Phil Murphy's office using taxpayer resources to promote wife Tammy's bid for US Senate

NEWS: Phil Murphy’s office using taxpayer resources to promote wife Tammy’s bid for US Senate

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has been using taxpayer resources to promote his wife as she campaigns to become the Garden State’s latest US Senator, according to records and critics.

Gov. Murphy’s press office has pumped out a slew of fawning press releases — which appear on the governor’s website — about First Lady Tammy Murphy after she announced her Senate run on Nov. 15.

The releases include:

  • Jan. 16, 2024: “First Lady Tammy Murphy Celebrates Signing of Doula Access Bill”
  • Jan. 23, 2024: “First Lady Tammy Murphy today hosted a roundtable discussion to celebrate Maternal Health Awareness Day”
  • Jan. 9, 2024: “First Lady Tammy Murphy Announces 2024 State of the State Address Special Guests On Tuesday, January 9”
  • Dec. 13, 2023: “First Lady Tammy Murphy today announced that six public members have been appointed by Governor Phil Murphy to serve on the Board of the New Jersey Maternal and Infant Health Innovation Authority”
  • Nov. 20, 2023: “At Maternal and Infant Health Roundtable Discussion at University Hospital, First Lady Tammy Murphy Announces Introduction of Doula Access Bill. Legislation Ensures Doulas’ Access to Hospitals and Birthing Facilities to Accompany Pregnant Mothers”
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has been accused of using his press office to promote his wife Tammy Murphy’s Senate campaign. AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File
Tammy Murphy is running to replace Sen. Bob Menendez as he faces corruption charges. Photo by Ira L. Black – Corbis/Getty Images

Critics note that Tammy Murphy benefits from the trappings of being first lady, with a Nov. 22 release announcing that “Governor Murphy and First Lady Tammy Murphy Invite New Jersey Residents to Holiday Open Houses at Drumthwacket” — the governor’s mansion in Princeton.

She faces a contested Democratic primary race against Congressman Andy Kim and possibly Sen. Robert Menendez, whose seat they are vying for.

Phil Murphy has called on Menendez to resign as he faces bribery and corruption charges.

Gov. Murphy’s press office has released several press releases about Tammy Murphy since she announced that she was running. Danielle Parhizkaran/ / USA TODAY NETWORK

The state’s other US Senate seat is held by Democrat Cory Booker of Newark.

Garden State Republicans have cried foul over Tammy Murphy’s advantageous situation, accusing her husband of inappropriately using public resources of the governor’s office to promote his wife’s campaign.

“We finally understand: all of these years Phil Murphy promised that to make things ‘Stronger and Fairer,’ he was talking about his own marital harmony — not New Jersey,” said Alex Wilkes, a spokeswoman for the New Jersey Republican Party.

“His backwards policies have bankrupted everyone in this state who hasn’t already left, so it makes sense that he’s using the taxpayer dime to support this wife’s campaign: they’re some of the only ones left who can afford to stay here,” said Wilkes.

The Murphys’ situation is reminiscent of when then-President Bill Clinton was accused of using the power of the Oval Office to help his wife, Hillary, in her successful bid to become the U.S. senator from New York.

Gov. Phil Murphy’s office defended the promotion of wife Tammy’s work on policy issues she has tackled as first lady, particularly maternal health.

“First Lady Tammy Murphy is proud to continue the impactful work she started six years ago through her Nurture NJ initiative to tackle our state’s maternal and infant health crisis and make New Jersey the safest and most equitable state in the nation to deliver and raise a baby,” said Tyler Jones, a spokesperson for the governor’s office.

Critics have claimed that Gov. Murphy is using state resources to promote his wife. Getty Images

“In January 2021, First Lady Murphy unveiled the Nurture NJ Maternal and Infant Health Statewide Strategic Plan with a path and a promise to reduce maternal deaths by 50 percent over five years, and in partnership with thousands, this work must continue. Over the years, she has also worked to incorporate climate change education in K-12 learning standards and support women-owned businesses, among other longstanding priorities,” added Jones.

Tammy Murphy has made maternal health a key plank in her Senate campaign, launching a “Moms for Murphy” team — so the governor’s office is in sync with her campaign message.

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