Menendez Has Helped Donors Other than Melgen

Photograph by Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Senator Robert Menendez at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s (AIPAC) annual meeting at the Washington Convention Center on March 5, 2013 in Washington.

Dr. Salomon Melgren, the West Palm Beach ophthamologist at the center of an investigation involving Sen. Robert Menendez, is not the only campaign contributor who has been helped by the New Jersey Democrat.

Menendez backed Spanish Broadcasting System Inc.’s unsuccessful effort to block the 2003 merger of rivals Univision Communications Inc. and Hispanic Broadcasting Corp. The combination was approved by the Federal Communications Commission on a 3-2 party-line vote.

Menendez, then a U.S. House member, introduced a bill to delay the merger in 2003 and testified at a Senate hearing, becoming the most outspoken lawmaker against the deal, according to one person involved. He also owned stock in Spanish Broadcasting.

SBS employees have given $113,700 to Menendez throughout his congressional career, his 10th-largest source of cash, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington research group that tracks donations.

They donated $38,000 to Menendez’s leadership PAC — a fund that pays travel costs and makes donations to other candidates’ campaigns — from 1999 to 2012, according to a computer-assisted analysis of Federal Election Commission data.

SBS President Raul Alarcon Jr. donated $10,000 to a legal defense fund set up to help Menendez fight a recall effort in New Jersey; $30,400 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in 2009, when Menendez, 59, was chairman of the Senate Democrats’ fundraising arm; as well as the $100,000 last year to a super-PAC that spent $582,500 for his re-election effort.

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