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Nation Security Expert: Allegations Against Senator Menendez Put American National Security at Risk, Must be Expelled

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Lambertville NJ, following new charges against Senator Menendez on his alleged role as a foreign agent to Egypt, former national security official Jason Blazakis released the following statement.

Continue reading Nation Security Expert: Allegations Against Senator Menendez Put American National Security at Risk, Must be Expelled

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Bill Revoking Public Pensions for Corrupt Officials Back on the Table after Democrats Voted to Kill It

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ, Senator Declan O’Scanlon announced today that he is reintroducing legislation from 2008 that would revoke public pensions for government officials and employees who are convicted of any crime while in office. Senator Edward Durr (R-3) will sign on as a co-prime sponsor of the bill.

Continue reading Bill Revoking Public Pensions for Corrupt Officials Back on the Table after Democrats Voted to Kill It

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New Jersey Ranks Near Last for Return on Taxes Paid to the Federal Government

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New Jersey Is 2021’s 2nd Least Federally Dependent State

Ridgewood NJ, with states having received hundreds of billions of dollars in federal aid during the COVID-19 pandemic, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released updated rankings for 2021’s Most & Least Federally Dependent States, as well as accompanying videos.

Continue reading New Jersey Ranks Near Last for Return on Taxes Paid to the Federal Government

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NJGOP Chairman: Bob Menendez’s attack on the pharmaceutical industry is void of any credibility

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July 18,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ,  Senator Menendez’s re-election campaign has begun to invest in a line of attack that includes criticisms of the pharmaceutical industry. NJGOP Chairman Steinhardt released the following statement in response to those attacks:

“Corrupt, career politician Senator Menendez’s election conversion on these issues won’t fool New Jersey voters. The fact that Menendez greedily solicited and took nearly $1 million in donations from pharma, but now suddenly is the crusader against the industry is the height of hypocrisy. His desperate rhetoric directly contradicts his votes in Washington, where he voted to allow pharmaceutical companies to delay the release of less expensive generic drugs.”

Votes:

● Menendez Voted Nay, Regarding S Amdt 2107, “Authorizes Import Of FDA-Approved Drugs From Canada.” (SAmdt 2107, Amendment Rejected – Senate, (43 – 54), U.S. Senate, 5/24/2012; Menendez Voted Nay)

● Menendez Voted Nay, Regarding S Amdt 2111, “Prohibits Pharmaceutical Companies From Delaying The Release Of Generic Drugs.” (S Amdt 2111, Amendment Rejected – Senate, (28 – 67), U.S. Senate, 5/24/2012; Menendez Voted Nay)

● Menendez Voted Nay, Regarding S Amdt 769, “Authorizes Individuals To Import FDA Approved Drugs From Canada.” (S Amdt 769, Amendment Rejected – Senate, (45 – 55), U.S. Senate, Oct. 20, 2011; Menendez Voted Nay)

● Menendez Voted Nay, Regarding S Amdt 2793, “Authorizing Importation Of Prescription Drugs.” (S Amdt 2793, Amendment Rejected – Senate, (51 – 48), U.S. Senate, Dec. 15, 2009; Menendez Voted Nay)

● Menendez Voted Nay, Regarding S Amdt 4299, “Expressing The Sense Of The Senate On The Legalization Of Importing Certain Prescription Drugs.” (S Amdt 4299, Amendment Adopted – Senate, (73 – 23), U.S. Senate, 3/14/2008; Menendez Voted Nay)

● Menendez Voted Yea, Regarding S Amdt 1010, “FDA Drug Import Certification Amendment.” (S Amdt 1010, Amendment Adopted – Senate, (49 – 40), U.S. Senate, 5/7/2007; Menendez Voted Yea)

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HUGIN CAMPAIGN: HAPPY INDICTMENT ANNIVERSARY, SENATOR MENENDEZ

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file photo by Boyd Loving

April 2,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Senatorial candidate Bob Hugin reminds us of the anniversary of our ethically challenged senator ‘s indictment . There is no special schedule for New Jersey Transit or state holiday planned .

“New Jersey deserves a Senator who will represent them with honesty and integrity in Washington and fight for them every day—not one who spends his time trying to stay one step ahead of the law.” said Hugin Communications Director Megan Piwowar.  “The more voters compare Menendez’s failed, corrupt track record with Bob Hugin’s background as a former Marine and job-creating business leader, we are confident that New Jersey voters will elect Bob Hugin and give our state a Senator we can be proud of again.”

Senator Menendez narrowly avoided federal prison, and still faces an investigation by the Senate Ethics Committee where his shady behavior will continue to embarrass New Jersey. It’s why the New York Times and Star Ledger both called on Menendez to resign from office.  He refused to listen and announced his re-election plans last week.

“Our new :60 ad highlights Senator Menendez’s embarrassing tenure as Senator, where his biggest accomplishment was trying to bury an investigation into his best friend’s scheme to defraud Medicare, and becoming synonymous with federal investigations, private jets, fancy vacations and strong-arming people to get visas for his married best friends foreign girlfriends,” said Piwowar.  “New Jersey is 50 out of 50—dead last—in what we get back from Washington for the amount of tax dollars we send down there. Instead of fixing that, Senator Menendez was too busy serving himself and his big donors. New Jersey deserves better. It’s time for a change.”

BACKGROUND

  • SEN. MENENDEZ ADMITTED HE ACCEPTED EXPENSIVE GIFTS, INCLUDING LAVISH VACATIONS, FROM CONVICTED FELON, DR. MELGEN.
  • THE NEW YORK TIMES AND STAR LEDGER CALLED FOR SENATOR MENENDEZ TO RESIGN.
  • UNDER SENATOR MENENDEZ NEW JERSEY IS BIGGEST LOSER—RANKS 50 OUT OF 50 IN MONEY SENT TO WASHINGTON THAT COMES BACK TO THE STATE
MENENDEZ ADMITTED HE ACCEPTED EXPENSIVE GIFTS, INCLUDING LAVISH VACATIONS, FROM CONVICTED FELON

ACCORDING TO THE INDICTMENT, SENATOR MENENDEZ WAS ACCUSED OF ACCEPTING PRIVATE PLANE FIGHTS AND OTHER GIFTS FROM MELGEN IN EXCHANGE FOR MENENDEZ’S ASSISTANCE. “In exchange, the former chair of the senate foreign relations committee is accused of accepting several private plane flights to a Caribbean resort, other gifts such as a luxury Paris hotel stay and a bounty of campaign donations, according to the indictment. The physician, who was also indicted, even contributed $40,000 to the politician’s legal defense fund involving a recall issue.” (Jay Weaver, “Sen. Robert Menendez, South Florida Eye Doctor Indicted In Federal Corruption Case; Corruption,” The Miami Herald, 4/1/15)

SEN. MENENDEZ VIOLATED SENATE ETHICS RULES BY FAILING TO REPORT OR PAY FOR TRIPS ON MELGEN’S PRIVATE PLANE OVER A PERIOD OF SEVERAL YEARS. “He conceded he had not paid for or properly reported four flights (two round-trips) on Melgen’s private jet and wrote a check to belatedly comply with Senate ethics rules. A year later, his campaign reimbursed Melgen for a third trip. Both times Menendez aides assured reporters that these were oversights and that the senator’s travel had been thoroughly reviewed. But a federal indictment charging Menendez with corruption has revealed free flights the senator never disclosed or paid for – nine others for him, sometimes with a guest – in apparent violation of Senate ethics rules.” (Jonathan Tamari, “Failure To Report Free Trips May Be Used As Evidence Against Menendez, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 4/12/15)

THE NEW YORK TIMES AND THE STAR-LEDGER CALLED FOR MENENDEZ TO RESIGN

THE NEW YORK TIMES EDITORIAL BOARD: “Mr. Menendez is evidently not in a hurry to get to the stage of contrition, having warned on Wednesday that he’s ‘not going anywhere.’ He would be doing a disservice to New Jersey by clinging to power as a disgraced politician. His colleagues in the Senate should demand that he step aside.” (Editorial, “Step Down, Senator Robert Menendez, The New York Times, 4/2/15)

THE STAR-LEDGER EDITORIAL BOARD: “U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez now begins a fight for his political life that could last for years. New Jersey would be better off if he would resign and conduct that battle on his own time. The state needs a respected senator who is focused on his job, not a tarnished defendant who spends his days fending off credible charges of corruption and raising money for his legal defense.” (Editorial, “Menendez: Resign And Spare Us the Drama, The Star Ledger, 4/1/15)

UNDER MENENDEZ NEW JERSEY IS BIGGEST LOSER WHEN IT COMES TO TAXES AND SPENDING

UNDER MENENDEZ, NEW JERSEY IS 50 OUT OF 50. “The biggest losers when it comes to taxes and spending are New Jersey, Wyoming and Connecticut. New Jersey gets back just 77 cents for every dollar it pays, while Wyoming gets back 81 cents and Connecticut gets 83 cents.” (“Tax Day 2017: Which State Sends Most Taxes to D.C.?”, The Associated Press, 4/16/17)

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Corruption Trial Witness Say Democrat Senator Menendez Lived large Dominican Republic

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file photo by Boyd Loving

September 19,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, according to a resort executive Andres Pichardo Rosenberg , Democrat Senator Menendez’s stays at the luxurious Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic gave him access to white-sand beaches, a marina filled with expensive yachts and five golf courses. The seven-acre gated community on the Caribbean also boasts the top-rated golf course in the Dominican Republic, six international restaurants, a security staff of 800, and access to elite sports like pheasant shooting. Pheasant shooting in Dominican Republic you ask, yes according to testimony eggs are imported and the birds are bred for sport .

Opthalmologist , Dr. Salomon Melgen, who owns a home that the Senator stayed in Casa de Campo. has denied that the home was a bribe, describing it as a modest getaway for the doctor and his close friends and family. Rosenberg  stated that there are 1,850 private houses on the resort some costing over $10 million. Rosenberg estimated that homes in Melgen’s neighborhood are worth up to $2.5 million.

NJ Senator Menendez, 63, is accused of accepting lavish gifts from Melgen, including stays at the villa and flights on private jets, in exchange for helping the married eye doctor obtaining visas for his three foreign girlfriends and straightening out an $8.9 million tab for overbilling Medicare.

Recent testimony suggests that Menendez lived the life in Dominican Republic  , also staying at the exclusive $765 per night Tortuga Bay Hotel and Punta Cana Resort & Club where Melgen shelled out another $766 for other amenities, including golf, bars and restaurants. Mind you this Dominican Republic where the GDP per Capita $6,733 per year

Melgen also footed the bill of $875 per hour for an 8 hour pick up in a chauffeured car for Menendez in Hoboken ,credit car receipts confirm that Menendez was brought to an upscale Chinese restaurant where Melgen was waiting for both him and the vehicle.

Testimony also revealed that Immediately after the FBI raided Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen’s West Palm Beach offices, Melgen’s son-in-law contacted the Federal Aviation Administration to block the public from tracking his private jet. Melgen’s private jet had been used several times to fly Menendez between New Jersey and Melgen’s vacation home in the Dominican Republic ,these flights prosecutors charge were bribes Melgen paid Menendez in exchange for official favors.

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Will Menendez Walk?

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file photo by Boyd Loving

AUGUST 09, 2017

Micah Morrison is chief investigative reporter for Judicial Watch

A criminal indictment is a beautiful thing—an austere document, grave and fateful. Who is charged with committing what crimes, and where, and when, and how? What laws have been violated? In it rests the fearsome power of the state. From it may pass a person’s liberty, even life itself. It is transparent in spite of itself: making the argument, it reveals its flaws

The indictment of United States Senator Robert Menendez and Florida ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen charges the two old friends with a conspiracy to commit bribery and “honest services fraud.” It states that they schemed to corruptly influence Senator Menendez’s “official acts” and “defraud and deprive the United States and the citizens of New Jersey of the honest services of a public official.” It sketches attempts to obtain visas for Dr. Melgen girlfriends; attempts to influence the Department of Homeland Security in a contractual matter concerning a Melgen-owned security-screening company; and attempts to gain a favorable ruling from the Department of Health and Human Services in a gigantic Medicare reimbursement dispute—an episode that eventually would land Dr. Melgen in calamity.

Every indictment tells a story. This one is a tale lust, greed and comical incompetence. Whether it’s a story of criminal behavior is another matter. Dr. Melgen showers his old friend with free plane trips, vacation holidays, and large campaign donations at critical moments. Senator Menendez fails to disclose the gifts, setting himself up for a false statements charge. The senator’s office helps the married Dr. Melgen obtain visas for three young girlfriends, all identified as “models.” Embassy officials push back, but eventually the visas are approved. The senator’s office attempts to intervene with the Department of Homeland Security to undermine a security-screening company in the Dominican Republic, a move that would boost the fortunes of Dr. Melgen’s rival company. But it turns out that DHS has no leverage in the matter. In 2009, the senator and his staff step into an $8.9 million Medicare fight, advocating on Dr. Melgen’s behalf in an increasingly tense series of meetings with Department of Health and Human Services officials, working their way up the bureaucratic food chain. The battle goes on for three years. Senator Menendez is rebuffed at every turn. Senator Menendez grows increasingly upset. The Medicare determination is upheld: Dr. Melgen owes $8.9 million.

The Medicare dispute was just the beginning of Dr. Melgen’s troubles. In 2015, he was indicted in a sweeping $90 million Medicare fraud scheme. The drug at the center of part of the scheme, an eye medication called Lucentis, was the same medication in the earlier Medicare dispute. There is no indication that Senator Menendez was involved in the Florida fraud scheme. In April, Dr. Melgen was convicted on all counts. He faces as much as twenty years in prison. Unless maybe he can cut a deal.

The Menendez-Melgen corruption trial opens September 6 in a New Jersey federal court. Does Dr. Melgen have anything to offer the prosecution? Senator Menendez may have some reason to fear Dr. Melgen’s testimony, but he can find solace—and possibly liberty—in last year’s Supreme Court McDonnelldecision. In McDonnell, the court narrowed the definition of official acts and honest services fraud. Prosecutors needed to prove a direct “official action.” An “official act” has to be more than “setting up a meeting, talking to another official, or hosting an event,” the court ruled. Yes, Melgen could roll on Menendez. Yes, a host of government officials and aides could testify that the senator sought favorable actions for his friend. But where are the direct official acts that go beyond typical donor services? Based on the indictment, Senator Menendez, a canny and experienced political operator, appears to have stayed outside that realm.

The betting here: Menendez walks. And for that he can thank the United States Supreme Court.

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Quinnipac Poll Shows Voters Hoping Menendez Steps Down

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file photo by Boyd Loving

As Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) continues to face the fallout from a corruption indictment, a new Quinnipac University poll indicates that much of the public is against him. The indictment was based on the senator’s allegedly accepting bribes and gifts from Florida ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen. JT Aregood, PolitickerNJRead more

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Readers ask Why did Senator Menendez Pick the Ridgewood Train Station to to Launch a Mass Transit Policy Initiative?

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photo by Boyd Loving

Why did he choose Ridgewood for this speech (flanked by his favorite union power brokers, btw)?
Odd choice since RW is not a major NJ transit hub…

Is it our “non-partisan” elections ?

Or perhaps it is another step towards politicizing the village and bringing Hudson county style Democrat political machinery into the village? (we are a tempting – rich, clueless – prize after all)

Maybe it is just something as simple as (yet another) attempt by Aronsohn to revive his political “career”.

who knows…

Ridgewood IS NOT one of NJ Transit’s busiest stations… its not even in the top 7 according to the 2014 “NJ Transit Facts at a Glance” sheet.
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LINK: https://www.njtransit.com/pdf/FactsAtaGlance.pdf
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Here is what NJ Transit lists as its top Seven:
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Stations with the Highest Boarding Levels Avg. Weekday Boardings
Penn Station New York (Rail) ……………………………………………. 87,130
Port Authority Bus Terminal (Bus) ………………………………………. 78,014
Newark Penn Station (Rail) ……………………………………………….. 27,224
Frank R. Lautenberg Secaucus Junction (Rail)…………………..24,459
Hoboken Terminal (Rail) …………………………………………………… 14,444
Metropark Station (Rail) ……………………………………………………… 7,748
Princeton Junction (Rail) …………………………………………………….. 6,799
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Ridgewood has 1,400 riders per day
LINK:
https://www.stantec.com/our-work/projects/united-states-projects/r/ridgewood-station-rehabilitation.html#.VastQWfbKpc
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Menendez wouldn’t go to a 2nd rate train stop unless it served some other purpose for himself (or his political buddies in the village)

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Another “Friend” of Senator Menendez gets indicted

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file photo by Boyd Loving , Ridgewood REORG with Senator Menendez

Roque indicted on fraud and bribery charges

Having won reelection last month, West New York Mayor Felix Roque now faces another challenge: indictment by the state.

According to prosecutors, Roque, a medical doctor, is accused of referring patients to the medical imaging company Diagnostic Imaging Affiliates in exchange for cash bribes and election campaign contributions.  (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)

Roque indicted on fraud and bribery charges | New Jersey News, Politics, Opinion, and Analysis

 

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Menendez’s Senate colleagues call for probe of alleged Cuban plot to smear him

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“commie plot to undermine the morals of society”

Menendez’s Senate colleagues call for probe of alleged Cuban plot to smear him

JULY 8, 2014, 7:22 AM
BY HERB JACKSON
WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT
THE RECORD

A report that Cold War animosities fueled an Internet-age attack against Sen. Bob Menendez brought new attention to the scandal that has nagged him since early last year and, with his own call for more investigation, is unlikely to end soon.

Menendez, an ardent opponent of the Castro regime in Cuba, was on the offensive Tuesday, saying revelations published by The Washington Post meant the Justice Department had to investigate whether Cuban agents were connected to a prostitution smear against him.

The CIA uncovered evidence, including Internet protocol addresses, that links Cuban agents with efforts to spread allegations to media outlets that Menendez had trysts with prostitutes at the Dominican Republic resort home owned by his friend and campaign contributor, Salomon Melgen, the Post reported on Tuesday.

The prostitution allegations were first published by The Daily Caller, a conservative website, days before Menendez’s reelection in November 2012. They burst into the mainstream media the following January, when the FBI raided the Florida office of Melgen, an eye surgeon who was later ordered to refund $8.9 million in improper Medicare payments.

The prostitutes featured in the Daily Caller story later told Dominican authorities they were paid to lie and had not met Menendez.

– See more at: https://www.northjersey.com/news/menendez-s-senate-colleagues-call-for-probe-of-alleged-cuban-plot-to-smear-him-1.1047767#sthash.PXirMhdc.dpuf

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There Goes the Neighborhood : Senator Menendez moves to Bergen County

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file photo Boyd Loving

There Goes the Neighborhood : Senator Menendez moves to Bergen County

JULY 5, 2014, 4:29 PM    LAST UPDATED: SUNDAY, JULY 6, 2014, 12:13 AM
BY CHRISTOPHER MAAG
STAFF WRITER
THE RECORD

Sen. Bob Menendez, long viewed as the unofficial boss of the Democratic Party in Hudson County, has moved to Bergen County.

Menendez first talked publicly about his move at a political fundraiser in Edgewater on Wednesday night, where he announced not only that he will support Democrat James Tedesco’s campaign for Bergen County executive, he’ll also be voting for Tedesco in the November election.

“Yes that is correct. He lives in Paramus now,” said Steven Sandberg, a spokesman for Menendez.

Menendez, who began his political career in Union City, had been living in North Bergen. The announcement of his move was originally reported by Politicker NJ, a website that covers state politics.

Menendez, who is divorced, is engaged to marry Alicia Mucci, a widow who lives in Paramus. Sandberg declined to say whether Menendez and Mucci have moved in together.

Several Bergen County Democrats hope the move by Menendez, New Jersey’s senior senator, may help their prospects for maintaining control of the Bergen County Board of Freeholders and winning back the office of county executive from Republican Kathleen Donovan.

– See more at: https://www.northjersey.com/news/senator-menendez-moves-to-bergen-county-1.1046781#sthash.KTJDVrTz.dpuf