Press Conference in Camden At 1PM Today To Complain About Problems Those Holding The Press Conference Have Only Themselves To Blame For

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Now that surrogates are lining up to fight in the war between Governor Phil Murphy and George Norcross don’t expect the fight to end any time soon.

Last week Camden’s mayor, two former governors, corporate and union leaders got together to praise the tax incentives that are at the center of the Murphy-Norcross war.

Thanks to the folks over at InsiderNJ I learned there will be a press conference in Camden at 1PM today featuring “The Camden We Choose Coalition, Camden residents, NAACP, National Action Network, Camden Teachers Union, Camden Parents Union, CWA, Camden High Alumni association, Concerned Black Clergy, and others.”

I get it, lots of folks, both Democrats and Republicans are using the Murphy-Norcross war to take shots at Norcross. Pretty much everybody the Norcross machine has defeated hates the man. Why not use the opportunity?

What I don’t get is they all know Murphy is a terrible governor. Why praise the man? The folks holding today’s press conference heaped praise on Murphy, saying in their release:

The Governor is more than welcome in Camden, and in fact we invite him here. 89% of Camden residents voted for Governor Murphy in 2017, and he’s been a strong supporter of the City since his election. We look forward to working with him to make Camden even stronger.

In what world has Governor Murphy been a “strong supporter” of Camden? I didn’t think Murphy even knew South Jersey exists. I may not have always agreed with former Governor Chris Christie and definitely didn’t like some of his visits to Camden, but like it or not, Christie did more for Camden than Murphy ever will. I won’t mention his name, but I do recall during the last gubernatorial election being told by a Camco freeholder that he was voting for Christie in his reelection because he did more for Camden than any other governor.

So, these folks are going to join Murphy’s side in this war. I’m also willing to bet at least some of the column 4 insurgent Democrats will appear at today’s press conference. And, this press conference will change nothing. The column 4 Democrats will lose in the June primary and then come November they will vote for the very people they are running against.

I don’t mind the Murphy-Norcross war, it’s likely going to yield some good issues for Camco Republicans to run on. What I do mind is that it will change nothing come November. Camden voters will vote the same as they’ve done for longer than I’ve been able to vote – straight Democrat.

83 years with a Democrat as mayor. 46 years with a Democrat in the state Senate and the state Assembly. 44 years with a Democrat in Congress. The same people holding this press conference are responsible for the issues they’re complaining about. They have no one to blame but themselves.

Governor Phil Murphy Finally Discovered South Jersey

Phil Murphy

Phil Murphy

There has been a lot of news coverage lately of Governor Phil Murphy’s assault on the billions of dollars of tax incentives given to companies moving to Camden. See here, here and here for more. Even former Governor Chris Christie got into the act.

To me, it looks more like a heavyweight boxing match with Governor Murphy in one corner and George Norcross in the other. They are slugging it out! And, who doesn’t love a good political fight? The fight is even better when a group of Democrats fight with the state’s Governor from the same party.

It’s not my intention to get into whether or not the billions of dollars in tax breaks given to companies moving to Camden are a good or bad thing, everyone already has their thoughts on that issue, but the fight is fun to watch.

I will say that back in February I wrote about a sweetheart deal in which a piece of Camden waterfront property was transferred for the total sum of two dollars ($2.00) and how I found that to be odd.

Anyway, back to the fight. One has to wonder what Murphy’s endgame is here. Is he going after Norcross as a way to punish New Jersey’s Senate President Steve Sweeney?

Why even pick this fight? It’s not like Murphy has ever cared about South Jersey before.

We can argue all day long about how good former Governor Chris Christie was, but at least he paid attention to South Jersey – even when I wished he would stay away.

My point? Whether I agreed with him or not, Christie paid at least a little bit of attention to South Jersey. It appears to me the only time Murphy cares about anything in South Jersey is when he can mess with Sweeney – like the time Murphy decided to veto the minutes of a South Jersey Port Corporation meeting. Politico did a detailed piece on that Murphy stunt in which they wrote:

Gov. Phil Murphy this week vetoed the minutes of a South Jersey board stacked with allies of Senate President Steve Sweeney after the directors refused Murphy‘s request to cut ties with the agency’s general counsel.

Basically, Murphy vetoed those meeting minutes to pick a fight with Sweeney.

All this leads me to ask again, Why is Murphy picking this fight? Murphy was for tax breaks when they benefited him. Some Camden County Democrats even proved that point when, according to New Jersey Globe they said:

“We find it surprising and hypocritical that Governor Murphy has happily accepted $165 million in tax credits when he was on the management committee at the huge and lucrative firm, Goldman Sachs, and was fully prepared to give away $5 billion to the planet’s richest company, Amazon, but has feverishly insinuated without proof that irregularities “exist for tax programs that would help Camden, the Democrats said. “It must have been okay for him and Amazon because he was moving his firm to Jersey City and Amazon was considering moving to Newark.”

Frankly, that’s a good line of attack. Murphy, according to Wikipedia, retired from Goldman Sachs in “2005-06.” Yet according to a December 2003 New York Times article Goldman Sachs was “seeking subsidies to build in New York, where its headquarters have long been located.” At the time, the 42-story tower Goldman Sachs was builing in Jersey City was nearing completion – a building that received considerable tax breaks.

Camden County Democrats are absolutely right to call out Murphy on his hypocrisy over tax incentives.

I frequently complain that South Jersey Republicans always get excited when someone goes after Norcross. This time, there might be a reason to get excited because if we pay attention to this fight it is likely the Democrats fighting with Murphy might give us some useful information for 2021.

Stay tuned because this fight isn’t going to end anytime soon and, if we’re lucky, Murphy will continue to show exactly what a big hypocrite is.

Who Will He Blame After This Vacation? He Can't Blame Christie This Time.

Governor Phil Murphy

Governor Phil Murphy

Christmas is over, so it’s time to get back to work. Unfortunately, it turns out blogging about politics at this time of year is difficult, not much is happening.

Fortunately, Governor Phil Murphy is vacationing in Africa, it’s hard to find a tax to raise while he’s an ocean away and even harder to screw anything else up.

We do, however, remember what happened when he came home from his last vacation. The governor decided to blame former Governor Chris Christie for all the problems with New Jersey Transit. At the same time the management of his professional women’s soccer team was blaming Jersey shore rentals for the shoddy housing provided to the players on his soccer team.

Like his current vacation, the last one was scheduled. And, like the last one, this one is coincidentally well-timed. The last vacation enabled him to weather the storm of controversy surrounding his soccer team. This vacation comes at a time when he is faced with the Katie Brennan controversy.

The difference here is we seriously doubt the press is going to forget the Brennan story like they did the soccer team story. No amount of New Jersey Transit train delays is going to help him weather this storm. Even if we get slammed with a snow storm between now and January 2, when the guv returns, there is no way he’s getting a pass.

What we do wonder is who will Murphy blame for the lack of action he took in dealing with the Brennan situation. He can’t blame Christie for this one. Maybe, he’ll try to blame his staff, but he can’t. Remember, he did reply to Brennan’s email regarding a “sensitive matter” with “Hang in. We’re on it.” That response, at least to us, proves Murphy knew exactly what the “sensitive matter” was that she wrote him about.

We look forward to the governor’s return if for no other reason than to see who Murphy blames for his problems this time. And we will be watching!