Feinstein’s Corruption Hidden by the SF Chronicle, LA Times and NY Times
Appropriations Committees Chairs control billions of dollars that pass through their hands.
California U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D) chairs the Senate Rules Committee, but she’s also a Cardinal. She is currently chairwoman of the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies subcommittee, but until last year was for six years the top Democrat on the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies (or “Milcon”) sub-committee, where she apparently directed more than $1 billion to companies controlled by her husband. Mr. Blum.
Yet, not a word in the mainstream media. There were some articles in the local weekly Bay Guardian and Michael Savage read the reports on his national radio talk show, “Savage Nation.”
What circulates as “journalism” are rants that Dick Cheney should step down becuase Haliburton got contracts in Iraq.
No mention that Cheney had resigned from Haliburton well before he was VP. More importantly, when Mr. Cheney was CEO of Halliburton he was against any military contracts and is on record for speaches on that subject.
The Di Fi problems stem from her subcommittee activities from 2001 to late 2005, when she quit. During that period the public record shows she knowingly took part in decisions that eventually put millions of dollars into her husband’s pocket — the classic conflict of interest that exploited her position and power to channel money to her husband’s companies.
In other words, it is becoming clear that Senator Feinstein was up to her pearl earrings in the same sort of corruption that landed California Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham (R) in prison. Indeed, it may be that the primary difference between the two is basically that Cunningham was a Republican and open target for the LA Times and NY Times. Feinstein is a Democrat from San Francisco and the his state’s senior senator.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who was the best friend of real estate developers, landlords (like Shorinstein) when she was mayor of San Francisco, has developed a high national profile in the Senate. She was on everyone’s short list as a Democratic vice presidential candidate. But her record hasn’t improved a bit: She’s still pro-big business, and now she’s pro-big military and pro-globalization. And she has signed over contracts worth $1.5 billion to her hubby’s businesses.
Melanie Sloan, the executive director of Citizens for Responsible Ethics in Washington, or CREW, focuses on the ethical lapses of Republicans and conservatives, but even she is appalled at the way Sen. Feinstein has abused her position.
Sloan told a California reporter earlier this month that while”there are a number of members of Congress with conflicts of interest … because of the amount of money involved, Feinstein’s conflict of interest is an order of magnitude greater than those conflicts.”
And the director of the Project on Government Oversight who examined the evidence of wrongdoing assembled by California writer Peter Byrne told him that “the paper trail showing Senator Feinstein’s conflict of interest is irrefutable.”
It may be irrefutable, but she almost got away without anyone even knowing what she was up to. Her colleagues on the subcommittee, for example, had no reason even to suspect that she knew what companies might benefit from her decisions because that information is routinely withheld to avoid favoritism.
What they didn’t know was that her chief legal adviser, who also happened to be a business partner of her husband’s and the vice chairman of one of the companies involved, was secretly forwarding her lists of projects and appropriation requests that were coming before the committee and in which she and her husband had an interest — information that has only come to light recently as a result of the efforts of several California investigative reporters.
This adviser insists — apparently with a straight face — that he provided the information to Feinstein’s chief of staff so that she could recuse herself in cases where there might be a conflict. He says that he assumes she did so. The public record, however, indicates that she went right ahead and fought for these same projects.
During this period the two companies, URS of San Francisco and the Perini Corporation of Framingham, Mass., were controlled by Feinstein’s husband, Richard C. Blum, and were awarded a combined total of over $1.5 billion in government business thanks in large measure to her subcommittee. That’s a lot of money even here in Washington.
Interestingly, she left the subcommittee in late 2005 at about the same time her husband sold his stake in both companies. Their combined net worth increased that year with the sale of the two companies by some 25 percent, to more than $40 million.
In spite of the blatant facts coming out of corruption, no major publication has picked up on the story, the Senate Ethics Committee has reportedly let her slip by, and she is now chairing the Senate Rules Committee, which puts her in charge of making sure her colleagues act ethically and avoid the sorts of conflicts of interest with which she is personally and so obviously familiar.
This is a the state of media control by the left. This is the reason citizen journalism and talk radio are so important. And why you will see the Democrats try and shut it down with “fairness” laws.