Residents of New Jersey often wonder why election for Governor is held on off-year cycles. The best reasoning we have heard is that it shifts the debate away from national issues to ones that are more local.
We believe Garden State residents should be thankful for that this year. Being in an off year has allowed the race for Governor to be front and center since June when the Democrats backed Gov. Phil Murphy to be their candidate and the GOP elected former Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli as their standard bearer.
As we documented this week, the two issues garnering the most attention have been taxes and the coronavirus pandemic.
Looking to lower taxes and the economy has been a strength for Ciattarelli in statewide polling this year. After all, who doesn’t want to back somebody who wants to cut your taxes? But his proposals have been light on specifics in regards to how to make up for lost revenue besides budget cuts.
Ciattarelli has rightfully questioned how a budget that has increased 30% in four years can be sustainable. Add on top of that, the borrowing the Murphy Administration has taken on in the last year leads to a highly troublesome economic forecast as well.
Despite attempts by the Murphy campaign, it is unfair to portray Ciattarelli as just another extremist Trump Republican. Just this week, he admonished the former President for his distasteful missive after the passing of Gen. Colin Powell and we believe his demeanor would serve the state well if he were to reside in Drumthwacket for the next four years.
But he did attend a “Stop the Steal” event on Jan. 6 and his answers about that appearance have been less than assuring. And on the issue that most hangs over New Jersey, Ciattarelli has dipped too much into the Republican playbook to combat the coronavirus pandemic for us to endorse him as the 56th governor of New Jersey.
Please do not get us wrong—we have a lot of concerns about Phil Murphy. We start off with his delay of any sort of independent investigation into his administration’s actions during the pandemic. It should have been done before this year’s election so voters had a full picture of why decisions were made. It smacks more of CYA than being too busy because “we in the fight” as the Governor has claimed.
Two items atop our list of reservations are spending and drifting too far left on social reforms. The federal aid we receive has been largely bumped up due to the pandemic and at some point, that tap will be turned off. We fear the spending for programs being put in place now are not sustainable and will ultimately cost taxpayers in New Jersey.
As for social reforms, we feel too often he lets the more liberal wing of his party set the agenda then the Governor himself. The controversy around marijuana legalization and decriminalization is a cautionary tale that we hope Murphy has learned from. He deserves praise for making sure a mistake in a child’s youth should not ruin their entire lives and holding the line that legal cannabis usage should be 21. But the notion that parents should not be notified by police if their 16 year old is caught with a joint or can of beer should have been a non-starter.
For those voters who want to be a one-issue voter and cast your ballot because of the deaths at long-term care facilities and veterans homes, we feel that is as good as any reason to cast a vote against whomever ran against Murphy. But we look at the bigger picture in which large number of deaths at nursing homes were not an isolated incident in New Jersey, but one unfortunately seen time and time again nationwide. And we believe operators of the homes deserve much greater scrutiny. But overall, this is an issue where the buck stops with Murphy.
For the past 19 months, Murphy has been front and center leading the state during the pandemic. The bad—resident interactions with the unemployment agency and motor vehicle commission are the first that come to mind—however have been outweighed by the overwhelmingly correct decisions made during unprecedented times forcing officials to make choices as best they could on the fly.
With Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli by his side, his administration has spearheaded a vaccine program that now features the state having over 6 million Garden State residents full vaccinated. We have been and continue to be supportive of mask and COVID-19 vaccine mandates because that is the right playbook to getting us back to normal. Ciattarelli’s reluctance to fully embrace this with the word salad of “personal choice” favored by anti-vaxxers when it comes to medical decisions is what ultimately leads us to our endorsement.
Leadership matters. For nearly half of his four year term, Phil Murphy has held the ship steady in extremely choppy waters in comparison to others in his position. Murphy is the best candidate for North Jersey voters to cast their ballot for starting this weekend, to continue that proven leadership that will be needed over the next four years.
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Praying for a Jack upset. We can’t pay anymore than we have. Leave it to the Dem’s and they would take it all!! They create jobs for there buddies, and misuse money that was ment for our roads and are now put into a general slush fund. This state has been misrun for many many years by Democrats that promise you everything, and want to give you everything and never deliver. Jack is the answer, not the Mo mo’s in there now. God please help New Jersey!
Then NJ is definitely not the place for me! Time for a change!!
Murphy needs to have ALL of his Executive Powers taken away!!! Most Democrats FORGET that they work for US!!!WE THE PEOPLE!!! And no, when it comes down to the elderly dying in nursing homes it was ALL Murphy’s decision!!! He and Coumo put those poor people in there to DIE!!! So Murphy you can kiss our Asses!!! Get your horse teeth fixed you horses ASS!!! Jack For Governor!!!!
you are so WRONG to support Murphy – he is only going to raise taxes / mandate masks again / shutdown businesses & it is A PERSONAL CHOICE TO GET A VACCINE THAT HAS SO MANY SIDE EFFECTS …… you people keep complaining about the way this state is run & yet you still vote in the SAME PEOPLE Thank God I am leaving this state for RED STATE where there are low property taxes ( i was paying $26,000 in property taxes ) no taxes on pension / no tax on social secuity / no state tax – you stupid people can keep your murphy & all the rest of them !
this is why no one buys your news anymore. Murphy will mandate vaccines against first responders choice and more people will die because of it. Towns like Wyckoff are full up voluntary and ALL will walk due to it along with surrounding towns. good luck if your home is a blaze for your first responders were fired.
I will no longer subscribe due to yr endorsement of Murphy .. who by the way sent Covid positive pt to nursing homes. Good by
I appreciate your reasonable, non-ideological position in this and other editorials.
What a load of shit. You list all the reasons he shouldn’t be re-elected, than endorse him anyway. He’s garbage and you just laid down with him. Good riddance.
What really disheartens me about the whole coronavirus narrative is any balanced discussion about the vaccines and mandates. People are supposed to just shut up and do as they’re told. But can we not entertain even for a minute that people may have very valid reasons for not wanting to get vaccinated that have nothing to do with politics. There are few American politicians far enough to the left for me. Yet, I am strongly opposed to vaccine mandates. I am a healthy, independent person and I also have a master’s degree in biology. So, I do my research. I’ve also been maimed by a pharmaceutical drug and have spent 10+ years in chronic pain and the equivalent of a down payment on a house for various therapies trying to get relief. So for me to feel forced to inject something into my body is not something I take lightly – especially when every vaccine maker has paid out billions (not millions) in legal settlements over the years, some of them in criminal not civil lawsuits. Big pharma does not have a good track record of being honest with people. And that’s an indisputable fact born out by plenty of evidence. Once again, the coronavirus could have been an opportunity for American unity and a return to civil discussion but media like yours immediately labelling anyone who dares to question or take a different path as “anti-vaxxers” is a big part of the problem. Too bad I donated to your site. I won’t be doing that again.
Sadly, you’re the exception on the non-vaccinated side. You’re in the legitimate minority that has some sort of other health concern that makes any vaccine or pharmaceutial suspect. Most are willing to put damn near anything else (hydrochloroquine, ivermectin, colloidal silver, methylene chloride, iodine, bleach…) in their body, apparently to avoid some microchip or other science fiction hoax–even when the manufacturers of those products say “our product, which we’d love to sell more of, doesn’t have any effect on COVID-19, and could harm you.”
It is time for a change. Anyone who can leave his executive orders in effect after rescinding the state of emergency wields too much power. You can’t ignore the deaths in the nursing homes or the overall death rate in our state despite the lock downs. So many small businesses were hurt. Just remember, if Murphy gets into office, he has the power and authority with his executive orders to lock down the state. If you have reservations it is time for a change. I am tired of the high taxes and the lack of accountability. I don’t want the government to tell me how to take care of my health. Mask mandates then vaccine mandates. What next? How about offering early treatment in NJ which has been proven by numerous studies to work? The only way to send a message is with your vote. Wake up NJ! It is time and you can make a difference! GET MURPHY OUT!
The Covid vaccines are scientifically proven safe and effective. In my opinion, based on knowledge from academics and experience, denying that is denying science and disregarding the health of our fellow Americans. In addition, Jack Ciattarelli would bring the ravages of trumpism to New Jersey; anyone even participating in the 1/6 insurrection is thoroughly inappropriate to be heading our state’s government. Phil Murphy may not be perfect, but who is? He has done a good job in tough circumstances, and considering the competition, I encourage every voter who cares about New Jersey to return him to office. There should be no quarter given to a member of a party whose only platform in ‘20 was “Trump.”
So Jack’s Covid policy is worse the Murphy’s nursing home policy? What a disgrace. You base an endorsement on one issue?
I wish we had the “ravages” of Trumpism as you call it as opposed to the destruction of America as we know it by Biden. Murphy will perpetuate Biden’s absurd policies on this failing economy.
Murphy is Cuomo lite, having sex scandals, sentencing seniors to die by not following CDC guidance, closing outdoor spaces despite scientific evidence that they were safe, attacking business owners and defying laws requiring tranparency. His record should alone have triggered criminal investigations and disqualified him from running.
Gov. Murphy has not been a gov for all. He has our taxes at an all time high with no relief in sight. Seniors have to wait to get the property tax freeze until 67 not 65. Why did he raise tolls & gas tax during covic.
Seriously, this should not be a hard call for newspaper editorial board. it creeps me out that you would give any consideration to a Republican candidate who brings nothing to the table other than the promotion of culture wars and who doesn’t emphatically separate himself from Trump. You and New jersey are both better than this. I don’t want you to repeat your fiscal concerns from the Republican playbook from the 80’s. Let’s move forward, not backward.
Christopher J. Kellar.
Murphy has done tremendous damage to the lives of people in New Jersey. He’s overstepped his authority massively. If you look around the world at places that didn’t have lockdowns and mask mandates most of these places did better. Everything that Murphy did made our lives worse. And now he’s forcing people especially children in schools to cover their faces for seven hours a day when there is absolutely no evidence in no reason to do this. Because children are not at risk from Covid. Taxes are a disaster, New Jersey is corrupt, the roads suck. The only reason Murphy is governor is because he was a fundraiser for Barack Obama
I’m shocked, that the 0nly reason to Support & Vote for the Honourable G0V. Phil Murphy is : Mandated Jab’; That wouldst be very Dangerous!!// s & the wearing’s 0f the Mask’s!! Now, How Stupid is that!! AND; Coming from a Learned & supposedly intelligent but 0bviouly Heavily Biased Staff & their Employer!! G0V. Phil Murphy has done an all-around Great Job & may he continue to do so; unlike that 0f his Predecessor, not worth mentioning his name!! But his Initial’s are Chris Christe.!! Just to Remind Y’all, that having the Freedom 0f Choice is paramount to an Democracy & the Democratic way 0f life, lest be all Forget!! AND
These comments show that the political right is very vocal. No need to constrain themselves with actual facts or context. By todays standards, Richard Nixon would be considered a leftist.
Thanks Alan but you kind of missed my two major points. 1) Pharmaceutical companies often behave in criminal ways. One only look at Sackler and the other pharmaceutical companies who created the opioid epidemic, which has cost nearly 500,000 lives in the 10 years from 1999 to 2019. So surely, no one should be surprised that people don’t trust big pharma. Lumping a generic, non-profit making Nobel prize-winning drug like Ivermectin with bleach tells me you’ve fallen victim to the media propaganda. 2) None of us have any idea why individuals who are strangers to us make the decisions that they do. There are 330 million Americans. As of now, I believe 43% have chosen not to be vaccinated. I find it hard to believe that all or even most of them are ignorant, uneducated, uncaring individuals without valid reasons for making the decision they have. But if you do believe that, we can agree to disagree. All the best.
Follow this link – Murphy will enact Vax Mandates!!!!!!!!!
Do you like mandates? Do you like the government telling you what to do? Check this link out.
Are you okay with Murphy mandating vaccinations in our state?
“Are you okay with Murphy mandating vaccinations…?” Yes, I am, and I think a majority of us who would like to be able to be safe without masks and other extra cautions would like it, too. I was vaccinated early, and although I had a breakthrough case of Covid, it was comparatively mild and would likely have been a lot worse without being vaccinated (so say several doctors). I still have some natural antibodies, but will be getting the booster in the next few weeks. Why? Because I support PUBLIC health; to have a healthy public, we must care about our fellow man and woman. Vaccination shows caring.
If you take a step back and look at the big picture, you are giving up your freedom by accepting a mandate. A vaccine today, what will they mandate tomorrow? Should someone give up their benefits because they are not vaccinated? Will they come after their life savings? These are real questions people have. They have made it seem like nothing helps you battle this illness. On the contrary. So don’t be afraid of something that depending on your age, will probably not kill you. However, if you would prefer to take the vaccine, then by all means do so. According to the experts, it will prevent you from getting sick and dying. If someone would prefer to rely on preventative maintenance of their health and early treatment they should be allowed. Ask yourself the question, as we are almost 2 years into this, why won’t they let you get early treatment when they now know if could have prevented between 60%-80% hospitalizations? And if you dispute this, you have not been paying attention.
What if, what if, what if? There are remarkably few certainties in the world. Although no one is coming after your life savings directly, why shouldn’t there be consequences for one’s actions? If you get sick from Covid and you are unvaccinated, should I or my insurance have to pay for your health care? No – you refused a FREE opportunity to stay healthy, so now it’s on you. Your claim to “freedom” is one of the most inconsiderate things I’ve heard; what happened to “we the people,” in it together? — Let’s try this what-if: What if the mandate worked, our public health improved and we didn’t have to wear masks after we reached critical mass? And who, please, is not “letting you get early treatment”? They didn’t even know what we had for months, just that it would be bad, and Trump knew that but did nothing. The responsibility for at least half a million dead Americans sits on his shoulders. — I also strongly dispute your assertion: I HAVE been paying very close attention, because at my age, if I hadn’t been, I could indeed be dead from breakthrough Covid, which I can trace to a a large group of unmasked and unvaccinated people. But by all means, feel “free” to not get vaccinated or wear a mask, but know that your “freedom” means that you are responsible for your consequences, which should include the cost of your hospitalization. If that breaks your bank, remember, it was your “free” choice. In the meanwhile, while you are oh so “free,” don’t get near me, don’t go to places I go, keep a healthy distance from me and my family, and I hope it satisfies you to know that your “freedom” constricts mine.
Such an angry, vicious reply and so selfishly American. I’m glad I now live in a country where healthcare is a human right, as it should be. In fact, obtaining humane, equitable, low cost, top notch healthcare (i.e., Medicare for All) was the main reason I left the USA. Thank god! I’ve never looked back and would never wish the U.S. sick care system on anyone.
“Selfishly American”? You misread me, Lori, if indeed I am the person you’re commenting on. We need to respond to our national problems as a nation, as a community of interests that go beyond individual “freedom.” Someone else’s freedom ends where mine begins, and that includes polluting the air with the coronavirus. A communitarian approach, a national lockdown for six weeks back when Trump acknowledged the severity of the virus, would have saved hundreds of thousands of lives. Am I angry? Only at stupidity which seems to be tightening its grip on our country. Vicious? Hardly. — I do agree with you that in a civilized nation like ours, we should have civilized and universal healthcare. It is one of our grievous faults as a country, and I place the blame for it squarely on Republicans. That’s just a historic fact. Leading me to this: for the myriad others piling on to the Jack pack, yelling louder doesn’t make you correct. The guy is a trumpist with better-fitting suits and complete sentences, but scratch the surface and there’s the trumpism. We cannot afford to give an inch back to that kind of misleadership. I stand with Governor Murphy, who has done a good if not perfect job under unexpectedly bad circumstances.
Countrypaul, I was referring to your comment about not paying for other people’s health insurance if they choose not to be vaccinated. Whether people realise it or not, they are paying out the wazoo for every American – coronavirus or not – by not having a national healthcare system. That was my point. You have also misread me. I was in no way endorsing Citarelli. But I’m not a fan of Murphy’s mandates either. There is no American politician to the left enough for me. Yet, I’ve been astounded by the number of people on both sides willing to blindly follow government mandates and drug pushing by the pharmaceutical crime syndicate no questions asked. Important facts remain:1) the vaccines are experimental. They have not completed Phase 3 trials. 2) the vaccine makers have all been convicted of illegal, deceptive practices and have paid out billions of dollars in settlements. Importantly, they’ve all insisted on immunity from lawsuits related to their experimental vaccines. Let’s take Pfizer for example. They paid the largest criminal (not civil) settlement to the tune of $1.3 billion under the Fraudulent Claims Act in 2009. Virtually every vaccine maker has a history like this. Yet we are supposed to trust them with our health, no questions asked? And not have any legal recourse if we experience side effects or even worse, death? No thank you! 3) Effective treatments are being censored and suppressed. The developing countries are successfully using these treatments because they don’t have billions to waste on questionable vaccines for which we have no long-term data. I challenge you to go to the Frontline Covid 19 Critical Care Alliance and look at the resumes of the incredible doctors that make up this global alliance and tell me they are quacks or conspiracy theorists. They’re spending their time trying to help people instead of taking in record profits like Pfizer and Moderna have done in the last year. And they’re being censored and blacklisted by governments and the mainstream media. This whole situation is sickening and I’m not talking about the virus itself. I’m talking about the politics of a pandemic and the suppression of information that has resulted in a massive crime against humanity.
A quick last reply: (1) I agree with you; we need a national health system. (2) In an emergency, emergency measures must be taken. The Covid vaccines are safe and effective with a very small percentage of serious reactions. (3) Sorry, I’m not signing on to your war on pharma companies. Remember how VW cooked its books just a couple of years ago? Shall we put them out of business? Big pharma – not the Skreli-type profiteers – does real research, which isn’t cheap, and only 1 in 20 drugs make it to market. I’m on board. (4) Regarding the Frontline Covid 19 Critical Care Alliance, I looked at some of the CVs of these folks who are still touting the long discredited Hydroxychloroquine, so forgive me if I take recommendations with a grain of salt – which might be a more effective treatment. The crime against humanity is misinformation and false hope, not an effective vaccine and mask mandates to aid the PUBLIC health. — Anyway, have at me if you will, but I’m done here.