Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Sen. Feinstein Resigns Cardinalship Amid Ethics Questions

Feinstien is not on my cliff-dweller list, but this is juicy...

From CAGW:
After six years as Ranking Member and House Military Constructions Appropriations Subcommittee (MILCON) Cardinal, Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) quietly announced her resignation from the subcommittee on March 28. Appropriations subcommittee chairs are known as “Cardinals” for their strict control over the distribution of millions of tax dollars to their districts and states and their role as gatekeepers for other members’ pet projects.

During her tenure, Sen. Feinstein took trips to various military facilities to inspect construction projects. Many observers interpreted her hands-on approach as a desire for the best results from every project. However, the Silicon Valley Metroactive newspaper reported in January that many construction contracts were going to Perini Corporation and URS Corporation, two major defense contractors largely controlled by her husband, Richard C. Blum, creating the appearance of a conflict of interest.

Between 2001 and 2005, Blum’s two corporations were awarded more than one billion dollars for projects approved by MILCON and funded with the budgets of the Departments of Defense and Veteran’s Affairs. This led to the suspicion that Sen. Feinstein may have violated ethics requirements. In late 2005, Richard Blum subsequently sold his shares in the two profitable military construction companies.

A Blum associate, Michael R. Klein, stated to a Metroactive reporter in September 2006 that he routinely advised Sen. Feinstein about upcoming projects in which Perini Corp. had a major stake so the senator could avoid conflicts of interest. The fact that she knew which contracts her husband was involved in is troubling. The matter went before the Senate Select Committee on Ethics, which produced a secret ruling. To date, Klein and Sen. Feinstein have refused to produce a copy of the ruling from the Ethics Committee stating whether the senator removed herself from involvement in the projects.
I have some simple questions, will the Lame Stream Media go after this story? Will she be criminally investigated like Cunningham? If guilty will she go to prison? Remember she is a female, liberal, California democrat.

On January 8, 2007, while debating new ethics reform laws, Senator Feinstein stated, “This is a new day. I agree that the transparency and full disclosure act is in the best interest of this body.”
Well, then maybe you should release the findings of the ethics committee Senator.

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