Republican gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli cannot get a break in his effort convince New Jersey women to hold Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy accountable for hiring an alleged rapist, ignoring systemic sexual assault at a correctional facility for women or subjecting female employees to what they described as “a toxic work environment.”
Julie Roginsky, a former key adviser to Murphy, was widely quoted saying, “the governor is preventing me and other women from publicly exposing men in his campaign who created what I believe is the most toxic workplace environment I have ever seen in 25 years of working on political campaigns.”
After Murphy’s 2017 campaign manager called her a ‘cunt’ during one argument, Roginsky got fired. That’s just one of several explosive revelations the Democratic strategist made concerning the Wall Street millionaire’s 2017 campaign operation.
Murphy also hired a political staffer who was accused of raping a campaign volunteer, Katie Brennan, who also was hired to a six-figure job in state government. Brennan came forward to publicly discuss the case after Murphy and his top aides ignored her pleas for justice.
Murphy stuck taxpayers with costs of nearly $1 million to settle a lawsuit filed by Brennan over his incompetence and misogyny before federal officials slammed his administration for ignoring a pattern of sexual abuse that had been going on for years at Edna Mahan Correctional Facility, a prison for women operated by the New Jersey Department of Corrections, located in Union Township.
Ciattarelli launched philmurphydoesnotcare.com, a website that shows Murphy has a long history of saying he stands for women, when in reality he uses them as political props while disregarding their health and safety.
“Governor Murphy has continually covered up for powerful men throughout his career in government, politics and business at the expense of women who have stood up as victims of abuse, discrimination, misogyny and sexual assault,” said Senator Diane Allen, the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor.
“From his time at Goldman Sachs, to his tenure as Ambassador to Germany, to the women’s soccer team he owns, to his campaign, and right through his administration, victims have been ignored and their pleas for help swept under the rug,” said Allen. “Governor Murphy only acts when his career or his reputation are threatened. It’s always about him, and never about the women who have been so badly mistreated, or worse.”
“It’s no surprise that Phil Murphy has resorted to lying about me in his latest ads. It’s all an attempt to distract from his own failed record,” said Ciattarelli, in one of his campaign ads. “Hard-working residents throughout the state are burdened by the highest taxes in the nation and have been left to fend for themselves by an incompetent state government. They’re tired of politicians who are more concerned with pointing fingers than providing solutions. It’s time to tackle the top issues facing New Jersey families and build a government that serves its citizens effectively. When I’m Governor, we will.”
The Republican is having much greater success appealing to law enforcement personnel but he still has not secured any police union endorsements.
The New Jersey Fraternal Order of Police endorsed Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy during his first campaign in 2017, but after four years in office they lost interest in his political success but in a setback to Republican Ciattarelli, who has staked a significant part of his campaign on a “law and order” message, the FOP is staying on the sidelines.
Murphy’s campaign has won endorsements from smaller unions including the Port Authority Police PBA, the State Trooper’s Fraternal Association of New Jersey and the Jersey City Police Officers Benevolent Association.
The 32,000 member New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association (PBA) also supported Murphy four years ago but the state’s largest police union has not yet announced its intentions.
“The brave men and women who protect us every day are being disarmed and handcuffed by extremist politicians like Phil Murphy. His policies are demoralizing law enforcement and making it harder for them to do their job,” said Jack Ciattarelli in a video aimed at attracting police support, but his campaign earned no endorsements from unions representing those government workers.
One of Murphy’s 2017 rivals accused him of profiting from slave labor as a top executive at Goldman Sachs, but that did not stop Jim Johnson from accepting a job Murphy gave him .
Polls show Murphy with a double-digit lead, Democrats outnumber registered Republicans by about one million in the state and —despite misleading reporting to the contrary — Murphy has a massive financial advantage over his GOP opponent.
Since he did not have a primary opponent — while the Republican had three of them—Murphy collected and spent far more than his GOP opponent and he is still sitting on a significantly greater pile of cash on hand for expenditures in the final weeks of the campaign.
“Out-of-state GOP contributors regard themselves as investors,” said Alan Steinberg, who suggested that the Ciattarelli campaign is “shown by the Monmouth Poll to be facing the prospect of a catastrophic defeat.”
Time is running out for Ciattarrelli, with vote-by-mail forms already in some citizen’s hands, just days before the start of early balloting or two-and-a-half weeks until the election, but the women’s vote remains elusive.
The only group that Ciattarrelli has successfully appealed to is the Trump-loving Tea Party fanatics who support the terrorists that tried to mount a coup d’état in Washington on January 6, and with the hundreds of arrests made by the FBI and mounting numbers of guilty pleas entered by defendants, that is a shrinking value.