WASHINGTON, D.C. – As Democratic governors descend on the liberal enclave of San Francisco to select unpopular, far-left New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy to chair the Democratic Governors Association, incumbents and candidates across the country are sure to be finalizing their plans to be busy on whatever day Murphy wants to come campaigning with them – or they will once they learn about his disastrous record.
In just two years on the job, Murphy has managed to rack up failure after failure at an astounding rate. New Jerseyans are already so fed up with Murphy’s tax-and-spend agenda that recent polling found that nearly half of residents want to leave.
New Jerseyans know that Phil Murphy is not delivering results, his tenure has been embroiled in controversy and marred with dishonest leadership, and his policies are destructive – now the rest of the country is about to find out. In the spirit of the season, we’re counting down a few of Phil Murphy’s favorite things:
Under Murphy, New Jersey leads the way on high taxes with the highest property tax rate, highest individual income tax rate, second highest corporate tax rate, and worst business tax climate in America.
What about high taxes driving out jobs and businesses? Murphy doesn’t care! He has publicly stated that businesses and families should either get with his pro-tax program or get out. The Shore News Network reported in October that Murphy told an audience “…New Jersey may not be their state if they are concerned about tax rates. ‘If you’re a one-issue voter and tax rate is your issue, either a family or a business, if that’s the only basis upon which you’re going to make a decision, we’re probably not your state.’”
In his first year in office, Murphy proposed over $1.7 billion in new tax increases, including a much-lambasted proposal to tax the rain. His tax obsession even riled fellow Democrats, like Senate President Steve Sweeney, who said: “The problem is when we have an administration that talks only about raising taxes every day, it’s not helpful.”
2. FIGHTING WITH OTHER DEMOCRATS
When Murphy isn’t busy raising taxes, he can generally be found feuding with fellow New Jersey Democrats. Over the last two years, Murphy has seemingly spent more time embroiled in a civil war with members of his own party than anything else, leading top Democrats to call him a “politically incompetent” “liar” who should “stop blaming” others for his failures.
Murphy’s antics have had serious implications for New Jersey. Because of the governor’s bickering and unwillingness to set aside his prejudices, his working relationship with state legislative leaders has soured. In his first year in office, Murphy held the state hostage by shutting down the government after legislators refused to enact his desired tax hikes; history almost repeated itself this year.
3. APPOINTING CRONIES TO KEY POSITIONS
Questionable personnel decisions are a cornerstone of Murphy’s time as governor. From selecting controversial appointees to firing qualified individuals to appease union bosses, Murphy’s decisions have even left editorial boards wondering whether Murphy is “clueless.”
Murphy received bipartisan backlash when he appointed a former official who went to federal prison for accepting thousands of dollars in bribes to a position in the state’s department of education, who was ultimately forced to resign due to state law that prohibits former public officials convicted of corruption from holding a public job in the state.
Murphy continued to turn a blind eye to corruption in his administration after his appointment to run the New Jersey Schools Development Authority was accused of turning her agency into a “patronage pit,” firing dozens of workers and replacing them with her family and friends, including one who was accused of sexual harassment. True to form, Murphy “stuck by his political ally.”
4. IMPOSING “GAG ORDERS” ON CAMPAIGN STAFFERS
During his 2017 campaign for governor, Murphy forced staffers to sign non-disclosure agreements in an effort to prevent employees from publicly speaking about their work experience on the campaign trail.
Murphy continued to enforce the gag orders even as staffers and volunteers have alleged that the campaign was a “hostile work environment,” which included sexual harassment and assault. When a former campaign volunteer accused a Murphy staffer of sexually assaulting her, she claimed she was ignored by Murphy while her attacker was appointed to a senior state position before abruptly resigning in 2018. Murphy refused to comment on his resignation.
The Newark Star-Ledger Editorial Board and others have eviscerated Murphy for his attempts to silence women who have worked for him as legal proceedings from the allegations continue.
5. SANCTUARY CITIES
As a candidate, Murphy enthusiastically promised to turn New Jersey into a sanctuary state, and he’s done his best to deliver. Under Murphy, New Jersey has implemented a statewide directive to prohibit local and state law enforcement from assisting ICE.
Murphy’s dangerous directive has garnered widespread opposition from communities throughout the state and federal officials, forcing numerous counties to take their safety into their own hands. As CBS NY reported last month, “Despite the Murphy Administration’s desire to not cooperate with ICE, more and more New Jersey counties are choosing to not cooperate with Gov. Murphy instead,” pointing to a landslide vote in Sussex County to follow federal law over Murphy’s directive, and lawsuits against the state filed by other counties.
With a record like Murphy’s, it’s hardly surprising that some New Jersey officials are eager to see less of him. New Jersey Republican Party Chairman Doug Steinhardt told The Wall Street Journal what many are likely thinking: “The less he’s in New Jersey, the less damage he’s doing.”
“Given Gov. Murphy’s failed record of tax hikes, cronyism, and feuding with his own party, Democrats would have been hard-pressed to make a more divisive choice. With new polling showing 44% of New Jerseyans want to leave the state because they can’t afford Phil Murphy’s tax-and-spend agenda, it’s tough to imagine Democrats in tough races lining up to campaign with him,” said RGA Communications Director Amelia Chassé Alcivar. “While Democrats like Gov. Murphy are focused on bringing Washington-style gridlock to their states, Republican governors across the country are focused on creating jobs, expanding opportunities, and getting things done.”