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Title Political pin: Hoboken's Bob Menendez, U.S. Senate. Hoboken, (2006.)
Object Name Button, Political
Catalog Number 2008.023.0002
Collection Hoboken Government & Politics Collection
Credit Gift of Maurice Fitzgibbons.
Description Political pin: Hoboken's Bob Menendez, U.S. Senate. Hoboken, (2006.) 2-1/4" diameter pin back button.

Hoboken resident Robert Menendez was the incumbent junior senator (previously a U.S. House member, he was appointed to fill the seat vacated when Jon Corzine resigned after winning the election for N.J. Governor); he was re-elected in 2006 to a full term. See notes for Wikipedia biography as of March 2008.

Edge printing: Paid for by Hoboken Democratic Party. B.[Bob, Robert] Drasheff, Treasurer.
Date 2006-2006
Year Range from 2006
Year Range to 2006
People Menendez, Robert
Drasheff, Robert
Imagefile 066\20080230002-2.TIF
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia March 12, 2008
Bob Menendez


Junior Senator
from New Jersey
Assumed office
January 18, 2006
Serving with Frank Lautenberg
Preceded by Jon Corzine


Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Jersey's 13th district
In office
January 5, 1993 – January 18, 2006
Preceded by Jim Saxton
Succeeded by Albio Sires


Born January 1, 1954 (1954-01-01) (age 54)
New York City, New York
Political party Democratic
Spouse Jane Menendez (Divorced)
Religion Roman Catholic
Robert "Bob" Menendez (born January 1, 1954) is the junior Democratic Senator from New Jersey. In January 2006, he was appointed by Jon Corzine to fill the seat made vacant by Corzine's resignation from the Senate to serve as Governor of New Jersey; Menendez subsequently won the seat in the November 7 general election later that year. Before his appointment to the Senate, he represented New Jersey's 13th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives from 1993 to 2006. He currently resides in Hoboken. He is the first person of Hispanic ethnicity to represent New Jersey in the U.S. Senate.

1 Personal life
2 Early political career
3 United States House of Representatives
4 United States Senate
4.1 Committee Assignments
4.2 2006 GOP allegations of ethics violations
5 2006 Senate race
6 Electoral history
7 Footnotes
8 External links

Personal life
Menendez was born in New York City to Cuban parents Evangelina and Mario Menendez.[1] Fleeing Cuba in 1953 due to their dislike of the Batista government, his parents came to New York. His father was a carpenter and his mother was a seamstress. He grew up in Union City, New Jersey, where he graduated from Union Hill High School.

After graduating with a B.A. from Saint Peter's College, he attended Rutgers School of Law-Newark in Newark, from which he obtained his Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree. He was admitted to the New Jersey Bar in 1980 and became a lawyer in private practice.

He married Jane Jacobsen, a teacher for the Union City Board of Education, and the couple had two children: Alicia, a graduate of Harvard University, and Robert, a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Menendez and Jacobsen have since divorced.

Early political career
In 1973, at age 19, while attending Saint Peter's College in Jersey City, he launched a successful petition drive against his mentor, then-Union City Mayor William Musto, to reform the local school board. He was elected to the Union City Board of Education in 1974, and would later testify against Musto in a court case that resulted in a prison sentence for Musto.

Menendez was elected mayor of Union City in 1986 and served as mayor until 1992. While mayor, he simultaneously served in the New Jersey Legislature, a common practice for New Jersey politicians. He was in the General Assembly from 1987 until 1991 and in the New Jersey Senate from 1991 to 1993.

United States House of Representatives

Menendez as a CongressmanIn 1992, 14th District Congressman Frank Guarini retired after seven terms. Menendez won the Democratic nomination for the Jersey City-based district, which was renumbered the 13th after New Jersey lost a district in the 1990 Census, and was easily elected that November. The district was already heavily Democratic, but had been redrawn with a Hispanic majority after the 1990 census. He was reelected six times with no significant Republican opposition.

In 1996, Menendez was briefly a candidate in the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate seat held by the retiring Bill Bradley, but he backed out and the seat was won by Democrat Robert Torricelli.

In 2003, Menendez was elected chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, ranking him third in the Democratic hierarchy in the house, behind House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland. He was elected to chair the Credentials Committee of the 2004 Democratic National Convention and was a speaker on the first day of the convention. During the 107th Congress, he was chair of the Democratic Task Force on Education and the Democratic Task Force on Homeland Security.

Although he is often portrayed as the political boss of Hudson County, he strongly dislikes this appellation, particularly because, according to an anonymous close source quoted in the December 11, 2005 Union City Reporter, "there is no boss of Hudson County".
Menendez is also seen as one leader in a fractured political establishment tenuously united by agreements that permitted the county to generate a significant vote for Corzine in the 2005 gubernatorial race.

United States Senate

Congressman Robert Menendez spoke on the importance of small businesses in the U.S. economy in Texas.While several other names had been mentioned, Menendez was the early favorite among pundits for Governor-elect Corzine's replacement to fill the vacancy that would be created when Corzine resigned from the Senate. Corzine's decision to appoint Menendez got the support of several Latino groups, including the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials.

Menendez is the first minority to represent New Jersey in the Senate, and only the sixth Hispanic to serve in that body. He joins Republican Mel Martinez of Florida (also of Cuban descent) and Democrat Ken Salazar of Colorado (of Mexican descent) as the only three Hispanics currently in the Senate. He is on the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, Budget and Energy and Natural Resources committees.

In February of 2006, Menendez cosponsored legislation with New York Senator Hillary Clinton to make it illegal for foreign governments to buy U.S. port operations. The legislation was a direct response to Dubai Ports World's efforts to purchase Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O) of the United Kingdom, which operates six major U. S. ports. Menendez said, "Our ports are the front lines of the war on terrorism. They are both vulnerable targets for attack and venues for smuggling and human trafficking. We wouldn't turn the Border Patrol or the Customs Service over to a foreign government, and we can't afford to turn our ports over to one either."

On September 28, 2006 Menendez voted for the Military Commissions Act.

Committee Assignments
Committee on Foreign Relations
Subcommittee on European Affairs
Subcommittee on International Development and Foreign Assistance, Economic Affairs and International Environmental Protection (Chairman)
Subcommittee on International Operations and Organizations, Democracy and Human Rights
Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Peace Corps and Narcotics Affairs
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
Subcommittee on Energy
Subcommittee on National Parks
Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests
Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
Subcommittee on Financial Institutions
Subcommittee on Securities, Insurance and Investment
Committee on the Budget

2006 GOP allegations of ethics violations
On August 27, 2006, two Republican state lawmakers filed an ethics complaint against Menendez, alleging he broke conflict-of-interest rules when he rented property out to a nonprofit agency that receives federal funds. Menendez helped the organization win designation as a federally qualified health care center in 1998. That designation allowed the agency to receive additional federal grants. Menendez allies note that the organization in question, the North Hudson Community Action Corp., which provides social services and health care to the poor and was founded in 1960, had received federal funding for years before Menendez was in Congress, and receives its funding based on mathematical formulas. Menendez maintains that he rented the property out below market-value because "he was supportive of its work".The total rent collected over nine years was over $300,000.

2006 Senate race
Main article: New Jersey United States Senate election, 2006
Menendez successfully ran to retain his seat in the Senate. In the general election in November 2006, he defeated Republican Thomas Kean, Jr., current minority whip in the New Jersey Senate and son of former state governor Thomas Kean.

The race had been considered one of the best hopes for a Republican to pick up a Democratic seat. With 99% of the precincts reporting, Menendez stood at 1,156,237 votes or 53% to Kean's 971,757 or 45%. However, Menendez's margin of victory, albeit comfortable, was the smallest for a Democratic incumbent in 2006, which may be related to the fact that Menendez had served less than one year in the Senate at the time of his reelection.

Menendez was endorsed by the following major newspapers covering New Jersey politics: The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Star-Ledger, and The Record.

Electoral history
New Jersey's 13th congressional district: Results 1992–2004[15] Year Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct
1992 Robert Menendez 93,670 64% Fred J. Theemling, Jr. 44,529 31% Joseph D. Bonacci Stop Tax Increases 2,363 2% Len Flynn Libertarian 1,539 1% John E. Rummel Communist 1,525 1% Jane Harris Socialist Workers 1,406 1% *
1994 Robert Menendez 67,688 71% Fernando A. Alonso 24,071 25% Frank J. Rubino, Jr. We the People 1,494 2% Herbert H. Shaw Politicians Are Crooks 1,319 1% Steven Marshall Socialist Workers 895 1%
1996 Robert Menendez 115,459 79% Carlos E. Munoz 25,427 17% Herbert H. Shaw Independent 2,136 1% Mike Buoncristiano Independent 2,094 1% William P. Estrada Independent 720 <1% Rupert Ravens Independent 637 <1%
1998 Robert Menendez 70,308 80% Theresa de Leon 14,615 17% Richard S. Hester, Sr. Independent 1,276 1% Richard G. Rivera Independent 872 1% Susan Anmuth Independent 752 1%
2000 Robert Menendez 117,856 79% Theresa de Leon 27,849 19% Claudette C. Meliere Independent 2,741 2% Dick Hester Independent 562 <1% Herbert H. Shaw Independent 357 <1% *
2002 Robert Menendez 72,605 78% James Geron 16,852 18% Pat Henry Faulkner Green 1,195 1% Esmat Zaklama Anti-Corruption Doctor 740 1% Dick Hester Pro Life Conservative 732 1% Herbert H. Shaw Politicians are Crooks* 573 1% *
2004 Robert Menendez 121,018 76% Richard W. Piatkowski 35,288 22% Dick Hester Pro Life Conservative 1,282 1% Herbert H. Shaw Politicos son Corruptos 1,066 1% Angela L. Lariscy Socialist Workers 887 1%

*Write-in and minor candidate notes: In 1992, Donald K. Stoveken as an America First Populist received 682 votes. In 2000, Alina Lydia Fonteboa received 233 votes and Kari Sachs received 168 votes. In 2002, a candidate listed only as Independent (The American Party) received 34 votes; also, Herbert Shaw's full party name was "Politicians are Crooks - Politicos son Corruptos" (shortened for display purposes above).
2006 United States Senate election, Senate Class 1, New Jersey[16]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Bob Menendez (inc.) 1,200,843 53.3 +3.1
Republican Thomas Kean, Jr. 997,775 44.3 -2.8
Libertarian Len Flynn 14,637 0.7 +0.4
Marijuana Edward Forchion 11,593 0.5 n/a
Independent J.M. Carter 7,918 0.4 +0.2
Independent N. Leonard Smith 6,243 0.3 n/a
Independent Daryl Brooks 5,138 0.2 n/a
Socialist Workers Angela Lariscy 3,433 0.2 +0.1
Socialist Gregory Pason 2,490 0.1 +0.0
Majority 203,068 9.0
Turnout 2,250,070
Democratic hold Swing 3.26

^ 1
^ Filling in the gaps in Menendez's biography The Star-Ledger July 30, 2006
^ Robert Menendez, a Politician Even at 20 The New York Times, December 10, 2005
^ Biography of Senator Bob Menendez, accessed January 8, 2007
^ Menendez on the move: Corzine appoints replacement in Senate, Union City Reporter, December 11, 2005
^ Menendez, Clinton seek to stop UAE port deal, The Record, February 18, 2006
^ U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 109th Congress — 2nd Session United States Senate
^ Feds probe Menendez rental deal: Senator took in at least $300,000 from nonprofit in Union City, The Star-Ledger, September 8, 2006
^ GOP calls Menendez rent profits unethical, The Record, August 26, 2006
^ Agency was paying rent to its champion: Menendez denies Kean's charge that role of landlord poses conflict, The Star-Ledger, August 25, 2006
^ “New Jersey’s Senate Race,” The New York Times, October 30, 2006
^ “Robert Menendez for U.S. Senate,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, October 15, 2006
^ “Robert Menendez for U.S. Senate,” The Star-Ledger October 29, 2006
^ “Bland or blemished — Editorial,” The Record, October 29, 2006
^ Election Statistics. Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives. Retrieved on 2007-08-08.
^ Official List: Candidates for US Senate For November 2006 General Election, New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety, Division of Elections, dated December 4, 2006. Accessed September 26, 2007.

External links
United States Senator Robert Menendez official Senate site
Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
Voting record maintained by The Washington Post
Campaign finance reports and data at the Federal Election Commission
Campaign contributions at OpenSecrets.org
Biography, voting record, and interest group ratings at Project Vote Smart
Issue positions and quotes at On The Issues
Staff salary data at Legistorm.com
Current Bills Sponsored at Statesurge.com
New York Times — Robert Menendez News collected news and commentary
Menendez on the Move by Al Sullivan, Union City Reporter, December 11, 2005.
New Jersey's New Senator New York Times, December 9, 2005.
Classification Elections
Government & Politics