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Government watchdog groups want more answers as to why Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) stepped down from a military appropriations subcommittee at a time questions were being asked billions of dollars in federal defense contracts going to her husband's companies.
Feinstein resigned her post as chairwoman of the Senate Subcommittee on Military Construction Appropriations last week.
The decision came less than two months after Metro Newspapers, a group of alternative weekly papers in northern California, detailed the number of defense contracts awarded to Perini Corp. and URS Corp., both of which her husband, Richard C. Blum, has ownership, according to the newspapers.
Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies
Democratic Subcommittee Members:
Senator Tim Johnson (Chairman) (SD)
Senator Daniel Inouye (HI)
Senator Mary Landrieu (LA)
Senator Robert Byrd (WV)
Senator Patty Murray (WA)
Senator Jack Reed (RI)
Senator Ben Nelson (NE)
Republican Subcommittee Members:
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (Ranking Member) (TX)
Senator Larry Craig (ID)
Senator Sam Brownback (KS)
Senator Wayne Allard (CO)
Senator Mitch McConnell (KY)
Senator Robert Bennett (UT)
She previously served as the Ranking Member of the Military Construction and Veteran Affairs Subcommittee.
Senate Committee on Appropriations
The Senate Appropriations Committee writes the legislation that allocates federal funds to the numerous government agencies, departments, and organizations on an annual basis. Twelve subcommittees are tasked with drafting legislation to allocate funds to government agencies within their jurisdictions. The Committee is also responsible for supplemental spending bills, which are sometimes needed in the middle of a fiscal year to compensate for emergency expenses.
Interior and Related Agencies (Chairman)
Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies
Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies
Energy and Water Development
Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and related agencies
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Senator Dianne Feinstein
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Culture of Corruption: Dianne Feinstein Edition?
According to MetroActive, she resigned quietly (where was the MSM?) from a Military Construction Appropriations committee after a conflict of interest involving her husband, tens of millions of dollars in defense and construction contracts, etc. surfaced in January.
Feinstein's Office Denies Conflict of Interest Charges
Breaking nearly a week of silence, Sen. Dianne Feinstein's office Tuesday called allegations of a conflict of interest "nonsense" and said the California Democrat played no role in awarding military contracts that benefited companies owned by her husband.
It was reported last week that Feinstein no longer serves on a Senate subcommittee that oversaw military construction.
Earlier this year, Metro Newspapers accused Feinstein of a conflict of interest because the subcommittee had oversight of military contracts that often went to defense contractors owned by her husband, Richard Blum.
Originally posted by Icarus Rising
It appears on the surface to involve favoritism, at the very least. If there was any sort of compensation, gifts, or kickbacks involved, there needs to be accountability beyond stepping down from the committee.
Senator Feinstein's War Profiteering
But it is not just Perini that has made Feinstein and Blum wealthy. Up until 2005 Blum held over 111,000 shares of stock in URS Corporation, which is now one of the top defense contractors in the United States. Blum was also an acting director of URS, which bought EG&G, a leading provider of technical services and management to the U.S. military, from the neocon packed Carlyle Group back in 2002.
"As part of EG&G's sale price," reports the San Francisco Chronicle, "Carlyle acquired a 21.74 percent stake in URS -- second only to the 23.7 percent of shares controlled by Blum Capital."
2 Dems soften tone on $10B oil loophole
In January, as part of their "100 hours agenda," House Democrats passed a measure designed to fix a $10 billion mistake that gave huge royalty breaks to oil companies that drill on federal land.
Now, two key Democrats with political ties to the oil and gas industry are contemplating a gentler approach to correcting what the Interior Department's Inspector General has called "a jaw-dropping example of bureaucratic bungling."
The Restoration Advisory Board (RAB), the Citizens Advisory Committee(CAC) to the Shipyard
The Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) and the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) to the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard have an important role to play. The CAC tows the line and when the Mayor says jump it does - just before the Disposition and Development (DDA) to Parcel A was published it stacked the members to 26 from 9. The RAB works closely with Navy and the clean up of the entire Shipyard. When parcel A was conveyed to the City and County of San Francisco - the RAB did no endorse the decision....
...Mayor Gavin Newsom and his crones want an Early Transfer of the entire Hunters Point Naval Shipyard. Behind the scenes are Diane Feinstein, Nancy Pelosi, Richard Blum, and some other powerful forces.
These forces are using Land Banking to make a fast buck. They are not for the people especially the poor people.
The Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) to the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard takes its orders from Mayor Gavin Newsom and his cronies. Those that do the bidding of the Mayor are paid.
Feinstein’s spouse takes center stage as head of UC Regents
One of UC’s most pressing problems is finding money to rebuild the university after years of state cutbacks and soaring student fees. Last week, Blum presided as the board reluctantly approved a 7 percent fee increase for most students and a 10 percent fee at selected law and business schools.
In addition to lobbying Sacramento, the state capital, for more funds, Blum also plans to push for a more aggressive program of raising money from corporations and the million-plus alumni of the UC system.
As evidence of UC’s cutting-edge role in the world today, Blum cites the $500 million award UC Berkeley recently received from oil company BP to research new biofuels that would help reduce carbon emissions and curb global warming.
Originally posted by djohnsto77
Although I disagree with Feinstein on many issues, I do have some respect for her and don't consider herself a wacko or anything. Still, it's puzzling to me why she'd put herself in a position where even the appearance of impropriety could arise.
I think there should be more investigations into this, but I doubt the left-wing media will lift a finger to do it.
[edit on 4/4/2007 by djohnsto77]
Regents meeting covers lab bid
During the session for oversight committee for the Department of Energy laboratories, Robert Foley, the vice president of laboratory administration, updated the regents on the status of UC-managed laboratories. This included the university’s status in continuing its bid for the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, a nuclear research facility.
The university’s current management contract is set to end September of this year.
The university is part of a collective consortium, which includes Bechtel National Inc., BWX Technologies Inc., Texas A&M University, Washington Group International and Battelle, who are currently bidding for the management contract.