(New Jersey-SEN Primary) Are you ready for… Bob Torricelli?

Because they’re talking about it! “Former Sen. Bob Torricelli downplayed rumors Sunday that he might mount a Democratic primary challenge to Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), who is fighting federal corruption charges.” And why are there such rumors? Because Senator Menendez is in a fascinatingly complex situation vis-a-vis this administration. On the one hand, Menendez is indeed fighting federal corruption charges. On the other hand, Sen. Menendez is apparently legitimately appalled at this administration’s Middle Eastern policy, particularly with regard to Iran. And on the gripping hand… that’s how bad the bench is for New Jersey Democrats, huh? The only worse choice would former governor Jon Corzine, and he’s probably thinking about running, too. I mean, Bob Torricelli’s thinking about it, right?

Before you grin too much: name a good New Jersey Republican challenger. For that matter, Bob Menendez isn’t even up for election again until 2018. Which is why this post isn’t on RedState: right now this is beyond speculation.  But still. I’d love to cover that primary.

Well, they indicted Bob Menendez.

He’s gonna go down swinging, at least:

“I am outraged that prosecutors at the Justice Department were tricked into starting this investigation three years ago with false allegations by those who have a political motive to silence me,” Menendez said. “I will not be silenced. I’m confident at the end of the day I will be vindicated and they will be exposed.”

Personally, I totally believe that he’s corrupt, but I’ll be blessed if Bob Menendez isn’t going to give me some prime copy before it’s all over.  Which is… nice of him, given how often I’ve criticized the Senator.  The funny bit? – The Democrats won’t likely try to force him out.  Why? Because Chris Christie wants to be President, and Chris Christie knows that replacing Menendez with another Democrat would likely scupper the deal right there with the national party.

:shrug: Right thing, for the wrong reasons. I’ll take it.

Moe Lane

Feds to indict Sen Bob Menendez (D, NJ) for corruption, yelling at Barack Obama.

To be fair, Bob Menendez probably did do both:

The Justice Department is preparing to bring criminal corruption charges against New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez, alleging he used his Senate office to push the business interests of a Democratic donor and friend in exchange for gifts.

People briefed on the case say Attorney General Eric Holder has signed off on prosecutors’ request to proceed with charges, CNN has learned exclusively. An announcement could come within weeks. Prosecutors are under pressure in part because of the statute of limitation on some of the allegations.

Continue reading Feds to indict Sen Bob Menendez (D, NJ) for corruption, yelling at Barack Obama.

Barack Obama kind of, deniably, sort of implies certain Democratic Senators may have divided loyalties.

When it comes to foreign policy. Wink-wink, nudge-nudge, say no more…

Gee. I wonder what Barack Obama could possibly be hinting at: “At a closed-door meeting on Thursday, President Barack Obama suggested that some Democratic senators base their foreign policy positions on the preferences of their campaign donors.”  The subject in question is Iranian sanctions; and after Barack Obama made his comments Sen. Robert Menendez, of all people, did not take it kindly:

Mr. Menendez, who was seated at a table in front of the podium, stood up and said he took “personal offense.”

Mr. Menendez told the president that he had worked for more than 20 years to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions and had always been focused on the long-term implications. Mr. Menendez also warned the president that sanctions could not be imposed quickly if Congress waited to act and the talks failed, according to two people who were present.

I hope that the President understands that those are dangerous waters to go fishing in.  That wasn’t a progressive donor’s dining room or a private seminar hosted by a Big Left activist group. Comments that would be chuckled at there as being saucy euphemisms get a good deal less amusing, and a good deal inflammatory, out in the real world. And even a hack like Menendez can feel legitimate umbrage at being told that he’s operating at the beck and call of shadowy donors*.

Moe Lane

*Ironically, Menendez probably is – but not on foreign policy. I mean, I consider the man a corrupt suckweasel, but I would hesitate to insinuate that he puts his donors’ wishes before America’s. Heck of a thing when I have more respect for a Democratic Senator’s tattered integrity than does the Democratic President of the United States…

Sen Bob Menendez (D, NJ) caught up in yet ANOTHER sex-related set of allegations.

Oh, dear.

Sen. Robert Menendez wooed a married newspaper publisher, taking the attractive brunette on a romantic getaway to the Caribbean, a tipster alleges.

The New Jersey Dem and Cecilia Reynolds jetted to Puerto Rico, where they stayed at the isolated beach retreat of the island’s then-governor, Anibal Acevedo Vila.

In a photo provided by the anonymous informant, Reynolds is sitting naked on a beach and suggestively smiling at the camera. In another set of pictures, they take turns posing against the same sunset backdrop.

Wrinkles to the story? Well, let’s see: the governor was undergoing corruption allegations, and the Senator was trying to squash the appointment of a US Attorney who was going after said governor.  And the publisher, of course, has a cozy professional patronage relationship with Menendez, and… come, I will conceal nothing from you.  I almost feel sorry for Menendez at this point.  He must sit in his office and think, God.  None of the other Senators get hassled when they go to tropical islands and schtupp* everything that moves.  Why the hell don’t I get to do this in piece and quiet? …You do have to admit; it beggars belief that Bob Menendez is the only serial adulterer in the Senate right now. Continue reading Sen Bob Menendez (D, NJ) caught up in yet ANOTHER sex-related set of allegations.

In 2002, Bob Mendendez used influence on behalf of company that he owned stock in.

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.

Continue reading In 2002, Bob Mendendez used influence on behalf of company that he owned stock in.

Washington Post used the wrong hooker to ‘debunk’ the Bob Menendez hooker story?

Come, I will hide nothing from you: when it comes to the Adventures of Bob Menendez, it is my suspicion that the hookers will turn out to be the least important, yet most enticing, part of the story.  I am reasonably confident that Menendez availed himself of foreign prostitutes; I am neutral on whether one of them was legal by the standards of the Dominican Republic, and it would not break my heart to hear that Bob Menendez actually has enough couth and self-control to at least make sure that the girls he hires are adults.  And if the whole hooker thing turns out to be false, a brutally pragmatic view of the situation would suggest that at this point it doesn’t matter: Menendez’s ties to Florida political contributor Salomon Melgen are now out, and not shaping up well under scrutiny.

None of this should be taken as an indication that the Washington Post didn’t screw up royally, here. Continue reading Washington Post used the wrong hooker to ‘debunk’ the Bob Menendez hooker story?

QotD, Bob Menendez Gets Lectured By Hamid Karzai On… Corruption edition.

No, really: it happened.  The Afghan satrap President lectured Menendez on American corruption while the latter was in Afghanistan.  And, as the New York Post notes:

[G]etting lectured by Karzai on corruption is like being lectured on urban planning by Godzilla.

Although, to be fair: the Gorilla-Whale probably has the basics on emergency response down by now.  You can only destroy Tokyo so many times before you start noticing things…

New York Times calls for Bob Menendez to be removed as Foreign Relations chairman.

The New York Times (H/T: Hot Air Headlines) is in full waltzing-bear mode about the need to have Robert Menendez stop being Senate Foreign Relations chairman:

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.

Which is to say that for what it is, it’s actually not too bad. A couple of points, though: Continue reading New York Times calls for Bob Menendez to be removed as Foreign Relations chairman.

Salomon Melgen (Bob Menendez crony) has an apparently questionable past.

This is, um, going to be an interesting week.

The resume of Dr. Salomon Melgen, a Florida-based ophthalmologist and controversial Democratic donor, boasts medical education and experience at Harvard University, Yale University, and the University of Missouri.

But none of those schools says it can find any record of Melgen, who claims to be a Harvard alumnus, the former chief resident of the University of Missouri’s ophthalmology department, and a former Yale intern.

Not be cute, here… well, yes, I am trying to be cute here, but it’s still a valid question: did Senator Bob Menendez REALLY accept plane rides from a foreign-born campaign donor without discreetly doing a basic background check first?  I mean: Menendez is on the freaking Foreign Affairs committee. He’s taking free rides from a guy.  Simple caution might have suggested that the Senator at least make sure that he wasn’t being set up for some kind of scam.

And while I’m still trying to be cute while still asking legitimate questions, here’s another one: doesn’t any of this worry Democrats?  At least a little, and in relation to the very, very powerful Senate committee that Menendez is scheduled to take over? – Particularly since Menendez is also credibly being linked to a multimillion dollar contract dispute that Melgen is having with the Dominican Republic.  Surely at least that should be setting off warning bells in Democratic heads…