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.
“I’m not a registered investment professional,” said Baker, who joined General Catalyst Partners, a Cambridge-based venture capital firm, in March 2011, just months after losing the 2010 gubernatorial race to Governor Deval Patrick.
Baker’s contribution and his firm’s involvement with the New Jersey pension fund were first reported on Thursday by liberal journalist David Sirota on the technology website PandoDaily.
Baker said his role is to seek out startups and companies that his firm will invest in. He is referred to on the firm’s website as an “executive-in-residence/partner” and listed among the firm’s partners. He said his title makes a clear distinction between him and other partners at the firm.
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