ICYMI: Hugin Reminds Voters his Fellow Republicans Closed Fort Monmouth, Cost NJ Jobs

Menendez for Senate and Ryan Alexander · September 13, 2018

Hugin feigns outrage over ‘devastating impact’ despite donating $$$ to man responsible for Fort Monmouth’s closure

New Brunswick, NJ – In Bob Hugin’s failed attempt to shift blame for the closure of Fort Monmouth and the loss of thousands of New Jersey jobs, the greedy drug company CEO reminded voters that it was his fellow Republicans who decided to close the Eatontown base.

In 2005, the George W. Bush Administration initiated the last Base Realignment And Closure (BRAC) process, which resulted in the Bush Department of Defense (DoD) recommending Fort Monmouth be shut down. As a Congressman, Bob Menendez voted to disapprove the recommendations of the BRAC Commission on October 27, 2005. The recommendations of the BRAC commission became binding on November 9, 2005 and the base was closed on September 15, 2011.

“Bob Hugin’s baseless attacks conveniently ignore that it was the Bush Administration and a Republican Congress that decided to close Fort Monmouth–more proof that Republicans like Hugin will never have our backs and couldn’t care less about the residents and communities their misguided policies hurt,” said Menendez for Senate Communications Director Steve Sandberg. “Even though Bob Menendez did not represent the base at the time, he voted against the closure of Fort Monmouth, has fought vigorously against the BRAC process, and repeatedly delivered critical funding to extend the missions at New Jersey’s installations, including the Joint Base, Earle and Picatinny. While Bob Hugin wants to focus on Bush Administration base closures that Bob Menendez opposed, the Senator is actively fighting to enhance New Jersey’s national security infrastructure.”

During a news conference today at Fort Monmouth, Hugin rightly concluded that the “closure had a devastating impact to this community and the economy” but failed to disclose that he donated to President Bush’s library in 2007—two years after Bush and Republicans in Congress approved the base’s closure and four years prior to its actual shuttering in 2011.

“Clearly, Bob Hugin wasn’t that bent out of shape about Fort Monmouth’s impending closure and the impact it would have on residents and the community if he donated money to the man responsible for doing it,” Sandberg continued. “All Bob Hugin is doing today is reminding folks that he is a complete phony willing to say and do anything to get elected. For him to suddenly feign outrage now is pretty ridiculous.”

Since his arrival in the Senate in 2006, Sen. Menendez has vehemently opposed the creation any new BRAC Commission, and fought to address transparency and accountability issues with the Fort Monmouth’s closure and relocation process. He introduced the BRAC Cost Overruns Protection Act of 2007 (BRAC COP ACT) to limit cost growth associated with major defense base closures and realignments implemented as part of the 2005 round of defense base closure and realignment. Bob Menendez also fought to keep strategic parts of Fort Monmouth in New Jersey, such as The McAfee Center. In direct meetings with then-Secretary of the Army John McHugh, the Senator secured funding for the New Jersey Technology Solutions Center and a two-year extension of Commissary Operations. He also advocated for full use of Economic Development Conveyances for BRAC Communities by filing an amendment to the FY2010 National Defense Authorization Act.