Well, well, well: hi, Bob.
Sen. Robert Menendez contacted the U.S. Justice Department in an effort to delay a proposed merger opposed by one of his biggest campaign contributors, according to a letter obtained under the federal Freedom of Information Act.
Menendez and two House colleagues urged then-Attorney General John Ashcroft in September 2002 to postpone any decision “until a complete review of the merger can be done,” according to the letter. It followed an identical letter sent to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Powell, which Bloomberg reported on here.
Menendez, then a U.S. representative, was aligned with Spanish Broadcasting System Inc. in objecting to a merger between Univision Communications Inc. and Hispanic Broadcasting Corp. At the time, Menendez owned from $1,000 to $15,000 in SBS stock.
The letter’s not available, yet: I’d love to know whether Menendez mentioned in the letter* Oh, by the way, I’m a stockholder in the company that would benefit from this proposed merger being scuttled. Or Oh, right, the guys that I’m writing this letter for have given me tons of campaign cash. Or even All of you know that I offer reaso… Hmm, no, let’s leave that particular snark unwritten.
(H/T: The Daily Caller)
PS: Oh, it’s all probably legal enough. I mean, remember: these are the people who write the laws in the first place. But it’s all so… distasteful, no? Particularly how picayune the system is, when it works. Put in a couple hundred thousand, get back a couple million (or more): say what you like about Congress, but its corrupt members give one hell of a ROI for your money.
*I know that Menendez claims that the stock ownership was public record. But was it mentioned in the letter?