Menendez Donor Melgen Gave $130,000 to New Jersey Democrat Committees
Dr. Salomon Melgen, the Florida doctor at the center of the influence peddling controversy surrounding Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), donated more than $700,000 to support the Senator's reelection. Breitbart News has confirmed that Melgen also gave four New Jersey Democratic county committees $103,500, ostensibly to assist the local Democrats' get-out-the-vote efforts, in the final weeks of the 2012 election campaign.
Breitbart News has also discovered that Dr. Salomon Melgen and his family gave $30,000 to the New Jersey state Democrat party. Dr. Melgen neither resides nor practices medicine in New Jersey.
Fourth quarter reports filed on January 15, 2013 at the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission ("NJELEC") show that Melgen's company, Vitreo-Retinal Consultants of West Palm Beach, Florida, donated $16,500 to the Union County Democratic Committee on October 4, $37,000 to the Passaic County Democratic Committee on October 10, $25,000 to the Essex County Democratic Committee on October 12, and $25,000 to the Camden County Democratic Committee on October 17.
The Star-Ledger reported this morning that county Democrat leaders were aggressively searching for funds to finance their get-out-the-vote efforts for the November election.
Charlotte DeFilippo, the Union County Democratic chairwoman, told the paper that Melgen’s money helped Democrats up and down the ticket, but that it was especially meant for Menendez. “I said to him, ‘We need additional funds,’ ” she said, recalling her conversation with the senator. “He said he’d see what he could do, and I received a check.”
Though Breitbart News found the donations from Melgen's company on the NJELEC website by manually searching the reports filed by the four local county committees on January 15, 2013, these donations cannot yet be found online using the website's search function. Reporters for the Star-Ledger had to scour through hard copies of fourth quarter filings with the NJELEC to initially discover the donations.
“Obviously it came through the senator, part of our outreach program,” John Currie, the Democratic chairman in Passaic County, told the Star Ledger. “This was door-to-door, all of that kind of stuff.”
Phil Thigpen, the Democratic chairman in Essex County, seemed surprised when the paper told him about the $25,000 contribution from Melgen, but said he assumed the donation came through Menendez and was used for get-out-the-vote efforts.
With the revelation of Dr. Melgen's $103,500 in donations to four New Jersey Democratic county committees and the state committee, the total known donations to Senator Menendez's re-election by Dr. Melgen and his family individually, and through his company in 2012 alone is now close to $1 million.
Vitreo-Retinal Consultants donated $700,000 in 2012 to Senator Harry Reid's independent expenditure PAC, Majority PAC to assist Menendez's reelection. That amount, added to the $103,500 from the company to the New Jersey Democratic county committee, brings total Vitreo-Retinal Consultant donations to Menendez related entities in 2012 to $803,500.
To that number, add $30,000 from Melgen, his wife, and daughter to the New Jersey State Democratic Committee. A year earlier, in 2011, they each gave $5,000 to Senator Menendez's campaign committee, according to FEC records.
To date, the amount donated to Senator Menendez and entities that support Senator Menendez in the 2012 election cycle by Dr. Melgen, his family, and his company is $848,500.
Again, Dr. Melgen neither resides nor practices medicine in New Jersey.