Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein has some explaining to do. The Washington Times has the exclusive:
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.
Isn’t that convenient. It’s also highly unusual since, as the WashTimes explains, the FDIC is supposed to get its funds from insurance fees paid by the banks, not from the federal government. And that is not the only unusual aspect of this deal, but Feinstein insists there’s nothing to see here and advises us to move along:
Feinstein spokesman Gil Duran said there was no conflict of interest between Mr. Blum’s firm getting the contract and the senator’s legislation. He said she introduced the legislation because it would help prevent home mortgage foreclosures at a time when many Californians were in danger of losing their homes.
“She was not aware of the contract before she introduced the legislation,” Mr. Duran said. “There is no evidence of any relationship or conflict between this foreclosure relief bill and the contract. Senator Feinstein complies with the rules and guidelines of the Ethics Committee.”
The discovery that Senator Feinstein introduced legislation that helped her husband’s real estate firm comes on the heels of the hundreds of tea parties that took place all over the country on April 15th and is an example of politicians’ wasteful and self-serving activities that the tea partiers were protesting. The vast majority of the mainstream media ridiculed the hundreds of thousands of Americans who attended those protests, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the mainstream media gives a pass to Feinstein’s sweetheart deal for her husband’s firm.
Don Surber reminds us that Feinstein has made other self-serving deals in the past, so this newest one is just more of the same:
You see, I do not buy that this is her husband’s company and not hers. The Feinsteins (or the Blums) have a nice little business going for them. They elected her. She lobbies for them. That lands contracts with government agencies, including DOD and NASA.
For example, a month after the Iraq War began, the San Francisco Chronicle reported: “URS Corp., a San Francisco planning and engineering firm partially owned by California Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s husband, landed an Army contract Monday worth up to $600 million.