NYT: Menendez needs to step down from chairmanship while ethics probe proceeds

posted at 2:31 pm on February 9, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Say, remember when Bob Menendez’ problems were just the ravings of “right-wing blogs” that Harry Reid said couldn’t be trusted as sources? Good times, good times.  The stink has gotten bad enough from the revelations of interventions staged by Menendez on behalf of contributor-crony Salomon Melgen that a newspaper has called for Reid to sideline Menendez on the Foreign Relations Committee.  And not just a right-wing-bloggish kind of newspaper, either, but the New York Times.

In fact, they make it pretty clear that they don’t like Menendez much at all anyway:

Senator Robert Menendez was never a distinguished choice for chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the position he ascended to this month by virtue of seniority. Concerns about that quality gap have sharply escalated amid new disclosures about Mr. Menendez’s use of his position to advance the financial interests of a friend and big donor. Instead of trying to protect Mr. Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, needs to remove his gavel, at least pending credible resolution by the Senate Ethics Committee of the swirling accusations of misconduct.

In case you’re wondering, the Gray Lady never mentions the allegations of engaging prostitutes on his trips to the Dominican Republic with Melgen.  Instead, they’re more focused on the allegations that Menendez prostituted his office:

At issue are the curious dealings between Mr. Menendez and his close friend and benefactor Salomon Melgen, a wealthy Florida eye surgeon and major Democratic donor. The senator’s efforts to help Dr. Melgen, part-owner of a firm that had a long-dormant contract with the Dominican Republic to provide port security, revive that lucrative contract — deemed an exorbitant giveaway by business leaders and government officials there — were detailed in an article in The Times last week by Raymond Hernandez and Frances Robles. The contract’s dubious legitimacy and Dr. Melgen’s lack of experience in border security issues did not deter Mr. Menendez from pressing State and Commerce Department officials to insist that the contract be honored, including at a hearing in July of the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee over which he presided. …

Mr. Menendez’s interventions on Dr. Melgen’s behalf were not limited to port security. The Washington Post reported on Wednesday that Mr. Menendez personally raised concerns with top federal health officials in 2009 and again in 2012 about the fairness of their finding that Dr. Melgen had overbilled the government $8.9 million for care provided at his eye clinic. The Post also reported that Dr. Melgen invoked the senator’s name repeatedly to exert pressure on federal fraud investigators.

Interestingly, the Times also calls out Reid, or at least a super-PAC started by his former aides:

Compounding the unseemliness, Senator Menendez’s help came as Dr. Melgen was in the process of making donations totaling $700,000 to Majority PAC, a Democratic “super PAC” set up by former aides to Mr. Reid. Majority PAC ended up shoveling $582,500 to Mr. Menendez’s 2012 re-election campaign.

Hmmm. That sounds a bit like a shot across Reid’s bow.  Will Reid consider this source a little more carefully?   When you’ve lost the New York Times ….

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After all the Red on Red fighting, it’s nice to see a little Blue on Blue pron.

thebrokenrattle on February 9, 2013 at 2:36 PM

Obama will help him step down altogether.

Then his buddy Christie will appoint Booker.

Schadenfreude on February 9, 2013 at 2:38 PM

As Rushbo says” A random act of journalism was committed”.

retiredeagle on February 9, 2013 at 2:38 PM

There will be no fight. Either Menendez will temporarily step down and wait until the investigation and the scandal come to its natural death by strangulation, or get pushed out completely to let Cory Booker run without having to muscle Lautenberg’s mummy out.

Archivarix on February 9, 2013 at 2:38 PM

He should be doing more than that.

He should be under arrest and facing decades in a federal “pound-me-in-the-ass” prison.

wildcat72 on February 9, 2013 at 2:38 PM

As long as the EVIL Republicans continue these clearly false charges against a DEMOCRAT Senator, the entire U.S. Senate should protest this injustice by not passing a budget…

Khun Joe on February 9, 2013 at 2:40 PM

Menendez needs to step down and out of office. He can always take up whatever it is that Weiner’s doing these days…. :)

BigSven on February 9, 2013 at 2:42 PM

NYT loses coin toss; picked as token liberal MSM outlet to scold pedophillic US Senator.

BobMbx on February 9, 2013 at 2:45 PM

He should be doing more than that.

He should be under arrest and facing decades in a federal “pound-me-in-the-ass” prison.

wildcat72 on February 9, 2013 at 2:38 PM

…that’s a little rough!…but I like it!…maybe Harry Reid can get conjugal visitation rights!

KOOLAID2 on February 9, 2013 at 2:49 PM

He should be in jail. You know if he was a republican the socialist media would be relentlessly screaming for his resignation and prison.

After all he’s a pedophile, isn’t he?

dogsoldier on February 9, 2013 at 2:52 PM

The election is over so they can throw him under the bus while the whitewash..er probe is underway, without losing votes in the “community”

Don L on February 9, 2013 at 2:54 PM

Good Times indeed…

workingclass artist on February 9, 2013 at 2:55 PM

well, what difference does it make now???? *cackling*…

er…sorry, wrong thread…

ted c on February 9, 2013 at 2:56 PM

a limited hangout. Menendez will be rehabilitated in typical MSM fashion soon as the Democratico-liberal-MSM-entertainment industry will envelop him and he shall emerge faster, richer, stronger in typical liberal fashion.

ted c on February 9, 2013 at 2:57 PM

What’s all this chatter about stepping down. Mendezezezez has stepped up.
He’s a rock star in the fat basturds state.
First he gets applause for hiring unionized hookers in the DR and then its learned he is equal opportunity and prefers guys as much a gals! what a guy!
And no age discrimination for our NJ Senator!! He’s a class act. Why he could run for President challenging Hillary. He may be a bigger bull than her.

rodguy911 on February 9, 2013 at 2:58 PM

In case you’re wondering, the Gray Lady never mentions the allegations of engaging prostitutes on his trips to the Dominican Republic with Melgen.

Maybe because they all engage in that vice themselves?????

ScottG on February 9, 2013 at 3:01 PM

In case you’re wondering, the Gray Lady never mentions the allegations of engaging prostitutes on his trips to the Dominican Republic with Melgen.

Would that be the same NYT’s that ran a story on John McCain alleging he had an affair with a lobbyist without a shred of proof…?

NeoKong on February 9, 2013 at 3:01 PM

a Democratic “super PAC” set up by former aides to Mr. Reid. Majority PAC ended up shoveling $582,500 to Mr. Menendez’s 2012 re-election campaign.

Isn’t this pretty similar to what Delay was convicted for – using a third party to get around campaign donation caps?

They said a political action committee that DeLay started in Texas solicited $190,000 from corporate interests and sent it to an arm of the Republican National Committee. They said that group then distributed the money to seven legislative candidates in an effort to skirt Texas law, which forbids corporate contributions to political campaigns.

rw on February 9, 2013 at 3:03 PM

They said a political action committee that DeLay started in Texas solicited $190,000 from corporate interests and sent it to an arm of the Republican National Committee. They said that group then distributed the money to seven legislative candidates in an effort to skirt Texas law, which forbids corporate contributions to political campaigns.

Yeah Tom Delay and Mendezez are just alike,moral equivalency. Yeah right. Nice try Axel, sorry won’t float.

rodguy911 on February 9, 2013 at 3:07 PM

The point is that perhaps Reid and anyone else involved should be investigated and tried if appropriate for money laundering.

rw on February 9, 2013 at 3:10 PM

Arrogant, degenerate, hypocritical greasy asshole. Couldn’t happen to a nicer corrupt politician ;-)

RdLake on February 9, 2013 at 3:26 PM

Oh dear, how will the Democrats “message” this to their precious illegals once they’ve thrown their token (non-Spanish speaking) latino senator over the side?
Dust off the Evil Republicans playbook–not that it ever gathers dust.

Western_Civ on February 9, 2013 at 3:26 PM

It must really stink for the New York Times to get a whiff!

Benghazi? Fast and Furious? No stench there!

GarandFan on February 9, 2013 at 3:29 PM

As a congressman Menendez voted for the law which, if found guilty, would put him in prison for 30 years.

Schadenfreude on February 9, 2013 at 3:32 PM

Time for him and a couple of his senate buddies to take another tax payer funded junket on a private jet to screw some underage hookers.

Time for Reid to bury this so no one looks at his pedophilia in the early 90′s.

These crooks are pure class.

acyl72 on February 9, 2013 at 3:38 PM

Democrat = NO STEP DOWN…

Get back in your swim lane…

Khun Joe on February 9, 2013 at 3:42 PM

I don’t expect the biggest snake in the senate to tell a smaller snake that this war is lost.

docflash on February 9, 2013 at 3:49 PM

Somehow, the federal government gave themselves jurisdiction over the entire planet and passed a law that forbade someone from having sex with someone under 18 overseas (even if it was legal in that country.) Notwithstanding that many US states have an age of consent of 16, that is still the law of the land.

If one of us had underage foreign prostitutes claiming we hired them when they were 16, you can bet we’d already be in jail.

Guarantee you this guy won’t serve a single day.

Timin203 on February 9, 2013 at 3:54 PM

Call me a cynic, but I don’t believe for a second that the NYT wrote this without the request and approval of someone in the party. He’s stinking up the bus and they want to throw him under it before things get really ripe.

RadClown on February 9, 2013 at 4:04 PM

Troll free, who’d a thunk?

CW on February 9, 2013 at 4:15 PM

Harry did get it right — it is indeed “typical for the source”. Too bad there aren’t MORE sources like the DC Caller.

unclesmrgol on February 9, 2013 at 4:23 PM

He can just wait it out and it will all just go away. He’s got that big D next to his name.

newportmike on February 9, 2013 at 4:37 PM

I’d suggest he get himself quickly to a country that doesn’t have extradition to the U.S.

Another Drew on February 9, 2013 at 4:39 PM

Sure, Menendez and DeLay are equivalent, except for the underage Dominican Hooker angle.
There were some things that Jack Abramoff wouldn’t do.

Another Drew on February 9, 2013 at 4:45 PM

I’d suggest he get himself quickly to a country that doesn’t have extradition to the U.S.

Another Drew on February 9, 2013 at 4:39 PM

I hear that Burundi is nice this time of year.

simkeith on February 9, 2013 at 4:46 PM

Imagine being 12 and having that guy on you.

vityas on February 9, 2013 at 4:57 PM

  When you’ve lost the New York Times

That’s crazy talk. Democrats will never lose the NY Times…

joejm65 on February 9, 2013 at 5:07 PM

If the NYT is calling for his removal, that can only mean that there is more dirt on him that they know about and are worried is going to see the light of day.

It’s not like they’ve found their inner Upton Sinclair.

YTZGal on February 9, 2013 at 5:10 PM

Imagine being 12 and having that guy on you.

vityas on February 9, 2013 at 4:57 PM

Dude…

I mean I was having having a snack and then I read your comment

workingclass artist on February 9, 2013 at 5:31 PM

I mean I was having having a snack and then I read your comment

workingclass artist on February 9, 2013 at 5:31 PM

Yeah posts like that need a warning label or something….

dogsoldier on February 9, 2013 at 5:42 PM

Yeah posts like that need a warning label or something….

dogsoldier on February 9, 2013 at 5:42 PM

Ideally so would his male parts. Tattooed in big letters.

vityas on February 9, 2013 at 6:25 PM

In case you’re wondering, the Gray Lady never mentions the allegations of engaging prostitutes on his trips to the Dominican Republic with Melgen.

To be fair there’s more evidence in the claims they mention.

The problem with this claim is you’d have to trust a Dominican Hooker more than a US Congressperson to accept the claim.

… ***quick pause while I try reading your mind for your response*** …

Yeah, I know. I do too…

But you can’t expect that the NY Times would.

*** Don’t worry, I promise not to use my powers for evil; I can see you were a bit concerned ***

:)

gekkobear on February 10, 2013 at 5:25 AM

Commenters at Breitbart are saying that if the NYT is getting queasy over Menendez, there is much more scandal to come.

The NYT can’t comment on the pedophilia claims because that would be judgmental, and they are sure his private lifestyle choices have not impacted his “effectiveness” as a public official.

virgo on February 10, 2013 at 2:40 PM