Just last week I wrote in the blog that Republicans probably shouldn’t get too excited over the war between Governor Phil Murphy and Democratic power broker George Norcross and some of my fellow Republicans thought I was nuts. We said the same thing on the radio show and callers to the show weren’t happy with us.
We’ve been accused of defending Norcross and/or siding with him. We’re defending nor siding with either side in this conflict. Like many others, we’re simply interested observers.
But there’s a reason, several reasons actually, that both Bob and I have said Republicans shouldn’t get too excited over this war. While we do understand the theory of “my enemy’s enemy is my friend,” we also understand Murphy is never going to be helpful to Republicans.
And just this morning the folks at the Bergen Record made that point for us pointing out that Murphy is a big, giant hypocrite because he wants Republican appointees to the Economic Development Authority to resign even though “Murphy's Democratic Cabinet members and appointees chosen by Democratic legislative leaders — voted in lockstep with the Republican appointees…”
Here it is from NorthJersey.com:
Gov. Phil Murphy is demanding that some of the political appointees on the Economic Development Authority board resign, saying it is a moment to "turn the page" at an agency that approved nearly $11 billion in tax breaks that the state comptroller said lacked adequate controls and oversight.
But it appears Murphy is not trying to turn the full page in his unsuccessful bid to remake the troubled agency's board.
Since Murphy took office in January 2018, all of the authority's members — including Murphy's Democratic Cabinet members and appointees chosen by Democratic legislative leaders — voted in lockstep with the Republican appointees he wants to resign on every occasion to approve 37 projects, according to a NorthJersey.com and USA TODAY NETWORK New Jersey analysis.
And then, later in the article, the Bergen Record drove home the point that Murphy is a hypocrite:
The incentives approved under Murphy totaled $470 million, according to the analysis of Economic Development Authority documents. That's separate from the nearly $11 billion awarded since 2005 which are under investigation, but the voting record does not seem to align with the logic behind Murphy's attempt to restock the board with like-minded leaders.
So, while I still think it’s fun to watch the Murphy-Norcross war please don’t ever think Murphy is going to be helpful to Republicans. And, don’t think Murphy, win or lose his personal war with Norcross, will ever put an end to tax incentives.
Murphy loves tax incentives! The “Snooki Amendment” gave $425 million of tax incentives to the film industry. Murphy happily accepted $165 million in tax incentives for Goldman Sachs to build a tower in Jersey City and tried to shake down NYC for tax incentives while the Jersey City tower was being built.
And, don’t forget, Murphy practically begged Amazon to come to North Jersey by offering up $5 billion in tax incentives.
It’s obvious Phil Murphy loves tax incentives – unless they involve one of his political enemies.
For Republicans, the best course of action is still not to take a side. Just sit back and see who wins the Murphy-Norcross war. It’s still fun to watch.