Durbin: Menendez should stay
By Darryl R. Isherwood | February 10th, 2013 - 8:37pm
| More

The second highest ranking Democrat in the Senate said today that U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez should keep the chairmanship of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, despite the controversy that continues to roil the political waters around him.

“Sen. Menendez has given us an assurance that there is no substance to these charges,”  Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin said on NBC's Meet the Press this morning.  Durbin refused to comment further because of the ethics investigation underway.

Menendez is under fire over his relationship with a major donor to his campaign.  According to news reports, the Senator from Hudson County has intervened with at least three federal departments on behalf of Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen, a longtime friend of Menendez who has donated heavily to the Senator over the years.

The New York Times reported earlier this month that Menendez had pushed the State Department to intervene on a port security contract that a Melgen-owned company has with the government of the Dominican Republic.  A Washington Post report earlier this week said Menendez had sought clarification of results of a Medicare audit of Melgen's practice - an audit that showed the doctor had overbilled the government by nearly $9 million.

Menendez also faces an ethics investigation over flights he took on Melgen's private plane.  Menendez reimbursed Melgen for the 2010 flights, but not until ealrier this year.

Menendez has denied any wrongdoing.

An editorial in the New York Times printed Saturday called for Menendez to step aside from the chairmanship, at least temporarily, while the ethics investigation runs its course.

Durbin is the second high ranking Democrat to throw his support to Menendez. Earlier this month, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid voiced his backing of Menendez.

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: August 1st

Christie makes his pitch on bail reform TRENTON -In a win-win moment for Gov. Chris Christie as he seeks tough guy points ahead of the 2016 GOP presidential primary, both houses of the legislature packed into the assembly chamber and listened as Christie pleaded for a constitutional amendment on...

Op-Ed

The health of New Jersey's women is not Chris Christie's priority

By Linda Stender At his most recent town hall, Gov. Chris Christie accused his predecessors of "monkeying with the math" when it comes to their handling of our state's economy. But as the old saying goes, when the governor points a finger, he... Read More >

Contributors

(7-30-14) Who Is Best Equipped to Decide the Fate of the Common Core? - The latest Christie controversy surrounds his Executive Order to revamp the state’s academic... more »
 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »
The Perry-Paul Debate is Healthy for the GOP – and for America  The foreign policy debate in the media between prospective GOP Presidential candidates Texas Governor Rick Perry and... more »
(Washington DC)-- Two recent votes on Capitol Hill suggest an overdue and radical departure from our nation's Draconian and costly War on Drugs.  It's a long-overdue discussion (and not just... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

"Potentially, we can get this done, because it's important. We get it. We understand it. But there are issues. There's the speedy trial component. How are we going to pay for this? How is the risk-assessment piece of it going to be done?" - Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32), on bail reform.

- The Asbury Park Press

Poll

Who is a better GOP candidate for governor?:

Blogroll

Visit the PolitickerNJ.com/resources page for links to the best collection of information on New Jersey state government.

 

  • Polls
  • The best blogs
  • Columnists
  • State election results
  • Assembly election results
  • Local party websites
  • And more.

PolitickerNJ.com/resources