Senator Bob Menendez, left, and Congressman Frank Pallone, making like chimpmunks at the 2012 Belmar St. Patrick’s parade. Photo credit Charles Measley
First of all, Senator Bob Menendez might not even be indicted. Leaks out of the Justice Department have been notoriously unreliable since Chris Christie resigned as U.S. Attorney in 2008.
If Menendez is indicted, he probably will not resign. In his press conference this evening, the Senator defiantly insisted on the “appropriateness and lawfulness” of his relationship with Dr. Salomon Melgen, the Florida ophthalmologist who is Menendez’s friend and benefactor. He declared that he is not going anywhere.
If, as CNN speculates, Menendez is charged with corruption this month, it could be Halloween before he goes to trial. Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell was indicted in January of 2014. His trial didn’t start until late July and didn’t end to early September. Unless Menendez makes a deal to avoid prosecution that includes his resignation, there is not likely to be a Special Election to fill the Senate seat until next year….2016, the year of the next presidential election.
If Chris Christie is still Governor in 2016 and Menendez’s seat becomes vacant, he will get to choose the next Senator and set the date a special election. There could be a mid-year Special Election or the Special Election could be on the same day as the presidential election. There’s no way to know now what is likely to happen.
Still, the prospect of a Senatorial vacancy stirs speculation and the phone lines among both Democrats and Republicans have been burning this afternoon since the news of the possible prosecution broke.
Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ-4), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Sub-Committee on Africa and Human Rights, responded to the controversy about a remark concerning homosexual rights and human rights that he made during a hearing last week on combating violence inflicted by the terrorist group Boko Haram in Nigera with a statement issued to MoreMonmouthMusings:
“All governments have a duty to protect everyone and I am unequivocally opposed to acts of violence against anyone,” Smith said, “All individuals, including LGBT persons, should be treated with respect and compassion.”
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Interior Department today proposed opening part of the Atlantic coast to oil and gas drilling, a move that immediately drew criticism from Sens. Robert Menendez and Cory Booker. The two Democratic senators joined Rep. Frank Pallone (D-6th Dist.), the top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, in asking President Obama… Read the rest of this entry »
WASHINGTON —New Jersey’s U.S. House members may get their votes from the Garden State, but the money to run their campaigns comes from beyond its borders. Nearly $6 of every $10 in campaign contributions of more than $200 to the 12 lawmakers elected in November came from individuals and political action committees outside New Jersey, according… Read the rest of this entry »
TRENTON — The Federal Emergency Management Agency should stop demanding that Hurricane Sandy victims pay back money they mistakenly received from the government, members of the New Jersey congressional delegation said in a letter released today. Both U.S. senators and 10 of the state’s 12 U.S. representatives signed a letter to FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate asking… Read the rest of this entry »
Congressman Frank Pallone issued the following statement regarding the St. Louis County, Missouri Grand Jury’s decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown:
“The St. Louis County Grand Jury’s decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson is a failure of our justice system. The principle of ‘Equal Justice under Law’ must apply to all Americans. My thoughts and prayers are with Michael Brown’s family, especially his parents, who have endured such unimaginable pain and hardship over these past few months.”
Pallone’s statement is disgraceful and beneath his office. He did not sit on the Grand Jury and hear the evidence.
Monmouth County GOP Chairman Shaun Golden, Middlesex County GOP Chairman Sam Thompson and the New Jersey Republican Congressional Caucus members should start recruiting a candidate to defeat Pallone in 2016 and start raising money for that campaign immediately.
Pallone is a radical liberal extremist who does not represent the people of the 6th Congressional District. He can be defeated and he should be defeated. Defeating him will take a will, a plan and money. It can be done and it should be done.
Congressman Frank Pallone was elected ranking Democratic member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee this morning in a 100-90 vote by the entire Democratic Caucus, according to Roll Call.
He defeated California Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, who had been backed for the post by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
Both Eshoo and Pallone downplayed speculation that the result was a result of Democratic discontent with Pelosi who was reelected Minority Leader yesterday.
But fellow New Jersey Congressman Bill Pascrell is quoted indicated that Pelosi overdid it in support of her friend and fellow Californian:
“One can make the argument that she overdid it,” Pascrell said. “One may make the argument that she overdid in terms of the letter she sent out, on the other hand, she had every right to do it — she didn’t break any laws.”
Congressman Frank Pallone will either be anointed into the elite class of legislative chairmen and ranking members this morning or remain a congressional back bencher as his campaign to replace Henry Waxman as the highest ranking Democrat on the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee comes to a close.
Pallone lost the endorsement of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee yesterday to California Congresswoman Anna Eshoo but secured enough votes to force the choice to the entire caucus. The leadership committee is dominated by allies of Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who favors her friend Eshoo to lead Energy and Commerce. The 39-19 tally gave Pallone 14 more votes than he needed to get a ballot with the entire caucus. As a backup, Pallone had a petition signed by 53 Democratic members of congress which would also have forced the caucus ballot, according to Roll Call.
The caucus vote is scheduled for 8:30 this morning, according to Roll Call.
House Democrats won’t let pregnant Iraqi war veteran vote by proxy
Congressman Frank Pallone cruised to reelection easily earlier this month, but the race he’s been waging since February for a key leadership post in the Democratic Minority of the House of Representatives will come to a head on Tuesday, November 18.
Pallone is battling California Congressman Anna Eshoo for the ranking position on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The retirements of Henry Waxman and John Dingle made the coveted position available. Pallone is the next in line for the job, based upon seniority, but Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in backing her California colleague Eshoo who, as At-Large Democratic Whip, has been part of Pelosi’s leadership team since 2003.
Maryland Congressman Steny Hoyer, the # 2 Democratic Leader in the House, backs Pallone for the position.
These men want to turn Monmouth County into South Essex County. CD-4 Candidate Ruben Scolavino, Larry Luttrell, Senator Cory Booker, Joe Grillo, Congressman Frank Pallone, NJ Democratic Chairman John Currie and Monmouth Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal. photo via facebook
Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal said that Essex County’s Government is the model he hopes to impose on Monmouth County should he ever win control of the Board of Freeholders.
Gopal and his freeholder candidates Larry Luttrell and Joe Grillo ventured north to Essex this week, hat in hand for money to fund their quest to transform Monmouth into South Essex, according to a report on PolitickerNJ.
“They have done an extraordinary job in Essex County as far as managing a county government, and it’s all Democratic,” Gopal said. “It’s a model for Monmouth to hope to achieve one day.”