Perchik: Money is the world’s curse.
Tevye: May the Lord smite me with it. And may I never recover!
Fiddler on the Roof 1971
A while Back the twin city tea party hosted Pat Barron who ran as an independent for Congress back in 2010 in what was at the time the 3rd Massachusetts district. He spoke about money in politics and noted that one of the real surprises that a lot of new members of congress face is the huge demands from the party to raise funds.
He described phone banking with long lists of potential contributes and thresholds that members are expected to attain. The mental picture is something like a giant telemarketing scheme that never seems to end with members of congress a direct cog in it
So when I read this story out of New Jersey…
An Elmwood Park man pleaded guilty on Tuesday to conspiring with his brother to violate federal election law by steering $21,400 in illegal campaign contributions to U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez.
Benedetto Bigica, 45, admitted that he worked with his brother, Joseph, of Franklin Lakes, from April 2005 to April 2008 to make the illegal contributions
…and this response from the Menendez campaign…
A spokesman for Menendez has acknowledged that the senator was the unnamed federal official cited in court papers in the case but said Menendez was a victim of Joseph Bigica’s.
“Senator Menendez’s campaign, a victim of the fraud that ensued, cooperated fully with the investigation,” Mike Soliman, Menendez’s state director and former campaign manager, said Tuesday.
…my head started to spin.
Pols like Senator Menendez routinely seek donations of large amounts of money, A businessman funnels a large amount of money to him and rather than an accomplice as a receiver of $98,000 in illegal campaign funds this makes Senator Menendez… a victim!
True it wasn’t until there was a guilty plea in this case that the Senator decided to abdicate victim status by giving the money to charity, but sometimes it takes time for victims to come forward.
What I find interesting is how little stretching of this elastic definition of “victimhood” it would take for Joseph Bigica to claim the title:
Joseph Bigica, 47, an insurance broker, was a prominent Democratic contributor who won millions of dollars in no-bid government contracts across North Jersey.
After all if the Senator is a victim for receiving tens of thousands by less that ethical means surely those millions of dollars make Mr Bigica an even bigger victim!
This story might be an alternative explanation as to why Senator Menendez abruptly left yesterday’s hurricane Sandy press conference, although it makes little sense. The press conference is about helping victims and the senator as a victim should have fit right in.
Two women from the Dominican Republic told The Daily Caller that Democratic New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez paid them for sex earlier this year.
In interviews, the two women said they met Menendez around Easter at Casa de Campo, an expensive 7,000-acre resort in the Dominican Republic. They claimed Menendez agreed to pay them $500 for sex acts, but in the end they each received only $100.
The senator’s alleged underpayment of these young ladies apparently was an effort to limit the degree of their victimhood.
Furthermore his continued silence on the matter in the face of a FBI investigation is clearly an effort by the senator to keep the embarrassment of these young ladies victim status away from the national press, or at least away from the members of the national press that finds it newsworthy.
And you thought Chivalry is dead?
Update: Chivalry or no, once Jay Leno starts joking
FBI agents late Tuesday night raided the West Palm Beach business of an eye doctor suspected of providing free trips and even underage Dominican Republic prostitutes to U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J. — who has denied what he calls the “fallacious allegations.”
Agents gathered at the medical-office complex of Dr. Salomon Melgen, a contributor to Menendez and other prominent politicians, to start hauling away potential evidence in several vans.
Another contributor, Don’t tell me the Senator has been victimized again!