Curious how this story has not even made a dent into the MSM front pages huh?
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.
The investigation was partially funded by the Investigative Fund of The Nation Institute, a non-profit organization affiliated with the liberal magazine The Nation.
"This was a critique from the left," Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, a conservative public interest group, told Cybercast News Service. "These were left-leaning papers. The fact that she stepped down from the committee lends credibility to the charges."
Just as in the Reid land deal we get nary a peep out of our MSM on this even though there is a big difference between the two stories, that being the amount of money involved. Feinsteins corruption eclipses Reids by leaps and bounds.
The California weeklies detailed examples that included a subcommittee hearing in which Feinstein asked Pentagon officials about increasing anti-terrorism protection for Army bases.
The next year, in March 2003, Feinstein asked why the funds for anti-terror protection had not been spent. Just over a month later, URS announced a $600 million contract to provide services for U.S. Army bases that included anti-terrorism force protection.
In another instance, Feinstein asked another military official when money would be spent on a maintenance facility for the C-17 Hickam Air Base in Hawaii. URS later announced a $42 million contract to build it.
Also, Feinstein’s subcommittee in mid-2005 approved funds to reinforce roofs at military stations in Iraq, and in October of that year, Perini got a $185 million federal contract for that purpose, the papers reported.
How about some insider trading? This story has got it. She was fed insider information from her attorney, Michael Klein:
Klein stated that, beginning in 1997, he routinely informed Feinstein about specific federal projects coming before her in which Perini had a stake. The insider information, Klein said, was intended to help the senator avoid conflicts of interest…
“We basically identified any bid that Perini was going for and checked to see whether it was the subject of already appropriated funds or funds yet to be appropriated, and if it was anything that the senator could not act on, her office was alerted and she did not act on it.”
This is an extraordinary thing for Klein and the senator to do, since the detailed project proposals that the Pentagon sent to Feinstein’s subcommittee for review do not usually name the firms already contracted to perform specific projects… In theory, Feinstein would not know the identity of any of the companies that stood to contractually benefit from her approval of specific items in the military construction budget–until Klein told her.
However, the public record shows that contrary to Klein’s belief, Feinstein did act on legislation that affected Perini and URS.
So she received the information and then voted the way in which her husbands companies benefited.
If this story involved a Republican the loonies would be going apes&%t. Recall the hysteria over an email sent to a Congressional Page, but no hysteria over millions upon millions of taxpayers dollars going to benefit a Democrat politicians family.
Hell, some of the lefty watchdog groups are even shaking their heads:
Meanwhile, Melanie Sloan, executive director of the liberal watchdog group Citizens for Responsible Ethics in Washington, reportedly said the Feinstein matter could eclipse other congressional scandals.
"There are a number of members of Congress with conflicts of interest," Sloan told Metro Newspapers. "But because of the amount of money involved, Feinstein’s conflict of interest is an order of magnitude greater than those conflicts."
The silence is deafening, and telling….