The word “secret” just keeps popping up when it comes to Rut-Row, Save Jerseyans. I just got done doing a radio interview this morning talking for a good half-hour on Rut-Row issue. On the show, the host was concerned about the back-room-dealing aspect of this plan and how it may affect the Governor and others involved with the public. People pushing this merger are worried about that too, that is why they hire PR firms to push their message and why they commission reports months in advance to anticipate the backlash that this idiotic move would create. So why, for all the secrets going on, are they so bad at keeping them?
According to the Courier Post , high power Democrats, including Steve Sweeney and George Norcross have been involved in meetings with other legislators, outgoing Rutgers President McCormick, and at least four members of the Rutgers Board of Governors, a body that will likely need to be included in any merger for it to take place quickly. Once I find out who the four Board of Governors members are, you can bet I will publish their names and contact information so you can let them know your thoughts for their next secret meeting.
Reportedly, the meetings have been focused on repackaging the plan to make it more palatable to the Rutgers Camden students, faculty, and supporters. President McCormick has even been quoted saying that legislators have approached him searching for a solution to put this plan through without sacrificing the Rutgers name in Camden. I find any attempt to do this to be an unlikely compromise, and Governor Christie has continuously asserted the same.
Here is the thing. This whole process has been as opaque as can be. No one knows what the costs are going to be. No one knows just how badly it will affect enrollment at Rutgers Camden and its many schools, including the law and business schools. No one knows just what deals were made or what could possibly make this plan worthwhile to the Governor. Very few people understand what George Norcross wants with Rutgers Camden anyway. However, what almost everyone seems to know is that they do not like it.
Having secret meetings to find a better way to slap a brighter shade of lipstick on this pig is not going to fool anyone, but it is nice to know that the anti-merger movement has made enough of a difference to have our concerns considered serious. Even with that faint silver lining considered, this is not they way that this should be done.
The smug group of Democrats pushing this deal down here have seriously botched their goals from the beginning by being secretive, so why in the world would they think that more secret meetings are the answer?
You want support? Open the process. Share your information. Answer our questions. And for Heaven’s sake, meet in public.