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One Patron, Many Pockets

Sen. Robert Menendez’s ties to high-rolling Florida physician Salomon Melgen have become the source of questions about the New Jersey Democrat’s conduct, specifically whether he used his office to help a prominent political patron. Melgen used many avenues to contribute more than $800,000 to the lawmaker, both directly and indirectly, in recent decades. Melgen and his wife donated tens of thousands directly to Menendez’s campaign account, and to the senator’s personal political action committee. They also gave tens of thousands to the Democratic Party in New Jersey and to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee when Menendez was its chairman. Finally, as first reported by The New York Times, Melgen’s Florida-based company, the Vitreo-Retinal eye center in West Palm Beach, Fla., gave $700,000 to the super PAC known as Majority PAC during the 2012 elections. The super PAC went on to spend $585,500 on Melgen’s behalf, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Direct and indirect donations from Salomon Melgen to Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J. — 1990-2012
New Millenium PAC Menendez Leadership PAC - $10,000 $10,000
Salomon Melgen - $5,000
Flor Melgen - $5,000
Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., Campaign Account - $17,600 22,600
Salomon Melgen- $12,600
Flor Melgen - $10,000
New Jersey Democratic State Committee 40,000
Salomon Melgen - $20,000
Flor Melgen - $20,000
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee 60,400
Salomon Melgen - $30,400
Flor Melgen - $30,000
House Majority PAC 700,000
Vitreo-Retinal Consultants 6/8/12 - $300,000
Vitreo-Retinal Consultants 6/29/12 - $100,000
Vitreo-Retinal Consultants 10/16/12 - $300,000
Total - $833,000

Source: Center for Responsive Politics, public records