TOMS RIVER, NJ – New Jersey Assemblyman Gregory P. McGuckin casts a rather large shadow in Ocean County, but when it comes to the state level, he had difficulty pushing his $15,000 executive order violation punishment bill in Trenton. Now, as the second wave of the pandemic is starting and ignoring the elephant in the room the entire time, Phil Murphy is once again taking away the rights of business owners in the state.
This time, McGuckin, who earns about $4,000,000 annually from public pay to play contracts has written a press release saying how angry he is at the governor for shutting down bars. On the bright side, those bar owners won’t be fined McGuckin’s $15,000 fine if they intend to resist the governor’s orders.
“Restaurants and the long list of associated industries that support and rely on them have been stretched so thin this year,” stated Senator Holzapfel, another pay to play professional and co-sponsor of McGuckin’s spring $15,000 fine bill. “Operating at 25% capacity indoors just doesn’t cut it for most, especially when they have greater costs related to sanitization, PPE, and various modifications that are necessary to keep customers safe. We’re greatly concerned that the Governor is putting new restrictions on restaurants that they can’t afford, even after he has long acknowledged that there’s no evidence that indoor dining has contributed to any outbreaks.”
Under new orders by Governor Murphy, restaurants, bars, and other businesses that serve food or drinks must suspend indoor dining between 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. Outdoor dining can continue after 10:00 p.m., along with takeout and delivery services.
“These actions by the Governor are no different than if he was condemning someone’s private property for public good,” said Assemblyman McGuckin who also serves as the township attorney for most of Ocean County’s municipalities, holding as many as 20 different jobs. “If the Governor mandates private businesses to close to protect the public good, then he should ensure these businesses are compensated in the same way. Our delegation introduced S-3060/A-4849, which compensates the business owner for loss of income during a temporary partial or complete closure of the business. We urge the Governor to support our bill before his plan brings more economic devastation to our local businesses.”
McGuckin and his team are up for re-election this year and will probably face a formidable primary election challenge. This could be the final year of McGuckin’s term in office. The assemblyman has been under investigation by the IRS for tax evasion after having multiple tax liens placed on his home over the past 10 years. Sources within Ocean County’s GOP elite said McGuckin recently met with FBI investigators based out of Red Bank in relation to an ongoing federal investigation into Jackson Township Mayor Michael Reina.