Skip to comments.Feinstein quits committee under war-profiteer cloud
Posted on 03/28/2007 7:15:06 PM PDT by OPS4
Feinstein quits committee under war-profiteer cloud Report documents military contracts for firms owned by senator's husband
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Posted: March 28, 2007 10:05 p.m. Eastern
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- © 2007 WorldNetDaily.com
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., has abruptly walked away from her responsibilities with the Senate Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee after a report linked her votes to the financial well-being of her husband's companies, which received billions of dollars worth of military construction contracts she approved.
As reported in Metroactive, an online report from the Silicon Valley, Feinstein's resignation followed six years of subcommittee work during which time her conflict of interest stemmed from her husband Richard C. Blum's ownership of Perini Corp. and URS Corp.
Feinstein, chairperson and ranking member of the subcommittee, regularly reviewed and accepted contracts from her husband's companies for not only construction work for military bases, but also addressing "quality of life" issues for the veterans of the United States military services.
"As MILCON leader, Feinstein relished the details of military construction, even micromanaging one project at the level of its sewer design," wrote Peter Byrne in the report. "She regularly took junkets to military bases around the world to inspect construction projects, some of which were contracted to her husband's companies, Perini Corp. and URS Corp."
He suggested perhaps Feinstein resigned "because she could not take the heat generated by metro's expose of her ethics Or was her work on the subcommittee finished because Blum divested ownership of his military construction and advanced weapons manufacturing firms in late 2005?"
The writer also noted another reason could be that since that subcommittee is responsible for veterans' "quality of life" issues, perhaps she was trying to distance herself from the military's failure to provide decent medical care for wounded servicemembers.
"Feinstein abandoned MILCON as her ethical problems were surfacing in the media, and as it was becoming clear that her subcommittee left grievously wounded veterans to rot while her family was profiting from the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. It turns out that Blum also holds large investments in companies that were selling medical equipment and supplies and real estate leases often without the benefit of competitive bidding to the Department of Veterans Affairs, even as the system of medical care for veterans collapsed on his wife's watch," he wrote.
The Metroactive report, based on research partly funded by the Investigative Fund of the Nation Institute, noted that as of the end of 2006, federal documents showed three companies in which Blum's financial entities owned a total of $1 billion in stock got $17.8 million for medical equipment and supplies (Boston Scientific Corp.), $12 million for medical supplies and equipment (Kinetic Concepts Inc.), and additional funding through lease contracts (CB Richard Ellis).
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"You would think that, considering all the money Feinstein's family has pocketed by waging global warfare while ignoring the plight of wounded American soldiers, she would show a smidgeon of shame and resign from the entire Senate, not just a subcommittee," Byrne wrote. "Conversely, you'd think she might stick around MILCON to try and fix the medical-care disaster she helped to engineer for the vets who were suckered into fighting her and Bush's panoply of unjust wars."
Byrne earlier had documented the connections between the dollars Feinstein voted on and the revenue for Blum's companies.
From 1997 through 2005 Blum, with Feinstein's knowledge, was a majority owner in both URS Corp. and Perini Corp., both of which were regularly among the companies awarded major military contracts proposed by the Department of Defense.
According to those reports, from 2001 to 2005, URS earned $792 million from military construction and environmental cleanup work approved by MILCON, while Perini collected $759 million for the same.
Feinstein's annual Public Financial Disclosure Reports record sizeable family income from investments in the Framingham, Mass.-based Perini and the San Francisco-located URS. But there was no acknowledgment of any conflict of interest, according to Metroactive, a "Northern California meta-site" that specializes in arts and entertainment information from area publications: Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper; Metro Santa Cruz; and the North Bay Bohemian.
Byrne also reported Michael R. Klein, an adviser to Feinstein and business partner with Blum, said that starting in 1997 he routinely told Feinstein about federal projects coming before her in which Perini had a stake, in order for her to avoid those votes and as such, a conflict of interest.
However, instead of withholding a vote, she did act on those pieces of legislation, Byrne reported. Ultimately, "the Congressional Record shows that as chairperson and ranking member of MILCON, Feinstein was often involved in supervising the legislative details of military construction projects that directly affected Blum's defense-contracting firms," Byrne's report said.
"Sen. Feinstein has had a serious conflict of interest, a serious insensitivity to ethical considerations," Wendell Rawls, of the Center for Public Integrity in Washington, told Metroactive. "The very least she should have done is to recuse herself from having conversations, debates, voting or any other kind of legislative activity that involved either Perini Corp. or URS Corp. or any other business activity where her husband's financial were involved."
One example was that in 2005, MILCON approved a Pentagon plan to fund "overhead coverage force protection" for Iraq to reinforce the roofs of U.S. Army barracks. About three months later, Perini announced an award of a $185 million contract to provide "overhead coverage force protection to the Army in Iraq."
Byrne noted when Blum divested ownership of URS and Perini in 2005, the conflict of interest was resolved. "But Feinstein's ethical dilemma arose from the fact that, for five years, the interests of Perini and URS and CB Richard Ellis were inextricably entwined with her leadership of MILCON ... ."
The investigation examined thousands of pages of documents, including transcripts of hearings in Congress, filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and reports and government audits as well as corporate press releases.
The result? "The paper trails showing Sen. Feinstein's conflict of interest is irrefutable," according to Danielle Brian, of the Project on Government Oversight.
"Because of the amount of money involved," said Melanie Sloan, of the Citizens for Responsible Ethics in Washington, "Feinstein's conflict of interest is an order of magnitude greater than [other] conflicts [involving U.S. Rep. John T. Doolittle, former Speaker Dennis Hastert and others]."
In 2005, Roll Call calculated Feinstein's wealth at $40 million, up $10 million from just a year earlier. Reports show her family earned between $500,000 and $5 million from capital gains on URS and Perini stock. From CB Richard Ellis, her husband earned from $1.3 million to $4 million.
Public records show Blum's company paid $4 a share for controlling interest in Perini, and later sold about three million shares for $23.75 each.
The report also showed URS' military construction work in 2000 was only $24 million, but the next year, when Feinstein took over as MILCON chair, military construction earned URS $185 million. Additionally, its military construction architectural and engineering revenue rose from $108,000 in 2000 to $142 million in 2001, a thousand-fold increase.
In late 2005, Blum sold 5.5 million URS shares, worth $220 million, the report said.
Well, if she just says she's sorry....it's ok, then. Right?
She should go to prison.
This is what they got Congressman "Duke" Cunningham for.
Yeah, and so were Reid's land deals. But let Foley send a couple of tickle-me elmo emails and watch what happens!
Only you forgot one small detail....
THIS WILL BE ON PAGE 38A in the NYT tomorrow. But fire eight attorneys and WAMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!
Why the MSM ain't all over this shows how badly served the public is served by same.
Culture of corruption .. What a joke. a bad one.
.....right down to the hide, hair, balls, and scaley tail.
But LEGALLY fire 8 attorneys...
Why isn't the GOP seizing this?
Because they're afraid to play "dirty".
"Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., has abruptly walked away from her responsibilities with the Senate Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee after a report linked her votes to the financial well-being of her husband's companies, which received billions of dollars worth of military construction contracts she approved. "
Yahoo! I've been waiting 8 years for this hammer to drop. Does anyone else remember the waiver Mrs. Blum secured from Clinton so hubby could import all those Chinese "assualt rifles"??
Here you pubbies, take some plays from the demoncrats and blow them to smithereens.
HA! HA! HA! HA! Ya' had me goin' there, for a minute.
A two-man Halliburton, I'd say.
What a hypocrite..the whole lot of them.
Rove is behind this, damnit < /Moonbats >
Probably because they're afraid their own corruption will come out, if they reveal the Rat's corruption.
Both parties are dirty to the core. But the MSM only looks at one side of the aisle.
Doesn't this aim a dagger right at the heart of the Clinton machine too?
But, but, but...this is DIFFERENT than Cunningham. She's a DEMOCRAT!
"I hope this story and their convenient relationship is front page news."
What have you been drinking? Send me a case;))
The 'RATS have been smearing Cheney over nonexistent ties to Halliburton and "Big Oil" ever since the eeeeevil Bush selected him as VP. THAT's what excites the treasonous scum Congressional 'RATS and their cheerleaders in the MSM. Get with the program!;)
Cunningham wasn't the only one involved in steering contracts for money -- was doing research looking for a small business company for a company here to team with and ran across Feinstein and others. I must admit I wasn't expecting that in doing the research.
Here is the WND article in reference to the thread you pinged me on.
Maybe. And maybe they NEVER say anything about Democrats because they are "dirty" too. Remember what Hastert's first reaction to Jefferson and the FBI wanting to search his office was? That certainly made a lasting impression on me.
Me too. Hastert became scum in my book after he defended Jefferson.
Say it ain't so Diane. I thought only Cubs were trapped in the "culture of corruption". Looks like Duke Cunningham was a piker compared to Diane's ability to create "crazy cash".
Ha ! Sick Tom Lantos on this anti-gun wench . His advice to Craig Livingstone regarding the FBI files was priceless ....
What did she know and when did she know it?
Don't you guys understand!!!!
Diane is a good person because she cares about the important things, like abortion, gay rights, etc. It's what she cares about that counts!!!!
Don't get your hopes up...
Google News Search for Diane+Feinstein turns up some slim pickin's on the topic.
If finding $90K in a freezer isn't enough this sure isn't. It would actually take 2 maybe even 3 whole minutes to explain the sordid details...
8 - 15 seconds = Nominal public attention span.
I hope they do, but unfortunately, half of the skulls full of mush in this country get their worldview from katie, rosie and the nyt where it will never see the light of day.
I totally forgot about that
I think we need to email every news outlet, reporter, at NBC, CBS, Fox, etc......and ask why they aren't reporting this story.
Put their feet to the fire......
Before or after they impeach Bush?
These people could lop the heads off of crying children in the streets and the MSM would ignore it. It is PATHETIC!
Would like to have been a fly on the wall during the back room discussions that led to ol' Feinstein walking away from that committee.
Why should they , Gonazales will probably give her an award.
Gonzales only goes after Republicans (Cunningham & Weldon ) . Burglar and Jefferson walk and get promoted .
URS!! That company has millions in defense contracts. Not a peep from the MSM though! If anyone still has a newspaper subscription (other than the Washington Times) or weekly news magazine subscription then they are contributing to the demise of this country in my very humble opinion. Cancel all MSM subscriptions and stop watching them on TV. Pull these traitors under. This was common knowledge to them and they chose to ignore it for political partisanship.
I have always believed that was what kept Republicans silent in the face of some very sticky,opprobrious activities. But in this case,if the facts as presented are true,they will stick. It's simple enough to point out and ugly enough to get lots of attention.
The fact that the shabby care provided to our men in the service is on the front burner right now assures that almost all Americans will be familiar enough with the subject to recognize how truly shameful and inexcusable her actions have been.
I predict this is the beginning of the end of Diane's political career and probably a few of her cohorts as well.
Thanks for posting. Heard about this earlier tonight while listening to Michael Savage on the drive in to work.
Democrat Crime Syndicate Method-of-Operation BUMP!
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