Last year I popped off on the Governor – and while dissent is healthy within a party, in hindsight, we’re looking towards a strong recovery, and Phil Murphy got it right. COVID was a crazy time for all of us, and, looking back, the Governor had our back every step of the way. We had a president that was overtly hostile to blue states, we had a pandemic we’d never encountered before, and as elected officials, we managed to fight the war on COVID-19. Make no mistake about it, this was and continues to be a war, and I’m happy to stand behind our wartime Governor.
We’re leading the nation in getting vaccinated, we’re leading the country in our recovery, and we’re re-thinking how our government operates in the wake of a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic. Phil Murphy continues to be damn good for our state and damn good in handling COVID. What Jack Ciattarelli and his clone Jon Bramnick don’t get is when the going gets tough, leaders make tough decisions. But cool pizza-eating debates, bro, so authentic.
Both of these underwhelming Assemblymen have much in common – they’re tremendous at playing armchair quarterback. It’s really easy to have gotten nothing, and I mean nothing done in the Assembly and take shots at actual leaders. It’s easy to pretend you are moderate, but when you stand with white supremacists or when you’re silent on condemning Trumpisim, you are complicit. It’s hard to stand for something – it’s hard to be a leader and make the right call.
That’s why I’m incredibly proud to run with Phil Murphy. Leaders lead. Hacks throw stones from the side. Jon Bramnick has proposed zero legislation to move the needle forward for New Jersey or fix any of the problems –COVID and non-COVID related– he espouses. Instead, he takes photo ops, moonlights as a mediocre comedian, and throws rocks at the Governor. Jon, when do you have time to pay attention to the folks you represent in between petty PR stunts against the party who’s trying to clean up the mess you, Ciattarelli and Christie left behind?
Here’s a pro-tip, when you wake up and realize there’s more to LD-21 than showing up at a council meeting once in a while, you’ll realize that it’s a district that no longer is in line with your antiquated wolf in sheep’s clothing stances. It’s a district that resoundingly voted against Trump – twice – and a district that voted for Phil Murphy.
Put simply, I know you don’t do much, Jon because I see a bunch of abstentions on your voting record (I guess it’s all those late-night comedy gigs?), but you were put in Trenton to vote, not grandstand. I suggest you urgently start working with the actual leaders, like Phil Murphy, who are pulling us out of the mess. Of course, it might not matter much by November anyway. I mean, you couldn’t do much as an assembly minority leader. I don’t know how much faith voters have in you as a junior senator. Maybe we can look forward to a fresh set of jokes one way or the other.
Joseph Signorello III is the mayor of Roselle Park and the Democratic nominee for State Senate in the 21st district.