POLITICS & GOVERNMENT

GOP leader warns financial wreckage will follow Murphy agenda

BY David Cruz, Senior Correspondent |

Assembly Republican leader Jon Bramnick says his constituents are fed up with what he calls Gov. Murphy’s dangerous and extreme agenda and that it’s causing an expedited exodus from the Garden State.

“They are leaving or planning to leave in droves we have never seen before,” he charged.

Bramnick, who stood alone at the podium for what he said was a last-minute press conference, said Murphy’s deal with the Communications Worker’s Union, for instance, the cost of which took the governor’s office a month to confirm, was a perfect symbol of where Murphy’s agenda is going.

“What that is, is basically a gift to special interests,” said Bramnick, “so it’s a special interest gift taken out of the pockets of senior citizens and given to the most loyal constituents of this governor.”

With both the Senate president and Assembly speaker balking at some of the governor’s budget proposals, Bramnick says even Democrats think he’s gone too far.

“I see a meeting of the minds between Democrats such as Steve Sweeney and Craig Coughlin, Republicans such as Tom Kean and myself all agreeing that this governor’s position on taxing and spending is extreme and dangerous to the vitality of the state,” he suggested.

It’s true, the speaker and the Senate president have thrown shade at the millionaire’s tax, the school funding formula and even Murphy’s failure to restore the homestead rebate, but will it all come down to the wire and create the potential for a repeat of last year’s shutdown?

“You got me on that one,” deadpanned Bramnick. “But I’m sure Speaker Coughlin and Senate President Sweeney are better able to answer those questions.”

A shutdown would be the kind of thing that could inspire voters to look elsewhere for their political leadership. The GOP hasn’t been in the majority in either house since the turn of the millennium, and eight years of a Republican governor have actually left the state party worse for wear. Bramnick wasn’t clear about what the GOP can do about the Murphy agenda other than raise the alarm and point at the wreckage which he says is sure to come.