Robert Menendez on Principles & Values

Democratic Jr Senator; previously Representative (NJ-13)


2006: Investigated for grants to community service agency

Menendez and the US Attorney's office had a long history. In 1980, Menendez was used by prosecutors in that office to help them convict Menendez's mentor, Bill Musto, at the time a state senator and the occupant of the Union City's mayor office that Menendez would ultimately take over.

More than 25 years after the Musto affair, the US Attorney's office--under the control of Chris Christie--took on an even more central role in Menendez's life. That time, he looked to be the hunted. Two months before that election, federal prosecutors very publicly subpoenaed records connected to a rental deal between Menendez and a community-service agency that won federal grants. The controversial subpoena would multiply into a small series and it became a critical element of the election. Democrats accused Chris Christie of issuing the subpoena specifically to affect the election.

Source: The Jersey Sting, by Sherman & Margolin, p.260-261 , Apr 10, 2012

Child of Cuban emigrants

In the heated 2006 US Senate race, Democratic incumbent Robert Menendez was running against Tom Kean Jr., the son of the popular former governor. The election pitted the First Family of NJ against the child of Cuban emigrants who had clawed his way to the top of the political food chain. At the time, Menendez--the de facto political boss of Hudson County--was trying to run away from a pedigree that can kill a candidate in the white-bread suburbs of NJ horse country.
Source: The Jersey Sting, by Sherman & Margolin, p.157 , Apr 10, 2012

Voted with Democratic Party 95.7% of 325 votes.

Sen. Robert Men‚ndez (D-NJ), was scored by the Washington Post on the percentage of votes on which a lawmaker agrees with the position taken by a majority of his or her party members. The scores do not include missed votes. Their summary:
Voted with Democratic Party 95.7% of 325 votes.
Overall, Democrats voted with their party 88.4% of the time, and Republicans voted with their party 81.7% of the time (votes Jan. 8 through Sept. 8, 2007).
Source: Washington Post, “US Congress Votes Database” , Sep 8, 2007

Chosen as Corzine’s successor after long political career

Rep. Robert Menendez, D-Hoboken, [was] anointed by Gov.-elect Jon Corzine, also of Hoboken, to fill his unexpired US Senate term beginning Jan. 17.

Menendez has survived the minefield of indictment-prone Hudson County politics. First there were the murky waters inundating the Union City Board of Education. As a 19-year-old, Menendez was elected to the board and then served as its secretary. In that capacity Menendez testified before a federal grand jury investigating the board and Union City mayor William Musto. Menendez called him his “political father” but cut the paternal link, later testifying against Musto, who was sentenced in 1982 to federal prison on corruption charges.

Menendez was elected Union City mayor in 1986, and re-elected in 1990. He was in his second term when he was chosen to succeed the late Christopher Jackman in the state Senate in 1991. From there, Menendez was elected in 1992 to the House of Representatives and was re-elected six times.

Source: The Jersey Journal, “Menendez vs. Kean” , Dec 22, 2005

Appointed by governor-elect Jon Corzine to fill Senate seat

On Dec, 9, New Jersey Governor-elect Jon Corzine appointed Menendez to fill out the remaining year of his term in the US Senate. At an event at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, Menendez made the following remarks.
Thank you, Governor-elect. This is a privilege I will work tirelessly every day to honor. Along with our soon-to-be senior Senator Frank Lautenberg, you have shown what it means to be a powerful advocate for our state in Washington, and I know you will lead us to even greater days when you take office in Trenton. I look forward to working with you in the days ahead to meet the challenges faced by this state and unlock opportunity for all of our citizens.

Senator Lautenberg, thank you for your leadership. I have a lot to learn from you, and I look forward to working as the junior Senator for many years to come with someone who has so much respect in the U.S. Senate. Governor Codey, thank you for the leadership you provided in a difficult time.

Source: Remarks on Being Appointed to the United States Senate , Dec 9, 2005

American Dream is about keeping promise to other generations

My own parents came to this country fleeing tyranny and searching for freedom. And what they found was not just a country where people are free to pursue their dreams, but a country that also gives them the tools to realize them. In America, freedom and opportunity are the keys that unlock success not just for the rich or the connected, but for anyone who is willing to work hard. My mother and father did not have an easy life. My mother was a seamstress, my father an itinerant carpenter. I was the first in my family ever to graduate from college. Today, my daughter Alicia holds a degree from Harvard. That is the power of America. To me, the American Dream is about keeping a promise to those who have come before us and to create promise for those who come next.

I have walked in the shoes of the average New Jerseyan all my life, and I know the challenges they face. I began a life in public service because I believed that one person committed to change could make a difference.

Source: Remarks on Being Appointed to the United States Senate , Dec 9, 2005

Priorities: affordable health care & college, and fair taxes

As your Senator, I will work to bring down the costs of health care for average New Jerseyans, so a visit to the hospital doesn’t also mean a trip to the bank. I will work to make college more affordable for every New Jerseyan, so we can unleash the God-given potential inside each of our children. I will fight for a real investment in stem cell research, which can deliver the cure for the diseases that plague our families. I will fight for tax fairness, so we put an end to tax cuts to those at the top who need them the least and instead provide real tax breaks for the working class, the middle class, and those struggling to succeed. Our nation can not afford a tax policy that shifts the burden onto the backs of the middle class and threatens to leave our children and grandchildren with crippling debt. And I will get up every morning and work to strengthen our national security by making the investments in homeland security that the Bush administration has ignored.
Source: Remarks on Being Appointed to the United States Senate , Dec 9, 2005

America needs unity to face challenges of globalization

America is locked in a tremendous race against competitors across the globe. An America that is united in purpose can answer that challenge. Unfortunately, the powers in Washington today have not brought us together to answer the great challenges our country faces. At a time when this nation has needed unity more than ever, they have pitted Americans against each other. By putting special interests ahead of the national interest time & time again, they have weakened our nation, and left us unprepared
Source: Remarks on Being Appointed to the United States Senate , Dec 9, 2005

Voted YES on confirming of Sonia Sotomayor to Supreme Court.

Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee kicked off the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Nominee, Judge Sonia Sotomayor. In her opening statement, Judge Sotomayor pledged a "fidelity to the law:"
"In the past month, many Senators have asked me about my judicial philosophy. It is simple: fidelity to the law. The task of a judge is not to make the law--it is to apply the law. And it is clear, I believe, that my record in two courts reflects my rigorous commitment to interpreting the Constitution according to its terms; interpreting statutes according to their terms and Congress's intent; and hewing faithfully to precedents established by the Supreme Court and my Circuit Court. In each case I have heard, I have applied the law to the facts at hand."
Reference: Supreme Court Nomination; Bill PN506 ; vote number 2009-S262 on Aug 6, 2009

Voted NO on confirming Samuel Alito as Supreme Court Justice.

Vote on the Nomination -- a YES vote would to confirm Samuel A. Alito, Jr., of New Jersey, to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
Reference: Alito Nomination; Bill PN 1059 ; vote number 2006-002 on Jan 31, 2006

Religious affiliation: Catholic.

Menendez : religious affiliation:

The Adherents.com website is an independent project and is not supported by or affiliated with any organization (academic, religious, or otherwise).

What’s an adherent?

The most common definition used in broad compilations of statistical data is somebody who claims to belong to or worship in a religion. This is the self-identification method of determining who is an adherent of what religion, and it is the method used in most national surveys and polls.

Such factors as religious service attendance, belief, practice, familiarity with doctrine, belief in certain creeds, etc., may be important to sociologists, religious leaders, and others. But these are measures of religiosity and are usually not used academically to define a person’s membership in a particular religion. It is important to recognize there are various levels of adherence, or membership within religious traditions or religious bodies. There’s no single definition, and sources of adherent statistics do not always make it clear what definition they are using.

Source: Adherents.com web site 00-ADH11 on Nov 7, 2000

Member of Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

Menendez is a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus:

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) is an informal group of 18 members of Congress of Hispanic descent. The Caucus is dedicated to voicing and advancing, through the legislative process, issues affecting Hispanic Americans in the US and the insular areas. The CHC was founded in December 1976 as a legislative service organization of the US House. Today, the CHC is organized as a congressional member organization, governed under the Rules of Congress and comprised solely of Members of the US Congress.

Although every issue that affects the quality of life of Americans is of concern to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, there are national and international issues that have a particular impact on the Hispanic community. The function of the Caucus is to serve as a forum for the Hispanic Members of Congress to coalesce around a collective legislative agenda. In addition to covering legislative action, the CHC also monitors Executive and Judicial policies that affect Hispanics.

Source: Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute web site 01-CHC0 on Jan 8, 2001

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Retiring in 2014 election:

Retired as of Jan. 2013:
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AK: Murkowski(R) vs.Begich(D) vs.Lamb(R) vs.Stevens(L)
AL: Shelby(R) vs.Crumpton(D) vs.Bowman(R)
AR: Boozman(R) vs.Eldridge(D) vs.Gilbert(L) vs.Beebe(D)
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CO: Bennet(D) vs.Glenn(R) vs.Neville(R) vs.Frazier(R) vs.Keyser(R) vs.Littleton(R)
CT: Blumenthal(D) vs.Kudlow(R) vs.Wolf(R) vs.Foley(R)
FL: Jolly(R) vs.DeSantis(R) vs.Cantera(R) vs.Murphy(D) vs.Grayson(D) vs.Keith(D)
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ID: Crapo(R) vs.LaRocco(D) vs.Minnick(D) vs.Pro-Life(C)
IL: Kirk(R) vs.Harris(D) vs.Zopp(D) vs.Duckworth(D)
IN: Stutzman(R) vs.Hill(D) vs.Holcomb(R) vs.Young(R) vs.Bosma(R)
KS: Moran(R) vs.Orman(I) vs.Wiesner(D) vs.Sebelius(D)
KY: Paul(R) vs.Conway(D) vs.Chandler(D)
LA: Fleming(R) vs.Boustany(R) vs.Maness(R) vs.Kennedy(D) vs.Cao(R) vs.McAllister(R)
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OH: Portman(R) vs.Strickland(D) vs.Sittenfeld(D)
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Page last updated: Apr 30, 2016