NJ Politics Digest: While Commuters Were Stranded, the Murphys Dined in Style

NEWARK, NJ - NOVEMBER 15:  A ground crew member walks through the snow at the Newark Liberty International Airport on November 15, 2018 in Newark, New Jersey. The early season storm caused flight cancellations in much of the northeast.

NEWARK, NJ – NOVEMBER 15: A ground crew member walks through the snow at the Newark Liberty International Airport on November 15, 2018 in Newark, New Jersey. The early season storm caused flight cancellations in much of the northeast. John Moore/Getty Images

It’s the kind of optics no politician would appreciate, particularly one who tries to portray himself as a progressive man of the people.

As snowbound commuters spent the night sleeping in cars on gridlocked roads and school children were stranded on buses because of the state’s failure to respond to a routine snowstorm Thursday, Gov. Phil Murphy and his wife were at a high-end restaurant in Middletown after he spent the day at a political event in Atlantic City, according to reports.

Murphy and state officials have blamed the state’s dismal response to the snowstorm on bad forecasts and have said that people should have left work early to avoid messy roads. Murphy, a millionaire from his time at Goldman Sachs, has not apologized for the state’s failure to prepare roads ahead of the storm or adequately clear them once the snow and sleet began falling.

Meteorologists had predicted tough commuting conditions early in the week and continued updating their forecasts as the storm intensified Thursday.

Murphy’s office has worked to make it clear that the governor, too, got stuck in traffic during the storm and did visit a state traffic management center before heading off to enjoy his meal.

Quote of the Day: “We’re going with the law. That what’s the law says,’’ — Board of Public Utilities President Joseph Fiordaliso, claiming the board must require New Jersey ratepayers to provide $300 million in subsidies to prop up nuclear power plants in New Jersey and other states if plant operators need any financial assistance.

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NJ Politics Digest: While Commuters Were Stranded, the Murphys Dined in Style