The Problems of Senator Menendez

The news has come in that Senator Robert Menendez, D-NJ, had an unpaid 18 year old intern working for him, who was an illegal alien.  Even more astonishing, the fellow, who was 18 years old, was also a documented sex offender.

You can read the whole article here:

I am tempted to go on a rant about how terrible Senator Menendez is, and how he should resign now, so Chris Christie can appoint a replacement.  Much as I would like that to happen, that is not what I am going to do.  Someone else can do that better.  Besides, the senator, whatever his other faults, is probably just an average doofus by Washington, DC standards.  So I will just offer a few calm thoughts on the matter.

1.  I am all for teenagers working, and at 18, this teenager was old enough to vote.  That is, he would be able to vote if he was a citizen.  But according to the article, he had “worked on immigration issues” for the senator.  At age 18, shouldn’t he be making coffee in the senator’s office, or maybe filing, or helping the Senator’s staffers figure out how to use the latest electronic gadgets?

Either the kid was really bright, or the Senator had terrible personnel policies.  I bet on the second option.

2.  Any private company, before hiring a person, has to prove that the person is eligible to work in the USA.  Companies can get into big trouble for hiring ineligible workers.  My company’s application has “are you eligible to work in the US” as one of the first questions.  How did the senator’s screening process not reveal that this fellow was on a visitor visa and not eligible to work in this country?

3.  Were there no American citizens available to become interns for the Senator?  In early 2012, if I remember right, there were thousands of Occupy Wall Street protesters who were just finishing their protests.  The Senator could have easily found one of those people, who was an unemployed college graduate with a Political Science degree, and given him a job as an intern.  He probably could have found a New Jersey resident in the bunch, and it could have helped the kid.

Is being an intern for a Senator now a job that Americans won’t do now?

4.  How does a person get to be a registered sex offender, and also get to stay in the country for 2 more years?

Is sex offending also a job that Americans won’t do?

5.  Finally, I know a young man who got a summer job as a school custodian, cleaning up the school and preparing it for the next school year.  Even though he never went near an actual student, he was required to have a drug test and a criminal background check, which included a check for sexual offenses.

Shouldn’t congressional interns, who just might be exposed to sensitive information, have some level of screening before they take the job?

6.  I said above that I will not pick on Senator Menendez.  However, this episode does reveal something about him.  It reveals that he is not capable of running his own office in accordance with the laws of this country.  Most companies bigger than a lawn care service do a better job than him.

When Senators like him (and the other 99 of them) tell us their great ideas for how they want to run this country, we should treat them with considerable skepticism.  Most of them are not super smart.

That is why our Founding Fathers designed the Federal government to have limited powers, with lots of checks and balances.


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