Is Gary Rose leaving?

There is considerable statehouse buzz that one of Jon Corzine’s top advisors, Gary Rose, will leave his post as Chief of the Governor’s Office of Economic Growth early this summer. It's not likely that Rose would depart before June 30 deadline for approval of the state budget; if he were to leave before the budget is passed, it would create speculation that he was terminated.

Rose, a former Corzine partner at Goldman Sachs, was the Loser of the Year for 2007:

In an interview with The Record last October, gubernatorial advisor Gary Rose said: “I can’t figure this place out.” He wasn’t kidding.

Jon Corzine’s former Goldman Sachs partner, now an influential gubernatorial advisor with the title of Chief of the Office of Economic Growth, stands out as one of the architects of the Governor’s political woes. It’s not that he’s a political outsider as much as his inability to understand that he can’t change the way Trenton works if he doesn’t learn how it works. If Corzine is to be held accountable to the people of New Jersey, then Rose must be held accountable to Corzine.

To some – including a few Corzine loyalists – he comes across as the imperial advisor whose arrogance has cost the Governor critical percentage points in his approval ratings. Rose has made some powerful enemies: to put it mildly, he doesn’t get along with Senate President Richard Codey and has strained relationships with many legislators. He doesn’t see the importance of party leaders to Corzine, and in some cases, doesn’t even know who key Democratic County Chairs are.

Specifically, Rose’s 2007 failures include the rejection of ballot initiatives to fund stem cell research and reduce property taxes – and the near loss of Corzine’s open space initiative (which received the lowest percentage of voter approval of any open space ballot question in state history.) His economic growth plan has not yet been approved or implemented. Is the latest sign of his success an announcement by Merrill Lynch that they are laying off thousands of New Jersey employees?

Over the last year, Rose has emerged as sort of a New Jersey Rasputin – an advisor who manages to anger nearly everyone, but maintains extraordinary loyalty from the King that he serves.


Is Gary Rose leaving?