AND THAT’S EVEN WITHOUT BRINGING UP THE UNDERAGE DOMINICAN HOOKERS: Democrats Have Another Problem in New Jersey: It’s not just that their senior senator was indicted.
Bishop Jethro James, leader of an 86-member black pastors’ association, is upset the Menendez camp seems to assume they have the black vote wrapped up.
“The Democrats have been taking the African-American vote for granted for too long,” he said in his office at Paradise Baptist Church in Newark. “It’s an insult. Some folks in the two-party system think this is like a political plantation: ‘You do what we say.’ We are long past that.”
The source of James’ ire was a call he received from T. Missy Balmir, a senior adviser for Menendez and veteran player in Democratic state politics. The call came after James hosted Hugin in his 400-member church a few weeks ago.
“They basically said, ‘Why did you invite him to your church? Why did you have a Republican in?’” James recalled.
The pastor didn’t appreciate this communication from Team Menendez, especially since the incumbent has not exactly been a fixture in Rev. James’ community. According to the Star-Ledger report:
“You know how many times I invited Bob Menendez to my church?” James said. “You know how many times he’s come? None. But at election time, they want our endorsement.”
… And, as it turned out, James seemed to like a lot of what Hugin — the former chairman and CEO of Celgene Corp., a New Jersey biotech company specializing in drugs for cancer and chronic disease — had to say.
“We (African-Americans) are 40 percent more likely to get cancer,” James said. “I’d say about 40 percent of the women in my congregation have had breast cancer. I myself had prostate cancer. Bob Hugin’s company made the drugs that saved my life.”
The issue of health care makes for a rather stark contrast between Messrs. Hugin and Menendez. While Mr. Hugin was working in biotechnology, Mr. Menendez was famously seeking to help Medicare fraudster Salomon Melgen capture more funding from federal health programs.
Weird how all the #MeToo stuff has given Menendez a pass, though.