October 21, 2014

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Latest News, Massachusetts

RGA Chair Christie’s Administration Withholds Findings Into Baker Pay-to-Play Investigation

According to a troubling new report, Republican Governors Association Chair Chris Christie has rushed to the aide of Charlie Baker, with his Treasury Department blocking the release of findings of a New Jersey pay-to-play investigation involving the Massachusetts Republican. The documents Christie’s administration is withholding involve Baker’s $10,000 contribution to the New Jersey Republican State Committee, which was quickly followed by Christie officials giving Baker’s company, General Catalyst, a massive contract to manage New Jersey’s pension funds.

“Republican Charlie Baker is the choice of the old boys’ club and Republican insiders, but this new development regarding his possible pay-to-play in New Jersey makes clear there’s no length he won’t go to ensure he gets to play by a different set of rules than everyone else,” said DGA Deputy Communications Director Sabrina Singh. “Baker’s activities remain under active investigation. Christie must release these findings or voters will be left to assume Baker was engaged in untoward or unethical activity. Middle-class families across Massachusetts need a governor who will fight for them, not one who will engage in pay-to-play and special deals in order to enrich himself and his wealthy friends.”

BACKGROUND:

Chris Christie-Controlled Pension Fund Invested In Baker’s Firm – After Baker Gave $10,000 Contribution To Christie’s State Party Committee. “Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker donated $10,000 in May 2011 to the state party committee of Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey. Only seven months later, a Christie-controlled pension fund committed $25 million to an investment firm that lists Baker as a partner. Baker said Friday that he is exempt from the strict federal and New Jersey “pay-to-play” security regulations that bar financial executives from making donations over $250 to political figures who oversee pension funds or to committees controlled by those politicians.” [Boston Globe, 5/9/14]

Boston Globe Headline: “Baker Oversaw Firm Where Pension Funds Were Invested.” “Last week, Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker distanced himself from a $25 million investment that New Jersey’s pension fund made in a venture capital firm where he works, saying that he has no role in soliciting funds. But Baker’s campaign acknowledged Tuesday that his firm, General Catalyst, directed some of that money toward a health insurance company that he oversees as an ‘executive-in-residence’ at the Cambridge-based investment company. The investment first came to light last week after it was revealed that Baker had made a $10,000 contribution to an ally, Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, just months before the pension fund distributed the money.” [Boston Globe, 5/14/14]

May 2014: Christie Administration Authorized Investigation Into Pension Investment. “Gov. Chris Christie’s administration will audit a $15 million investment of state pension funds into a firm linked to a Republican candidate for governor in Massachusetts, Charlie Baker, state officials said today… New Jersey’s pay-to-play law prohibits awarding state contracts, such as the $15 million investment in General Catalyst, to firms whose ‘investment management professionals’ have made political donations in New Jersey in the previous two years. Robert Grady, the chairman of the New Jersey State Investment Council and a close adviser to Gov. Chris Christie, said he requested an audit of the state’s $15 million investment in General Catalyst after seeing press reports about Baker and New Jersey.” [Star-Ledger, 5/28/14]

 

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