He’s raising the steaks on political donations.
New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez has dropped just over $298,000 at Morton’s Steakhouse since 2003, averaging more than $16,000 a year on bovine indulgences, a review of FEC records by The Post shows.
The Democrat charged the bills to donors of his Senate campaign committee and his New Millennium Leadership PAC. The largest single check — a $12,957.69 whopper — came in February 2020.
“He is one of our regulars,” a steakhouse staffer confirmed to The Post.
The Chicago steak chain was founded in 1978 and currently has 72 locations around the United State. Today it’s a subsidiary of Landry’s, Inc, headed by GOP billionaire and close Trump ally Tilman Fertitta.
Almost all of Menendez’s charges for Morton’s came from its Washington DC location, where his fondness for the spot is well-known around town. A 2019 profile of Menendez in the Star Ledger called the eatery one of a “few indulgences” which also included after-dinner cigars. Those smokes cost the senator’s various committees more than $3,200 at Jamie’s Cigar Bar & Restaurant in Clifton, N.J.
“He spent enough money on steak and cigars to buy a new house in New Jersey,” said Garden State political consultant Bob Cortese. “It’s the best lobbyist-funded lifestyle money can buy.”
Menendez, 67, has served in the Senate since 2006, and weathered a major scandal when reports surfaced in 2013 that a federal grand jury in Miami was investigating him for advocating for the business interests of Florida ophthalmologist and major donor Salomon Melgen. The pol was indicted in 2015 on charges that included bribery, fraud, and making false statements. The Miami case ended in a mistrial and charges were dropped, but Menendez was “severely admonished” in 2018 by the Senate ethics committee.
Menendez Chief of Staff Fred Turner said the beef was bull.
“It’s no secret that Senator Menendez likes going to Morton’s, where he and/or I, as his chief political advisor, have routinely hosted political and fundraising lunches and dinners for New Millenium over the years in support of Democratic candidates in New Jersey and across the country,” Turner told The Post.