Menendez-Melgen Relationship: It’s more than plane trips and hookers.

NY Times exposes Menendez using his power to steer millions to donor

tdy_doc_menen_130131_video_640x480In 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.

Maybe Reid will take The New York Times more seriously.

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.

Menendez abusing the powers of his office on the behalf on campaign contributors or out of personal vengeance is not news to regular MMM readers. Over the years we’ve written about how he and other Democrats in the New Jersey congressional delegation pressured the FDA to approve a faulty medical device, how he blocked the appoinment of a federal judge whose boyfriend investigated him as an Assistant U.S. Attorney and how he used Senatorial Courtesy to end the career of a distinguished diplomat at the behest of campaign donors.

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

Posted: February 1st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Bob Menendez | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Menendez-Melgen Relationship: It’s more than plane trips and hookers.

Menendez Denies Retribution In Blocking Shwartz’s Appointment To Appeals Court

Senator Robert Menendez denies he is preventing Federal Magistrate Patty Shwartz’s appointment to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals because her boyfriend is the federal prosecutor who lead the corruption investigation into the senator during his 2006 campaign, according to a report at Politico.

Menendez said it wasn’t appropriate to debate a potential judges qualifications in the press, before he went on to malign Shwartz:

“It is incredibly disappointing and unfortunate that my real concerns over the suitability of Judge Shwartz to serve a lifetime appointment as circuit court judge have been spun as some petty political vendetta by some of her supporters,” Menendez said in a statement to POLITICO.

“I proceeded to ask her substantive legal questions and was not fully satisfied with her responses,” Menendez said. “In my opinion, Judge Shwartz did not adequately demonstrate the breadth of knowledge of constitutional law and pivotal Supreme Court decisions such as Citizens United that we should expect from a United States Circuit Court judge.”

“In the interview with Judge Shwartz, in my opinion, she misapplied the application of strict scrutiny versus rational basis review to the questions at hand,” Menendez added. “She did not express substantive knowledge as to the scope of the rights of corporations under the Constitution or jurisprudence on the constitutional limits of Executive Branch powers.

Menendez lied to me personally and didn’t respond when I called him on it,  in the months after Jon Corzine appointed him to the Senate.  Thus my bias makes it difficult to believe anything he says.  He’s just not trustworthy.

Posted: January 7th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: 2012 U.S. Senate Race | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments »

For Democratic U.S. Senators, it’s not what you know or who you know, it’s who you have sex with.

Character, scholarship, temperament and a demonstrated ability to do the job.  One would hope that those are the most important qualities our U.S. Senators consider when they participate in the vetting of potential federal judges.

Evidently, who potential judges share their beds and bodies with are a more important consideration to New Jersey’s U.S. Senators; Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez.

Two weeks ago we read the news that Lautenberg passed over candidates expected to be nominated for federal judgeships in New Jersey and “out of nowhere” endorsed New York Senator Chuck Schumer’s brother-in-law to sit on New Jersey’s District Court.

Today we read that Menendez is using  senatorial courtesy to block the nomination of U.S. Magistrate Patty Shwartz to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

Shwartz has been in a relationship with James Nobile for two decades, according to The New York Times.  Nobile is the head of the New Jersey U.S. Attorney’s public corruption unit which investigated Menendez in 2006 while the Hudson County pol was running for his own term as Senator after having been appointed by Governor Jon Corzine.

Menendez was elected despite the news of the investigation.  The investigation has been closed with no charges filed.

Posted: January 6th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: 2012 U.S. Senate Race | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Senatorial Courtesy

Senatorial Courtesy, an oft written about unwritten rule of the legislative confirmation process that is in the news in New Jersey due to a battle that Governor Chris Christie is having with the Essex County senate delegation over the confirmation of Acting Education Commissioner Christopher Cerf.

On the federal level, both U.S. senators of a state, or the senior senator of the presidents party, can block the confirmation of a presidential appointee  who resides in the state the senators represent. 

In New Jersey, a senator can block the confirmation of a gubernatorial appointee who resides in the senator’s home county.

On both the federal level and in New Jersey, the senators don’t need a reason to block the confirmation.

The Democrats who control the New Jersey Senate are apparently stung by Governor Christie’s campaign against senatorial courtesy and the Essex County Democrats that Christie has targeted with criticism.  Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Nicholas Scutari (D-Union) has instructed the Office of Legislative Services to restrict access to the data base of who is exercising senatorial courtesy to only the Senate President and top staffers, thereby preventing Republicans from finding out who is blocking the governor’s appointments, according to The Star Ledger.

We don’t hear much about the Monmouth County delegation invoking senatorial courtesy.  The last time I can recall it the tradition being discussed publicly regarding a Monmouth County nominee was when Democratic County Chairman Victor Scudiery asked then Republican Senator Joe Palaia to block Luis Valentin’s appointment as prosecutor in 2005.  Palaia declined and Valentin was confirmed.

Just because we don’t hear about it doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.

Posted: December 16th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: NJ State Legislature | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Senatorial Courtesy