Television personality Geraldo Rivera announced on his radio show this morning that he is considering seeking the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in 2014, according to The Hill.
“I mention this only briefly, fasten your seatbelt,” Rivera said on his radio show. “I mentioned this only briefly to my wife … but I am and I’ve been in touch with some people in the Republican Party in New Jersey. I am truly contemplating running for Senate against Frank Lautenberg or Cory Booker.”
“I’m not going to drill this out, because obviously I’ve got commitments to Fox and to here at the radio program and I’m really having a great time,” Rivera added. “But I figure at my age, if I’m going to do it I’ve got to do it. And there doesn’t seem to be any Republicans ready to work against or run against Corey Booker, the popular Newark mayor.”
Riviera is a former Monmouth County resident and the former owner of The Two River Times. He currently lives in Edgewater, Bergen County.
The Hill says Rivera could face a tough primary should he seek the nomination.
Rivera could face a tough primary challenge, however, with reports suggesting that Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick of Westfield, state Sen. Joe Kyrillos of Monmouth County and Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno are all weighing bids for the GOP ticket.
Don’t count on that. If Rivera is willing to spend his own millions on a Senatorial run, the NJ GOP would clear the decks for him, barring another televison personality with millions to spend, like Lou Dobbs, getting into the race.
In the immediate aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, Governor Chris Christie and Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa warned New Jersey businesses, gas stations, hardware stores, food stores, hotels and other retailers who had electricity and were able to sell life sustaining products and services to a vulnerable public against price gouging. By the end of November, one month after Sandy hit, Chiesa’s office was investigating thousands of gouging complaints and had filed at least 10 civil rights lawsuits against hotels and gas stations.
In the November 28 release announcing the lawsuits, Christie said,
“The last thing people put out of their homes in a natural disaster should have to confront is price gouging from unscrupulous profiteers,” said Governor Christie. “It’s illegal, offensive and completely opposite the spirit of cooperation we saw just about everywhere else in our state in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. I encourage more of the same treatment from the Attorney General for any other instances of price gouging he discovers.”
A Star Ledger article posted Tuesday morning raises questions as to whether the State and 43 municipalities were gouged by the Florida contractor, AshBrit Environmental, that was awarded a $100 million no-bid contract to clean up state roads and waterways and allowing municipalities to hire the firm without going out to bid.
Don’t count on it happening. Senator Bob Mendendez as already survived a recall effort, an FBI investigation while Chris Christie was U.S. Attorney, Tom Kean JR and Joe Kyrillos. There’s little reason, so far, to think Menendez won’t survive his latest scandals involving illegal campaign donations and gifts, a sex offender illegal immigrant intern and allegations of engaging with prostitutes and underage girls in the Dominican Republic.Why would Menedez resign? It’s not as if he tweeted nude pictures of himself, or anything as bad as that.
For a senator to be expelled requires a 2/3 vote in the Senate. The Senate Select Committee on Ethics has not responded to State Senator Sam Thompson’s complaint about Menendez filed last November. There is no reason to think the Democratically controlled Senate will even consider censuring Menendez, much less expelling him, unless the FBI’s current investigation results in an indictment and/or conviction.
But if Menendez’s seat in the Senate were to become vacant this year, it would put New Jersey politics into a fabulous turmoil that would be fun to cover and generate unprecedented blog traffic. “Peter Williams,” if you’re reading, please cooperate with the FBI and bring the Domincan girls with you to the USofA!
Embattled U.S. Senator Bob Menendez reimbursed his friend and campaign contributor, West Palm Beach eye doctor Salomon Melgen $58,500 for two flights to the Dominican Republic on Melgen’s private jet almost three years after the flights took place, according to reports in The Star Ledger and The Daily Caller.
Menendez’s spokesman Paul Brubaker told the Ledger that the senator, prompted by the ethics complaint filed by NJ State Senator Sam Thompson last November, reviewed his travel and discovered that he should have paid Melgen for an August 2010 flight between Florida and the Dominican Republic and a September 2010 flight from Teterboro to the DR. Menendez paid Melgen $58,500 for the flights on January 4, 2013.
Menendez’s chief of staff, Dan O’Brien told NBC News that the over two year gap in paying for the flights was an office mistake, according to Daily Caller.
“This was sloppy,” O’Brien conceded about two 2010 flights. “I’m chalking it up to an oversight.”
No one has reported what, if anything, Menendez reimbursed Melgen for his food, lodging and party favors on the trips. Senate rules prohibited members from accepting gifts valued at more the $250 without prior permission from the ethics committee. We’d call Brubaker, but he stopped returning our calls last summer during the senator’s campaign.
Menendez finally denied he had sex with prostitutes while in the Dominican Republic, saying the charges were manufactured by a right-wing blog. Presumably he’s referring to Daily Caller.
FoxNews reported last night that Menendez cleared his Washington schedule yesterday. He cancelled a meeting with Treasury Secretary nominee Jack Lew and skipped John Kerry’s fare well speech on the Senate floor.
On the home front however, it was politics as usual for Menendez. Yesterday afternoon he sent out a fundraising email asking his supporters to thank Hillary Clinton for her years of service.
Last week I outlined how the Democrats have been implementing a long-term strategy of positioning their people into key places of influence such as the media and the education system. But in that sentence lies the main differences between the two philosophies of winning; to Democrats it’s an endurance race, when to Republicans it’s a sprint. Republicans view the battlefield as individual election cycles, whereas Democrats view it as a long-term endurance race, constantly campaigning and building a sustainable infrastructure to dominate elections in the long term.
Earlier this morning Breitbart had a piece outlining this perfectly. Obama’s donors will be financing a long-term project called Organizing For Action, which will focus on supporting the President’s long-term agenda. Also the President converted his campaign into a 501(c)4 organization called Organizing For America (which means they don’t have to disclose donor information). What long-term organizations did the Republican Party set up after our embarrassing loss in November? That’s right none!
This problem isn’t just with our party, but with our candidates as well. The Democrats are constantly building and molding their candidates. How many years has Frank Pallone been preparing to run for U.S. Senate? Seven years! After failing to get his parties nomination back in 2006 he has been preparing himself and his campaign to battle it out for Frank Lautenberg seat (once Lautenberg’s cold dead fingers are pried from his Senate seat). Pallone has been campaigning at full steam since 2010. He doesn’t take breaks between election cycles, he goes at it putting in 100%. Look over his FEC reports and you’ll see he’s constantly building his fundraising base and campaign structure.
NJ Republicans have known this battle was coming and now it is here in the 2014 race for the United States Senate. But who are the frontrunners on the Republican side? No one! The Republican Party needs to focus on the long-term race by building key infrastructure to win elections not just for this years cycle, but for years to come. We need to build up candidates well in advance if we expect to win Democrat held seats.
I don’t say these things because I dislike the party or party leadership, but because I love this party. I love the principles and beliefs that we stand for! I want to see us succeed and not just to win elections, but rather dominate them!
Roll Call is reporting that Senator Bob Menendez’s office has issued a statement denying any wrongdoing on the senator’s part related to the FBI raid last night on his friend and campaign contributor’s West Palm Beach, Florida office:
“Dr. Melgen has been a friend and political supporter of Senator Menendez for many years. Senator Menendez has traveled on Dr. Melgen’s plane on three occasions, all of which have been paid for and reported appropriately,” Menendez’s office said in a statement. “Any allegations of engaging with prostitutes are manufactured by a politically-motivated right-wing blog and are false.”
The Menendez statement appears to conflict with information included in State Senator Sam Thompson’s ethics complaint filed with the Senate Select Committee on Ethics last November. Thompson alleged that Menendez appeared to have accepted free travel to the Dominican Republic on Dr. Soloman Melgen’s private jet, and failed to disclose the gift traffic as required by Senate rules. The Senate Select Committee had not responded to Thompson as of Monday
Old Bridge, NJ – The 12th District Team of Sen. Sam Thompson and Assemblymen Ron Dancer and Rob Clifton today announced their plans to run for re-election and continue their fight to make New Jersey more affordable for middle-class families by cutting taxes, growing the economy and creating jobs.
“After a decade of decline, we have begun to turn the tide by working with Governor Christie to reject tax increases and other harmful economic policies that left the state with higher taxes and fewer jobs,” Thompson, R-Middlesex, Burlington, Monmouth and Ocean, said. “The property tax cap and benefits reform have begun to turn the tide on property taxes and we have a lot more work to do to create jobs and make our state more affordable for middle-class families.
“No one can match our team’s experience in fighting for common sense solutions to reduce the burden on taxpayers in our district,” Thompson added.
Thompson, a full-time legislator, is seeking his second term in the Senate after serving in the Assembly for more than a decade.
Running with Thompson is Assemblyman Ron Dancer, R-Ocean, Burlington, Middlesex and Monmouth, an Assemblyman since 2002. A former Mayor of Plumsted Township, Dancer knows first hand the priority of reducing property taxes at the local level while providing for the safety and security of our schools and community.
“Last year was the lowest property tax increase in two decades and we are committed to driving that number down further with more reforms that will reduce costs for property taxpayers, such as, reversing Court decisions that send 60% of all State School Aid to just 31 inner city schools at the expense of our rural and suburban school districts,” Dancer said. “Property taxes remain too high and we want to keep fighting to reduce the burden on our constituents.”
Rounding out the ticket is Assemblyman Rob Clifton, R-Monmouth, Burlington, Middlesex and Ocean, who is in his first term in the Assembly after serving as a Monmouth County freeholder from January 2005 until January 2012 and as Mayor of Matawan from December 1996 until January 2005.
“New Jersey is winning the uphill battle to create jobs and grow the economy without raising taxes,” Clifton said. “We cannot allow our momentum to roll backward by returning to the reckless tax and spend policies that made our state unaffordable for many families and senior citizens.
“We’re excited at the prospect of running with Governor Christie and other taxpayer-friendly candidates in the four counties we represent,” Clifton said.
Maybe Now New Jersey’s Mainstream Media Will Report The Story
Late last night the FBI raided the office of the West Palm Beach eye doctor who allegedly provided New Jersey’s junior U.S. Senator Bob Menedez with free travel to the Dominican Republic on his private jet where the men engaged in sex parties with prostitutes and underage girls, according to reports in The Miami Herald and FoxNews.
FBI agents late Tuesday night raided the West Palm Beach business of an eye doctor suspected of providing free trips and even underage Dominican Republic prostitutes to U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J. — who has denied what he calls the “fallacious allegations.”
Agents gathered at the medical-office complex of Dr. Salomon Melgen, a contributor to Menendez and other prominent politicians, to start hauling away potential evidence in several vans.
The investigation is believed to be focusing on Melgen’s finances and the allegations about Menendez’s trips and contact with prostitutes. A spokesman for Menendez could not be reached for comment, nor could Melgen.
Menendez’s appointment as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee became official just hours before the raid when former Senator John Kerry, the previous chairman, was confirmed by the Senate as U.S. Secretary of State.
Yesterday afternoon Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid dismissed the allegations against Menendez because the story was first reported by the conservative website, The Daily Caller. “I always consider the source,” Reid told Roll Call. Maybe Reid will take these allegations more seriously now, since The Miami Herald endorsed President Obama over Mitt Romney in last year’s presidential election.
Since The Daily Caller broke the story of Menendez’s activity with prostitutes in the Dominican Republic at Melgen’s largess last October, just days before the election where the Senator won his second full term, New Jersey’s mainstream media outlets have not covered the story. One prominent reporter told MMM that the story had been shopped to a prominent New Jersey newspaper prior to the initial Daily Caller report. The paper’s editors considered the story too thin both before and after Daily Caller reported it. Another prominent reporter said “no body cares and we’re too busy.”
“I love Chris Christie!’ Mazzola exclaimed when asked what she thought about the Governor. But she stopped short of endorsing the New Jersey head of her former party. “Ask me in the fall when its time to make a decision.”
Mazzola was elected to the Marlboro Township Committee as a Republican in 2009. She announced earlier this month that she will run for reelection as a Democrat on Hornik’s team.
Academy Award winning actress Mira Sorvino and John Morton, the Director of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will be among the keynote speakers at an Anti-Human Trafficking Symposium held at Georgetown University in Washington, DC.
MMM is promoting the symposium and embedding the livestream video in the hopes that Senator Bob Menendez will either watch or stop by the hilltop.