While the boss of the Rutgers SuperPAC makes fashion statements, the Rutgers President and the Chairman of its Board of Governors hide out from public scrutiny.
Three weeks ago, religious leader and family rights activist Rev. Greg Quinlan wrote to Rutgers President, Robert Barchi, and Chairman of the Board of Governors, Greg Brown. Rev. Quinlan's letter was very respectful. Like any taxpayer of New Jersey, he wanted to know how Susan McCue, as a member of the Board of Governors, can run a Super PAC whose sole purpose is to influence the election of legislators in New Jersey. Those same legislators who are responsible for taxing and spending money on behalf of Rutgers.
Rev. Quinlan has yet to receive the courtesy of a reply from these two "role models for the leaders of tomorrow." Does having a position of power give you the right to display contempt for the ordinary citizens who fund your institution and its salaries, perks, and benefits? Apparently it does -- and apparently this is what they are teaching at Rutgers these days.
We have been assured that the issue is not going away and that eventually, Messrs. Barchi and Brown will have this placed under their noses so much and so often that they will end up commenting on it, if only by mistake. Watch... and see if we are not correct.
Here is the letter:
Garden State Families
Rev. Greg Quinlan, President
October 21, 2015
Mr. Robert Barchi, President
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
83 Somerset Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-1281
Mr. Greg Brown, Chairman of the Board of Governors
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Chairman & CEO
Motorola Solutions, Inc.
1303 East Algonquin Road
Schaumburg, Illinois 60196
Dear Messrs. Barchi and Brown:
I would like to bring a serious conflict-of-interest to your attention.
Susan M. McCue -- of Alexandria, Virginia -- is currently serving as one of the 15 members of the Rutgers' Board of Governors responsible for policy and oversight of the University. Ms. McCue is a political consultant who controls a business called Message Global LLC, where she serves as President.
Susan McCue is also President of the General Majority PAC -- an organization that in the last two election cycles has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to defeat or elect members of the New Jersey Legislature. This is from her biography on the General Majority PAC webpage:
Susan M. McCue is one of the nation’s top political strategists and President of Message Global, LLC, a firm she founded... Susan served as Chief of Staff for U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) for eight years, where she built and managed his leadership, policy and political operations.
She also co-founded the much-praised Senate Majority SuperPAC to elect Democrats in 2012 to the U.S. Senate, and in 2013 she founded the Fund for Jobs, Growth and Security, now called General Majority PAC, to elect Democrats in state races.
The taxpayers, through their elected representatives in the New Jersey Legislature, fund Rutgers - The State University of New Jersey. Should a member of Rutgers' governing Board be engaged in the election or defeat of members of that Legislature?
What effect will her presence on the Rutgers governing Board have on legislators who, when exercising their own statutory oversight, find themselves facing a quarter-million dollar cable buy advocating their defeat or re-election? Will legislators think twice before taking up the cause of a disgruntled Rutgers employee or student. Legislators must already know that they take on Rutgers' powerful and incumbent at their peril. McCue's presence has already had a chilling effect on free expression in and outside the Legislature.
Lastly, the source of Susan McCue's power -- Citizens United and other decision by that failsafe of the establishment, the national Supreme Court -- and her misuse of it to amplify the voice of rich corporations to drown out the voices of millions of American people makes a mockery of our democratic process and threatens democracy itself. Is this the example you want Rutgers students to follow?
Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to your answers to my questions and to any ideas you might have on how to address this threat to legislative independence and democracy.
Rev. Greg Quinlan
*Rev. Quinlan can be reached at: GQuinlan@gardenstatefamilies.com