Albany, NY – You Can Be Chief of G.E. and Still Bounce a Check

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    Albany, NY – Jeffrey R. Immelt, chairman and chief executive of General Electric, bounced a $2,000 check to the failed New York gubernatorial campaign of William F. Weld, according to a campaign finance filing just released.

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    The Weld campaign filing said that Mr. Immelt, 50, wrote the check in May, on the same day he held a fund-raiser for Mr. Weld, the former governor of Massachusetts, at G.E.’s headquarters in Fairfield, Conn.

    So what happened?
    Mr. Immelt, after all, earns $15.4 million a year, owns $190 million in G.E. stock and runs the seventh-largest company in the Fortune 500.
    “He wrote this on a closed account, so that’s why the check came back and he has replaced it,” Gary Sheffer, a spokesman for G.E., said. “Jeff made a commitment, so he’s going to keep it.”

    Walter Breakell, Mr. Weld’s former campaign manager, said, “It’s not uncommon for something like this to happen.”
    “It’s not common, but it happens, particularly for people like Jeff Immelt, who have business managers and finance people who take care of a lot of this stuff for them, and then write a check on their own,” he said.

    Mr. Weld’s finance office had called assistants to Mr. Immelt to sort out the matter, Mr. Breakell said. “It’s not something where we have Bill call Jeff, and say, ‘Uh, hey, buddy,’ ’’ he said. That was especially so since the Weld campaign raised about $50,000 from G.E. executives at the event.


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