Harkin Scandal

January 31st, 2013

Alleged pimp of underage hookers a donor to Iowa Dem. Party and Harkin

Democratic donkey

WASHINGTON—Iowa Democratic Party officials refused to comment on news that one of the party’s five figure donors is mired in a prostitution and fraud scandal.

Salomon Melgen, a Florida physician and mega donor to Democratic committees and candidates, has donated $10,000 to the Iowa Democratic Party, according to a report by the Center for Responsive Politics Wednesday (CRP).

The Miami Herald reported Tuesday that agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services raided Melgen’s Palm Beach home in conjunction with an investigation of allegations that Melgen provided underage prostitutes to Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J, at his Dominican Republican vacation home. Reports have also indicated that HHS is investigating Dr. Melgen for Medicare fraud.

Sen. Menendez has denied patronizing the services of underage prostitutes on his various trips to the Dominican Republican on Melgen’s private jet.

Melgen has also donated $2,000 to Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa.

IDP communications director Michael Hunt and executive director Troy Price did not return emails from TheIowaRepublican.com seeking comment on whether the party might donate Melgen’s contributions to charity or return them.

Melgen donated $5,000 to the Democratic Party of Iowa on Oct. 19, 2007, according to an analysis of Federal Election Commission records by CRP. Melgen also transferred $5,000 to the state party on Oct. 21, 1996.

About the Author

Jeff Patch
Jeff Patch is an editor and muckraker at TheIowaRepublican.com. He's a principal at Concordia Group, a Des Moines-based public affairs firm, and a central committee member of the Polk County GOP, Iowa's largest county Republican party organization. Patch started his media career as a production assistant at the now-defunct FOX News affiliate in Dubuque, his hometown. He has written for the Telegraph Herald, The Daily Iowan, the Des Moines Register, Politico.com, The Wall Street Journal and Reason.com. Patch has also worked as a press secretary for a Member of Congress, a fiscal policy analyst for the Cato Institute and as the communications director for a libertarian campaign finance think tank. E-mail questions, comments, insults or story ideas to jeff [at] theiowarepublican.com.

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