TOMS RIVER-It’s not quite clear where Assemblyman Greg P. McGuckin’s head is these days. Last week, McGuckin introduced a bill to the New Jersey Assembly that would fine residents $10,000 per incident for using parks and recreational areas closed by Governor Phil Murphy during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Today, McGuckin is calling for the reopening of parks in Ocean County and New Jersey which were closed by Governor Phil Murphy and Ocean County Freeholder Virginia Haines, 78, who also served in the New Jersey legislature four decades ago.
Haines closed all of Ocean County Parks after complaints of Orthodox Jews from Lakewood using a bayside park in Brick Township. McGuckin supported Haines’ park closure to keep, what insiders in the county government claim, infected individuals from using public parks outside of Lakewood. That eventually lead to a county-wide park closure, one McGuckin now is banging the political drums against.
It’s not quite clear what to think about McGuckin’s erratic flip-flopping on parks is all about.
Two days ago, the National Outdoor Alliance sharply criticized McGuckin’s $10,000 penalty against residents as an attempt to shred the Constitution of the United States.
Yesterday, that same group sang praises over McGuckin’s attempt to force Murphy and Haines to reopen parks.
NJOA spokesman Cody McLaughlin said, “One of our first calls was from Assemblyman Greg McGuckin and the 10th Legislative District team, and we appreciate their support of these common sense measures to reopen our public spaces in a safe and responsible manner. The Governor needs to act on these issues for the thousands of New Jersey residents who need outdoor recreation to maintain both their mental and physical health during this trying time.”
Hours earlier, McLaughlin called McGuckin’s $10,000 Murphy’s Law violation bill, “preposterous” and sharply criticized McGuckin’s proposed legislation.
“There are already plentiful enforcement options available to law enforcement, adding a $10,000 fine for walking in a park is a preposterous, absurdly overzealous attempt at pandering to people’s worst instincts in a time of crisis.” said McLaughlin, “Frankly the rush by legislators and the Governor to shred our constitution and compete for who can propose the most draconian measure is an additional infectious disease we should be fighting as a society along with our efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”
Maybe being stuck inside the house for 40 days is finally getting to everyone’s brains, because at this point, neither McGuckin nor the Outdoor Alliance are making any sense at all.