N.J.’s senior U.S. senator is on trial for corruption. Again. Will this time be different?

May 12, 2024

USA v. Menendez, Round 2

Menendez’s newest legal troubles have already altered New Jersey’s political landscape, sparking an intra-party war among Democrats as many of the state’s powerful county party bosses endorsed First Lady Tammy Murphy to replace him over the objections of progressive reformers, who backed U.S. Rep. Andy Kim.

Murphy later dropped out, but Kim’s lawsuit challenging New Jersey’s controversial “county line” ballot design could forever change state elections, taking influence away from the same political machines that propelled Menendez to power.

“None of that would have happened without Menendez,” said Julia Sass Rubin, a public policy professor at Rutgers University who has researched political influence in New Jersey.

“So I think the indictment was absolutely critical to where we are right now.”

NJ.com, May 12, 2024

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