Infighting between Murphy and South Jersey Dems intensifies

BY David Cruz, Senior Correspondent |

It’s an intraparty fight that is just now beginning to attract the public’s attention. But the implications — for the state’s budget, its economy and its business climate, not to mention its politics — are serious.

The first-term governor is taking on a long-established south Jersey power broker. That’s the battle at the top. Their proxies are already fully engaged.

Witness George Norcross’ attorney, sending warning letters Thursday about maintaining documents to the governor’s home. That rarely happens, and the governor’s office didn’t like it. They said it was a form of intimidation.

On the other side?

Union members — Murphy supporters — turning a town hall on Senate President Steve Sweeney’s economic plan into an old school shout down, chanting Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It” as he tried to talk pension reform.

The result? No discussion about a serious fiscal issue.

Then Camden city leaders gathered to say how great the city’s doing and how much the corporate tax incentives — that Norcross and Sweeney supported  — have helped with the turnaround.

Despite protesters outside — Murphy allies — who see the Camden renaissance differently.

Murphy’s name didn’t come up yesterday but this morning Camden Mayor Frank Moran issued a press release saying in part, “He is not welcome here unless and until he stops attacking the City and talks to the people of Camden.”

It’s personal, folks. Norcross saying the governor — and his wife — are acting like royalty.

Murphy suggesting that something shady might’ve taken place in Camden. Long-time Trenton watchers say they’ve never seen it this bad.

It may be too late for diplomacy. The rest of us may have to just stand aside, watch what happens and hope the state’s residents don’t become collateral damage.