Steinhauser: NHGOP urges Shaheen to return 'tainted' Menendez money
CONCORD - The New Hampshire GOP is calling on Sen. Jeanne Shaheen to return donations she received from fellow Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, who was indicated Wednesday on federal corruption charges.
"Granite Staters expect their elected officials to stand up for integrity and high ethical standards in government. The criminal corruption charges that have been brought against Senator Menendez are extremely troubling, and its time for Senator Shaheen to distance herself from her disgraced Democrat colleague by returning his tainted campaign donations," said NHGOP Chair Jennifer Horn, in a statement that was first reported on Twitter Thursday morning by NH1 News.
In her statement, Horn also made note that Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota announced Wednesday night that she would voluntarily return all contributions from Menendez, adding that "Klobuchar made the right decision to return her tainted contributions. Its time for Senator Shaheen to follow her lead and immediately dump her dirty Menendez money."
Thursday afternoon, Politico reported that Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado will give $10,000 to charity, which is equal to contribution he received in his 2010 campaign from a political action committee associated with Menendez.
NH1 News reached out to Shaheen's Senate office for a response to the move by the NHGOP, but has yet to receive a response. Menendez donated $7,500 to Shaheen through his New Millennium PAC.
He was indicted Wednesday on bribery charges. Prosecutors allege that Menendez traded political favors for luxury vactions, golf outings, and pricey flights. After the indictment, Menendez temporarily stepped down as ranking Democrat on the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Shaheen was re-elected last year to a second six-year term in the Senate, topping former Sen. Scott Brown, the GOP challenger, in a bruising midterm election campaign.
This isn't the first time the NHGOP has urged Shaheen to return the contributions from Menendez. The state party made a similar appeal in April 2013, when reports first broke that Menendez was being investigated.
New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley responding to the new push by the NHGOP, tweeting "@nhgop you have $15,000 from convicted felon Jack Abramoff - when will you return it to Native American tribe he swindled?"