Skip to comments.Menendez allegations growing rapidly, creating headache for Democrats (the bad news keeps coming)
Posted on 02/02/2013 6:09:15 AM PST by Libloather
A cloud of scandalous allegations is rapidly growing over Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), putting Democratic leaders in a difficult position as the integrity of their immigration point man in the Senate falls under question at a critical time.
The bad news keeps coming: a Senate Ethics probe, allegations involving underage prostitutes, an FBI investigation of a key campaign donor, undisclosed flights on the donors private plane, and now, reports linking Menendez to a multi-million dollar contract he helped obtain for the disgraced donor.
Menendez denies nearly all of it. But it couldnt come at a worse time for the new chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who, as the only Hispanic Democrat in the upper chamber, has led the way on his partys recent all-out push to revamp the countrys immigration laws.
This is a giant thorn in the side of the Democratic leadership that will make it impossible for it to drive any message at all, said Ron Bonjean, a Republican strategist and former spokesman for then-House Speaker Denny Hastert (R-Ill.) and then-Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.).
There is a gray cloud around the operations of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as long as this crisis continues to exist, he said.
No Republican lawmaker has openly called for Menendez to resign yet, but the longer the New Jersey lawmaker avoids directly addressing the allegations with the press and the more attention they garner, the greater the likelihood that calls for him to step down will come.
It is more important for Menendezs political future, however, that Democrats refrain from criticizing him publicly. If that occurs, the chances of him surviving this public relations crisis decrease dramatically.
So far, Democratic leaders are opting not to comment beyond a few words.
Bob Menendez is my friend. He's an outstanding senator, said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) this week, when asked about the emerging allegations.
Similarly, White House press secretary Jay Carney dodged a question at Fridays press briefing about whether the president is concerned that a Senate Ethics investigation will hinder the immigration reform push because of Menendezs key role.
Well, I have nothing to say about that. I would refer you to the Senate, Carney said.
Menendezs New Jersey colleague Sen. Frank Lautenberg has been the only Democrat to openly weigh in on the allegations, albeit cautiously, telling reporters on Thursday that, If there are infractions as they are reported, its too bad.
But the scandal circus in the press corps on Capitol Hill is escalating.
On Tuesday morning, Menendez was doing the cable news rounds, pressing hard for immigration reform.
Elections have consequences and I think our Republican colleagues woke up to the new demographic in this nation as expressed by the election results, Menendez said on MSNBC, referring to Hispanics. As I traveled the country in this last election and in my own reelection, I said if we want to have immigration reform, use your vote to send that message. I think that was done.
But by Tuesday night FBI agents had raided Dr. Salomon Melgens Florida business. By Wednesday morning, questions around Menendezs involvement were swirling.
A friend of the New Jersey lawmakers, Melgen has donated thousands of dollars to Menendez while letting him fly aboard his private plane to the Dominican Republic, where the Florida doctor owns a luxury resort.
The ethics cloud thickened later in the week when The New York Times reported that Menendez helped Melgen lock down an estimated $500 million contract for a company the Florida donor had obtained an ownership interest in.
Its unclear whether the FBIs investigation of Melgen is related to Menendez. The doctor has an outstanding IRS lien of $11.1 million in back taxes owed from a three-year period and had previously been subjected to a $6.2 million lien that was released in 2011, according to the Miami Herald.
Last year, the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) received e-mails from a man detailing a series of allegations that Menendez traveled numerous times to the Dominican resort to engage with prostitutes, at least one of whom is alleged to be underage. Unable to verify the veracity of the claims, CREW passed the information on to the Justice Department and the FBI.
The allegations eventually surfaced last November, days before Menendezs re-election, when the conservative publication The Daily Caller published an article from interviews with two Dominican prostitutes who alleged to have slept with the lawmaker.
Menendezs office denies the charges and claims they are politically motivated.
Sen. Menendez has traveled on Dr. Melgens plane on three occasions, all of which have been paid for and reported appropriately, said Menendezs office in a statement. Any allegations of engaging with prostitutes are manufactured by a politically motivated right-wing blog and are false.
Menendez cut Melgen a check last month from his personal account for $58,000 to reimburse him for two of the trips. But this came only after a New Jersey state lawmaker had last year asked the Senate Ethics Committee to investigate flights Menendez had taken on Melgens private plane but had not disclosed.
Menendez himself has not addressed the allegations. By Thursday, television camera crews and reporters were parked outside of his Senate office anxious to catch a glimpse of him. He was nowhere to be found, however, taking back elevators to and from the days votes to avoid the press, according to accounts published in The New York Post and the New York Daily News that detailed his movements.
What’s the chances of picking up that seat?
They could have uncovered all of this BEFORE the election, but if you ask Holder’s just us department or the MSM why they didn’t they’ll say: “Because F U America.!”
What if the Republicans finally started playing a little hardball, and THAT'S what this is???
If so, kudos and about damned time.
Truth be told about Menendez. Guy was a petty Hudson county corrupt thief long before he went to Washington. Being Hispanic and Democrat gave him much protection in New Jersey.
The only reason we’re hearing this is because Obama want Menendez’s seat for a crony.
But it is fun watch Progressives attacking each other.
Here comes Heraldo Rivera.
It occurs to me that if the FBI kept news of the investigation quiet until after the election then the raid of the doctor's office is probably to hide records rather than disclose them.
won’t krispi creme kriste pick someone of obama’s liking? they’re very close, doncha know.
I hope you are right. The GOP need to systematically remove the liberal dems from their seats of power. Small and focused teams, each picking a target and chipping away at it. I am sure the GOP has no stomach for that. I loved what Breitbart and O’Keefe did. We need more of that.
The next thing we’ll find out about this perv is he is gay.
Why do you think he wants immigration reform? So he can bring all those children he’s been banging over here. Saves the airfare don’t you see.
corzine was also a senator from the Garden state. Looking farther back we have another illustrious dem NJ Senator Harrison Williams caught up in Abscam.
and who can forget the 60’s life expose on NJ dem congressman Gallagher who life alleged had to have a body removed from his basement.
Yes, a shame. But, what difference does it make?
NJ tea party has tried to recall him but...
Now he is recalling himself! Karma?
Nah, this will get buried by the MSM. After all there is a Republican whom didn’t make a complete stop at a Stop sign somewhere. They will run with that for a week.
We’d pick it up right away if Menendez resigned and Christie appointed Republican to fill the spot until the next regularly scheduled state election, which is 2013 I believe.
Scott Brown picked up Kennedy’s seat in MA in a special election. But that only lasted a couple of years. Fauxahontas beat him last Nov.
In an off year election and a Democrat resigning in disgrace, a Republican in NJ would have about the best shot possible to win in that blue state.
Exactly...this will be covered up. The MSM won’t cover it, except to dismiss it.
They generally appoint as interim someone from the same party. In this case, probably some congressman or State rep from somewhere in corrupt dem NJ politics.
On the other hand, Geraldo said he is considering running for Gov in NJ, maybe he would settle for interim senate!
Menendez immigration reform: BJ69 visas for all Latin girls 15 and under.
Coverage is just now starting to go mainstream. Menendez is dodging the press and cancelling public appearances.
Looks like his immediate strategy is to lie low and hope the feeding frenzy abates.
The alternative press has to make sure it does not.
The guy’s a snake in the grass who should have been held accountable for his corruption long before this. There was a jump the shark moment for Torricelli. Menendez gets longer because he’s Hispanic, but this is much more sordid than the Torricelli gift grabs.
Agreed. Remember how much coverage GWB got for not wearing his seatbelt on the private roads on his farm?
Are you kidding?
This is a RESUME ENHANCEMENT!
Just another sexual more that the left will “help” us get over.
How does NJ keep electing reprobates to office? And why don't they end up at Leavenworth? Boggles the mind.
Interesting that the same WNBC reporter that brought down Torricelli---Jonothan Dienst---is now reporting on the Menendez case.
THE STORY THUS FAR Menendez is the lead legislator in Obama's effort to get amnesty passed. So when this crowd says "amnesty is for the children," they know something we don't know.
BACKTORY Rumors surfaced November 2012 that the Dominican-born eye doctor, Salomon Melgen, provided underage prostitutes in the Dominican Republic for Sen Robert Menendez, a favor that appeared to be lagniappe----on top of large campaign contributions to Menendez. NOTE WELL It is not uncommon for favor-seekers to provide hook-ups for sex-starved pols--- as a quid pro quo. So the obvious question is, "What did Menendez do for Melgen? Here's the answer. Ace investigative reporters conducted extensive reviews of publicly-available documents that link the two, and recorded the unusual actions Menendez made on behalf of Meglen's port security company, known as ICSSI.
A New York Times story reported how Menendez sought to help ICSSI "in ways that could bring the doctor (and others) a highly lucrative windfall." Two years ago, Dr. Melgen, despite an apparent lack of experience in border security issues, bought an ownership interest in a company that had a long-dormant contract with the Dominican Republic to provide port security.
Menendez, who is chairman of the Senate subcommittee that holds sway over the Dominican Republic, subsequently urged officials in the US State and Commerce Depts to intervene so that the contract would be enforced, at an estimated value of $500 million. Menendez used govt resources, govt authority and his privileged position to convene a special hearing on the port matter---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 the officials about why the 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?
This needs to be broadcast. There needs to be press conferences as well as ads run on every station. With the question posted, “why won’t the MSM report Democrat scandals?”
Pick a target (Matthews) and go after him. Hard...
Im a bit surprised little boys arent involved in this story ....Menendez is a Democrat after all.....
it’s just sex. can’t we just move on?
Do we have a good TeaParty candidate to run for that soon to be vacant seat?
“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?”
At least twenty subdivisions make up the residential aspect of Casa de Campo, consisting of over 1,350 villas and condominiums. Casa de Campo is established luxury. The worlds elite vacation and mingle here. Properties have maintained their values and are consistently on the rise. Here you can experience the most active lifestyle, or the most secluded retreat. In 2005 alone, Bill Gates, George Bush Sr. and Bill Clinton have made Casa de Campo their chosen vacation spot, Beyonce recently spent New Year’s at the resort.
Notes from Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic
Last weekend golfers from all over the world flew in to the Dominican Republic for Alfy Fanjul’s 17th annual Sugar Golf Tournament and Bren and Mel Simon’s “Safari Gala” in the gardens of their spectacular house, “Casa Luna” in Casa de Campo.
The Simons, in from Indianapolis, and Emilia and Pepe Fanjul flew down from Palm Beach with Pauline Pitt, Jamie Niven, Lillian Fernandez (Alfy’s daughter) and Jim Mitchell, and gave a dinner at “Casa Grande,” the Fanjul compound at Casa de Campo. Rolando Gonzalez-Bunster gave a fundraising dinner for former President Bill Clinton, at his house in Casa de Campo, which benefited President Clinton’s AIDS foundation and the Clinton Library. Emilia and Pepe and Rolando Bunster’s dinner started the week-long festivities. President Clinton played golf with Mel Simon and George Hamilton and then flew to Haiti for a fundraising dinner for his AIDS foundation.
Lobbyists add political sweetener
St. Petersburg Times - Tuesday, May 17, 1994
Author: KARL VICK
Even in the lobby of the U.S. Capitol, Alfonso “”Alfie’’ Fanjul makes an impression.
Gliding out of a caucus room into a hallway crowded with tourists, the Flo-Sun chief executive displays the veneer and prosperous bearing of a matinee idol.
Reporters approach and, smiling, the millionaire repeats an encouraging word about NAFTA, which was the latest victory for Florida sugar, and praise for President Clinton, the newest friend of the Fanjul family of Palm Beach.
Except on the charity social circuit, the Fanjuls keep a low profile in Florida. Their business phone is answered by repeating the number just dialed: “”six three oh three.’’ But in Washington they personify Florida’s sugar industry almost as thoroughly as they dominated Cuba’s before Fidel Castro.
Every political fund-raiser in either party knows one of the Fanjul brothers by name.
In 1992, while his sibling raised money for Bill Clinton, Jose “”Pepe’’ Fanjul worked to re-elect George Bush. Four years earlier he raised more than $100,000 for Bush, and took his wife, Emilia, to a state dinner in the White House.
Pepe Fanjul was also close to the Cabinet. Eyebrows were raised when Bush’s Commerce Secretary, Robert Mosbacher, was a guest at the Fanjuls’ luxury resort complex, CasadeCampo in the DominicanRepublic , where they have even larger sugar holdings than in Florida. Mosbacher and his wife, Georgette, also flew to the Fanjuls’ hunting lodge near Okeechobee.
At the time, the Commerce Department was considering candymaker E.J. Brach’s request for a free-trade zone that would let it buy sugar at the world price, instead of the higher price the federal program assures growers. Mosbacher headed the U.S. Free Trade Zone Board, which turned down Brach’s. He said he played no part in the decision.
With a Democrat in the White House, the Fanjuls have suffered no loss of access. As co-chair of Clinton’s Florida campaign, Alfonso Fanjul hosted a Miami fund-raiser that raised $120,000 for the candidate. The family gave the Clinton campaign $74,000 between the Florida primary and the Democratic convention, a sizeable chunk of the more than $1-million the family and its employees have dropped into federal campaigns since 1979.
At the Little Rock economic summit in December of 1992, many of the 300 business leaders present claimed to be close to the president-elect. Alfonso Fanjul was seated three chairs from him.
So it was that the Fanjuls became architects of the Everglades clean-up plan recently signed by Gov. Lawton Chiles, but first laid out to Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt in a private meeting with Flo-Sun shortly after the inauguration. When Babbitt announced the plan five months later, Alfonso Fanjul called it the fulfillment of Clinton’s campaign promise to make business and government partners for the environment. Environmentalists called it the Fanjuls’ campaign contributions at work.
State Dept. Says Hillary Clinton Is Not Celebrating in Dominican Republic as Reported
Geraldo has declared as a Republican. I think he is looking for a Christie appointment.
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 THE SCOPE AND DIMENSION OF MENENDEZ'S FINANCIAL INVOLVEMENT W/ THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC GOVERNMENT
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.
REFERENCE According to RICO laws, Menendez should lose everything. He used his authority and his elected office as a criminal empire.
Under RICO laws, the meaning of racketeering activity is at 18 U.S.C. § 1961. As currently amended, it is all-encompassing and includes: Any violation of state statutes against gambling, murder, kidnapping, extortion, arson, robbery, bribery, dealing in obscene matter, or dealing in a controlled substance or listed chemical (as defined in the Controlled Substances Act);
Any act of bribery, counterfeiting, theft, embezzlement, fraud, dealing in obscene matter, obstruction of justice, slavery, racketeering, gambling, money laundering, commission of murder-for-hire, and several other offenses covered under the Federal criminal code (Title 18);
Embezzlement of union funds; Bankruptcy fraud or securities fraud; Drug trafficking;uyh65rdc lk Long-term and elaborate drug networks can be prosecuted using the Continuing Criminal Enterprise Statute; Criminal copyright infringement;
Money laundering and related offenses; Bringing in, aiding or assisting aliens in illegally entering the country (when the action is for financial gain);
Acts of terrorism........all are prosecutable under RICO laws.
What Difference Does That Make?