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Baker continues fund-raising with RNC, despite its support of Moore

Governor Charlie Baker has condemned Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore and his aides said he was “disappointed” that Republican National Committee was supporting Moore’s campaign. But Baker has not distanced himself from his fund-raising arrangements with the RNC.
John Tlumacki/Globe Staff
Governor Charlie Baker has condemned Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore and his aides said he was “disappointed” that Republican National Committee was supporting Moore’s campaign. But Baker has not distanced himself from his fund-raising arrangements with the RNC.

Governor Charlie Baker’s political crew is quick to distance him from Alabama GOP senate candidate Roy Moore — but it’s clear he is not distancing himself from the money that is helping the accused sexual predator in the Alabama special election on Tuesday.

Baker’s aides say he is “disappointed” the Republican National Committee decided this week to provide financial support to Moore. But that disappointment doesn’t translate to the Baker-controlled state party’s unique joint fund-raising operation with the RNC.

What’s more, the Massachusetts Victory Committee is one of the most cash-heavy of the federally-governed campaign finance joint ventures. It allows wealthy Massachusetts donors to give up to $43,800 a year.

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A chunk of that — about 40 percent — goes back to the RNC. The rest goes to the state party, which has been the Baker political headquarters and source of staffing. It’s a clever way to make an end run the $1,000-per-year state donation limit.

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Baker’s chief political adviser, Jim Conroy, said governor is not considering ending the joint fund-raising arrangement after the RNC’s decision this week to resume funneling money to support Moore.

Conroy reiterated the governor’s position that Moore is “unfit” to serve in public office, let alone the Senate, and that Baker “is disappointed that the RNC is using its funds to support a candidate who is neither qualified nor serious. The Governor will continue to support qualified candidates in Massachusetts, and speak out against candidates like Moore as he has done consistently.”

Indeed, the Baker fund-raising machine has raised about $5 million since he took office.

Frank Phillips can be reached at frank.phillips@globe.com.