In response to reports that Governor Jon Corzine is holding secret meetings today with legislators and politically connected members of the business community, including one at the Ram?s Head Inn, to discuss his toll increase/monetization plan before a public meeting later today, County Republican Chairman Keith Davis issued the following statement:

?Governor Jon Corzine?s planned private meetings to discuss his monetization scheme with the ?well-connected? is exactly what is wrong with state government. Corzine?s plan to hike tolls 50% every four years is the most important issue on the public?s minds because of the negative impact it will have on working families and our regional tourist economy.

?And so it is appropriate to ask the Governor why it is ok to wine and dine some big shots at the Ram?s Head Inn for a private briefing while the public goes to a public auditorium.

?We are fortunate to live in a state with one of the most stringent sunshine laws ? allowing the public to see government in action. But Governor Corzine wants to keep the public in the dark about the private conversations he is having with certain members of the business community and politicians about his reckless plan to raise tolls on working families in order to spend more money on a bloated, outdated state government that isn?t in touch with any of us.

?Does he plan on coaching the attendees on what they should say at the ?public? meeting tonight at Atlantic Cape Community College?

?Most New Jersey families will be paying a larger share of their income in Jon Corzine?s increased tolls then the people he will be meeting with behind closed doors,? said Davis. ?That?s why I am calling on the Governor to allow all members of the public to attend any special private briefings on monetization. If he won?t let the sun shine in on these meetings, then he shouldn?t hold them.

?Since the Governor has thus far refused to present a bill which sets forth the details on his scheme, maybe we can find out what?s really going on behind the scenes by sitting in on the ?tickets-only? presentations he plans on giving today.?


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