Monday, May 20, 2013

Bob Menendez - He's One of Us


I had the good fortune of growing up socially acquainted with some powerful people.  I didn't know whoever as a powerful person.  I just knew them as a friend's dad or somebody who my mom knew from playing golf.  Knowing that somebody was in trouble because of something, who was having an affair, who drank too much and how you get out of certain types of problems was just part of life.

More than 25 years ago, when I first began to practice law, I remember sitting in the chambers of a Superior Court Judge, who was saying things you just can't say today.  The lawyers just kept the ball rolling.  It was hilarious.  I felt right at home.  At some point the Judge looked at me and asked, "Is he alright?"  The most important lawyer in the room just said, "Oh, it's ok.  He's one of us."  That was a long time ago, and I am still worried about telling such a story.

I am not sure exactly how Bob Menendez got into trouble.  Maybe he shouldn't have worked so closely with Hillary in her Presidential bid.  Maybe he should not have held onto the blue slip in February 2012 for Patty Schwartz, a former Federal Prosecutor in the Public Corruption Unit, when President Obama nominated her for a seat on the Third Circuit.  Becoming the only Democrat to block an Obama judicial nomination must have been a difficult choice.  But ramping up an investigation during an election fight, like how Schwartz did in 2006, is one of those things that cannot go unrecognized.  How his trips to the Dominican Republic became public in November 2012 is anybody's guess.  A lot of interesting things became public about that time.  Strange isn't it?

I thought I would post a picture of Bob, as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, looking just like "one of us" while sitting through Hillary's testimony about Benghazi. Now, Patty Schwartz has been confirmed for the Third Circuit. Senator Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) said before the vote that Shwartz has handled more than 4,000 civil and criminal cases and has the intellectual rigor and knowledge to effectively serve on the appeals court. The FBI’s investigation into allegations that Sen. Menendez enjoyed prostitutes provided by Dr. Salomon Melgen, has hit a dead end.

Here are a set of problems that have been solved.

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