There is no doubt in my mind that the democrats pander to their special interests and are infamous for nepotistic deals involving spouses, relatives and close friends.
So why should we be surprised when the Washington Times is reporting …
“Senator's husband cashes in on crisis”
“On the day the new Congress convened this year, Sen. Dianne Feinstein introduced legislation to route $25 billion in taxpayer money to a government agency that had just awarded her husband's real estate firm a lucrative contract to sell foreclosed properties at compensation rates higher than the industry norms.”
“Mrs. Feinstein's intervention on behalf of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was unusual: the California Democrat isn't a member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs with jurisdiction over FDIC; and the agency is supposed to operate from money it raises from bank-paid insurance payments - not direct federal dollars.”
“Documents reviewed by The Washington Times show Mrs. Feinstein first offered Oct. 30 to help the FDIC secure money for its effort to stem the rise of home foreclosures. Her letter was sent just days before the agency determined that CB Richard Ellis Group (CBRE) - the commercial real estate firm that her husband Richard Blum heads as board chairman - had won the competitive bidding for a contract to sell foreclosed properties that FDIC had inherited from failed banks.”
“About the same time of the contract award, Mr. Blum's private investment firm reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission that it and related affiliates had purchased more than 10 million new shares in CBRE. The shares were purchased for the going price of $3.77; CBRE's stock closed Monday at $5.14.”
“Spokesmen for the FDIC, Mrs. Feinstein and Mr. Blum's firm told The Times that there was no connection between the legislation and the contract signed Nov. 13, and that the couple didn't even know about CBRE's business with FDIC until after it was awarded.”
“Senate ethics rules state that members must avoid conflicts of interest as well as "even the appearance of a conflict of interest." Some ethics analysts question whether Mrs. Feinstein ran afoul of the latter provision, creating the appearance that she was rewarding the agency that had just hired her husband's firm.”
Déjà vu all over again …
Apparently this is not the first time Senator Feinstein has been associated with suspicious dealings …
“Feinstein Resigns: Senator exits MILCON following Metro exposé”
“SEN. Dianne Feinstein has resigned from the Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee.”
“As previously and extensively reviewed in these pages, Feinstein was chairperson and ranking member of MILCON for six years, during which time she 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 approved by Feinstein.”
“As MILCON leader, Feinstein relished the details of military construction, even micromanaging one project at the level of its sewer design. 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.
“Perhaps she resigned from MILCON because she could not take the heat generated by Metro's expose of her ethics (which was partially funded by the Investigative Fund of the Nation Institute). Or was her work on the subcommittee finished because Blum divested ownership of his military construction and advanced weapons manufacturing firms in late 2005?”
For a liberal left-wing democrat, it must have been extremely hard to constantly denounce the war that was supplying herself and her husband with a handsome lifestyle?
“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.”
Must have been tough railing against Halliburton, who was often the only contractor suitable to perform services, and no-bid contracts while her husband was doing the same thing?
“As of December 2006, according to SEC filings and www.fedspending.org, three corporations in which Blum's financial entities own a total of $1 billion in stock won considerable favor from the budgets of the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs:
Boston Scientific Corporation: $17.8 million for medical equipment and supplies; 85 percent of contracts awarded without benefit of competition. Kinetic Concepts Inc.: $12 million, medical equipment and supplies; 28 percent noncompetitively awarded. CB Richard Ellis: The Blum-controlled international real estate firm holds congressionally funded contracts to lease office space to the Department of Veterans Affairs. It also is involved in redeveloping military bases turned over to the private sector.”
I seem to remember something about Senator Feinstein and gold mining that I had heard when I was with my hunting buddies on a daytrip to the old ghost town at Bodie State Park. And then I found this …
“On October 8, 1994 the biggest gold heist in history occurred, but this theft lacked the melodrama of a Jesse James holdup or the excitement of a Brink's truck robbery. Nary a word was reported by the media even though this thievery was committed in the light of day. The citizens that were being robbed tried to cry out for help but the lawmen wouldn't listen because unbeknownst to them they were helping the bandits gain their booty.”
“The 103rd Congress managed to accomplish more than a gang of train robbers could achieve in a lifetime when they approved the Desert Wilderness Protection Act. ‘Instead of voting on the Desert Wilderness Protection Act, Congress should be convening a criminal investigation,’ said Donald Fife, spokesman for the National Association of Mining Districts. Fife was commenting on recent information that indicates tens of billions of dollars in gold deposits and huge real estate swindles may be the motivating factors behind the act.”
“Sponsored by Senator Diane Feinstein, the Desert Wilderness Protection Act and it's companion bill known as the California Desert Protection Act create three new national parks and seventy-four new wilderness areas in the desert of California that would total 8 million acres (an area the size of Maryland). This will close this acreage to development, force out private owners within the protected area and close down mines and ranches. It would also expand the Death Valley and Joshua Tree national monuments and upgrade them to national parks. This is the largest wilderness land lockup since the 1980 Alaska Lands Act; largest ever in the lower 48 states. Senator Feinstein contends that the fragile ecosystem of the desert must be protected from development, but in reality the areas being placed into park and wilderness closures are not threatened.”
“In 1980, the California Desert Conservation Area Plan was enacted to protect the desert and it has been rigorously enforced by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. Furthermore, the designated acreage mentioned in this bill have largely been for sale at bargain prices for over 100 years with no takers because there is absolutely no water or any prospect of water for development. It seems that the real motivation for passage of this bill lies with the special interest groups that would benefit monetarily.”
“Through a complex series of land exchanges, Catellus Corp., a subsidiary of Santa Fe Pacific, would receive land that contains some of the richest gold deposits in the world. In exchange the public gets seventy-four widely scattered tracts of desert which have found no economic use in more than a century.
“Catellus owns over 400,000 acres of worthless land in the California Mojave Desert. This land was obtained by Santa Fe Pacific and its predecessor railroad companies as part of the ‘checkerboard’ railroad lands awarded for the building of the transcontinental railroad. Santa Fe transferred these lands which have been for sale for over 100 years, over to its subsidiary, Catellus Corp. In the land swap, Catellus Corp. will receive land from decommissioned military bases. One of the bases will be the Chocolate Mountain gunnery range. Unbeknownst to the public, inside the range is the world's richest gold rift zone. Geologists estimate that the gold contained in this zone is worth between $40 to $100 billion. These are surface gold deposits which are more profitable to mine than the one-mile deep gold deposits in South Africa.”
“In addition to controlling Catellus, Santa Fe owns and operates the Mesquite gold mine located on the Chocolate Mountain rift zone. The Mesquite gold mine is one of the top ten mines in the United States and has some of the most profitable gold deposits of any mine in the world. To the north is the Chocolate Mountain gunnery range. The Mesquite open pit gold mine literally stops at the fence that borders the gunnery range.”
According to mining engineers who work at the Mesquite mine, the main gold ore body is north of the fence inside the gunnery range. Engineers allege that in 1981 and 1982, Consolidated Goldfields, which owned the mine at the time, illegally drilled into the gunnery range area to determine the composition of the ore body. The samples proved to be of high quality. According to these same engineers, beginning in the mid-1980s, military helicopters brought high ranking military officers, Congressmen and Senators to the area to examine these large gold deposits. Congressman Bruce Vento (D-Minn.) was one of those who toured the area. Engineers allege that the purpose of these tours was to come up with a way to hand these gold deposits to Consolidated Goldfields. No legal mechanism was then available to transfer this land without alerting the public to the existence of the gold. But around the same time the California Desert bill was introduced into Congress by former Senator Alan Cranston.
The California Public Employees Retirement System, (CALPERS) is a nearly $80 billion pension fund whose investment clout is heavily influenced by California leadership which includes Sen. Diane Feinstein. Several years ago, CALPERS made a $400 million investment in Catellus. Shortly after CALPERS made its investment in Catellus, the value of the stock collapsed 82%.
“Dehnert Queen, a San Francisco businessman, filed a criminal complaint in regards to this investment to U.S. Attorney Michael J. Yamaguchi and Ms. Sylvia Scott of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Queen states, in his complaint that Sen. Feinstein ‘misrepresented facts to defraud a public corporation (CALPERS), abused power and conflicts of interest to defraud State and U.S. taxpayers. In early 1993, CALPERS doubled its investment in Catellus to 41 percent...Queen contends ‘that both former Senator Cranston and Senator Feinstein acted to sponsor the Desert Protection Act in order to preserve and protect the formal agreement that then Mayor Feinstein signed with Catellus to build the Mission Bay Project in 1984, updated in 1986 and shepherded same through the City's (San Francisco) departments and commissions.’"
“Ed White, who owns a family mining business in the area is one of many whose business will now be destroyed. ‘The Sierra Club was just used, in my opinion, by Feinstein's bankers friends and the railroad or their land company Catellus, to create the public perception that these lands are fragile and threatened by development,’ said White. ‘The truth appears to be just the opposite. The scattered railroad lands that could never be developed are to be consolidated into a single block of 226,000 acres so they can be developed by Chocolate Mountain Gunnery Range Land and Mining Development.’"
“It is alleged that JLB Realty Corp. based out of Chicago, is tied to Dick Blum, millionaire husband of Sen. Diane Feinstein and that JLB allegedly will stand to make a huge profit on this development. In the name of "re-wilding" millions of acres of desert, grave financial and environmental damage will occur once the land is closed to the public.”
The Apropos Observations of one James Bond (007) …
According to James Bond: once is happenstance, twice is coincidence and three times it is definitely enemy action.
While there is little chance of a democrat-controlled Senate Ethics Committee investigation or hearing, the situation does provide yet another example of an appearance of impropriety that should be investigated on behalf of the taxpaying public.
In any event, it is not all that surprising to learn that a left-leaning liberal anti-war democrat was personally profiting from our war efforts and involved with the mistreatment of soldiers by her committee’s inattention to detail.
There is but one solution …
Research Links …
“In January of 2005, Ethics Commission investigator Richard Mo met with complainants and over the next two years received over 500 pages of hard copy and email documentation compiled by the editors of the San Francisco Bay View with assistance from Lynne Brown, Michael Boyd, Francisco Da Costa, Kevin Williams and Roland Sheppard detailing the extensive history of corruption surrounding the shipyard transfer.”
“In February of 2005, U.S. Attorney Andrew Cheng received documentation of violations of federal law involving Rep. Pelosi and Sen. Feinstein, whose husband, Richard Blum, has a financial interest in Catellus Developers, the master developer for the UCSF Mission Bay Campus, Lennar Corp. and numerous Bayview Hunters Point community non-profits.”
“Feinstein resigned from a seat on the U.S. Senate Military Construction Appropriations Committee due to conflicts of interest complaints involving her husband and has been reportedly investigated by the FBI, according to a former writer for the San Francisco Bay Guardian.”
“Cheng, in subsequent communications, referred the Hunters Point Shipyard redevelopment investigation to the Ethics Commission, the City Attorney’s division of governmental integrity and the San Francisco Division of the FBI but took no action at the level of the U.S. Department of Justice.”
“In March of 2005 the City’s Sunshine Ordinance Task Force concluded that violations of the Sunshine Act occurred during the Board of Supervisors’ enactment of the 14 measures approving development on Parcel A.”
“In March of 2005 the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission acknowledged receipt of complaints documenting financial conflicts of interest involving City officials and contractors. No action was taken.”
“In January of 2007 Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi became speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. Her first act was a failed attempt to install Rep. John Murtha as the House majority whip in exchange for his help in the transfer of shipyard Parcel A.”
“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!
“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw
“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius “A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell “Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar “Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius
“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell
“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar
“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS