Politics

Clinton Hits Campaign Trail for Menendez

Sen. Bob Menendez and Hillary Clinton, January 2013 / Getty

Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton will hit the campaign trail for embattled Sen. Bob Menendez (D., N.J.) in October.

An invitation sent out by the group Women for Menendez announced that on Oct. 15 the senator will be joined by Clinton at the Liberty Prime Steakhouse in Jersey City to fundraise for the Menendez Victory Fund.

Price for admission to the event starts at $250, though those seats are listed as limited availability. The cost for "friends" is $500 and $1000 at the supporter level, per person. In order to attend the reception and get a picture with Clinton and Menendez, a person will have to donate $2,700 to $5,400.

Clinton coming to the aid of Menendez signals how the senator faces an unexpectedly tough re-election campaign. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has spent $117,000 on ads for Menendez after recent polls show a tightening race. The senator also had a lackluster performance in his primary, which has worried Democrats.

Menendez's problems stem from his recent corruption trial, where the senator was accused of accepting improper gifts–including travel on private and commercial flights, and a luxury hotel stay in Paris–from his friend Dr. Saloman Melgen in exchange for political favors. The trial ended in a mistrial last November after the jury failed to reach a consensus. The Justice Department ultimately dismissed charges against Menendez, but the Senate Ethics Committee continued to investigate.

The Senate Ethics Committee admonished Menendez for behavior that "violated Senate Rules, federal law, and applicable standards of conduct." In a publicly released letter to Menendez from April, the committee chastised him for violating Senate rules.

"The Committee has determined that this conduct violated Senate Rules, federal law, and applicable standards of conduct. Accordingly, the Committee issues you this Public Letter of Admonition, and also directs you to repay the fair market value of all impermissible gifts not already repaid," the letter reads.

After the mistrial was declared, Menendez said he wouldn't forget those who didn't stand by his side.

"To those who were digging my political grave so they could jump into my seat, I know who you are and I won't forget you," Menendez said.