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What New Jersey Sen. Menendez’s Trial Means for our Future

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Chicago Tribune

Chicago Tribune

Chicago Tribune

Randle De Graaf, Contributing Writer

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On August 9, a federal judge ruled against New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez’s appeal, putting into motion a rarely seen event in national politics.

For the first time since 2008, a sitting U.S. senator will stand trial on charges of corruption and bribery. This is not the first time Menendez has been accused of wrongdoing. In 2015, the senator was accused of soliciting underage prostitutes in the Dominican Republic, an accusation which was never proven to be true or false.

Menendez joins the likes of former Gov. Jim McGreevey, former Gov. Jon Corzine and Gov. Chris Christie in terms of bringing national embarrassment to our state.

Menendez’s trial could not come at a worse time for the Democratic Party. As President Trump fights to have a new healthcare bill pushed through Congress, Menendez’s vote, which could be the vote needed to veto such a measure, could remain absent. As residents of New Jersey, we deserve better.

As Sen. Menendez focuses his time and efforts into clearing his name, New Jersey’s senior senate seat remains vacant.  Unfortunately, many speculate Menendez’s deep pockets and a lack of media coverage of the trial will lead to his eventual acquittal.

Menendez’s trial, and a possible verdict of not guilty, should be alarming to everyone in the state and the nation.

Menendez is clearly guilty, as proven by mountains of evidence from the prosecution, but the sad truth of the matter is that he will probably be found innocent. Despite large amounts of evidence, the senator exists in a class seemingly untouchable by crime, a fact the mainstream media would tell you otherwise.

If found to be innocent, a great tragedy will have occurred in New Jersey politics. It will serve as a grim prediction for what the future of politics in our state will look like. Especially in an age where more and more individuals are becoming frustrated with government and how our nation is evolving, now is the time to take a stand.

New Jersey has a terrible reputation for electing corrupt officials. With the next gubernatorial election on our doorstep, we as New Jersey citizens must make a choice that will potentially affect the next eight years. It is your constitutional right to vote to elect our leaders and your duty to make an informed and educated decision.

If you’re upset about the direction our state and nation are headed, now is the time to take a stand and speak up for change.

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William Paterson University's Official Student-Run Newspaper
What New Jersey Sen. Menendez’s Trial Means for our Future