Politico wonders: Can Menendez survive — in New Jersey?

posted at 8:31 am on February 4, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

It’s a good question, but the wrong venue.  The question regarding Menendez isn’t political at the moment, at least not in terms of electoral process.  Menendez has a political problem and a legal problem, and the voters of New Jersey don’t factor into either one:

In a state with a colorful history, it takes a lot for a New Jersey politician to cross the line into political toxicity.

Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez has found himself at the center of a growing controversy, with accusations swirling of a questionable friendship with a Florida eye surgeon being investigated for Medicare fraud, improper flights to the Dominican Republic and alleged patronizing of prostitutes — including underage girls — while in the Caribbean nation.

In some states, these allegations — and the fact the Senate Ethics Committee has joined federal investigators in looking into the explosive claims — would be enough to sink Menendez. But in New Jersey, that may not be enough to topple the Hudson County political boss, who runs the political machine for a part of Jersey known for being rough and tumble and who easily won reelection last year.

Menendez just won another six-year term in November, as these allegations began to break.  The FBI raid last week made it clear that there was at least some significant smoke coming from his relationship with big contributor Salomon Melgen, and not just about prostitutes in the Dominican Republic. The Miami Herald pointed out his interventions on behalf of one of Melgen’s businesses in the DR, and the rest of the national media followed suit.  That kicked off an inquiry, at least a preliminary one, for the Ethics Committee.  That’s where the political battle will take place, while the FBI probes Melgen for whatever reasons they have.

The raid also prompted Menendez to pay for two private-jet flights provided by Melgen in 2010 in an attempt to get past a violation of Senate disclosure rules.  That may have wiped out a significant part of Menendez’ cash, but he may need some more — soon.  Breitbart’s Matthew Boyle investigated the flight records of Melgen’s jet this year and asks whether Menendez hitched another ride to the DR last Easter:

After landing back in West Palm Beach at around 9:22 Eastern Daylight Time on the evening of April 6, 2012, it sat in its hangar for a day. Then, on the morning of April 8, 2012–Easter Sunday–at 8:56 a.m., the plane left Palm Beach International airport. At 11:30 a.m., it landed at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey.

Teterboro is an airport meant for private jets and chartered flights, and is a 20-minute cab ride from Menendez’s New Jersey home. After landing at Teterboro at 11:30 a.m. EDT, the plane sat for about an hour and ten minutes–just enough time to wait for someone to reach the airport from about 20 minutes away. At 12:50 p.m., Melgen’s plane took off for Las Americas International Airport in the Dominican Republic.

Menendez’s public schedule–available on his Senate website–puts him in New Jersey the night before that flight, at an Easter Musical entitled God’s Masterpiece at Roselle Park Middle School in Roselle Park, New Jersey.

Menendez does not appear to have had any public events until several days later. The Senate was not in session from March 31 until April 15.

Why is this time frame important?

It is during this timeframe that two Dominican Republic prostitutes alleged, in interviews with this reporter who broke the story for The Daily Caller before joining Breitbart News after the election, that they were under-paid to have sex with Menendez. The activity allegedly took place at Casa de Campo, a luxurious resort in the Dominican Republic around Easter-time in 2012. Casa de Campo is about an hour’s drive from Las Americas airport.

It’s not clear whether any of this would have mattered to New Jersey voters.  As Politico’s Ginger Gibson and John Bresnahan note, they have a rather high tolerance for corruption in public officials.  However, the question is really just how hard the FBI wants to look for evidence of corruption, and just how much of it Senate Democrats will tolerate from Menendez.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Culture of Corruption.

Good Lt on February 4, 2013 at 8:39 AM

It’s not clear whether any of this would have mattered to New Jersey voters. As Politico’s Ginger Gibson and John Bresnahan note, they have a rather high tolerance for corruption in public officials.

We get the leaders we deserve, don’t we? Must be a lot of liberal low info voters in NJ

Free Indeed on February 4, 2013 at 8:41 AM

Nebraska Lt. Gov. Rick Sheehy resigned yesterday over phone calls to women.Menendez only had sex with little girls.

docflash on February 4, 2013 at 8:42 AM

If this were a Republican, the media/democrat party would insist that the senator be imprisoned – and water-boarded.

perroviejo on February 4, 2013 at 8:46 AM

There are no scruples , morals or values in this country anymore. God has been pushed out of the public square and this is what you get. And those conservatives that also believe in social issues are what is making republicans so unelectable (ya right)….obama is just the start of our punishment for turning our backs on God

crosshugger on February 4, 2013 at 8:46 AM

they were under-paid to have sex with Menendez.

Rule number one forgotten by Menendez and the Secret Service. If you’re going to go whoring in a foreign nation. Pay market rate.

Happy Nomad on February 4, 2013 at 8:47 AM

The Progressive Perversions and Democrat DeBuachery!!

canopfor on February 4, 2013 at 8:49 AM

Hopefully this destroys him, politically speaking of course, but as Rush says this is a resume enhancement for a dem.

tim c on February 4, 2013 at 8:50 AM

As long as he delivers free goodies, he could have had sex with infants for all NJ voters care.

crrr6 on February 4, 2013 at 8:52 AM

Sure.
What’s the difference? To quote Hilary Clinton whose husband raped a woman.
Rush is right. It just tranforms these guys who look like Monsieur Bibendum into lefty studs.

vityas on February 4, 2013 at 8:53 AM

Really?

Do you think the pedophile Reid is going to open up a hearing on another pedophile?

acyl72 on February 4, 2013 at 9:01 AM

It doesn’t matter to the mostly low information voters in NJ because such indulgences are framed as scurrilous and without merit. They have been conditioned that such issues are simply political in nature and therefore should be ignored.

At this point, these are indeed allegations. But people should pay attention. Once the FBI is involved, monitoring participants and performing raids this starts to get “legs”.

That aside, there seems to be mounting proof Menendez solicited child prostitutes, interfered with federal investigation, unlawfully took favors from donors and represented Melgen on financial matters from which he and the Democratic Party benefited. Any of those which produce charges is enough to sink Menendez. But be aware, he will hold out until the end due to the poltical ramifications.

What I mostly find distressing is that people like Rangel and Menendez clearly are people of low-integrity and character. Yet the people who elect them don’t really care. I suppose they don’t understand it is truly a reflection of them. That includes a severe absence of judgement, morals, good intentions and wisdom. Absolutely shameful.

Marcus Traianus on February 4, 2013 at 9:01 AM

Why is this time frame important?

It is during this timeframe that two Dominican Republic prostitutes alleged, in interviews with this reporter who broke the story for The Daily Caller before joining Breitbart News after the election, that they were under-paid to have sex with Menendez. The activity allegedly took place at Casa de Campo, a luxurious resort in the Dominican Republic around Easter-time in 2012.
============================================================

Ya know,the Pros in Cartena Columbia,made that case as well,under-payed,maybe its a Democrat thing!

And,Easter eh,that reminds me of Bill Clinton,going to Church,
and then,getting an oil change,serviced by Monica the mechanic,
on Easter!!!!!!!!!!!

Lewinsky scandal

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewinsky_scandal

canopfor on February 4, 2013 at 9:03 AM

Needs to step down before he is arrested.

Amazingoly on February 4, 2013 at 9:04 AM

So,for some InExplicable reasons,Democrats seem
to have a *orny On,for Sex on Easter!!
(sarc)

canopfor on February 4, 2013 at 9:05 AM

You’re looking at this as a problem? First of all Menendez is in New Jersey where this sort of behavior is more of a resume enhancement than a problem. Secondly, even with a Republican Governor (sort of) you’d never get him to replace Menendez with a Republican if he were to resign. Actually, in the case of Democrats, underage prostitutes is more of a resume enhancement.

bflat879 on February 4, 2013 at 9:06 AM

God, after looking at that picture of him, how can the creep put his finger in his mouth, especially when he knows where it has been?

pilamaye on February 4, 2013 at 9:07 AM

This guy is seriously creepy . I also think this story has legs .
With all the ” redistribution ” going on his constituents might
be a little peed off ’cause they didn’t get any .

Lucano on February 4, 2013 at 9:09 AM

Hmmmm…funny.
The media seemed a little more concerned when it was Mark Foley and Larry Craig who had a scandal.
Those two scandal never even involved actual sex.

NeoKong on February 4, 2013 at 9:12 AM

I guess Menendez,has never head of the ACORN STING!!!!!

ACORN Prostitution Investigation – James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles – Part 1
*******

Uploaded on Sep 10, 2009

Your tax dollars fund ACORN “members” thugs to allegedly develop an underage international prostitution ring. Call your congressmen and senator and tell them that enough is enough. Visit http://www.PushBackNow.com Lots of info is in the menu with more being added regularly.
===============

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UOL9Jh61S8

canopfor on February 4, 2013 at 9:13 AM

Survive in New Jersey you say . . . sure he can.

rplat on February 4, 2013 at 9:13 AM

Its looking like Mendezezezezez may have molested under age male prostitutes as well in the DR.
If this is true he will win in an overwhelming landslide in NJ.
Using prostitutes,who may be unionized in the DR, and being gay as well are huge resume builders in NJ. Fortunately, we don’t have anyone on our side who can compete with him.
The DNC will give him millions to remain as a Democrat US Senator.
He embodies everything they believe in.

rodguy911 on February 4, 2013 at 9:13 AM

I don’t know. The story keeps getting bigger. I doubt that Menendez will survive this.

tommy71 on February 4, 2013 at 9:14 AM

Between McGreevey gay friend and Menendez underage prostitutes, we are taking lead in national sex scandal business.

Archivarix on February 4, 2013 at 9:15 AM

Liberal logic-> Children have the right to have sex with anyone they want. It’s a basic human right.

Mr. Arrogant on February 4, 2013 at 9:22 AM

Its looking like Mendezezezezez may have molested under age male prostitutes as well in the DR.
If this is true he will win in an overwhelming landslide in NJ.
Using prostitutes,who may be unionized in the DR, and being gay as well are huge resume builders in NJ. Fortunately, we don’t have anyone on our side who can compete with him.
The DNC will give him millions to remain as a Democrat US Senator.
He embodies everything they believe in.

rodguy911 on February 4, 2013 at 9:13 AM

First, sex scandals are *not* a prerequisite in New Jersey, even for Democrats. We are Sopranos State, with lots of Italians on both sides of the political barricade, and while they couldn’t care less about bribery and corruption, they tend to be touchy about family issues. Menendez did himself no political favors but letting the story leak out. The gay thing doesn’t play nicely here, either. We are not NYC. Just ask Ex Gov. McGreevey.

And second, the DNC will not spill a blue cent here in NJ. Christie is now safer than Fort Knox installation, and Menendez seat will go to Booker who is actively groomed for eventual national election – likely 2024. The Republican bench in NJ is so short that Christie’s arse folds hang down from both sides of it.

Archivarix on February 4, 2013 at 9:23 AM

I don’t know. The story keeps getting bigger. I doubt that Menendez will survive this.

tommy71 on February 4, 2013 at 9:14 AM

Be very careful about how you use terms like “getting bigger” when discussing this type of story. What I wouldn’t give for some White House reporter to ask Jay Carney or the rat-eared wonder if Obama would be okay with one of their daughters sleeping with a 59-year-old. In short, where is the outrage from those on the left about a man caught not only violating the ethics rules but also engaging in human traffiking of the worst sort of exploitation. There should be consequences and the Dems should be the ones leading the charge not ignoring the matter entirely.

Happy Nomad on February 4, 2013 at 9:24 AM

Between McGreevey gay friend and Menendez underage prostitutes, we are taking lead in national sex scandal business.

Archivarix on February 4, 2013 at 9:15 AM

I don’t know about that. Eliot Spitzer and Anthony Weiner are giving you all a pretty good run for the top spot.

Happy Nomad on February 4, 2013 at 9:26 AM

Why hasn’t Pres. Obama been asked about this?

I really want to know what his daughters think about this. He has inserted them into every controversy from Sandra Fluke to his evolution on gay marriage. I’d also like to know what his imaginary son who looks like Trayvon but won’t play football thinks.

monalisa on February 4, 2013 at 9:35 AM

Obama: “Senator Menendez aledgedly under-paid for sex with a girl, who, if I had a daughter……oh nevermind. “

tiktok on February 4, 2013 at 9:59 AM

What amazes me is that we’re even having this conversation. When regular people are caught engaging in illegal business practices or cavorting with under-aged prostitutes… they go to jail. But if it’s a politician, we have to wonder if there’s enough public outrage to prosecute or if his fellows will cover it up for him. That’s Soviet Russia, people. Red China.

Corruption at the government level has become so prevalent that we no longer even expect these career politicians to obey the same laws as the rest of us. It’s kind of shocking actually, when you think about it in those terms, particularly when we note how brazen they have become.

Murf76 on February 4, 2013 at 10:16 AM

They had a half-page story in a philly paper a week or so ago. It was about Menendez visiting Virtua Hospital in Voohrees and specifically the story had a large picture of him with two woman admin workers (both smiling). He was there to show his support for ‘women’s’ healthcare issues (and vice-versa).
-
Damage control by the liberal press has already begun.
-

RalphyBoy on February 4, 2013 at 10:24 AM

The Republican bench in NJ is so short that Christie’s arse folds hang down from both sides of it.
……………………………………
Uhhh…. I think you made my point Arch.
It would take a miracle for any dem to lose in NJ.
By the way I stopped counting the fat basturd as a Republican
when he went arm in arm with obozo.

rodguy911 on February 4, 2013 at 10:29 AM

God, after looking at that picture of him, how can the creep put his finger in his mouth, especially when he knows where it has been?

pilamaye on February 4, 2013 at 9:07 AM

…he picks his a$$ ?

KOOLAID2 on February 4, 2013 at 10:47 AM

Can a US Senstor pedofile survive? Sure. The congress and specifically the senate is cesspool full of the worst kind of human debris who cover each other no matter what. No? Teddy Kennedy? Jon Kerry? In menendez’s case, he’s just a pedofile, not sure that is even a violation of senate rules (no other laws seem to apply to them). But, despite all his cover and the media assistance, the entire world knows he abuses little girls and probably boys. Some legacy.

StevC on February 4, 2013 at 10:56 AM

Since the media has had this rather unsavory story dumped in their lap, I wonder if they will feel compelled to go find a corrupt Republican to crucify?

Cindy Munford on February 4, 2013 at 10:58 AM

StevC on February 4, 2013 at 10:56 AM

I think in D.C. standards “underage” doesn’t qualify him as a pedophile.

Cindy Munford on February 4, 2013 at 10:59 AM

the question is really just how hard the FBI wants to look for evidence of corruption, and just how much of it Senate Democrats will tolerate from Menendez.

Come on, it’s the Holder FBI. As for the Senate Dems, this kind of thing is a resume enhancement. I see this going dark shortly and then disappearing altogether down the rat hole.

jnelchef on February 4, 2013 at 11:01 AM

So Mendez defense is this isn’t legitimate rape? The Akin defense?

pat on February 4, 2013 at 11:25 AM

But, despite all his cover and the media assistance, the entire world knows he abuses little girls and probably boys. Some legacy.

StevC on February 4, 2013 at 10:56 AM

Really? How would they know? My wife watches the LSM every night and I guarantee she hasn’t heard a thing about this.

rhit87 on February 4, 2013 at 11:38 AM

Maybe all overseas trips taken by our officals should be looked at — particulary those trips without the spouse along.

Little Nell on February 4, 2013 at 11:53 AM

I hate commie dems, but even so it seems to me that if prostitution is not illegal in the Dominican Republic, then Menendez didn’t break any laws. He wasn’t in the US so he didn’t break any US laws. The only question that remains after that is if minors can be legal prostitutes in the Dominican Republic, and if they can, once again he didn’t break any laws. If minors can’t be legal prostitutes in the DR then they were breaking the law and you’d have to prove Menendez knew they were under age. And even then, he wasn’t in the US and he didn’t break any US laws.

Maybe they can get him on bribery or corruption.

woodNfish on February 4, 2013 at 12:22 PM

Menendez’s actions make him a hero among his party and it’s hardcore voters. This is why Sandra Fluke was such a hero. She was wanting Menendez’s underage sex slave industry hookers to have free contraceptives.

Stories such as this are not making it into main stream American homes. Conservatives are living in a vacuum right now, and a great deal of them are even turning away from conservative media outlets because it seems hopeless since the re-election of the Great Destroyer Hussein Obama.

At what point will one or more of these rich,evil conservative fatcats buy one or more of the alphabet TV networks or remaining papers of record to try and change the corrupt media culture currently going on?

The low info voters who are turned off by Fox News, do not frequent conservative hangouts on the web or are to lazy to care about what is truly going on with their country will not search out the truth. They will continue to sit in front of their TV’s and believe the lies that are fed to them by an abusive, corrupt,bully, propaganda media machine that is helping to rob them of their freedoms. It’s called an idiot box for a reason you know.

Rockshine on February 4, 2013 at 12:39 PM


If minors can’t be legal prostitutes in the DR then they were breaking the law and you’d have to prove Menendez knew they were under age. And even then, he wasn’t in the US and he didn’t break any US laws.

Maybe they can get him on bribery or corruption.

woodNfish on February 4, 2013 at 12:22 PM

Travelling to a foreign country to have sex with minors is against U.S. Law. It has been reported that the Senator wanted the youngest and “freshest” Girls … a pretty strong case that he knew or should have known.

Natebo on February 4, 2013 at 12:47 PM

[New Jersey voters] have a rather high tolerance for corruption in public officials.

Y’all are missing the point. In New Jersey, like DC, like Detroit, like Chicago, like a dozen dozen other places with encased rage and an entitlement mentality, it’s a positive plus to “get back at The Man” via taking or doing whatever they can get away with. Coleman Young didn’t last so long in Detroit despite his corruption; Coleman Young lasted because of his corruption. New Jersey voters won’t be the ones to oust Menendez; the national Party will, if and when he becomes more damaging to them than helpful.

Zumkopf on February 4, 2013 at 1:07 PM

So Mendez defense is this isn’t legitimate rape? The Akin defense?

pat on February 4, 2013 at 11:25 AM

-
Or as Whoopi said it wasn’t rape rape…
-

RalphyBoy on February 4, 2013 at 1:08 PM