Republican U.S. Senate candidate Bob Hugin is broadcasting a TV ad highlighting Menendez’s admonishment by the Senate Ethics Committee for accepting gifts from Dr. Salomon Melgen, a 30-second commercial that also emphasizes that he was indicted on bribery charges under the Obama administration.
GOP ad helps Democratic Challenger Lisa McCormick
The progressive Democratic US Senate challenger said a big money Republican spending spree could help her defeat Senator Robert Menendez in the June 5 primary, by advertising that the Senate Ethics Committee formally admonished the New Jersey lawmaker over his relationship with fat-cat donor Dr. Salomon Melgen.
"Bob Menendez was sanctioned for breaking the law and these Republican ads are demonstrating that the incumbent is the only Democrat who can lose the election in November," said Democrat Lisa McCormick, a progressive who is waging a low budget challenge to the corrupt insider that may be successful despite his $7 million fundraising advantage. "My campaign is based on the fact that we must end the political corruption that drives elected officials to chase money
The ad says Menendez broke federal law by accepting "private plane travel, luxury Caribbean vacations (and) a trip to a fancy Paris hotel," reminding voters about an eleven-week trial that resulted in a hung jury before Trump administration officials dismissed the indictment.
The Hugin campaign is seizing on the release of a ethics committee letter, in which Republican and Democratic senators came to a rare agreement that Menendez broke the law.
In a 4-page letter, the Senate Ethics Committee said Menendez “knowingly and repeatedly accepted gifts of significant value from Dr. Melgen without obtaining required Committee approval, and that you failed to publicly disclose certain gifts as required by Senate Rule and federal law.“
Menendez had returned to his position as the ranking Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, a seat he surrendered after he was indicted on bribery and corruption charges in 2015, after the criminal case against him ended in a mistrial in November, the federal judge hearing the case dismissed some of the bribery charges against him, and Trump administration official dropped the rest of the indictment.
McCormick said if Menendez faces the former Celgene Corp. CEO, Democrats would risk losing a relatively safe seat that could be essential in any action to impeach Donald Trump or halt Republican efforts to tilt the political and economic systems more firmly in favor of the rich at the expense of ordinary Americans.
"During the 25 years Menendez has been in Congress, the standard of living for working middle class Americans deteriorated precipitously due to trickle down Reaganomics, including tax cuts for the rich and policies that encourage low pay," said McCormick. "People who work for a living cannot make ends meet in the world Menendez created and Bob Hugin is dedicated to making worse. The only plausible solution that secures this seat for Democrats is nominating a bold progressive who will restore tax justice in America and fight for a Medicare for All universal health insurance system, expanded Social Security benefits with a lower retirement age and free public education suited to the 21st Century by including pre-K through college, trade school or university."