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Democratic State Committee Chairman John Currie. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

NJ DSC claims GOP suit treats COVID-19 as political football

By Nikita Biryukov, May 21 2020 4:20 pm

The New Jersey Democratic State Committee claimed a suit launched by their Republican counterparts that seeks to invalidate executive actions ordering many of the state’s businesses closed was an attempt to win political points and nothing else.

“For years, Trenton Republicans partnered with Chris Christie to put our state in a deep hole. Now, throughout this crisis, they have engaged in hyper partisan attacks on Governor Murphy,” NJDSC spokesman Phil Swibinski said. “The Trenton Republicans ignore science, ignore health professionals and ignore data — they even make light of the need to keep New Jerseyans safe.”

Earlier Thursday, The Republican state committee filed a suit claiming a March executive order that shuttered most businesses in the state was unconstitutional.

“While New Jerseyans from every political affiliation are rallying behind the Governor’s leadership, the state’s incredibly out-of-touch Republican Party is trying to hijack the court system to literally play politics with peoples’ lives,” Swibinski said. “This should tell New Jersey residents everything they need to know about Trenton Republicans — they’re just like the Trump Washington Republicans, and all they care about is scoring political points, even at the expense of the people of our state.”

State Sen. Michael Testa and RSC general counsel Michael Lavery have been tapped to argue for the plaintiffs, and Lavery’s involvement may cause complications for Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla.

Bhalla works for Lavery’s law firm, Lavery, Selvaggi, Abromitis & Cohen, P.C., and his association with the firm is already drawing attacks from some political rivals.

“It is remarkable to see Mayor Bhalla publicly taking credit in Hoboken for the work the Governor and state officials have done in combating COVID-19, while privately his very own law firm seeks to cause irreparable damage to the progress we have made to flatten the curve in New Jersey,” Hoboken Councilman Mike DeFusco said. “It’s disingenuous to publicly rally Hoboken residents to abide by one set of rules while quietly engaging in a frivolous lawsuit for his own financial benefit at the expense of state taxpayers.”

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