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Menendez Accused of Campaign Funding Violations

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Posted by Manolo on May 01, 2003 at 17:33:51:

Menendez Accused of Campaign Funding Violations
Urban Times News
April 25 - May 1, 2003

By Steven Glazer
Email. sglazer*

Jersey City-Rev. Edward A. Allen
National Board Member of Operation
PUSH, called for a Federal investigation of
violations of the Federal Election Law by.
Congressman Robert Menendez. Allen has
filed a formal complaint against Rep. Robert
Menendez D- 13, with the Federal Elections
Commission, charging violations of the new
campaign finance laws. Allen, a lifelong
resident, active in local politics for 30 years,
and currently a member of the Jersey City
Board of Education, says "In all the time
that I have been active and involved I have
never witnessed the arrogance and abuse of
power exercised by our Congressman,
Robert Menendez, D-13.
As a lawmaker, one of Mr.
Menendez' highest duties is to uphold the
laws of the land-all of them. We find, sadly,
to the contrary, that Mr. Menendez consis-
tently places himself above the law. We
have seen egregious examples recently."
For example, says Allen, " During
the past holiday season, he met with a
majority and quorum of the Jersey City
council without giving prior notice to the
public in open defiance of the Open
Meetings Act, the so-called sunshine law.
He incited Council members to resist and
obstruct the operation of government in
Jersey City, by his control of party purse
strings through his agent and long-time
friend and associate, attorney Donald
Scarinci. Scarinci is Treasurer of the
Hudson County Democratic Organization
and also Treasurer of Menendez for
Congress. By tugging on these purse
strings, with the aid of Scarinci, Menendez
is able to make our local lawmakers dance
like marionettes in a Punch and Judy show.
"Half the Jersey City Council has
full time, mostly no-show, little work jobs in
the government of the County of Hudson,
by appointment through the Hudson County
Democratic Organization. This gives
Menendez more direct and forceful control
over these local lawmakers and administra-
tors, through their salaries and the power to
turn them on and off at will." In fact, of the
nine Jersey City Council Members, 8 are
active members of the Hudson County
Democratic Organization and 4 are
employed by the County of Hudson in polit-
ically appointed jobs at salaries ranging
from a low of $60,000 to a high of $95,000.
"Newly enacted election law
reforms were put in place exactly to stop
abuses like these that have gone on too
long." Says Allen. The new law prevents
use of funds raised by higher office holders
to benefit the campaigns of candidates for
office at lower levels of government. "Mr.
Menendez knows the law very well and is
able to skirt it, doing violence to the spirit of
the law if not the actual letter of it. The new
laws strictly limit funds and the types of
funds that can be raised by federal and state
candidates and how those funds may be
used. The law is clear on strict limits it
places on the ability of a federal office hold-
er like Mr. Menendez using his position and
influence of the federal office he holds to
raise money for local elections as Mr.
Menendez has been doing. "
"Menendez uses the power and
influence of his federal office to raise money
to fund local campaigns at the municipal
and county level acting by and through the
Hudson County Democratic Organization.
The Hudson County Democratic
Organization then orchestrates local cam-
paigns implemented with fords raised by
Mr. Menendez.
The duplicity and hypocrisy of Mr.
Menendez is outrageous when we see him
just weeks earlier marching with Civil
Rights leaders symbolically re-crossing the
Edmund Pettus bridge. Then the
Congressman comes home to obstruct and,
through his paid agents on the Jersey City
Council, thwart efforts to govern New
Jersey's second largest city by its first
African American Mayor, Glenn
Cunningham. "
Menendez has now turned his ire
on the Governor who did not appoint
Menendez' choice of jurists to the state's
Supreme Court. Governor McGreevey
appointed an exceptionally qualified
African American jurist, Appellate Judge
John Wallace to replace the court's only sit-
ting African American member, Justice
James Coleman Jr., who will be forced to
retire when he turns 70 in May. Menendez
publicly broke ranks with McGreevey for
not appointing Menendez' choice, attorney
Zulima Farber. Farber is Hispanic, but has
no experience as a judge. A background
check revealed that she was a motor vehicle
scofflaw as well. The governor's office said
that the motor vehicle violations were not
the deciding issue; they did not work in her
favor either. Allen also points to Farber's
Cuban heritage. "Menendez constantly
hides behind the Hispanic label. Look at the
record and you will see that to Mr.
Menendez, Hispanic or Latino means one
thing and one thing only: Cuban.
Menendez is a Hispanic who does
not respond to the needs of his Puerto Rican
constituents, in his definition of Hispanic.
Menendez does not respond to the needs of
Dominican constituents in his defmition of
Hispanic. To Menendez Hispanic and
Latino mean the same thing and they mean
one thing only: Cuban. And Cuban does not
include African American, Venezuelan, or a
host of other ethnic groups. It means the
smallest segment of the Hispanic popula-
Menendez is allegedly a party
leader uniting Democrats nationally.
Instead, he is dividing Democrats locally in
his self-serving strategy of divide and con-
quer. Menendez is the problem. Menendez
is the living example of "Do as I say and not
as I do." His misuse of power and abuse of
the public trust of his office mark him as no
leader at all, but as a man without integrity

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