Mr. Small and other part-time officials did nothing but continue to recklessly waste taxpayer dollars, including by parading around the 10-square-mile city in taxpayer-funded vehicles,” Murray said. “ Now, Atlantic City needs a bridge loan from New Jersey taxpayers just to get through the next few months because officials such as Mr. Small, a councilman for the past 12 years, continue to play politics and refuse to end a broken system that rewards public union masters at the expense of local and state taxpayers.”
Two years ago, the casino industry in the city was decimated by the closings of Showboat Casino Hotel on Aug. 31, Revel on Sept. 2 and Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino on Sept. 16.When the dust settled, more than 5,000 employees had lost jobs. On top of that, the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel had closed earlier that year, taking with it 1,600 jobs.
“Donald has made a mockery of our bankruptcy laws, leaving small business and the hard working workers of Atlantic City to Suffer, as a matter a fact, the only casino in town on strike still bears his name,” Small said. “The Common Denominators in Atlantic City’s fiscal and business problems are Trump & Christie, Trump for his atrocious business record and Christie for his Atlantic City Political Record”