Skip to comments.CA Governor Davis names investor Blum to UC Board of Regents (Husband of Dianne Feinstein)
Posted on 03/13/2002 5:57:03 AM PST by CounterCounterCultureEdited on 04/13/2004 2:39:55 AM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]
Sacramento -- Gov. Gray Davis yesterday appointed San Francisco financier Richard Blum, husband of U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, to the University of California Board of Regents.
Blum, 66, is a wealthy investor who has been involved in ventures as diverse as Northwest Airlines and trading companies in China. Some of Blum's business dealings have long been a sticky subject for Feinstein.
(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...
Gov. Gray Davis on Tuesday appointed the husband of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., to the University of California Board of Regents.
The appointment of multimillionaire investment banker Richard C. Blum immediately drew criticism from the Democratic governor's opponents, who questioned his motivations. Blum, 66, is chairman of Blum Capital Partners and co-chairman of Newbridge Capital.
"This is Gray Davis cronyism," said Rob Stutzman, a spokesman for the California Republican Party. "This is an effort to shore up his base of support in California for a potential presidential run."
Blum's appointment comes about a month after Davis appointed entertainment mogul Haim Saban to the board. Saban has been a major donor to Davis' campaigns over the past few years.
Blum himself has contributed to Davis' campaign. He gave $50,000 in 2000. In 2001, companies owned by Blum's investment firm gave Davis at least $25,000.
Davis aide Steve Maviglio dismissed the criticisms, saying Davis' appointments aren't influenced by contributions or political benefit.
Blum's overseas investments became an issue in 1997, when Feinstein was thinking about running for governor. Questions were raised about a potential conflict of interest, and whether her votes as a U.S. senator would benefit her husband's investments in China.
Soon after questions were raised, the San Francisco resident announced that he would contribute all profits from his personal investments in China to his nonprofit foundation to help Tibetan refugees.
He succeeds Regent S. Sue Johnson, who was appointed in 1990 by then-Gov. Pete Wilson. Her term expired a little more than a week ago.
Blum, who will not receive a salary as a regent, must be confirmed by the state Senate.
But of course, as the husband of a senator, clearly there is no conflict of interest.