In The News

Governor Murphy, "You Can't Treat Black People This Way"

An Open Letter to President Barack Obama
October 22, 2021 LTE: Botching COVID response is Murphy’s telling moment

The article “5 telling moments between Murphy, Ciattarelli from their feisty final N.J. governor’s debate” did not include Gov. Phil Murphy’s deflection of a question about the thousands of COVID-19 deaths at senior, convalescent and veterans’ facilities, after the Murphy administration ordered facilities with vulnerable populations to readmit patients with the infection.

In addition, Murphy bungled the rollout of vaccines because he did not tailor New Jersey residents’ eligibility for vaccination to match available supplies of vaccine. Had he done this, it could have prevented senior citizens and compromised individuals from spending hundreds of hours online fruitlessly searching for appointments.

Seniors, the compromised and teachers could have easily been staged in cohorts by age groups to assure that the most vulnerable had received the vaccine in a timely manner.

William T. Fidurski, Clark
LTE Page

NY Daily News LTE: Dirty Laundry List

Your editorial “Vote for Phil Murphy” (Oct. 10) highlights pension payments, an increased minimum wage, the legalization of marijuana and his leadership during the COVID crisis. What leadership? That which has resulted in the second-highest death toll per capita in the country? That which resulted in destroying hundreds if not thousands of small businesses? That which caused unbelievable chaos in the public school system? Maybe it’s the leadership that supports the highest property taxes in the country, the second-worst status of business attraction nationally or the top five highest levels of utility costs, car insurance and overall taxes and fees. Murphy didn’t step up in the Katie Brennen scandal, the women’s prison scandal, the school development agency scandal or the firing of the assistant health commissioner. And he raised the property tax rebate at the highest level by $50. What a man. 

Joseph G. Traynor, Springlake

Press of Atlantic City LTE: Against Democratic ads

We have a gubernatorial election coming up and this means we’re going to be flooded with political ads. Nothing new there or noteworthy either.

I’m writing because the ad being run by the Democratic Party needs to be commented on. Political parties of course malign the opposition, but this ad attacking Jack Ciattarelli, calling him a white supremacist, is beyond acceptable. It is also stupid.

I’m politically independent, but I’m inclined to think I can’t support a party that is willing to just insult the character, not the policies of a candidate. A group that stupid, and that feels a need to throw the anti-Trump card, is certainly difficult to support. The fact that they apparently think the public is also that dumb and enjoys the vicious division in this state and country does not earn endorsement.

Again, I’m not writing in support of either candidate, but rather expressing disgust with political advisement and leadership that approves this ad.

Norman Mayall, Egg Harbor Township LTE: Your Turn: Thoughts on the second face-off between Murphy and Ciattarelli

Published: October 13, 2021

Before discussing the second gubernatorial debate from Oct. 12, it is not just precursory but imperative to understand the performances on each side of the first debate.

Ever since Jack Ciattarelli gave a memorable performance on his first gubernatorial debate in any general election for governor of New Jersey, media started to take him seriously, including his opponent Phil Murphy who discounted Mr. Ciattarelli’s abilities and rising popularity.

This rising popularity of Mr. Ciattarelli is reflected in the increasingly growing number of attack ads from the Murphy campaign which might have been a victim of a frisson of fear.

Although Gov. Murphy managed to answer questions, several statements and attacks on Mr. Ciattarelli went against the governor. Notable amongst them was his popularly unpopular statement on taxes, “If taxes are your issue, New Jersey is probably not your state.” Mr. Murphy cleverly amended (theoretically) or contradicted (pragmatically) his statement by adding a clause “for millionaires”.

Attaching riders to prior assertions in a live debate neither scores brownie points with the electorate nor does it make one look like an ethical politician. Issue of character is increasingly important because the rise of candidate-centered campaigns portends an increase in the role of character. Procrastinated emergency declaration during Ida and nursing home deaths are indicative of a crisis leadership at its finest for which Gov. Murphy deserves fulsome praise.

This is not the gauche appearance of Mr. Murphy’s tie which could be dismissed as aesthetically displeasing, but is more to do with a clever diversion from the subject. Mr. Murphy seemed to have relied on the “Trump” factor more than Mr. Ciattarelli, considering President Donald Trump was a Republican.

Although handling of COVID seemed to be going against Gov. Murphy, outnumbered Democratic registrants seemed to be the only ray of hope for the governor to combat Mr. Ciattarelli’s rising popularity and his hard-hitting talking points on taxes in general.

Despite insistence, Jack cleverly gave an equitable answer to, in what could be termed as a racial question, on White supremacy, by the panelist.

Jack’s comments, “I’m mainstream, and Phil Murphy is extreme,” “Let’s fix New Jersey” seem to have resonated not just with the traditional Republican base but also with the unaffiliated and the independent voters. With this background, let’s look at how the second debate fared.

“Fair is Foul, Foul is Fair” is an alliterative phrase part of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” to gesture the audience to look beyond the illusion of its characters. Translate this to politics, vaccination or wearing masks is not an elixir to all problems faced by New Jersey under the current administration. Real solution comes from framing situational policies and implementing them.

The second debate, much like its predecessor, touched upon several items including choice of masks and vaccination, unemployment, revenue, school funding formula, legalization of marijuana, women’s reproductive rights, diversity and inclusion, Edna Mahan prison, subpoena powers for Civil Review boards, over development and affordable housing.

Although both the candidates started off on a strong note, Mr. Ciattarelli, buoyed by the stupendous response from the first debate, looked determined from the get go. Jack’s arguments were strikingly prescient. Mr. Murphy’s constant, repeated and unrelated allusions to Trump, Us v. Them, and White supremacy not only did not gel with the audience and viewers, but also dimmed his remote chances of winning the debate.

Particularly unappealing was his answer to mishandling of 31% fatalities during Tropical Storm Ida. Mr. Murphy using “in the middle of a pandemic” as an answer to incapably handling fatalities wasn’t well received. The fact that, when denied, Mr. Ciattarelli fought back with a question “Isn’t that criticism?” and pounced to get his rightful 30 seconds, speaks volumes about his dedication and commitment.

In perhaps the most trying stretch of his governorship, with his own approval numbers plummeting, Mr. Murphy seemed to have attempted to make the most with White supremacy (for which he was heavily booed), and the likes as a cudgel to attack Jack Ciattarelli and to diminish his rising popularity added no cadence to the governor’s claims, much to his vain.

The several years Mr. Ciattarelli spent cultivating a people’s person image, paired with the conciliatory tone he has adopted toward Democrats and independents alike, in public, has allowed him to push his message without facing charges of extremism — a label his opponents unsuccessfully tried to make stick during the gubernatorial campaign.

In a debate between “You asked for the job!” v. “Come on Man!” all the post-debate indications point to a seismic electoral shift in Ciattarelli’s favor. “We back Jack” isn’t just a rah-rah rhyme trotted out by Jack’s supporters, but is more so a compelling message well received across both sides of the aisle.

Ciattarelli, a self-made man, a glad-hander, and a flesh-presser, with his copacetic debatorial prowess and a convincing agenda, ability to handle attack ads on him with élan, rises as a beacon of hope in a promising political landscape. In sum, Jack was at the top of his game, again.

In Murphy’s own words, “If performance is your issue, debate is probably not your stage.”

“One and Done”!

Arun Ayyagari, Monroe LTE: Ciattarelli will halt our downward spiral

Published: Oct. 13, 2021, 7:00 p.m.

The State of New Jersey is in a downward spiral. New Jerseyans suffer from high taxes. Many leave to resettle in states with more tax-friendly policies, placing a greater tax burden on those who stay. It dampens business investment in our state, leaving fewer jobs available.

So far, Gov. Phil Murphy, who is running for reelection, has shown little or no interest in departing from the status quo; little or no interest in lowering taxes, or decreasing infrastructure repair costs, getting our schools back to basics, or standing up to unions, special interests and cronyism.

This November, we can send someone to Trenton who can provide a course change and get things done. That person is Republican challenger Jack Ciattarelli. He knows knows how to run a business and knows from personal experience that it takes a hands-on manager for a business or state to succeed.

Murphy knows all about back-slapping and smooth talking from his time on Wall Street, but it’s clear he doesn’t know how to run a state. He’s great at photo-ops, but has he changed things for the better? Does he have the insight, the policies or the drive to turn things around in New Jersey?

Ciattarelli, by contrast, is a doer, not a talker. He’ll bring a fresh perspective and insight into fixing our state.

We gave Murphy a chance to turn things around. Are you better off? We have an alternative to provide that change this year, and his name is Jack Ciattarelli.

Daniel A. Bazikian, Weehawken

NFIB NJ PAC Endorsement

“Jack Ciattarelli is a strong, pro-small-business candidate, who understands what it takes to start and grow a business, hire workers, and sign both sides of a paycheck."
Honored to receive an endorsement from the NFIB NJ PAC. Main Street businesses are the heart of our communities here in New Jersey. As Governor, I will be a champion for small businesses by providing relief and reforms that are much needed and long overdue. #LetsFixNJ

ABC-NJ Endorsement

“ABC-NJ supports free enterprise, believes in fiscal responsibility, and the need for workforce development and other reforms. We believe Jack Ciattarelli is the candidate best equipped to support New Jersey’s construction industry and its thousands of employees and suppliers.”
Honored to receive an endorsement from the New Jersey Associated Builders and Contractors. As Governor, I will enact business-friendly policies which will spur the New Jersey economy and help to rebuild our state from the ground up. #LetsFixNJ

ICYMI: Jack Ciattarelli: Murphy's Storm Response May Have Cost Lives

Ciattarelli Op-Ed: Star-Ledger: When it Comes to Taxes, Gov. Phil Murphy Just Doesn't Get It

Jack 4 NJ