REPORT: Menendez Spent Up to 87% of His Assets Reimbursing Donor for Dominican Republic Trips?
Most conservative blogs continue to focus on the sex-related dimensions of the allegations circling Bob Menendez. But the real smoke seems to emanate from the trips themselves, Save Jerseyans. Is there fire?
Maybe. Question… have you ever spent most of your assets on Caribbean vacations?
When Robert Menendez arrived in the U.S. Senate in 2006, he was a relative pauper in a chamber often called a millionaires’ club. The New Jersey Democrat ranked 97th out of 100 senators in terms of his personal wealth, according to financial records filed that year and compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.
So Menendez’s decision last month to use his personal funds to reimburse a prominent political contributor $58,500 for two flights to the Dominican Republic came at a major cost. The repayment amounts to between 32 percent and 87 percent of the assets Menendez reported holding in bank accounts and stock, according to his latest financial-disclosure form, which was filed last year.
Menendez repaid Florida eye doctor and political donor Salomon Melgen only after his free flights aboard Melgen’s plane became public and the subject of a Senate ethics complaint. A local New Jersey Republican group filed a complaint last November, alleging the senator had broken Senate rules by “repeatedly flying on a private jet to the Dominican Republic, and other locations.” Menendez reimbursed Melgen the $58,500 two months later, on Jan. 4, according to his office.
You can click here to view OpenSecret.org’s Menendez dossier.
In the Senator’s defense, the $58,500 didn’t come out of the taxpayers’ pockets… unlike the $20 million that President Obama’s spent on Hawaiian adventures. Still, it makes you wonder, doesn’t it? Or at least it should.