01 Apr Watchdog: Menendez Indictment Perfectly Illustrates Broken System
Washington, D.C.—The indictment of Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) on corruption charges perfectly illustrates the state of our broken political system, according to national money-in-politics watchdog Public Campaign.
“Sen. Menendez’s indictment will only reinforce what a majority of the American people already believe: that their elected officials are in the pocket of big donors,” said Nick Nyhart, president and CEO of Public Campaign. “But this isn’t simply about Sen. Menendez, it’s about a political system that relies on keeping the biggest donors happy while ignoring the voices of everyday people. The American people deserve better.”
According to the Associated Press, “Sen. Bob Menendez has been charged with using his office to improperly benefit a Florida eye doctor and political donor. A federal grand jury on Wednesday indicted the New Jersey Democrat on charges including conspiracy to commit bribery and wire fraud.”
Menendez is not the only member of Congress to receive money from Dr. Melgen, though. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, “Melgen, his family and employees of his eye clinic have made more than $1.2 million in federal political contributions since 1993. Most has gone to outside groups, but at least $475,000 was given to campaigns, committees and parties — and virtually all of them Democratic.”
“Today’s indictment isn’t about one bad apple, it’s about the whole rotten barrel,” continued Nyhart. “It’s time for Democrats and Republicans to come together and work toward solutions that will give average Americans a bigger voice in the political process and reduce the influence of the biggest check-writers.”
Public Campaign supports legislation like the Government By the People Act (HR 20) and the soon-to-be re-introduced Fair Elections Now Act in the Senate that would sever the ties between big donors and politicians by giving everyday people a bigger voice in the political process. Learn more at ofby.us.
Public Campaign is a national nonpartisan organization that fights to raise the voices of everyday people in our democracy through changing our campaign finance laws and through holding elected officials accountable.