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Feinstein Leaves Senate Defense Panel Amid Controversy

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posted on Apr, 2 2007 @ 08:56 AM
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Feinstein Leaves Senate Defense Panel Amid Controversy


www.cnsnews.com

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.
(visit the link for the full news article)


Related News Links:
newsbusters.org




posted on Apr, 2 2007 @ 08:56 AM
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I just found these articles and I am searching for more, I didn't know she resigned or anything concerning the scandal.

Anyone out there who can weigh in on the voracity of these reports?

www.cnsnews.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Apr, 2 2007 @ 09:14 AM
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Here's the members of the subcommittee as of this date:


LINK

Subcommittee on
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)



I am still searching for a GOV relase on her resignation though it appears she did so prior to MAR 23 as I have seen other stories of her resignation dated the 23rd.





[edit on 2007/4/2 by JacKatMtn]



posted on Apr, 2 2007 @ 09:27 AM
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From Sen. Feinstein's new website:


Feinstein

She previously served as the Ranking Member of the Military Construction and Veteran Affairs Subcommittee.


So at least the resignation part seems correct, however she is still in many appropriations subcommittees as seen here



Senate Committee on Appropriations
appropriations.senate.gov...

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.


Subcommittees:
Interior and Related Agencies (Chairman)
appropriations.senate.gov...

Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies
appropriations.senate.gov...

Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies
appropriations.senate.gov...

Defense
appropriations.senate.gov...

Energy and Water Development
appropriations.senate.gov...

Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and related agencies
appropriations.senate.gov...


So is this story just politcal bashing? Are there still questions the Senator needs to answer? Is her new website just a PR move?

I don't know, but thought I would share...



posted on Apr, 2 2007 @ 09:41 AM
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One last note

If YOU would like to ask the Senator about this situation feel free to contact her here:


CONTACT

Phone or Fax

If you wish to phone or fax the Washington, D.C. office:

Phone: (202) 224-3841
Fax: (202) 228-3954
TTY/TDD: (202) 224-2501

Write a letter

Senator Dianne Feinstein
United States Senate
331 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

E-Mail the Senator

All electronic mail sent is tallied and your opinions are noted and appreciated. If you wish a response to your email, please include your California postal mailing address in the text of your message. Due to the volume of email we receive, we are only able to respond to messages that contain a California postal address. Please ensure that your email is in plain text format and does not include any attachments.
E-mail the Senator


Contact one of my offices in California

California offices


Casework

Requests for Casework assistance - If you are writing because you are having difficulty with a government agency and wish to request help, please send a letter including your name, address, phone number, Social Security number, and information about your problem and a Privacy Release form to:

Senator Dianne Feinstein
United States Senate
One Post Street, Suite 2450
San Francisco, CA 94104
Or call (415) 393-0707
Fax (415) 393-0710



I am sure that she will get back to you but....


IMPORTANT NOTE: Due to recent security concerns, new mail delivery procedures have been implemented in the U.S. Congress which may significantly delay the delivery of mail and overnight delivery services to my office. You may continue to send correspondence to me via e-mail by using the webform found in the How to Contact Me section of this website. However, flag requests must continue to be sent via regular mail, since prepayment is required. Thank you for your patience during these delays.


...I would suggest email or telephonic contact as snail mail crawls even slower in Govt these days...anthrax scares you know

Edit: to add the note it appears that only California residents providing a Cali street address in emails will be the only ones who get a response, I bolded the line in the above contact area.

[edit on 2007/4/2 by JacKatMtn]



posted on Apr, 2 2007 @ 09:59 AM
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The following is an opinion piece, remember that, but it does say she resigned in January, so why haven't we heard of this? The Senator is a BIG name on Capitol Hill, somebody should have reported this in the mainstream media, did she sneak out the backdoor? Does she have that much power? Once again I don't know, but it sure doesn't smell good.


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.



[edit on 2007/4/2 by JacKatMtn]



posted on Apr, 4 2007 @ 06:54 AM
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Of course the Senator is going to deny these allegations, but is there any truth to the accusations? Here is the article of the Senator's denial:


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.



posted on Apr, 4 2007 @ 05:57 PM
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Where's the Halliburton is the root of all evil crowd?

Where's the naysayers? Where's Bob Beckel's indignation? What does Hillary think?

Great job in documenting this Jack... And shame on the rest of us for the lack of commentary.



posted on Apr, 4 2007 @ 07:30 PM
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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. :shk:

[edit on 4/4/2007 by djohnsto77]



posted on Apr, 4 2007 @ 08:22 PM
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Great work uncovering this apparent COI concerning Sen. Feinstein. I agree that it should be investigated further to determine if any illegal activity took place.

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.



posted on Apr, 4 2007 @ 08:26 PM
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Anyone who thinks that the dems are any better then Republicans needs to read this thread. The only reason a conflict of interest is allowed to remain in place or is only removed after discovery is wide spread corruption. Behind closed doors American politicians must be laughing at the orchestrated partisan divided that has sucked in the masses.



posted on Apr, 4 2007 @ 08:29 PM
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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.


Thanks for the kind words, The one thing that I found suspicious was today's acknowledgement of the accusations and a denial by the Senator, like I said I do not know whether these allegations are true, but for her to respond says something and for this to be "hush hushed" makes you wonder as well.

It shouldn't be too difficult to find out the truth, but I would think that this accusation and denial is worthy of a report on MSM. Both sides have spoken......



posted on Apr, 4 2007 @ 09:32 PM
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Here's an Opinion article I found, WARNING: Bias level HIGH
I am posting it for reference as it points out some other points which may surface in the future.


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."


I thought the mention of the Carlyle Group was worth posting this here...



posted on Apr, 5 2007 @ 03:43 AM
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I will follow this with interest. it will not surprise me that there are more people in Congress like here.



posted on Apr, 5 2007 @ 06:43 AM
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I am not sure how or if this could be tied to the allegations, in my opinion it only adds more questions to be asked concerning the Senator


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."


Another relative snippet from the same piece

Feinstein has received $50,000 from oil and gas interests in the past six years, including $10,000 from ChevronTexaco's PAC, the center says. Her spokesman, Scott Gerber, said campaign money does not influence her. He also sought to temper her previous public statement, saying she favors the House approach "unless we can find a better alternative."

House Democrats question why companies should be rewarded for correcting what most agree was an error. They point out that the non-partisan Congressional Research Service said the House bill would pass legal muster.

"I think that the House has constructed a formula which will result in the American people receiving every dollar," said Rep. Ed Markey, D-MA, one of the authors of the House language. "I don't see any reason to give the oil companies an additional windfall profit."


The Senator embraced the plan in a subcommittee meeting 2 weeks ago...

...Now the allegations of profiterring, and a sudden shift in her stance on a plan to fix a $10Billion error, from the side of the people, to the side of oil interests? Related?



posted on Apr, 5 2007 @ 07:11 AM
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Here are two more articles on Sen Feinstein and her husband Richard Blum
the first one concerns the Bay Area and if any member lives there or has contacts in the area I would appreciate your input as to the claims in this article. Do the underpriveleged in the area feel like this is happening to them?


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.



This article is on Blum who recently became head of Regents at the University of California, it has a decent resume of his accomplishments but this snippet had me wondering...


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.


Charging the students a 7% - 10% increase seems expensive, and the half billion dollar BP oil grant for program on biofuels....

...this global warming deal is going to make some very wealthy or at least wealthier....

More questions... It gets deeper and deeper... Is the picture getting clearer?



posted on Apr, 5 2007 @ 07:24 AM
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...we put the Democrats in a position of power to fix such messes
More of the same DC BS!
The same as Harry Reid's shady land deals. The same as the pork-laden war appropriations bill. Get real people, the Democrats are 100% as crooked as the Republicans. They serve ONLY the Corporatocracy, not the people. It's been this way since LBJ had Kennedy assisinated and the lineage of corrupt leaders has continued to hijack our Constitional Republic to the point it has become a Meritocracy/plutocracy/oligarchy/corporatocracy.

What people need to get a handle on is the "Divide and conquer" mentality that these people have employed to hijack our system. As long as we are too busy fighting over abortion, equal rights, church and state etc... they can continue to manipulate behind the scenes to deploy such things as NAFTA, GATT, DHS etc... which seek to take the power away from the common citizen and give the corporations the clout they need to beat the people into submission. Couple that with the fact the debt that we carry as individuals and as a nation, place us into indentured servitude of these corporations as we increasingly rely on fewer and fewer decent paying jobs to keep our heads above water.

You see, when we default on the debt then our property becomes that of these same companies that helped us create the debt - thus increasing their assets and decreasing our financial standing in the world - all according to plan. Soon the companies will own everything and we, the people, will own nothing. We will slave our lives away just so those companies will continue to provide us shelter and food for survival - INDENTURED SERVITUDE! Am I the only one seeing this?



posted on Apr, 5 2007 @ 07:25 AM
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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. :shk:

[edit on 4/4/2007 by djohnsto77]


Really? I consider her a whacko, but that's just me.

Gee, I wonder why this isn't all over the news. Could it be because this would kick the "democrats are holy, republicans are corrupt" agenda right out of Washington? There have been just as many scandals traced to democrats as republicans in recent times...yet only the republican ones make the news for the most part. Even when a democrat is caught taking bribe money...and it's found in his freezer...not only does nothing happen, but he gets placed into high posts on subcommittees. It's completely absurd.

Don't hold your breath on this one going anywhere, she's one of the leftwing media's poster children. They'll never give it more than a blurb because it will deflect attention from the "Bush is evil. Bush lied." agenda.



posted on Apr, 5 2007 @ 07:47 AM
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Another interesting article on the Senator's husband, his new role in UC, and a bid for the contract to Livermore Labs



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.


Is it just coincidence that Blum took this job right when this Lab was coming up for bid?



posted on Apr, 5 2007 @ 08:32 AM
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I'm sure the Republicans know about this. My guess is that the fact checkers are digging while the spin docs work up their talking points. You'll hear all the conservative radio personalities take off on this all at the same time. When they do decide to cash in on, this it will be done in a large way.

What's that. "How can we stir the pot?" Well...since you asked.

1. E-mail these links to as many people as you can.

2. Write letters online to your local news papers and any other pulbications that you like.

3. E-mail these links to the radio talk show host of your choice.

4. Write about this news item in your own blogs.

5. Go to the web site for your favorite Presidential contender, and drop them a note with these links.

I could go on, but you get the idea.






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