Bob Menendez is a lifelong politician. In 1974 at the age of 20 Menendez was elected to his local School Board in Union City. Twelve years later in 1986 he became Mayor of Union City. In 1988, while still Mayor of Union City, he was elected to New Jersey’s General Assembly. In 1991 he was elected to the New Jersey State Senate. In 1992 he was elected to the United States Congress. In 2006 he was appointed to the United States Senate after the seat was vacated when Jon Corzine became New Jersey’s Governor. After 44-years in office hasn’t Menendez been given enough time to prove himself? It seems what most New Jersians will remember Menendez for his is 2015 indictment on federal corruption charges, allegations that he had contact with underage prostitutes in the Dominican Republic and his reprimand by the bipartisan Senate Ethics Committee saying he “broke the law” and that his actions “reflected discredit upon the Senate”.
With the election being a few days away I am researching all of the candidates I have the opportunity to vote for. I’ve spent time this morning looking at several candidates including the web sites of Bob Menendez and Bob Hugin. I was struck at how vague Menendez’s web site is on issues and accomplishments after so many years in office. He touts being pro-education (isn’t everyone?), pro-the environment, pro-job creation, pro-ACA (the Affordable Care Act is failed legislation – all it has done is make healthcare more expensive and more difficult to obtain for hardworking Americans and small/mid-market businesses), and my favorite “Pursuing Progressive Policies and Standing up to Trump” (being anti-Trump appears to be his claim to fame). Menendez doesn’t get into much detail on any of his “issues”. The only accomplishments I remember Menendez talking about at the debate was being a co-Author of the ACA (again failed legislation) and bringing money back to New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy (I believe it was Governor Chris Christie who worked hard to make that happen).
Hugin on the other hand, who has not spent 44-years in politics like Menendez, is well researched on many of issues facing New Jersey and America. On his web site Hugin talks about a variety of issues including foreign affairs, energy independence, immigration reform, national security, education, tax relief, healthcare reform, the economy, the environment, and others. Hugin is not a career politician like Menendez but a veteran of the United States Marine Corps with a successful track record in business including serving as CEO of Celgene Corporation. When Hugin joined Celgene in 1999 the company was 200 employees and had less then 6-weeks of cash on hand. Under Hugin’s leadership the company became one of New Jersey’s largest private sector employers. Forbes named Celgene #5 on the list of “America’s Best Midsize Employers and #14 on the list of the “Worlds Best Employers”. Hugin has a proven track record of successful leadership.
Even Liberal MSNBC says Menendez risks losing his Senate seat.
Last month’s debate was the perfect opportunity for Menendez to show New Jersey why he should be reelected. He failed. Even against the inexperienced politician Hugin Menendez could not hold his own in the debate, tell us what he’s accomplished in his 44-years in politics or ease the minds of voters about his scandals.
After 44-years in office, few accomplishments and a major scandal New Jersey has little to show for Menendez’s career in politics. It’s time to bring integrity back to New Jersey’s representation in the United States Senate. It’s time to elect a leader. It’s time for Bob Hugin.