Murphy’s “Us vs. Them” evident in his approach to COVID funding

August 19, 2020

RAMSEY, NJ – The Pallotta for Congress campaign released a short video taken from Governor Murphy’s Monday press briefing.  In it he speaks of diversity and unity, before calling this the “ultimate Us versus Them moment in our history.” 

Republican candidate for Congress Frank Pallotta said that for all his talk of “celebrating diversity” and “uniting America”, Governor Murphy continues to treat 12 of the state’s 21 counties as “Them”. 

“Under the formula pushed by Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats in Congress, twelve New Jersey counties received no CARES Act funding to cope with COVID-19,” Pallotta noted.  “Four counties – including Sussex and Warren in the Fifth Congressional District – received no funding at either the county or municipal levels.” 

“That’s because the Democrats adopted an Us vs. Them formula designed to shortchange rural and suburban areas,” Pallotta said. 

Responding to pleas by the New Jersey Association of Counties and others, the Murphy administration has finally agreed to release some of the discretionary CARES Act funding it received from the Trump administration.  As noted in a NJAC press release from July 10th, the counties shortchanged by Murphy included Atlantic, Burlington, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Mercer, Morris, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, and Warren.  In addition to Sussex and Warren counties, Hunterdon and Salem received no municipal funding either. 

“Instead of just providing the money, the Murphy administration has demanded that each county sign a memo-of-understanding that essentially directs them how to spend the money,” Pallotta said.  “While other counties are using CARES Act funding to support local businesses and jump start the economy, Murphy is taking a strings attached approach with these counties and directing that the funds be used for things like public relations communications and contact tracing.” 

“This is wrong because the money isn’t Murphy’s.  This is the American taxpayers’ money that was allocated by Congress and administered through the Federal government.  Why do some counties get to use CARES Act funding in response to the needs expressed by the public, while other counties must toe-the-line set by Phil Murphy?”  

Why is it always “Us versus Them” with Phil Murphy?