Murphy should be fined for breaking his own rules by protesting (Opinion)
When Gov. Phil Murphy showed up at two protests Sunday, resplendent in his black shirt to show support for Black Lives Matter, he did so in violation of his own orders regarding gatherings of more than 25 people. There was also not very much social distancing going on either.
Assemblyman Jay Webber from the 26th district posted a letter on Facebook that he sent to New Jersey State Police Superintendent Patrick J. Callahan, notifying the colonel of the governor's presence at the protests. Webber also reminded Callahan of someone violating N.J.S.A. App.A 9-49(h) and 9-50 is "shall be judged a disorderly person and shall be subject to imprisonment of a tern not to exceed 6 months and pay a fine of not to exceed more than $1000.00 to both a fine and imprisonment in the discretion of the court."
Now, you know the governor is not going to prison, but if I'm him, I'm definitely paying the fine, if for no other reason than the positive press he would get from the protesters. He would be the only politician who would be putting his money where his mouth is in speaking for their cause. Plus, $1,000 is nothing to a man of Murphy's enormous wealth.
Not fining the governor gives anyone else who is cited for the gathering violation a reason for not paying their fine. When it comes to protests over business openings, which also should be his point of concern since more and more states are reopening, Murphy said a week ago he thought of the current protests as "in a different orbit" than the ones over business openings. The governor should know from orbit since his head and his wheels have been spinning since this whole thing started.
So I'm definitely in favor of the governor paying the fine for protesting. What I'm not in favor of is including community service in the fine. After seeing what this governor has done serving this community, New Jersey is much better off just taking his money.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise. Any opinions expressed are Steve's own. Steve Trevelise is on New Jersey 101.5 Monday-Thursday from 7pm-11pm. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.
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