I just got done writing a piece about how Gov. Phil Murphy's attempts to stop the annual bear hunt will someday result in harm to humans. It occurs to me as dumb as he is on that issue, I wouldn't even put that in the top 5 of his screwups. The following is obviously my opinion only. The majority of voters chose Phil Murphy to be governor. With no offense intended towards anyone who supports Murphy, these are, in my personal opinion, Phil Murphy's top 5 failures.

Offering legal help to illegal immigrants
A couple million dollars may not seem like a big deal to some. But when you have a collapsing, unsustainable pension system and no clue how to run the state without forever raising taxes, millions of dollars matter. Governor Murphy included in our state budget the shameful expenditure of over $2 million to give free legal aid to illegal immigrants to fight their deportation. I don't remember being asked if I'd like to donate to the cause of people who aren't supposed to be in our country. He's already enacted student financial aid for illegals and promises driver's licenses for illegals. Now this? Progressive Murphy is simply trying to strengthen his support base by courting favor with family and sympathizers of illegals. I'm sure someday he'd like to see complete amnesty or the right to vote given to people who don't belong here. What a slap in the face to every legal immigrant who followed the rules.

Hiring an ex-con
Marcellus Jackson knew Phil Murphy through the Calvary Baptist Church in Garfield. He met him through Rev. Calvin McKinney, a pastor who was a big early campaign supporter of Murphy offering an 'in' to the black community. Jackson stepped in as a church representative when McKinney had a stroke. Murphy, being the same cheesy political creature New Jersey is long known for, paid Marcellus Jackson back by giving him a $70,000 per year cushy job with the State Education Department. The problem was he had already violated the public trust a decade earlier having been a corrupt Passaic councilman taking bribes from undercover FBI agents. He spent years in prison for this. Did Murphy care that he was giving an ex-con a chance to violate the public trust once again? Of course not. He was proud of his decision, said he felt perfectly comfortable with it, and even suggested they do more hiring of ex-cons from here on out. The bigger problem? Murphy's own Attorney General Gurbir Grewal pointed out after the controversy erupted that Jackson was not legally supposed to be able to have such a job. State law says an application for forfeiture of public employment was supposed to be made in such a case. Jackson was forced to resign. Inexplicably, Murphy remains proud of his decision.

Failing to get along with his own party
When the state government comes as close to shutting down as it did this summer over a budget impasse, you would normally assume the executive branch and the legislative branch are of opposite parties. Not so in 2018. Phil Murphy is such a liberal progressive that he's been having issues getting along with his own Democratic Party. Senate President Steve Sweeney has emerged as close to a voice of reason by comparison, sounding at times like a moderate Republican in answer to Murphy's extreme leftism. The friction between the two has increased, and it's hard to believe but there seemed to be better cooperation between Sweeney and Christie, a Republican. It's hard to see how Murphy can be successful when members of his own party feel he's going to far.

Playing the race card
From the beginning, even before taking office, Murphy bragged about having the "most diverse" team in the history of the state. He was noticing skin color, religion and gender as he made his picks. I'd be far more comfortable as a New Jerseyan who sees this state going off the rails if he noticed only ability, regardless of the rest. He seemed to be judging his team not by the content of their character but by the color of their skin among other politically correct attributes. When the Dennis & Judi controversy hit in which they tried making a joke about Attorney Gurbir Grewal's turban being distracting, Murphy pounced tasting blood. In my opinion he long hated this station and Dennis in particular for calling him out on so many of his progressive ideas, and he saw this as a chance to hijack the radio station and get a nemesis fired. It didn't work. "Hate speech has no place in New Jersey," Murphy droned. Hate speech? Hardly. Even Gurbir Grewal, a man of far more integrity and intelligence than Phil Murphy, wanted to move on from the controversy. It was Murphy who fanned those flames. In Murphy's world, an inappropriate joke for which people apologized should get you fired, yet blatant violation of public trust and committing a felony should be rewarded with a job as in the case of Marcellus Jackson. The same governor, playing the race card again, insisted Sheriff Saudino in Bergen County resign after recordings of his private conversation came out in which he spoke of black people running amuck while police action would be restricted. He called for the law enforcement officer of over 46 years to lose his job while rewarding a criminal, Marcellus Jackson, with employment.

Failing to legalize marijuana
I hold no particular vested interest in this issue, other than as an over-burdened taxpayer. But many people believe the marijuana issue helped put Murphy over the top in the election. Even before he was elected, Sen. Scutari had floated bills for the legalization of recreational marijuana. Yet with framework already there and the promise that he would have legalized weed within his first 100 days in office, the issue stalled. Doubt crept in. He even included money for something not even yet legal in the state budget, yet could not seal the deal. Even Democrats began backpedaling. Over summer the issue began to move forward again, yet an expectation of something by September came and went. For such a major issue and such a huge promise, a Democratic governor who hasn't gotten this done with a Democratic legislature at his disposal is clearly in over his head.

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