Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Feinstein Corruption Scandal

Last week California Senator Diane Feinstein abruptly resigned her position as the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Military Construction Appropriations Subcommittee (MILCON).

The MILCON subcommittee is in charge of supervising military construction. The committee also oversees "quality of life" issues for veterans, which includes building housing for military families and operating hospitals and clinics for wounded soldiers.

During her six years as MILCON leader Senator Feinstein had a conflict of interest due to her husband Richard C. Blum's ownership of two major defense contractors, who were awarded billions of dollars for military construction projects that were approved by Senator Feinstein.

That's Billion with a capitol B. My very own California Senator Diane Feinstein may have just hit one out of the park folks. By directing Billions of dollars of our tax dollars to her husbands companies, DiFi may have have set a new record for corruption.

According to a report compiled by MetroActive a San Francisco area newspaper Diane Feinstein used insider information to direct billions of dollars of military construction projects to companies, URS Corporation and Perini Corporation, that were owned or controlled by her husband.

While setting MILCON agendas for many years, Feinstein, 73, supervised her own staff of military construction experts as they carefully examined the details of each proposal. She lobbied Pentagon officials in public hearings to support defense projects that she favored, some of which already were or subsequently became URS or Perini contracts. From 2001 to 2005, URS earned $792 million from military construction and environmental cleanup projects approved by MILCON; Perini earned $759 million from such MILCON projects.

792 million and 759 million works out to 1.551 Billion dollars. And what portion of this billion and a half dollars did DiFi and her husband pocket?

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

So a US Senator has used insider information to direct billions of tax payer dollars to her husband's companies and yet I have not seen one word of this in a single antique media outlet. Where is the outrage, where is the indignation, where are CNN, Fox, MSNBC, NBC, ABC, CBS news? And even more importantly where is an investigation by the Senate Rules Committee? Oh wait, Difi is the newly appointed chairman of the Rules Committee so I guess we can rule out an investigtion there.

So after pocketing over as much as 300 million dollars as a direct result of her involvement with the MILCON committee DiFi just walks away unscathed?

Where is the investigation and where is DiFi's resignation followed shortly by her indictment? Or does that only happen to Republicans?

Full information can be found here and here and here.