Kushner Biggest Menendez Campaign Donor
So how will Senator Bob Menendez supporters react to this news?
U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez received at least $159,000 since 1997 from Kushner, his real estate partners and their relatives. He donated just $6,000 of that -- the amount the FEC said had been given illegally -- to charity after the developer's conviction.Charles Kushner you may remember is the major contributor to the New Jersey Democrat Party that pled guilty in 2004 to 18 federal crimes that included: making illegal campaign contributions, lying to the Federal Election Commission, tax fraud, hiring a prostitute and using videotapes to try to entrap his brother-in-law to stop him from cooperating with the Feds. Kushner was also the guy Governor Jon Corzine teamed up with to buy the New Jersey Nets basketball team. Very well connected to the state's Democrat political powers.
Kushner Cos. has been Menendez's biggest donor in the past five years. The firm is also developing a $600 million, 49-acre project on the Perth Amboy waterfront, which is in the House district Menendez represented before being appointed to the Senate in January.
Kushner was ultimately fined $508,000, the sixth-largest fine ever issued by the FEC, and served half of a two-year prison sentence before being released to a Newark halfway house in March. Soon he'll be back to business as usual.
We expect the reaction by Democrats to the Kushner - Menendez connection to be the same as we heard after the Menendez connection to the UMDNJ patronage scandal was disclosed.
The machine needs to be strengthened, not abandoned, and to say otherwise is naive. If we leave the machine behind, we close high office off to qualified people like Menendez and reserve it for the Corzines of the world.In other words, who cares - as long as the candidate is 'qualified'. Does it take special qualifications to vote for higher taxes in the Senate?
In any event, there is another choice in this year's New Jersey senate race - Tom Kean, Jr. He's against tax increases. Of course the Democrats have dug up dirt on him too. Diid you know he's named after his father? Yep, the Democrats have uncovered he's a junior and the latest - Tom Kean voted in favor of his homotown's school budget. Well, he and 3,098 other voters in Westfield voted in favor of the winning budget measure.