By Charles Barr | The Save Jersey Blog
New Jersey has a habit of electing politicians who don’t hold the best interests of our state or the country in high regard, Save Jerseyans. Unsurprisingly, Bob Menendez is the latest politician to join a long line of predecessors, such as Woodrow Wilson, Jon Corzine, Cory Booker, Chris Christie, and Jim McGreevey, as a politician from New Jersey who clearly puts personal interests before Constitutional oaths.
And, for that matter, embarrasses us.
It’s time to resign.
CNN first reported on March 6 the bombshell news that the Justice Department had prepared federal criminal charges against Senator Bob Menendez, the ranking Democrat member of the Foreign Relations Committee. The allegation? That Menendez used his political influence to secure government contracts with the Dominican Republic for a Florida eye surgeon, Solomon Melgen, who happened to donate more than $33,000 to Menendez’s political campaigns since 2004. Just because, I suppose.
Somehow I doubt it. As a constituent, I am deeply concerned that Bob Menendez would use his high office to further the pecuniary interest of donors over his sworn task to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. Especially since it may not have been an isolated incident!
Senator, I respect your Constitutional rights (even if you don’t always respect mine with your votes), but even if we presume you are innocent as our system is designed to do, your actions nonetheless embody the prevailing stereotype of an elite Washington D.C. culture that’s severely out of touch with mainstream America. Even if you are ultimately adjudged innocent, it’s clear that you’ve spent an inordinate amount of time in recent years serving a relatively small group of wealthy patrons when you were supposed to be working for us.
I strongly urge you to take some time away from public service in order to remedy the disconnect.
This is not a partisan attack. With all due respect, Senator, this doesn’t have anything to do with electoral politics either, which is more than we can say for the White House. This is about trust and power. New Jersey trusted you to uphold your oath of office by defending the Constitution; you, in turn, abused your awarded power and betrayed that trust by focusing on all of the wrong things. Whether you are innocent or not of whatever specific charges are coming is immaterial; you already failed the larger, all-important ethical test based on the undisputed facts surrounding your case. How, for example, can you tell reporters that you’ve “always conducted myself appropriately and in accordance with the law” when you felt an ethical need to reimburse Dr. Melgen?
And for what it’s worth (I’d argue quite a lot), I can’t see how you could ever right the ship, and get yourself back on course after having gone so far astray, while actively defending yourself against federal criminal charges.
At the moment? You don’t represent me and, quite frankly, you don’t represent the people of New Jersey.
It’s time to go, Mr. Senator.