THE OTHER MCCAIN
A sex scandal is quite often more than just a sex scandal, and the emerging story of the connection between embattled Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and his shady Palm Beach patron, Dr. Salomon Melgen, appears to be developing as a complex scandal:
Sen. Bob Menendez used his influence to advocate for a Dominican Republic business deal that helped a longtime friend and donor whose South Florida office was raided by federal agents this week.
Menendez questioned Obama administration officials at a July hearing about what it was doing to help U.S. businesses that he felt were being unfairly treated by the government of the Dominican Republic and other Latin American countries.
One company Menendez was apparently referring to: ICSSI, acquired the year before by Dr. Salomon Melgen, a Palm Beach County eye doctor and friend. The firm was seeking to enforce a contract it had won to X-ray Dominican Republic port cargo, that could be worth $500 million to $1 billion over two decades.
Follow the money – if Melgen had a billion-dollar contract at stake, his “friendship” with Senator Menendez was obviously more than a mere social acquaintance, which doesn’t necessarily mean that it was illegal for Menendez to pressure the administration to help Melgen enforce his Dominican port security contract. But how and why does a Florida opthamologist become an international port-security mogul? The New York Times rather unsubtly raised that point Friday: MORE