Democratic New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has been making quite a name for himself amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Last week, Murphy told Fox News' Tucker Carlson that he "wasn't thinking of the Bill of Rights" when he issued an executive order banning gatherings of more than 10 people to stem the tide of COVID-19 — including religious services — which has resulted in multiple arrests.
NJ governor ignores Bill of Rights in exclusive Tucker interview youtu.be
"We are really damned unhappy" about disobedient residents "and we're going to take action," Murphy declared earlier this month, according to the Atlantic City Press. He added to the paper there are "too many people not paying attention" to his order and "we've about had it."
Oh, it gets better
The latest casualty of Murphy's executive order? A tulip farm.
Dalton Farms in Swedesboro said in a Facebook post Sunday night that "as of 7 p.m. we were ordered to cease all operations by an Assistant Prosecutor from the State of New Jersey."
At issue was Dalton Farms' popular tulip tours at its 99-acre property, the Cherry Hill Courier-Post reported, adding that the Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office ordered the shutdown because the tours violated Murphy's executive order.
"For those who had purchased tickets for Monday-Wednesday we will be working to refund all tickets for those dates," the farm said in its post. "We're heartbroken to get this news in the middle of the day and would like to thank all those who came out over the last few weeks. We hope to see everyone in Sept for Sunflowers."
How are folks reacting?
Quite a few people commented on Dalton Farms' Facebook post, and they weren't pleased with the shutdown order:
- "People can still meander around Target for non-essential items, spreading germs and putting people at risk. But I can't visit a tulip field within the confines of my own car with my family, spreading absolutely zero germs beyond my immediate family. Makes ZERO sense. Thanks Governor Murphy!!!!!!"
- "I have pretty much agreed with mostly everything the state has done so far. But this is ridiculous! You don't even get out of the car! So upsetting."
- "This was so well organized!! It was so beautiful such a stress relief ... but people can line up in front of Walmart to buy TVs."
- "All you were doing was bringing people joy! Nobody was put in harms way. Such a sin. Thank you for giving us a safe family memory. It was the only time we were out together in over a month. When this is all over, we will be back as loyal customers."
What did Murphy have to say?
The governor defended his lockdown policy at a news conference Tuesday, the Courier-Post reported.
"It's not a life sentence," Murphy said, according to the paper. "The fact of the matter is this is about saving lives, and we're going to do what we can to save lives."
Not the only New Jersey tulip farm ordered to close
Holland Ridge Farms in Cream Ridge tried to host a drive-thru tulip tour earlier this month, but state officials told the outfit to close, NJ.com reported.
Owner Casey Jansen told the outlet he spent at least $1 million on planting flowers months ago to prepare for the popular Monmouth County tulip festival.
According to the Shore News Network, Jansen said he received a letter from the state threatening that two New Jersey State Police officers would be at his farm to arrest him if a single car drove through his field.
The rap sheets are indeed piling up for coronavirus shutdown scofflaws in the Garden State:
- A woman who organized an anti-lockdown protest Friday outside the New Jersey State House in Trenton was charged with violating Murphy's stay-at-home orders. Oh, and a state trooper was seen writing down license plate numbers of vehicles involved with the demonstration.
- Cops shut down a "corona party" in Rumson featuring 30 middle-aged folks assembled on the front lawn of a house — and spilling into the street — listening to a pair of guitarists perform songs by famed British rock band Pink Floyd. Charges were "pending" against the "people involved," police said.
- In late March, police arrested a man for hosting a "corona party" with 47 guests in his 550-square foot apartment. "The organizer was charged, as they should have been and deserved to be," Murphy later said. "This is not a game. Stay home. Be smart."
- Earlier in March, two residents were arrested for hosting gatherings of over 50 people in defiance of the order. One of the gatherings was a pop-up wedding held at a resident's home.