This afternoon brought the latest twist in the New Jersey pay to play scandal first uncovered by Pando.
Gov. Chris Christie’s administration has released the details of its investigation into the $10,000 donation from General Catalyst’s Charlie Baker to the New Jersey Republican State Committee. The donation came just months before Christie officials gave General Catalyst a state pension contract, raising questions about possible violations of state and federal pay to play rules.
Here’s the kicker: Rather than appointing an independent counsel, the Christie administration says it will be investigating itself.
This seems to be part of a pattern. Just recently, Christie had a Christie-appointed lawyer (from a firm that is a donor to the Christie-run Republican Governors Association) issue a report absolving Christie of any wrongdoing in Christie’s Bridgegate scandal.
Additionally, it appears that Christie officials are attempting to limit the scope of the pay to play investigation only to Baker’s $10,000 contribution, and not broaden it out to the more than $200,000 worth of campaign contributions to New Jersey politicians and New Jersey parties made by employees of other firms managing New Jersey state pension money. Many of those $200,000 worth of contributions, which were first documented by Pando’s report last week, are similar to Baker’s $10,000 contribution. Yet, the State Investment Council so far has categorically ignored them.
That effort to limit the investigation is not exactly surprising, considering the chairman of the State Investment Council is Robert Grady. He is, after all, a Christie appointee who is the governor’s longtime political mentor and who has faced questions about his own relationship with financial firms doing business with the pension fund.