New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez does not control the Internet domain names that represent his own name.
The American Future Fund registered RobertMenendez.com on February 12. (RELATED: Complete coverage of Sen. Robert Menendez)
The group is a fundraising and public communications organization that has described itself as supporting candidates who back “conservative principles that sustains free market ideals focused on bolstering America’s global competitiveness across the country.”
It spent more than $24 million during the 2012 election cycle, weighing in publicly on 23 candidates, according to data collected by the Center for Responsive Politics.
Mat Beyon, a spokesman who describes himself on Twitter as a “flack for Rick Santorum & American Future Fund,” told TheDC he had no competition when trying to obtain RobertMenendez.com.
“The site was previously unregistered,” he said, suggesting that the senator made no effort to protect his name online.
“There are very serious ethical allegations being levied against Senator Menendez that, if true, are not just unbecoming of the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee but of a Senator, period,” Beyon added.
“It is important we have a full understanding of the allegations and any role Senator Menendez may have played in the instances in question.”
The fund purchased a full-page ad in Politico on Wednesday to launch its campaign. It also launched ads in January opposing the nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel to be secretary of defense.
“It is astonishing that a member of the U.S. Senate so heavily embroiled in scandal could serve as the Foreign Relations Chairman,” said the fund’s founder, Nick Ryan, in a statement.
“FBI raids, underage prostitutes, political threats — these are not the attributes of a US Senator, much less a committee chairman. Robert Menendez brings a whole new meaning to Senate foreign relations.”
TheDC was first to report in January on accusations that Menendez had sex with at least two underage prostitutes in the Dominican Republic. (RELATED: Women’s rights group says Menendez should resign if he slept with underage Dominican prostitutes)
He has denied the allegations, which first surfaced on a makeshift blog named “Feds Investigation on Senator Robert Menendez.”
Visitors to BobMenendez.com are redirected to the blog, which was registered by an anonymous person on December 18, using a service that shields domain owners’ identities. That date suggests that the blog’s January 24 launch was planned far in advance.
In addition to the prostitution allegations, Menendez faces a Senate Ethics Committee inquiry about his advocacy on behalf of Dr. Salomon Melgen, a Florida eye surgeon who, along with members of his family, has donated more than $1 million to Democratic Party campaigns and committees.
Menendez has admitted intervening on Melgen’s behalf with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services over charges that the doctor overbilled the government for ocular injections. The senator also faces scrutiny for working to enforce a port security contract in the Dominican Republic that could bring $500 million to a company Melgen controls.