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Senator's money goes to gifts, meals

Herb Jackson of the North Jersey Media Group analyzed five years' worth of contribution and spending reports to show that, of the nearly $9.4 million Sen. Robert Menendez spent, less than one-quarter — or $2.2 million — went for expenses that most voters would consider actual campaigning, such as advertising, yard signs and bumper stickers. The $1.1 million spent on pollsters, media gurus, lawyers and other consultants was found to be only 35 percent of all expenditures. He spent more than $80,000 at a downtown Washington restaurant, in addition to hiring bands, renting halls and buying gifts and theater tickets for donors. "And the dinner tabs were just one of the expenses of what is essentially a small business whose revenues topped $3.4 million last year alone."

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