U.S. Senator Robert Menendez

Office Locations

528 Senate Hart Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

208 White Horse Pike, Suite 18
Barrington, New Jersey 08007
856.546.1526 (fax)

One Gateway Center, Suite 1100
Newark, New Jersey 07102
973.645.0502 (fax)

Background Data:

North Hudson Community Action Corp.
5301 Broadway, West New York, New Jersey
2004 Tax Return - Property Ownership Record

Television Commercial About The National Debt That Is Being Banned By Major Networks

A new television ad about the U.S. national debt produced by Citizens Against Government Waste has been deemed “too controversial” by major networks including ABC, A&E and The History Channel and will not be shown on those channels. The commercial is a homage to a 1986 ad that was entitled “The Deficit Trials” that was also banned by the major networks.  Apparently telling the truth about the national debt is a little too “hot” for the major networks to handle.  But perhaps it is time to tell the American people the truth.  In 1986, the U.S. national debt was around 2 trillion dollars.  Today, it is rapidly approaching 14 trillion dollars. The American Dream is being ripped apart right in front of our eyes, but apparently some of the major networks don’t want the American people to really understand what is going on.

Nancy Pelosi Heckled At Town Hall Over Debt Bill, "Sell-Out"

Nancy Pelosi Heckled At Town Hall Over Debt Bill: "Sell-Out" House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was heckled several times at a town hall meeting in response to her vote for the "Satan sandwich" debt ceiling bill in Oakland, California. Pelo...

United States of America Long-Term Rating Lowered To 'AA+' On Political Risks And Rising Debt Burden, Outlook Negative

Standard & Poor’s announced Friday night that it has downgraded the United States credit rating for the first time, dealing a huge symbolic blow to the world’s economic superpower in what was a sharply worded critique of the American political system.

Lowering the nation’s rating one-notch below AAA, the credit rating company said “political brinkmanship” in the debate over the debt had made the U.S. government’s ability to manage its finances “less stable, less effective and less predictable.” It said the bi-partisan agreement reached this week to find $2.1 trillion in budget savings “fell short” of what was necessary to tame the nation’s debt over time and predicted that leaders would have no luck achieving more savings later on.

The decision came after a day of furious back-and-forth between the Obama administration and S&P. Government officials fought back hard, arguing that S&P made a flawed analysis of the potential for political agreement and had mathematical errors in its initial analysis, which was submitted to the Treasury earlier in the day. The analysis overstated the U.S. deficit over 10 years by $2 trillion.

Commuters getting a gift from Macy’s basement

U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg: He was right about the need for a tunnel; but wrong on where it should go.

If these two had backpedaled any further, they might have ended up in Macy’s basement.

I’m talking about our two U.S. senators, Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez. Yesterday they had the unenviable job of telling us that everything we were told about the canceled Access to the Region’s Core tunnel project wasn’t true after all.

What we’d been told was that because of economic and environmental constraints, it was impossible to dig shallow rail tunnels from New Jersey to Penn Station in Manhattan. Therefore, New Jersey would have to tunnel deep under Manhattan to a new train station to be built near the cellar of that famous department store.

After the Sierra Club’s Jeff Tittel labeled this "the tunnel to Macy’s basement," people had a graphic image of just how far the plan had gone off the tracks. Gov. Chris Christie last year employed Tittel’s witticism in explaining his decision to cancel the $8.7 billion project for fear of multibillion-dollar cost overruns.

Gov. Christie, Democratic U.S. senators scramble to take credit for Gateway tunnel project

After months of feuding since Gov. Chris Christie killed the rail tunnel under the Hudson River, the announcement of a new project today left the Republican governor and the state’s two Democratic U.S. senators scrambling for credit.

U.S. Sens. Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez, who announced the new tunnel, cast themselves as the savior of the commuter, reviving a project they said Christie abandoned. With a new deal that would include more federal funding, Christie took credit for saving New Jersey taxpayers what he said might have been billions in cost overruns on the Access to the Regions Core tunnel he nixed.

Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez on Friday compared talks with the GOP on extending tax cuts to negotiating with terrorists.

During a press conference on Capitol Hill, Menendez (N.J.) took aim at Republicans for opposing his party's plan to extend the Bush-era tax cuts only for the middle class, accusing them of holding the cuts "hostage." Asked about the possibility of compromising with the GOP, the senator sounded bearish, to say the least.

FDA admits mistake in approving knee device

WASHINGTON (AP) — Almost two years ago, the Food and Drug Administration ignored the advice of its scientists and approved a knee implant after being lobbied by members of Congress. On Thursday, the agency issued an unprecedented "mea culpa," saying the device should not have been approved.

The agency said it is taking steps to revoke approval of the Menaflex implant, made by ReGen Biologics. The announcement comes a year after the agency first acknowledged that its decision to approve the device was influenced by outside pressure, including lobbying by four lawmakers from the company's home state of New Jersey.

The 2008 decision to approve the implant was made despite protests by FDA scientists that Menaflex — which reinforces damaged knee tissue — provides little, if any, benefit to patients.

64-year-old Hoboken woman's head ripped open by shotgun blast; found in her apartment in complex where New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez resides

HOBOKEN - The Hudson County Prosecutor's Office and Hoboken police are investigating the "suspicious death" of a 64-year-old city woman.

The woman's body was discovered early yesterday morning in her apartment at 1034 Clinton St., authorities said. U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez also lives at this complex.

How Are the Benefits? For Members of Congress, Not Too Shabby

In a down economy, a good benefits package can be hard to find.

But on Capitol Hill, a 401(k) and health plan are just the beginning. The hundreds of candidates vying for a coveted congressional seat this November will earn more than a chance at shaping the nation's legislative priorities if elected -- they'll tap into a mountain of perks that most Fortune 500 companies couldn't begin to rival.

A little-known benefit drew some attention Wednesday after it was reported that the family of the late West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd will be paid his $193,000 salary next year. That's just the tip of the benefits iceberg that comes with being a venerable member of Congress.

For those entering any of the 535 seats in Congress next year, here's a glance at the world of juicy perks coming their way:

Health Insurers Seeking Rate Hikes Of More Than 20 Percent In Connecticut

Health insurers are asking for immediate rate hikes of more than 20 percent in Connecticut for some plans, citing rising medical costs and federal health reform laws as reasons.

Both issues — the new federal health care reform and rising medical costs — are significant drivers of the increases, according to filings by insurers with state regulators that were reviewed by The Courant.

It remains to be seen how much of the requests will be approved. Many people might not see an increase before Jan. 1, and these proposed changes would largely affect new business, mostly in the individual market.

But the overall price shift is the clearest indicator yet of what customers and employers can expect when health insurers submit proposed 2011 rates in late October and November. The current round of price requests launches a clash between insurers who say the increases are justified and consumer advocates and government officials who say the numbers are wildly inflated.

Aetna asked earlier this summer for an average 24.7 percent increase over last year for small-group HMO plans. State regulators approved an average increase of 18 percent for all of Aetna's small-group plans and 14.2 percent for large-group and middle-market plans, according to Aetna and an initial review of documents provided to The Courant by the state Insurance Department.

Imam in mosque debate has history of tenant troubles

The Muslim cleric at the center of the proposed mosque and community center near Ground Zero is also a New Jersey landlord who got more than $2 million in public financing to renovate low-income apartments and has been beset for years by tenant complaints and financial problems.

Imam Feisal A. Rauf won support for his Hudson County projects from powerful politicians, among them Robert C. Janiszewski, the disgraced former county executive. He also was awarded grants from Union City when U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez was mayor.

The proposed $100 million development two blocks north of Ground Zero has sparked a firestorm of emotions.  Menendez recently added his name to the list of prominent supporters, which includes New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Rauf forged ties with Fred Daibes, the prominent waterfront developer and bank chairman. Additionally, Rauf is a onetime business ally of a Daibes associate who sued the imam for alleged mortgage fraud. The 2008 suit was quietly settled in June.

The revelations about Rauf, who lives in North Bergen, add another dimension to the public profile of a man both lauded as a builder of bridges between diverse religions and cultures and vilified as being insensitive to the survivors of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack by proposing a mosque near the World Trade Center site.

Best known as the religious face of the controversial proposal, called Park51, Rauf, the revelations show, has had some success navigating the realm of secular power — in this case the rough-and-tumble world of Hudson County government.

Bad Medicine: A Guide to the Real Costs and Consequences of the New Health Care Law

For better or worse, President Obama's health care reform bill is now law. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act represents the most significant transformation of the American health care system since Medicare and Medicaid. It will fundamentally change nearly every aspect of health care, from insurance to the final delivery of care.

The length and complexity of the legislation, combined with a debate that often generated more heat than light, has led to massive confusion about the law's likely impact. But, it is now possible to analyze what is and is not in it, what it likely will and will not do. In particular, we now know that:

President Obama backs Islamic community center, mosque near Ground Zero

WASHINGTON — After skirting the controversy for weeks, President Barack Obama is weighing in forcefully on the mosque near ground zero, saying a nation built on religious freedom must allow it.

"As a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country," Obama told an intently listening crowd gathered at the White House Friday evening to observe the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

"That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances," he said. "This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable."

Senator Robert Menendez and Senator Frank Lautenberg, Where do you stand on a COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY investigation into the funding of a proposed mosque near Ground Zero in New York City?

It is time for New Jersey US Senators Robert Menendez and Frank Lautenberg to take a position on the proposed building of a mosque near Ground Zero in New York City.

The ranking Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee said he favors an investigation into the funding of a proposed mosque near Ground Zero in New York City.

Lawmaker raises questions about Ground Zero mosque

The ranking Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee said he favors an investigation into the funding of a proposed mosque near Ground Zero in New York City. A hearing on the mosque was set for Tuesday.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Rep. Peter King raised concerns about the sources of funding for the proposed $100 million mosque, just blocks away from the site of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, where nearly 3,000 Americans died at the hands of Islamic terrorists.

‘Senator Menendez, I will never vote for you again’

Dear Senator Menendez:

I voted for you many times in the past because I believed in your principles. I thought you followed the laws of this nation. However, you seemed to have made some really bad decisions and bad turns in your career on your way up the political ladder.

Your recent comments in the Reporter are sickening to all of us U.S. citizens. You are a lawbreaker by siding with the illegal immigrants. They are breaking the law by crossing our borders ILLEGALLY!!! Do you understand??? You are breaking the law by representing these people!!!! You are not a representative of the U.S. citizens of this country, nor of the U.S. Constitution. Do you understand English???? I will never vote for you again.

The Twin Political Quagmires of Bob Menendez

This has not been a good political year for U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey).  A June 17, 2010 Quinnipiac Poll reported that New Jersey voters disapproved of Menendez by a 43-38 percentage, his highest disapproval rating ever.

For Bob Menendez, however, the worst news may be yet to come.  He faces two political quagmires, to wit; 1) the California U.S. Senate race, in which Menendez is involved in his capacity as chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC); and 2) the failure of President Barack Obama and the Democratic- controlled Congress to date to extend the tax cuts enacted under the leadership of President George W. Bush in 2001 and 2003.  These tax cuts expire on December 31, 2010.

Lawmakers got fed funds for fancy Hoboken frontage, $8 million in Hill earmarks, and two asked to retire because of mishap

With a rooftop pool and 24-hour concierge service, the new luxury condominiums off Frank Sinatra Drive here seem an unlikely spot in need of a multimillion-dollar federal giveaway.

Yet U.S. taxpayers doled out at least $8 million on a public walkway and park space in front of the Maxwell Place development here overlooking the New York City skyline - an amenity the development touts alongside its entertainment lounge, rooftop hot tub and theater screening room.

But the decision to use tax dollars to fund the walkway project was made after private developers had already agreed in 2003 to pay for it - indeed, it was a key condition for getting the project off the ground, according to public records and interviews.

Senator Pleaded for Bank Bailout that Cost Taxpayers

During the depths of the financial crisis in 2008, a member of the Senate Banking Committee urged the Treasury Department to provide bailout money to a struggling financial firm whose eventual collapse cost taxpayers $2.3 billion, newly released records show.

Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., wrote to then-Treasury secretary Henry Paulson in support of CIT Group, a New Jersey-based lender to businesses such as retail stores. Menendez touted CIT's importance to New Jersey and the nation and said the firm "provided strong evidence" its finances were sound, according to a copy of the letter released last month under the Freedom of Information Act.

U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez appeals to N.J. Supreme Court to stop recall effort

Calling it an "attack on the Constitution," a spokesman for U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez today said the Democrat has appealed to the state Supreme Court to stop a recall effort.

"Mainstream New Jerseyans believe deeply in the U.S. Constitution that for more than 200 years has made ours the greatest form of government in world history," said Afshin Mohamadi, a spokesman for Menendez (D-N.J.). "This attack on the Constitution undermines our uniquely American system of democracy and will be contested."

Menendez poll draws scrutiny

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) has begun an unofficial “diversity survey” of Fortune 500 companies and has told the companies that if they do not participate in the survey, he will make their names public.

The survey has already drawn fire from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as “a fishing expedition” and from legal experts, who say companies may violate federal employment laws by even asking such questions of their employees or suppliers.

Menendez, the only Hispanic in the Senate, wants to find out how many minorities, women and disabled people serve as top executives or members of the firms’ corporate boards, as well as the “demographic makeup of your suppliers.”

If a company responds to Menendez’s request, its information will be kept anonymous, although it will be aggregated in a report Menendez plans to issue later this year.

Investigators Look Into Millions In Earmarks and Grants That NJ Lawmakers Secured for Stevens Institute of Technology

Department of Homeland Security investigators have contacted New Jersey officials with questions about the fate of federal grant money awarded to Stevens Institute of Technology to help improve the nation's port security, ABC News has learned.

Two state officials described the federal inquiries about the possible misuse of nearly $3 million in Homeland Security grant money distributed to the Hoboken-based technical college, which has spent months under fire over allegations that it mismanaged its books. The state officials discussed the conversations on the condition they not be identified.

The non-profit university had in recent years become a darling of New Jersey's congressional delegation, which has directed millions of dollars in congressional earmarks and federal grants to the school. In 2008 alone, Stevens received $12.8 million in defense related earmarks requested by Sens. Robert Menendez (D), Frank Lautenberg (D) and other New Jersey lawmakers. Stevens also received $4.8 million in stimulus funds through grants from the National Science Foundation and the U.S. departments of transportation, health and human services, and education.

Pork for Scandal-plagued NJ University: So much for congressional vetting of earmark requests

Department of Homeland Security investigators have contacted New Jersey officials with questions about the fate of federal grant money awarded to Stevens Institute of Technology to help improve the nation’s port security, ABC News has learned.

Two state officials described the federal inquiries about the possible misuse of nearly $3 million in Homeland Security grant money distributed to the Hoboken-based technical college, which has spent months under fire over allegations that it mismanaged its books. The state officials discussed the conversations on the condition they not be identified.

Lesniak, other insiders got loans at failed bank

State Sen. Raymond G. Lesniak and five other directors of an Elizabeth bank that collapsed last year borrowed more than $2 million in mortgages and commercial loans from the thrift, records show.

Some of those loans came after First BankAmericano was put under a July 2007 federal order to stop what authorities described as unsound banking and loan practices.

In a report filed before it collapsed in July 2009, the bank listed $11.4 million in "insider loans," a term used by regulators to track financing for bank employees, officers and key shareholders.

Eight former board members, including Lesniak and several others who got mortgage money from the bank, have also been political contributors to U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, giving more than $50,000 since 1993, according to campaign-finance data.

Senator Menendez Prodded Fed to Aid Ailing Lender

Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey urged the Federal Reserve last July to approve an acquisition to save a struggling bank in his state. He didn't mention that the bank's chairman and vice chairman were big contributors to his political campaign.

If the acquisition had been approved, it would have prevented the two executives from losing what was left of their investments in the bank.

In his letter to the Fed July 21, Mr. Menendez said there was a strong likelihood that First BankAmericano, of Elizabeth, N.J., would fail in three days, which would "send yet another negative message to consumers and investors and further impact our fragile economy." The one-page letter, obtained by The Wall Street Journal under the Freedom of Information Act, urged Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke to approve a sale of the bank to JJR Bank Holding Co. of Brick, N.J.

Bank Autopsy: New Jersey's First BankAmericano

One hundred and forty American banks failed in 2009. But only two of them were in the New York metro area. WNYC’s Ilya Marritz reports that in the case of First BankAmericano, an institution based in Elizabeth, NJ that was founded to serve the Latino community, sloppiness and a risky business strategy killed the company.

Anthony Perez is just the kind of guy First BankAmericano wanted as a customer. He’s Puerto Rican. He cuts hair around the corner from the bank’s headquarters in Elizabeth. But he keeps his money at a bigger bank with more branches.

When First BankAmericano shut down last summer, he chalked it up to the law of the jungle.

“Hey it’s survival of the fittest, man. If you don’t play your cards right then go out of business,” Perez says. “Just don’t ask for a bailout.”

Recall movement targets Senator Menendez (D-NJ)

Local news agencies reported today that there is a movement in New Jersey to recall Senator Menendez.

The "Committee to Recall U.S. Senator Robert Menendez" is sponsored by the Sussex County Tea Party.

On November 25, 2009, the Committee filed a civil complaint in the Essex County Superior Court of New Jersey against Nina Michell Wells, New Jersey Secretary of State, and Robert F. Giles, Director of the Division of elections. To date, the Secretary of State has ignored the Notice and the Complaint in violation of state law and the Committee is awaiting a decision from the court.

F.D.A. Reveals It Fell to a Push by Lawmakers

WASHINGTON:  The Food and Drug Administration said Thursday that four New Jersey congressmen and its own former commissioner unduly influenced the process that led to its decision last year to approve a patch for injured knees, an approval it is now revisiting.

The agency’s scientific reviewers repeatedly and unanimously over many years decided that the device, known as Menaflex and manufactured by ReGen Biologics Inc., was unsafe because the device often failed, forcing patients to get another operation.

But after receiving what an F.D.A. report described as “extreme,” “unusual” and persistent pressure from four Democrats from New Jersey — Senators Robert Menendez and Frank R. Lautenberg and Representatives Frank Pallone Jr. and Steven R. Rothman — agency managers overruled the scientists and approved the device for sale in December.

MENENDEZ: Now that he's in, Menendez says he's out

U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez stands today on the political mountaintop, fresh from his victory in the fall election and finally in the office he's sought since he was a teenager living a Union City tenement.

But his emotions are not what you might expect.

He is bitter about the last election. He is vowing to divorce himself from the daily tussle of Hudson County politics.

And he's telling his daughter, a Harvard University graduate who is considering a career in politics, to find another profession.

"I'm disillusioned with politics," Menendez says. "This election magnified my distaste for the process."

Menendez: Ex-Menendez fund-raiser called to testify in probe

Federal authorities have subpoenaed U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez's former campaign fund-raiser to testify before a federal grand jury, raising the prospect that their investigation into one of his personal real estate deals may be expanding into other areas.

Dannielle Leigh, 32, of Hoboken, was subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury in Newark late last month but has not yet made an appearance, according to her attorney, Remi Spencer.

Menendez case before grand jury

A federal grand jury has begun hearing testimony in an investigation of U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez's relationship with a publicly funded community group.

Two witnesses linked to Menendez's onetime home and law office were questioned behind closed doors in Newark on Thursday, a month to the day after the Democrat's election to the Senate. Three knowledgeable sources described the panel as a special grand jury, a type usually assembled for a single extensive investigation.

The grand jurors heard from Edgewater restaurateur Lourdes Lopez, who bought the building from Menendez in 2003 and took over as landlord to the North Hudson Community Action Corp. Menendez had rented the building to the agency for nine years, during which he helped it get some of its federal money in his capacity as the area's congressman.

Menendez investigation expands. FBI serves subpoenas for data about rent paid to lawmaker

Menendez investigation expands
FBI serves subpoenas for data about rent paid to lawmaker

November 12, 2006 The Record

TRENTON: Authorities have stepped up an investigation of U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez's relationship with a federally funded nonprofit organization just days after his hard-fought election victory, according to a senior government official.

The official said FBI agents served subpoenas Thursday and Friday seeking information related to the North Hudson Community Action Corp., which paid more than $300,000 over nine years to rent a Union City building from then-Rep. Menendez.

The subpoenas are being served on close associates of Menendez, as well as people affiliated with North Hudson and other groups linked to the senator, the official said.

On Tuesday, Menendez, a Democrat, defeated Republican state Sen. Tom Kean Jr. to win a full term in the Senate seat to which Gov. Jon S. Corzine appointed him in January. Most of Kean's campaign was a concerted attack on Menendez's ethics, including the lease investigation, which had gone quiet since early September in apparent deference to the political process.

Menendez: More subpoenas in Menendez probe. Feds seek documents on rental, but senator's office denies contact

Federal investigators have resumed their inquiry into a rental deal between U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and a nonprofit agency, issuing new subpoenas in the days after he was elected to a full six-year term, according to a government source.

The subpoenas sought documents related to the more than $300,000 in rent Menendez collected from the North Hudson Community Action Corp. between 1994 and 2003, the source said. It was unclear what records were sought or who was subpoenaed.

"More are coming," said the source, who declined to be named because of the sensitive nature of the investigation.

Menendez hires top lawyer in rent case Spokesman still says senator 'is not under investigation'

U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D- N.J.) has repeatedly denied he is being investigated by federal prosecutors, but yesterday his campaign staff confirmed that a prominent criminal defense lawyer is representing him in an inquiry into a rental property he once owned.

Marc Elias is a Washington, D.C., attorney who specializes in criminal defense and election law and has been representing Menen dez's campaign in recent years. After federal investigators subpoeaned records in September re garding a rental deal Menendez had with a nonprofit agency he helped get federal funds, Elias noti fied the U.S. Attorney's Office he was representing the senator in the matter.

Menendez: Lawyer's query to U.S. attorney prompts a new salvo from Kean

Republican state Sen. Tom Kean Jr. yesterday questioned why Democratic U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez would enlist the services of one the state's top defense lawyers if he isn't under a federal criminal investigation.

Menendez has said the lawyer, Joseph Hayden, contacted the U.S. attorney around the time a subpoena was issued for records from a federally funded nonprofit agency that paid more than $300,000 to rent a row house that Menendez owned in Union City.

Menendez lead over Kean Jr. growing

Democratic U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez appears to have opened a significant lead over Republican challenger Tom Kean Jr. as voters focus more on the war in Iraq and the GOP's congressional scandals.

The latest Monmouth University/Gannett New Jersey poll shows Menendez's lead at nine percentage points. Nearly half of the likely voters, 48 percent, said they would vote for Menendez, while 39 percent said they would vote for Kean.

menendez: Embattled Bryant at rally for Menendez. Observer calls it "a huge miscalculation"

CAMDEN — U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez campaigned in Camden on Thursday, sharing the stage with an entourage that included U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, an Illinois Democrat who is a rising star within the national party, and embattled state Sen. Wayne Bryant.

Appearing with Bryant was "a shocking mistake," said Jill Hazelbaker, spokeswoman for Republican candidate Thomas H. Kean Jr.

Menendez has been subpoenaed by a federal grand jury to provide details of a lease agreement he signed with a nonprofit group that he helped get federal aid.

Menendez: How lawyer partnered with politics

WASHINGTON - From the start, Donald Scarinci's career has been a seamless blend of law and politics.

Early on, he forged an alliance with U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D., N.J.), and, after getting his law degree in 1983, saw his legal career take off as government and then private-sector clients flocked to his North Jersey firm.

The law firm has earned millions in fees from government agencies - including $2.88 million in the last four years from New Jersey's Casino Reinvestment Development Authority.

But now that double career track is the cause of a huge setback for Scarinci and a political problem for Menendez.

Menendez: Embezzler later bought Menendez's building

In 1993, a federal judge sentenced Lourdes Lopez to prison for helping Union City's treasurer steal hundreds of thousands of dollars in public money.

Ten years later, Lopez came up with nearly half a million dollars to buy a Union City building from an unlikely seller: Bob Menendez, the man who was in the mayor's office while the city funds were embezzled.

Menendez's building: The story doesn't measure up

A house is the most costly thing that most people will ever buy, so most of us tend to pay close attention to all transactions surrounding homeownership. In 1984, for example, I bought my first house, a bungalow in Toms River. I still recall the purchase price, the initial mortgage payment and the fee I paid my lawyer.

So I find myself wondering how an intelligent person could go through a real-estate transaction of any sort and have no memory of it. Yet that seems to be the case with U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez. In a recent Star-Ledger article about that Union City rowhouse he once owned and that is now the subject of a federal investigation, a spokesman for the Menendez campaign claimed the senator has no recollection of whether he got a crucial variance in 1988 that would have permitted it to be rented out for commercial rather than residential use.

Menendez: BOB WIPES MUD OUT OF HIS EYES Rips Kean's 'campaign of smear'

U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez slammed the campaign of his Republican challenger, Tom Kean Jr., yesterday for enlisting disgraced former Hudson County Executive Robert Janiszewski in what he called a "campaign of smear."

"I think it speaks volumes of Tom Kean Jr.'s campaign," said Menendez, referring to published reports that a researcher for the Kean campaign struck up a pen-pal relationship with Janiszewski, who's serving time in Kentucky prison for extortion, in the hopes of dredging up dirt about Menendez.

Menendez can do little wrong at home in Hudson, poll shows

The race between Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez and Republican challenger Thomas Kean Jr. may be a dead heat across the state, but in Hudson County the hometown favorite is way ahead, according to a recent Jersey Journal/ New Jersey City University poll.

The poll shows Menendez - who grew up in Union City and now lives in Hoboken - with a near 3-to-1 lead in Hudson County over his opponent.

Business: Jersey-style

THEY WERE TWO Jersey guys, talking on the phone. Oscar and Donald. Psychiatrist and lawyer. An odd couple if ever there was one.

Oscar begins by asking Donald about a recent vacation trip.

"It was good. It was real nice," Donald says.

He goes on to note that he is "very happy" and "very, very content" -- and then, with a laugh, Donald adds one more thing:

"But I'm back to reality."

The odd reality of psychiatrist Oscar Sandoval and attorney Donald Scarinci, captured on tape in February 1999, may actually determine who New Jersey's next U.S. senator will be.

Corzine asks CRDA to oust its attorney

TRENTON:  Gov. Jon S. Corzine wants the man [Scarinci] at the center of the latest scandal involving U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez to step down from his role as attorney for the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority.

Donald Scarinci, a longtime fundraiser and ally to Menendez, was caught on tape telling a psychiatrist that Menendez would afford him protection if he rehired a doctor he had fired a year before. The psychiatrist, FBI informant Oscar Sandoval, claims the 1999 conversation intended to send a message ”delivered on behalf of Menendez that Sandoval would lose his government contracts if he did not rehire the doctor.

Menendez: Discord over secret tape growing in Senate race

Partisan opponents in the U.S. Senate race escalated their charges Friday as the race continued veering toward the negative some five weeks before Election Day.

Democratic supporters of U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez accused Republicans of engaging in an unabashed campaign of "mudslinging" to avoid discussing serious national issues.

Republican backers of GOP challenger Tom Kean Jr. asked the state Attorney General's Office to investigate the connection between Menendez and a powerful North Jersey attorney, two days after the release of secretly taped conversations that have rocked the campaign.

Menendez uproar stirs speculation As the senator's backers lash at critics, the GOP suggests he'll leave race

For the second time this month, ethical questions rocked the U.S. Senate race in New Jersey, as Democrats rolled out the Gatling guns to take aim at critics of Sen. Robert Menendez and Republicans fanned talk of the senator dropping out of the race.

The frenetic state of the campaign came after yesterday's disclosure that Menendez's longtime friend and fund-raiser Donald Scarinci was secretly taped asking a psychiatrist with government contracts in Hudson County to hire a doctor as a "favor" to Menendez.

Menendez linked on tape to gov't contracts scheme

WASHINGTON (AP) — A childhood friend and close political adviser of Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez used the senator's name to pressure a doctor to share his county government contract, and the doctor believed some of the money would be kicked back to Menendez, according to a transcript of the telephone call and court documents. Menendez campaign spokesman Matthew Miller called the allegations "completely false."

The transcript of the 1999 conversation, obtained Thursday by The Associated Press, depicts an expletive- and chuckle-laden chat between Donald Scarinci, Menendez's friend and adviser, and Oscar Sandoval, a psychiatrist who taped the exchange as part of his work as an FBI informant in a criminal investigation of several northern New Jersey politicians.

Menendez: Audio: Tape adds to Menendez ethics debate

The following conversation was tape recorded by Dr. Oscar Sandoval, a North Jersey psychiatrist and former FBI informant, with lawyer Donald Scarinci in early 1999.

In it, Scarinci tells Sandoval that then U.S. Rep. Robert Menendez, now a member of the U.S. Senate, wanted him to hire a psychiatrist named Vicente Ruiz. Sandoval said the conversation amounted to a veiled threat. The implication was that he might lose his county contracts if he did not go along.

He also tells Sandoval that Hudson County government will not increase payments to cover the new position.

In this excerpt, Scarinci tells Sandoval that Menendez would consider it a favor if he hired Ruiz.

Scarinci says he got involved in the matter at Menendez's request.

Scarinci tells Sandoval that hiring the doctor will afford "protection." Sandoval has said that Scarinci was implying that he could protect his contracts with Hudson County if he hired the doctor.

Listening notes: To listen to this clip, you'll need one of these media players installed on your computer:

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Source: Philadelphia Inquirer  9/27/06

Bribes, Payoffs, Politics: Tapes could be trouble for Menendez

The psychiatrist at the center of recent Hudson County corruption cases recorded U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez's close ally invoking the powerful Democrat's name while pressuring the doctor to divvy up county contracts, he and several others said Wednesday.

Dr. Oscar Sandoval, who bribed and then helped imprison a former county executive, said he made tapes that back up his earlier allegations that attorney and Menendez friend Donald Scarinci ordered him to share his county jail contracts with another physician, or else lose them.

Bribes, Payoffs, Politics: Menendez dumps key adviser caught on tape seeking 'favors'

U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez's closest political adviser was secretly recorded seven years ago boasting of political power and urging a Hudson county contractor to hire somone as a favor to Menendez, according to a transcript obtained by The Star-Ledger.

Menendez's campaign said last night he had severed his ties with the adviser, Donald Scarinci, after learning of the taped conversation. The two men were childhood friends and Scarinci, a prominent attorney with extensive contracts in state and local governments, has been a key fundraiser for the senator throughout his long political career.

Bribes, Payoffs, Politics: How lease deal profited Menendez

For the 20 years that Robert Menendez owned a house on 41st Street in Union City, the property served him well -- first as his home and office, then as a profitable investment.

That was before the three-story brick building caught the attention of federal investigators and became a political headache for the Democratic senator in this fall's election campaign.

Menendez ought to get behind school choice

Where we stand: Kids in failing schools deserve a decent education. Lawmakers such as Sen. Robert Menendez should help parents in poor communities by working to create school vouchers.

It ought to be a wake up call to U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-Hoboken, that a prominent Latino activist in South Jersey says he won't go to the polls to vote for Menendez and the head of a statewide Latino organization also says it's too early to throw his support behind the senator.

A main reason for this lack of support is that Menendez has said flatly he opposes school choice plans that would let parents whose kids are trapped in miserable, unsafe and failing schools send them to better schools where they might have a chance.

All his answers ring so hollow

All his answers ring so hollow
Thursday, September 14, 2006
Jersey Journal

Dear Editor:
Hey, isn't it comical that Sen. Robert Menendez took the time to write a big letter to The Jersey Journal outlining his ideas on how to secure the United States from terrorists. In his letter, he knocks "the government." But, excuse me, isn't he "the government" he is knocking?

We must ask Mr. Menendez, instead of writing long-winded letters, just what exactly is he doing about terrorists. Ah, but you will get no answer because Menendez's ideas on how to control terrorists are right up there with his ideas on how to control the hazardous commuter vans running through Hudson County. Nada, nil, in other words - nothing !!!


New Jersey Switcheroo

For pure entertainment value, not much can compete with the blood sport of New Jersey politics. Last week federal investigators launched a probe into whether U.S. Senator Robert Menendez illegally benefited to the tune of more than $300,000 from a rental-income deal he had with a nonprofit agency that received millions of dollars in federal contracts. Even liberal good government groups agree that the relationship may have violated congressional conflict-of-interest rules.

Menendez: Menendez faces complaint about actions as a shareholder

Two Republican state lawmakers filed a formal ethics complaint yesterday, accusing U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez of using his previous seat in Congress to protect the value of a stock he owned.

Menendez: Cloud over a candidate

I would hate to see the Republican Party keep control of the U.S. Senate. But in New Jersey, my Democratic Party can't get its act together. This schoolyard name-calling between Bob Me nendez and Tom Kean Jr. is unearthing issues older than many of the neighbors Bob and I share in Hoboken.

Menendez: Menendez didn't have to take low road but, hey, this is N.J.

New Jersey Democrats are in trouble again over ethics, as if gripped by a curse that will simply not let go.

With FBI agents on their trail, they were sinking into deep denial last week, inventing conspiracy theories to explain away their own bad behavior.

This time the candidate on the hot seat was Sen. Robert Menendez, who faces voters in just two months.

Menendez: Jersey Turns, Dems Panic; Torricelli, Anyone?

A powerful clue that U.S. Senator Robert Menendez might ultimately be forced to withdraw from his bid for a full term in New Jersey emerged last Friday, when he addressed the question head-on just hours after the world learned that he is the subject of a federal criminal investigation.

“The answer is no,” he said.

That may sound a touch familiar to New Jerseyans. It was, after all, around this time four Septembers ago that Senator Robert Torricelli’s re-election campaign—besieged by similar speculation—spent a weekend attaching a simple, defiant message to Torricelli lawn signs around the state: “Nobody fights harder.”

The very next week, of course, Mr. Torricelli quit the race in tears.

Menendez: Party insiders wonder if Menendez can survive

News of subpoenas at a non-profit group tied to U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez set Democratic insiders buzzing Friday about whether to repeat the "2002 switcheroo" that replaced a wounded candidate with a winner in the final weeks of the campaign.

"It's not at the point where party leaders are saying to Bob, 'You gotta get out,' but it could get that way fast," one insider said by phone from a party conference in Atlantic City where Menendez called the subpoenas politically motivated.

Menendez defends himself, denounces timing of probe. Democrat sees 'orchestrated' smear campaign

Facing a federal investigation just two months before his election, U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez offered a fiery defense of his honor yesterday and accused the U.S. Attorney of engaging in an "orchestrated" smear campaign to destroy him.

Menendez also faced new questions about the rental deal that triggered the investigation. He has said the House Ethics Committee gave him verbal clearance for the arrangement in 1994, but that there is no written record of the conversation. Yesterday, for the first time, he offered the name of the lawyer he said he consulted: Mark Davis.

However, according to Roll Call, a Capitol Hill publication, Davis left the ethics committee in 1993. Davis died last year.

Bribes, Payoffs, Politics: GOP state senator alleges Menendez violated House ethics rule

TRENTON, N.J. - A Republican state lawmaker alleged Thursday that Democratic U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez violated ethics rules by trying to block a merger involving a company in which he holds stock.

State Sen. Diane Allen, R-Burlington, said she planned to file a complaint with the Senate Ethics Committee early next week. Menendez served in the House for 14 years before being appointed in January by Gov. Jon Corzine to serve out the remaining year of his Senate term.

Editorial: Menendez's Iraq stance untenable and unwise

Menendez's Iraq stance untenable and unwise
Editorial: Home News Tribune Online 09/7/06

Ambition makes politicians say the most foolish things. Take, for instance, the call by U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez for the accelerated removal of American troops from Iraq within the next 12 months. The statement and the stance are worrisome examples of how politically motivated agenda-setting can warp a candidate's public policies and views.

Menendez, a Democrat, is locked in a nip-and-tuck battle to defend his U.S. Senate seat against Republican challenger Thomas H. Kean Jr., a state senator and critic of the war himself.

Menendez clearly wants to be seen as the more "anti-war" of the two, so that he can differentiate himself from Kean in a state where most voters now say they are unhappy with the progress of the war.

He'd better be careful, though. Lack of enthusiasm for the way in which the war has been managed doesn't necessarily translate into public support for an abrupt exit before the job is finished.

Toward that point, Menendez' demand for so quick and arbitrary a withdrawal is out of sync with any measured or practical strategy to bring about a successful end to the hostilities, let alone a successful end to U.S. involvement. More than that, so extreme are his words, one has to wonder if Menendez even believes them himself. It's a good bet that he doesn't, but he is willing to lay aside his own sound judgment to pander to the most virulent critics of the war, a big part of his core constituency.

But the tactic may backfire with voters at large.

Most straight-thinking individuals — no matter what they think about the course of the war, or what they believe about its genesis — understand that a rapid pullout by the U.S. military at this juncture would further destabilize Iraq and, by extension, further embolden militant factions.

Menendez claims that the Iraqis will be able to secure their own country within the coming year. How does he know? Not even the best experts can agree on that score. What is clear is that the Iraqi security forces are not battle-ready yet. Until there is some inkling that day is at hand or is fast approaching, all talk of walking away is premature — and, frankly, unwise.

Bribes, Payoffs, and Politics: Feds subpoena records of Menendez rental deal

Federal investigators have subpoenaed records of a rental deal between U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez and a non-profit agency in Union City, launching a criminal investigation that is sure to rock New Jersey’s hotly contested Senate race.

Pair accuse Menendez of conflict. Two Republicans cite rent he took from nonprofit in ethics complaint

Two Republican state lawmakers filed an ethics complaint against U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez yesterday, alleging he broke conflict-of-interest rules by collecting more than $300,000 in rent from a nonprofit agency he helped win millions of dollars in federal funding.

A Swift Climb Up the Ladder For an Ex-Aide To Menendez

In January 1998, Kay Elizabeth LiCausi, a 26-year-old graduate of Rutgers University and a former Congressional intern, walked into the second-story office of a New Jersey congressman to start a job as scheduler.

The work was not glamorous - sorting through invitations, checking Amtrak timetables and fetching breakfast. But Ms. LiCausi was working for Representative Robert Menendez, a rising star in Democratic Party politics and the de facto political leader of Hudson County, who was soon to become the highest-ranking Hispanic member of Congress. She quickly gained his trust, and less than three years later was promoted to director of his New Jersey headquarters.

Menendez: County has problems with bid 'solution'

It's supposed to be an innovative addition to the way government contracts are awarded, but Hudson County's first attempt at using it has run afoul of politics.

It's called competitive contracting, and it falls in between the awarding of no-bid contracts and conventional bidding, under which contracts are supposed to be awarded to the low bidder, even if another firm might provide better overall value despite a higher price.

Bribes, Payoffs, Politics: Campaign Finance Abuse Complaint Letter to FEC

To Whom It May Concern:

This letter serves as formal notice to the Federal Election Committee (“FEC”) that New Jersey’s 13th District Congressman, Robert “Bob” Menendez (“Mr. Menendez”) is in direct violation of 11CFR Part 300, Subpart D, “Candidates and Officeholders/” BCRA places limits on the amounts and types of funds that can be raised by Federal candidates and Officeholders for both Federal and State candidates (See 2 USC 444 I (e)). The regulations that address these limitations are found in 11 CFR, Part 300 Subpart D (“Code”).


(JERSEY CITY) Rep. Robert Menendez, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, received campaign contributions from Sudanese business interests after sponsoring legislation to help the business avoid US trade sanction. Sudan is high on the State Department List of State Sponsors of terrorism and is also notorious for the continued practice of slavery today.

Sudan is subject to complete US embargo of all goods and services produced there because it has been a haven for terrorists including Osama Bin-Laden who lived there until he was expelled in 1996. The only exemption to the trade ban is the concession won for his home district constituents by Rep. Menendez. The Gum Arabic produced in Sudan is a key ingredient in soft drinks, candy, pharmaceuticals, and ink.

Menendez: The Ties That Link Developers and Elected Officials

Any developer knows that success in the real estate business takes persistence, good instincts and not a small amount of luck. Connections can help, too.