Posted on

Menendez Legislates from the Beach

50099161 10156777606858956 2035178035690340352 n1

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

San Juan PR, from the sunny shores of Puerto Rico U.S. Senator Bob Menendez announced that he is cosponsoring bicameral legislation to protect federal workers and contractors from foreclosures, evictions and loan defaults as a result of not getting paid during the longest government shutdown in American history.  Now into Day 24, the partial government shutdown has impacted 800,000 federal workers, including more than 5,000 in New Jersey.

“Hardworking, dedicated federal employees and their families should not have to worry that they could lose their home, health coverage or face financial hardship as a result of falling behind on their bills during the shutdown.  It is absolutely unconscionable that President Trump has put them in this position by shutting down the government,” said Sen. Menendez.  “Congress must do its part to protect federal workers and their families from further harm.  I would implore President Trump and Majority Leader McConnell to immediately end this needless shutdown before anyone else gets hurt.”

The Federal Employee Civil Relief Act addresses the real threat of federal workers losing their homes, falling behind on student loans and other bills, having their car repossessed, or losing their health insurance because they have been furloughed during a shutdown or required to work without pay.  It prohibits landlords and creditors from taking action against federal workers or contractors who are hurt by the government shutdown and unable to pay rent or repay loans during and up to 30 days after the end of the shutdown, while empowering federal workers to sue creditors or landlords that violate this protection.

This is just the latest in a series of actions Sen. Menendez has taken to help federal workers and contractors who have lost pay:

·       Cosponsored the Government Employee Fair Treatment Act, which would guarantee all furloughed workers receive retroactive pay once the government is reopened and funds are fully restored and guarantees back pay in the event of future shutdowns, passed the Senate yesterday

·       Cosponsored the Pay Our Coast Guard Act, bipartisan legislation to pay members of the Coast Guard, civilian employees and contractors.  There are hundreds of service members from New Jersey charged with keeping our waters safe that are currently being forced to work without pay

·       Joined 33 Democratic colleagues in urging the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to direct federal agencies to work with contractors to provide back pay to compensate low- and middle-income contractor employees who generally have not received back pay after past shutdowns.

Sen. Menendez has repeatedly called for an end to the Trump Shutdown and pressed Majority Leader McConnell to call a vote on House-passed legislation to reopen the government that has already gained bipartisan approvals in the Senate.

Posted on

Pennacchio Highlights Dangers of Sex Tourism in Dominican Republic



August 3,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Montville NJ  , Due to an increase in human trafficking violations in the Dominican Republic (DR,) Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) has introduced a Senate Resolution that would urge New Jersey residents to immediately cease travel to the Dominican Republic, unless the country takes action to combat the epidemic of sex tourism within the nation’s borders.

“Human trafficking is modern-day enslavement in which innocent people, particularly young children, are abducted, sold, and forced into the heartbreaking sex-trade and forced labor industry,” Pennacchio said. “The Dominican Republic’s beautiful beaches and mountains cannot cover-up the fact that it’s also the world’s most dangerous tourist destination for at-risk children. Ending human trafficking is not a partisan issue. This is about human rights.”
Six million tourists visit the Dominican Republic (DR) every year. The DR is frequently cited as a world capital for sex tourism. Victims of the sex-trade industry are frequently found on street corners, beaches, parks, and other popular tourist destinations throughout the Dominican Republic.

One in four of these women were forced into sexual exploitation before their 18th birthday, according to the International Justice Mission.

Sen. Joe Pennacchio’s new resolution, SR-91, aims to expose the Dominican Republic’s failure to implement protocols that would identify and assist human trafficking victims, raise awareness, and encourage the people of New Jersey to take a stand by refusing to travel to the nation. The resolution was officially introduced in the State Senate on July 1, 2018.
Over the past five years, the Dominican Republic has grown into a global source for women and children who are forced into sex trafficking; as well as young men who are sold into forced labor. In 2017, children represented more than 50 percent of the human trafficking population in the Dominican Republic.

Every year, more than a million children are exploited in the global sex-trade industry. This commercial sex-tourism market includes tourists from the United States and other countries, who travel to destinations commonly known for legal prostitution, such as the Dominican Republic. In addition to tourist destinations, the international sex-trade is fueled by weak law enforcement and dark corners of the internet.
Senator Pennacchio has sponsored a number of bills to protect children from violence.

In addition to SR-91, Senator Pennacchio also co-sponsors the “Human Trafficking and Child Exploitation Prevention Act,” which would require manufactures and sellers of internet-connected devices to block websites known to facilitate human trafficking. The bill would establish a reporting website or call center, this tool would allow consumers to report unblocked obscene material.

“We cannot in good faith encourage our residents to visit the Dominican Republic,” Pennacchio added. “The DR has repeatedly failed to fully comply with the minimum global standards for eliminating human trafficking. I strongly believe that this legislation could be a critical step in our fight to end the cycle of sex tourism. 20 million people worldwide are victims of human trafficking. We must stand up and fight on their behalf in any way we can. I call on my colleagues in the Legislature to join me in this bold effort to stop these atrocities, once and for all.”

Posted on

When Is A Scandal Not A Scandal? When There’s A Democrat Involved


Corruption: A sitting U.S. Senator is currently on trial for bribery, and if he’s found guilty it could have major political ramifications. Haven’t heard about this case? That’s because the Senator in question is a Democrat.

A CNN story this week about the opening of the trial against New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez noted that “Democrats are eager to avoid the subject of Menendez’s bribery trial.”

That headline would have been just as accurate if it said “Reporters” instead of “Democrats.”

Menendez in on trial for allegedly having sold his office in exchange for luxury vacations, private flights, and piles of campaign cash. In his opening remarks, Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter Koski said “this case is about a corrupt politician who sold his Senate office for a life of luxury he couldn’t afford and a greedy doctor who put that senator on his payroll. … The defendants didn’t just trade money for power, they also tried to cover it up.”

It’s the first time in 36 years that a sitting U.S. senator has been on trial for bribery, which you’d think would make it front page news.

Posted on

Justice Department: Harry Reid pressured Obama administration to help Bob Menendez ally



by Melissa Quinn | Aug 31, 2017, 3:04 PM

The Justice Department alleged this week that Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., pushed his colleagues and the Obama administration to change federal policy in order to help a man that authorities charge lavished him with gifts.

In a brief filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, the department said Menendez asked then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to pressure the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to reverse a decision that hurt Florida ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen. Melgen is thought to have plied Menendez with lavish vacations, and authorities are trying to show those gifts influenced Menendez’s actions in the corruption case they are bringing against him.



Posted on

Prosecutor Tells Senator Menendez he is not above the law

menednez_ridgewood trainstation_theridgewoodblog

file photo courtesy of Boyd Loving

August 26,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood bog

Ridgewood NJ, Democrat Senator Bob Menendez is about to go on trial for corruption in New Jersey and a federal judge has ordered that the Senator physically remain in the court room throughout the entire process.

Senator Menendez countered by filing a request to the court asking if he could leave for votes in the Senate. Federal prosecutors filed a scathing opposition to the request and reminded him he isn’t above the law simply because he is a U.S. Senator.

“After being indicted twice for depriving the people who elected him of their right to his honest services, defendant Robert Menendez now demands that this Court disrupt his criminal trial so that he can perform his duties as a United States Senator. Defendant Menendez was indicted in 2015 and 2016 for bribery, conspiracy, honest services fraud, false statements, and violating the Travel Act. Those indictments allege a seven-year bribery conspiracy in which he traded the power of his public office for a lavish lifestyle that included private jet rides and vacations in Paris and the Caribbean,”

They continued , “The only reason defendant Menendez’s trial is scheduled for September 2017, almost two-and-a-half years after he was first indicted by a grand jury, is because he has spent that time  pursuing a meritless argument that the Constitution immunizes him from prosecution—an argument that has been rejected by every judge to have considered it. Now he seeks to use his status as a United States Senator to pick and choose the dates on which his criminal trial will be conducted.”

Adding , “the Arrest Clause does not exalt Members of Congress to a status above the law:It is, therefore, sufficiently plain that the constitutional freedom from arrest does not exempt Members of Congress from the operation of the ordinary criminal laws,even though imprisonment may prevent or interfere with the performance of their duties as Members.”

Ending with ,”This is not the first time defendant Menendez has sought special treatment from this Court. At defendant Menendez’s very first appearance, he asked to be exempted from the routine requirement that defendants surrender their personal passports because of his status as a United States Senator,” the response continues. “This case began with defendant Menendez being treated like any other defendant, and it should end that way….only a United States Senator can try to hide behind the very office he corrupted to avoid accountability to the public for his actions.”

Posted on

WTF MSM!? Where’s coverage of Dem. senator’s corruption trial?


file photo by Boyd Loving

Posted August 22, 2017 03:58 PM by Rob Eno


Government spending essential to eclipse viewing … Never let a crisis, or, seemingly, an astronomical observance, go to waste. That’s the message of Emily Atkin, who wrote in the New Republic, “Trump’s budget cuts could mess up your next solar eclipse viewing.” Apparently if the government doesn’t spend money it doesn’t have on satellites, you won’t be able to see an eclipse. This is absurd, unless her audience was astrophysicists who use the equipment.

Coverage gap … As I mentioned last week, Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., is scheduled for trial on corruption charges on September 6, 2017. The jury selection in that trial starts today. While local newspapers like the NY Times and local television stations have covered jury selection, cable networks have been eerily silent. American Commitment president Phil Kerpen asks an important question on Twitter: “Any networks doing stand ups outside Menendez’s jury selection this morning?” I wouldn’t hold my breath, Phil.

What bombing plot? … Yesterday, a man was arrested for allegedly trying to blow up a confederate statue in Houston. According to NewsBusters, none of the broadcast networks covered the case. If this was someone they could pin to the Right, you know it would have been covered.

Posted on

Menendez bullish as jury selection begins in federal corruption trial

menednez_ridgewood trainstation_theridgewoodblog

file photo by Boyd Loving

NEWARK, N.J. – Sen. Bob Menendez said Tuesday that he expects to be exonerated of federal bribery charges, as lawyers began picking the jurors who will decide his fate in a trial set to begin next month.

“Looking forward to picking a good jury,” the New Jersey Democrat told reporters as he arrived at the federal courthouse here, flanked by his lawyers.

His arrival just before 9:30 a.m. set off a day in which U.S. District Judge William H. Walls, prosecutors, and Menendez’s defense team worked to winnow the pool of about 200 prospective jurors to the 12 men and women and four alternates who will hear the case.

Whatever verdict the panel reaches – after a trial expected to last one to two months — has the potential to reverberate far beyond the courtroom. Should Menendez be convicted, it almost certainly would mean the end of his four-decade political career in New Jersey and could dramatically shift the makeup of the Senate.

Posted on

Reader says NO “A Democratic Corruption Scandal Will Not Help Repeal ObamaCare”

menednez_ridgewood trainstation_theridgewoodblog

file photo by Boyd Loving

Q: “Could A Democratic Corruption Scandal Help Repeal ObamaCare?”

A: No

1. Democrats are way too corrupt, way too shameless, way too ideological to a) admit Menendez is wrong, b) admit Obomacare is a failure and is about to implode c) serve the people over the party by replacing Obamacare with something that actually works

2. Republicans are too spineless to a) do the right thing for the people since they will then face the wrath of the media and the far left violent agitators, b) support the president since he is not a get-along-go-along establishment lackey

3. Mitch McConnell is a useless individual who cannot rally the Republicans in the Senate to do what they have been promising to do for the last 8 years (and he also does not want to repeal Obamacare)

4. Chris Christie is just mad enough at the president to appoint a Republican Senator who will NOT support his agenda.

Posted on

Could A Democratic Corruption Scandal Help Repeal ObamaCare?


ED MORRISSEYPosted at 12:01 pm on August 18, 2017

Remember Robert Menendez? The Democratic Senator from New Jersey has kept a relatively low profile since being indicted in early 2015on corruption charges, perhaps hoping to play out the clock. His effort to stave off a trial by using the Speech or Debate Clause ran aground at the Supreme Court in April, and the scene will shift to the courtroom in just under three weeks.

So far, Menendez has steadfastly proclaimed his innocence and refused to resign. A conviction for corruption will leave no choice but to vacate his seat, and as Shane Goldmacher reports at the New York Times, that will have consequences far beyond the electoral complications. With Chris Christie able to appoint an interim replacement, Democrats worry that Mitch McConnell might finally get the 50 votes he needs to repeal ObamaCare once and for all:

Posted on

Menendez trial brings high stakes for N.J. and Democratic fight against Trump

Senator_Bob Menendez_theridgewoodblog

file photo by Boyd Loving

Updated: AUGUST 18, 2017 — 10:09 AM EDT

by Jonathan Tamari, Washington Bureau  @JonathanTamari |

WASHINGTON — The stakes for Sen. Bob Menendez’s corruption case have grown to national proportions.

More than two years since the Democrat was charged with allegedly trading influence for lavish gifts, his trial begins Tuesday in Newark, N.J. — with major implications for both a four-decade fixture in Garden State politics and the Democratic fight against President Trump’s agenda.

Menendez has vowed he will be vindicated at trial.

But if he is convicted and forced from office, the result could tilt Washington’s political balance by allowing Republicans to claim one more Senate seat as they push to rewrite the tax code and perhaps make another run at health care reform. That’s because Gov. Christie, in his final weeks in office, would have a chance to appoint Menendez’s replacement — almost certainly filling the reliably blue seat with a fellow Republican, at least temporarily.

The significance of that potential shift was illustrated in July, when the GOP’s health-care overhaul was blocked by a single vote.

“It potentially has enormous implications for the entire legislative agenda,” said Phil Kerpen, the head of the conservative lobbying group American Commitment.

Posted on

D.C.’s talking impeachment but the real drama is in Jersey with Sen. Menendez

menednez_ridgewood trainstation_theridgewoodblog

file photo by Boyd Loving

Updated on June 13, 2017 at 1:36 PMPosted on June 13, 2017


Columnist, The Star-Ledger

My liberal friends have worked themselves into a fever anticipating the impeachment of President Trump.

They think they’ve got a second Watergate going.

Have your fun while you can. But the next trial likely to affect the political lineup won’t be happening before the U.S. Senate in Washington.

It will be happening before the U.S. District Court in Newark.

In the dock will be U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, faced with 22 counts of ethics charges alleging he took illegal gifts from a Florida Miami eye doctor who was recently convicted on 67 counts of Medicare fraud.

If convicted, the 63-year-old senator would almost certainly be booted from the chamber. In that case, the Republicans might be able to add a seat to their slim, 52-vote majority.

Or maybe not. It’s a matter of timing – some of the most intriguing timing I’ve seen in politics.

Posted on

Key figure in Menendez corruption case convicted of fraud

menednez_ridgewood trainstation_theridgewoodblog

file photo by Boyd Loving


04/28/17 04:02 PM EDT

Dr. Salomon Melgen, a key figure in the bribery and corruption case against Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez, was convicted on Friday of improperly billing the federal government for more than $100 million in medical insurance payments.

After three days of deliberations, a jury in West Palm Beach, Fla. delivered 67 guilty verdicts against Melgen on charges that he submitted claims to Medicare for eye procedures and tests that were either unnecessary or never performed.

Posted on

Doctor connected to Menendez stole millions from Medicare, prosecutor says

menednez_ridgewood trainstation_theridgewoodblog

By Associated Press April 25, 2017 1:36 PM

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Prosecutors are arguing that a prominent Florida eye doctor’s practice was actually a well-organized scam that stole millions from Medicare.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexandra Chase told a federal jury Tuesday during closing arguments that Dr. Salomon Melgen performed unnecessary tests and treatments on his mostly elderly patients to “line his pockets with millions.”

Read More: Doctor connected to Menendez stole millions from medicare, prosecutor says |

Posted on

Democrat Senator Bob Menendez Denigrates Immigrants in Tweet

menednez_ridgewood trainstation_theridgewoodblog

file photo by Boyd Loving

February 16,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood Nj, Democrat Senator Bob Menendez says on Twitter what may have felt is the real purpose for illegal immigrants.

Earlier today the Senator commented on Twitter, “A #DayWithoutImmigrants means Senators & Senate staff couldn’t get their coffee because immigrants are part of our everyday lives”

It is clear from this Tweet that the Senator feels legal and illegal immigrants amount to nothing more than personal servants and flunkies .

Yes, #DayWithoutImmigrants, Senator it is a very difficult day for you, no one to fetch your paper, get your coffee, shine your shoes.
The Menendez tweet was met instantaneously derision

Vince Brunda ‏@VinceForNJ
@SenatorMenendez Wow, I’m sorry you were so inconvenienced, and please don’t stereotype immigrants as cafe workers. #daywithoutimmigrants

The On Blast Show ‏@TheOnBlastShow
@VinceForNJ @SenatorMenendez LOL too funny, make your own coffee them! Give them everyday off

Tony Buero ‏@BueroTony
@SenatorMenendez so what you are saying is you use them as slaves or personal servants? U have lost your mind!

Michael Novack ‏@mdnovack
@SenatorMenendez That’s horrible. However, as a mere commoner, I managed to get my own coffee this morning. Wasn’t difficult.