A report that broke early today at Pando Daily lays out a case that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie violated state and federal laws for giving benefits in exchange for campaign contributions or pay to play. According to the story Charles Baker, as an executive and partner at General Catalyst Partners, made a “$10,000 contribution to the New Jersey Republican State Committee just months before the state’s contract with General Catalyst was proposed.” General Catalyst Partners was then given $25 million of New Jersey state pension money to manage by the Christie administration.
There is supposed to be an interim period between a contribution and a the rewarding of a contract.
According to New Jersey records, the contribution came within the 18 month contribution moratorium set by New Jersey’s pay-to-play statutes and within the two year moratorium set by the New Jersey Treasury Department’s rules.
Additionally, Baker also helped organize a high-dollar fundraiser for Christie in 2013, according to news reports that Baker’s spokesperson later confirmed.
Baker is now running for Governor for Massachusetts as a Republican while Christie is chair of the Republican Governor’s Association. They say timing, is everything.
The New Jersey pension has become a hot button issue since it was restructured early in Governor Christie’s first term. Now Christie wants to restructure it again to reduce benefits for state workers, a plan that is DOA in the legislature. Christie also recently hinted he may have to delay another payment which risks further downgrades of New Jersey credit.
If Christie is to be judged on sober stewardship of the New Jersey pension system, the verdict won’t be favorable.