TRENTON-Falling short by a few hundred thousand signatures, the Phil Murphy recall petition was officially voided by the Murphy administration this week. What started with just an idea by a few Jersey girls and the media backing by Shore News Network, a huge movement was born. Sure, the recall effort had its ups and downs. For many volunteers, it was their first time being involved in a real grassroots effort and growing pains were many, but at the end of the day, approximately 1,000,000 signatures were collected.
When you consider Phil Murphy won his election with 1.2 million votes, it was a pretty good showing.
Here’s what the Phil Murphy recall effort accomplished:
- A rallying of New Jersey Republicans, independents, conservatives and even many Democrats for one cause.
- The NJ GOP doesn’t want to admit, but candidates who embraced the “Stop Phil Murphy” campaign run by Shore News Network won their elections.
- We started a movement that has helped filter out bad candidates within the GOP as evidenced in Ocean County where the recall team overturned the vote of the establishment Republicans for U.S. Senate and U.S. Congress there.
- When I first met Doug Steinhardt in January, he was a hurt little boy crying in the corner about getting his ass beat by Democrats. Although Doug never fully embraced the recall effort, he did embrace the spirit of the recall effort. He dried off his tears, rolled his sleeves up and got back into the ring, stronger than he was before…and he won.
- We built a media site from our original Phil Murphy recall page. I started the recall Phil Murphy page and it was always the plan from day one to start the page, use it to promote the recall for the year, then to use it as a plan b if the recall failed to get the signatures. Plan B is to continue rallying against Phil Murphy and the liberal agenda that is killing our state.
- We have almost all come together. The factions of the conservative movement in NJ were split and distanced. The recall brought it all together and though many with their own agendas continue to splinter, because its in their nature, overall, everyone is working and communicating better and getting results.
- The 2A movement. Those people are awesome. The recall effort created such a backbone network of people that the 2A legislation is sweeping New Jersey because now everyone knows they can play a part in government and have a seat at the table, not just the party elites.
Here’s why the Phil Murphy recall effort fell short:
- The establishment GOP never embraced it because it’s bad for business. They took our core principal, “Stop Phil Murphy” and meshed it into their own ‘business plan’. When you have an organization so intertwined with the Democrats and runs essentially as a profit center and business entity, it’s not good business to get involved in things that could undermine that business.
- The GOP sponsored media did not promote the recall, in fact, the ridiculed it. Never Trumper Matt Rooney, Save Jersey; Bill Spadea and others who could have helped the movement, mocked and ridiculed the movement and continued just blowing hot air that accomplished absolutely nothing in the scope of New Jersey politics.
- The establishment GOP never embraced it because it’s bad for their image. The GOP controls the “conservative movement”. At least that’s what they want you to think, but if the recall was successful and it wasn’t their idea, it undermines their very existence and value. The GOP local clubs who embraced the recall signings saw more people come to their events and saw club enrollments increase this past year.
- We’ll never know the real reason why the establishment GOP didn’t help out. The recall effort was the grassroots movement it needed to counter all the great grassroots movements done by the Democrats, but when GOP leaders run firms with Democrat party bosses, former Democrat Governors and in places like Ocean County, even donate to Democrats, business and self-interest will always come first.
There are MANY unsung heroes in the recall effort, too many to name without omitting some, so I won’t even go there, but those people know who they are and we all now know who they are and we know that just because the petition is over, they won’t stop fighting until we remove Phil Murphy next year in the voting booth…we can only pray that the GOP doesn’t put up a weak candidate once again to face the huge machine the Democrats roll out each election year.
The GOP continues on hoping to carry the resurgence into 2021, but things aren’t looking all that good. They tried to run a shoplifter in CD3…we beat them. They are touting a big pharma former Democrat to challenge Cory Booker, we must stop that, like we just did in Ocean County. We need to be the force that keeps the NJ GOP honest going forward so we can start winning assembly and senate seats so we can put Jersey back on the right track.
The biggest problem we face is that the GOP sees us all as outcasts, losers, antagonists and rebels. They also don’t realize we all hold the key to their success. They cannot win without our votes and we made that clear in 2017 and 2018. Run bad candidates, we stay home. We will not reward bad behavior, not even from the Republican party.
We can beat Cory Booker this year, but the GOP doesn’t think so, so they are just putting up a money pinata to shake a stick at for their campaign consultants. Sad, but true. This is the reality of New Jersey politics. It’s about the dollar, not the values and principals of the Republican party. Republican professionals have lost a lot of ground in recent years and they sure as hell don’t want to lose what little they have left, so don’t expect your local assemblymen or state senators if they are Republicans go to rattling too many cages, because they all know they could be next.
We helped the NJ GOP find its way in 2019. The year started off with a sad-faced Doug Steinhardt drowning in sorrow and self-pity as his kitchen table and we ended it with the ball moving in the right direction. Lots of smiles and wins in November, but they are about to lose it all again, because they never embraced or recognized the people who really did all the heavy lifting behind the scenes while they attended round tables and conventions amongst themselves in Atlantic City.
The recall effort was an astounding success and will continue to be as long as we all keep doing what we do…and who knows, maybe one day, the GOP might actually wake up and see what’s happening around them and start to respect what we have done for them.
Phil Stilton, Editor Shore News Network
Phil Murphy Recall volunteer #4