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When you've got trouble in the Dominican Republic, Bob Menendez is the man to see. Today's Star-Ledger reports that a second donor to his campaign also availed himself of Bob's Senate bully pulpit.
On the very same day Menendez interceded with Obama administration officials on the ports deal last summer, he also went to bat for another company involving a heavily disputed Dominican road-building contract. A deal, records show, that benefited New Jersey investors who contributed to his campaign.
The road contract, which has attracted scant attention in the United States, involved a firm called Codacsa, a Spanish consortium with U.S. interests, various government records show. At a hearing on July 31, 2012, of the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere — then chaired by Menendez — the New Jersey senator called on the U.S. government to pressure the Dominican government on behalf of Codacsa in connection with a $42.5 million international arbitration award, according to an official transcript of the proceeding.
After fighting the Dominican government for years over a contract it won in 2001 for two big highway projects, Codacsa had won the arbitration award in January 2012, but had no way to collect the money.
Menendez, a Democrat, told officials from the State and Commerce departments that countries needed to be sent a message that they could not violate trade agreements and arbitration awards. "If these countries can get away with it, they will," he said at the hearing, according to the transcript.
Donate to Bob's campaign and he'll be your collection agency!
A Star-Ledger review of court documents and public records in the Dominican Republic shows that the lone U.S. investor in Codacsa is a New Jersey company named Clearly Tropical. After revving up and winding down its investment over the years, the Fairfield, N.J.-based company had a $130,000 stake in Codacsa in 2012.
State corporate records show the company is headed by Ruby Pacheco, who — with her husband, Joseph Bonanno — have donated $19,800 to Menendez's campaigns and leadership PAC since 2006, according to Federal Election Commission records. Their most recent contributions came this past June, with two $2,500 checks to Menendez's November re-election campaign.
It's good to see the liberal media finally noticing just how sleazy ole Bob really is. Still, it's a pity they couldn't have done that before New Jersey's low information voters chose to return him to the Senate for 6 more years. With of course, a whole lotta help from the media that's now turning against him. It's almost as if they're bringing up all this stuff now so that by the time Bob's up for re-election again most folks will have forgotten all about it.
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