To the Editor:

On November 7  New Jerseyans will elect a new Governor. The choice could not be more stark or important. The choice will either protect us from decisions being made in Washington or it will impact us in negative ways for years into the future. Constitutionally, the New Jersey Governorship is the most powerful in the country. This can work to the advantage of the citizens or not. In addition, our local representation in Congress, Rodney Frelinghuysen does not offer a bulwark against the decisions of the Trump administration where Mr. Frelinghuysen now votes 100% for the national Republican agenda, not in line with the viewpoints of citizens of the 11th.

This letter will consider the environment, healthcare, and taxes. As of this summer the House of Representatives and our Congressman who is the head of Appropriations, approved cuts to the EPA budget of $528 million dollars. Fully one quarter of New Jersey’s Department of Environment Protection budget will be cut because the money won’t be coming from Washington. New Jersey has most Superfund sites of any other state in the nation. Chris Christie took NJ out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. The Democratic candidate Phil Murphy will immediately restore our place in that organization. The Trump administration is actively seeking to implode the Affordable Care Act by underfunding it. Mr. Murphy has promised to lower insurance premiums by capping excessive out of network costs. However, we have no helping hand from Washington. Last week Trump finally declared that we have an Opioid addiction crisis. But if you are not supporting a health care plan for all then there is far less money to help end this crisis.  Rodney Frelinghuysen supported the Obamacare repeal that would have denied coverage to 23 million. If we don’t have support from Washington and our representative it will invariably cost us more and hurt average New Jerseyans.

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Just this past week our congressman voted to eliminate the federal deduction for state and local taxes, the ONLY Republican representative in our state to do so. Middle-class families would take the biggest hit, to the benefit of the wealthy. It is not conceivable to me how he could defend this vote. Phil Murphy spoke out against this vote.

Putting Phil Murphy, a Democrat, in the statehouse will help New Jersey weather the storm going on in Washington. There will be a stronger party structure in place in our local and state offices to help elect a new representative next November 2018 in the midterm elections. The connection between this election and one next November is strong. Vote to make Washington our partner in helping New Jersey and in particular our 11th  congressional district. Vote for Phil Murphy.

Amy Ipp