If you have been following my coverage of the Rutgers Rowan Merger from the beginning, you would probably know a lot of hyper technical things about the process that most people do not, or at least do not take the time to, care about. If you are one of those who have been keeping up and know what the Executive Reorganization Act of 1969 is, then you know just how important this week is.
The drop dead date among the media types has been July 1, 2012 since, well, since Governor Christie announced that the merger would be fully underway by that day. But what the rest of the media generally continues to miss is that to meet that deadline, Governor Christie must issue his executive order by Wednesday, May 2nd. The legislature is afforded 60 calendar days to veto any reorganizational plan or else it simply becomes law.
I have been of the opinion for quite some time that Governor Christie is not going to issue the order. I have been of this opinion because I consider Governor Christie to be a smart man who understand the law and how incredibly obvious it is that his executive order would never hold up in court.
But could I be wrong?
No, not about the order getting shot down in court. I can assure you I am not wrong about that. But about whether the order will come at all. Senator Lautenberg has me reconsidering my opinion this week.
As the battle between Lautenberg and Norcross continues to rage on, Lautenberg is making a demonstrative effort to prey on the anger surrounding the takeover in order to garner support among South Jersey’s youth. I can tell you that based on conversations I have had with people down here, its working.
On Thursday, May 3rd, Lautenberg is coming down to Rutgers-Camden to hold a town hall meeting on higher education. He is specifically there, at least according to this Facebook event page, to talk about student loan interest rates going up. However, I think something else may be going on here.
Lautenberg has made himself very involved in this Rut-Row fiasco, and has decidedly taken the side of the students. There have been back room meetings held by powerful people in this state to try and slap lipstick on this merging pig, and I have no doubt that information is getting around, far more than we know.
Lautenberg could have held his student loan interest rate town hall meeting anywhere in the state. Hell, he could have not held it at all and no one would have really cared or noticed. I believe that he may be setting up to use this event to look like a hero by opposing and attacking Governor Christie’s executive order less than 12 hours after it could potentially come out.What better way to make a splash than to rally the troops at ground zero just hours after months of hard work fighting this merger begins to look like a waste?
This could be a big week in Rut-Row land, Save Jerseyans. Stay tuned.