An Open Letter to Phil Murphy

Dear Mr. Murphy,

A few months ago, I had never heard of you. But from what I’ve learned, you seem to be a reasonable person with a political agenda that closely aligns with mine. Heck, you might even be a good governor.

But you have done us (and yourself) a disservice by announcing you’re running for governor seventeen months before the election – even before we get through the 2016 presidential and congressional season.

People like me love this – we thrive on political news. But I suspect this early announcement is irksome at best for the average New Jerseyan who is simply trying to get by every day and perhaps have enough money to send their kids to a decent college.

I’ve looked at your web site, and you say the right things on the issues you discuss – albeit without much detail. But that’s OK. You still have those seventeen months to flesh out the details. And while you address the important economic issues we face, I’m disappointed that you don’t address the twin scourges that plague all Americans – the pillaging of our environment and the unhealthy love affair with guns that the NRA has been successful in promoting. Again, that’s not a big concern of mine right now – you still have those same seventeen months to address those issues.

For what it’s worth, my advice to you is to continue to advocate for those issues you believe in. But its premature for you to start stumping for my vote. Your competitors are mostly elected officials who have a track record – for better or worse – that I can use to base my electoral decision on. As a man of means, you have the opportunity to make a difference between now and November 2017 that would give you a basis to earn my vote.

When one speaks about “politicians”, its usually in a negative context. (You have added baggage because when one speaks about “Goldman Sachs” it is also usually in a negative context.) So it would be to your advantage to shed the “politician” label for maybe the next twelve months, and instead, act more like a “statesman” and rise above the fray. Stop inundating my mailbox with slick and expensive flyers and use some of that money to help promote public education in Camden and Paterson. Instead of spending on television advertising, follow the lead of a man who sat in the office to which you aspire and, like Jim Florio, work to improve the air and water quality in our state.

There will be time to do the traditional political stuff that your advisors will tell you works just fine. But for now, actions speak louder than words. You have a great opportunity to prove that.

With admiration and respect,


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