Menendez Set Up Fake News Website

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) set up a fake health news website to attack his opponent in his re-election bid, STAT reports.

“It has headlines and bylines, an original story 834 words long, and links to 10 articles from other outlets concerning health policy and drug pricing in New Jersey. But readers expecting journalism from the upstart HealthNewsNJ.com may be in for a surprise: It’s fake news.”

Menendez Faced Down Unexpected Challenge

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), “who overcame federal corruption charges, won his Democratic primary Tuesday but faced a surprisingly strong challenge from an opponent who reported spending no money,” the Newark Star Ledger reports.

“Menendez was never in danger of losing. But his opponent, community newspaper publisher Lisa McCormick (D), had nearly 40 percent of the vote with 99 percent counted.”

Menendez in Strong Position Despite Trial Baggage

A new Monmouth poll in New Jersey finds Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) with a sizable advantage over Bob Hugin (R) in the 2018 race for U.S. Senate, 53% to 32%.

“Menendez starts out the campaign with weak approval ratings in part due to fallout from his recent corruption trial. But these negatives are more than offset by the fact he has a ‘D’ next to his name. Hugin, on the other hand, is known to few New Jersey voters at this stage of the race.”

Menendez Kicks Off Re-Election Bid

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) will kick off his re-election bid for a third term, just two months after federal prosecutors dropped corruption charges against him, the AP reports.

“Menendez was charged in 2015 with trading his political influence for gifts and campaign donations from a friend. His trial ended in a hung jury last fall, and in January prosecutors decided not to retry him.”

Wounded Menendez Draws Few Challengers

Politico: “His poll numbers are terrible, he just went through a corruption trial that ended in a hung jury and there might be a retrial in the middle of his reelection campaign.”

“But it’s difficult to find a New Jersey Republican willing to challenge Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez next year — a testament to the toxicity of Donald Trump in New Jersey and the dismal landscape facing the state’s Republican Party.”

Christie Won’t Appoint Himself to Senate Seat

Gov. Chris Christie (R) said he probably wouldn’t appoint himself to the U.S. Senate if Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) were to resign following his federal corruption trial, Politico reports.

Said Christie: “I don’t see that happening. I really do believe that some of us are built for executive positions and some of us are built for legislative positions. I think I’m much more of an executive branch kind of guy.”

For members: Democrats Have a Lot Riding on a Corruption Trial

Christie Could Pick a Senator Before He Leaves

Gov. Chris Christie (R) “is the most unpopular governor in the country, but in his last days in office he may get to exercise enormous influence nationally: Choosing a successor to embattled Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), which could result in a Republican senator, at least temporarily, from deep-blue New Jersey,” Politico reports.

Menendez “goes on trial for corruption in September, and there are two scenarios that could see him leave Washington before Christie is term-limited out of office in January: If Menendez is convicted and the Senate acts quickly to expel him, or if he cuts a plea deal and leaves office even earlier.”

Menendez Expects Indictment Tomorrow

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) is expecting a federal indictment Wednesday, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

“Menendez has been traveling, but is expected to be back in New Jersey tomorrow and people around him expect the long-awaited corruption charges to be brought then. The case is being handled by the Department of Justice in Washington, but a grand jury has been meeting in Newark.”

Wall Street’s Favorite Senator

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) “received $1.87 million from the securities and investment industry, making him the top recipient of Wall Street money this election cycle,” NPR reports. “Booker also received more money from real estate groups than any other member, as well as more from the entertainment and tech industries, accountants, and groups considered to be pro-Israel.”

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) “got the second highest draw from Wall Street – $1.26 million.”