Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Murphy Deserves Your Vote in Democratic Primary

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Murphy Deserves Your Vote in Democratic Primary

Article excerpt

Four years ago, few Democrats wanted to run for governor, so solid was Chris Christie's hold on the State House. Now, it's a different picture. Among a large field of Democrats, Phil Murphy, John Wisniewski, Jim Johnson and Ray Lesniak have emerged as dominant contenders for their party's nomination.

The leader of the pack is Murphy, often described as another Jon Corzine, the former governor who also rose to prominence at Goldman Sachs. Neither had any experience as an elected official before running for high office. Both poured millions of their own money into their campaigns, coffers of Democratic organizations and Democratic-friendly ones. Comparisons end there.

Murphy served as U.S. ambassador to Germany and also on a pension task force for former Gov. Dick Codey. Murphy is affable, progressive and willing to talk and listen to anyone and everyone.

He promises not to reduce pension benefits for state employees without bringing unions to the bargaining table. One of Murphy's big ideas is a state-run bank. Instead of putting state money in outside banks that, in turn, charge fees and use that capital to invest wherever they choose, Murphy wants the money to stay in New Jersey and used to invest in New Jersey, particularly in smaller businesses. It's an interesting idea. But we're not sure how the bank would be capitalized, how risky the loan pool would be and whether another state institution is such a good idea. Patronage and New Jersey have too often been perfect together.

We're also not convinced this should be a high priority. We say the same about Assemblyman Wisniewski's push for single-payer health insurance. New Jerseyans fear what will happen if Congress repeals and replaces the Affordable Care Act - particularly when it comes to Medicaid coverage - but this is the wrong heavy lift at this time. Wisniewski also wants to emulate New York with free college tuition. …

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