Is There a "Please" in RSVP?

Partisan politics and constructive debate play an important a role in our democracy, but far too often partisanship trumps responsibility and honesty. Case in point: the recent flap over the Town Hall meetings that Governor Corzine plans to hold regarding his financial restructuring and debt reduction plans.

Apparently, Assembly Republican Leader Alex DeCroce took umbrage when he learned that citizens planning to attend the sessions were being required to RSVP to the Governor’s Office.

We don’t know whether DeCroce reached out to the Corzine to alert the Governor of his concern. What we do know is that the GOP leader fired off a blistering press release invoking comparisons to the Soviet Union and questioning why the Governor’s Office was asking potential attendees “to provide considerable information about themselves, including their place of employment.”

Wondering how this could be true, I logged onto the Governor’s webpage on the meetings, but was unable to find any form asking for place of employment. The closet possibilities were boxes for “organization” and “daytime phone number,” but both of these were optional.

But the Governor’s Office was not without blame either. In response to DeCroce’s press release, Corzine spokeswoman Lilo Stainton called the notion that people would be denied entrance to the meetings ludicrous and said, “Anyone that shows up will be allowed in.” That’s all fine and well, except for the fact that the Governor’s own website clearly states: “If you would like to attend you must RSVP.”

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