On today's episode of The Brian Nichols Show, Tara Murphy (candidate for Branchburg Township Committee, NJ) joins the program to outline what issues she's focusing on during her candidacy, namely how she is taking on career politicians who have grown deaf to the needs and concerns of their constituents.
"I've lived in my town [Branchburg, NJ) for about 11 years. And more and more every year, there's more building and less open space in the town.
And we get a lot of flooding because of it. And this is usually brushed off by the current township administration.
So I'm running for township committee this year against two Republican incumbents prioritizing open space and freedom for residents over the overdevelopment - both commercial and residential in the town, which is causing flooding. The town has been run by Republicans for at least 25 years, maybe longer. And there are no term limits.
...last year, the mayor told me that businesses were more important than residents. In 2020, the township overturned a marijuana referendum, saying that the people did not know what they were voting for when they voted to legalize marijuana. The township also regularly disregards the master plan for building and grants variances very, very easily.
So that is why I'm running for township this year."
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Brian Nichols 0:06
focusing on winning arguments. We're teaching the basic fundamentals of sales and marketing and how we can use them to win in the world of politics, teaching you how to meet people where they're at on the issues they care about. Welcome to The Brian Nichols Show. Happy Saturday there, folks, Brian, if you're on The Brian Nichols Show, I know I missed you there yesterday, because you want to have today's guest on the program to fulfill our five episodes this weekend. By the way, I am Brian Nichols, your humble host. And of course, it's another fun filled episode that you can be in store for today. We're going to be going more towards local politics. We're gonna be talking to a candidate who's running for local township committee in Branchburg, New Jersey. Tara Murphy, welcome to The Brian Nichols Show.
Tara Murphy 0:50
Thank you, Brian. Absolutely. Tara,
Brian Nichols 0:52
thank you for joining us here on the program. You're running local, and we talk about this all the time here on the program, it's so important to talk local to the issues that matter to the people who you're living around who you live with, who are luckily your neighbors, your family, your friends. So Tara, thank you for going out and fighting the good fight. And yes, running on those local issues. To start things off. Let's take a moment. Introduce yourself to the audience. And while you're running for Yes, township committee, they're in Branchburg Township, New Jersey.
Tara Murphy 1:21
Thank Thanks, Brian. I am married mother of two children. I've lived in my town for about 11 years. And more and more every year. There's more building and less open space in the town. And we get a lot of flooding because of it. And this is usually brushed off by the current township administration. So I'm running for township committee this year against two Republican incumbents prioritizing open space and freedom for residents over the overdevelopment, both commercial and residential in the town, which is causing flooding. The town has been run by Republicans for at least 25 years, maybe longer. And there are no term limits. So it's just probably the case throughout many local municipalities. But I would like to bring it up as a as a campaign point. And last year, the mayor told me that businesses were more important than residents. In 2020, the township overturned a marijuana referendum, saying that the people did not know what they were voting for when they voted to legalize marijuana. The township also regularly disregards the master plan for building and grants variances very, very easily. So that is why I'm running for township this year.
Brian Nichols 2:59
There you go. There's the outline. Now let's talk because specific issues you brought up there now, you brought up the very beginning, I assume that's likely because it's probably most important issue to you right now and probably to the community, but speak to that the flooding that you're referring to, and what's been taking place is a government action, government inaction that's causing the problem.
Tara Murphy 3:19
It's a lot of times, commercial and residential. Developers will say, Oh, it won't be a problem. I'll just put in a, this here and this there. But, you know, when you have a large, a big storm, if you heard of hurricane Ida last year, the water has to go somewhere. And when you put in structures, and there's less land, you know, it's, it's got to go somewhere and it goes to the nearest, you know, place where, where it can. And in a lot of parts of town, it ends up being in people's basements. And if they don't have basements, it ends up being in living room. And, you know, this causes a lot of problems for people, even in extreme circumstances, but within the last year road closures, because of the flooding, our roads being damaged, and needing repairs because of extreme flooding. And it's because the 100 years ago, this was a lot of farmland, and that's not the case anymore, but there's just no place for the water to go and you know, no matter what they say it's going to be a problem.
Brian Nichols 4:44
So let's talk about solutions. We talk about solutions here because at the end of the day, and it's much like the sales process, people want to not just hear the the problem itself, but rather tell me how you can make it better. How can we and I didn't even ask your political affiliation here. How can we When we talked about the greater Liberty world help solve these problems we see brought forth. So talk about that, Tara, what do you see as the solution to in this case, the government or the government inaction or action to the flooding issue.
Tara Murphy 5:13
There are things that the town can do to make the process less for developers, they can require plans that completely conform to the code, along with their plans, looking for a million variances, which is often the case and see if they actually go through with it, if they can even submit a conforming plan. A lot of times they can't, and they might just, you know, take their show elsewhere. What we see a lot of time is that the township saying, there's nothing we can do, you know, our hands are tied, you know? And yes, private, private owners have a lot of, you know, leverage there. But there are things there are ways that they can make the the process, the application process, you know, more challenging, and not just throw up their hands and say, there's nothing they could do. I know that it's the it also has a lot to do with the current regime having a lot of connections in the local business world that influenced their decisions. And I don't have any of those conflicts of interest.
Brian Nichols 6:30
What do you see, let's maybe talk about the business environment, because we talk a lot to small business owners, business owners and general sales professionals here in the program. So I brought up a couple of times where I think you said that there was the one person on the committee who said that business means more than the residents or the people. So what is it specifically, you're seeing as issues from the business perspective, what's being done or what's not being done based on their influence or inaction as well.
Tara Murphy 7:00
Local business applications to build or expand with multiple variances are getting approved, very, very easily. And they shouldn't be variances should be extreme hardship situations, I know that they get they have a close relationship with businesses with donations, etc. I don't have that conflict. And I would prioritize people over businesses in those situations. The other thing is, well, a lot of there's a lot of turnover in, you know, food establishments out, out here anyway. And they'll go ahead and build new ones, while old ones are sitting empty. And there's got to be some way to incentivize rehabilitating the derelict properties rather than building new ones. You know, restaurants tend to have a high turnover rate. That's, that's the nature of the business. So we're seeing new ones being built and old ones sitting empty, which is, you know, which doesn't make sense.
Brian Nichols 8:21
And what do you see as the I guess, the reasoning behind that? Right, because it's your average person hearing that? Yeah, it doesn't make sense. And, I mean, we obviously here on the program, we support less intervention in the in the the free market. So we I know there's gonna be people in the audience are saying, well, Tara, what if the reason that those buildings are sitting empty is because it's a lot less expensive for the businesses to keep those buildings empty and build new ones than it would be for them to rehabilitate or fix or whatever they need to do for those other locations. And it's because of existing government variances that are already in place that they're looking just for loopholes?
Tara Murphy 8:54
Well, yeah, of course, that's it. But and commercial real estate, right off that they get, but the town can give incentives and more incentives to rehabilitate the old properties. I know I'm an eminent domain is is something that should only only be used in extreme circumstances. And we maybe have one of those situations in town where, where it could be used. I'm not in favor of using it, you know, lightheartedly.
Brian Nichols 9:36
I'm scared of eminent eminent domain. I'm gonna be real the it's always a slippery slope. I always, I'll give you some context, right. I'm from upstate New York, and it's right near the St. Lawrence River Valley. And the San Juan River Valley went through an expansion project back in the 50s, where there you know, 1000s and 1000s of acres of land that were lost farmers lands, I mean, just private property flooded, because of the expansion of the Seaway and it was all done. I mean, It was air quotes paid for, by by eminent domain at the market value. But I mean, did they have a choice? No. And that's family generations of families, farms and stuff being just completely flooded away. So I always look at eminent domain a little bit with a cautious eye. And dare I say, I don't like it. But regardless, let's move to the next topic he brought up. And I thought this would be something that a lot of folks in Liberty world would be like, wait, what? How can the the township overturn this marijuana referendum? And I know you said because we were talking before they didn't. They didn't know enough. That's what the argument was. But we saw this right now this marijuana referendum overturn taught to that and what's the process right now of trying to get things back on track?
Tara Murphy 10:42
Yeah, apparently, it's legal for township to do it. And they claimed that they just did what most of the other surrounding talented. So just because the rest of the area did it, we did it too. And somehow they felt that people didn't realize what they were voting for. But the town had had the option to do this within a certain amount of time of the referendum. And then it's good for five years. So they went ahead and unanimously said, No, we're going to overturn that, even though over 5000 people in town voted for legalizing. And that's no good for five years. There was also comment made about it going going against the morals of the town, which is offensive, because five people feel like they are dictating the morals of the town. Which I disagree with. And if elected, I would never dream of telling people what the morals of the town are. And everybody should decide for themselves if they want to smoke it.
Brian Nichols 12:00
I don't think that's a super controversial opinion here for this audience. But no, let's let's talk about the reasoning and and maybe the the, dare I say testicular fortitude of these, as you mentioned five members on the township committee. And it likely is due to the fact that and we see this incumbency bias in the average voter where they will continue to not just elect but then reelected these individuals, especially if they have the favorite party letter next to their name. So let's talk about term limits. You brought this up as well and unlikely across the United States, there are little localities where you've seen an individual in office for probably 4050 years they've been there, you know, they're all fat, happy and sassy, sitting atop of whatever their cushy position is. I mean, heck, we have our don't stop trusting government bureaucrats, surance here, that includes those who have built their their entire careers on just living at the public dole, as you know, whatever the role may be. So now, are those decision positions important? Absolutely. However, we're seeing, especially right now, across the board at a federal level, just the ridiculousness of having people who are in their 70s Plus dictating the entire direction of the country. And at the head of that being Joe Biden, who I daresay I don't think it's a controversial statement to make is either having some mental cognitive disabilities or he's on his path towards dementia. So that being said, term limits, I think, is absolutely a fair conversation to be discussing. What would that look like at a local level there in Branchburg?
Tara Murphy 13:37
It would look just like what the President and the governor of New Jersey have to two limits, or two terms. And there's no reason why the same people have should be here for 25 years. It it's an open invitation to corruption and conflicts of interest.
Brian Nichols 14:01
Could you elaborate a little bit more in terms of how you would correct that? Like, what would that look like from actually instituting if that makes sense?
Tara Murphy 14:11
Oh, I think it's an ordinance that would need to be passed. And if I if elected, and being the only libertarian, or if my running mate myself floated the idea we we would still be in the minority, but it would at least get people thinking, Gee, why wire? Why do we have term limits for the governor and the President of the United States, but not our township? Why are the same people there for 25 years? It discourages participation. A lot of people just assume oh, this person's running again, this person is running again. And you know, knowing that they can just keep running until to until they reach old age, or and pass that just discourages new new idea. He is and new blood from, from getting into the committee.
Brian Nichols 15:05
Well, let's do this. This is my challenge because this program and as everybody hears their every single intro, what are we trying to do we bring the world of sales and marketing to the world of the greater Liberty politics. And let's talk about instead of, let's just say term limits is tough to to get enacted, because to your point, they were willing to overturn the will of the people all 5000 votes for the marijuana referendum, I doubt that they would, you know, have a second thought and doing the same thing when it comes to putting in term limits as well. So let's, let's talk about meeting people where they're at on the issues they care about, and specifically through the way we talk about these ideas, would you give me an idea of how you find the best way would be to communicate your values, our values of the Liberty based solutions we bring to the table.
Tara Murphy 15:53
So this is a grassroots movement, there has never been a libertarian running in my town, and probably most of the towns in my state. And I so I'm starting from the ground up, I've been going door to door talking with people directly. I haven't done anything with social media, because I don't think that that's an authentic way of, of talking with people and finding out the issues. The big thing that I'm hearing when I speak to people face to face is the open space problem. And going into this, that's, that's how I felt and hearing most people are concerned. I mean, nobody said no, I want less open space and more more buildings in town. And I know I'm on the right track.
Brian Nichols 16:46
What can you can you elaborate a little bit, by the way on the open space, he brought that up a couple times what is then what's the issue right now.
Tara Murphy 16:54
preserving land that's vulnerable to getting developed land that's in parts of town, well, that literally, they're building on floodplains, low lying areas that that are already flooding. But maybe it's an empty field. And you can, you can see that you know it that it's flooding, they're gonna go ahead and build housing units on it, or a strip mall, and it's going to flood. So what, what was the other part of your question? Sorry?
Brian Nichols 17:33
No, I think that was actually.
That was my fault. Sorry. I was gonna say I hit the mute button there. There's a ton upstairs barking, though. So one of the questions I had was, in regards to it actually getting this into action. Is it because people are seeing right now the issue of the flooding? Is that what's leading this conversation this charge?
Tara Murphy 18:05
Yeah, that that is a big issue. You know, people are talking about moving, some of them are listing their house. They've lived here for a long time, but they just can't take it anymore. And we deserve the freedom to live where we want to live and not be under siege by builders.
Brian Nichols 18:26
Yep. All right. Well, how about this, Tara, I think we've covered the main issues that we brought up here today that are protecting those folks. They're in in Branchburg, New Jersey. And obviously, we want folks to go ahead and not only go ahead and learn more about you and continue the conversation, but learn more about the the role, the position and what it will entail, and how they're gonna go ahead and support you. So please give us a call to action out Tara, can they go ahead and support your candidacy for township committee?
Tara Murphy 18:52
Come to my Twitter, which is freedom number four, b b u RG and sign my petition. I need at least 100 signatures by June 7. That's more than twice as many as Republicans and Democrats need for the same position. And I am about three quarters of the way there. So I think I can do it. But I can always use more help. And I will announce on Twitter once I get the required signatures and a website going. And then I will spell out the platform better because Twitter doesn't really give you a lot of room to do that. Attend the planning board meetings, attend the township committee meetings and speak up.
Brian Nichols 19:46
And Tara, I think this is the most important question. When's the election? When can people actually go to the voting booth? Again, you get onto the ballot there after we get the petition. But when does that actually take place?
Tara Murphy 19:57
Yes, vote for me on November. are I think it's November 2 November 1 2022 Oh no I'm sorry it is November 8. Yes
Brian Nichols 20:09
2022 There you go. So it is this year. Perfect. Yes. So we will make sure as we get closer to there we will re air this episode so folks can go ahead and get a quick reminder as to go ahead and support Tara Murphy because I think it's gonna be pretty obvious you're going to be on the ballot in some way shape or form especially if we can get those are the 30 more signatures we need. At least yes, there we go. That's all it is. 30 signatures now I know we get 10s of 1000s of folks here you're listening to The Brian Nichols Show if we can get just 30 the folks there who live in the greater Branchburg New Jersey area to go ahead and sign your petition here I think we're in a good spot so with that being said folks, thank you you have your call to action today I will include all the links there in the show notes including the link to terrorism Twitter and folks if you enjoyed the episode well please do me a favor number one, go ahead and give it a share. And when you do make sure you go ahead and give yours truly a tag at be nickels Liberty also by the way I mentioned earlier Yes, I am rocking my donor. I mean, I can't read my own shirt stop trusting government bureaucrats. There we go. It's over our Brian Nichols show store if you want to go ahead and get your own version of the stop trusting government bureaucrat shirt please head to Brian Nichols show.com forward slash shop where you can find this shirt along with all the other goodies goodies like our yes, good ideas don't require a force snapback. So with that being said, it's Brian Nichols signing off. You're on a very special Saturday episode of The Brian Nichols Show forterra Murphy. We'll see you next week.
Unknown Speaker 21:33
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Married mother of 2, former SPAN (statewide parent advocacy network) resource parent, current vice chair of the Somerset county NJ advisory council on disability issues and financial services professional running as a libertarian for Branchburg township committee.