Saturday, October 23, 2021

New Jersey gubernatorial candidate squares off on hurricane response, pandemic, policing in first debate

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and Republican nominee Jack Ciatarelli faced off in a contentious gubernatorial debate over a range of issues, including the response to Hurricane Ida, the COVID-19 pandemic, racial profiling, school curricula and taxes.

Ciatarelli, a former New Jersey Assemblyman, wrote Twitter that he was “fired after an argument.” Ciattarelli is a certified public accountant, two-time small business owner, and lifelong resident of New Jersey.

“Governor Murphy demonstrated tonight that he is the only candidate in this race with the vision and values ​​to keep New Jersey moving forward,” Murphy’s campaign said in a statement released after the debate.

Murphy, a Democrat, held leadership roles at Goldman Sachs’ offices in Germany and Hong Kong for more than 20 years and served as an ambassador to Germany during Barack Obama’s presidency. He was also a finance chair for the Democratic National Committee.

Ciattarelli criticized Murphy’s response to Hurricane Ida, which claimed 30 lives in New Jersey, saying the governor declared a state of emergency 13 hours later compared to neighboring Pennsylvania.

Murphy responded during the debate that he and his administration were monitoring the situation after a hurricane warning was issued.

“I was on the phone with countless mayors and obviously visited a lot of places,” he said, adding that “a big contrast is what we’re going to do about the environment to hopefully do that again.” no. my opponents [Ciattarelli] Say we’re doing too much, too fast, too soon,” Murphy said.

“But to say, ‘too much, too soon, too fast’ is not looking at the facts on climate resilience. Hurricanes with greater intensity are coming more often,” Murphy said.

A state of emergency was declared in New Jersey “two hours after the tornado, one hour after the flash flood,” reposted Ciatarelli, “what information was available to the governor of Pennsylvania for him and his administration that our governor Didn’t have it? Thirteen hours after the governor of Pennsylvania declared a state of emergency, we declared a state of emergency.”

“The Tropical Hurricane Ida response isn’t about climate change — it’s about saving lives, and delaying a state of emergency costs lives, I believe, in New Jersey,” said Ciatarelli. .

pandemic response

One of the moderators questioned Ciatarelli’s opposition to masking mandates in schools because children are least vulnerable to the CCP (Communist Party of China) virus, which causes COVID-19.

Ciattarelli was asked whether he would change his position on the issue in light of recent data showing a 240 percent increase in the number of COVID-19 cases among children since July and the number of COVID-19 cases in August. Along with 30,000 children were admitted to the hospital.

The Republican candidate noted that the data cited are national statistics and that his position is in line with what the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) said last year about the COVID-19 pandemic.

“If I had a chance to say it again, I would say it differently, or more accurately. My position last year is consistent with that of the CDC regarding the virus: Children are not as vulnerable to serious illness and death as adults.” Ciatarelli said.

He pointed out that three out of four adults in New Jersey are vaccinated and that there are not many cases of COVID-19 in children. “The Delta version is different, and we need to be vigilant and protect our most vulnerable,” Ciatarelli said.

Phil Murphy New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy visits an emergency field hospital being prepared at the Meadowlands Expo Center in Sequoias, New Jersey, on April 2, 2020. (Michael Mancuso-Pool/Getty Images)

Murphy clarified that there were 21 children in pediatric care in New Jersey on the day of the debate and that five of them were in an “emergency or intensive care unit with COVID.”

According to a report from the American Academy of Pediatrics, new COVID-19 cases in children “remain exceptionally high.” More than 200,000 new child cases of COVID-19 were added each week during the five consecutive weeks ending September 18.

However the report concluded that “hospitalization and death among children associated with COVID-19 is unusual.”

Both gubernatorial candidates touched on the issue of compulsory vaccination.

“You can’t look for wiggle room on vaccines in ‘your body is your choice.’ You can’t ignore science as it deals with masking,” Murphy said, adding that vaccination and masking “are weapons … Keep healthy and alive.”

Ciattarelli agreed that vaccinations keep people alive.

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“I’ve been vaccinated, I’ve promoted my vaccinations, I encourage people to get vaccinated,” he said. “Do I believe the government has a right to tell people they have to take medicine? No, I don’t.”

The government’s job is to “provide the public with all the information they need to make an informed decision,” Ciatarelli said, while he would encourage those who want to wear masks to wear them, believing that masks should not be made mandatory. For children, especially children under the age of 2. “It’s a parent’s choice,” he said.

Murphy was asked whether he considered his policy to admit patients to nursing homes regardless of their COVID-19 status, while forbidding nursing homes to test their fault. Nearly 8,000 people died in New Jersey’s Nursing and Veterans Home, which accounts for a third of the COVID-19 deaths in the state.

Murphy responded that those people were residents of these long-term care or veterans’ homes and needed to be separated upon arrival.

Ciattarelli said the nursing home had not received any personal protective equipment or CCP virus test kits, but had to take in COVID-19 patients. He also said that the nursing home operators expressed concern that it would be impossible to keep the people there even if kept in isolation and hence they were given legal exemption.

Murphy clarified that nursing homes were inspected and those who “didn’t do the right thing” were fined.

racial profiling

Yug Times Photos
Yug Times Photos Police officers in New Jersey in this March 20, 2020, file photo. (Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

Ciattarelli was asked by a moderator how he would address the issue of racial profiling by the New Jersey police and how he would encourage greater racial diversity in the police force, which often does not match the racial composition of the population he serves. does.

The Republican nominee proposed three measures to address the racial issues brought up by the moderators: “Do a better job of recruiting people of color into our police ranks, … want to go into law enforcement for. They are on the right heart, mind and soul,… [and] Find an easy way to get rid of the bad cops.”

He also said that the present state administration has made it difficult for the police to do their job. “Work has never been harder. When have we imposed a curfew on our Jersey Shore? When have we ever had flash mobs on our Jersey Shore? Why? Because our cops can’t do their jobs.

As an example, Ciatarelli cited a current administration directive that prohibits local police from conducting community policing such as detaining teens caught with drugs or alcohol and notifying their parents.

In addition, the statistics must be analyzed to make sure “no one is being profiled, and that there is no disparity in the enforcement of our laws,” Ciatarelli said. These issues need to be addressed through a different type of recruitment effort, a different type of training effort, and a different type of supervision effort, he explained.

Murphy said he funded two state trooper training classes in one fiscal year and said transparency, accountability and body-worn cameras are a big step in stopping racial profiling. Murphy also sees the number of rounds allowed per magazine as an important factor in universal background checks and other gun laws in concealed carry and law enforcement.


Murphy promised not to raise any taxes any time in the next four years if he becomes elected governor, saying he had inherited an affordability crisis from the previous administration, not raising his taxes in the past. justify.

Yug Times Photos
Yug Times Photos Jack Ciatarelli, candidate for governor of New Jersey (Courtesy of Ciatarelli for Governor)

Ciatarelli promised “there will be no new taxes” if he wins in November. He said he would lower property taxes and implement a new school funding formula that would provide “a flatter, more equitable distribution of state aid”. He added that this new funding formula will not leave any student or community behind or reduce the quality of education.

According to the Tax Foundation, a Washington-based think tank, New Jersey has the highest effective tax rate on owner-occupied property at 2.13 percent of the home’s value, based on the latest data.

Ella Keitlinska


Ella Ketlinska is a New York-based reporter for The Epoch Times.


This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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