Congressman Frank Pallone responded to the Senate Ethics Committee’s severe admonishment of Senator Bob Menendez for abusing the powers of his office in exchange for extremely lavish gifts from Dr. Salomon Melgin by declaring his love and support of Menendez to reporters in Washington.
See the video originally posted by NorthJersey.com:
Senator Bob Menendez, left, and Congressman Frank Pallone, making like chimpmunks at the 2012 Belmar St. Patrick’s parade. Photo credit Charles Measley
The Wall Street Journal reported this afternoon that Washington, DC based federal prosecutors are expected to file criminal corruption charges against U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) as early as this week.
WSJ’s anonymous sources did not reveal the specific charges, but indicated that a legal battle over how much the Constitution shields federal legislators and their aides has come to a close. The charges, which reportedly will be filed in New Jersey’s federal courts, are believed to involve Menendez’s relationship with Florida eye-doctor, Solomon Melgen.
Earlier this month, CNN reported that outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder signed off on the Menendez prosecution. In a hastily called press conference after the CNN report broke on March 8, the senator defiantly defended the “appropriateness and lawfulness” of his conduct in office, including his dealings with Melgen.
One of the reporters who covered Menendez on his “I don’t need any rehabilitating” press day with school kids as props sent a note to correct this post. The senator’s staff only restricted the questions reporters could ask during a conference call about his trip to Afghanistan. There were no restrictions during the press conference about sequestration at Newark Liberty Airport or while Menendez was reading to the children.
Kudos to the reporters for not asking tough questions about prostitutes, sex with children and the ethics of Menendez’s relationship with Dr. Salomon Melgen during the book readings with kids.
Why the kit gloves during the press conference? The reporter said that Menendez did not allow a lot of time for questions and split right before the press conference ended.
It seems to me that the New Jersey press corp is leaving the heavy lifting regarding Menendez to the national media. At least NJ.com and APP ran today’s Associated Press lengthy story about how Menendez sponsored legislation to help Melgen’s investment in a “green energy” company in addition to the Dominican Republic port security deal.
After hiding out in the bowels of the Capitol and the hills of Afghanistan for most of February, Senator Bob Menendez came out to New Jersey’s press yesterday with school kids as props, according to a Star Ledger report.
The senator’s staff laid out ground rules…no questions about flights to the Dominican Republic on Dr. Salomon Melgen’s private jet and no questions about Senate hearings held specifically for Melgen’s benefit. New Jersey’s mainstream media has never bothers to ask questions about prostitutes or sex with underage Dominican girls. It probably wasn’t necessary to deem such questions off limits. From the Star Ledger’s report, it would seem that all the reporters complied with Menendez’s wish that he not be asked “off-topic” questions. Wouldn’t it be nice if the press corp gave Governor Chris Christie the same courtesy.
Menenedez read House Mouse, Senate Mouseto a group of 15 4-5 years olds at Metropolitan Baptist Church in Newark, held a news conference about sequestration at Newark Liberty Airport, and met another group of school children in Lodi.
Asked whether the senator’s packed schedule was intended to rehabilitate his image at home after a month of harsh news coverage, Menendez bristled and said his appearance with the children was part of “Read Across America Day,” which he has participated in for almost 20 years.
“It’s far from rehabilitating,” said Menendez, who has repeadedly characterized the accusations as part of a smear campaign by right-wing forces. “It’s about being able to go ahead and express to kids the importance of reading,”
“And secondly,” he said, “I don’t think I need any rehabilitating.”
Will Senate Democrats continue to give Menendez cover if he lied to them?
The reporter who first broke the Menendez sex scandal storyposted an eyewitness account of Senator Robert Menendez dining with Dr. Salomon Melgen one mile from Teterboro Airport on Easter morning of 2012, while Melgen’s private plane was being refueled for a direct flight to the Dominican Republic.
Menendez has admitted to taking three flights to the DR on Melgen’s jet. One was paid for by the Democratic Senatorial Committee. The other two were reported and paid for personally by Menendez…almost three years after the fact…as a result of NJ State Senator Sam Thompson’s ethics complaint filed in November of 2012. Menendez paid $58,500 for the two flights last month.
The Dominican prostitutes who first fingered Menendez said they met him during Easter of 2012. Menendez’s and Melgen’s friend, Dominican politician Vinicio Castillo Seman admitted that the senator was the Dominican Republic on Easter of last year, according to Breitbart.
In addition, Menendez’s and Melgen’s friend–powerful Dominican politician Vinicio Castillo Seman–recently slipped up and admitted the senator was in the Dominican Republic on Easter Sunday in 2012, at the scene of where the original alleged wrongdoing took place. “I’ve known Menendez as a friend and of my cousin Salomon Melgen,” Castillo said while attempting to defend Menendez amid the scandalous allegations that currently plague him. “No one has come forward on the allegations and evil accusations, we spend every Easter together in Casa de Campo.”
Though it is now known Menendez spent Easter in Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic with Melgen and Castillo, it is unclear how he got there. He and his staff have continually refused to answer that question.
But it has appeared for a long time that Menendez got there via Melgen’s plane. Flight path data obtained by Breitbart News and published in early February shows Melgen’s plane flew from Melgen’s home city West Palm Beach, Florida, to Teterboro, New Jersey, on Easter Sunday morning. It stayed there at Teterboro from its landing at 11:30 a.m. until taking off to head straight to the Dominican Republic at 12:50 p.m.
It is during this timeframe Melgen’s plane was on the ground in New Jersey, refueling and preparing for the flight to the Dominican Republic, that Breitbart News’ eyewitness in the area said he saw Menendez and Melgen brunching together at Arena Diner a mile or so away from the airport.
If Menendez was on the Melgen’s flight to the Dominican Republic last Easter, he’s been lying to the American people, and the Senate Ethics Committee, since early January when he paid $58,500 for the flights he’s admitted to belatedly.
Menendez and his office continue to refuse to answer whether the senator was on that flight, or if he got to the Dominican Republic that Sunday another way.
Fresh from his trip to Afghanistan and Pakistan, U.S. Senator Bob Menendez attended a Black History Month celebration in Trenton yesterday. During his remarks at the Shiloh Baptist Church, the senator invoked the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and the Gospel of Luke to fend off the allegations of financial impropriety, prostitution and abuse of power, according to a report in The Star Ledger.
“Dr. King said that ‘the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice,’” Mendez said, prompting calls of “alright” from some in the audience at the Shiloh Baptist Church in Trenton. “In the end, I believe that justice will overcome the forces of darkness. Scriptures — scriptures tell us that he who ‘puts his hand to the plough and looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.’
“I have my hand on the plough,” he said, “and I am going to continue to look forward and to work to make that plough lead us to the fulfillment of educational, economic and health care opportunity in this country.”
Maybe he was doing research in the Dominican Republic
U.S. Senator Bob Menendez is co-sponsoring the Real Education for Healthy Youth Act, a bill that would expand comprehensive sex education programs in schools, while ensuring that federal funds are spent on “effective, age-appropriate and medically accurate” programs, according to The Hill.
The Real Education for Healthy Youth Act aims to reduce unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and expand sex education programs at colleges and universities. The bill would also prevent federal funds from being spent on “ineffective, medically inaccurate” sex-education programs.
“Research has shown that programs which teach abstinence and contraception effectively delay the onset of sexual intercourse, reduce the number of sexual partners, and increase contraceptive use among teens,” Lee said. “These programs also reduce unintended pregnancy and the transmission of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.”
Senator Frank Lautenberg and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) are the primary sponsors of the legislation.
New Jersey voters either strongly disapprove of New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez and think he’s dishonest, or they really don’t care much about the news of his ongoing scandals, depending on which poll you trust.
This morning the Quinnipiac Polling Institute released a poll that indicates that Menendez approval rating is down 15 points in one month. By a 44%-28% margin, New Jersey voters say he is not honest or trustworthy. Menendez’s approval numbers are upside down with 41% of voters disapproving of him and only 36% approving.
Just a week ago, Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press released a poll with the headline Sen Menendez Unaffected By Donor Scandal . The Monmouth/APP poll says that 68% of New Jersey voters had heard about “the donor scandal” but that only 24% thought the senator was involved in any wrongdoing. The poll said that 65% either hadn’t formed an opinion or hadn’t heard enough. The Monmouth/APP poll said that Menendez’s approval ratings werre similar to prior ratings over the last two years. Last week, 41% of the voters approved of the job Menendez is doing and only 28% disapproved.
Menendez has been in Afghanistan and out of the news for most of the week between poll releases.
Surprisingly, 2010 congressional candidate Scott Sipprelle was leading the poll by a wide margin before we took it down this morning. Sipprelle had 39% if the votes, followed by State Senator Joe Kyrillos with 19%. Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno and Congressman Chris Smith each had 12%. Here are the results of the original poll.
We’ve added former Highlands Mayor Anna Little’s name to the mix because we had a couple of complaints that she was excluded.
NY Times exposes Menendez using his power to steer millions to donor
In defending his friend, Senator Bob Mendendez, against the salacious charges of sleeping with underage Dominican girls for money, Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid dismissed the allegations because they originated with the conservative website, The Daily Caller.
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. Mr. Menendez, who is chairman of the Senate subcommittee that holds sway over the Dominican Republic, subsequently urged officials in the State and Commerce Departments to intervene so the contract would be enforced, at an estimated value of $500 million.
We’ve been little more than an annoyance to Menendez. But now that the mainstream media is putting the senator under a microscope, he could be in real trouble. Yesterday I wrote that Menendez would probably survive his recent scandal unless he was indicted or convicted. Now I’m not so sure. At the very least, his chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Relations Commitee could be at risk. There is one Democrat, Barbara Boxer of California, with more seniority than Menendez on the committee. Two Democrats, Robert Casey, Jr of Pennsylvania and Ben Cardin of Maryland have the same Senate seniority as Menendez. They must have ambitions and friendships with Harry Reid too