This time it was an investigation into a $15 million investment of New Jersey pension funds into a firm with ties to Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker after Baker made a $10,000 donation to the New Jersey Republican State Committee that an audit, launched by Christie’s administration, found did not violate pay-to-play rules.
The reasoning, according to an nj.com story, went like this:
Baker was an investment management professional associated with General Catalyst, the audit determined, but with a different investment group than the one in which the state’s pension funds were invested in.
“The definition of investment management services within the policy states that it is in the provision of financial advisory or consultant services to a state pension and annuity fund. Therefore, Mr. Baker’s donation did not need to be reported and there was no violation of the policy,” according to the audit.
Which might make sense sense to anyone under orders to believe it but does not pass the guffaw test otherwise. For example, what if some ambitious lawyer or consultant gets their partners to pony up $30,000 each election cycle to the campaigns of whichever candidates can get that lawyer or consultant a million dollars in fees annually which, though they don’t share directly with the other partners, somehow works out for all of them?
It’s been (being) done.