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Following the trail of Sen. Robert Menendez scandal leads to dead end in Dominican Republic
Miami Herald ^ | 2/2/12 | By Kathleen McGrory and Melissa Sanchez

Posted on 02/03/2013 6:47:30 AM PST by randita

The shadowy tipster who made explosive allegations involving U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez and underage prostitutes in the Dominican Republic named names. He gave descriptions of the women, and in some cases, phone numbers and addresses.

Despite those details, the women are nowhere to be found. A week after the claims made headlines in the United States and on this Caribbean island, the alleged prostitutes have disappeared. An attorney who once represented two of the women said he hadn’t spoken to them in months, and then stopped returning phone calls himself. A two-bedroom apartment where some of the alleged liaisons took place is now vacant. Little remains here beyond hazy memories.

No concrete links have been made between Menendez and any prostitutes. Still, the allegations from the tipster, who identified himself as Peter Williams, were serious enough to launch an FBI probe. And shreds of evidence in Santo Domingo show that, at the very least, the women Williams described exist.

Take an apartment in Santo Domingo’s upscale Gazcue neighborhood that Williams said was used for sexual liaisons. In April emails to a watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Williams alleged that Dr. Salomon Melgen, a friend and major campaign donor to Menendez, rented a unit for a Brazilian prostitute named Maria and a Colombian prostitute named Geraldine.

The apartment exists. When reached by phone, the landlady said that two young women named Geraldine and Maria had indeed lived there last year, and said the nationalities matched.

However, the landlady, who declined to be named, did not believe the women to be prostitutes — she said she thought they were beautiful foreign exchange students — and had never heard of Menendez or Melgen visiting the apartment. But she complained that the women had nearly destroyed the unit, even leaving the wallpaper torn up when they abandoned the apartment last year.

“They behaved very badly,” she said. The apartment has since been rented to others and is now back on the market for $1,000 a month.

The FBI is investigating the sex allegations, some of which involve minors.

Prostitution is not illegal in the Dominican Republic. The investigation is also probing trips Menendez took on the eye doctor’s private plane, and the senator’s gift disclosures. Last week, Menendez acknowledged that he had traveled to the Dominican Republic with the doctor on three occasions, and cut a check for more than $58,000 to reimburse him for two of the flights. Separately, the agency is investigating Melgen in connection with possible Medicare fraud. Last week, FBI agents raided Melgen’s eye clinic in West Palm Beach. Representatives for both Menendez and Melgen have denied wrongdoing.

The emails from Williams to the authorities were met with some skepticism, in part because he was unwilling to meet with investigators or talk over the phone. “Williams” — which is likely a pseudonym — said he wouldn’t speak because he was concerned with the women’s safety and did not want to become a celebrity accuser.

But there were many facts the tipster got right. He knew the addresses of Melgen’s homes in Santo Domingo and the exclusive Casa de Campo resort, where the parties allegedly took place, and the names of his bodyguards and other employees.

He identified a Russian national living in Miami named “Svetlana B” who frequently flew in Melgen’s private jet to parties in the Dominican Republic.

“This girl is one of the most regular participants in the activities the Doctor arranges for the Senator,” Williams wrote. “She has traveled with them in the jet, sailed with them in the yacht, and has repeatedly visited the Doctor’s house.”

Public records show that a woman named Svitlana Buchyk got into a minor crash while driving a Chevrolet Impala on Miracle Mile in Coral Gables in 2010. The car belonged to Melgen’s wife. Buchyk gave Melgen’s North Palm Beach address as her own.

Buchyk spoke briefly with a Miami Herald reporter by telephone Thursday, saying she had worked for Melgen in the past.

But Buchyk wouldn’t answer questions on the type of work she did, and was eager to defend Melgen — particularly when asked about stories of Melgen’s alleged sexual liaisons with prostitutes.

“He is an amazing person,” she said. “He was always with his family. There is nothing else I can say.”

Buchyk added that many women would have liked to have spent time with her former employer.

“He treated me well,” she said. “He had money. He was very generous.”

Subsequent phone calls to “Svetlana” went to voicemail. The emails also led to some dead ends.

Williams listed a phone number for another woman, citing her by name, supposedly one of Menendez’s “favorite girls.” The number is now disconnected.

He gave another number where Maria and Geraldine, the Brazilian and Colombian, could supposedly be reached. But now that number belongs to Mileyi Bencosme, who said she got the phone about six months ago. Bencosme, 50, lives in Santiago de los Caballeros — about two hours from Santo Domingo — and said she had never heard of the women. In the past week, she has received dozens of calls from journalists in Washington, D.C., New York, Los Angeles, Miami, and other cities, asking for these women. Most of the calls were in English.

Bencosme said she’s starting to feel like a victim of phone harassment.

“This morning somebody called me again and asked who I really was,” she said on Saturday morning. “The question is, who are these women?”

Vinicio Castillo Semán, a cousin of Melgen, has another question. He said he will ask Dominican authorities to investigate who is behind the emails.

“These stories about prostitutes have been completely fabricated and it’s audacious to me that these allegations can be spread anonymously,” said Castillo Semán, who has also been accused of organizing parties with prostitutes for Menendez.

“This scandal has been created out of thin air.”

Miami Herald staff writers Amy Sherman, Marc Caputo and Daniel Chang contributed to this report.

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: New Jersey
KEYWORDS: menendez
Key people/witnesses have conveniently disappeared.
1 posted on 02/03/2013 6:47:39 AM PST by randita
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To: randita

Oh the double entendre of the ‘dead end’

2 posted on 02/03/2013 6:49:34 AM PST by Gaffer
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To: randita

These young girls just disappeared? Money, especially BIG money, can make problems go away. Poor things are probably dead. Dead young girl/teen prostitutes tell no tales.

3 posted on 02/03/2013 6:50:37 AM PST by momtothree
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To: randita

well isn’t that folking convenient for him

4 posted on 02/03/2013 6:55:00 AM PST by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: randita

Those poor girls.
First, stiffed by the powerful and his pimp;
and then “disappeared” (probably killed)
like the rest of the witnesses who
investigated fake birth certificates.

The MSM will be all over this. [/s]

5 posted on 02/03/2013 6:58:33 AM PST by Diogenesis (De Oppresso Liber)
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To: randita
Prostitution is not illegal in the Dominican Republic.

But it is illegal for Americans to have sex with children even outside the country.
6 posted on 02/03/2013 6:59:08 AM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: cripplecreek
NOT if you are a Senator or a Democrat.

7 posted on 02/03/2013 7:02:26 AM PST by Diogenesis (De Oppresso Liber)
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To: cripplecreek

And if I’m not mistaken, then Representative Menendez voted for that legislation.

8 posted on 02/03/2013 7:03:52 AM PST by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: Joe 6-pack

Like all legislation, its really for the little people.

9 posted on 02/03/2013 7:05:38 AM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: randita
The only items left was the doctors records in Florida and the FBI has scooped them up. Probably to keep them away from the prying eyes of the non-government media.
So after a cooling period the FBI will report that the investigation is being dropped for lack of evidence.
10 posted on 02/03/2013 7:06:40 AM PST by oldbrowser (They are marxists, don't call them democrats)
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To: randita

“Key people/witnesses have conveniently disappeared.”

They were paid off and told they would be dead and their family would be dead if they talked more. Payments to their families and the young prostitutes

11 posted on 02/03/2013 7:08:22 AM PST by dennisw (too much of a good thing is a bad thing --- Joe Pine)
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To: cripplecreek

More from the “What Does It Matter?” party.

12 posted on 02/03/2013 7:08:25 AM PST by TADSLOS ( "I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians."-George Mason)
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To: cripplecreek

Except in this case it appears the little people are missing in action.

13 posted on 02/03/2013 7:11:09 AM PST by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: randita

I’m sure the DOJ will be all over this..../ heavy dripping syrup sarc

14 posted on 02/03/2013 7:14:04 AM PST by TADSLOS ( "I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians."-George Mason)
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To: AuntB; Tennessee Nana; sickoflibs; thouworm; TADSLOS
Of course, the Dominican Republic PTB, Obama, and amnesty-pushers on Capitol Hill want this to go away.

Bobby (The Diddler) Menendez's troubles are throwing a monkey wrench into Obama's plans for amnesty---which was sailing along rather smoothly...even Repubs started to cave.

Obama confidently tapped Bobby for a lead role in the amnesty effort--as Bobby traveled far and wide as the point man for amnesty. Obama figured Menendez was a natural---him being a latino victim who overcame adversity (sob).

Now, NBC-TV reports Dem leaders met in secret to discuss the problem but are supporting Menendez, for now — publicly, at least.

You gotta believe the Obama admin is exerting molto pressure on Dems to stand firm (excuse the expression) behind Menendez. Any deviation could be fatal to Obama's plans to establish a permanent Dem majority by conjuring up new Dem voters from all those latinos pouring over our borders.

JUST A THOUGHT....wonder if any of those Dominican Republic little girls Booby likes to diddle were slipped in (excuse the expression) to Obama's amnesty plans?


Menendez's problems have effectively exposed that male/female child prostitution is rampant in the Third World.....and would be a collateral effect of amnesty.

The cynical among us see the push for amnesty on Capitol Hill concealing a dark, corrupt hidden agenda.

Underage males/females cannot legally consent to sex - therefore it is considered Statuatory Rape in civilized countries. Amnesty would change all that.

Third World girls/boys engaged in this activity are little more than "slaves"--- ordered about by money-hungry slavemasters. No one in that position has a choice---a "choice" that hypocritical liberal Bobby champions from US rooftops.

The diddling fee was $500 but Menendez supposedly used his US Senate Credit Card to stiff (excuse the expression) her, paying only $100. But don't bother to object----Menendez's Senate bill will read something innocuous like "bottled water."

In China and other countries, Menendez would be executed for diddling little girls. In Obama's Royal America, we discuss it.

15 posted on 02/03/2013 7:16:29 AM PST by Liz
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To: randita

Now Menendez is admired and looked up to all over DC for making this “go away” Sopranos style. He favorite Maitre’Ds at the best restaurants will now shake his hand and congratulate him with a knowing wink and a laugh

16 posted on 02/03/2013 7:21:33 AM PST by dennisw (too much of a good thing is a bad thing --- Joe Pine)
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To: Diogenesis

Having worked for the Miami Herald for many years,years ago, I can tell you without any hesitation, Don’t believe word they say.Especially, when it come to helping their bosses at the DNC.

17 posted on 02/03/2013 7:27:12 AM PST by rodguy911 (FreeRepublic:Land of the Free because of the Brave--Sarah Palin our secret weapon)
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To: All / By DANIEL HALPER / 1/31/13

IF Sen Menendez were to be found guilty of traveling to the Dominican Republic to engage in sexual intercourse with underage prostitutes, he could face up to 30 years prison. The appropriate law, which would seem to apply in this instance, is the Prosecutorial Remedies And Other Tools To End The Exploitation Of Children Today (or the Protect Act).

Menendez voted for the law when he was a member of the House of Representatives.

“TRAVEL WITH INTENT TO ENGAGE IN ILLICIT SEXUAL CONDUCT. “A person who travels in interstate commerce or travels into the United States, or a United States citizen or an alien admitted for permanent residence in the United States who travels in foreign commerce, for the purpose of engaging in any illicit sexual conduct with another person shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both.

‘‘(c) ENGAGING IN ILLICIT SEXUAL CONDUCT IN FOREIGN PLACES.—Any United States citizen or alien admitted for permanent residence who travels in foreign commerce, and engages in any illicit sexual conduct with another person shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both.”

‘‘(d) ANCILLARY OFFENSES.—Whoever, for the purpose of commercial advantage or private financial gain, arranges, induces, procures, or facilitates the travel of a person knowing that such a person is traveling in interstate commerce or foreign commerce for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both.

‘‘(e) ATTEMPT AND CONSPIRACY.—Whoever attempts or conspires to violate subsection (a), (b), (c), or (d) shall be punishable in the same manner as a completed violation of that subsection. (rest at web site)

18 posted on 02/03/2013 7:30:32 AM PST by Liz
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To: randita

So what, they were just prostitutes. Isn’t being an important member of the Party grand? You even have Pravda covering it all up for you.

Pray for America

19 posted on 02/03/2013 7:32:24 AM PST by bray (Welcome to Obamaville)
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To: randita

This has all the trappings of a really expensive cover-up.

20 posted on 02/03/2013 7:35:34 AM PST by Venturer
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To: All
CAN YOU SAY CONFLICT OF INTEREST? Sen Menendez is chairman of the Senate subcommittee that holds sway over the Dominican Republic.He pressured officials in the US State and Commerce Depts to intervene so that the DR port contract would be enforced, at an estimated value of $500 million.

PLAIN AS THE NOSE ON YOUR FACE--Menendez, Meglen and Dominican Republic honchos have a secret deal that will profit them hundreds of millions of dollars.

Menendez used govt resources, govt authority and his privileged position to convene a special hearing on the port deal---he was the only Senator present but the hearing had the full force of the US govt.

Menendez dragged Obama administration officials up to the Hill for questioning---pressuring officials about why the Dominican Republic port deal had not gone through.

The New York Times quotes Menendez at the hearing: "You have another company that has 'American investors' that is seeking to - has a contract actually given to it by the - kind of ratified by the Dominican Congress to do X-ray of all of the cargo that goes through the ports, which have been problematic and for which in the past narcotics have been included in those cargo," the senator said.


Casa de Campo where US pols play hide and seek under the sheets w/ the local kids.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Have you asked your Senator/Cong/legislator if THEY'VE ever spent time at Casa de Campo resort in the Dominican Republic?

21 posted on 02/03/2013 7:40:27 AM PST by Liz
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To: randita

Anyone know if Menendez is/was married, kids? I haven’t seen it mentioned anywheres.

22 posted on 02/03/2013 7:52:40 AM PST by ken5050 ("One useless man is a shame, two are a law firm, three or more are a Congress".. John Adams)
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To: ken5050
He dumped his wife for a staff member who became his live-in and now runs a lobbying group. He has a daughter..... and a son.

Many people wondered what Booby Menendez's son was doing as an UNSALARIED hanger-on at the Port Authority of NY-NJ.

The PA/NJ/NY is a notorious corruption hellhole rife w/ cronies/campaign contributors, and that ilk---all of the pol/crud bilking taxpayers/tollpayers for zillions.

Now the Dominican Republic Port Authority deal----and the connection to Daddy Menendez and Sonny Menendez hanging around the NY/NJ Port Authority-----sheds more light on the Menendezs' sub rosa doings here and offshore.

L/E needs to scrutinize this ASAP.

23 posted on 02/03/2013 7:58:47 AM PST by Liz
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To: Liz

Uhhhh.... anybody recall Charlie Rangel,right up there in the same neighbor hood as mendezezezez as well,wonder if mendezezezez is taking Wrangels place?

24 posted on 02/03/2013 8:00:17 AM PST by rodguy911 (FreeRepublic:Land of the Free because of the Brave--Sarah Palin our secret weapon)
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To: AuntB; Tennessee Nana; TADSLOS; sickoflibs; Osage Orange

The NY Times reported: The relationship between Menendez and Dr Melgen was well known in various tight-knit political circles.

‘Whenever I see Menendez, I see him with this medical doctor,’ said Bernardo Vega, a former Dominican ambassador to the United States and now editor of a magazine that has been critical of the port deal.

‘In Florida political circles,’ a Miami Democrat explained, ‘it is understood that anyone seeking a federal appointment that requires Mr. Menendez’s blessing should first get Dr. Melgen’s backing.

‘If you needed Bob Menendez, you had to see Melgen,’ ” said the Democrat, who insisted on anonymity for fear of upsetting party leaders. ‘Everybody in Miami knew that.’ ”

(Ever the Latino loyalist even though he profits from living in America)---Dr Melgan started a Latino-oriented Web site that depicted Menendez as a giant among Latinos.

The NY Times quoted a former employee as saying Melgen would often intervene in news coverage, demanding coverage that included praise for Menendez (or else?).

Sen Menendez, right, and Dr. Salomon E. Melgen last February (NYT pic).

25 posted on 02/03/2013 8:08:21 AM PST by Liz
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To: Gaffer

Oh the double entendre of the ‘dead end’

I had the same reaction upon reading that phrase.

26 posted on 02/03/2013 8:41:15 AM PST by Bigg Red (Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved! -Ps80)
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To: randita

Journ-o-lism 101:

Use a headline that proclaims that the experience of the reporter represents the truth of the situation.
(”Since we found nothing, there is nothing to find.”
Might as well have an article titled:
“In Search of Opposition: No One Found Who Objects to Obama’s Policies”)

In the final line of the article, present the conclusion of one party as if it were the conclusion of the article as well.
(For plausible deniability. “Oh, no. We weren’t saying that. We were just reporting that someone said that.”)

27 posted on 02/03/2013 8:46:25 AM PST by Chad N. Freud
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To: Liz

Your post is spot on. A pro-Amnesty Senator going Pedo in a country that provides alot of our illegal aliens (DR).....while the govt pushes amnesty.....stuff is going to get covered up

28 posted on 02/03/2013 8:58:18 AM PST by SeminoleCounty (GOP = Greenlighting Obama's Programs)
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To: rodguy911

You nailed it...the template for this story was established before the reporters left Miami. In fact, someone might ask the Herald why it took them so long to get someone on the ground in the Dominican Republic. I’m not a travel agent, but I’d guess there are multiple flights each day from Miami International to Santo Domingo. It’s also a safe bet the Herald has reporters who cover the island on a regular basis and have a number of sources in the DR. Instead of heading there as soon as the scandal broke, they give Menendez and the Dims a chance to tidy up the mess and make people disappear. Then, the mightly Herald rushes in and announces “nothing to see here.”

If Menendez was a Republican, half of the paper’s reporters would be in Santo Domingo right now, running down anything resembling a lead.

29 posted on 02/03/2013 9:19:13 AM PST by ExNewsExSpook
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To: All
PULL THE PLUG ON AMNESTY NOW---Obama tapped Menendez for a lead role in the push for amnesty--now we discover Menendez has plenty to hide.

Send the word out far and wide--legislators pulling for amnesty (despite Americans distaste for it)---who have foreign connections had better come clean now.


NO AMNESTY until we know whether Menendez is being blackmailed to push amesty in exchange for erasing videos of his involvemet w/ underage prostitutes.

NO AMNESTY UNTIL WE KNOW whether other amnesty-prone legislators are being blackmailed

NO AMNESTY UNTIL WE KNOW THE SCOPE AND DIMENSION OF amnesty supporters possible involvement w/ foreign governments.

NO AMNESTY UNTIL WE KNOW THE SCOPE AND DIMENSION OF administration officials' communiques w/ foreign govts WRT amnesty.

NO AMNESTY UNTIL WE KNOW THE SCOPE AND DIMENSION OF financial deals amnesty supporters might have with foreign governments.

NO AMNESTY until The Hispanic Caucus is scrutinized WRT its sconnections with foreign governments.


(1) Americans demand to see emails, phone records, all means of communication legislators have with foreign governments. (2) Americans demand to hear testimony under oath from groups like "Voto Latino" and other Third World pressure groups lobbying Capitol Hill----and the scope of their financing from foreign governments.


These published accounts are only the tip of the iceberg---to distract us from the massive crimes being committed. God only knows the financial bombs planted in govt budgets that jetstream tax dollars offshore through infinity.

The secrecy should be unveiled. Americans demand Hispanic Caucus, Voto Latino, La Raza, and like groups, come up with complete records of their activities: (1) checks, (2) wire transfers, (3) bank account statements, (4) invoices, (5) bills, (6) delivery tickets, (7) correspondence including e-mail, employment contracts, loan agreements, and, (8) any other govt books or records.

Scrutinize govt bank accounts for suspicious activites: (A) large deposits, (B) funds transferred from one account into another, (C) request for withdrawals.

The media should begin digging----report monies paid to (a) brokers, sub-brokers, (b) family members, (c) mortgage brokers, (d) financial managers, and, (e) real estate agents, brokers, and developers, and the like.

Americans then have standing to sue banks holding monies found to be covering up govt fraud.

30 posted on 02/03/2013 9:27:23 AM PST by Liz
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To: randita

“Following the trail of Sen. Robert Menendez scandal leads to dead end in Dominican Republic”

Or from Bob’s presepctive, a “happy ending”!

31 posted on 02/03/2013 9:37:32 AM PST by SgtHooper (The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list.)
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To: SgtHooper; AuntB; Tennessee Nana; sickoflibs; Grampa Dave; Osage Orange; JohnPDuncan; ...

(a) The DR is an impoverished Caribbean nation notorious for corrupt governments and strong-arm dictators.

(b) Despite US politicans' fondness for the "amenities" at its numerous posh resorts, and US celebrities relaxing at posh villas spending big bucks there, the DR has no safety net or state-sponsored job creation for its largely impoverished citizenry.

(c) The one million Dominican citizens currently living in the US send home about a billion dollars annually---which is considered by the corrupt do-nothing DR govt to be a major source of state revenue.

(d) A steady exodus leaves for US shores lured by the endless US gravy train---encouraged by the govt---and the prospect of millions more sent back home.

(e) Sen Menendez's business partners in the Dominican Republic govt have cunnningly figured out the financial benefits to be derived from amnesty---establishing a permanent Dem majority of Third World "pressure groups" exchanging votes for foreign aid.


IMPOVERISHED COUNTRIES W/ CITIZENS IN THE US: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico (stateside), Salvador, Spain, Uruguay, Venezuela.


WHAT IS THE SCOPE OF FINANCIAL DEALS US politicians plan to exchange for yes votes on amnesty?

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (pushing free-for-all amnesty) needs to come clean WRT sub rosa deals they made with foreign governments.

32 posted on 02/05/2013 6:47:07 AM PST by Liz
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