Jim Johnson Challenges Phil Murphy’s Public Bank Proposal

Jim Johnson Challenges Phil Murphy’s Public Bank Proposal

Calls Again for Top-to-Bottom Ethics Reform in Trenton

Today, Democratic gubernatorial candidate and former Undersecretary of the Treasury Jim Johnson challenged his opponent and former Goldman Sachs executive Phil Murphy’s proposal to create a public bank in New Jersey. Johnson argued that not only is a public bank a bad idea, but also impossible to create without top-to-bottom ethics reform in Trenton. Johnson has laid out five reasons why a public bank would do more harm than good in New Jersey.

“After 11 credit downgrades, the emptying out of the school construction fund, the near collapse of our pensions, grossly underfunded public infrastructure, and catastrophic failures of core government functions like transportation, New Jersey taxpayers know that the last thing we need is another Wall Street gimmick. Murphy’s public bank is just one more bad idea that will be poorly executed at the expense of taxpayers,” said Johnson.

“Phil Murphy’s public bank proposal is a misguided and vague idea that should not be taken seriously,” continued Johnson. “While Murphy argues that a public bank would help our economy by saving taxpayer money and increasing investment, I, along with many policy experts, believe these expectations are false and that the bank would serve as a great danger to New Jersey taxpayers.”

“Why should voters trust former Goldman Sachs executive Phil Murphy or Trenton with their money? The Wall Street approach is to throw money or take your money — we’ve seen the effects of that approach right here in New Jersey with our worst-in-the-nation foreclosure crisis. Furthermore, Trenton already oversees trust funds to build our schools, pensions, and highways. Clearly, the answer is not to give Trenton more control — and why would we when it has long been ripe with issues of political corruption and patronage? New Jersey doesn’t need a Governor who is interested in running another bank. We need a Governor who is committed to addressing the multifaceted aspects of rebuilding our economy and restoring trust in our government.”

Johnson is the only candidate in the race to propose comprehensive ethics reform in New Jersey. To address the self-serving politics of Trenton, as Governor, Johnson will eliminate no-bid contracts, enact strong rules against lobbying, implement a transparency pledge and permit only one public pension per official. Johnson’s full ethics proposal can be found here.

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