When a shady eye doctor donates millions to you and your campaign and allegedly supplies teenage hookers for you, you do his bidding. It’s not so complicated now, is it?
Senator Robert Menendez sought to discourage any plan by the United States government to donate port security equipment to the Dominican Republic, citing concern that the advanced screening gear might undermine efforts by a private company — run by a major campaign contributor and friend of his — to do the work.
The intervention with the Department of Homeland Security last month came even though Mr. Menendez has publicly chastised the Obama administration for not doing more to combat the surging drug traffic moving through Dominican ports.
And it came shortly after the senator’s friend, Dr. Salomon E. Melgen, arranged to meet with a senior State Department official, accompanied by a former aide to Mr. Menendez, in a related push to protect the port security contract, which is worth as much as $500 million over 20 years.
Just imagine the nice cut Bobby might have gotten of that $500 million. A nice chunk of change, for sure.
Meanwhile, Senate crony Dick Durbin insists he’s standing by his obviously corrupt pal.
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois said yesterday that Sen. Robert Menendez — mired in controversy over his relationship with a Florida eye surgeon — should not step down from his new post as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.
“Sen. Menendez has given us an assurance that there is no substance to these charges,” Durbin, the number-two ranking Democrat in the Senate, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” yesterday. “It’s being looked at by the Ethics Committee. Of course, I can’t comment beyond that.”
And his word is as good as gold, huh? By the way, when Bobby called for cash, the money flowed.
Last fall, despite predictions of a sweeping victory on Election Day, Sen. Robert Menendez continued to campaign hard, taking nothing for granted.
But county Democratic leaders made no secret of the need for cash, and lots of it, to fund a meaningful get-out-the-vote effort if Menendez wanted to boost turnout in some of the state’s critical voting districts.
The money soon appeared. In the weeks leading up to the election, four big checks totaling $103,500 were sent to Democratic county committees in Passaic, Union, Essex and Camden, all through a donor in Florida whom nobody had ever heard of before — a West Palm Beach eye doctor named Salomon Melgen.
Charlotte DeFilippo, the Union County Democratic chairwoman, said Melgen’s money helped Democrats up and down the ticket, but that it was especially meant for Menendez. “I said to him, ‘We need additional funds,’ ” she said, recalling her conversation with the senator. “He said he’d see what he could do, and I received a check.”
Where are all the good government types who constantly bleat about so-called campaign finance reform? Oh, right, they’re the same people taking over $100,000 on a moment’s notice from someone they don’t know. Strange, but I haven’t seen any reports these folks have given any of Melgen’s money back. Well, except for Menendez belatedly writing a check for $58,000 after he was caught. Any why is it those late 2012 donations aren’t showing up on federal reports? In fact, if you check that link the last time a donation was reported to Menendez was 2005. Hmmm.