Over on the New Jersey Globe website, editor David Wildstein assures us that New Jersey is still a two-party state, with the caveat that the GOP might not be one of those two parties. Wildstein’s words must be taken seriously, for whatever his faults, he has a laudable record as a campaign manager and operative. He even managed to get elected himself.
Under Governor Chris Christie, the New Jersey Republican Party functioned as a kind of cult of personality. If you were around for earlier GOP administrations, you would have recognized the difference. So far as legislative seats are concerned, this didn’t work all that well even while Christie was Governor.
Post-Christie, New Jersey Republicans have suffered from a crisis of identity. This has been exacerbated by two things. The first, of course, is Donald Trump – the face of the national Republican Party. Many New Jersey Republicans don’t know how to explain him or fit even the positive aspects of his hegemony into a local narrative. They got out of the habit of having big vision ideas or policies – so that they can’t even effectively change the subject.
This brings us to the second… the rise of South Jersey Democrats as a kind of opposition party to the Democrats of Governor Phil Murphy. As they did with the so-called “Clean Elections” gambit, they pose as “reformers” who are “pro-business” and “pro-taxpayer” – with watchwords like “efficiency”. In reality, they are an old-world political machine, fueled by crony capitalism and soft corruption (at the very least). Their model is the one-party state, with a relationship between political power and business that resembles something out of Red China… or National Socialist Germany.
But at least they have ideas and policies, many of which are attractive to business, so they occupy an alternative ground to the Murphy Democrats’ collectivist and confiscatory impulses. On social issues they are equally disreputable. Their refusal to post the Human Trafficking & Child Exploitation Prevention Act for a vote shows that they monetize anything to please a supplicant corporate interest. Just keep the money flowing… and suffer the children.
Which brings us to a post over the weekend on Matt Rooney’s Save Jersey website. In it, NJGOP Chairman Doug Steinhardt provides an outline of why voters should choose Republican candidates over Democrats this coming Tuesday.
It really is a good list, and Matt did a great service publishing it. With due acknowledgement to Matt and to Chairman Steinhardt, we are re-publishing it below:
State Republican Chairman Doug Steinhardt
#20: New Jersey Has The Worst Foreclosure Rate In The U.S.
Phil Murphy and Democrats have had full control of the state house for 2 years now. Their liberal agenda has produced the highest foreclosure rate in the country. New Jersey is too expensive, and Phil Murphy, who said “If … tax rate is your issue … we’re probably not your state,” is too aloof, for hard working families to afford their homes. This is the danger of one-party rule in Trenton.
#19: Governor Murphy Tried To Steal Money From Firefighter Burial Fund
The NJGOP is proud to fight alongside New Jersey’s first responders, especially after their Governor tried to pay for his laundry list of liberal handouts by stealing $33 million from the Firemen’s Association burial fund. And even though his screwball scheme failed, Phil Murphy’s last second retreat can’t erase his blatant disregard for the hard working men and women who risk their lives to protect our lives. New Jersey voters should be shocked and appalled, but then, hey, this is the same Governor who, last week, said, “If … tax rate is your issue … we’re probably not your state.” You shouldn’t be our Governor either, and your Party’s policies are killing our State.
#18: New Jersey Has The Lowest Mainland US GDP Growth
Governor Murphy’s job-killing regulations and ever-expanding tax burden is leaving New Jersey’s economy hobbled and lagging behind the rest of mainland America. While the US economy is booming, New Jersey is failing. Trenton needs business-minded conservatives to bring a common sense check to Governor Murphy’s unbalanced budget.
#17: Phil Murphy Blew The Amazon Bid
Just weeks after New Jersey Democrats passed Phil Murphy’s billion plus dollar tax hikes, Amazon passed on New Jersey and put its HQ2 in New York and Virginia. Governor Murphy’s liberal lunacy cost thousands of well-paying jobs and a chance to revitalize our state’s biggest city. But this is the same Governor who maintains, “If … tax rate is your issue … we’re probably not your state.”
#16: Phil Murphy’s Online Sales Tax
Phil Murphy calls New Jersey a high tax for high value state, but Democrats are squeezing out what little value is left. If it walks, talks, ships, shoots, rides, drives, eats or roots, New Jersey’s daft Democrats devise a devilish way to tax it. Under the Murphy Administration, New Jersey residents now pay an internet sales tax. But, this is the same Governor who says, “If … tax rate is your issue … we’re probably not your state.”
#15: NJ Transit Fail
If a good executive keeps the trains running on time, Phil Murphy isn’t – good. New Jersey Transit is rated among the least reliable nationally. And even though Governor Murphy has the power to change it, he can’t. That’s because he’s more interested in liberal headlines than commuter wait times. People spend more time commuting than they do with their families. The system is so bad that even Democrats are investigating Murphy’s abject failure.
#14: Hiring Corrupt Officials
We should be throwing corruption out of government, not welcoming it back in. When Governor Murphy hired into his administration a former public official convicted of taking bribes, he called it the new normal. Never! The bar should never be so low. At a time when we should be building the public’s trust in government, Phil Murphy is tearing it down.
#13: Sky Blue Soccer Scandal
Governor Murphy preaches public equality, but fails miserably to practice it privately. As the owner of a women’s soccer team, Phil Murphy oversaw a team that was so badly treated that the Star Ledger equated the player’s conditions to a sweatshop. These professional women were housed in impoverished conditions, played without simple resources, like locker-room showers, and refused payment on their medical bills. That’s not stronger and fairer, that’s weaker and poorer.
#12: Legal Aid For Illegal Immigrants
The NJGOP will not ignore Governor Murphy while he scoffs at federal immigration laws for the sake of his personal political agenda. He has funneled millions of taxpayer dollars into state sponsored legal aid for illegal immigrants while hardworking, middle-class New Jersey residents miss another opportunity for tax relief. But this is the same Governor who says, “If … tax rate is your issue … we’re probably not your state.
#11: So-Called Free College
Phil Murphy’s promise of free college tuition is the classic political bait and switch. He dangles the feels-good carrot of “free education”, then beats New Jersey’s already battered taxpayers with his tax hike stick. Two years of free tuition for a lifetime of tax increases isn’t a bargain. It’s another bad deal that New Jersey can’t afford. Then again, all this is from a Governor who said, “If tax rate is your issue … we’re probably not your State.” That’s not leadership Governor. It’s what millionaires say to the middle class.
#10: Sanctuary State
Phil Murphy can’t pay for his progressive platitudes with the health, safety and welfare of New Jersey families. The Governor and the Attorney General should encourage cooperation between law enforcement agencies at all levels. Instead, they weaponize the Attorney General’s office and are taking aim at our County Sheriffs. Millions of innocent New Jerseyans depend on law enforcement to keep them safe from predators, drug dealers and violent criminals, but Phil Murphy will ignore them for a progressive headline.
#9: Worst Employment Rate In The Region
America’s economy is booming and our neighboring states are thriving, but New Jersey lags behind. Evidence continues to mount that New Jersey is teetering on the edge of an economic meltdown, but Governor Phil Murphy is stuck in a tax and spend trance. He is oblivious to, or simply ignores, the State’s affordability crisis and the crippling effect it’s having on New Jersey families. That was on full display at Rowan College in October, when the Governor let slip, “If tax rate is your issue … we’re probably not your State.” If you want more blind, political indifference, elect more Democrats this November, but if you want honest answers to the State’s real problems, vote Republican.
#8: Largest out migration of retirees, businesses and residents
Governor Murphy’s radical, liberal policies aren’t just emptying wallets, they’re emptying nests. More jobs and people are leaving New Jersey than any other State in America. Millionaire Phil Murphy is so disconnected from New Jersey’s working and middle classes that he let slip that, “If tax rate is your issue … we’re probably not your State.” Trenton’s Democrats share Phil Murphy’s callous indifference, so if you want honest answers to the State’s real problems, elect Republicans.
#7: Highest property and income tax rates in the US
Phil Murphy inherited a state with high taxes, but he campaigned on a promise for a stronger and fairer New Jersey. In reality, his radical tax hikes and progressive platitudes make us weaker and poorer. His solution is to tell working and middle class families, who can’t afford his high tax agenda, to move. But why move when we can vote? We need leaders in Trenton who will have the courage to reduce the size of state government and create real tax relief. On November 5, vote Republican.
#6: Ride Share Tax
Ride sharing has revolutionized urban and suburban transportation. Innovative new companies like Uber and Lyft provide safe rides home, affordable transportation for people who don’t own a car, and help stop drunk driving. So, how does Governor Murphy reward successful new businesses providing valuable services? He taxes them! That’s Phil Murphy’s New Jersey. If you don’t like it or can’t afford it, he says you’re welcome to leave. Don’t like the choices? Vote Republican instead. We can do better.
#5: Second Amendment Attacks
Governor Murphy’s political obsession with appeasing the radical, anti-gun lobby can’t come at the expense, or from the pockets, of New Jersey’s law abiding citizens for simply exercising their Second Amendment right to own a firearm. In his haste to punish legal gun owners, he’s proven unwilling and unable to deal with the scourge of gun crime, opting instead to criminalize lawful gun ownership. Taxes, fees and laws must have a rational nexus to a legitimate government purpose, and not just be a back channel to pay for feel-good, liberal giveaways. No Governor is empowered to choose which constitutional rights matter and which don’t and where Phil Murphy will trample long standing rights in his quest to replace them, the NJGOP will fight alongside grassroots Republicans to defend those rights.
#4: Shore Rental Tax
This year, among Governor Phil Murphy’s multitude of new taxes, he signed a tax on Jersey Shore vacation rentals. The NJGOP called on the Governor to refund to the moms and pops who were forced to pay it, the money he was so quick to take. In response, he ignored us, and them. It seems this was just another Democrat money grab that hit hardest in communities still recovering from Superstorm Sandy.
#3: Second Most Miserable State
The most miserable state in the Union is California. Governor Murphy has said he wants New Jersey to be the California of the east. So, it’s no surprise we’re number two. Under Phil Murphy, New Jersey is the second most miserable state in America. People in New Jersey are struggling with affordability. We have the highest foreclosure rate, and one in four families goes hungry. So, when our Governor says that, “If tax rate is your issue … we’re probably not your state,” it hurts. New Jerseyans need hope for a better tomorrow, but they won’t find it in our state’s Democrat Party. This year, vote for the party that still has New Jersey pride and honest answers to our state’s real problems. Vote Republican.
#2: Corporate Business Tax
New Jersey has the worst business climate in America. We lead the nation, not just in the outmigration of residents, but in the outmigration of jobs. We’ve suffered the exodus of leading corporations, like Honeywell and Gerber, who uproot and run for low cost states like North Carolina and Virginia. We even lost the bid for Amazon’s HQ2. When Governor Murphy hikes the corporate business tax by over $1 billion it signals to business owners that they can’t count on New Jersey for stability, predictability or affordability. But then this is the Governor who said, “If tax rate is your issue … whether you’re a business or an individual … we’re probably not your state.
#1: Rain Tax
A rainy day fund used to be what responsible government collected for emergencies. Not anymore. Not in New Jersey. And not under Governor Murphy. Today, it’s just another Democratic property tax and Trenton money grab. Instead of feeding your families, Phil Murphy’s rain tax scheme drains money from your pockets and pours it into Trenton’s coffers, to feed Murphy’s liberal agenda. None of that should come as a surprise, since the Governor let slip that, “If tax rate is your issue … we’re probably not your state.”
Please visit the Save Jersey website here: https://savejersey.com/2019/11/vote-republican-new-jersey-assembly-election-results-november-5th-doug-steinhardt/
What happens after Tuesday will determine whether this is a first step on the road to an actual party platform… or if it was a one-off, albeit a very strong and persuasive one. Stay tuned…