Robert Menendez

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U.S. Senator

Robert Menendez




Leadership: Chairman of DSCC
Committees: Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Senate Committee on Finance, Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Senate Committee on the Budget
(subcommittees and past assignments)

Candidates for the NJ-Senate Class I Seat:
(Next election: 6 November 2012)

Confirmed: None so far
Considering: None so far
Rumored: None so far
Potential: None so far
Dropped-out: None so far
(more info and editing for the NJ-Senate Class I Seat)
On the Web
Official website

Robert Menendez, a Democrat, has represented the state of New Jersey in the Senator since 2006.


Record and controversies

Congressional scorecards

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Organization 2007 Scorecard
Score - Agree ratio
2008 Scorecard
Score - Agree ratio
American Civil Liberties Union not avail. not avail.
American Conservative Union not avail. not avail.
AFSCME not avail. not avail.
Americans for Democratic Action not avail. not avail.
Club for Growth not avail. not avail.
Drum Major Institute not avail. not avail.
Family Research Council not avail. not avail.
Information Technology Industry Council not avail. not avail.
League of Conservation Voters not avail. not avail.
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People not avail. not avail.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce not avail. not avail.

Iraq War

As a Representative in the House Menendez voted against the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 that started the Iraq War.[1]

For more information see the chart of U.S. House of Representatives votes on the Iraq War.

Michael Mukasey nomination

Sen. Robert Menendez voted AGAINST the confirmation Bush appointee Michael Mukasey as Attorney General of the U.S. on Nov. 8, 2007. Six Democrats and Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) joined most Republicans in the 53-40 vote confirming Mukasey. No Republicans voted against him. [1] Mukasey's nomination was surrounded by controversy after he called waterboarding "repugnant" but refused to say whether it was illegal under anti-torture laws.

Main article: Michael Mukasey

Environmental record

For more information on environmental legislation, see the Energy and Environment Policy Portal

Relationship with non-profit group

In early September 2006, federal authorities delivered a subpoena to the North Hudson County Action Corp., a non-profit organization in Union City, NJ. Specifically, they sought records of a rental deal between the agency and Menendez.

In 1983, Menendez purchased a three-story brick house on a residential street in Union City for $92,000. He and his family lived there briefly, but ultimately moved out and began renting it as a commercial property. In 1994, he entered a rental agreement with the North Hudson group, who planned to use the home for administrative offices. Menendez charged them $3,100 per month, and later raised the figure to $4,000 per month.

During a nine-year period in which he served Hudson County in the House, Menendez received over $300,000 from the group in rent payments. As a congressman, Menendez often helped secure funds for the non-profit organization. In 1998, Menendez helped the agency win designation as a federally qualified health care center, a title that made it eligible for federal health care grants. In the eight years that followed this designation, the agency collected $9.6 million in federal grants. In 2001, the group honored Menendez as it’s “man of the year” and named a pavilion after him.

Menendez argued that before renting out the house in 1994, he obtained clearance from the House Ethics Committee. He has stated that there was nothing improper about his actions because he never negotiated directly with agency officials and the organization paid slightly below-market rent for the house. In 2003, Menendez sold the house for $450,000. The new owner continued to rent the house to the North Hudson Community Action Corp.; at a rate of $3,700 per month. [2] [3]

Currently, Menendez is under investigation by the Newark, NJ Attorney’s Office and the Department of Justice for collecting rent from an anti-poverty group that received funding from earmarks proposed by Menendez. The group, the North Hudson Community Action Corporation, is run by one of Menendez's donors. The federal investigation has broadened to encompass Sen. Menendez’s relationship with his former chief of staff, lobbyist Kay LiCausi, to determine whether Menendez improperly helped her or her clients win contracts and federal funding. Menendez has not reported any legal fees in 2009.[2]

Hiring controversy with top advisor

In September of 2006, a tape emerged of Donald Scarinci - Menendez's chilhood friend and closest political advisor - pressuring a Union City, NJ psychiatrist with several contracts with the prison system to hire an additional physician known to Scarinci. In the secretly recorded conversation, Scarinci told the physician that doing so would be a favor to Menendez, then a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. When the tapes content became public, Menendez severed ties with Scarinci, claiming that he had used his name and influence without his knowledge and committed a serious breach of good judgment. [4]



Menendez was born January 1, 1954 in New York City but grew up in Union City, New Jersey.

In 1971, at age 17, while attending Saint Peter's College in Jersey City, he launched a successful petition drive against his mentor, then-Union City Mayor William Musto, to reform the local school board. He was elected to the Union City Board of Education, and would later testify against Musto in court, which resulted in a prison sentence for Musto. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts from Saint Peter's, he attended Rutgers University School of Law in Newark, New Jersey, from which he obained his law degree, and later became a lawyer in private practice.

He was elected mayor of Union City in 1986 and served until 1992. While serving as mayor, he also served in New Jersey Legislature (a very common practice for New Jersey mayors), serving in the General Assembly from 1987 until 1991 and in the New Jersey Senate from 1991 to 1993.

House of Representatives

In 1992, Menendez was elected to the U.S. House. In 2002 he was elected chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, ranking him third in seniority, the highest Congressional rank of any Hispanic in history. [5] In the 107th Congress, he became the chair of both the Democratic Task Force on Education and the Democratic Task Force on Homeland Security. In 1996 he was briefly a candidate in the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate seat held by the retiring Bill Bradley, but backed out and the seat was won by fellow Democrat Robert Torricelli.

Although he is often portrayed as the political boss of Hudson County, he strongly dislikes this appellation, particularly because, according to a close source quoted in the December 11, 2005 Union City Reporter, "there is no boss of Hudson County." [6]

Senate career

In January 2006 Jon Corzine appointed Menendez to fill the seat made vacant by Corzine's resignation from the Senate to serve as Governor of New Jersey. Menendez was a controversial choice for the Senate appointment due to ties to the Hudson County Democratic machine. The New York Times has repeatedly reported about some of his shady relationships and editorialized against him. [7]

DSCC chairmanship

On November 25, 2008, Menendez was named chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the fundraising and recruitment arm for Senate Democrats. Announcing the move, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Menendez possessed a "mastery of policy" equaled by his "mastery of politics." Menendez succeeds Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) in the position; Schumer helped Democrats grab six seats in 2006 and additional seven seats in 2008.[3]

2006 elections

In 2006, the Republicans nominated three-year Republican State Senator Thomas H. Kean Jr to face Menendez in his November 2006 bid for reelection. On August 21, 2006, Kean proposed restrictions on lobbying, gifts and earmarking as part of a plan to reform Congress. In addition, he attacked Menendez for his behavior in Congress, arguing that, "He has operated on a quid pro quo basis for essentially his entire career." [8]

Menendez defeated Kean in a widely watched race.(See U.S. congressional elections in 2006)

Democrats nominated Albio Sires and Republicans nominated John J. Guarini to contest the November 2006 election for his house seat, temporarily being filled by Sires. (See U.S. congressional elections in 2006) [9]

Money in politics

This section contains links to – and feeds from – money in politics databases. For specific controversies, see this article's record and controversies section.

Top Contributors to during the 2008 Election Cycle
DonorAmount (US Dollars)
Lowenstein Sandler LLP$ 105,407
NorPAC$ 90,550
Greenberg Traurig LLP$ 87,550
Prudential Financial$ 76,950
Federated Investors Inc$ 56,200
Inserra Supermarkets$ 49,400
Verizon Communications$ 49,150
Kindred Healthcare$ 48,000
Bio-Reference Laboratories$ 47,850
McDermott, Will & Emery$ 47,725
Source: The Center for Responsive Politics' site.
Note: Contributions are not from the organizations themselves, but are rather from
the organization's PAC, employees or owners. Totals include subsidiaries and affiliates.
Links to more campaign contribution information for Robert Menendez
from the Center for Responsive Politics' site.
Fundraising profile: 2008 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by organization/corporation: 2008 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by industry: 2008 election cycle Career totals

Committees and Affiliations


Committees in the 110th Congress (2007-2008)

Committee assignments in the 109th Congress (2005-2006)

More Background Data

Wikipedia also has an article on Robert Menendez. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.


DC office
  • 528 Hart Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510
    Ph: 202-224-4744 Fax: 202-228-2197
    Webform email
District offices
  • One Gateway Center, Suite 1100, Newark, New Jersey 07102
    Ph: 973.645.3030 Fax: (none entered)
  • 208 White Horse Pike, Suite 18, Barrington, New Jersey 08007
    Ph: 856.757.5353 Fax: (none entered)
On the Web
Campaign office
  • No campaign website entered.
  • No campaign webform email entered.
  • No campaign office information entered.


Bob Menendez posts on Twitter at

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Articles and Resources


  1. Roll call vote, Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002.
  2. "CREW Releases List of Congressional Members Currently Under Investigation", Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, May, 20 2009.
  3. Jonathan Allen, "Schumer To Step Down from DSCC; Menendez To Take Over," CQ Politics, November 25, 2008



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