New Jersey Acts While Kentucky Sits On Its Hands

In corrupt New Jersey, action is being taken to limit pay to play politics.

This story:

Gov. Chris Christie isn’t the only one betting on Revel.

A hedge fund that manages $200 million in New Jersey public pension money also has a financial stake in Revel, Atlantic City’s newest and sleekest casino hotel, a Star-Ledger review of records from the state Division of Gaming Enforcement and Treasury Department shows. It’s a gamble that has put a share of public workers’ retirement income at risk if the struggling resort fails.

Industry analysts say the prospect of Revel failing is not far-fetched. Last month, the $2.4 billion resort that opened in April was forced to seek $100 million from lenders amid disappointing gambling profits and complaints from vendors and builders that it was not paying its bills.

Inspired a bill to limit campaign contributions by firms owned by pension managers:

State legislation co-sponsored by Assemblyman Ruben Ramos, Jr. of Hoboken aimed at safe-guarding public pensions from risky investments and preventing political contributions from influencing how that employee’s retirement money is invested was released by an Assembly Panel today, according to a news release.


One bill would limit political contributions that hedge funds and private equity funds can make if they invest in casinos. In turn, the legislation would also subject hedge funds and equity funds to pay-to-play laws, prohibiting public funds from being invested in those investments that have made political contributions.

A second bill would require a casino with a debt of $75 million or more to show that the licensee is qualified to hold a casino license, including any record of convictions of certain crimes. Previously the limit was $150 million.

A third bill would limit the amount that state pension administrators can invest public pensions in certain investments, such as hedge funds, private equity, commodities and real estate, by capping the amount to 35 percent of total investments.

In Kentucky, our pension “task force” wouldn’t/couldn’t consider anything related to ethics or transparency.

And you’ve got Jack Conway, who is knee-deep in the pension mess, trying to run for governor. Potentially with Crit Luallen – with her own pension mess problems – as his running mate.

Nothing to see here, move along!