Former Murphy Opponent Joe Rullo Urges GOP Leaders to Establish Sanctuary Cities for Small Business in New Jersey


TOMS RIVER, NJ – Governor Phil Murphy today promised a “new reality” for a Bellmawr gym owner tomorrow morning for defying his executive orders.  Now, many more businesses being forced to shut down are promising to open their businesses whether Murphy likes it or not.  Republican Joseph Rullo, who ran against Murphy in the 2017 gubernatorial election says enough is enough with Murphy’s bullying of small businesses.   Rullo, who has been a staunch opponent for sanctuary cities where illegal aliens can find shelter from the law, said if New Jersey can have sanctuary cities to protect illegal aliens, then the state can also have sanctuary cities to protect Americans who own small businesses.

“You have all these mom and pop stores that sell the sell the same stuff as Dollar General, Walmart and Target, but they can’t open,” Rullo said.  Rullo said gyms should be allowed to open to begin improving the state’s physical health.  Rullo cited Atwater, California which became America’s first “Small Business Sanctuary City”.   The city vowed to not enforce the state shutdown of business owners.

“The City of Atwater is not going to go out and enforce any of the shelter-in-place orders by the state of California,” Atwater Mayor Paul Creighton told the media. “City police and code enforcement will not interfere with businesses that reopen ahead of state guidelines. But if you do have a state license, that’s between you and the state of California.”

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Rullo called upon Republican mayors, freeholders, assemblymen to begin implementing “Small Business Sanctuary Cities”.

“Why don’t you, by town, you create sanctuary cities you can reopen your business and guarantee that business owner won’t be arrested by the town or county,” Rullo said. “They can sponsor a resolution in the town declaring it’s open for business.”

Businesses should be given the chance to reopen and Governor Phil Murphy should trust that New Jersey’s small business owners will act responsibly in order to get back to business.

“We’ve knocked down the curve,” Rullo said. “We’ve done that. We need true politicians, people who are not afraid or won’t go with the win.  Not one state assemblyperson or senator came out for this guy Ian at Atilis Gym in Bellmawr today.”

Rullo said Republican politicians are watching the hard-fought battles from safe distances and after the dust settles, taking safe positions based on popular opinion, as long as the risk is low and the reward is high.  “To keep these businesses closed is destroying the New Jersey economy,” Rullo said. “This guy Ian (Atilis Gym) in Bellmawr, he’s a human being that has to eat. He’s a human being that has to pay his bills.  Nothing pays for itself.  He just wants his business to open to put food on the table.”

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Under Rullo’s “Small Business Sanctuary City Plan”, the enforcement of CDC and health safety guidelines would fall under the jurisdiction of the county and local health departments, not a top-down order from the state.  It would be up to local mayors and law enforcement to ensure local businesses are following all of the proper guidelines set by the state or county health officials regarding social distancing.  If a business acts in bad faith or violates social distancing, capacity limits or health and safety standards, the, Rullo said, the could risk being fined or even shut down for a period time, similar to existing health department food inspections.

“We need to give small businesses a fighting chance,” Rullo said. “We have to put trust that our fellow New Jerseyans can open their business and keep people healthy at the same time, but one thing we can’t do is continue turning small business owners into criminals…especially after Murphy just released all of the real criminals from jails and prisons across the state.”

Hirsh Singh, who is running as the Republican candidate against New Jersey Senator Cory Booker also echoed Rullo’s sentiments today.  Singh was among the first Republicans in New Jersey to call for a smart and efficient plan to reopen business in New Jersey.

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“New Jersey, it’s time to open up,” Singh said today.   On April 28th, Singh was the first state or federal level Republican in New Jersey openly calling on Phil Murphy to reopen business.

“COVID-19 is deadly and must be taken seriously, but there is no value in burning down the metaphorical village to save it. Quarantine used to be for sick people, now it is being used wrongly for healthy people,” said Singh. “We are quickly approaching a “point of no return” for the economy and American way of life, as almost 26 million people are now unemployed due to the COVID-19 lockdown. As the United States, unlike many other nations in the world, is not dependent on a public transportation system, maintaining such social distancing measures can be achieved.”

“Turning to the effects of the lockdown, Singh stated that it is the middle class and the poor who are being utterly crushed by this economic shutdown,” Singh added. “People are running out of credit and cash reserves, while small businesses of all sorts are going to cease to exist if re-opening doesn’t occur. Bailouts and stimulus checks in perpetuity are not sustainable and are utterly inconsistent with the free enterprise system and American way of life.”

Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash