Senator Menendez Spent $58,500 on 2 Flights To Dominican Republic To Service Under - Age ProstitutesSubmitted by emalvini on Wed, 02/06/2013 - 13:40
Senator Menendez Spent $58,500 on 2 Flights To Dominican Republic To Service Under - Age Prostitutes
By Shane Goldmacher
Updated: February 5, 2013 | 9:33 p.m.
February 5, 2013 | 7:03 p.m.
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.
In telling his own story, Menendez likes to talk about his scrappy roots. The first paragraph of the biography on his official Senate website notes that he is the son of immigrants who grew up in a tenement in Union City, N.J. Menendez, 59, rose from the local school board to mayor to state legislator to House member to U.S. senator. He recently became the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.